Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force

About

The mission of the Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force is to evaluate the Southwest-Central Florida Connector corridor, which extends from Collier County to Polk County. 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 address the impacts of construction on panther and other critical wildlife habitat. It will also evaluate wildlife crossing design features.

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

Task Force Members

 

Organization

Member Name/Title

 

State Agencies/Commissions/Partnerships

Florida Department of Transportation

L.K. Nandam, District One Secretary

Bio
L.K. Nandam, District One Secretary Florida Department of Transportation

Since November of 2016, LK has represented the Department in Southwest Florida as the District Secretary. He has worked tirelessly with every department’s initiative to incorporate environmentally conscious decisions into our projects such as wildlife crossings in Collier, as well as overseeing complex and innovative projects like the state’s first diverging diamond interchange in Sarasota. He understands the challenges of local and statewide evacuations associated with storms and wildfires.

He brings to the committee more than twenty-four years of experience in the transportation industry in both the private and public sector.

Prior to becoming the District Secretary, LK served as the Director of Operations and District Traffic Operations Engineer at FDOT.  He has previously served as the Traffic Operations Engineer with the City of Boca Raton and as a Sr. Transportation Engineer with a private sector engineering firm.

He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida and is an active member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Florida Department of Transportation

Tracy A. Hood, District Seven Consultant Project Management Engineer

Bio
Tracy A. Hood, District Seven Consultant Project Management Engineer Florida Department of Transportation

Tracy Hood has been the District Consultant Project Manager Engineer at Florida Department of Transportation District 7 since the end of 2017.

Tracy earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida. He obtained his PE license in 1989. Prior to joining FDOT, Tracy invested his 30+ year career as a consultant in the transportation design industry in the Tampa area. His experience includes drainage and highway design, project management, staff management & office management. On a personal note, Tracy is married and has 2 daughters in California, one in college, and one working at DreamWorks. He enjoys family time spent outdoors.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Jennifer Carpenter, South District Assistant Director

Bio
Jennifer Carpenter, South District Assistant Director Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Jennifer Carpenter is the Assistant Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s South District Office. She oversees the Compliance Assurance Program which is responsible for environmental compliance with the state’s air, water and waste laws within the South District’s 9 county area. In addition to permitting, compliance and enforcement, her career with DEP has given her experience in water quality, including Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs), as well as large-scale environmental restoration including Everglades Restoration projects and other regional restoration efforts.

Jennifer holds a B.S. degree from Florida State University in Biological Sciences and a M.S. degree in Environmental Science from Florida Gulf Coast University. Her graduate work focused on estuarine ecology. Jennifer is a native of southwest Florida who loves to spend time on the water with her husband and sons.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Pam Johnson, Deputy Director of Workforce Services

Bio
Pam Johnson, Deputy Director of Workforce Services Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Pam Johnson is the Deputy Director of the Division of Workforce Services for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Pam is a nationally recognized, data-driven strategist with more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning and project management. Prior to DEO, Pam served as a Director at Sandata Technologies, Inc. and Director of Planning for Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Pam received her Bachelor of Science from Florida A&M University and Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. She is also a Certified Strategic Management Professional and a Qualified Association Specialist.

Florida Department of Education

Robert Richards, Supervisor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Florida Department of Health

Stephanie Vick, Administrator, Collier County

Bio
Stephanie Vick, Administrator, Collier County Florida Department of Health

As Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Collier County, Stephanie Vick oversees two health department locations in the second healthiest county in the state where she is heavily involved in support of wellness initiatives in the health department and in the community. Ms. Vick received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and her Master of Science in Health Services Administration from NOVA/Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale. She is a supporter of quality improvement in the work place as well as a trained Public Health Accreditation Board Examiner. Through her leadership, Ms. Vick and her staff are prepared to lead DOH-Collier into the future.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Tom Graef, Southwest Regional Director

Bio
Tom Graef, Southwest Regional Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Tom began his career with FWC in 2008 and has served as a Law Enforcement Officer, Investigator and Lieutenant. In his current role as the Southwest Regional Director he works closely with FWC staff from all divisions to help create, coordinate and communicate agency strategies and actions with constituents and stakeholders as well as state and local elected officials and other agencies and NGOs. Tom earned a Bachelors of Science in Education from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Science in Education from Florida State University.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Janet Taylor, Former Commissioner, Hendry County

Bio
Janet Taylor, Former Commissioner, Hendry County Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Former Commissioner Janet B. Taylor served as the first African American Woman on the Hendry County Commission for 22 years. She has a rich history of public service and even after leaving elected office she helped founded Glades Lives Matter, which helps bring light to the issues of all residents in the Glades and surrounding rural communities. She is a staunch advocate for agriculture in Florida. She wears many hats, serves on many boards and have many titles, but her favorites are mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

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.

Enterprise Florida

Tim Vanderhoof, Senior Vice President of Business Development

Bio
Tim Vanderhoof, Senior Vice President of Business Development Enterprise Florida

Tim works for Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and is a Senior Vice President of Business Development, responsible for directing and managing staff, policy and programs to retain and expand existing, targeted industries in Florida and to attract new business investment to the state. Tim’s other duties include promoting Florida, managing competitive economic development projects, negotiating incentives, developing lead generation strategy, industrial and commercial site selection, managing international recruitment and addressing business climate issues. Tim has led his team to establish 299 projects creating and retaining 37,503 jobs and investing over $4.5 billion in new capital investment. Tim has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Business Facilities, Inbound Logistics, Corporate Expansion and Global Trade Magazines and has presented on Foreign Direct Investment for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Vanderhoof was recognized as one of the “Top 50 Economic Developers in North America” in 2017.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Pending

CareerSource Florida

Donna Doubleday, President and CEO of CareerSource Heartland

Bio
Donna Doubleday, President and CEO of CareerSource Heartland CareerSource Florida

Donna Doubleday serves as the President/CEO of CareerSource Heartland (CSH), one of twenty-four Local Workforce Boards in Florida. Through oversight provided by the local elected officials from DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties and a diversified Board of Directors, CSH works with business, education, and economic development partners to create and provide workforce solutions throughout the quad-county service delivery area. Donna has over 30 years in workforce development and currently serves on area boards including Highlands Economic Development, Hardee Economic Development Authority, Ridge Area Arc, HRTPO Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Okeechobee Executive Roundtable, and 2 Early Learning Coalitions.

Volunteer Florida

Rechell Johnson, Financial Analyst

Bio
Rechell Johnson, Financial Analyst Volunteer Florida

Rechell Johnson joined the Volunteer Florida Team as a Financial Analyst in July of 2018. In this role, Rechell reviews and examines budgets and expenditures for local, state, federal, and private funding. Rechell is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor in Finance. Before joining Volunteer Florida, Rechell worked as a Corporate Payroll Specialist and Payroll Administrator for 4+ years. When she’s not crunching numbers, she spends her time cooking, traveling or flipping a tire in CrossFit.

 

Water Management Districts

South Florida WMD

Melissa M. Roberts, Regulatory Service Center Administrator

Bio
Melissa M. Roberts, Regulatory Service Center Administrator South Florida WMD

Melissa Roberts is the Regulatory Administrator of the Fort Myers Service Center for the South Florida Water Management District. Melissa oversees the Environmental Resource Permitting program for regulated activities within Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Lee Counties. She has worked for the District for 11 years and has experience in both Environmental Resource and Consumptive Water Use Permits. Melissa is a Professional Engineer and received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Southwest Florida WMD

Brian Starford, Operations, Lands and Resource Monitoring Division Director

Bio
Brian Starford, Operations, Lands and Resource Monitoring Division Director Southwest Florida WMD

Brian Starford, P.G., is the Director of the Operations, Lands and Resource Monitoring Division at the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The Division includes the Operations Bureau and the Data Collection Bureau. The Operations Bureau is responsible for structure operations, field operations, vegetation management, land resources and land management. The Data Collection Bureau is responsible for hydrologic data, geohydrologic data, mapping & geographic information systems, and water quality monitoring.

 

Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Collier MPO

Reg Buxton, Chair Council Member, Naples City Council

Bio
Reg Buxton, Chair Council Member, Naples City Council Collier MPO

Member MPOAC Board of Governors, Publisher of Life in Naples Magazine. Former consultant to various government alphabet agencies.

Lee County MPO

Donald Scott, Executive Director

Charlotte County-Punta Gorda MPO

The Hon. Chris Constance, Chair
Commissioner, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Chris Constance, Chair
Commissioner, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners
Charlotte County-Punta Gorda MPO

Christopher Constance was born in New York, educated at The Johns Hopkins University, institutions in New York and the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Constance is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in private practice in Charlotte County since 1994, and was elected the President of the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2017.

He was elected Charlotte County Commissioner in 2010, 2014 & 2018, and he was elected Chairman of the Board in 2011 and 2012, also serving as Vice-Chairman in 2014 and 2015.

As Commissioner, Dr. Constance has served on over 20 Boards & Committees. He currently serves as chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and has done so for over 5 years. He is also the current Vice-Chairman of the Gulf Consortium, served as the President of the Florida Association of Counties, and currently sits on the FAC Board of Directors.

Heartland Regional TPO

The Hon. Colon Lambert, Board Member
Commissioner, Hardee County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Colon Lambert, Board Member
Commissioner, Hardee County Board of County Commissioners
Heartland Regional TPO

Hardee County Commissioner Colon Lambert is a licensed real estate agent and broker, owns his own real estate firm and also serves on the Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization. Before running for office and selling homes, Commissioner Lambert was true to his Hardee County, Florida roots, and spent a lot of his life learning about agriculture, as his family was made up of growers. As a public servant, Commissioner Lambert is also a member of the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, a member of Drug Free Hardee, and volunteers with the Hardee County Homeless Coalition. He also serves as a member of the Rotary Club of Hardee County (former vice president), the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Along with being a Certified County Commissioner, Advanced County Commissioner and Certified Drone Pilot, he’s also skilled in computers, social media and marketing through technology base platforms which helps with his work in sales with many national accounts. Commissioner Lambert is a proud graduate of Hardee Senior High School and Polk Community College. He’s also a Multi Engine Instrument Rated Aircraft Pilot.

Polk TPO

The Hon. Nat Birdsong, Chair
Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Winter Haven

Bio
The Hon. Nat Birdsong, Chair
Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Winter Haven
Polk TPO

Nathaniel J. Birdsong, Jr., Winter Haven native, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Florida A&M University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Nova Southeastern University. His extensive work history includes teaching mathematics in Lee and Hillsborough Counties; in Executive Management at the Coca Cola Company for 27 years, and Executive Director of the Florence Villa Community Development Corporation since 1999. A Winter Haven City Commissioner since 2002, he has served as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem, and current liaison to 9 boards and committees. He is also a member of various associations and community organizations.

 

Regional Planning Councils

Southwest Florida RPC

The Hon. Bill McDaniel, Board Member
Chair, Collier County Board of County Commissioners

Bio

William L. McDaniel, Jr. was born in Franklin, Penn., on March 25, 1961, the eldest of three children. His mother and sister still live in the Franklin area and his brother, a retired Marine Corps staff sergeant, also lives in NW Pennsylvania. A 1979 graduate of Rocky Grove High School, William enrolled at Clarion State University, where he majored in accounting and computer programming with a minor in economics. To pay for college, William worked as a carpenter. A job building a stable brought him to Naples in 1982, and he has lived in the area ever since.

After moving to Naples, William became a licensed real estate salesperson and, in 1985, he became a licensed Realtor. He founded the Realty Company in 1987, which he manages today, focusing on the sale, management and development of real estate in Southwest Florida. In 1998, he founded Big Island Excavating, Inc., a mining company with an office located in District 5 in eastern Collier County. The company, which William manages today, has operated mines in four Southwest Florida counties (Collier, Lee, Hendry and Charlotte) and employs more than 35 people. In 1999, William was a founding director of Marine National Bank. When the company was bought by Old Florida Bank in 2003, William was selected to represent the shareholders and to serve on the new board of Old Florida Bank, until its sale in 2007 to the Bank of Florida.

Among his civic activities, William is current the chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee of Goodwill of Southwest Florida and has served on the Board of Directors of that organization since 1998. He is founder of and the current president of the Corkscrew Island Neighborhood Association. From 2007 until early 2009, he served as the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners-appointed East of 951 Horizon Study Committee. He also served for two years on the Board of County Commissioners-appointed Rural Lands Stewardship Overlay Review Committee. In 2013, he was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the Collier County Housing Authority and has served on that Authority until his election as Collier County Commissioner on November 8, 2016.

Boards and Committees:

  • Chairman of Board of County Commissioners – elected 1/8/19
  • Vice-Chairman to the Board of County Commissioners 1/9/18 to 1/8/19
  • Serves on the NACo Environment, Energy and Land Use Steering Committee (EELU),
  • Serves on the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (SWFRPC),
  • Public Safety Committee 1/9/18 to 1/8/19
  • County Government Productivity Committee 1/9/18 to 1/8/19
  • Current co-Chair of the Immokalee CRA. 

William has two children: Kelley Marie, a 22-year-old student at Florida Gulf Coast University, and William III, who is an 18-year-old home schooled student. In their free time, the family enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and boating.

Central Florida RPC

Patricia Steed, Executive Director

Bio
Patricia Steed, Executive Director Central Florida RPC

Patricia M. Steed is the Executive Director of the Central Florida Regional Planning Council and the Staff Services Director of the Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization. In previous roles, she has served as the Polk County Planning and TPO Director, City of Lakeland Planning Director, and as a Project Director for a national consulting firm. Pat’s passion is for visioning - whether leading regional visions such as Heartland 2060, or countywide and community visions. Pat currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Florida Transportation Plan and SIS Steering Committee. She is a frequent national presenter including at the White House Forum on Regional Innovation.

 

Community Individual or Member of a Nonprofit Organization

Florida Chamber of Commerce

Katie Worthington Decker, President / CEO, Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce

Bio
Katie Worthington Decker, President / CEO, Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce Florida Chamber of Commerce

Katie Worthington Decker serves as the President/CEO of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, a role she has held since March 2014. Prior to joining the Chamber, she worked in insurance, banking, healthcare administration and strategic marketing and communications.

During her tenure at the Chamber, Katie has been heavily involved in advocacy efforts for sustainable and innovative community development, especially in the areas of water, infrastructure, education and smart city technology.

Florida Trucking Association

Keith Walpole, CEO, Walpole, Inc.

Bio
Keith Walpole, CEO, Walpole, Inc. Florida Trucking Association

Walpole, Inc. was established in 1952 by E.E. Walpole, II and 67 years later it is in its fourth generation of family management with Keith as its President Keith is a past chair and current board member of the Economic Council of Okeechobee. He is a past chair of the Florida Trucking Association and currently serves as a member of the board. He is also an active member of the Florida Feed Association and the Associated Industries of Florida.

Florida Rural Water Association

Gerald Buhr, Attorney

Bio
Gerald Buhr, Attorney Florida Rural Water Association

Gerald T. Buhr, is a Florida attorney who concentrates his practice in utilities law and local government law. Jerry is certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in city, county and local government law. Prior to law, Jerry began working as an operator in the water & wastewater industry in 1973 and subsequently earned double “A” licenses, and has been a chief operator of water facilities as large as 100 MGD and wastewater facilities of 4 MGD he also has been a manager, executive, owner of Florida utilities since graduating college in 1981, and legal counsel for Florida utilities since 1991. He is currently the City Attorney for the cities of Avon Park, Zolfo Springs, Bowling Green, and San Antonio, Florida and represents other cities in the area of utilities, as well as several private and nonprofit utilities. Jerry is listed as an “AV” “Preeminent Attorney” by the Martindale Hubbell attorney rating organization and has been listed as one of the “Tampa Bay Top Lawyers” by Tampa Bay Magazine.

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.

Florida Economic Development Council

Sherry Ambrose, Manager of Economic Development, Florida Power & Light Company

Bio
Sherry Ambrose, Manager of Economic Development, Florida Power & Light Company Florida Economic Development Council

Sherry joined FPL in July 2018 and oversees competitive economic development projects and lead generation efforts. Sherry brings over a decade of economic development experience in Florida, Texas, and Washington—at the local, regional and state levels. She’s held marketing and business development leadership roles for Enterprise Florida and the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. Sherry was recently named among Consultant Connect’s 2018 Top 50 Economic Developers in North America. She is also a director of the statewide board of directors for Prospera.

Sherry holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Rollins College and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. A South Florida native, Sherry now resides in Tequesta with her husband and two children.

Florida Farm Bureau Federation

Gary Ritter, Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs

Bio
Gary Ritter, Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs Florida Farm Bureau Federation

Gary Ritter is the Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs for Florida Farm Bureau Federation. Primary responsibilities representing the Farm Bureau and the agricultural community include water, natural resources, and growth management issues in south Florida. Work also involves maintaining partnerships and working with state and federal agencies including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Additional responsibilities include representing the agriculture industry on local government issues south Florida. 

Received a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida.

Florida SouthWestern State College

Dr. Jeff Allbritten, President

Bio
Dr. Jeff Allbritten, President Florida SouthWestern State College

With over 30 years in higher education, Dr. Allbritten has served in leadership roles at Middle Tennessee State University, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to becoming FSW's fourth president, he was president of Middle Georgia State University.

Since becoming FSW's president in 2012, he has worked with college administrators on initiatives that have reestablished FSW's athletics program; secured a $5-million-dollar gift from Suncoast Credit Union for the Suncoast Credit Union Arena; expanded FSW's international education programs by establishing university partnerships worldwide; and enhanced research opportunities for FSW faculty and students.

South Florida State College

Glenn Little, Vice President for Administrative Services

Bio
Glenn Little, Vice President for Administrative Services South Florida State College

Mr. Glenn W. Little has been continuously employed by South Florida State College since January, 1986, including service as the Vice President for Administrative Services since August, 1998. He serves as the college’s chief financial officer and oversees all business areas, including facilities planning and construction, throughout the college’s district of DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties. Additionally, Mr. Little has served as an active member of the Transportation Element Advisory Committee for the Highlands County Comprehensive Plan. He currently resides in Sebring with Leah, his wife of 43 years.

Polk State College

Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, President

Bio
Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, President Polk State College

Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti was named Polk State College’s fifth president in May 2017.

She is an active member of numerous national and statewide councils and serves 11 boards in Central Florida.

Dr. Falconetti holds a bachelor’s degree with specializations in Communications and Education Cognate from New York University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership from University of North Florida. She also completed an endowed post-doctoral fellowship in Community College Leadership with the University of Texas at Austin.

She served as Special Assistant to the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges in D.C.

Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, LLC

Matt Caldwell, Associate

Bio
Matt Caldwell, Associate Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, LLC

Matt Caldwell is a 7th generation Florida native, whose family came to Micanopy in 1826. Matt was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2010-2018, serving on and chairing several committees during his tenure, including tax policy, redistricting, insurance, and banking. He also chaired subcommittees and full committees related to agriculture, natural resources and public lands, transportation and infrastructure, local, federal, and military affairs, & oversight of government operations, such as pensions & elections. He works as a real estate appraiser with Maxwell, Hendry, Simmons in Fort Myers. He has attained the highest state certification in his field and is qualified as an expert witness in multiple states and federal court. In 2019, Matt also become a partner at TM Strategic Consulting, focused on candidate and political consulting.

 

Environmental Groups

1000 Friends of Florida

Andrew Dickman, Board of Directors

Bio
Andrew Dickman, Board of Directors 1000 Friends of Florida

Andrew Dickman founded the Dickman Law Firm in 2002 now based in Naples, Florida. He is City Attorney for the City of St. Pete Beach, an adjunct professor at Ave Maria School of Law, and serves on the Board for 1000 Friends of Florida. Andrew was born in Tampa then raised in South Hillsborough County. He earned his BS and MA from the University of Florida, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning. Andrew earned his JD at Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law Center. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2000.

Audubon Florida

Dr. Paul Gray, Okeechobee Science Coordinator

Bio
Dr. Paul Gray, Okeechobee Science Coordinator Audubon Florida

Dr. Paul Gray is a Science Coordinator for Audubon Florida's Everglades Restoration Program. His office is in Highlands County and he has been working in central Florida for 32 years, with the last 24 for Audubon. He focuses primarily on Northern Everglades issues including water quality (BMAPs), urban and agricultural Best Management Practices, permitting, CERP and Kissimmee River restoration projects, all within the context of watershed management. Paul’s educational background includes a BS from the University of Missouri, an MS from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

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.

The Everglades Foundation

Shannon Estenoz, Chief Operating Officer

Bio
Shannon Estenoz, Chief Operating Officer The Everglades Foundation

Shannon is the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Policy for The Everglades Foundation. Previously, Shannon served as the US Department of the Interior’s Director of Everglades Restoration and the Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. Her previous professional roles include Executive Director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Center, Everglades Program Director of the World Wildlife Fund, Sun Coast Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association and three terms as the National Co-Chair of the Everglades Coalition. Shannon’s public service includes appointments to Governor Lawton Chiles’ Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, Governor Jeb Bush’s Commission for the Everglades, the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District, the Water Resources Advisory Commission and the Broward Water Resources Task Force.

Shannon is a fifth generation native of Key West, Florida. She holds degrees in International Affairs and Civil Engineering from Florida State University.

Florida Wildlife Corridor

Jason Lauritsen, Executive Director

Bio
Jason Lauritsen, Executive Director Florida Wildlife Corridor

Jason Lauritsen is the Executive Director of the Florida Wildlife Corridor where he implements the vision and mission of the organization to connect, protect and restore essential conservation habitat statewide. He has 20 years of experience in conservation which includes restoration, land management science, wetland protection, Wood Stork recovery and directing Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Lauritsen has served on the Estero Bay Agency for Bay Management, SWFL Watershed Council, Wood Stork Monitoring and Recovery Group and the Lee County Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource Advisory Committee. Jason developed tools and recommendations to refine the State and Federal regulatory approach to impact assessments and mitigation. He has provided consultation to agencies and private land owners on preserve design and configuration to maximize local and landscape level benefits to wildlife.

The Nature Conservancy

Wendy Mathews, Conservation Projects Manager

Bio
Wendy Mathews, Conservation Projects Manager The Nature Conservancy

Wendy Mathews joined the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in 1992 and is currently the Conservation Projects Manager in the Land Protection Department. She has spent her career with TNC as a biologist/ecologist in the Land Protection Department working to protect the best of Florida’s natural and agricultural landscapes. Through the preparation and submission of proposals to various organizations and agencies, such as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Forever program and United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, she has helped protect many hundreds of thousands of acres statewide. Wendy negotiates complicated real estate transactions on behalf of our state and federal partners and for the Conservancy. In 2001, Wendy began managing the Florida Chapter’s conservation easement program, including the preparation and negotiation of conservation easements and the management and monitoring the Chapter’s 48 conservation easements, which totals approximately 38,000-acres. Wendy’s hobbies include off-shore fishing with her husband, birdwatching, volunteering at a wildlife animal sanctuary, gardening and jogging with Fisher, her faithful Labrador retriever.

 

Local Governments Officials

Local governments in Collier County

Hon. Penny Taylor, Commissioner, Collier County Board of County Commissioners

Local governments in Lee County

The Hon. Cecil Pendergrass, Commissioner, Lee County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Cecil Pendergrass, Commissioner, Lee County Board of County Commissioners Local governments in Lee County

Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass, a lifelong resident of Lee County, has always been an advocate for our community. Cecil faithfully served the people of Lee County as a Fort Myers Police Officer for 25 years. Following retirement from law enforcement, Cecil worked as Vice President of Private Asset Management Group, LLC. In November 2012, Cecil ran for public office and was elected to the Lee Board of County Commissioners – District 2. In a vote of confidence from his colleagues, he was unanimously sworn in as Chairman of the Board at his first meeting. In 2014, he was awarded The News-Press’ 2013 Public Official of the Year and received the Advanced Certified County Commissioner (ACCC) designation through the Florida Associations of Counties (FAC). In November 2014, Cecil was reelected to serve another four years. In his role as county commissioner, he serves on multiple boards and advisories-Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Horizon Council and Transportation Expressway Authority Management of Florida (TEAMFL), to name a few. On November 6, 2018, with overwhelming support from the voters, he was reelected to serve another four years.

Local governments in Charlotte County

The Hon. Ken Doherty, Chair, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Ken Doherty, Chair, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners Local governments in Charlotte County

Ken Doherty was raised in the suburbs of Boston, and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in 1972. He moved to Charlotte County in April, 1973.

Now retired, his professional engineering resume includes serving in the public sector as a previous Assistant County Administrator and County Engineer for Charlotte County. Ken was also a local business owner providing professional engineering services across the United States in the professional and collegiate sports industry. Ken was a licenced professional engineer in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Local governments in Hendry County

The Hon. Mitchell Wills, Chair, Hendry County Board of County Commissioners

Local governments in Glades County

The Hon. Weston Pryor, Commissioner, Glades County Board of County Commissioners

Local governments in DeSoto County

The Hon. Elton Langford, Commissioner, DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Elton Langford, Commissioner, DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners Local governments in DeSoto County

Commissioner Langford is a 12th generation Floridian who understands Florida’s economy and the vast differences that exist between the metropolitan and rural areas of the state. Commissioner Langford currently manages a cattle operation and has been employed in the agriculture sector most of his life, in addition he is a devoted husband and father while dedicating time to public service for over 25 years. Commissioner Langford is committed to making meaningful contributions for those he represents.

Local governments in Hardee County

The Hon. Mike Thompson, Chair, Hardee County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Mike Thompson, Chair, Hardee County Board of County Commissioners Local governments in Hardee County

Hardee County Commissioner since 2012. Currently serving as Chairman. Currently Chairman of Central Florida Regional Planning Council and Chairman of the Executive Board of CareerSource Heartland. Five years on the Hardee County Planning and Zoning Board prior to being elected. Graduate of Hardee High School and South Florida State College. Married for 29 years with 2 children.

Local governments in Highlands County

The Hon. Ron Handley, Commissioner, Highlands County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Ron Handley, Commissioner, Highlands County Board of County Commissioners Local governments in Highlands County

William R. (Ron) Handley is currently serving as Vice-Chairman of the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners representing District 3. He was appointed to the county commission by the governor in October, 2011 and has served for the past eight years.

Ron has been in the construction business for all of his adult life working for three large firms and operating his own business, Homes by Handley, Inc. He is a founding member of Heartland National Bank, a member of Highlands Sertoma Club and Sebring Firemen, Inc.

Ron’s family include his wife Patty, four married children and six grandchildren.

Local governments in Polk County

The Hon. Rick Wilson, Commissioner, Polk County Board of County Commissioners

Bio
The Hon. Rick Wilson, Commissioner, Polk County Board of County Commissioners Local governments in Polk County

Commissioner Rick Wilson is a Polk County native and second-generation business owner and rancher who was elected to the Board in 2018 with a focus on Polk’s future.

While in office, Wilson wants to make the county’s public transportation network stronger, create meaningful job opportunities for residents and preserve the county’s natural resources.

Wilson attended school in Polk County before pursuing a racing career that included 13 years as a NASCAR driver. Following his retirement from racing, Wilson returned to work on his family’s ranch and in the heavy equipment business his family began in the 1940s.

Upcoming Events

Dec 09, 2019 · Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #3
December 9, 2019, 9 am
LaBelle Civic Center
481 State Road 80
LaBelle, FL 33935 United States

Documents

Connected and Automated Vehicles Fact Sheet 622 KB PDF Download
DEP Fact Sheet 184 KB PDF Download
Enterprise Florida – Logistics & Distribution 2 MB PDF Download
FLHSMV Fact Sheet 229 KB PDF Download
Florida Public Service Commission Broadband, Power, Energy 171 KB PDF Download
Freight and Logistics Fact Sheet 1 MB PDF Download
Freight and Passenger Rail Fact Sheet 1 MB PDF Download
FWC Data Resources and References for M-CORES 265 KB PDF Download
Historical Summary of Florida’s Graduation Rate 110 KB PDF Download
Historical Summary of Florida’s Graduation Rate Graph 205 KB PDF Download
MCORE Regional Economic and Data 105 KB PDF Download
Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Map 2 MB PDF Download
Rural & Family Lands Protection Program Approved Projects 1 MB PDF Download
Rural & Family Lands Protection Program Map 225 KB PDF Download
Shared-Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail Fact Sheet 386 KB PDF Download
State Emergency Response Team 150 KB PDF Download
State Forest Map 538 KB PDF Download
State Forests and Ranches Map 556 KB PDF Download
State of Florida Emergency Evacuation Routes 1 MB PDF Download
Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) Fact Sheet 2 MB PDF Download
Dec 12, 2019 · Southwest-Central Florida Connector Community Open House
December 12, 2019, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
North Collier Park – Exhibit Hall
15000 Livingston Road
Naples, FL 34109 United States

Past Events

Nov 12, 2019 · Southwest-Central Florida Connector Community Open House
November 12, 2019, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Materials

M-CORES – Project Development Process 88 KB PDF Download
M-CORES – More Than Roads 8 MB PDF Download
Oct 30, 2019 · Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #2
October 30, 2019, 10 am – 7 pm

Registration for task force members begins at 9:00 a.m. Comment stations will be open all day to provide opportunities to write comments or submit them to a court reporter.

Presentations

Introductions and Safety Briefing 1 MB PDF Download
Meeting 1 Recap & Meeting 2 Objectives 1 MB PDF Download
Public Input 2 MB PDF Download
Task Force Members Comments Summary 912 KB PDF Download
GIS Interactive Mapping Tool Demonstration 1 MB PDF Download
Overview of AMME Considerations 2 MB PDF Download
Avoidance & Minimization Considerations 5 MB PDF Download
Next Steps 433 KB PDF Download

Documents

Southwest-Central Florida Task Force Meeting #2 – Notes 1 MB PDF Download
M-CORES Acronyms 110 KB PDF Download
Meeting Evaluation Form—Task Force Meeting #2 113 KB PDF Download
Task Force Meeting Locations—Southwest-Central Florida Connector 522 KB PDF Download
Restaurants—Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #2 264 KB PDF Download
Task Force Membership List—Southwest-Central Florida Connector 527 KB PDF Download
Southwest-Central Florida Connector Map 1 MB PDF Download
M-CORES Study Area Facts 1 MB PDF Download
M-CORES Study Area Counties 1 MB PDF Download
Aug 27, 2019 · Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #1
August 27, 2019, 12:30 pm – 4:45 pm

Presentations

Southwest Central Florida Connector Study Area Considerations 9 MB PDF Download
Southwest-Central Florida Connector Study Area Overview 7 MB PDF Download
Southwest-Central Florida Connector Products Work Plan Roles – Afternoon Session 144 KB PDF Download

Documents

Public Sign-In Sheets (redacted) 11 MB PDF Download
Southwest-Central Florida Task Force Meeting #1 – Notes 354 KB PDF Download
M-CORES Study Area Facts 1 MB PDF Download
M-CORES Study Area Counties 1 MB PDF Download
Summary of CS/SB 7068 616 KB PDF Download
Meeting Evaluation Form—Task Force Meeting #1 524 KB PDF Download
Summary of Relevant Florida Statutes 565 KB PDF Download
Task Force Engagement Plan 588 KB PDF Download
Task Force Preliminary Work Plan 631 KB PDF Download
Southwest-Central Florida Connector Map 1 MB PDF Download
Task Force Meeting Locations—Southwest-Central Florida Connector 522 KB PDF Download
Task Force Membership List—Southwest-Central Florida Connector 526 KB PDF Download
Aug 27, 2019 · Plenary Session
August 27, 2019, 9 am – 11 am

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) launched the Florida Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program at a kick-off event August 27 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Presentations

FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E., opening remarks 5 MB PDF Download
Overview of Senate Bill 7068 5 MB PDF Download
Overview of Transportation Development and Planning 1 MB PDF Download

Documents

Public Sign-In Sheets (redacted) 11 MB PDF Download
M-CORES Meeting #1 – Plenary Session Notes 257 KB PDF Download
M-CORES Meeting #1 – Legal Questions 331 KB PDF Download

Updates

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