Inaugural Events

Inaugural Event: Bold Vision for a Brighter Future: Thought Leaders Luncheon

Date: Monday, January 7, 2019

Time: Doors open at 11 a.m. EST and program begins at 12 p.m. EST

Location: The University Center Club B, 403 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32306 (event ticket required for entry; open to credentialed media).

Broadcast: Live on the Florida Channel; check https://thefloridachannel.org/ for details.

Description: Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has a bold vision for the future of our state and a plan to build on Florida’s success. The Thought Leaders Luncheon will feature Florida’s top leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss how we can work together to secure Florida’s future. During the event, Governor-elect DeSantis will share the DeSantis-Nuñez administration’s Bold Vision for a Brighter Future.


Inaugural Event: Working Together in Faith: Inaugural Prayer Breakfast

Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Time: Doors open at 6:45 a.m. EST and program begins at 8 a.m. EST

Location: Florida A & M University, 1601 S Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32307 (event ticket required for entry; open to credentialed media).

Broadcast: Live on the Florida Channel; check https://thefloridachannel.org/ for details.

Description: Florida’s faith leaders play a critical role in working with government to better serve our communities. This event continues the time-honored tradition of an inclusive Inaugural Prayer Breakfast celebrating our state and its diversity ahead of the official Swearing-In Ceremony. Individuals of all faiths are welcome to attend this event and pray for Floridians across the state.


Inaugural Event: Swearing-in Ceremony of Florida’s 46th Governor

Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Time: Seating begins at 9 a.m. EST and program begins at 11 a.m. EST

Location: Historic Capitol Building, 400 S Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399

(open/ticketed; open to credentialed media).

Broadcast: Live on the Florida Channel; check https://thefloridachannel.org/ for details.

Description: The Swearing-In Ceremony on the steps of Florida’s Historic Capitol Building symbolizes the uniquely American tradition of a peaceful transition of power as our state welcomes its newly elected officials. The 2019 Inaugural Committee looks forward to the historic Swearing-In Ceremony of Governor-elect Ron DeSantis and Lieutenant Governor-elect Jeanette Nuñez, as well as members of the Florida Cabinet.


Inaugural Event: Bold Vision for a Brighter Future: Legislative Luncheon

Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Time: Doors open at 12:30 p.m. EST and program begins at 1 p.m. EST

Location: Capitol Building, 4th Floor, 400 S Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399 (event ticket required for entry; open to credentialed media).

Broadcast: Live on the Florida Channel; check https://thefloridachannel.org/ for details.

Description: For the first time in Inaugural history, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis will address Florida’s Legislative leaders and Cabinet officials on the 4th Floor in the Capitol Rotunda between the Chambers of the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives. Governor-elect DeSantis will discuss his plans to work with our state’s elected leaders to achieve a Bold Vision for a Brighter Future so we can continue to build on our success and address the challenges that lie ahead.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Recommends Dana Young as CEO of Visit Florida

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today recommended former Florida State Senator Dana Young to the Visit Florida Board of Directors to be selected as the next CEO of Visit Florida. 

“Dana Young is an exceptional leader who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for all Floridians through her work in the state senate,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. “Her leadership ability and experience make her an excellent candidate to lead Visit Florida in their mission to maximize the economic impact of travel and tourism to our state. I look forward to working with Dana to strengthen our tourism industry and build on the economic success of our great state.”

Dana Young, CEO of the Visit Florida
Dana Young, a sixth-generation Floridian, was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. In November 2010, she was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and served District 60 until November 2016. In November 2016, she was elected to the Florida Senate (Tampa – 18th District). Senator Young is a product of the Florida public school system, and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Florida State University. In pursuit of her interest of the law and public policy, Senator Young graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1993, and then returned home to Florida to begin her legal career at Fowler, White, Boggs, P.A.

In October 2014, then Representative Young was tapped by Florida House Speaker Crisafulli as Majority Leader to serve for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. This follows two years serving as Majority Whip and Deputy Majority Leader under Speaker Will Weatherford. In April 2013, she was appointed by Governor Scott to the Florida Defense Support Task Force. From 2011-2012 she served as Chairman of the influential Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation.

Sen. Young has worked tirelessly to pass legislation aimed at creating an exceptional business climate and a world-class quality of life for Floridians. In her legislative career, she has sponsored and passed numerous bills, which are now law. She and her husband, Matt, have been married for over 20 years and have two daughters, Alexandra and Carson.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Selects Mary Mayhew as Secretary of The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced former Maine Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Mary Mayhew, will serve as Secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration.  

“With decades of experience and service throughout various leadership roles in both the private and public sectors, Mary Mayhew is a proven innovator and an effective leader in the field of health care,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. “Mary will be an outstanding Secretary who will bring bold and tested leadership to the Agency.”

Mary Mayhew, Secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
Mary Mayhew currently serves as Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, where she is responsible for the management of the $375 billion federal Medicaid program serving over 74 million individuals. In that role, she has lead national Medicaid and CHIP policy and program operations and supporting federal efforts to provide states with greater flexibility while increasing accountability for improved health outcomes, effective pathways out of poverty and prudent use of taxpayer resources.

Mayhew previously served as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) where she implemented innovative reforms to the agency, including transforming Medicaid’s transactional focus to an organizational structure focused on value, cost-effectiveness, and health system improvement, increasing focus on program integrity and fraud investigations and implementing a federal grant review process to strategically prioritize grant requests and to evaluate program accountability, among other accomplishments.

While serving in this role, Mayhew was awarded the Freedom & Opportunity Award from the Maine Heritage Policy Center, and the Economic Freedom Award from Americans for Prosperity for her accomplishments as Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Announces Central Hires To The Executive Office of the Governor’s Communications Team

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced two central communications staff members who will be joining the Executive Office of the Governor (EOG). Hires include Meredith Beatrice as Deputy Communications Director and Dave Vasquez as Press Secretary. Beatrice and Vasquez will join the communications office in the EOG led by Director of Communications Helen Aguirre Ferré. “Having worked with Meredith and Dave during the campaign, as well as the transition and inaugural, I know firsthand the talent these seasoned communications professionals will bring to the EOG,” said Governor-elect DeSantis. “I’m proud of their commitment and dedication to our state and look forward to their service to this administration and to the people of Florida.” 

Meredith Beatrice, Deputy Communications Director
Beatrice is a veteran of political and government communications. She most recently served as Communications Director for the Republican Party of Florida, where she focused on Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial race and supported the Ron DeSantis for Governor campaign. Her previous roles include serving as the Director of External Affairs for the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission and the Communications Director for the Florida Department of State. Prior to moving to Florida, Meredith served as a Director at JDA Frontline, a public affairs firm located in Washington, D.C. 

Dave Vasquez, Press Secretary
Vasquez is a political and communications professional who most recently served as Press Secretary throughout Governor-elect DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign and Transition. Prior to joining the DeSantis campaign, Vasquez served as an Associate Director and External Affairs Manager for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. A former campaign manager for Representative Bob Cortes, Vasquez successfully led communications and operational efforts during the 2016 election cycle. He is a graduate of Florida State University where he earned a B.S. in International Affairs.

Beatrice and Vasquez will begin their work together on January 9, 2019, immediately after Governor DeSantis and Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez take their oaths of office.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Selects Mark Inch as Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced former Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and retired United States Army Major General, Mark Inch, will serve as Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections for the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration.  “Mark Inch is an exceptional leader who has dedicated his life to serving and protecting our country at home and abroad,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. 

“Mark is one of the foremost experts on criminal justice, having Directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons and I am proud to have him bring his knowledge and expertise to this new administration. I look forward to working with him to strengthen Florida’s Department of Corrections and ensure efficiency and accountability at such an important agency.

Mark Inch, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections
Mark Inch was appointed Director of the Federal Bureau Of Prisons and served in that role with distinction until 2018. Inch served as the Provost Marshal General and Commanding General of the Criminal Investigation Command and Army Corrections at Headquarters for the Department of the Army where he served at home and abroad for 36 years.

Inch was the principal military advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army on all policing matters. He was also responsible for developing and executing strategy, policies, plans and programs for the Army’s policing organizations. He held the role of Commanding General of the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 in Kabul, Afghanistan where he was responsible for Detainee Operations and Rule of Law Development within the Army’s Security Sector.

In 1982, Inch received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Archaeology from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. In 2002, he received a Master of Arts Degree in Geography, from The University of Texas at Austin. Inch received a Master of Military Art and Science Degree from The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 2005.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Selects Chad Poppell as Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced former Secretary of the Department of Management Services, Chad Poppell, will serve as Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families for the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration. An experienced public servant, Poppell will lead the agency beginning in January, as the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration takes office.

“Chad Poppell is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of achievement within the public sector,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. “From his service at the Department of Economic Opportunity to his leadership at the Department of Management Services, Chad is the kind of leader who will be committed to strengthening Florida’s families and fighting for Florida’s children.

Chad Poppell, Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families
Chad Poppell currently works as the IBM Industry client Leader for Florida’s Public Sector, which includes state and local government, as well as K-12 and higher education. Before this role, Poppell served as the Secretary of the Department of Management Services. There he worked to support state agencies as well as current and former state employees with workforce and business-related functions.

Previously, Poppell served as Chief of Staff to the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state agency charged with advancing economic development, growth management, community development and workforce development activity across Florida.

In 2011, Poppell was employed as the Director of Employee Services by JEA in Jacksonville, Florida. Before his time in this role, Poppell served as the Chief of Human Resources for the City of Jacksonville.

Poppell earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, and his Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Announces Key Hires to the Executive Office of the Governor

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis announced key additions to the Executive Office of the Governor. Key hires include Chris Spencer, who will join the administration as Policy Director. Justin Caporale will serve as Director of External Affairs. Amanda Emmons and Makenzi Mahler will serve as Director of Scheduling and Director of Appointments, respectively.

“This team of qualified, dedicated and talented individuals will help us deliver on the issues that matter most to Floridians from economic growth to water quality and more,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. “I’m proud to announce their service to our state and I have every confidence in their commitment to the people of Florida.”

Chris Spencer, Policy Director
Spencer most recently helped manage Transition Advisory Committee efforts for Governor-elect DeSantis. With experience in both chambers of the Florida Legislature, Spencer brings a wealth of policy and procedural experience to the new administration. A former Chief Legislative Assistant in the Florida Senate, Spencer helped to manage the legislative office of Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg).

Justin Caporale, Director of External Affairs
Caporale is an experienced advance and operations professional with an extensive background in developing the strategy and overseeing the management of political events and advocacy campaigns. Justin worked as a senior Advance and Operations lead throughout the 2016 Donald J. Trump for President campaign before serving in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President and the Director of Operations for the East Wing. Justin previously served as the Director of Operations and Chief of Staff for Concerned Veterans for America and most recently worked as Director of Advance for the Ron DeSantis for Governor campaign before serving in his current role as Executive Director of the DeSantis-Nuñez Inauguration.

Amanda Emmons, Director of Scheduling
Amanda Emmons will join the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration as Director of Scheduling. Emmons previously served in the Governor-elect’s Transition as the Director of Scheduling, a role she also held throughout the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign. Prior to her role in the campaign, Emmons worked as a Staff Assistant to Senator Marco Rubio where she served as a grant and intern coordinator for the Senator’s office.

Makenzi Mahler, Director of Appointments
Currently serving as Deputy Director of Recruiting for the Transition, Mahler will join the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration as the new Director of Appointments. Prior to her role on the Transition, Mahler served as Deputy Finance Director for the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign. Before joining the campaign, Mahler spent over three years at the Republican Party of Florida where she worked on strategic initiatives and in finance for the House Majority effort. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University where she earned a B.S. in Political Science.

“This is a talented group of individuals who have demonstrated the aptitude to serve not only the Governor-elect, but the people of Florida with distinction,” said Susie Wiles, Executive Director of the DeSantis-Nuñez Transition.

The staff will begin their work together on January 9, immediately after Governor DeSantis and Lt. Governor Nuñez take their oaths of office.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Selects Simone Marstiller as Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced former First District Court of Appeal Judge and former Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Simone Marstiller, will serve as Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) for the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration.  

“Few people have the leadership experience and government expertise to match Simone Marstiller,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. “Simone is among the most talented and experienced professionals that our state has to offer and I am proud to have her join the Administration as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. She’s established an exceptional record of professional accomplishment and I look forward to working with her to further improve our state’s juvenile justice system.

Simone Marstiller, Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
Simone Marstiller currently serves as Of Counsel with Gunster, Yoakley, Stewart, P.A., where her practice areas include appellate consulting and litigation, government affairs, procurement, ethics and elections. She joined Gunster in 2017 after retiring from the First District Court of Appeal, where she served as a judge for six years.

In 2001, Simone became Assistant General Counsel to Governor Jeb Bush, where she assisted the Governor’s General Counsel in overseeing the legal operations of the Governor’s agencies. In 2002, Simone was selected to serve as General Counsel for the Department of Management Services (DMS), the administrative agency for state government. There, she managed all legal affairs for the agency, including matters related to government procurement, outsourcing, state facility management and collective bargaining. While serving in this capacity, Governor Bush appointed her Interim Secretary of the agency.

From DMS, Simone returned to the Governor’s Office in 2003 to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff. In 2004, Governor Bush appointed her State Chief Information Officer to head state government’s central technology planning and policy organization, and in 2005 she became Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the state’s largest regulatory agency.

In 2007, Attorney General Bill McCollum appointed Simone Associate Deputy Attorney General for the State of Florida during which time, she also served as the agency’s General Counsel. When appointed to the appellate court in 2010, Simone was serving as Executive Director for the Florida Elections Commission.

Simone was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1988 from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 1996 from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida.

Transition Advisory Committee on Government Operations Teleconference Call

What: Transition Advisory Committee on Government Operations Teleconference Call

Who: Larry Hart, Committee Chair, and committee members

When: Thursday, January 3, 2019 beginning at 1:00 PM EST.

Where: Telephonic Meeting

Dial: 1 (888) 585-9008

Conference Code: 380-994-128

Sign up to attend:

  • (NOTE: Please add the phone number from which you'll be calling, this will allow us to properly identify you during the call.)

Transition Advisory Committee on Public Safety Teleconference Call

Event Details:

What: Transition Advisory Committee on Public Safety Teleconference Call

Who: Kent Stermon, Committee Chairman, and committee members

When: Thursday, January 3, 2019 beginning at 10:00 AM EST.

Where: Telephonic Meeting

Dial: 1 (888) 585-9008

Conference Code: 380-994-128

Sign up to attend:

  • (NOTE: Please add the phone number from which you'll be calling, this will allow us to properly identify you during the call.)