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Rick Scott appoints three to reconfigured Tampa Bay transit board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott announced three appointments to the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, including one new member.

Jim Holton, the owner and president of real estate investment and development business Holton Companies, will take over as the authority’s chair. Scott appointed Holton to TBARTA in 2015 as a regular member.

The 63-year-old Indian Shores resident is an alumnus of Stanford and Boston universities and has been a board member at several Florida organizations. In the past, he served as chair of the Florida Transportation Commission and as a member of the Enterprise Florida Inc. Board of directors. He currently sits on the Board of Governors for state-backed insurer Citizens Property Insurance Co and is the national chairman of the board for the Drug Free America Foundation.

Also receiving appointments to TBARTA were Melanie Griffin and Cliff Manuel.

Manuel was appointed to the authority by Scott in 2015. The Hernando County resident is the president and CEO of Coastal Engineering Associates. He, his wife and his three children are animal lovers who have rescued many animals, from dogs and cats to horses and donkeys. The 59-year-old also serves as treasurer for Hernando Progress, Inc., as an advisory board member for Suntrust Bank, and is a past president of the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce.

Griffin, the sole new addition to TBARTA this round of appointments, is a shareholder at the Dean Mead Law Firm where she represents businesses of all sizes and types in commercial disputes and litigation. The highly experienced courtroom lawyer is a triple alumna of Florida State University, where she earned a bachelor’s, master’s and law degree.

She is a past member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Women of Influence and Policy committees and her extensive charitable and pro bono work includes serving as an inaugural board member for the Steven G. Gey Foundation and as co-chair for the ALS Association’s Orlando Walk to Defeat ALS.

Terms for all three TBARTA appointments will run run from Tuesday through Aug. 15, 2019.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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