Movers and Shakers

Attorney General’s Office Kent Perez, the chief of staff for Attorney General Pam Bondi, is moving to the State Board of Administration to become its deputy executive director. Perez served as Bondi’s chief of state since June 2016.

Council of Business Partners Chief Justice Jorge Labarga has begun his appointments for panel that will advise the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice, created by Labarga in 2014. Appointed are:  Tere Blanca, Miami, president and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate; David Faulkenberry, Tallahassee, president of FBMC Benefits Management, Inc.; Cathy Roth, Orlando, senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel, Universal Parks & Resorts; Byron Russell, West Palm Beach, chair and CEO, Cheney Brothers, Inc; and Lynne Wines, Fort Lauderdale, Harvard University, Advanced Leadership fellow.

Department of Environmental Protection   On May 23rd, Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet unanimously approved Noah Valenstein as secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  Valenstein, who previously served as the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, replaces interim secretary Ryan Matthews, who had taken over from former secretary Jon Steverson.

Department of Financial Services Governor Scott appointed former Representative Jimmy Patronis to replace Jeff Atwater as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. Atwater stepped down on June 30th to become vice president of strategic initiatives and chief financial officer of Florida Atlantic University. Patronis  was previously on the Public Service Commission and served for 8 years in the Florida House of Representatives, representing Northwest Florida. Atwater announced in February his decision to leave after session ended. He was Florida’s CFO from 2011 to 2017 and as President of the Florida Senate from 2008 to 2010.

Florida Bar The board of governors for the Florida Bar selected Joshua E. Doyle as their executive director. Doyle will replace John F. “Jack” Harkness, Jr. who was the Bar’s executive director for 37 years. Doyle most recently worked for the FBI as a special agent in the bureau’s Tallahassee office.

Florida Justice Association Dale Swope, an attorney from Tampa, is president of the Florida Justice Association. Other officers include: Lake H. “Trey” Lytal III as president-elect; Leslie Mitchell Kroeger, treasurer; and Eric Romano, secretary.

Office of the Governor John Tupps is the new communications director.  Tupps previously served as vice president of government relations at VISIT Florida and is a former deputy chief of staff at the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He replaced Jackie Schutz Zeckman, who was promoted to chief of staff.

Representative Cary Pigman The Florida Commission on Ethics cleared Representative Cary Pigman (R-Avon Park) of allegations that he acted improperly in a dispute involving the Okeechobee County School District. Administrative Law Judge June McKinney previously ruled that the allegations be dismissed.

University of Central Florida Appointed by the Board of Governors is John Lord, Orlando, retired Orlando Area Market President and Small Business and Premier Banking Executive for the State of Florida with Bank of America, He currently serves as a board member of the Nemours Foundation and as a trustee of the Alfred I. DuPont Testament Trust.

University of West Florida Appointed by the Board of Governors is Adrianne Collins, Gulf Breeze, Power Delivery Vice President at Gulf Power Company and a board member of the North American Energy Standards Board Whole Electric Quadrant and the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida.

VISIT Florida Stephen Lawson is the agency’s vice president of government relations. Lawson previously served as communications director for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Before that, he was communications director for Enterprise Florida.

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