It all started with a love of community. Being a third generation native of Manatee County instills something in her, a sense of pride and loyalty, which led Rose Carlson to want to make her hometown a better place. Fortunately, she was given ample opportunity with the career she chose as Vice President/General Manager of Bright House Networks and its predecessors, a career that spanned 37½ years right here in our community. Following retirement, she joined Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School and is now in her fourth year as Director of Endowment where raising money for the school’s endowment has become her favorite project.
Serving on boards of directors and committees for many civic organizations has always been Rose’s passion. One of her community service highlights was her chairmanship of the Planetarium Committee for the South Florida Museum during those difficult days in 2001 following the destruction by fire of the old planetarium. Coordinating a series of charrettes to gather public opinion finally led to the rebuilding of what is today the state-of-the-art, much loved, Bishop Planetarium.
Another highlight was co-chairing, with Attorney Ed Mulock, the Committee for Passage of the Children’s Services Tax in Manatee County, which today raises and allocates $8,000,000 annually to benefit children in our community.
She has also served on boards of directors for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, South Florida Museum, Bradenton Country Club, First National Bank of Manatee, Barnett Bank, United Way, Manatee Community College Board of Trustees, Manatee Community College Foundation, Realize Bradenton, and was a founding board member of Tiger Bay Manatee.
Among the many awards that have been bestowed on Rose are the Kent C Schulz Distinguished Leadership Award from Leadership Manatee Alumni Association, the Andrew Heiskell Award for Community Service from Time Warner Corporation, Child Advocate of the Year from Manatee Community Council for Children and Honorary Chair of Manatee Commission on the Status of Women from the Manatee County League of Women Voters. Several years ago Rose received the Humanitarian Award in conjunction with the Martin Luther Day celebration. She also chaired the Snooty Gala for the South Florida Museum and has been named Outstanding Alumnus by State College of Florida.
Rose graduated from Manatee High School and finished Manatee Junior College in 18 months, earning a place in Phi Theta Kappa. She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She has been married to Ron for 37 years and loves spending time with her grown children and their spouses and her three grandchildren.
In her spare time, she loves to travel and read and is the founder of the Book Babes Book Group which is finishing its 12th year and still going strong. She’s also a FitBit fan and tries to get her 10,000 steps in daily.