[ST. PETERSBURG, FLA., March 25, 2013] – Fix the Debt, a headline-making debt-reduction group that describes itself as a nonpartisan movement whose mission is “to put the country on a better fiscal and economic path,” will bring their message, “Fix the Debt: Why It Matters,” to Eckerd College on Tuesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. in Fox Hall.
Rob Lorei, a veteran news director for WMNF 88.5 FM community radio and host of the WEDU-TV (PBS) public affairs program, “Florida This Week,” will moderate a panel discussion of members from the Fix the Debt statewide and national campaigns. Participants include: Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition; James “Jim” Davis, former U.S. Representative (D-Fla.) and Partner at Holland & Knight; Paul B. Hernández, Councilman for the City of Hialeah, Fla.; and Paul Stebbins, Executive Chairman and CEO of World Fuel Services.
This program is free and open to the public and is part of Eckerd’s 2012-13 Presidential Events Series, Cultivating Service: People, Politics, Planet. On-campus co-sponsors are the Eckerd College Pi Sigma Alpha chapter, Eckerd College Republicans and Eckerd College Young Democrats. Eckerd is located at 4200 54th Avenue South in St. Petersburg. For more information, call 727-864-7979, email email@example.com, or visit Eckerd’s public events calendar at http://www.eckerd.edu/events.
Robert L. Bixby is executive director of The Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Senators Warren Rudman (R-NH) and the late Paul Tsongas (D-MA), the Concord Coalition is now co-chaired by former Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE). In his role, Mr. Bixby represents Concord’s views on budget and entitlement reform policy at congressional hearings and in the national media. Prior to his work with the Concord Coalition, Mr. Bixby practiced law and served as the Chief Staff Attorney of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.
Jim Davis, a member of Holland & Knight’s Public Policy & Regulation Group, draws upon his extensive experience in the public sector to provide strategic legal, legislative and regulatory counsel to clients in Florida, the District of Columbia and across the country. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2007, he represented the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and portions of the cities of St. Petersburg and Bradenton, Florida. While in Congress, Mr. Davis served on the Energy and Commerce, International Relations and Budget committees, and was elected by his peers to be the president of the Democratic Freshman Class in 1997. He was a leader of the U.S. House New Democratic Coalition, a group of centrist democrats, and served as their national co-chair. Before entering Congress, Mr. Davis was in private practice in Tampa as a commercial litigator and served as a state representative in the Florida House of Representatives from 1988 to 1996, serving as the majority leader in 1995 and 1996. In 2006, Mr. Davis was the democratic nominee for governor of Florida.
A native of Hialeah, Florida, Hialeah Councilman Paul B. Hernandez came from modest roots—his mother worked as a receptionist and his father served as a police officer. He graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree with a concentration in Political Science from Miami-Dade College and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida International University. Prior to running for elected office, Paul Hernandez worked as an aide to two Miami-Dade County Commissioners. His foray into public office began when he was appointed by Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina as a Commissioner to the Hialeah Housing Authority. He was then chosen by Mayor Carlos Hernandez and the City Council to fill a Council vacancy. During his service, Councilman Hernandez has taken strong positions in crucial legislative matters such as the Elderly Relief Act and the elimination of the red light cameras.
Paul Stebbins is executive chairman of the board of World Fuel Services Corporation. Since his appointment in 2002, the company has been consistently recognized as a high performing company on multiple lists compiled by Forbes and Barron’s. Prior to being named chairman, Mr. Stebbins served as president and chief operating officer from 2000-2002 and executive vice president of the company and president of the marine segment from 1995-2000. Before joining World Fuel, Stebbins and his partner, Michael Kasbar, co-founded Trans-Tec Services, Inc., a global marine fuel services company acquired by World Fuel in 1995. Stebbins holds a Bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University.
Rob Lorei is the Managing Editor of Florida This Week on WEDU-TV (PBS) and a co-founder of WMNF Radio. He got his start in radio as a news reporter at Antioch College’s NPR station, WYSO. Since moving to Florida in 1978, he has been a panelist on political talk shows on WTOG-TV and WEDU. He took the moderator’s seat of WEDU’s Tampa Bay Week in 2001 and has piloted the program through its 2005 update to Florida This Week. Rob has covered West Central Florida politics for more than 20 years and moderated numerous televised political debates including the 2002 Attorney General’s race, the 2003 Tampa Mayoral race, the 2004 U.S. Senate primaries, and the 2006 Gubernatorial Primaries. Among the hundreds of guests that Rob has interviewed are Ralph Nader, Ferdie Pacheco, Sen. Mel Martinez, Janet Reno, Daryl Jones, Al Franken, E.J. Dionne, John Dean, Tampa Mayors Dick Greco and Pam Iorio, Gov. Charlie Crist, Bill Moyers, and former President Jimmy Carter.
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