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Movers and Shakers

Legislative director leaves

A longtime presence in state government, Darrick McGhee has left his job as director of legislative affairs for Gov. Rick Scott, and will be starting a new position as vice president of government relations for the lobbying firm, Johnson & Blanton, on Aug. 4th.

Darrick is “an outstanding human being, a really good guy,” said Travis Blanton. “He’s very knowledgeable of the (state) agencies because he’s worked in several and he’s very knowledgeable about how Florida government works.”

McGhee’s 17 months as director of legislative affairs included two legislative sessions. His other state posts included interim executive director, and also chief of staff, of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; director of the Office of Legislative and Cabinet Affairs; and director of the Office of Governmental Relations among other positions.

A graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, McGhee is also an ordained minister and pastor of the Bible Based Church in Tallahassee.

New human trafficking council taking shape

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is among the four members appointed to the newly created Statewide Council on Human Trafficking by Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Bondi, who will chair the 15-member council, also appointed Martin County Sheriff William SnyderTerry Coonan, executive director of the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights; and Dotti Groover-Skipper, chairwoman of the Community Campaign Against Human Trafficking.

The council’s purpose, said Jennifer Meale, communications director for the Attorney General’s office, is to “bring everyone to the table who may be able to assist in the effort to end human trafficking in the state and build on the state and local efforts that are already underway.”

Mike Carroll, interim secretary of the state Department of Children and Families, will serve as vice chairman. Also on the council: State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong; Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek; Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey; Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Interim Secretary Christina Daly; and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

Other members to be announced will be a senator, appointed by Senate President Don Gaetz; one representative, appointed by House Speaker Will Weatherford; and two members appointed by Scott.

The council is expected to start meeting at the end of August.

Gaetz appoints new Citizens board member

Jim Henderson, a 35-year veteran of the insurance industry, has been appointed by Gaetz to the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Board of Governors. Gaetz, R-Niceville, said the Senate appointee will support ongoing action to reduce Florida residents' liability for losses sustained by Citizens in a major storm.

Henderson is the founder and CEO of Lake Mary-based AssuredPartners, which acquires and invests in insurance brokerage businesses. He began his career as an audit supervisor in the health insurance practice at Ernst & Whinney. Henderson has also held posts as CFO, Senior Vice President, and treasurer of Ormond Reinsurance Group and vice chairman and COO of Brown & Brown.

Former Supreme Court Justice joins Gunster law firm

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth B. Bell has joined the Gunster business law firm as a shareholder in its Tallahassee office.

At Gunster, Bell will focus his civil litigation practice on trials and appeals, including mediation, arbitration and trial support. Bell was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 2002 by then-governor Jeb Bush and served until 2008. He was previously a circuit court judge in Northwest Florida’s 1st Judicial Circuit. He most recently worked in the law firm of Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond & Stackhouse.

New faces on councils, boards and on the bench

Lucas Boyce, director of business development and legislative affairs for the Orlando Magic, has been appointed by the governor to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees.

Boyce, 35, serves as a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and the Orange County Library Board of Trustees. The Orlando resident, who fills a vacant seat, is appointed for a term that ends Jan. 6, 2018.

Scott announced two appointments to the Florida Gateway College District Board of Trustees: Carolyn “Renae” Allen and Leonard Davis.

Allen, 53, of Lake Butler, is a science instructor at Union County High School and previously served as the mayor of the City of Lake Butler. She succeeds Thomas Riherd II on the board for a term ending May 31, 2015.

Davis, 67, of Macclenny, is a retired electronic tech and fleet scheduler with the United States Department of Defense. He previously served as county fire chief for the Baker County Board of County Commissioners. Davis succeeds Julia Richardson and serves until May 31, 2017.

Thomas Burke and Enrique Miguez have been appointed to the Board of Pilot Commissioners.

Burke, 45, of Miami, the vice president of risk management for Royal Caribbean, fills a vacant seat. His term will end Oct. 31, 2015.

Miguez, 49, of Coral Gables, the vice president and deputy general counsel for Carnival Corporation, fills a vacant seat. His term expires Oct. 31, 2017.

Pieter Bockweg, 39, of Miami, is a new member of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council. The executive director of the Miami Omni & Midtown Community Redevelopment Agency succeeds Neil Crilly. He's appointed for a term ending Aug. 19, 2017.

Samad "Sam" Rashid is now on the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. Rashid, 52, of Valrico, is the CEO of Holtec USA Corporation. He fills a vacant seat, with a term ending July 1, 2017.


The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Polk County Court Judge J. Kevin Abdoney has been appointed to the Tenth Judicial Circuit Court, which includes Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties. Prior to his appointment to the county court bench in 2008, Aboney, 43, of Lakeland, served as an assistant public defender in Tampa and later as an assistant state attorney in the Tenth Circuit.

He fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Beth Harlan.

Scott has made three appointments and one reappointment to the State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.

State Sen. Rob Bradley, 43, R-Fleming Island, fills a vacant seat, with his term ending June 30, 2015. Bradley, an attorney, represents District 7, which covers Alachua, Bradford and Clay counties.

Hamilton County Sheriff J. Harrell Reid, 67, of Jasper, succeeds Lance Day. His term ends June 30, 2017.

Bonnie Rogers, 51, of Tallahassee, is the policy coordinator for public safety for the Executive Office of the Governor. She succeeds James Ruth, with her term ending June 30, 2017.

Patricia Tuthill, 65, of Tallahassee, an operations analyst with the Department of Juvenile Justice and the founder of the Peyton Tuthill Foundation, is reappointed for a term ending June 30, 2017.