Personnel note: Erik Eikenberg to follow Kirk Fordham as head of Everglades Foundation

in Uncategorized by

Eric Eikenberg, chief of staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist and a seasoned Republican strategist, has landed one of the state’s most influential environmental advocacy jobs.

The Everglades Foundation, a Palmetto Bay-based group whose membership boasts deep pockets and political clout, will announce Wednesday that Eikenberg will become its new chief executive.

Eikenberg has extensive policy and political experience in Tallahassee and Washington. He served as chief of staff for former Gov. Charlie Crist and former U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw. Since 2010, Eikenberg has served as senior policy advisor for Holland & Knight. Eikenberg and former Gov. Bob Martinez, co-chair the law firm’s Florida Government Advocacy Team.

As CEO, Eikenberg will lead the Foundation’s science, advocacy, communications and legal team that is recognized for its expertise in Everglades restoration.

“Eric impressed us from the first moment we met. He has a deep understanding of what it takes to achieve success both in Washington and Tallahassee and he has the leadership skills that will help the Foundation continue to be at the forefront of Everglades restoration,” said Paul Tudor Jones, II, Everglades Foundation chairman.

“I am honored to join the Everglades Foundation as its next chief executive officer,” said Eikenberg. “The mission is simple: Save the Everglades. It is the source of water for more than 7 million Floridians and a driver of our economy. What we do now, will determine whether our generation leaves future generations with a vibrant, healthy, River of Grass.”

“Throughout my time in government, I thoroughly enjoyed working on Everglades issues at the federal and state level,” said Eikenberg. “I am eager to re-engage on the many issues facing the Everglades. The Everglades Foundation is the premier voice when it comes to Everglades restoration. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors, dedicated staff, supporters and diverse stakeholders who all strive everyday to restore the Everglades.”

As the governor’s chief of staff, Eikenberg was responsible for developing and implementing legislative strategy, the state budget, messaging, and the coordination of 22 state agencies. Eikenberg worked closely with House and Senate leaders, as well as members of the Florida Cabinet. He led the effort to purchase 187,000 acres of U.S. Sugar property, beginning the process of removing land from sugar production and using it to help restore the Everglades.

During his four years in Washington as chief of staff to Congressman Shaw, Eikenberg worked with the Florida delegation, the Ways and Means Committee, and congressional leaders. After Shaw’s successful effort to pass the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, Eikenberg assisted Shaw in obtaining the necessary federal funding for CERP projects.

Eikenberg also has experience working as campaign manager for federal and state campaigns. He is a former deputy executive director of the Florida Republican Party.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.