Movers & Shakers: New state prison chief, education commissioner
Florida politics is seeing a lot of moving and shaking as 2012 comes to a close.
Crews picked as state prison chief
Gov. Rick Scott is expected to announce today the selection of state prison chief Mike Crews, the Herald/Times reported Sunday.
Crews is currently the deputy secretary, the Department of Corrections No. 2 spot. Crews will replace Ken Tucker, whose retirement will become official Dec. 28.
Tony Bennett named education commissioner
The Florida State Board of Education selected Tony Bennett as the next commissioner of education.
Superintendent of Indiana’s public schools since 2009, Bennett was instrumental in increasing the state’s graduation rate beyond 85 percent and implementing programs to monitor student progress, a news release states.
"I am honored and excited by the opportunity here, I look forward to getting out, visiting schools, and meeting with and listening to students, parents, teachers, and leaders in districts across the state as we work together to ensure that every student in Florida has the kind of world-class education that allows them to flourish,” Bennett said in a news release.
Bennett will replace interim commissioner Pam Stewart, who has served in that role three months.
“We are excited that the State Board of Education chose Tony Bennett as Florida’s new Commissioner of Education, Scott said in a media release. “Tony has a great record of achievement in Indiana and I am confident he will be a tireless advocate for Florida’s students.”
Amy Graham takes job for U.S. Rep.-elect Ron DeSantis
Amy Graham, a former Scott spokeswoman who joined Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, is the new communications director for U.S. Rep.-elect Ron DeSantis, who will represent St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties.
Before her work with Scott, Graham worked with the Department of Environmental Protection where she helped handle communications during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
U.S. Rep.-Elect Lois Frankel hires chief of staff
U.S. Rep.-Elect Lois Frankel has hired Jonathon Bray, her campaign manager, as chief of staff. She has also hired Sarah Rothschild as communications director. Rothschild is a former Miami Herald reporter.
Ellen Anderson moves from Senate to the FHA
Ellen Anderson, who was chief of staff for former Minority Leader Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, is the new director of state advocacy for the Florida Hospital Association, the News Service of Florida reported.
Chamber of Commerce taps Joe Culotta
Joe Culotta is the new corporate relations and marketing manager at the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, Culotta worked as the voter outreach manager at the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office.
He previously worked with the Republican Party of Florida, the College Republican National Committee, and Web Resource Management.
Department of Transportation hires senior policy advisor
Doug Callaway has been hired as the senior policy advisor at the state Department of Transportation. Callaway, a former head of Floridians for Better Transportation, left in 2011 to run the Georgia Transportation Alliance.
Callaway also worked for the Florida Department of Transportation as a congressional staffer, as well as working for an engineering firm.
Citizens hires new vice president of capital management
Charles D. Johnson was ratified as vice president of human capital management by the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Board of Governors.
Johnson comes to Citizens from American Express, Inc., where he led human resources support for about 15,500 employees in the United States and 15 other countries, according to a media release.
He also worked in human relations with Office Depot, Nationwide Credit and AT&T Wireless Services.
Johnson will report to Barry Gilway, Citizens' president and executive director.
“Charles’ first priority will be to focus on policies and procedures to help Citizens address areas of weakness and to identify ways to create a more productive and well-balanced environment for all employees,” Gilway said. “This will include an in-depth look at what needs to be done to strengthen and implement consistent, uniform disciplinary and severance procedures.”
Alan Shelby goes to Florida Forestry Association
The Florida Forestry Association has appointed Alan Shelby as its executive vice president.
Shelby joined FFA in 2001 as its government relations director and assistant secretary treasurer. In his new role, Shelby will continue his responsibilities in the governmental arena and will also lead all other aspects of the association's continuing efforts in serving the forestry industry.
FFA protects the state's wildlife, plants, soil and water quality.
Tom Lee takes helm at Hillsborough GOP
Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, was elected by a large margin as the new chairman of the Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee. Lee, a former Senate president recently elected for his second run in the Legislature, replaces Art Wood.
Ben Wolf moves to DMS
Spokesman Ben Wolf has moved from the Department of Economic Opportunity to the Department of Management Services.
Prior to both jobs, he was a communications officer under former House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park.
“So far it’s been great and the staff here at DMS has been welcoming, and I'm impressed with all their knowledge in the division areas and what they bring to the table,” said Wolf, who started about a week ago. “Each and every day I'm trying to learn more about each of our aid divisions and the vast majority of services we provide for the people of Florida.”
Movers & Shakers is a weekly blog of political personnel changes. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org via twitter at britt_alana.