November 25, 2022

Press Release

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. Appoints Six to the Florida Education Foundation's Board of Directors

| 9/19/2022

Tallahassee, Fla., – The Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. announced the appointment of Rebecca Matthews as the new chair of the Florida Education Foundation’s Board of Directors, as well as the appointments of new board members Carlos O. Alvarez, Marcus D. Chambers, Steve Crisafulli, Melissa Anne Matz, Scott Ross and Andrea Tovar. The Florida Education Foundation is the direct support organization for the Florida Department of Education and is led by a private sector board whose members share the purpose of ensuring that every Florida student has access to the highest quality educational experiences necessary for success.

“I am proud to appoint new board members who are bringing years of experience and immense value to the Foundation,” said Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Additionally, I have the upmost confidence in Chair Matthews to make an immediate, positive impact on furthering the Foundation’s mission.”

Rebecca Matthews

Rebecca Matthews is the Vice President of Automated Health Systems (AHS), representing AHS before policy makers, government and regulatory bodies and is a subject matter expert for strategic business initiatives, procurement development, and more. Previously, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation as well as serving as the Chief of Staff for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Carlos O. Alvarez

Carlos O. Alvarez has served as the Principal at City of Hialeah Educational Academy (COHEA) since 2008. He is also the Board Chair/President of Pinecrest Academy, Inc. Schools that is a high performing network made up of nineteen schools. He has been an educator for more than 25 years.

Marcus D. Chambers

Marcus D. Chambers, Superintendent, Okaloosa County Schools, has passionately served students, parents, his community, and fellow public educators for more than 24 years. Before assuming the role of Superintendent in 2020, Mr. Chambers served in multiple school-based leadership positions in Okaloosa County, including Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

Steve Crisafulli

Steve Crisafulli is a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and is the President of Crisafulli Consulting. He also serves as Senior Vice-President of his family’s century-old agribusiness, Crisafulli Enterprises, Inc. with cattle, citrus, real estate, and development interests.

Melissa Anne Matz

Melissa Anne Matz is an 18-year educator and most recently served as a seventh grade mathematics teacher at Lakeside Junior High School in Clay County. She was selected as the 2023 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year from among nearly 185,000 Florida public school teachers. During the 2022-23 school year, Ms. Matz will serve as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, elevating and celebrating the teaching profession by promoting the contributions of Florida educators. 

Scott Ross

Scott Ross serves as the managing partner for Capital City Consulting where he uses his legal and government expertise to advise and lobby for various regulated entities in the legislative and executive branches. Prior to this role, Mr. Ross served as the chief regulator for gaming, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, hotels and restaurants, condominiums, timeshares, and mobile homes at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

Andrea Tovar

Andrea Tovar, partner and senior consultant of government affairs at Corcoran Partners, has more than 17 years of marketing, communications and development experience. Before joining Corcoran Partners, she oversaw the marketing, communications, special events and business development efforts for the two largest revenue-generating operations at an iconic Miami Beach resort. 

As a valued partner in public education, the Florida Education Foundation invests in high achievement for every student to contribute to Florida’s globally competitive workforce.

Chair Matthews will also lead a new Executive Committee for 2022-23, which includes John Merlino as vice chair, Ron Brisé as treasurer, and Andrea Tovar as secretary.

For more information about the Florida Education Foundation Board, visit https://www.floridaeducationfoundation.org/team.

For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.

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