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Movers & Shakers

Smart move:  Ryan Smart started a new job on Monday as president of 1000 Friends of Florida, the state's advocacy organization for livable communities, working in the group's Tallahassee office.

Smart "will jump start our reinvigorated focus on managing our state's water resources, including our springs, and strengthening the resiliency of coastal infrastructure," 1000 Friends Chairman Tim Jackson said in a statement.

Smart has recently managed the Florida Conservation Coalition and he was previously a program and special project director with the Consumer Credit Housing Services of Delray Beach.

Leaving the bench: Miami-Dade County Judge Gladys Pérez is joining Shutts & Bowen as a partner in the firm's  class action and mass litigation defense practice group,

Before becoming a judge, she served in Tallahassee as assistant general counsel to former Govs. Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist; as an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Florida Office of the Attorney General; and as a senior staff attorney for the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

In CFO Office: Michelle Dahnke, the governor's former deputy communications director, has been appointed the deputy chief financial officer of the Florida Department of Financial Services by state CFO Jeff Atwater.

Dahnke will oversee the department's communications and community outreach.

Prior to her role as Scott's deputy communications director, Dahnke was the director of communications and multimedia for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration from 2011 to 2014.

She has also served as interim communications director for the Florida Department of Health, worked in the executive office of Gov. Jeb Bush as a Gubernatorial Fellow and as a public information officer for the Department of Financial Services under CFO Tom Gallagher.

Lobbyist forms new firm: Government relations consultant Alan Suskey has formed Suskey Consulting, what he calls a "boutique state and federal government affairs and business development consulting firm."

A former Saint Petersburg resident, Suskey previously worked as a lobbyist at Capitol Insight, the firm headed by former House Speakers Dean Cannon and Larry Cretul.

Suskey previously served as the military aide to the former Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and current Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Moving on: Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie has accepted a lobbying position with the Liberty First Network, a libertarian advocacy group.

New face on the board: Steve Knopik, CEO of Beall's Inc., has been elected the new chair of the board of directors for The Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Knopik replaces outgoing Florida chamber board of directors chair Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light Co., whose term expired Oct. 31. Knopik's one-year term as the chair of the chamber board began Nov. 1.

Knopik has been the CEO of Beall's Inc. since August 2006. At the firm since 1984, Knopik has also been Beall's chief financial officer, executive vice president and president.

Governor appointees:  Scott announced one appointment and two reappointments to the Monroe County Housing Authority.

Richard Toppino, 53, of Key West, treasurer of Charles Toppino & Sons and the vice president of Monroe Concrete Products, succeeds David Purdo for a term ending Oct. 2, 2016.

Aaron Castillo Sr., 51, of Key West, the funeral director of Florida Keys Funeral Services, will serve until Sept. 30, 2017.

Carey Goodman, 39, of Cudjoe Key, and a mediator, is reappointed for a term ending Oct. 6, 2018.

Dan Casper, 57, of Fort Myers, has been appointed to the Florida Citrus Commission. The vice president of procurement, sales, and marketing for Southern Gardens Citrus fills a vacant seat, and is appointed for a term ending June 30, 2017.

Ellis Hunt Jr., 61, of Babson Park, and the president of Hunt Brothers Inc. is reappointed to the citrus commission for a term ending June 30, 2017.

Martin McKenna, 59, of Sebring, and the owner of McKenna Associates Citrus Inc., is reappointed for a term ending June 30, 2017.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Judicial Nominating appointees: On the Sixteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission: Timothy Thomes, 69, of Key Largo and David Van Loon, 42, of Key West, succeeding Donald Yate.

On the Seventeenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, William McCormick, 46, of Margate, (reappointed); Sidney Calloway 55, of Davie, and D. David Keller, 59, of Plantation.

Send political and agency personnel changes to rkoff@miamiherald.com

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