Rick Scott makes wave of appointments, names three to Civil Rights Hall of Fame

in Uncategorized by

Wednesday was certainly a busy day for Gov. Rick Scott.

In the midst of the announcement and meeting with reporters over his proposed annual budget, Scott also made a wave of state regulatory board announcements, in addition to naming three to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

State Board of Education

Andy Tuck 44, of Sebring, is former Highlands County School Board Chairman. He was a member of the Florida School Boards Association from 2012 to 2013. Tuck fills a vacant seat for a term ending December 31, 2017.

 “Andy has worked throughout his career to provide Florida students with the tools they need to succeed,” Scott said in a statement. “I am proud to appoint Andy to the State Board of Education, and look forward to him continuing to make Florida the best state in the country to get an education.”

Tuck’s appointment is subject to Florida Senate approval.

Edison State College District Board of Trustees

Byron Donalds, 35, of Naples, is director of premium management at CMG Life Services Inc. He serves as chair of the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Collier County and the vice president of Mason Classical Academy. He fills a vacant seat and for a term ending May 31, 2017.

 Eric Loche, 45, of Port Charlotte, is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors. He serves on the board of directors for AMIkids Crossroads. He fills a vacant seat for a term ending May 31, 2014.

Braxton Rhone, 29, of Fort Myers, is an investment representative with Fidelity Investments. He is a member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Association Soaring Eagles Society. Scott reappointed him for a term ending May 31, 2017.

Christopher Vernon, 53, of Naples, is an attorney and founding partner at Vernon Healy. He has previously served on the board of directors for the Education Foundation of Collier County. Vernon’s reappointment is for a term ending May 31, 2017.

The appointments are subject to Florida Senate approval.

West Orange Healthcare District

H. Gerald Jowers, 66, of Winter Garden, is the president and CEO of U.S. Lead Inc. His reappointment is through September 24, 2017.

Timothy M. Keating, 53, of Winter Garden, is president and CEO of R.C. Stevens Construction Co. His reappointment is through September 30, 2017.

Keisha B. Francis, 44, of Windermere, is a former senior biopharmaceutical account manager for Amgen Inc. Her reappointment is through September 30, 2017.

Immokalee Water and Sewer District

Jack Johnson, 60, of Immokalee, is a rancher and the president of Jack and Ann’s Feed and Supply Inc. He succeeds Richard Rice a term through October 1, 2017.

Robert Halman, 61, of Immokalee, is the agriculture extension agent for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Scott reappointed Halman for a term through October 1, 2016.

Fred Thomas, 74, of Immokalee, is former Executive Director of the Collier County Housing Authority. His reappointment is through October 1, 2017.

Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Scott also announced adding three names to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame: Dr. Robert Hayling, James Johnson, and Asa Randolph.

Chosen from a group of six nominees offered by the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the governor singled out the three for their work for equality and justice for Floridians during the Civil Rights Movement.

Hayling, 94, hailed as the “father” of St. Augustine’s civil rights movement. was the first black dentist in Florida elected to the local, regional, state, and national components of the American Dental Association. He was presented the highest honor that the City of St. Augustine bestows upon a citizen, “The Order of La Florida” Award. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Florida A & M University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Randolph, (1889-1979), founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Serving as its president, he sought to secure the league’s official inclusion in the American Federation of Labor. In 1963, he was a principal organizer of the March on Washington.

Johnson, (1871-1938), formerly of Jacksonville, was the first African-American admitted to the Florida bar since the end of Reconstruction. He founded the Daily American, a newspaper committed to reporting on issues pertinent to the black community. In 1920, Johnson became the NAACP’s first African-American secretary, a position he held throughout the 1920s.

“I am honored to select Dr. Robert Hayling, James Johnson, and Asa Randolph for the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame for their commitment to advocating for equality and justice throughout Florida,” Scott said. “Their dedication to furthering equality for all people helped pave the way for families and communities of all backgrounds and cultures to come together across Florida and across the nation.”

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.