The man behind the push to save wild Florida

Axios | Aug 21, 2022

Arnie Bellini built his Tampa tech firm ConnectWise from the ground up, then sold it for an estimated $1.5 billion, a deal so big that more than 70 workers at the employee-owned business became millionaires.

  • Now the wealthy Republican philanthropist wants to save Florida wilderness from development, and he’s putting his money and energy into the effort.

What they’re saying: “I’m pursuing this just like I would a tech startup,” Bellini, 63, told Axios. “We’re not taking your normal approach to it. We’re not hugging trees. We can hug trees. We like hugging trees. But we’re asking: How do we balance economy and ecology? And we’re approaching this in a very aggressive way.”

Why it matters: 900 people move to Florida every day, and that pace of population growth alongside poor environmental stewardship has jeopardized the fresh water supply and entire species of wildlife.