Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force

About

The mission of the Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force is to evaluate the Northern Turnpike Connector corridor, which extends from the northern terminus of the Florida Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway. The task force will work in coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation to address the need for the corridor and its potential economic and environmental impacts.

The task force may consider and recommend innovative ways to combine right-of-way acquisition with the acquisition of lands or easements to facilitate environmental mitigation or ecosystem, wildlife habitat or water quality protection or restoration. The task force will specifically study how project design and land acquisition can mitigate the impact of construction on the water quality and quantity of springs, rivers and aquifer recharge areas; agricultural land uses; and wildlife habitat.

The task force will summarize the results of its analysis in a final report by October 1, 2020.

Members

 

Organization

Member Name/Title

 

State Agencies/Commissions/Partnerships

1

Florida Department of Transportation

Tom Byron, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Development

Bio
Tom Byron, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Development Florida Department of Transportation

Tom is the Assistant Secretary of Strategic Development for the Florida Department of Transportation and has a total of 24 years of experience at the Department. He has a Master’s Degree in Engineering Science from the University of Florida and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.

Before serving in his current role, Tom first served in both the State Materials Office and District 2 Materials Office in various areas such as Corrosion Research, Pavement Evaluation and Structural Materials. In December of 2011, he was appointed as Chief Engineer for the Department.

In addition to the time he has spent at the Department, Tom served the United States for 30 years in several positions with the Marine Corps, the U.S. Air Force and in the overseas coalition headquarters. We thank him for his service.

2

Florida Department of Transportation

Christina Colón, P.E., Director of Transportation Development, Florida Turnpike Enterprise

Bio
Christina Colón, P.E., Director of Transportation Development, Florida Turnpike Enterprise Florida Department of Transportation

Christina is the Director of Transportation Development for Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE). She is responsible for managing all aspects of project development and delivery for FTE including Planning, Environmental Studies, Design, Right-of-Way, and Consultant Project Management. Christina is a licensed Professional Engineer with over 19 years of experience in the transportation industry. She has a Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University

3

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

James R. Maher, Northeast District Assistant Director

4

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Mario Rubio, Director of Community Development

Bio
Mario Rubio, Director of Community Development Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Mario Rubio is the Director of the Division of Community Development for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Mario is a community leader with more than 50 years of health care operations and government relations experience. Mario began working with Florida Blue in 1977, working his way to statewide Director. After Florida Blue, he worked with the City of Jacksonville as the Director of State Policy and Administrator for the city’s Small and Emerging Business Program. Mario received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida International University and served in the U.S. Army in 7th Special Forces Group.

5

Florida Department of Education

Nancy Brown, Blind Services District Administrator, Division of Blind Services

Bio
Nancy Brown, Blind Services District Administrator, Division of Blind Services Florida Department of Education

I am the District Administrator for District 7 with the Division of Blind Services. Prior to becoming the District Administrator, I was the Assistant District Administrator for our Lakeland Office and a Rehabilitation Counselor. I have worked for the State of Florida for 18 years, five of which have been with Blind Services. I believe in the mission of the Division of Blind Services, which is to ensure blind and visually impaired Floridians have the tools, support and opportunity to achieve success. I completed my undergraduate degree in Criminology through the University of South Florida in 2000. In 2014, I obtained my Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Education also through the University of South Florida.

6

Florida Department of Health

Michael Napier, Health Officer, Pasco County

Bio
Michael Napier, Health Officer, Pasco County Florida Department of Health

For more than half of Mike’s 30 years in Public Health he has served as the lead county Public Health official, first in Seminole County and now Pasco county. Throughout his career his focus has been on collaborative partnerships to maximize the impact public health practice can bring to individuals and communities. Mike has demonstrated leadership beyond county boundaries having been president of the Florida Association of County Health Officers (FACHO), Florida Public Health Association (FPHA) and Florida Association of County Health Department Business Administrators. He holds an associate degree in biology from the State University of New York at Cobleskill, a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree from Barry University, and a Master of Science degree in health sciences from the University of Central Florida.

7

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Shannon Wright, Northeast Regional Director

Bio
Shannon Wright, Northeast Regional Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Shannon Wright is the Northeast Regional Director with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She has been with the agency for 10 ½ years and prior to becoming the Regional Director, Shannon held the rank of Major in the Inspector General’s Office as the Director of Investigations.

Shannon has her bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Florida State University, completed her master’s degree in Education and is a Fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. Shannon’s conflict wildlife experience and skills will be a great contribution to the task force, working through balancing wildlife-vehicle mortality and conflict issues.

8

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Hon. Matt Surrency, Mayor, City of Hawthorne

9

Florida Public Service Commission

Mark Futrell, Deputy Executive Director – Technical

Bio
Mark Futrell, Deputy Executive Director – Technical Florida Public Service Commission

Mark has served the Florida Public Service Commission since 1990 in various capacities. Since 2016, he has served as the Deputy Executive Director over the technical staff in the Divisions of Accounting & Finance, Engineering, Economics, and the Office of Industry Development and Market Analysis. In this position, Mark provides direction and leadership for the technical staff and advises the Executive Director in all technical issues pending or presently before the Commission.

Prior to accepting his present position, Mark had responsibilities in legislative activities, and with the industries over which the Commission has regulatory authority, including electric, natural gas, water and wastewater, and telecommunications.Specifically, he had responsibilities involving federal energy rulemaking, including carbon regulation, electric utility rate cases, power plant need determination proceedings, ten-year site plans, conservation goals proceedings, renewable energy initiatives.

Mark served the Governor’s Energy Office from 1986-1990.

Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration-Finance, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

10

Enterprise Florida

Tim Vanderhoof, Senior Vice President of Business Development

11

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Tim McGrath, Field Office Manager – Central Florida

12

CareerSource Florida

Michelle Dennard, President / CEO

 

Water Management Districts

13

Suwannee River WMD

Warren Zwanka, Resource Management Division Director

Bio
Warren Zwanka, Resource Management Division Director Suwannee River WMD

Warren Zwanka is Resource Management Division Director at SRWMD, overseeing the Environmental Resource, Water Use and Water Well Permitting programs. He has worked 24 years at both SRWMD and SJRWMD conducting hydrologic monitoring, abandoned artesian well plugging, geophysical logging, deep observation well drilling, and consumptive use/ water well permitting. He holds a BS in Geology from the University of South Carolina (1989), a MS in Soil and Water Science from the University of Florida (2005). He is also a licensed Professional Geologist in Florida and Georgia, and a Florida licensed water well contractor.

14

Southwest Florida WMD

Jennette Seachrist, Resource Management Division Director

Bio
Jennette Seachrist, Resource Management Division Director Southwest Florida WMD

Jennette Seachrist is the Resource Management Division Director for the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Ms. Seachrist oversees the bureaus that plan, develop and implement District water resource management initiatives concerning water supply, flood protection, natural systems and water quality. Ms. Seachrist joined the District in 2004 and has served as bureau chief of Natural Systems & Restoration and manager of the SWIM Program. Prior to coming to the District, she was a consulting engineer in the private sector. Ms. Seachrist is a licensed professional engineer in Florida and has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida (1995).

15

St. Johns River WMD

Jeff Prather, Director of Regulatory Services

Bio
Jeff Prather, Director of Regulatory Services St. Johns River WMD

Jeff Prather joined the St. Johns River Water Management District in July 2018, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in environmental protection to his role as director of the district’s Division of Regulatory Services.

Prior to coming to the district, Jeff worked for more than 18 years in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, including as Director of the Central District Office; and Deputy Director and Communications Director/Ombudsman, also in the Central District Office.

 

Metropolitan Planning Organizations

16

Hernando/Citrus MPO

The Hon. Jeff Kinnard, Chair
Chair, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners

17

Ocala/Marion County TPO

The Hon. Valerie Hanchar, Chair
Vice-Mayor, City of Dunnellon

18

Lake-Sumter MPO

Mike Woods, Executive Director

Bio
Mike Woods, Executive Director Lake-Sumter MPO

MPO Executive Director since January 2018, reports to the 29 members of MPO Governing Board and is responsible for management of the MPO work programs that includes regional and local transportation planning, multimodal projects, transit and paratransit planning, providing technical assistance to 19 member communities, and managing the fiduciary and compliance activities of the Lake~Sumter MPO.

 

Regional Planning Councils

19

East Central Florida RPC

Hugh Harling, Executive Director

Bio
Hugh Harling, Executive Director East Central Florida RPC

Hugh Harling is a Licensed Professional Engineer with more than 40 years of experience. Mr. Harling was appointed Executive Director of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) in July 2012. Mr. Harling’s engineering experience has focused on general management, implementation, surveying; land planning, civil and environmental engineering design, construction inspection services and client representation, with an emphasis on utility and stormwater projects. Mr. Harling has served as President of Harling, Locklin & Associates Inc., and Innovation, Technology & Implementation, Inc.; Regional Manager of Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan; and Mayor of the City of Altamonte Springs. As the Executive Director of the ECFRPC, he directs the preparation of overall development strategies for the effective use of the Council’s resources for eight Central Florida counties. Mr. Harling received his registration as a Professional Engineer in 1970. His is a 1966 graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Civil Engineering. He also received a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University in 1972.

20

Tampa Bay RPC

Sean Sullivan, Executive Director

Bio
Sean Sullivan, Executive Director Tampa Bay RPC

Sean Sullivan is the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Regional Council which serves six counties and 21 cities throughout the west Florida. Mr. Sullivan spent over 30 years working in the Planning, land use, environmental, zoning and public transportation fields. Prior to joining the Council Sean worked in the Region One Office of the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration in Cambridge Massachusetts where he managed capital projects, environmental compliance and operational finances for transit agencies throughout New England. Mr. Sullivan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a Master in Public Administration from Suffolk University in Boston.

21

North Central Florida RPC

Scott Koons, Executive Director

 

Community Individual or Member of a Nonprofit Organization

22

Florida Chamber of Commerce

Carol West, President, Dixie County Chamber of Commerce

23

Florida Trucking Association

Philip Fulmer, CEO, Carroll Fulmer Logistics

Bio
Philip Fulmer, CEO, Carroll Fulmer Logistics Florida Trucking Association

Philip Fulmer President of Carroll Fulmer Logistics located in Groveland, FL has worked in the family trucking business for 43 years. Carroll Fulmer Logistics is a long haul dry van carrier with offices in eight states. He is a board member of the Florida Trucking Association. Philip is also President of Groveland Works, a nonprofit advocacy group that works as a resource with all stakeholders to positively influence the city of Groveland’s future. Together with his sons Josh and Kyle he owns Sunstate Carriers a refrigerated carrier based in Tavares, FL. He also owns Truckers Solutions based in Nashville which negotiates discounts for over 35,000 independent truckers. Philip has been married to his wife Roxanne for 42 years and is a Florida Mason and Shriner.

24

Florida Rural Water Association

Christopher Saliba, VP of Operations & Maintenance for U.S. Water Services Corporation

Bio
Christopher Saliba, VP of Operations & Maintenance for U.S. Water Services Corporation Florida Rural Water Association

Christopher Saliba is the Vice President of Operations and Maintenance with U.S. Water Services Corporation. Mr. Saliba directs a project portfolio comprising more than 1,000 O&M project sites and 300 staff. His career includes tenures as a senior leader, project manager and technical advisor. He leads USWSC’s O&M services for public and private clients in water and wastewater utilities. Mr. Saliba is a senior leader in the organization responsible to develop and implement strategic plans and growth strategies, establish strategic direction, directs and supports cost management, safety programs, innovation and quality for all major portions of the company’s O&M business.

25

Florida Internet & Television Association

Bill Ferry, Senior Director of External Affairs – Florida Region, Comcast

Bio
Bill Ferry, Senior Director of External Affairs – Florida Region, Comcast Florida Internet & Television Association

Bill Ferry is the senior director of external affairs for Comcast’s Florida Region. Based in Jacksonville, Ferry handles many of the company’s right-of-way, easement, pole attachment, undergrounding, and permitting issues. He has been with Comcast for 16 years and prior to joining Comcast, he was at Spectrum for three years in a similar capacity. Ferry also worked for consulting firms Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International Corporation in environmental remediation projects for the U.S. Army. He was a trial attorney in Chicago practicing business litigation. Ferry earned his J.D. from Indiana University School of Law, a Master of Science from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science from Ball State University.

26

Volunteer Florida

Katie Troncoso, Grants Administrator

27

Florida Economic Development Council

Danielle Ruiz, Senior Manager of Economic Development, Duke Energy

Bio
Danielle Ruiz, Senior Manager of Economic Development, Duke Energy Florida Economic Development Council

Ruiz has over 18 years of professional business and economic development experience with both public and private sector employers. Ruiz joined Duke Energy in January 2014 focusing on the economic development efforts of the 35-county territory of Florida. Prior to Duke Energy, Ruiz served as Director, Business Retention & Expansion at the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, a public private entity governing economic development efforts and supporting business climate issues within Hillsborough County, Florida.

Previously, Ruiz served as Group Manager, Clinical and Educational Services for ConMed, an international medical device manufacturer, managing consultative relationships as well as education and training programs for orthopedic surgeons globally. Prior to her work with ConMed, Ruiz served as Business Development Manager for Pinellas County Economic Development. Earlier in her career, she gained workforce development experience at the state and local level.

Ruiz is a graduate of Clemson University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, with a focus on International Business. She has completed coursework through the International Economic Development Council and received her Master Practitioner Certificate through the Advanced Economic Development Leadership program. Ruiz serves on several economic development and industry boards and resides in the Tampa Bay area with her husband and two children.

28

Florida Farm Bureau Federation

Curt Williams, Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs

Bio
Curt Williams, Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs Florida Farm Bureau Federation

Curt Williams is the Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs for Florida Farm Bureau Federation. In his position, Curt represents the Farm Bureau and agricultural community on water, natural resources, and growth management issues. Curt also works with state and federal agencies including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, he serves as a representative for the agriculture industry on local government issues throughout Florida.

Curt received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Agribusiness degrees from the University of Florida.

29

College of Central Florida

Dr. Vernon Lawter, Vice President of Regional Campuses

30

Lake-Sumter State College

Dr. Stanley Sidor, President

Bio
Dr. Stanley Sidor, President Lake-Sumter State College

Dr. Stanley Sidor leads Lake-Sumter State College with a focus on improving our student’s experience through innovation, value, and strategic partnerships with the community. Dr. Sidor became the sixth president in February 2016.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Sidor served as the President and CEO of South Piedmont Community College in North Carolina. Sidor has also previously served in multiple roles at Daytona State College. Sidor also worked in industrial engineering roles responsible for operational and manufacturing strategy.

Sidor has an Ed.D. from the University of Central Florida, M.S. from Western Michigan University and a B.A. and B.S. from Aquina College.

 

Environmental Groups

31

1000 Friends of Florida

Paul Owens, President

32

Audubon Florida

Charles Lee, Director of Advocacy

33

Defenders of Wildlife

Elizabeth Fleming, Senior Florida Representative

Bio
Elizabeth Fleming, Senior Florida Representative Defenders of Wildlife

Elizabeth Fleming is Defenders of Wildlife’s Senior Representative based in St. Petersburg. She develops conservation objectives and strategies and works with partners to protect and restore Florida’s imperiled wildlife, their habitat and a state ecological network. Elizabeth works to conserve core and connective habitat for wide-ranging species and advocates for incorporating wildlife conservation into transportation and land-use planning. She serves on the Florida Panther Recovery Team and its transportation sub-team, Florida Panther Outreach Team, Florida Black Bear Technical Advisory Group and other work groups. She also coordinates programs that foster acceptance for sharing the landscape with panthers and other wildlife.

34

The Nature Conservancy

Zachary Prusak, Florida Fire Manager and Central Florida Conservation Program Director

Bio
Zachary Prusak, Florida Fire Manager and Central Florida Conservation Program Director The Nature Conservancy

Zachary Prusak has served as the Florida Fire Manager for The Nature Conservancy since January 2005. In this role, Zach supports the members of the Conservancy’s Florida Fire Team, which consist of the on-site fire leaders and crew at places such as the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve, the Disney Wilderness Preserve and the Tiger Creek Preserve. Zach also works with state, federal, local and private conservation groups in order to promote fire training opportunities and facilitate on-the-ground partnerships, while also serving as the Florida Conservancy liaison on national fire issues. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Zach was the South Region Land Manager for the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, conducted fires and studied mosquito populations with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and worked as a Biologist for the Florida Park Service. Zach has over 30 years’ experience working with prescribed fire, and is qualified as both a Florida Certified Burn Manager and a Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RxB2). Zach holds both an M.S. and B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida. He has served as the Chair of the Central Florida Prescribed Fire Council numerous times and is an active member of both the International Association of Wildland Fire and the National Center for Science Education.

35

Florida Wildlife Corridor

Jason Lauritsen, Executive Director

 

Local Government Officials

36

Local governments in Sumter County

Bradley Arnold, County Administrator, Sumter County

37

Local governments in Citrus County

The Hon. Scott Carnahan, 2nd Vice Chairman, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners

38

Local governments in Levy County

The Hon. Russell “Rock” Meeks, Commissioner, Levy County Board of County Commissioners

39

Local governments in Marion County

The Hon. Kathy Bryant, Commissioner, Marion County Board of County Commissioners

Upcoming Meetings

The Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force will hold a public meeting in each local government jurisdiction in which a project is being considered.

The first meeting will take place August 27, 2019, at the Tampa Convention Center. Sign up here to receive updates about this and future task force meetings.

Meeting Agendas & Minutes

M-CORES Task Force Meeting Agenda #1 August 27, 2019 PDF Download

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