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ORLANDO-Bill Demetree and Toni Jennings, two prominent names in local commercial real estate development circles, have been inducted to Junior Achievement of Central Florida’s Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame. The awards banquet was Thursday night at the Rosen Centre Hotel.

Demetree is the 81-year-old co-founder of locally based Demetree Builders Inc. which secretly sold 12,400 acres in 1965 to the late Walt Disney who was covertly assembling a 30,000-acre enclave in Orange and Osceola counties for his Walt Disney World attraction.

Jennings is the Lt. Governor of Florida and for 25 years has headed Jennings & Sons, a family-operated commercial construction business that has participated in the development and construction of numerous landmark office and government buildings in Central Florida.

Demetree and his late cousin, Jack Demetree, started Demetree Builders in Jacksonville, FL in 1948 after they decided the family’s wholesale grocery business was not for them. “I always liked to see things get built and getting into real estate was where that could happen,” Demetree told GlobeSt.com in a previous interview.

Demetree says he still “drops in” daily at the company he helped start 55 years ago. His daughter, Mary Demetree, runs the firm as president.

Charlie Gray, chairman and a founding director of GrayRobinson, and Paul Kuck, chairman of Regal Marine Industries Inc., also were inducted to the Hall of Fame. The GrayRobinson law firm has participated in numerous major commercial real estate transactions over the past 33 years.

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