TALLAHASSEE, FL (March 5, 2020) – Pinellas County Commissioner Janet C. Long and Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) Executive Director Sean Sullivan have been appointed to the state’s new Florida Advisory Council on Climate & Energy, which will play a key role in helping prepare Florida for the future.
“Florida faces the nation’s greatest risk of extreme heat and flooding, increasingly frequent and devastating hurricanes, and destabilizing weather reshaping our lands, waters, farms, and cities,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried, who appointed Long, Sullivan and 24 other Floridians from various backgrounds and disciplines.
“I’m proud to convene this diverse group of experts that will explore innovative solutions to one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” Fried added. “From academic institutions to consumer advocates and environmental organizations to utilities, everyone has a seat at our table, and a stake in the fight against the climate crisis.”
Long, Sullivan and the other Council members will discuss and offer advice on issues such as energy conservation, renewable energy, climate change, sea level rise, alternative vehicle technology, and the state’s Florida Energy and Climate Plan.
In addition to driving resiliency efforts through her role as a Pinellas County Commissioner, Long is chairing the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, which was formed by the TBRPC and is comprised of a group of west-central Florida municipalities that come together to discuss complex regional issues, develop strategic regional responses for resolving them, and build consensus for setting and accomplishing regional goals.
“Being chosen to work alongside other leaders from around the state on resiliency issues is a tremendous honor, and a testament to the hard work we have put into this area in the Tampa Bay region,” Long said. “Now, it’s critical that the different areas across the state come together to share information and best practices, as well as work to facilitate solutions that make all of our communities more resilient moving forward.”
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Sullivan became Executive Director of the organization in 2016. Since then, the group has taken a leadership role in addressing sea level rise and extreme weather in the Tampa Bay area, including coordination of the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition’s activities.
“I believe the FACCE will play a key role in understanding and implementing new ideas for protecting our state in the face of sea level rise and extreme weather,” Sullivan said. “In the Tampa Bay region, we are already learning from other areas of the state, like South Florida, and the work of this Council should help enhance these relationships.”
Other members of the FACCE include:
• Florida Energy Systems Consortium: Dr. David Norton, Director of Florida Energy Systems Consortium and Vice President of Research, University of Florida.
• Community Colleges: Dr. Amy Albee-Levine, Dean of Workplace Development, Lake Sumter Community College.
• Florida City or County: Megan Houston, Director, Palm Beach County Office of Resilience.
• Clean Cities Coalition: Doug Kettles, Director, Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition.
• Workforce Development: Luis Nieves-Ruiz, Economic Development Manager, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.
• Consumer Advocate: Frank Stewart, Manager, FLFM Stewart & Company.
• Business / Economic Development: Steve Chriss, Director of Energy Services, Walmart.
• Rural: Matt Surrency, Mayor, City of Hawthorne.
• Agriculture: Andrew Sauber, Director of Corporate Sustainability, Florida Crystals.
• Environmental Community:
o Emily Gorman, Sierra Club Organizing Representative and Miami Climate Alliance Steering Committee Chair.
o Temperince Morgan, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida.
o Susannah Randolph, Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign.
• Investor-Owned Utility: Mark Bubriski, Director of State Regulatory Relations, NextEra Energy.
• Municipal Utility: Luz Aviles, Vice President of Customer Service, Orlando Utilities Commission.
• Co-operative Utility: Tony Guillen, Director of Engineering & Operations, Talquin Electric.
• Water Management: Keith Rizzaedi, Special Counsel, St. Thomas University School of Law.
• Youth Climate: Morgan Higman, Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University.
• Green Building:
o Dr. Jennifer Languell, President, Trifecta Construction Solutions.
o Jeremy Susac, Vice President of Government Affairs, Lennar.
• Regional Planning Councils: Patricia “Pat” Steed, Executive Director, Central Florida Regional Planning Council.
• Natural Gas: William Blake, Director Alternative Fuels, Tampa Electric Company.
• Renewable Natural Gas: Anddrikk Frazer, President & CEO, Integral Energy.
• Energy Affordability: Berdell Knowles, Task Force Leader, American Association of Blacks in Energy, Florida Chapter.
• Renewable Energy: Jennifer Szaro, Vice President, Smart Electric Power Alliance.
About the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council: The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council works with 27 west-central Florida municipalities to assist the municipalities as they make long-range plans related to the future of the Tampa Bay region.
The Council focuses on resiliency, planning for climate change and sea level rise, environmental management, water quality, emergency preparedness planning, protection of the Tampa Bay estuary, economic analysis, coastal zone management, housing and infrastructure analysis, hurricane evacuation and recovery planning, comprehensive plan reviews, dispute resolution, and transportation analysis.
727-895-5030, ext. 101 (work)