Todd Powell, Chair

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Todd Powell is Weyerhaeuser’s Vice President for Real Estate Development. In this role, Powell oversees all real estate development activities for the company’s 13.2 million acres in the United States. In Florida, his responsibilities include leadership of the Envision Alachua community planning process on 65,000 acres of Plum Creek lands in Alachua County and the North Florida Mega Industrial Park in Columbia County.

Prior to joining Plum Creek in 2006 (since merged with Weyerhaeuser), Powell worked at WCI Communities in various capacities including vice president of land acquisitions. He joined WCI after 10 years with Ernst & Young LLP where he was a senior manager in the company’s business advisory services practice concentrating in mergers and acquisitions.

Powell is a certified public accountant, has a Master in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor’s of Science in accounting from Bowling Green State University.  He has also completed an executive development program through Emory University.

Powell currently serves as chair of the board of directors for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Chamber Foundation, Leadership Florida and the United Way of North Central Florida.

He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the University of Florida’s Real Estate Advisory Board.  He is also a graduate of the Leadership Florida Program.

Doug Davidson, Past Chair

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Doug Davidson is the Market Executive  and leads a team of professionals in managing a loan and deposit portfolio for public and private commercial banking clients. In addition to traditional commercial banking services such as lending and depository solutions, Davidson’s team is also responsible for leading investment banking activities including originating debt and equity offerings as well as facilitating the mergers and acquisitions of commercial banking clients.

Davidson has been with Bank of America since 1994, originally joining the NationsBank commercial banking team in Tampa. He serves on the Boards of Directors of The Florida Chamber Foundation, The Vincent Lecavalier Foundation, and Council for Educational Change. He is a Trustee of Florida TaxWatch and Advisory Board member of Center for Competitive Florida. He previously served on the Board of Directors of United Way of Tampa Bay.

Davidson graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of Florida in 1993 with a B.S.B.A. in Finance and Marketing and later earned his Certified Treasury Professional designation from the Association for Financial Professionals in 1998 and Six Sigma Green Belt certification in 2003. He holds NASD Series 7, NASD Series 24 and NASD Series 63 licenses as a registered investment banking principal.

Vance Aloupis

After practicing law in South Florida, Vance Aloupis joined The Children’s Movement in June 2010, now serving as the organization’s CEO. Having spoken across both the state and country on issues specific to the first five years in children’s lives, Vance has become a new face in the conversation around early childhood investment.

A former student body president at the University of Miami, student trustee on the UM Board of Trustees, and a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, Vance was the Judge Peter Palermo Fellow in the University of Miami Center for Ethics and Public Service’s Street Law program creating and teaching curricula for and in juvenile detention centers in South Florida. As a proud alum of the University of Miami, Vance now serves a member of the UM Alumni Association Board of Directors. Prior to joining The Children’s Movement, Vance worked as both a civil litigator and with the Legal Services of Greater Miami’s Homeless Project.

In 2012, Vance was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to serve as a commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Community Service – also known as Volunteer Florida – which oversees much of the state’s AmeriCorps programs. A member of the board for the Miami Coalition for the Homeless and founding board member of the Awesome Foundation Miami, Vance is a graduate of Class VI of the Miami Fellows (the community’s most prestigious leadership development program) and Class IV of Connect Florida (a program focused on the next generation of statewide leaders). In late 2014, Vance – along with two colleagues – helped found the James Madison Institute’s Leaders Fellowship, a one-year leadership development program focused on fostering free market principles. He was also accepted into the American Enterprise Institute’s National Leaders Network – for non-profit and government executives. A graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Education program Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management, Vance was selected as one of 90 young professionals from across the country to join in the first cohort of HBS’s 2015 Young American Leaders Program.

In 2014, Vance was honored by The Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida as the Young Floridian of the Year. And, in 2016, Vance was honored with the Emerging Leader Award from Florida International University’s Center for Leadership, the Ruth Shack Leadership Award from The Miami Foundation, and one of three “next generation” visionaries by The Miami Herald.

Vance and his wife, Mariella, live in Miami, Florida with their two daughters, Isabella and Aria.

Kay Ayers

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Kay Ayers is the Senior Vice President of Member Services, Human Resources, Support Services & Facilities for AvMed and the Senior Vice President for Human Resources for SantaFe HealthCare, Inc. In this position, Ms. Ayers is responsible for the North & South Call Centers, Facilities Management and Leasing, Purchasing and Support Services, Payroll, and Human Resources for AvMed and oversight of Human Resources for SantaFe HealthCare. Over the past twenty-nine years with AvMed, her previous positions include serving as Group Vice President of Member Services, Vice President of Personnel and Corporate Controller.

Prior to joining AvMed in 1985, Ms. Ayers was a Partner at Purvis, Gray and Company, CPAs, where she began her career as a staff accountant. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Florida International University in Miami. Ms. Ayers has earned the designation of Certified Managed Care Executive from the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Executive Leadership Program and Human Capital Strategist (HCS) from the Human Capital Institute.

Ms. Ayers’ professional affiliations include membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Society for Human Resource Management, and Human Capital Institute. Ms. Ayers is a member of the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Human Resource Council, the Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Directors and the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six Pillars Caucus System, Talent Supply and Education.

Ms. Ayers is an active member of the community. She is a member of the Women’s Giving Circle and the American Heart Association Community Advisory Board where she has helped organize the American Heart Walk and the American Heart Ball. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors of Girls Place of Alachua County Foundation. She is an active member of the United Way of North Central Florida and currently serves as Chair on the Board of Directors, is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council and is a Reading Pals volunteer. Ms. Ayers is a recipient of the 2006 Alachua-Bradford County Women of Distinction Award, the 2007 Heart of the Girls Club Award and the 2008 Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Women Who Make A Difference Award.

Ms. Ayers is married to David Ayers and has two daughters.

Brittany Birken

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Brittany Olivieri Birken, Ph.D., is the CEO of the Florida Children’s Council, leading businesses, organizations, agencies and other key stakeholders in work efforts that support Florida’s children, youth and families. The Florida Children’s Council serves as the statewide umbrella organization for the Children’s Services Councils. The Council’s mission is to promote policies that build effective primary prevention and early intervention systems of supports for Florida’s children and families by engaging and enhancing the collective strengths of the individual Children’s Services Councils of Florida. With recognition of the critical linkages between educational investments and economic development, Dr. Birken works closely with business and policy leaders to create policies that support the current workforce, promote economic revitalization, and develop a sustainable educational infrastructure to ensure talent growth and expansion for a continued vibrant and prosperous future for Florida.

Rachael Bjorklund

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Rachael Bjorklund

Monesia Brown

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Monesia Brown is the Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Walmart.  She is responsible for advocating on behalf of Walmart and Sam’s Club in Florida. In addition to engaging legislative and executive officials on issues of importance to Walmart, she is also responsible for supporting the company’s growth in communities across the state and directing Walmart Foundation funds.

Monesia joined Walmart after working as an attorney/government consultant focusing in the areas of economic development, state procurement and education.  Prior to joining the private sector, she worked for the State of Florida in several capacities including General Counsel to the Department of Management Services, Director of Legislative Affairs and Chief Cabinet Aide to the Attorney General and concluded her public service as the Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, Florida’s labor agency.  As a member of the executive branch, her career focused in the areas of legal, policy and management.

Monesia is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and Illinois State University with a degree in English.  She is a member of the Florida and Wisconsin Bar Associations. In addition, she is the Chairwoman for the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, a member of the Board of Directors Maclay School and the Florida History Museums.  She is married to Junious Brown, a mother to two children – Jay and Evan.  Their family resides in Tallahassee where they have lived since 1999.

William E. Carlson

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Bill Carlson is president of Tucker/Hall. In addition to his responsibilities in firm management, he helps clients in the areas of marketing, brand management, community relations and public affairs.

Carlson joined Tucker/Hall in 1994. He has advised numerous government agencies and non-profits including cities and government entities in the United States, Asia and Latin America. He has also been a consultant to European and Latin American conglomerates, fast-growing technology companies and Fortune 500 corporations.

His work involves helping companies and government agencies define the experience they will have with their constituents and customers. This may involve branding, communications, product/service design, public involvement or corporate strategy development.

From 1989-1994, Carlson lived in Singapore where he was a senior marketing consultant with a Singapore-based marketing consulting firm. While there he advised a number of organizations across 15 countries. These included Citibank Asia, the Development Bank of Singapore, regional conglomerates, financial institutions, technology companies, publicly listed corporations and government agencies. Prior to moving to Singapore, Carlson worked in advertising and public relations in Florida.

Carlson holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Tampa and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also conducted M.B.A. studies at the National University of Singapore as a Rotary International Scholar, studied Spanish in Argentina and completed the Harvard-MIT Program on Negotiation.

From 2007-2009 Carlson served as president of the world’s largest network of independent public relations firms, Public Relations Organization International, Inc. (PROI). He is very active in the community and has served in a number of leadership positions at the Pinellas Education Foundation, Leadership Tampa Bay, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Rotary International. He is also a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XXIII and serves on the board of the Florida Humanities Council.

Chris Carmody

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Chris earned his certification as a Designated Professional Lobbyist from the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists and is an attorney admitted to practice in all Florida state courts. He has substantial experience handling government relations matters, including representation before the Florida legislative and executive branches, purchasing and procurement appeals, and professional licensing. Chris’s clients range from small cities to Fortune 500 companies, and his experience runs the gamut of state-level needs and issues, from the passing of landmark legislation to proficiency on the appropriations process.

Chris also practices in litigation, land use, construction and sports law. His practice includes obtaining state and local government regulatory approvals as well as matters related to the acquisition, development and utilization of real property. He has represented contractors, engineers, architects, developers, owners, subcontractors, and suppliers in issues relating to land use and construction law. Chris provides legal work to the Central Florida Sports Commission and has handled numerous high-level sports matters at the legislative level, including tax exemptions, workers’ compensation and other matters that affect sports franchises.

Diane Carr

Diane is General Counsel for Johnson & Blanton, LLC, a full-service government relations firm headquartered in Tallahassee.  Diane began her career at the intersection of law, policy, and politics as a legislative intern for the Florida House of Representatives while still in law school at Florida State University. She rounded out her law school experience serving as Executive Editor of the Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Team, and as the recipient of a Public Service Fellowship. On graduating from F.S.U.’s College of Law she returned to the Florida House as Counsel to the Commerce Committee where she learned to navigate the legislative process from the inside.

Over the past 25 years Diane’s career has evolved to encompass association management, private law practice, public administration, and lobbying.  She has been recruited by the Governor and Cabinet for multiple regulatory and executive positions, including appointments to the Board of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Guaranty Association, as Chair of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, and as Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, where she led the agency that licenses and regulates 30-plus categories of business and professionals that touch all aspects of the lives of Florida’s 17 million citizens.

Currently, Diane relies on her public- and private-sector backgrounds to develop and advance legislative, regulatory, and political strategies as a lobbyist for clients from diverse segments of commerce and industry ranging from Fortune 500 companies to trade associations comprised of highly regulated businesses and professionals. Additionally, Diane serves as the firm’s General Counsel, advising the principals on administrative, operational, and transactional matters.

Long devoted to community service, Diane volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem and is a graduate of Leadership Florida. She is active in local and state bar associations, and is a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee. While in private law practice she was selected by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Government Relations Practice, and in Administrative/Regulatory Law. Since joining Johnson & Blanton in 2015, she has continued to promote professionalism among lawyer-lobbyists as a founding member of the Florida Bar’s Governmental and Public Policy Advocacy Committee.

 

Kevin Carr

Kevin Carr is the President and CEO of FloridaMakes, a statewide, industry-led partnership established in 2015 to strengthen and advance Florida’s manufacturing sector through talent development, technology assistance, and business growth. Operating through a network of the state’s regional manufacturing associations, FloridaMakes partners with public and private service providers – including research and education institutions, consultants, and training providers – to improve the overall performance of individual firms, creating and retaining an advanced manufacturing workforce and improving Florida’s manufacturing economy.

Kevin has dedicated most of his career to enhancing the nation’s manufacturing sector, with a focus on improving the competitiveness and profitability of small and medium-size manufacturers. Kevin came to FloridaMakes after 10 years as a private consultant advising technology-based economic development organizations, manufacturing businesses, and the Department of Defense.

Prior to managing his own small business, Kevin led the Manufacturing Extension Partnership at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Joining NIST in the first year of this experimental program, Kevin eventually became the first NIST MEP Director, building the program from just 7 pilot states to a nationally system serving manufacturers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Under his leadership with state and federal policymakers, Kevin has worked to increase manufacturers’ access to advanced manufacturing technology and resources through the federal labs and centers of excellence, and has challenged the MEP system to cultivate best practices, best-in-class services, and promote increased use of existing public and private resources to improve the foundation and future of American manufacturing. To date, MEP nationally has worked with more than 80,000 manufacturers, leading to $88 billion in sales and $14 billion in cost savings, and has helped create more than 729,000 jobs.

Kevin has been recognized by the Service to America for Business and Commerce and Harvard’s Innovation in Government Awards as a finalist. He was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for building MEP’s national system and was recently inducted into the NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists and Engineers for “outstanding leadership of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and implementing it into a model federal program with national impact on business development, innovation and job creation.”

Kevin studied electronics engineering at Widener University and technology management at the University of Maryland.

Laura Crouch

Deborah Curry

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Deborah Curry is President/CEO of the Florida Institute of CPAs. She is the FICPA’s fifth CEO in the organization’s 111-year history.

Deborah is a Certified Public Accountant in Florida, Georgia and Texas. In addition, she holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.

Deborah worked with the Georgia Society of CPAs for six years; serving first as CFO, then as COO. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Deborah’s previous experience includes finance positions with Turner Broadcasting System, Time Warner and Pacific USA Holdings Corporation.

Founded in 1905, the FICPA is a Tallahassee-based, statewide, professional association representing member-CPAs throughout Florida. With a membership of more than 19,500, the Institute’s mission is to promote the value of its members and serve their diverse needs; enhance members’ competency and professionalism; support professional standards; and advocate on behalf of the profession.

Bill Dagnall

Bill Dagnall is the Assistant Vice President of Business Development for Greater Pensacola Operations. He is responsible for planning, organizing and directing Navy Federal’s business development activities and strategies that promote brand identity and growth for the organization in Northwest Florida.

Bill has been employed with Navy Federal for 23 years, starting his credit union career as the Singapore Branch Manager in 1995. Prior to relocating to Pensacola in 2008, Bill held leadership positions within the organization in Jacksonville, FL and Virginia Beach, VA.

Bill currently serves on the Board of Directors for Florida’s Great Northwest. He also serves on the Achieve Escambia Operational Support Team, Greater Pensacola Chamber Military Affairs Committee, Greater Pensacola Defense Community Alliance, and the Pensacola International Airport Air Service Development Committee. Bill is a graduate of the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s Leadership Pensacola program (LeaP Class of 2014).

Bill obtained his bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. He also holds Executive Leadership Certifications from Columbia Business School and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Bill, a native of Clarksville, TN, proudly calls Pensacola his true hometown, where he enjoys spending quality time his wife Khari, son Logan and daughter Madison.

Pam Dana

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Dr. Pamella J. Dana serves as Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition where she is engaged in furthering the expansion, recognition, and multi-faceted relationships of the Institute.  From 1999-2007, Dana served as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED), Florida’s senior-most officer responsible for programs and policies leading to economic growth.  At OTTED, Dana oversaw over 80 programs and partnerships to include Enterprise Florida Inc., Florida Commission on Tourism, Florida Sports Foundation, and the Florida Space Authority, as well as rural initiatives, enterprise zones, business incentives, and legislative and corporate outreach.  As Florida’s legislatively mandated Chief Protocol Officer, Dana also maintained direct responsibility for all international affairs, protocol, and consular corps activities, as well as was senior point on interface with the military, DoD, and Pentagon.

During her tenure at OTTED, Dana led highly successful efforts to recruit world-class life sciences research institutes to Florida (Scripps Florida; Burnham Institute; & the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies), as well as championed model defense initiatives to include the effort to protect Florida’s military bases/missions under BRAC 2005.  While at OTTED, Dana served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC); Governor’s Military Base Commanders Bi-Annual Forum; Florida Defense Alliance; Scripps Florida Funding Corporation; Florida Seaport, Transportation, and Economic Development Council; Miami River Commission; Florida Council of 100; Transportation 2020 Commission; Destination Florida Commission; ITFlorida.com; World Golf Foundation; Governor’s Commission on the Future of Space and Aeronautics in Florida; Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors; and the Coastal High Hazard Study Committee.

From 1995-1999, Dana served as Assistant (& Deputy) Secretary of Economic Development for the California Trade and Commerce Agency where she oversaw eleven units in the division to include major corp. projects, military base retention & reuse, commercial space, & strategic technology, and provided Agency leadership on the California Electronic Commerce Advisory Council, California Board for Quality, Education, and Development; California Small Business Board; and NASA/California Film Commission digital imaging system.

Dana holds a Ph.D. in International Development and Economics from the University of Southern California, and Masters in Administration, Planning, and Policy from Harvard.  She currently sits on the corporate boards of CommerceBank, N.A. and its Holding Company; the business advisory board for LaBock Technologies Inc.; the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation; the Seaport Security Standards Advisory Council, and the Council for a Sustainable Emerald Coast.  She maintains a list of honors to include: Henry Luce Scholar, Fulbright Scholar, Secretary of Defense Joint Civilian Orientation Conferee (2001); Air Force Secretary’s Air War College (2007); Florida Defense Alliance Distinguished Service Award, first recipient (2006), Outstanding Young Woman of America, CA Governor’s Executive Fellow, Harvard Scholar, and USC Dean’s Scholar.