Steve Crisafulli has deep roots in our great state – he is a seventh-generation Floridian and a fourth-generation resident of Brevard County. He works the land owned for nearly a century by his family from Merritt Island, carrying on this proud legacy as the head of his family’s local agribusiness.
The youngest of three children, Steve has been involved in agriculture since the day he was born. The experience yielded important lessons about the values of hard work and humility. Whether he was riding in the front seat of his grandfather Ben Crisafulli’s truck and helping to mow the groves, packing fruit with his grandmother Mary, working in the cow pens, or spending part of his Christmases protecting the family groves from freezing, Steve learned that every job is important and that success in life requires constant commitment.
Growing up, Steve excelled in a variety of sports, including football and baseball, and he developed strong teamwork skills that are a hallmark of his leadership style.
Steve proudly attended Brevard County public schools. He graduated from Merritt Island High School and went on to obtain his A.A. from Brevard Community College and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.
To Steve, nothing is more important than his family and his faith. College sweethearts, Steve and his wife Kristen have been married for nearly 20 years and have two daughters, Carly, 15, and Kennedy, 13. Steve and Kristen are actively involved in their daughters’ education and extracurricular activities. He and his family are members of the First Baptist Church of Merritt Island.
As a small businessman, Steve understands the challenges of making a payroll, balancing a budget, and paying taxes and insurance premiums. It was these challenges, combined with his desire to leave behind a Florida that offered abundant opportunity for his children and theirs, that motivated Steve to run for the Florida House of Representatives in 2008.
Steve’s reputation for being a thoughtful, inclusive leader with a common-sense approach won him the respect of his colleagues in the Florida House, who unanimously chose him to serve as the Speaker of the House for the 2014-2016 term. The first Speaker from Brevard County, Steve focused on water, agriculture, business and aerospace issues during his tenure in the Florida House.
Servant leadership literally runs in Steve’s blood. His cousin, Doyle Carlton, served as the Governor of Florida during the Great Depression, and his grandfather and mentor, Vassar Carlton, served as the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
Today, Steve continues to run the family business and carries on his family’s generations-long commitment to serving the people of Florida through his involvement in a variety of local, state, and national organizations.