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Governor Appoints 27 to Various Boards, Councils, and Commissions

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Image courtesy State of Florida
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11 appointments subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate

Tallahassee - Friday May 6, 2022: Governor Ron DeSantis Friday named 27 people to various state boards, councils and commissions.

Five Appointed to the Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services

Joseph Brandenburg - Brandenburg, of Jacksonville, is President, Funeral Director, and Embalmer of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home. He is a veteran of the United States Army National Guard. Brandenburg earned his degree in mortuary science from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service.

Vincent Ferreira - Ferreira, of Starke, is the Owner and President of Ferreira Enterprises, Inc. He is also an advisor for funeral services education at Florida State College of Jacksonville. Ferreira earned his associate degree from Miami Dade College.

Janis Liotta - Liotta, of St. Augustine, is the Director of Income Tax Compliance for CSX Transportation. She is a member of the Tax Executive Institute. Liotta earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and two master’s degrees in taxation and business administration from the University of Florida.

Jill Peeples - Peeples, of Jacksonville, is the Licensed Funeral Director at Peeples Funeral Services, Inc. She is a member of the Independent Funeral Directors of Florida and the National Funeral Directors Association. Peeples earned her associate degree in mortuary science from Gupton-Jones College.

Darrin Williams - Williams, of Jacksonville, is a Supervisor for Duval County Public Schools. He is a board member on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group and the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University.

These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Five Appointed to the Florida Gaming Control Commission

John MacIver - MacIver, of Tallahassee, serves as General Counsel to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the Department of Financial Services. He previously served as Deputy General Counsel to Governor Ron DeSantis and as a senior official at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. He is also a sworn law enforcement officer. MacIver earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of Central Florida and received his juris doctor from Northwestern University School of Law. He will serve as Chair of the Commission.

John D’Aquila - D'Aquila, of Jacksonville Beach, is a certified public accountant and owner of D'Aquila Advisors, LLC. Previously, he was Chief Financial Officer of Comstock Inc., Chief Executive Officer of Select Wines, LLC and was a Senior Auditor for Ernst and Young. D'Aquila is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a Past Vice Chairman of the Society of Financial Professionals. He earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from Binghamton University.

Julie Imanuel Brown - Brown, of Tampa, is the former Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Previously, she spent ten years on the Florida Public Service Commission, serving as Chairman from 2016 to 2018. Brown is a graduate of Leadership Florida, served on the Florida Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and is a former President of the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations and juris doctor from the University of Florida.

Michael Yaworsky - Yaworsky, of Tallahassee, most recently served as Chief of Staff at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Previously, he was Legal Counsel to the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, Counsel to the Georgia Senate President Pro Tempore and Chief of Staff at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Yaworsky earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Florida State University and juris doctor from Samford University. He will serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.

Charles Drago - Drago, of Chuluota, is the Founder and President of Drago Professional Consultants. Previously, he was Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Chief of Police to the City of Oviedo and spent 29 years with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, working his way up from a Police Officer to Assistant Chief of Police. Drago earned his associate degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York and bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from St. Thomas University.

These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

One Appointed to the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors

Anthony Barbar - Barbar, of Boynton Beach, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Barbar and Associates. He has volunteered his time with the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Boca Helping Hands and the Palm Beach Atlantic University Board of Trustees. Barbar earned his bachelor’s degree in international business from Florida Atlantic University.

This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Eight Appointed to the Florida Rehabilitation Council

Victoria Gaitanis - Gaitanis, of Tallahassee, is the Bureau Chief for Special Education at the Florida Department of Education. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, Keys to Exceptional Youth Success Big Bend Chapter, and the Council of Administrators of Special Education. Gaitanis earned her bachelor’s degree in education and her master’s degree in education from Florida State University.

Canada West - West, of Sarasota, is the Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Division of Vocational Rehab. She is a representative on the Counselor Advisory Team. West earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia and her master’s degree from Webster University.

Tammy Davis - Davis, of Dover, is a Managing Director at Steven Douglas. She has volunteered her time with Camelot Community Care, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, and the United Way of the Suncoast. Davis attended Hillsborough College and the University of South Florida.

Allison Klein - Klein, of St. Johns, is a Senior Advocate and Investigator for Disability Rights of Florida. She has served on the Accessibility Advisory Council and the Job Opportunities Consortium. Klein earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida.

Lisa Mason - Mason, of Jupiter, is Senior Director of Employment Related Services and Adult Day Training at Gulfstream Goodwill Industries. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida State University and her master’s degree in organizational behavior management from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Jose Morales - Morales, of Jacksonville, is the Americans with Disabilities Act Manager at CIL Jacksonville. Previously, he was a Program Specialist with the City of Jacksonville’s Disabled Services. Morales is the National Federation of the Blind’s Jacksonville Chapter Vice President. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Florida.

Sandra Rancano - Rancano, of Miami, is a Transition Manager at Parent to Parent of Miami. Previously, she was a Special Education Advocate at Advocating for Autism. Rancano serves on the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent’s District Advisory Panel for Exceptional Student Education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida International University.

John “J.B.” Seiner - Seiner, of Saint Augustine, is an Account Manager at Wheeler’s Medical Supply. He sustained a spinal cord injury in 2006 and has been a vocational rehabilitation volunteer and advocate since. Seiner earned his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Florida.

These appointments are NOT subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Five Appointed to the Boating Advisory Council

Larry DeHays - DeHays, of Fort Myers Beach, is a Boat Captain for Adventures in Paradise and Shell Point Retirement. He is a veteran of the United State Navy and a current member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. DeHays earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.

John Stephens - Stephens, of Destin, is the Owner of Luther’s Pontoon, WaveRunner, and Kayak Rentals. He is a member of the Okaloosa County Watersports Operators Coalition, Okaloosa County Waterway Rental Safety Committee, and serves on multiple committees for the City of Destin. Stephens earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of West Florida.

James Suber - Suber, of Jacksonville, is the President of Suber Marine Services Inc. He is a current member of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Jacksonville Commodors League, and a board member for the Safe Harbor Maritime Academy. Suber was named Jacksonville’s Sail and Power Squadron Member of the Year in 2021. He earned his associate degree from Florida State College of Jacksonville.

Christopher Wagoner - Wagoner, of Gainesville, is a retired Police Academy Commander for Santa Fe College. He is a veteran of the United States Army. Wagoner earned an associate degree in criminal justice technology from Santa Fe College.

James Zurbrick - Zurbrick, of Steinhatchee, is the Owner and Operator of Jolly Rogers II Fisheries LLC and Tides Up Fisheries LLC. He is currently the Director of Southeastern Fisheries Association and a member of the Gulf of Mexico Shareholders Alliance, Seafood Harvesters of America, and Steinhatchee River Chamber of Commerce. Zurbrick earned his associate degree from St. Petersburg College.

These appointments are NOT subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Two Appointed to the Florida Virtual School Board of Trustees

Raphael “Tony” Arza, PhD - Arza, of Miami, is an Educational Consultant for Mountain Moving Strategies. He is currently appointed to the Charter School Appeal Commission under the Florida Department of Education. Arza earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and both his master’s degree and his doctorate in theological studies from John Paul II Institute.

Kelly Garcia - Garcia, of Tampa, is the Committee Chair and Board Member for Frameworks of Tampa Bay. She is a career educator and a member of Teneo Network. Garcia earned her bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America and her master’s degree from the University of Florida.

These appointments are NOT subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

One Appointed to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council 

Bruce Grant, PhD - Grant, of Tallahassee, is a retired Colonel from the United States Army. He previously worked for Enterprise Florida, Inc. and the Executive Office of the Governor. He is a current member of the West Point Society of Tallahassee, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the American Society of Public Administration, and the United States Tennis Association. Grant earned his bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy of West Point, his master’s degree from the University of Puget Sound, and a doctorate degree from Florida State University.

This appointment is NOT subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.