Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer
M.C. “Ceree” Harden, III is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for Harden, one of the Southeast’s leading insurance, risk management and employee benefits firms. In his role, Ceree is responsible for executive leadership, strategic planning, corporate visualization, and community stewardship.
Ceree joined Harden in the mid-1970’s to expand the company from personal insurance services to the commercial insurance market, and subsequently, employee benefits, which substantially broadened the firm’s scope of services. He has cultivated an experienced team of insurance professionals, enabling the firm to grow, with more than $450 million in premiums placed.
Ceree is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He holds a Florida Surplus Lines (1-20), Life & Health (2-18), and General Lines (2-20) insurance license. His many recognitions include the Jacksonville Business Journal Ultimate CEO Award, as well as induction into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame. He was honored as the University of North Florida’s Coggin School of Business Prime Osborne Distinguished Business Leader and also named an Honorary Member of Leadership Jacksonville. From 2001 to 2011 Ceree served on the Board of Directors for FPIC Insurance Group, a publicly traded insurance company (FPIC). During his tenure as a Director, FPIC saw stock earnings per share increase over 600 percent. Having truly changed the landscape of downtown Jacksonville, his knowledge of the real estate and construction industries led him to serve as General Partner and CEO of Riverside Avenue Partners, a joint venture that successfully constructed a thriving, 13-story, 225,000 square foot office building in Brooklyn, the emerging sub-market of downtown Jacksonville.
Ceree is a civic leader and catalyst for Jacksonville’s growth and development, having served as past Chair and past Commissioner of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. He is a highly engaged member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, having served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of several committees and task force initiatives, including Chairman of Cornerstone Economic Development in 1998 and 1999. He is Past Board Chair of Southern Baptist Hospital of Florida, Inc. (SBHF), known as Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, as well as a member of the Baptist Health System Board of Directors, where he also serves as the Board Secretary and Treasurer. He also held the position of Chairman of the Jacksonville Community Council Quality of Life Committee.
Committed to being a positive steward of the community in which he lives and works, Ceree has given considerable time, leadership and efforts to numerous organizations and is proud to have received the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s highest honor, the Hope Award, for outstanding civic and community service in 2005.