Maintaining chamber security and decorum, keeping up capitol properties and facilities, coordinating office moves and travel logistics, overseeing emergency planning and meeting the daily needs of the chamber’s 120 members are just some of the responsibilities that Earnie consistently managed on a daily basis. Last week, the House honored Earnie’s career with an official House resolution and no fewer than four standing ovations from the members he has served for so many years. Speaker Will Weatherford also announced that a House Meeting Room would be named “Sumner Hall” in Earnie’s honor.
In addition to his storied career in the Florida House, Earnie was also very active at NCSL for many years. In 1978, Earnie became a member of the National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA), one of NCSL’s 10 staff sections committed to the professional development of security and services personnel throughout the country. Over his 34 years with NLSSA, Earnie served on the organization’s executive board in a number of capacities, including two terms as NLSSA president (2006-2008).
As a member of NLSSA, Earnie maintained a strong commitment to the legislative institution and was dedicated to the professional development of new staff members both in Florida and around the country. Earnie understood the importance of developing new talent and viewed NCSL as an opportunity to pass on the professional expertise he had acquired over his career. It was through this commitment that Earnie was awarded all three of the organization’s service awards, the Legislative Staff Achievement Award (2002), The John Everhardt “Trooper” Award (2003) and the Tony Beard Memorial Award (2008).