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Double Duty

This entrepreneurial mayor takes community involvement to a whole new level.

This story appears in the March 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Politics wasn't something Jim Stork planned on getting intowhen he opened Stork's Café and Bakery in Wilton Manors,Florida, in 1997. But, he says, "when you invest yourlife's savings in a restaurant in a city you love, you have astake in where the city is going." Stork, 36, became active inthe community, and before long, he was appointed president of thechamber of commerce. On the boards of six organizations andinvolved in 10 to 20 others, the inner workings of the city becamepart of his comprehension, along with making a tastycappuccino.

After organizing a successful neighborhood summit in November2001, Stork became motivated to run for mayor. Although theincumbent had served 14 years, Stork was undeterred. "Thesense I got from the community was it was time for a new person totake the city to the next level. With my business background andcommunity involvement, I felt I was in a better position to [dothat]." Because of the community support Stork had shown inthe past, more than 300 volunteers devoted their time to hiscampaign. In a race against the incumbent and a councilwoman, Storknetted 57 percent of the votes.

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