Billy Burbank wins Florida Heritage Award

We are thrilled with the announcement that Billy Burbank of Burbank Sport Nets and friend of Top Coach and Cornbelt Sports has been named a winner of a 2014 Florida Heritage Award. Those of you who listened to our Top Coach Resource interview with Billy and Hunter Burbank know of the nearly 100 year old tradition of net making in the Burbank family. Here is the press release:

Tallahassee — Secretary of State Ken Detzner and First Lady Ann Scott will honor Florida’s Heritage Month Award winners at a ceremony tonight at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. The 11th annual Florida Heritage Month Awards ceremony is part of a month-long celebration from March 15 to April 15, recognizing Floridians who have made contributions to the state in historic preservation, literature, folk heritage, and visual and performing arts.

“Florida Heritage Award winners are uniquely talented individuals who preserve our state’s traditions and heritage while making Florida a tremendous cultural destination,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “By recognizing these great cultural talents and the arts they represent, we hope to promote how arts and culture can create economic vitality, enhance quality of life and instill community pride.”

The Florida Heritage Month Awards are being presented tonight at Mission San Luis, Florida’s Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for a reception and the awards ceremony will follow from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. In addition to the award winners, the Florida Heritage Month Awards will feature cultural presentations and musical performances that spotlight the important sites and sounds that have contributed to Florida’s history and culture.

Residents and visitors can find more information about the Florida Heritage Month Award Winners and Florida Heritage Month events at To watch a video of Secretary Detzner introducing Florida Heritage Month, click here.

11th Annual Florida Heritage Month Award Winners:

Florida Book Awards

  • Children’s Literature
    Nancy J. Cavanaugh
    (Pinellas County)
    This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
  • Florida Nonfiction
    Henry Knight
    (Newcastle, UK)
    Tropic of Hopes: California, Florida, and the Selling of American Paradise, 1869-1929
  • General Fiction
    Randy Wayne White
    (Lee County)
  • General Nonfiction
    Tom Williams
    (Collier County)
    Surrounded by Thunder
  • Poetry
    Craig Blais
    (Leon County)
    About Crows
  • Popular Fiction
    John Tkac
    (Palm Beach County)
    Talking to Water
  • Spanish Language
    Manuel A. Lopez
    (Miami-Dade County)
    Los Poetas Nunca Pecan Demasiado
  • Visual Arts
    Jerald T. Milanich
    (Alachua County) and Nina J. Root (New York, NY)
    Enchantments: Julian Dimock’s Photographs of Southwest Florida
  • Young Adult
    Rick Yancey
    (Alachua County)
    The Final Descent

Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing

  • Janet Burroway (Leon County/Chicago)

Folk Heritage Awards

  • Billy Burbank III (Nassau County)
  • Guy LaBree (DeSoto County)
  • John Lulias (Pinellas County)
  • Bob Pitt (Manatee County)

Secretary of State Historic Preservation Awards

  • Senator Bob Williams Award
    Barbara E. Mattick, Ph.D.
    (Leon County)
  • Mary Call Darby Collins Award
    Senator Walter B. Fraser
    (St. Johns County)

Florida Artists Hall of Fame

    • Bruce Helander (Palm Beach County)
    • Tom Petty (Alachua County/Los Angeles)
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