Exclusive video interview with city's top elected leader on issues and priorities
Video by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick / Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry and his wife, Dr. Stephanie Henry, invited Headline Surfer into their home to deliver a special Christmas message from the newly elected mayor to the citizens of Daytona Beach and Volusia County and beyond. Please click the video to watch the interview.
DAYTONA BEACH -- Fresh off his resounding victory in the Nov. 6 general elections, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry has a special Christmas message for the citizens of New Smyrna Beach: "Share the love."
Henry and his wife, Dr. Stephanie Henry, invited Headline Surfer into their Daytona Beach home for an exclusive on-camera interview so that Daytona Beach's top elected leader could share a special Christmas wish for the city residents and everyone else who has ever visited Daytona Beach or is considering doing so.
Headline Surfer's interview with the mayor marks the first time in Volusia County's history that a media outlet has done a video interview with an elected official for the Christmas holiday, a testament to the technology and ingenuity of the 24/7 Internet newspaper.
Headline Surfer thanks the Henrys for the opportunity to share the mayor's thoughts on his beloved city and his priorities moving forward. As for the holiday itself, the mayor said: "Be thankful for what we have, not only as a city, but be grateful for our family, those things that are closest to us."
He added, "The second thing would be to spread the love, share whatever it is whatever your resources, it doesn't have to be material, it could be your time or energy to pass along the holiday cheer to others."
Henry said he and his wife's "best joy" is Henry, Jr., 5 months old, wearing a red jacket just like his dad for the interview. The Henrys shared highlights of their past, from DeLand native Stephanie Henry's beauty pageants at Bethune Cookman to Derrick Henry's tenure as an assistant principal at Mainland High School.
When Henry was an assistant varsity basketball coach at Mainland in the early 1990s, Vince Carter sported his array of monster dunks and overall skills on the court before starring at the University of North Carolina and then as a 1st-round NBA draft pick, playing for the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and currently the Dallas Mavericks.
Henry had served one term on the Daytona Beach City Commission when he decided to run for mayor, succeeding the retiring Glenn Ritchey.
Henry's campaign theme was "One City, One Vision," which resonated with voters, first in the primary when he finished a close second among four candidates in the August primary won by then-Commissioner Edith Shelley, and then easily defeating her in the general election runoff.
As mayor and the head of the city commission, Henry's older brother, Patrick Henry, also is an elected commissioner.
Henry said his life is "beyond exciting" with the birth of his son, the love and support of his wife and the opportunity to lead Daytona Beach, the city known for "The World's Most Famous Beach" and Daytona International Speedway, home of NASCAR and the great American race, the Daytona 500.
Henry said his main goal is to make Daytona Beach the "great American destination." "I think we're on the cusp of moving in that direction," he said.
You can watch the exclusive Headline Surfer Christmas interview with Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry and his wife, Dr. Stephanie Henry, in their home by clicking the video above the story.