Allen Lastinger, this year’s Citizen of the Year award recipient, has been active in civic-minded endeavors throughout his life. After 27 years of service to Barnett Bank, where he advanced to the role of president and CEO, Lastinger retired with the hope of directing his time and talents to making a tangible difference in the world. He applied his visionary leadership to service and volunteerism in the realm of education and historic preservation.
As UF alumni, Lastinger and wife, Delores, donated $2 million to the College of Education – the largest gift in the college’s history – to create the Lastinger Center for Learning. Since its inception, The Lastinger Center has created a burgeoning network of under-resourced schools that are working to improve student achievement, teacher practice, principal leadership and parental engagement. The center’s innovations, such as Algebra Nation and Early Learning Florida, are providing high-quality training to educators in virtually every community in the state.
“All of these things were made possible because of the vision of Allen and Dolores Lastinger,” said Don Pemberton, director of the Lastinger Center, “in truly believing that a university could play a pivotal role to help to improve the quality of life in our state and country.”
Lastinger has also immersed himself in the preservation of historic properties in St. Augustine. As chair of the University of Florida Historic St. Augustine, Inc. (UFHSA), Lastinger has worked to ensure the long-term preservation of the “old city.” Under his leadership, the organization has completed more than $25 million in repairs and restorations to the historic properties in St. Augustine, refreshed its living history museum and assisted in improving the city’s visitor experiences through authentic interpretations of history.