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Rick Scott announces nine state board appointments

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On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott announced nine appointments to a variety of state boards and commissions.

Johnnie B. Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute

Scott started by naming Sherrie Nickell to the Board of Directors, Johnnie B. Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute at the University of South Florida.

The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute is a multi-disciplinary Center of Excellence at the University of South Florida, founded to provide patient care, research and public and professional education.

Nickell, 57, of Lakeland, is a professor at Southeastern University. She succeeds John Helm for a term ending December 17, 2017.

Columbia County Housing Authority 

Next, Scott announced the appointment of Lena Lofton and reappointment of James Schnorbus to the Columbia County Housing Authority, based in Lake City.

Schnorbus, 68, of Lake City, is a retired criminal investigator for U.S. Customs. He is reappointed for a term ending March 15, 2019.

Lofton, 68, of Lake City, is a retired correctional counselor for Miami-Dade Corrections. She succeeds Lucille Ellis for a term ending March 15, 2018.

Florida Development Finance Corporation

Scott also selected Ryan Tennyson to the Florida Development Finance Corporation, a state authorized issuer of industrial revenue bonds. FDFC, which operates under the umbrella of Enterprise Florida, offers tax-exempt, low interest bond financing to manufacturing and qualified non-profit organizations.

Tennyson, 67, of Orlando, is the vice president of Fifth Third Bank. He fills a vacant seat for a term ending May 2, 2016. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Boating Advisory Council

Lastly, Scott announced three appointments and two reappointments to the Boating Advisory Council, a board within the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The BAC is made up of 18 members – representatives from the Florida Legislature, boating-related organizations and 11 members appointed by the Governor. The purpose of the council is make recommendations to the FWC and the Department of Economic Opportunity on issues important to boating community, such as safety, facilities and waterfront access.

Rebecca Bragg, 60, of Arcadia, is the owner and president of Canoe Outpost Peach River Inc. She succeeds Lester Ares for a term ending September 30, 2017.

Joseph “Skip” Lyshon, 54, of Fort Pierce, is the sales director for Maverick Boat Company. He succeeds David Childs for a term ending September 30, 2017.

Robert Spaeth, 68, of Madeira Beach, is the previous owner and president of Madeira Beach Seafood. He succeeds Robert Gill for a term ending September 30, 2017.

Stephen Danzig, 67, of Ponte Vedra Beach, is a marine surveyor for Atlantic Marine Surveys. He is reappointed for a term ending September 30, 2017.

Christopher Shaffner, 40, of Riviera Beach, is the president of TowBoat U.S. and director of operations for Boatsetter. He is reappointed for a term ending September 30, 2017.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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