Frank Bruno, Forough Hosseini head up inaugural Headline Surfer Hall of Fame

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The county council chambers were named after him in 2012, and earlier this year in that same venue, she made a successful pitch for a public-private partnership that will convert a former school into a facility for homeless families and unaccompanied teens: Meet Frank Bruno, Volusia's first elected county chair, and Forough Hosseini, business entrepreneur.

Bruno and Hosseini lead the 200-member inaugural Headline Surfer Hall of Fame as they epitomize the best of the best in leadership, love of community and their continuing tireless efforts to enhance the quality of life for all citizens here in greater Daytona Beach, throughout Central Florida and beyond.

But why these two in particular when there are so many hardworking people who go above the call of duty in helping others? Because they are living proof that appearances can be deceiving - that you can't judge a book by its cover. Frank Bruno and Forough Hosseini are the real deal. They could easily focus solely on their careers and making money. But they give back in ways that are priceless.

At first glance, Bruno looks very much the part of the stereotypical politician with his coiffed hair, pearly white teeth, dark-colored custom suits and county pin lapel affixed to jacket. Even four years removed from elective office, the Ponce Inlet resident is busy with high-end real estate sales. 

Bruno stands tall as the face of Volusia County government, even as he stepped off the dais for the final time in 2012, as the first elected county chair.

With 20 years of countywide elective office under his belt, Bruno saw his name affixed at the entranceways of the meeting hall as the "Frank T. Bruno Jr. County Council Chambers, a fitting end to his 20 years of countywide political service, the last eight in the top elected post. 

The Brunos / Headline SurferShown here in this Headline Surfer photo is then-Volusia County Chairman Frank Bruno and his wife, Mary, attendng the 2011 New Smyrna Beach High School graduation at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach in support of their niece, Ashley Thurman.

At first glance, Bruno looks very much the part of the stereotypical politician with his coiffed hair, pearly white teeth, dark-colored custom suits and county pin lapel affixed to jacket. Even four years removed from elective office, the Ponce Inlet resident is busy with high-end real estate sales. 

Bruno stands tall as the face of Volusia County government, even as he stepped off the dais for the final time in 2012, as the first elected county chair.

With 20 years of countywide elective office under his belt, Bruno saw his name affixed at the entranceways of the meeting hall as the "Frank T. Bruno Jr. County Council Chambers, a fitting end to his 20 years of countywide political service, the last eight in the top elected post. 

Bruno, a Democrat in the non-partisan seat until term limits kicked in, was able to build consensus across the political aisle to get things accomplished with municipal Republican leaders like then-Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey, then-New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer and current Ormond Beach Mayor Ed Kelley.

And it is Kelley who nearly won the Aug. 30 primary, falling just percentage points short of an outright win over Bruno's successor, Republican Jason Davis in a four-candidate field. Kelly and Davis will square off in the Nov. 8 general elections.

Bruno: Proud to share top billing with Forough Hosseini

Bruno, 66, and four years removed from his distinguished career in elective office, said he's truly honored with the recognition" bestowed on him by the award-winning 24/7 internet news provider, adding he's "extremely proud" to share top billing in the Headline Surfer Hall of Fame with Forough Hosseini, entrepreneur and co-founder of ICI Homes in Daytona Beach with her husband, Mori Hosseini.

While Bruno's legacy has been carved out of elected political office spanning parts of four decades, Forough Hosseini's is far more diverse.

As with Bruno, appearances can be deceiving when it comes to the public personna of Forough Hosseini. Considering that ICI Homes is a billion-dollar enterprise, Forough Hosseini often is overlooked by the media in favor of her husband, who is very influential in politics at the local, state and national levels, especially in campaign funding and as a board member with International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona International Speedway and a dozen other NASCAR-sanctioned tracks across the country.

Like Bruno, Forough Hosseini, also is a leader, who dresses the part and whose attire is complemented by a radiant smile. But she's not some socialite hanging on the outstretched arm of her husband. Forough Hosseini, Iranian-born like her husband, worked with him to build a custom home building empire. And she's a community leader in her own right, serving as the current chair of Daytona State College, among myriad civic boards.

Forough Hosseini's most active, however with her charitable works, including the biggest of which came to fruition in June, "Hope Place," with the Volusia County's approval of $4.5 million conversion of the former Hurst Elementary School, long since vacant, into a facility for homeless families and unattended teens. It is expected to open next summer.  

Mrs. Hosseini isn't bashful in leading fundraisers where she has her hand out for checks from other business leaders to supplement what she puts in the pot to subsidize feeding programs for poor children in schools, including meals for them to take home on weekends.

And Forough Hosseini certainly wasn't bashful back in June when she stepped up to the podium to make the pitch for Hope Place and funding from the county to get it off the ground, saying in part, "I assure you no child elects to live in a car or in the woods or to not have a place to call home."

Mori and Forough Hosseini / Headline SurferForough Hosseini and her husband, Mori Hosseini, entrepreeneurs & owners of ICI Homes in Daytona Beach, are shown here, displaying one of seemingly countless community awards.

Forough Hosseini's most active, however with her charitable works, including the biggest of which came to fruition in June, "Hope Place," with the Volusia County's approval of $4.5 million conversion of the former Hurst Elementary School, long since vacant, into a facility for homeless families and unattended teens. It is expected to open next summer.  

Mrs. Hosseini isn't bashful in leading fundraisers where she has her hand out for checks from other business leaders to supplement what she puts in the pot to subsidize feeding programs for poor children in schools, including meals for them to take home on weekends.

And Forough Hosseini certainly wasn't bashful back in June when she stepped up to the podium to make the pitch for Hope Place and funding from the county to get it off the ground, saying in part, "I assure you no child elects to live in a car or in the woods or to not have a place to call home."

County Councilman Joshua J. Wagner, a Daytona Beach private attorney and former prosecutor, who leaves office at year's end, said of Hosseini's tireless efforts over several years to bring this to a vote with unanimous passage: "This is going to save lives... This is going to allow kids to dream." 

Wagner said Headline Surfer's choices of Bruno and Hosseini in leading the Hall of Fame, along with the concept itself in a digital platform "demonstrates the strength Headline Surfer as an independent media force, despite extremely limited financial resources, with award-winning public service journalism at its core, driven by the passion of a reporter who has devoted 20 years, first in print and then online, in covering news that matters." 

Rollout of the Hall of Famers

Headline Surfer will begin rolling out full profiles of its Hall of Fame entrants, beginning this week with Bruno, then Hosseini along with the complete listing of the 2016-'17 Headline Surfer Hall of Fame inductees. Each of the entrants will then be featured individually until all 200 have been recognized with published stories and anchored on our Hall of Fame section. Besides a profile story, Each Hall of Famer's entry will include photos, videos, timelines and other graphics such as "Fast Facts" and "Did You Know?" segments.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.