State Rep. Mark Pafford will be the new Chief Executive Officer for the environmental group Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for The Everglades.
The West Palm Beach Democrat is the first CEO of the 15-year history of the environmental educational organization, reports Christine Stapleton in the Palm Beach Post.
The full-time position will begin in the spring, Pafford says, and he does not expect a conflict of interest with his official duties in House District 86.
However, Pafford did ask for a legal opinion to remove any doubt, writes Stapleton.
“It’s a subject that is near and dear to my heart,” Pafford said. “Blended with my nonprofit experience and fund-raising it’s really going to be a great opportunity at a time when Everglades restoration and water quality issues are a very high priority for a lot of people.”
At one time, Pafford served as a naturalist at Arch Creek Park for the Metro-Dade Parks Department. From 1989 to 1992, he was a congressional aide.
Pafford has more than 20 years’ experience in community based non-profit organizations, which include CEO of the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He ran unopposed for the Florida House of Representatives in 2008, where he is now serving a third term.
As a state representative, Pafford leads free, guided tours all through South Florida wildlife areas.
At the Marshall Foundation, Pafford will head a team of professional educators and Everglades science experts in programs such as the Foundation’s Everglades canoe expedition, 2014 Sea Level Rise Symposium College and summer intern programs.
“Mark Pafford’s knowledge of the Everglades, his non-profit fund-raising experience and his passion for environmental education placed him at the top of the consideration list,” said Michael Davis, board Vice President of the Marshall Foundation. “Mark has all the essential experiences that are critical to running the Foundation, including more than 14 years of successful non-profit fund-raising and management experience.”