In September 2019, Florida Trend unveiled its second edition of the Florida 500, a special section that highlights the 500 most influential executives in different economic sectors throughout the state.
This immense, year-long research initiative by the editors of Florida Trend has resulted in a personal, engaging look at the states’ most influential business leaders across a variety of categories, including agriculture, arts and entertainment, education, finance and insurance, hospitality and tourism, real estate, retail and wholesale, and transportation, among others.
Selected to be on this year’s list among 18 other influential leaders in the manufacturing category was Jeff Jackson, President and CEO of PGT Innovations.
The executives were selected based on extensive contacts in regional business circles, multiple interviews, months of research, culminating in a highly selective biographical guide to the people who really run Florida.
As part of the selection process, Jeff was asked to answer a series of questions. A few highlights from his responses that contributed to his selection for the list were:
- What would a competitor say about PGT Innovations?
Jeff: “I believe they would say that they admire our company’s family-oriented culture and the dedication of our folks to our organization. Also, that PGT innovations has a powerful brand presence and we make wise decisions with investing in our company.”
- What is the biggest recent contribution – yours or PGT Innovations’ – to the community or a civic effort you’ve been particularly proud of participating in?
Jeff: “Our team members are passionate about giving back to organizations that improve our local communities. So this year, I gave every employee at PGT Innovations an 8-hour paid day off for them to serve the community in any way that they choose.
Annually, PGT Innovations provides product donations and financial contributions to support organizations that better the lives of the people who live in our communities, such as Children First, Child Protection Center (CPC), Sky Family YMCA, Loveland Center, All Star Children Foundation, and Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC).
Our leadership team also serves on various nonprofit boards, donating their time and energy to causes close to their hearts.
Finally, when natural disasters happen, we always try to find a way to help. In 2018, our team filled multiple semi-trailers from our fleet with emergency supplies and delivered them to areas affected by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.”
- What is something new about you — a new interest, new activity, new accomplishment?
Jeff: “I’m very passionate about one of our company’s newest initiatives called Leading Ladies. It’s a platform for women in the organization to learn, encourage, and celebrate accomplishments and become allies. As a father to three daughters, I have a strong desire for women to be successful.
Leading Ladies not only strengthens our company but provides meaningful opportunities for women in our organization to become excellent leaders.”
- What is the best advice you’ve given either to one of your children or to someone you’ve mentored at work?
Jeff: “Never let someone else control your destiny. You control it.”
- What is something about work you appreciate now that you didn’t 15 years ago?
Jeff: “I appreciate the impact that my decisions can have on an individual and their family.”
- What is one thing you’d change about Florida/your community?
Jeff: “One thing I would change would be the cost of living. I know it can be tough for folks, and I would try to make it more affordable for them to rent or purchase a home.”
About Jeff Jackson
Jeff joined PGT Innovations in 2005 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and led the company’s IPO the following year. In 2014, Jeff became President and COO with responsibilities overseeing the Company’s strategic direction. He played an integral part in leading the acquisitions that brought CGI, WinDoor, CGI Commercial, and Western Windows together to be part of the PGT Innovations family of brands and was instrumental in taking the PGT Innovations’ stock to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2016. Jeff was appointed to the board of directors in 2016 and named CEO in 2018. With diverse experience and powerful skill set in developing and implementing high-quality business and corporate strategy, Jeff brings many unique and valuable characteristics to the PGT Innovations family.
To view Florida Trend’s full Florida 500 list, visit FloridaTrend500.com.