|Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives|
|Preceded by||Johnnie Byrd|
|Succeeded by||Marco Rubio|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 6th district
|Born||October 6, 1951|
Allan Bense was born in Panama City, Florida on October 6, 1951, and the youngest child of Herbert and Bette Bense. Both of his parents died at the age of 45, he worked his way through Junior High School, High School, and College as a janitor, waiter, mechanic, salesman, and more. He began his business career deeply in debt after college. He received a Bachelor of Science in 1972 and a Master of Business Administration in 1974, both from Florida State University.
He served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1998 through 2006. He was Speaker of the House from 2004 through 2006. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Gulf Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company ( SO; NYSE ) ]. He serves on the Board of Directors of Capital City Bank Group ( CCBG: NASDAQ ). He is a partner in several companies with interests in road building, mechanical contracting, healthcare, insurance, general contracting, golf courses, pavement marking, farming and others. He is Chairman of the Board of the James Madison Institute, a Florida based think tank; Chairman of the Board of Triumph Gulf Coast which is responsible for spending 1.5 billion in BP money in Northwest Florida; Chairman of the Board of Gulf Coast Hospital (36 years). He is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Florida State University. Past Chairman of the Board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce; Past Chairman of the Board of the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission; Past Chairman of the Board of the Florida Council on Military Base and Mission Support; Past Vice Chairman of Enterprise Florida ( the Governor is the honorary chairman ); past Chairman of the Board of the Bay Economic Development Alliance;
He married his wife Tonie Johnson Bense in 1975 and they have three children, Courtney Weatherford, Jason Bense, and Taylor Bense. Tonie owns two dance studios, has 500 students, 13 instructors, and teaches 16 classes a week. Courtney is a full-time mother of 4 and active in several volunteer groups in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Her husband, Will Weatherford is the immediate past Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Jason Bense is a Partner with Allan Bense in a construction business, and Taylor Bense is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and is a musician in New York City. In addition, Bense's older sister, Dr. Judith Bense, just recently retired as President of the University of West Florida, one of Florida's twelve public universities.