Monday, November 20, 2017

John Mitchael Drew

A lifelong resident of Nassau County, John Drew was appointed Tax Collector by Governor Jeb Bush in May of 2006 and was afterwards elected to the office by 72% of the vote in a special election. By popular acclamation, he was unopposed in both the 2008 and 2012 election cycles. Drew, who earned his MBA and Bachelor’s degrees from Jacksonville University, was recently elected by his fellow Tax Collectors to serve as the President of the Florida Tax Collectors Association, an organization that collects and distributes approximately $3 billion annually.

"Nassau County has given so much to me and to my family over the generations, and it has been a tradition for us to give back,” says Drew, the son of Mary Tom Drew a schoolteacher, and Joe Drew, a mill worker. John is married to Dr. Catherine Hardee Drew, PhD. John and Catherine are the proud parents of Joseph Hardee Drew (an eighth generation citizen of Nassau County.) “The people of this community - my teachers, congregation, and neighbors - helped raise and educate me, as they continue to do for children today. I saw an opportunity to use that education and implement positive changes by bringing together technology and congenial customer service. We want to ensure our office works in a way that is consistantly efficient, ethical, and effective."

The Nassau County Tax Collectors’ Office has increased efficiency at its four locations by cross-training staff members to process all transaction types. The unique training program creates a “one-stop shopping” experience in which all services can be performed by one staff person and paid by the customer with one check or credit card. A queuing system is now in place so that those waiting in line are called directly to the employee who best knows how to serve the customer’s specific needs. Services offered include: driver licenses, vehicle registrations, hunting and fishing licenses and property taxes. A special feature of the Yulee location is a Drive-Thru Window that allows customers to quickly renew tags, handicapped placards and pay property taxes.

In addition to streamlining the process of collecting revenue, Drew says, “We now distribute tax collections in a more timely fashion to make certain local governments have the funds they need. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that our local governments have not had to borrow short-term funds.” The Office currently distributes more than $122 million each year in public funds to 15 local and regional Taxing Authorities and to five State Agencies.

Drew’s team has earned an audit report free of any findings for the fourth straight in a row. “With a smaller staff, it is important for us to be innovative when it comes to the very important task of segregation of duties,” Drew said. “I am proud of our audit reports and the work done at every level of our office.” Drew and his Finance Department were honored in  2011 and 2012 with Excellence in Financial Operations Awards, a designation earned by only 12 Tax Collectors last year. “In a Tax Collector’s Office, staff members at every level are dealing with public funds. Their diligence helped build the processes that enabled the office to win the two awards,” Drew said.

For Drew, it is an honor to continue to serve the people who make Nassau County their home: “It is such a great mix in terms of local history and heritage combining with people from around the nation who choose to relocate their families here."

 John's Current Affiliations

  • Ordained Elder and Deacon in the First Presbyterian Church
  • President of the Florida Tax Collector's Inc.
  • Legislative Committee of the National Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors Advisory Board Member of First Federal Bank of Florida
  • Member of the Greater Nassau County Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Yulee Chamber of Commerce
  • Nassau County Republican Party Committeeman
  • Honorary Member of the International Association of Firefighters
  • Honorary Member of the Fraternal Order of Police
  • Alumni Advisor for the Sigma Chi Fraternity at UNF and JU  
  • Order of Green Key - Honorary Leadership Society, Jacksonville University
 John's Past Affiliations
  • President of Nassau County Volunteer Center
  • Two-Term Past President of the Fernandina Beach Optimist Club
  • President of Nassau Friends of Scouting
  • Member of the Fernandina Beach Police and Fire Pension Plan Board of Trustees
  • Member of Jacksonville University's Alumni Board of Governors
  • Served on Micah's Place Board of Directors (7 years) 
  • Master of Amelia Masonic Lodge
  • First Vice-President of the Fernandina Beach Shrine Club
  • Chairman of the FTC Inc, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Committee
  • Co-Chair of the FTC Inc, Drivers License Committee
  • Ambassador, AIFBY Chamber of Commerce
  • President of the Nassau County Young Republicans
  • Executive Board Member, Nassau County Republican Party
  • Founder of the Nassau County Teen-Age Republicans (1989)

John's Awards and Recognitions

  • "Scott Amos" Recent Alumni of Distinction, Jacksonville University 2010
  • Advisor of the Year, 2006 University of North Florida
  • Commencement Speaker, Fernandina Beach High School Graduating Class of 2002
  • Presidential Distinguished Service Award, 1997 Jacksonville University
  • Baccalaureate Speaker, Jacksonville University, Class of 1996
  • Only Honorary Member of both the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters in Nassau County
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