Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief has begun her term as the first African-American female president of the Florida Association of Counties.
Sharief was sworn in at a Thursday luncheon ceremony during the 2015 FAC Annual Conference and Educational Exposition in St. Johns County.
Sharief is the first black female president to serve in the nonprofit association’s 85-year history.
“Counties are the backbone of this great state,” Sharief said in a statement. “Every county, whether they are large or small, must meet the needs of their citizens and it is our diversity that makes our collaboration strong.”
In her role as president, Sharief will be in charge of association policy, which represents the interests of Florida’s 67 counties. The FAC goal is to strengthen and preserve county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.
“Commissioner Sharief is a dedicated public servant and as a leader in her community as well as a business owner she has a unique understanding of the challenges facing counties and Floridians,” said FAC Executive Director Chris Holley. “Her perseverance in standing up for home rule – the idea that government closest to the people governs best — will ensure that our members are well represented.”
With the promotion of Sharief, other members of the Executive Committee move up a notch: Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant becomes president-elect, Gulf County Commissioner Warren Yeager is vice president and Escambia County Commissioner Grover C. Robinson, IV serves as immediate past president. Charlotte County Commissioner Christopher Constance ran unopposed for the position of second vice president.
Governing the FAC is a board of directors of one county commissioner from each state Senate district (40); five executive officers; six county commissioners appointed at-large with no more than three of the six from counties with population of 75,000 or more; and past presidents of the FAC.