Flagler County, FL (December 9, 2021) Closing the year with an evening at Channel Side, the Flagler Tiger Bay Club brought the conversation full circle with guest speaker Alice Stewart on Wednesday evening.

A political strategist and commentator, Stewart frequently appears on CNN as a Republican voice for national issues, and has worked on several Republican presidential campaigns including those of Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, and with Rick Scott’s inaugural campaign for Florida governor.

Members and guests attend the December meeting of the Flagler Tiger Bay Club at Channel Side in Palm Coast, FL on December 8, 2021 with keynote speaker Alice Stewart. Photo/Danielle Anderson, Flagler News Weekly

Focusing on civility in politics, Stewart was a soft-spoken reminder of the critical components to successful political dialogue between those with differing viewpoints: common ground, compassion, compromise, conversation without confrontation, as she focused on both the changing landscape of politics, and the upcoming 2022 election cycle.

“All politics is local. Things start at the local level and grow from there and in this day and age, with so much divisiveness in all areas of politics, the most important thing we can do is look at what unites us in instead of what divides us and focus on building from that foundation,” she said.

Keynote speaker Alice Stewart (left) talks with retired USAF veteran Teldra Jones, during the Flagler Tiger Bay Club dinner on December 8, 2021 at Channel Side in Palm Coast, FL. Photo/Danielle Anderson, Flagler News Weekly

Leadership development expert and former Flagler Tiger Bay Club speaker committee chair Dr. Joe Saviak was impressed with Stewart, a former Harvard Fellow and current board member for the Kennedy School of Politics’ messaging.

“Ms. Stewart provided an excellent analysis of the challenges within the current political culture in America and the need now, more than ever, to have organizations like Tiger Bay that provide the opportunity for individuals who have different perspectives to get to know each other, become friends, work together on important community causes and also learn about salient other policy issues while sitting in the same room at the same time,” he said.

Attendees engaged Stewart in nearly a dozen questions, with Flagler Tiger Bay Club member Regan Hansen earning the coveted Fang & Claw Award for best question of the night, presented by judges Jacqui Sales Davis and Dr. Joe Saviak.

Flagler Tiger Bay Club members Hannah Simons and Regan Hansen attend the Flagler Tiger Bay Club December dinner with keynote speaker Alice Stewart at Channel Side in Palm Coast, FL on December 8, 2021. Photo/Danielle Anderson, Flagler News Weekly

“With all of the attention, both good and bad that the media has received over the last few years, it was great to hear firsthand insights from a respected journalist in our country,” said Hansen. “I learned that there are ways to have civility in politics through finding common ground and compromise, and many of our media and politicians still operate this way, which was refreshing.”

Stewart’s appearance marks the end of the fall speaker series hosted by the Flagler Tiger Bay Club and the return to in-person meetings for the organization.

“The night went excellent. Great speaker, great energy, right on time, so many positive comments,” said Greg Davis, president of the Flagler Tiger Bay Club. “It was a great way to finish the year.”

“I think civility, finding common ground, that your competitor in politics is not your enemy,” he said, were some of the evening’s biggest takeaways. “There are so many things that a number of members came back and said resonated with them and they’re saying the message was very timely based on the way things are going in politics.”

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