The Lawton Chiles Foundation exists to disseminate Lawton and Rhea Chiles’ philosophy concerning the needs of Florida’s children by providing public awareness of critical legislation impacting children across the state.



Since 2000, The Lawton Chiles Foundation has been working to unite entire communities around the goal of providing for children. The Whole Child Project in three pilot counties has laid the foundation for the creation of “Whole Child Florida” – building a stronger foundation for our children across our state by continuing our focus at the community level.

Governor Chiles understood that successful nurturing and development of all children required a dramatically new approach. An approach that:

  • Starts early – before conception

  • Provides continuous support to parents

  • Is grounded in the family

  • Is holistic, considering the physical, economic, social, cultural and spiritual environment in which the child lives

  • Creates a “no wrong door” culture whereby service providers are committed to building collaborative service delivery networks instead of competitive, single strategy agencies and institutions

  • Builds a partnership across all sectors of our society whose activities impinge on the lives of children

  • Provides state and local government funding to ensure fairness, equity and consistent outcomes

Building on Governor Chiles’ legacy, The Lawton Chiles Foundation partnered with counties across Florida to create the vision for the Whole Child Project. The Whole Child Project has had positive results and outcomes in counties including Manatee, Martin, Indian River, Leon, Taylor, Jefferson, and Madison. 



Whole Child has benefited communities through its work to unite local nonprofits and providers behind a unified mission to help their children.  Some Whole Child programs have provided an online or printed directory of its providers that is of great benefit to families needing services.  In addition, Whole Child works to connect the families to the providers, giving them a one-stop shop partner in the effort to care for their kids.  Whole Child communities vary in the many programs they support whether those designed to educate parents concerning low birth weight, obesity, nutrition, kindergarten readiness, lead poisoning, asthma, and more.

Board of Directors and Officers


Dr. Wil J. Blechman;  Board Member since April 2008;  Miami, FL

Bud Chiles, President, Board Member since 1998; Tallahassee, FL

Ed Chiles, Treasurer; Board Member since 1998; Anna Maria, FL

Tom Herndon; Board Member since 1998; Tallahassee, FL

Dr. Charles Mahan; Board Member since April 2008; Tampa, FL

Ed Feaver; Secretary since 1998; Tallahassee, FL

Anne Hogan; Director since 2019; St Petersburg, FL