Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis announced his transition teams this week, on them several leaders from Brevard County.
The teams — spanning education and workforce development; public safety; health and wellness; the economy; and the environment, natural resources and agriculture — will help DeSantis develop plans to implement future policy.
On the advisory team for education and workforce development is Desmond Blackburn, former superintendent of Brevard Public Schools.
Blackburn served as superintendent in Brevard for three years before resigning in August to take the CEO job at New Teacher, a national education nonprofit that helps first-year teachers. Blackburn previously worked in the Broward County school district as an area superintendent and area director of school improvement, and before that a middle school principal and high school math teacher. He was appointed to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission by Gov. Rick Scott.
On the advisory team for public safety is Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Alan Landman, a Melbourne attorney and chair of the Eastern Florida State College Board of Trustees.
Landman has served on the board since 2009 and “played a central leadership role in the college’s unprecedented expansion of new academic programs and degrees for students,” according to a news release from the college.
Ivey was elected Brevard sheriff in 2012 and has served as a law enforcement officer for more than 30 years. He has been a strong supporter of DeSantis and President Trump.
On the advisory team for health and wellness is Steven Johnson, president and CEO of Health First based in Melbourne, which employs more than 9,000 people and spans four hospitals in the county. Before coming to Health First, Johnson served as president of hospital operations for SSM Health Care – St. Louis, a seven-hospital system based in Missouri.
The advisory team for the environment, natural resources and agriculture has the most representation from Brevard of all the committees.
On it are Steve Crisafulli, a Merritt Island developer and former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives; and Tracy Duda Chapman of Duda & Sons. The Viera Co. is a subsidiary of Duda & Sons, a land management company.
Also on that team is Jim Swann, vice chair of Eckerd Connects. Swann, a Merritt Island developer, along with his wife Jonnie, helped build the Brevard Zoo and have supported the Nature Conservancy, the St. John’s Water Management District, Florida Institute of Technology and the Marine Resources Council.
The Swanns received in 2016 FLORIDA TODAY’s Bjorg and Bjornar Hermansen Legacy Award for a lifetime of philanthropic achievement, largely their leadership of the Eckerd Eckerd Kids, which provide foster care and other social services to families and youth.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Caroline Glenn is the Education Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact her at [email protected] or 321-576-5933, and follow her on Twitter @bycarolineglenn and like “Education at Florida Today” on Facebook.
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