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Week of November 22


Fifth Third Bank, Tampa

Fifth Third Bank has appointed Scott Besece to vice president and healthcare relationship manager. He will assist healthcare clients structure financing, efficiently manage capital and navigate variable market conditions in the Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville markets. He has more than 25 years of banking experience, including 20 years of focus on the healthcare industry.

Fifth Third Bank, Orlando

Fifth Third Bank has appointed Frank Cover to senior vice president and middle market relationship manager. In this role, Frank will be responsible for assisting middle market clients in Central Florida structure financing, efficiently manage capital and navigate variable market conditions. Frank has more than 25 years of experience in middle market banking.

Energy / Utilities

Mitsubishi Power, Lake Mary

Mitsubishi Power has appointed William A. “Bill” Newsom, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc. A 28-year power sector veteran, Newsom has served in leadership roles at Mitsubishi Power for almost 18 years. Newsom will focus on the company’s continued market leadership in new sales and servicing of power generation and energy storage solutions.

Consumer Products

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, Tampa

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (“Coke Florida”), announces the promotion of Leroy Yancey, Jr. to Vice President, Manufacturing. In this newly created role, Leroy will oversee Coke Florida’s significant manufacturing operation across its exclusive Florida territory that includes facilities in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.

Week of November 15


Geographic Solutions, Miami

Geographic Solutions, the nation's leading provider of software solutions for workforce development, unemployment insurance, career exploration, and labor market information, is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Mauritz Plenby as a Business Development and Partnership Executive focusing on the company's international sales.

Transportation / Logistics / Distribution

Center for Urban Transportation Research , Tampa

Sylvan (Sonny) Holtzman is the 2021 inductee of the Florida Transportation Hall of Fame in honor of more than 60 years of dedication to transportation as a lawyer and public servant. As founding chairman of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, he served six consecutive terms. Committee appointments include at the U.S. Department of Transportation and TEAMFL.

Health Care / Medicine / Medical Services

Vita Recovery , Miami

Dr. Antonello Bonci has been appointed as the Executive Chairman of Vita Recovery, a drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility, which opened its first Miami offices in 2021. Prior to this role, Dr. Bonci served as Scientific Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He's also the Founder/Executive Chairman of the treatment center GIA Miami.

Palm Medical Centers, Coral Gables

Palm Medical Centers (“PMC”), an MBF Healthcare Partners II, L.P. (“MBF”) portfolio company, is pleased to announce the hiring of Patricio Casillas as Chief Operating Officer. The seasoned healthcare executive joins a strong leadership team focused on driving growth and expansion of PMC’s 19 value-based primary care medical centers throughout Florida.

Week of November 8


U.S. Sugar, Clewiston

U.S. Sugar recently announced Derek Pridgen has been promoted to Vice President, Agricultural Operations. In this role, Pridgen will manage all aspects of sugarcane operations. Pridgen, a Clewiston native, has served as U.S. Sugar's General Manager, Farm Operations since 2019. He holds a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from University of Central Florida.

U.S. Sugar, Clewiston

U.S. Sugar recently announced that Ken McDuffie has been promoted to Executive Vice President. In his new role, McDuffie will assist the President in all strategic and political matters as well as have oversight of U.S. Sugar's agricultural operations. McDuffie will continue to directly oversee citrus agriculture and research, railroad operations, Rouge River Farms (locally-grown vegetables) and industry and grower relations. McDuffie, a Clewiston native, most recently served as U.S. Sugar's Senior Vice President of Agricultural Operations, a position he has held since 2005. McDuffie first joined U.S. Sugar in 1992 and has held several positions with the company. He holds a bachelor's in economics from Florida State University.


Shutts & Bowen LLP , Orlando

Shutts & Bowen LLP is pleased to announce the expansion of its Business Litigation Practice Group with the addition of attorney B. Travis Brown in the Orlando office. Also a member of the firm's Hospitality Practice Group, Travis previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee.

Professional Services

Disaster Strategies and Ideas Group LLC - DSI , Tallahassee

Disaster, Strategies, and Ideas Group, LLC - DSI is a highly credentialed emergency management and homeland security services consulting firm that would like to congratulate Marcia Warfel, a senior government consultant with the firm, for her recent accomplishment of graduating from Leadership Tallahassee Class 38, her service as President of Club 25 - "Women to Know" & being a Finalist for the "Women Who Mean Business" Service Award from Tallahassee Woman Magazine.

Energy / Utilities

Duke Energy, New Port Richey

Danielle Ruiz is now Director, Industry Recruitment. She is responsible for managing lead generation, project management and local, regional and state economic development engagement with her team which will be dispersed throughout the Duke Energy service territory. Together they assist in attracting new jobs and capital investment to Duke served communities.

Week of November 1

Professional Services

Shumaker Advisors Florida, LLC

Shumaker Advisors Florida and Suskey Consulting announced a merger that will result in one of the most influential public affairs firms in Florida. Alan J. Suskey serves as Managing Principal State Affairs under Shumaker Advisors and will lead its Tallahassee practice. Joining Alan is Lobbyist RJ Myers.

Alan is an eighth-generation Floridian and has built an advocacy career representing world-renowned research institutes, technology companies, small businesses, and clients in numerous localities. RJ has been developing relationships in the legislative process for more than 13 years and has experience in the areas of transportation, energy, technology, mental health, criminal justice, and health care.


ConnectOne Bank, West Palm Beach

ConnectOne Bank, a leading commercial bank in the NY/NJ region is expanding its reach with a banking team in West Palm Beach Florida. This is a natural progression for ConnectOne to further support NY Metro-based clients who already have a presence in this market. Plans are to open a permanent banking office in the early part of 2022. Jack Buell will lead the Market Team as Managing Director/Director of Commercial Lending-Florida Market for ConnectOne Bank. Danielle Webel has also joined ConnectOne Bank as SVP/Commercial Loan Officer Florida Market. Jack and Danielle will support ConnectOne's growing client base in South Florida, while continuing to build the team to provide commercial real estate, C&I, deposit and cash management products.

Climate First Bank, Orlando

Climate First Bank welcomes Lex Ford to the team as President. Based in Orlando, he will helm commercial loan operations, expand the bank's presence in Central Florida and grow connections across the state. "I'm excited to join the talented team at Climate First Bank and work closely with CEO Ken LaRoe again," said Ford.

Climate First Bank, Orlando

Climate First Bank welcomes Jeff Cowherd as Executive Vice President/Senior Loan Officer. Based in Central Florida, Cowherd has over 40 years of experience in banking and will develop banking relationships with businesses and consumers. "I jumped at the chance to work with CEO Ken LaRoe again," he said.


Government Law Group, Fort Lauderdale

Attorney Payton H. Poliakoff has joined Government Law Group as an Associate. Government Law Group is a boutique firm that provides clients with a comprehensive 360-degree approach for government and litigation solutions. Mr. Poliakoff will focus his practice on complex commercial litigation and government contracting.

Government Law Group, Fort Lauderdale

Attorney and City of Parkland Commissioner Jordan B. Isrow has joined Government Law Group as a Partner. Government Law Group is a boutique firm that provides clients with a comprehensive approach for government, litigation, and business solutions. Mr. Isrow will focus his practice on complex litigation, corporate counseling and representation of municipalities.

Shutts & Bowen, West Palm Beach

Patricia A. Leonard, a partner in Shutts & Bowen's West Palm Beach office, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Armory Art Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire the creation and experience of art. Leonard, a member of the firm's Business Litigation Practice Group, has a diverse business and commercial litigation practice.

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