JTA CEO Nat Ford Named White House Champion of Change
One of Jacksonville’s own is being recognized by the White House for contributions to transportation. Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) CEO Nat Ford has been named a White House Transportation Champion of Change. The distinction is awarded to individuals who “do extraordinary things to make a difference” in their communities.
Mr. Ford, along with ten other individuals from around the nation, was selected by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the White House. The theme of this year’s program is Beyond Traffic: Innovators in Transportation for the Future. Mr. Ford was awarded in part for implementing a new Route Optimization Initiative, which has increased ridership and decreased travel times.
“Public transportation is essential to the quality of life,” Ford said. “I am honored and grateful to be recognized as a White House Champion of Change for the implementation of ROI. This award belongs to the entire JTA team of professionals that I have the honor of working with. I want to thank the JTA Board of Directors, our staff and our customers.”
The Champions of Change program was created for the White House to spotlight individuals with extraordinary achievements to empower their communities.
“Nat Ford has been a change agent at JTA,” said TFG President Marty Fiorentino. “The remarkable turnaround there is a testament to his leadership and vision.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released a video of Ford and the other champions at a ceremony at the White House. You can watch that video below.
Linzee Ott Joins TFG
TFG has hired Linzee Ott to serve as Government Relations Consultant. Linzee will be lobbying and supporting day-to-day operations in the firm’s Tallahassee office.
“Linzee is a great addition to our growing team,” said TFG President Marty Fiorentino. “Her legislative affairs network creates value for our firm and clients. We’re excited to kick-off the upcoming session with Linzee on board.”
Prior to joining TFG, Linzee served in the Legislative Affairs Office for Governor Rick Scott, where she acted as a liaison between the Governor, his executive agencies and Florida legislators, as well as monitored legislation and aided in advising the Governor’s staff on legislative matters.
Linzee has also held posts at the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Legislative Affairs and as an intern in the U.S. Department of State’s European Office of International Information Programs. She graduated magna cum laude from Florida State University with a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs.
2016 Florida Legislative Session to Start Early
Florida’s upcoming legislative session will kick off on January 12, 2016. That’s right – the 60-day session will begin two months early in the coming year. Lawmakers are set to test the different session date this year and may go to a January start date every other year.
House and Senate members have convened periodically in Tallahassee for interim legislative committee meetings since September. This interim period allows lawmakers to begin researching, discussing and debating the critical policy and appropriations issues that will become top priorities for the session.
Members will address a number of key issues in the upcoming session, including the ongoing, controversial topic of state health care funding, gaming, and proposals to overhaul some of the state’s K-12 education programs and implement new and increased tax cuts statewide.
The 2016 session will follow a series of special legislative sessions held this year to pass a current state budget and redraw Florida’s Congressional and state Senate district boundaries. The redistricting fight has been ongoing in Florida since 2012, and is currently still being addressed at the court level.
JMI is a Florida-based research and educational organization. The JMI Leaders Fellowship is a yearlong program designed to encourage and promote the growth, development, knowledge and networks of under-40 professionals living and working in Florida. The program operates in six state regions including Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Palm Beach and Miami.
TFG Principal Mark Pinto was named to the executive committee and as Jacksonville’s regional leader.
“It’s an honor to be a JMI Fellow for the inaugural class,” Pinto said.
Melissa Langley, TFG’s Development and Political Coordinator, was also named a member of the fellowship.
“As a young professional, it’s an honor to be part of the James Madison Institute,” Langley said.
Congrats, Mark and Melissa!
Congrats to New Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on a Great Win!
We wanted to congratulate Mayor Curry on a job well done this year since his election in May!
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