As president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association (FTA), Dr. Kenneth Armstrong helps the organization elevate the image and issues of the state’s trucking industry in political, regulatory and business arenas. Armstrong is a veteran of the nonprofit sector, and FTA is the fourth institution in which he has served as chief executive officer. Much of his career has been in resource development; organizations under his leadership have raised almost a quarter of a billion dollars. In past roles, he worked with such national figures as Bill Gates, Carol Burnett, Jeb Bush, Jimmy Buffett and Roger Staubach on major gift and community development. Armstrong brings these skills to the FTA to enhance its business contacts and community involvement. He draws from an extensive network of business, nonprofit, government and political contacts to push forward the issues of Florida’s trucking industry. As the most visible spokesperson for the industry, he draws upon this group of varied leaders to help inform and guide his advocacy for the FTA. Dr. Armstrong most recently led the United Way of the Big Bend for 16 years. He has served on almost 20 community boards and coalitions, and continues to have deep roots in the community and a great passion for the organizations that improve lives locally.
Pensacola City Councilman Charles Bare was elected in 2012 and represents Pensacola on the Florida/Alabama Transportation Planning Organization, the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization, and the Pensacola-Escambia Development Commission. Bare is active in the Florida League of Cities where he serves on the Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and the Federal Action Strike Team. He has also completed all three phases of the Florida League of Cities’ Institute for Elected Municipal Officials. Bare earned both of his degrees at the University of West Florida. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Legal Administration in 1992 and Master of Public Administration in 1994.I n 2003, Bare was deployed in the U.S. Army for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served both in Iraq as an economics and commerce officer and in Kuwait as the director of special projects for the Humanitarian Operations Center, a multi-national organization. Bare also spent a year as the district representative for Congressman Jeff Miller. Bare is a graduate of Leadership Pensacola, Leadership Santa Rosa, and the West Florida Leadership Academy. He is a former president of the local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.
Tommy Barfield has been with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for nearly 30 years. He began his career as a professional engineer trainee after graduating from the University of Florida in 1986. While employed with the department, he has held the positions of district production engineer and director of transportation development. In 2009, Barfield was appointed District Three secretary.
Harold “Harry” Barley is the executive director of MetroPlan Orlando. This organization is responsible under federal and state laws for transportation planning in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. MetroPlan Orlando is also responsible for making investment decisions with federal and state transportation funds to implement plans that are developed. Barley has worked in the transportation industry for 40 years. Before moving to central Florida, the first half of his career was with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority building the metro system in the D.C. area. He’s also worked on regional transportation projects in the Republic of China and Athens, Greece. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and did his graduate work in city and regional planning at the Catholic University of America. He also is a graduate of the management program at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. Barley belongs to a number of professional organizations and is active with a variety of civic groups. He currently serves as a governor’s appointee on the Wekiva River Basin Commission, on advisory boards for the University of Central Florida and Rollins College, is chairman of the board of trustees for the Winter Park Health Foundation, and he serves on the board of Florida Hospital.
Jim Boxold was named secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) by Governor Rick Scott effective January 3, 2015. He oversees the historic investment of over $10 billion to meet the transportation needs of Florida families, visitors and businesses. Boxold joined FDOT as chief of staff in July 2013. He brings almost twenty years of government policy and management experience to the agency. He started his career in Washington, D.C. working for U.S. Representative Porter Goss (FL-14), ultimately serving as the congressman’s legislative director. In 2001, he moved to Tallahassee to join the governor’s staff and subsequently worked for the commissioner of agriculture before joining FDOT. A Florida native, Boxold holds a B.A. in political science from the George Washington University.
Dan Brown has served as superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore since 2010. Prior to coming to Gulf Islands, he served as interim deputy regional director for the National Park Service Southeast Region overseeing 23 national parks in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. His other assignments with the National Park Service have included serving as park superintendent at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. Brown also served as a park ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Olympic National Park, Death Valley National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Keith Bryant is a registered professional engineer and professional traffic operations engineer with 21 years of experience in the fields of civil and transportation engineering. His work experience includes the design, construction and repair of roads, bridges, traffic systems, and utility systems as well as structural engineering for wind protection systems. Bryant has a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of South Alabama. He currently serves as the president of the Emerald Coast Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), editor for the Florida Green Book, vice chairman of the Bay County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST), and chairman of the Bay County TPO Long Range Planning Committee.
Dan Burden, the director of innovation and inspiration for Blue Zones, LLC, has focused his entire career on helping the world get back on its feet. Burden is best known for having combined land use and transportation strategies under the banner, “Don’t build transportation through communities; build communities through transportation.” Dan served as the Florida Department of Transportation’s first full-time bicycle coordinator and became the first in the nation to wear both titles of pedestrian and bicycle coordinator. He is credited with creating the walking audit. He also coined the term and has now helped implement more than 400 “road diets,” around the nation. In 2001, Time magazine honored Burden as one of the six most important civic innovators in the world. That same year the Transportation Research Board made him their distinguished lecturer. In 2008, Planetizen named him as one of the 100 most important urban thinkers of all time. Burden was honored by the White House as one of its six Transportation Champions of Change for 2014. By inspiring residents, policy makers, planners and designers to change their built environments to accommodate people, not just cars, Burden has helped more than 3,700 communities take steps to become more walkable and livable. He illustrates the benefits of sometimes simple and often difficult changes, and provides a road map for people to create neighborhoods, streets and cities that are more healthy and better connected.
Ned Cake is a certified GIS professional with more than 19 years of experience in planning, mapping, GIS, and local government service. He is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor of science in geography and social science and a certificate in planning studies (1993). He has worked as a planner and addressing coordinator for Leon County. He has been working for Tallahassee-Leon County GIS (TLCGIS) as a specialist, analyst, application developer, and systems integration specialist for 13 years. He is currently a member of the TLCGIS senior management team and is working on web-based GIS application development projects, scripting and automation projects, GIS/business system integration projects, and cartography for TLCGIS’s web mapping presence. He currently serves as the vice president of Seven Hills Regional User Group for GIS (SHRUG).
Tony Carvajal, CAE serves as executive vice president of the Florida Chamber Foundation, the research and solutions development arm of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Working in partnership with state business leaders, the foundation advances initiatives that envision a vibrant and sustainable economy in the Sunshine State. Previously, Carvajal spent 20 years managing and consulting with trade and professional associations across the country. His consulting practice specialized in strategic planning, board and staff development, and the design of innovative leadership systems. Carvajal is a doctoral student at Florida State University, earned a masters in public administration from Florida International University, and holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and communications. He is a certified association executive (CAE) and a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management (IOM) where he not only earned a specialty certification in non-profit management and administration but also has been an instructor in the program for the last 10 years.
Dr. Tim Chapin is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and associate dean in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University. Chapin’s work has been supported by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Sea Grant, the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Chapin is currently a primary investigator on two multi-year projects with FDOT investigating the impacts of autonomous vehicles on the Florida landscape, overseeing the citizen survey effort and leading the future of Florida under the autonomous vehicle initiative.
Vernon Compton serves as project director for The Longleaf Alliance, established in 1995 to promote retention, management, and restoration of longleaf throughout its historic range. He has a bachelor of science in forest management from Louisiana State University and prior to joining The Longleaf Alliance worked for the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Florida Forestry Service at Blackwater River State Forest. Compton currently serves as the president of the Blackwater Heritage Trail Inc., the citizen support organization for the Blackwater Heritage State Trail, which is a popular paved multiple-use trail that runs from Milton in Santa Rosa County north to the Military Heritage Trail and Naval Air Station-Whiting Field.
Jim De Vries
With more than 30 years of transportation planning experience in the public sector working with federal, state and local entities, Jim De Vries has extensive experience working with the public through all phases of project development and operations. He is knowledgeable in transportation funding alternatives and opportunities and represented the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on three bridge authorities. De Vries recently opened his own business, JCD Consulting, in January 2015. He worked for the West Florida Regional Planning Council from 1977 to 1985, most recently as Director of Transportation and served FDOT as manager of the Pensacola Urban Office from November 1985 to December 2014. De Vries holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of West Florida.
Lara Diettrich is the owner and principal of Diettrich Planning, LLC, a certified Jacksonville Small Emerging Business serving northeast Florida and the state. Diettrich’s experience is quite diverse, ranging from land planning entitlements, drafting public policies, and neighborhood action planning to community redevelopment area planning, brownfields, military installations, community engagement, and expert witness testimony. Diettrich has served in numerous positions over the years including, but not limited to: Jacksonville Planning Commissioner, president of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association, northeast Florida regional representative for the Florida Redevelopment Association, Florida Brownfields Association conference chair, and Florida Economic Development Council planning tract chair. Diettrich is a board member of the Urban Land Institute’s North Florida Council and is currently the Building Healthy Places committee chair. Diettrich serves on the board for the Sanctuary On 8th Street, a non-profit high-risk, low-income youth and family center in Jacksonville’s urban core. Diettrich was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona and has undergraduate studies from Arizona State University, a BA in political science and a masters in public administration both from the University of North Florida.
As a principal planner with the Tallahassee-Leon County planning department, Megan Doherty is an experienced project manager with specializations in active transportation planning and livable communities. Currently, Doherty is leading the development and implementation of a plan to safely connect people to the places they want to go by building Tallahassee’s first protected bike lane network throughout downtown. Previously, Doherty was the transportation planner for the planning department where she developed and implemented projects to improve Tallahassee’s active transportation network including the City Bike Rack & Corral Program, BikeTallahassee.com, and the establishment of the Joint City-County Bicycle Workgroup. Before embarking on a professional career in urban planning, Doherty worked for Florida State University in London, England where every day she experienced firsthand the joys and benefits of cities built for people. Megan holds a master’s of planning, master’s of international affairs, and a bachelor of arts in history and political science from Florida State University.
William T. Dozier represents Bay County Board of County Commissioners, District 3. Dozier was born on a military base in Paris, France in 1960. When his father retired from the U.S. Army, the Dozier family moved to Bay County in 1970. A graduate of Bay High School in Panama City, Dozier served in the U.S. Army as well, graduating from the army’s survey school and attending Central Texas College. Dozier worked for Bay County for more than 16 years prior to becoming a commissioner, 14 of those years in the engineering division.
Rickey Fitzgerald, MBA, DSL, PLS, GISP is the state freight coordinator for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in Tallahassee where he leads the advancement of FDOT freight initiatives through directing and coordinating with the district freight coordinators. Fitzgerald previously served as the state freight data system coordinator where he created the framework for the State Freight Data Plan and future State Transportation Data Plan. He has served more than ten years as a transportation planner in the private sector and FDOT where he developed several plans and reports including plans covering the Strategic Intermodal System (SIS), Statewide Goods and Mobility Plan-Bottleneck Analysis, and the SIS Designation Request Report for the Port of Port St. Joe. Fitzgerald has a versatile set of knowledge, skills, and abilities that attributes to his technical and professional freight, trade and logistics experiences. His logistics experience includes his tenure as the outbound coordinator for Roadway Package System (currently FedEx Ground) and over the past ten years, he has further augmented this experience with his military duty as the commander for the 144th Transportation Company, and the commander for 779th Forward Support Company (FSC). Fitzgerald has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University and a master’s in business administration (corporate) degree from Florida International University; and he has extensive training in the transportation-logistics profession including training from the US Army Logistics University and the US Army Transportation Corp. Additionally, he has a host of affiliations and certifications including the International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Demonstrated Senior Logistician; American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management; GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) Geographic Information Systems Professional; and Golden Key Honors Society.
General Gordon Fornell retired from active duty in the United States Air Force in 1993. Since his retirement from the air force he has been a consultant for the government and the aerospace industry. He is active in local projects that include chairman of the Air Force Armament Museum Foundation, chairman of the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority, former member of Governor Bush’s BRAC Advisory Council, member of the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast board of directors, and member of the Defense Support Initiative of the Okaloosa Economic Development Council. He is a member of the Emerald Coast Military Affairs Council and Niceville-Valparaiso Military Affairs Council. He also serves on two industry boards of directors. Fornell served in senior acquisition leadership positions in AF Systems Command and AF Materiel Command and has had a wide range of operational and test experience. He has flown more than 50 types of aircraft, logged over 7,000 hours flying time, wears parachute wings, and is certified as a Level III acquisition program manager.
Commissioner Rodney Friend and his family have been a part of the Lynn Haven community for over 20 years. Several years ago Friend started his own company, Merchant Management Group (MMG). MMG was founded on one underlying principal – unprecedented customer service. As president, Friend truly believes in running a business that promotes honesty, integrity and trust. Outside of work, Friend is also involved in his church and other community endeavors. Friend is an avid pilot and enjoys being president of the non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, Wings of Compassion (Florida Chapter), which is committed to helping others following natural disasters using aviation.
Susan Haynie is the 43rd mayor of the city of Boca Raton. She is serving her fifth term on the Boca Raton City Council. Her years of experience have provided her with extensive knowledge of the city budget, public safety concerns, growth management issues and a strong collaborative partnership with the neighborhoods. Working with residents and the neighborhoods, Haynie supported community improvement projects such as the addition of new city parks, increased green space and strict adherence to zoning codes that have improved the quality of life in Boca Raton. She has made it a priority for the council to keep taxes low, improve public safety, protect Boca’s beaches and ensure the city is on a sustainable economic, fiscal and environmental path. She was recently named “Woman Transportation Leader of the Year” for South Florida Women in Transportation. Haynie is a Florida native and a 43-year resident of Boca Raton. She is a graduate of Lynn University and holds a certification in traffic engineering studies from Georgia Institute of Technology and Northwestern University. Susan began her career as an engineering analyst in the city of Boca Raton. She is also a state licensed general contractor and a community association manager.
Commander Douglas Huggan is the commanding officer for naval support activity in Panama City. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. Huggan’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, four navy and marine corps commendation medals, navy and marine corps achievement medals, and various other service and unit awards.
Edward Hutchinson serves as manager of the Transportation Statistics Office for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). He also serves as the lead on the Florida Automated Vehicle Initiative. The FAV is an initiative to make Florida a leader in automated vehicle technology. He has played a major role in providing support to this new endeavor including developing working groups on policies, technology and modal operations. Conducting an annual summit that showcases pilot projects and research activities. Developing a public outreach and marketing component that utilizes the internet, social media and other communication tools. Overseeing research projects with major Florida universities to study the impact this technology will have on transit users, the elderly, freight drayage movements and unmanned aerial vehicles.
John L. Hutchinson is the president of Hutch-Touch Consulting, helping businesses and organizations with public relations, marketing and community growth strategies. Prior to beginning his business, he served for 32-years in a number of executive leadership positions at Gulf Power Company and at Southern Company, including director of community affairs and economic development, general manager of public affairs and corporate services, company spokesman and manager of corporate communications, assistant to the vice president of public relations at Southern Company and media relations manager for Mississippi Power Company in Gulfport. He is the former managing editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and a former political reporter for the Jackson Daily News in Jackson, Mississippi. He has a degree in journalism from Louisiana State University. Hutchinson is very active in the community in many different venues, from making frequent public presentations to serving on community/civic boards and task forces. In 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott awarded him the Florida Business Ambassador award for his contributions to economic development in northwest Florida. He has been named community leader of the year by the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, communicator of the year by the Florida Public Relations Association and listed on the Pensacola Independent News’s list of most powerful and influential people in northwest Florida.
Bill Imfeld holds a BS degree in accounting from Florida State University. A licensed Florida CPA, Imfeld served 25 years as an FBI agent and 12 years as Walton County finance director. He was elected as a Walton County commissioner in November 2012 and represents district three, serving DeFuniak Springs and Mossy Head.
State Representative Clay Ingram is a Pensacola native and an alumnus of Tate High School. After graduation, Ingram walked-on to the Florida State University football team, where he was a four-year starter for Coach Bobby Bowden, and a leader on the 1999 National Championship team. He was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010. Now in his third term, Ingram serves as the chairman of the Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee and is a member of the Appropriations Committee, Education Committee, Economic Development and Tourist Subcommittee and the Joint Legislative Budget Commission. At the beginning of 2015, he was elected to serve as the new president and CEO of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. An active member of the community, he is a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, the Cantonment Rotary Club, Century Chamber of Commerce and serves as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and the Florida State University Alumni Association.
Dr. James “Jim” H. Johnson, Jr. is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Johnson’s center focuses on innovative approaches to revitalizing urban areas and on teaching government, community, and nonprofit leaders and managers to become more entrepreneurial and business-like in their operations and service delivery. Johnson is an expert on community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, inter-ethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy, and workforce diversity issues. He is widely quoted in national media and appears on national network news programs. Fast Company magazine named Johnson one of the “17…brightest thinkers and doers in the new world of work.” Johnson spent twelve years on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill. He received a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University, master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Scott B. Keller is the John C. Pace Distinguished Business Professor and professor of logistics and marketing at the University of West Florida. He received his Ph.D. in logistics from the University of Arkansas and has been on the logistics faculty at Penn State and Michigan State. Keller began the supply chain logistics management program at UWF 10 years ago that focuses on linking students with industry professionals to launch successful careers in supply chain logistics management. His student teams consistently rank at the highest level in national competitions against the country’s top logistics programs; placing first through fourth in eight of the past nine years. Keller’s research interests include personnel performance and the development of a market oriented culture within logistics operations. He has been ranked in the top five percent of all-time published researchers in the leading logistics journals. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Business Logistics. His managerial experience is in motor carrier operations, large scale public and contract warehousing in Memphis, and ocean freight marine and terminal operations in Long Beach, California.
Colleen Kettles is the program coordinator of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition at the Florida Solar Energy Center. In addition to that role, Kettles is engaged in alternative energy workforce development and training initiatives. She has worked in both the public and private nonprofit sectors and has more than 30 years of legal and policy research, program development and implementation in the field of solar energy and energy efficiency. Ms. Kettles is a graduate of the University Of Florida – College of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar and its Environmental and Land Use Law Section Energy Committee.
Bill King is an experienced civil engineer, project manager, expert witness and consultant with over 25 years in the transportation and infrastructure development industry. Before joining AirSage, his career included the Georgia Department of Transportion, city engineer for Cartersville, Georgia as well as for private engineering and planning firms. King is a licensed PE in Georgia and Florida and is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (CE).
Keith King is the newest member of Esri’s transportation team. He began his career in the military where he served a total of 10 years between the air force and the navy. His roles included a four-year assignment at the Naval Nuclear Power School formerly located in Orlando. Following the military, King held operational roles in the semiconductor manufacturing and healthcare capital equipment industries. For the past 12 years he has worked to provide IT and GIS services and consulting to private and public sector organizations. Today, he works exclusively with state DOTs and their partners. King holds a BS degree in electrical engineering from West Virginia University. For the past 12 months, Keith has focused a large part of his time and efforts on understanding the challenges associated with performance-based transportation project planning. Identification of five unique but repeating project planning workflow patterns is facilitating the ongoing configuration and development of GIS-based solutions to help organizations manage the planning process and optimize project portfolios.
Linda Kleindienst joined Rowland Publishing in September 2008 to become editor of 850 – The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida. For six years she also served as director of editorial services, overseeing the company’s consumer publications – including Tallahassee, Emerald Coast and Forgotten Coast magazines, as well as special editorial projects. Under her leadership, 850 has won several state awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Prior to joining Rowland, Kleindienst worked for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for 37 years, including 27 years in Tallahassee as the state capital bureau chief. She covered the administrations of five governors and 31 regular sessions of the Florida legislature. She was twice a member of a Pulitzer finalist team, for coverage of the 2000 presidential recount and the 2004 hurricane season. In her career she has served on many boards, including the Florida Magazine Association, and served as president of the Florida Press Club, the Capital Press Corps and the South Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Robert Kohler is the North American sales manager at Citilabs, a transportation planning and modeling software company. He has over 13 years of consulting experience in the transportation planning and engineering industry, as well as land development. Through his role at Citilabs, Kohler is able to empower clients to create a better future through the improvement of modeling techniques and applications. He brings awareness to the many capabilities of Citilabs software to existing, and prospective clients. Both the Cube, and Sugar, product suites are under his management in North America. Prior to working at Citilabs, Kohlerworked on various projects for both public and private sector clients, ranging from site specific projects up to master planning and regional projects. His projects have included various land uses, for which he has prepared transportation impact studies, transit and pedestrian studies, and parking analyses. He also maximized the efficiency of transportation elements by preparing Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plans and Parking Management Plans (PMP). Kohler’s experience also spans due diligence and feasibility, planning, design, and construction/implementation of projects.
Stephanie Lane is the director of industrial development at CSX Transportation in the regional development group. She is responsible for CSX industrial development activities, focusing on industry location development. Her 15 years of Class 1 rail experience include various roles at CSX and several years at Burlington North Santa Fe in sales and marketing. Lane’s background also includes experience as an urban and transportation planner in Dallas/Fort Worth. She received a B.A. in political science/urban planning from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she also did her advanced graduate work in urban planning.
Michael J. Lewis is a 1980 graduate of Rutgers University where he earned his bachelor of science in civil engineering. Lewis has been employed with Florida Department of Transportation since 2012 and serves as the modal development manager. Previously he was consultant staff for Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise where he served as the program manager of project planning.
Mark Llewellyn has more than 30 years of civil engineering experience, which includes serving as project manager for numerous private and public sector projects. His experience includes the planning, design, permitting, and construction administration for transportation, stormwater, environmental, site development, and public infrastructure projects. His experience also includes the planning and design of multiple greenway, trail, and park projects across Florida. Utilizing this experience, he currently serves as secretary for the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation. Llewellyn is the CEO of Genesis—a full service planning, design and CEI firm with more than 90 employees located in offices throughout Florida. Genesis is known for their creative solutions to difficult project challenges and for the successful completion of projects from vision to reality.
Santa Rosa County Commissioner Lane Lynchard grew up in the panhandle, graduating from Milton High School. He went on to the University of South Alabama, graduating with a degree in finance, cum laude. Lynchard received his law degree from Samford University, cum laude, and his master of laws in taxation from the University of Florida. He has practiced law for 17 years and is currently in his second term as a county commissioner, having first been elected in 2008.
Jim Mathews brings 30 years of publishing experience in the transportation sector to his position as resident and CEO of National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP). Before joining NARP, Mathews was executive editor of the Aviation Week Intelligence Network. During his 26-year tenure there, he cultivated the company’s digital strategy and led teams that twice won national awards for best news website. Mathews served on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Council (ACAC) for six years, including two years leading the ACAC as chairman. He is a lifelong train traveler with a deep-rooted vision for a robust national passenger train network within the U.S. Mathews believes rail can be an economic engine in the communities it serves, a potentially transformative mode in an ever-changing transportation landscape and the most environmentally responsible way to meet the transportation challenges of the 21st century. At NARP, Mathews looks forward to fostering more member engagement, broadening the association’s relationships and reach and making the organization even more effective and relevant. Mathews continues to volunteer as a squadron commander and search-and-rescue aircrew member for the Civil Air Patrol in Virginia, and a water-quality monitor for the Citizen Science Institute in Ithaca, New York. Mathews is a native of Syracuse, New York.
James Mazzuto is the director of Operations for Make It Right, overseeing the organization’s day-to-day operations in New Orleans. Prior to this role, he was the director of Make It Right Solar, overseeing the organization’s solar initiative that expanded the accessibility and affordability of solar energy to communities in need nationwide. Mazzuto received his MBA from Tulane with a concentration in finance and a specialization in energy. He was a Morton A. Aldrich Fellow and a Burkenroad Leadership Fellow
Keith Melton is a graduate of the American University with a BA in economics and international studies (magna cum laude) and holds a masters in city planning from Georgia Tech. He previously has held positions in economic and community development including VP of development for both the Atlanta Economic Development Corp. and the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. While at AEDC, Melton helped develop 700 acres of industrial and business parks and participated in creation of the first Enterprise Zone and Tax Allocation Districts in the state of Georgia. While at the DeKalb Chamber, he helped develop state enabling legislation to broaden the use of Tax Allocation Districts. Presently, he is a community planner for the Federal Transit Administration Region IV office. His responsibilities include federal planning requirements and reviews related to public transit in Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and other areas. He is also a past president of the Clarkston Community Center (non-profit) and is currently a member of the planning and zoning board of the city of Avondale Estates, Georgia where he resides.
Tony Morgan serves as the deputy director for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Energy. The office is responsible for the development of energy policy and programs for the state as well as promoting the use of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Morgan’s responsibilities include supervision and oversight of policy development, program and grant design, and legislative tracking. Prior to joining the department, he worked for Florida’s Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program. Morgan holds a BA in business administration from Flagler College.
Lt. Col. Jason Moritz is currently the installation commandant of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of over 20 facilities spread across 100 acres in northwest Florida. Moritz joined the army specializing in chemical, biological and radiological defense in 1998 and has served in various duty positions in military installation located in Korea, Missouri and Florida. He has deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Basic Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge among other awards and decorations. Moritz holds bachelors of science in communications from the University of Southern Alabama and a masters in international relations from Webster’s University.
Panama City Commissioner Mike Nichols has served Ward IV since 2011. He currently chairs the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization. Commissioner Nichols has been a resident of Panama City for 45 years. He is a graduate of Troy State University. He has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of only 30 agents to receive this prestigious designation. Nichols is very active in the community and his passion is evident in the many boards on which he serves.
Ruben “Vaughn” Nichols, Jr. is a graduate of Auburn University with a BS in electrical engineering. His current role at Gulf Power is the key account manager for healthcare and major universities and the electric vehicle technical advisor in corporate marketing. Over his career he has helped develop the first material handing aerial lift unit, the first high voltage direct current maintenance ANSI testing standards for insulated aerial lifts, the first computerized fleet management system for Southern Company, the first electric vehicle and electric transportation program for Gulf Power, the Emerald Coast BEST Robotics Hub at UWF and the Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic 120 which is an electric vehicle endurance race at Five Flags Speedway. Professionally, he is current chair of the Northwest Florida Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Society; member of the America Energy Engineers Society and a certified energy manager; member of America Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and serves on the national board as Region VII student activities vice chair; member of the Florida Healthcare Engineers Association (FHEA), member and chair of the Florida Emerald Coast Clean Cities Coalition; and serves on the EPRI Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Committee.
Rick Outzen is the publisher and editor of the Inweekly, an independent news weekly serving Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. He was a finalist for the 2012 Sunshine State Awards for investigative reporting and is the creator of Rick’s Blog – http://ricksblog.biz – which has been consistently ranked as one of top five most influential blogs in Florida, featured in the New York Times and quoted by CBS News, Time Magazine, Tampa Bay Times, The Miami Herald, The Village Voice and Huffington Post. His political columns for Context Florida have been published in Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune, Sun-Sentinel and 20 other papers across the state. Outside of print, he is the host of “Pensacola Speaks” on News Talk 1370 WCOA – the number one news talk show in the greater Pensacola area. Outzen also served for several years on the Gulf Breeze City Council. He graduated from University of Mississippi, magna cum laude, was elected student body president and named to that school’s Hall of Fame.
Clay Packard earned his computer engineering degree and computer science masters, both from the University of Oklahoma. He then developed embedded systems at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio for a couple of years before launching his ITS career by migrating to Florida as the onsite engineering support staff for SunGuide – Florida’s statewide traffic management center software. A couple more years and he shifted gears to join Atkins as a member of the Florida Department of Transportation’s statewide ITS general engineering consultant team where he currently serves as the software integration manager as well as serving as the SunGuide consultant project manager.
Colonel Thomas B. Palenske is the vice commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing (SOW) at Hurlburt Field. He is responsible to the 1st SOW commander for preparing air force special operations forces for missions worldwide in support of army, navy, marine and allied special operations forces and US Air Force counterparts. Palenske graduated from Friends University and received his commission in 1995. He has spent the majority of his career in special operations aviation assignments. He is a command pilot with over 3,500 hours in various aircraft, including the CV-22B. Palenske has deployed extensively in support of combat, humanitarian assistance, peace-keeping and peace-enforcement operations.
Jonathan B. Paul, AICP has more than 10 years of planning experience in the public, private and university sectors. He has a masters in urban and regional planning from the University of Florida and a masters in public administration from the University of Florida. He is an adjunct professor in the College of Design, Construction and Planning at the University of Florida. Paul served more than 10 years as the local government representative on the Florida Department of Transportation Level of Service Committee. He has presented at a number of local and regional planning conferences, and has served on numerous technical advisory committees for planning and transportation-related issues.
Ananth Prasad rejoined HNTB as a senior vice president where he leads HNTB’s transportation practice by developing and directing strategies that enhance the firm’s service to state departments of transportation across the country. With more than 24 years of experience in the transportation industry, including 22 years with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), he most recently held the governor-appointed position of Secretary of FDOT. Prasad was responsible for managing the $10 billion agency, which oversees the state’s infrastructure projects. Prior to his appointment as the Secretary of FDOT, he served as assistant secretary for engineering and operations and chief engineer for the agency, implementing various innovative contracting techniques, such as public-private partnerships (P3). Prasad has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Regional Engineering College in India and a master’s degree in civil engineering from University of Florida. He is registered as a professional engineer in Florida. Prasad was recognized by Engineering News Record Top 25 Newsmaker of the Year in 2013 and received the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s P3 Entrepreneurs of the Year award as well as the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Champion for Florida’s Future award in 2015.
As public information specialist for the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), Jim Roberts is responsible for providing the voice and direction of corporate and public information communications. In 2014, ECUA received the prestigious NGV Achievement Award for continuous education of clean air as an alternative fuel. Roberts is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award, NBC reporter, and CNN business anchor. He also assisted in the marketing and publicity launch of the FOX Television Network and Prime Sports Network in Los Angeles and Denver.
Jeff Rogers is the external communication and brand manager for Gulf Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1988 with a journalism degree and business minor. Jeff has been in the communications business for more than 27 years. After UF, he began working with E.W. Bullock Associates marketing communications agency, first as an art director and copywriter, then as senior account manager. After 13 years, Jeff went to work at Gulf Power Company where he has been for the last eight years. Jeff has been a member of Five Flags Rotary for 17 years and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He serves as president for the Manna Food Bank board of directors, vice president for the Belmont Youth Band board of directors, vice president for the Utility Communicators International board of directors, and is a member of Pensacola Interstate Fair board, Florida Public Relations Association, and Leadership Pensacola Class of 2010.
Knox W. Ross, Jr., CPA serves a dual career as a practicing certified public accountant and as the mayor of the Town of Pelahatchie, Mississippi. As mayor, Knox is the chief executive of a town of 1,461 located in the Jackson metropolitan area. Knox recently completed a term as the president of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, and has served as president of the Mississippi Municipal League. He also serves on the executive board of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, on the advisory board of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, as a commissioner and chairman on the Southern Rail Commission, and as chairman of the Jackson Metropolitan Planning Organization. Knox has also served as a presenter on small town and economic development topics at numerous seminars and conventions, and has provided several articles on small town development to various periodicals. He also is a recipient of the Public Service Award from the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants. Knox’s mayoral career began in 2001 and Pelahatchie has since enjoyed unprecented growth and recognition, receiving five Mississippi Municipal League Excellence Awards, two North American Development Organization Awards, a Governor’s Award of Excellence for the best rural impact project, a Mississippi Economic Development Council Award, a regional Governor’s Cup Award, and a Southeastern Economic Development Award. Pelahatchie is also a member of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful Hall of Fame. For the last 14 years, Knox has operated his own accounting firm in downtown Pelahatchie.
Ian Satter has been the public information director of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Three office since 2011. This is his second stint with FDOT having previously served as the deputy communications director in Tallahassee. He has extensive experience in corporate communications, media relations, media training, crisis management, and public affairs. Satter began his career in 1997 as the media relations director and play-by-play announcer for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. He has served in several communication roles in both the private and public sector in Wisconsin, Arizona and Florida. He is a University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate with a B.A. in public relations.
Appointed in August 2011, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti serves as executive director and chief executive officer of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. The enterprise is the eighth district of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and is responsible for the management and operation of the Florida Turnpike System. In addition, the enterprise manages the tolling operations on non-turnpike department-owned facilities. Comprised of a 320 mile mainline and nine expansion facilities, Florida’s turnpike system is over 480 centerline miles of tolled facilities. Under her leadership, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise is pioneering concepts such as express lanes on toll facilities, pursuit of regional interoperability, and the development of a transportation technology center for excellence for Florida. A proven leader who brings more than 25 years of toll road experience to the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, Diane previously served as executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, retiring after a 21-year career. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s of science from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Diane is a member of the executive board of the Florida Department of Transportation, and serves on the boards of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association and the Alliance for Toll Interoperability. In 2006, Diane was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey’s Salute to the Policymakers Annual Dinner. A member of Advancing Women in Transportation (WTS), she was named 2013 Woman of the Year by the Central Florida Chapter.
Randall Shepard is CEO of RSAE Labs Inc, a hi-tech start-up in Panama City providing global monitoring and tracking services for critical cargo and high-value equipment. As a result of the recent acquisition of the Cubic Global Tracking Solutions (CGTS) business group from Cubic Inc., RSAE Labs has contracts with several blue chip customers and a portfolio of advanced wireless communications products, services and technologies to sell, exploit and license. Shepard earned a B.S. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1973 and was recognized in 1979 as a distinguished graduate from Stanford University with a M.S. in astronautical and aeronautical engineering with a minor in business.
Casey Steinbacher, founder of Casey’s Company, is widely recognized as a national expert in urban innovation strategies. Her company identifies and creates NEXT opportunities for communities and organizations, with a unique emphasis on place and talent. Her eclectic mix of clients includes several communities, a technology festival, a sports foundation, and a regional CEO group, to name a few. Prior to founding her own company, Steinbacher served as president and CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce from 2007 until 2015. Under her direction, the Durham chamber received national and international acclaim for its leadership in economic and entrepreneurial development, winning the award for the best innovative economic development project at the World Chambers Congress in Doha, Qatar, in 2013. Durham experienced over $5 billion in announced new investment that created more than 20,000 jobs during her tenure, including the birth and rapid growth of an entrepreneurial eco-system that is now considered one of the most vibrant in the South. A 27 year veteran of chamber and economic development work, she also served as president and CEO of the North Palm Beach County Chamber in Palm Beach, Florida and the Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. She sits on numerous boards but most notably serves on the Community Growth and Investment Foundation, an international foundation created to help chambers throughout the US and Canada strengthen their expertise and engagement in community and economic development initiatives in their communities.
Ruth L. Steiner, Ph.D. is a professor and director of the Center for Health and the Built Environment in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and an affiliate faculty in the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and the Transportation Institute (UFTI) at the University of Florida. During the spring of 2014, she was a visiting professor at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds in the UK. Recently, she completed work on the integration of roundabouts into access management systems, the incorporation of multimodal performance measures into land development planning, regional cooperation in transportation planning, and planning for parking in central cities. She is co-author of Energy Efficiency and Human Activity: Global Trends and Prospects (Cambridge University Press, 1992). Steiner has served on the pedestrian committee, transportation and land development committee and transportation history committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the scientific committee of the World Congress on Transportation Research Society (WCTRS). She received her B.A. in history from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, a masters of business administration from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and a masters of city planning and a Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Thomas “Todd” L. Stennis III currently serves as director of government affairs-south for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. From 2003 to 2006 he was appointed by Governor Ronnie Musgrove to the Southern Rapid Rail Transit Commission (Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi), serving as secretary, vice-chairman and chairman. His primary duties include working with state and local governments served by Amtrak in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Four of these states (Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia) provide funding to operate additional service beyond thenational network and ten of the 15 long-distance Amtrak trains serve these 12 states.
Brad Swanson serves as the executive director to the Florida Transportation Commission (FTC). Swanson comes from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) where he was serving as the freight, logistics and passenger operations administrator, leading the secretary’s initiatives related to strategic investments in global-trade infrastructure as they relate to aviation, seaport, rail, freight, and transit solutions. Swanson is focused on maximizing job creation through these intermodal investments which are growing Florida’s economy for families and visitors. Prior to serving at FDOT, Swanson spent the majority of his career working in the private sector for organizations that promote Florida’s free market and economic development opportunities.
Christian Wagley is principal of Sustainable Town Concepts, a consulting firm working under the premise that the most environmentally-beneficial thing we can do is to build healthy places for people. Wagley is a certifying agent for the Florida Green Building Coalition and works with builders, architects, developers, and communities to create homes, buildings and landscapes that use less energy and water and are beautiful and durable. He is a strong advocate for restoring Pensacola’s urban core and making the city more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, and was a member of the mayor’s urban redevelopment advisory committee. He is the writer and host of EarthAction—a five-part environmental series that debuted on WSRE Public Television in 2013. Wagley serves as the environmental representative on Escambia County’s RESTORE Act advisory committee, which is tasked with recommending the best ways to spend an estimated $150 million in penalty monies coming to the county as a result of the 2010 BP oil tragedy. He is cofounder of Bike Pensacola and its wildly-successful Slow Ride, which is bringing more than a hundred riders at a time onto city streets for a leisurely ride that mixes-in bicycle education and advocacy. Wagley holds a master’s degree in biology/coastal zone studies from the University of West Florida.
Since 2004, Terry Washington has served as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) southern region’s capacity program manager, responsible for airport design, planning and capacity. Washington has been employed with the FAA since 1986, first as a civil engineer in the Navaids/Visaids section of the airways facilities division in the eastern region until 1990, then as the planner and engineer for various geographical areas of the southern region. He was the planner and engineer for the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s fifth runway and other major projects. Washington is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he received a B.S. in civil engineering in 1983. In 1989, he received and still maintains a professional engineering license in civil engineering in Louisiana.
Scott Weisman, GISP, CPM is the Tallahassee-Leon County geographic information systems (GIS) program coordinator. He has worked for local government in the GIS field in various capacities for the last 22 years and has been in his current role for more than two years. Weisman also serves as an adjunct instructor at Florida State University in the geography/masters geographic information science program. He earned a bachelor of science at Florida State University in sociology and interdisciplinary social sciences, along with a certificate in planning studies. Weisman holds a master of science in geographic information science and is also a graduate of the Florida-certified public manager program through the Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University.
Doug Wheeler serves as the president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council (FPC), a nonprofit corporation that serves as the professional association for Florida’s fifteen public seaports and their management. The FPC provides leadership, advocacy, research and information on seaport-related issues before the legislative and executive branches of state and federal government. Wheeler has more than 20 years of governmental affairs and association leadership at both the state and federal levels where he held previous positions with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and more recently, the Florida Chamber of Commerce where he served as vice president of Grassroots Advocacy and Political Action Development, managing Florida’s largest federation of businesses, associations and local chambers of commerce. Wheeler graduated from Florida State University with a degree in political science, with an emphasis in political communications.
Santa Rosa County Commissioner Jayer Williamson is a native of northwest Florida, graduating from the University of West Florida. An electrical contractor and part owner of Williamson Electrical Company in Milton, he currently serves on several local boards and has been heavily involved in community service and volunteer efforts throughout his lifetime. Williamson is currently the chairman of the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization.
Michelle Wilson is a GIS analyst with Walton County Board of County Commissioners. Her primary focus is implementing small government enterprise GIS to various departments within the county. During the past 18 years, Wilson has been a member of various boards both in South Carolina and in Florida. She is the co-chair of the Northwest Florida GIS User Group and regional director for the panhandle with Florida Urban Systems Association (FLURISA). She works tirelessly to promote GIS in both the public, private, and governmental capacities. She received her GISP in 2012.
Jim Wood is a councilman from the City of Destin serving in his 8th year in office. He is serving in his 5th consecutive year as the chairman of the Okaloosa/Walton Transportation Planning Organization (O/W TPO) and is currently serving as vice chairman of the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization. At the state level, Wood serves as vice chairman of the Florida State Metropolitan Planning Organization (FL MPOAC) and as a member of the Florida State Transportation Plan steering committee where he additionally serves as vice chair of the Strategic Inter-Modal System sub-committee. Jim has a BA in political science from Mississippi State University and a MA in public administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College. His further local educational opportunities include the 2008 inaugural class of Destin Forward, 2009 Institute for Elected Officials (basic and advanced courses), the 2010 MPOAC Weekend Institute for Elected Officials, the 2006 and 2014 Okaloosa Sheriff’s Citizen Academy and the Lions Southeast Leadership Institute in 2006.
Erich Zimmermann is responsible for NARC’s transportation portfolio, which includes managing priorities for NARC’s member metropolitan planning organizations and regional transportation planning organizations. At NARC, Zimmermann works with members to refine policy priorities and recommendations for the federal surface transportation authorization and amplifies these messages to congress and the administration. He guides member concerns, responses, and recommendations to federal implementation of MAP-21, the current transportation authorization. Zimmermann manages and executes NARC’s transportation technical assistance and education program, providing a suite of member outreach, training and peer networking opportunities on transportation issues. Prior to his time at NARC, Zimmermann spent nearly a decade at Taxpayers for Common Sense. He has a B.A. in political communication from George Washington University and a M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana.