A Tallahassee resident since 1983, Gil Ziffer joined the Tallahassee City Commission on August 31, 2009. Commissioner Ziffer is the president of Ziffer Stansberry Advertising Public Relations, which he founded in 1990. Throughout his professional life, Commissioner Ziffer has been a cultural leader not only in the Tallahassee community, but in many others as well. The Commissioner wan an integral role in the development of the Cultural Resource Plan for the Future of the City of Tallahassee and the Capital Area in 2003. In 2004, Secretary of State Glenda Hood elected him to serve as chair of the statewide Friends of the Museums of Florida History board of directors. As well, the Commissioner Ziffer was a vital leader in the historic Cascades Park project. The Commissioner strongly believes in the value of arts and culture and has been an important figure in raising the awareness and funding for arts and culture in Tallahassee.
As soon as the Commissioner arrived to the classroom, he dug right in to who he was and what made him the person he is today. Throughout his life, his motto has been, “If you start something, you finish it”. From Commissioner Ziffer’s long list of accomplishments, it seems more of us should adopt his mindset! When asked how the Commissioner became interested in arts and culture, he remembered his mother putting him in art classes when he was young. Although he admitted he had no idea why because he had no artistic inclination at all! His lightning fast wit coupled with his sense of humor made for great conversations on his past and how he came to be who he is today. Today as a policy maker, Commissioner Ziffer has great influence on arts and culture in our community. For years, the Commissioner has been a part of the growth of arts and culture in Tallahassee, but he mentions he is not finished yet. Commissioner Ziffer likes the idea of an ‘arts incubator’. This incubator would be a place where different arts organizations could live together. Bringing our community’s organizations together could spur great collaboration and innovation.
The class enjoyed asking the Commissioner about his ideas for the future of arts and culture in the community and shared their own ideas as well. Commissioner Ziffer gave the class an invaluable look at arts and culture from the perspective of a Tallahassee policy maker. He was eager to answer all questions posed to him and interested in hearing the student’s ideas for the future of arts and culture in Tallahassee. Dr. Antonio Cuyler’s Cultural Policy Class thanks City Commissioner Ziffer for his time and conversation!