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Scott's Inner Circle

Bryan Koon

Bryan Koon
Position: Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management

Replaces: David Halstead

Previous Job: Director of Emergency Management at Walmart, Fayetteville, Ark., overseeing the emergency management operations of more than 8,500 facilities worldwide.?

Other experience: Koon worked at the White House Military Office for nearly seven years. As an active-duty Navy officer, he served as a watch officer in the president's Emergency Operations Center and as a training officer for Presidential Contingency Programs. He also worked for U.S. homeland security firm SRA International.

Education: Has a bachelor's in natural resources from Cornell University and an

MBA and a graduate certificate in emergency and crisis management from George Washington University.?

What others are saying: Eric Holdeman, an emergency management expert, recently noted that Koon had "hands down" the smallest business card he'd ever seen — about a third the size of a normal business card: "I remember asking him about it and the answer was that it is part of Walmart's effort to reduce the consumption of paper."

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David Wilkins

David Wilkins
Position: Secretary, Department of Children and Families

Replaces: George Sheldon

Previous Job: Retired global managing director of sales for Accenture Health & Public Service group, a management consulting and technology services company

Other experience: Finance chairman of Florida Baptist Children's Home, a non-profit that provides residential care, emergency shelters, adoption shelter and foster care to children in the state's custody; served on Scott's "good government" transition team

Education: 1982 graduate of Lambuth University, Jackson, Tenn.

What others are saying: Wilkins' ties to Florida Baptist Children's Home — a group with strong Christian fundamentalist roots that allows only "professing Christians" to adopt children in its care —?have triggered concern among some gay rights advocates who worry that the fight over whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt in Florida will be revived. Florida stopped enforcing its ban on gay adoption after a 2010 appeals court ruling deemed the state law unconstitutional. While Scott has said he personally opposes adoption by homosexuals, Scott spokesman Brian Burgess says the governor has no plans at this time to revive the ban.

Herschel Vinyard

Herschel Vinyard
Position: Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection

Replaces: Mimi Drew, who had been serving as interim secretary since August 2010, when Mike Sole resigned

Previous Job: Director of business operations, BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards, one of the world's largest defense contractors

Other experience: From 1990 to 1999, he was an environmental attorney with Smith, Hulsey & Busey, counseling clients on such matters as state and federal environmental compliance and permitting; he has served on the Jacksonville Port Authority, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturers Association of Florida and on Scott's Economic Development Transition Team.

Education: Undergraduate and law degrees from Louisiana State University

What others are saying: While Vinyard has drawn positive comments from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and The Everglades Foundation, other environmental groups like the Sierra Club say they didn't know enough about Vinyard yet to comment on his selection.

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William "Billy" Buzzett

William Buzzett
Position: Secretary, Department of Community Affairs

Replaces: Tom Pelham

Previous Job: As a vice president of St. Joe Co., from 2001-09, Buzzett led the master planning of more than 100,000 acres and 30,000 homes and helped St. Joe win approval to build a $330-million airport northwest of Panama City on land donated by the company.

Other experience: Assistant general counsel under former Gov. Bob Martinez, 1988-91; staff attorney, Florida House Judiciary Committee, 1991-95; judge, Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, 1996-97; executive director, Constitution Revision Commission, 1997-98

Education: Bachelor's in civil engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, 1981; law degree from Florida State University, 1986

What others are saying: While the business community has greeted Buzzett's selection with delight, Buzzett gets mixed reviews from environmental groups. Linda Young, director of Clean Water Network of Florida, which has sparred with St. Joe over its developments, told reporters that Buzzett has "been at the heart and soul of some of the most destructive developments that the Florida Panhandle has seen" and called his selection a "cruel joke on Florida's planning process." Florida Audubon's Eric Draper, however, says that along the "gradients of developers" Buzzett lies on the "green end of that spectrum."

Enu Mainigi

Enu Mainigi
Mainigi, a partner with the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly specializing in healthcare litigation, is a longtime friend and confidante of the governor. She is his closest legal adviser. Their relationship dates back to 1997, when Mainigi served as Scott's lawyer after a Medicare fraud scandal led to his resignation from Columbia/HCA. Mainigi, who has been serving as Scott's transition chair, also has advised Scott in his formation of Solantic, a walk-in clinic company.


Mike Prendergast

Mike Prendergast
Prendergast, an Apollo Beach Republican and a retired Army colonel who failed in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) last fall, heads up Scott's administrative team as chief of staff.


William "Bill" Rubin

William Rubin
William "Bill" Rubin, a Fort Lauderdale lobbyist and lifelong Democrat who once worked for former Cabinet members Robert Shevin and Bill Gunter, is a good friend of the governor's, having known Scott since the early 1990s. In 2009, Rubin's lobbying firm represented Solantic, the walk-in clinic company co-founded by Scott. The Rubin Group's other clients include pari-mutuels, various Florida cities and the Boca Raton-based GEO Group, a private prison operator.


Hayden Dempsey

Hayden Dempsey
Hayden Dempsey, a Tallahassee lobbyist with the Greenberg Traurig law firm, takes over as Scott's special counsel and will shepherd Scott's legislative agenda. He previously served as legislative affairs director for Gov. Jeb Bush.


Michelle Rhee

Michelle Rhee
Michelle Rhee, controversial former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public school system who fired 270 teachers during her first year and half, is an informal adviser to Scott on education issues.


Brian Burgess

Brian Burgess

Brian Burgess, the governor's communications director, has been working for Scott since 2009, when Scott launched an organization called Conservatives for Patients' Rights to fight federal healthcare legislation.

A former U.S. Army communications specialist who graduated from a Christian college in Kansas, Burgess sent a January memo to other agency communication directors instructing them not to allow agency heads or any agency personnel to make public appearances or speeches without prior notification and
approval from the governor's office.



Donna Arduin

Donna Arduin
Donna Arduin, a former state budget director under Gov. Jeb Bush and author of Marco Rubio's property tax swap proposal, is the governor's top adviser on economic and budget policy. Arduin also served as finance director to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during his first year in office. Upon her arrival in Sacramento in 2003, Arduin was labeled an "ogre" by one legislative leader because of her advocacy of a Florida budget cut that would have ended Medicaid payments for adults needing eyeglasses and dental work. Arduin embraced the nickname, hanging an "Ogre X-ing" sign on her office door.


Mary Anne "Mac" Carter

Mary Anne "Mac" Carter serves as chief adviser to the governor, overseeing and implementing Scott's policy initiatives, legislative agenda and external communications and guiding the powerful Office of Policy and Budget. Scott describes Carter — a former staffer with the conservative Heritage Foundation and the former head of his Conservatives for Patients' Rights —?as a longtime friend who has "stood side by side with me in challenging the status quo and the evils of big government."


Jennifer Carroll

Jennifer Carroll
Jennifer Carroll, Scott's lieutenant governor, has been following Scott's economic development playbook closely. Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a recent issue of the Philadelphia Tribune that he received a call from Carroll shortly after she took office. He says Carroll asked him for a list, with contact information, of the largest black-owned businesses in America so she could "personally call them and convince them to move their businesses to Florida."


Gary Rutledge

Gary Rutledge
Gary Rutledge, a Tallahassee lobbyist who heads Rutledge, Ecenia & Purnell, has close ties to Scott, having served as one of HCA's lobbyists when Scott was head of the hospital company.


Jon Costello

Jon Costello, a lobbyist and governmental consultant who previously worked for Rutledge, will serve as Scott's legislative affairs director.


Chris Kise

Chris Kise
Chris Kise, who assisted Scott with agency appointments/hires and other legal matters while serving as Scott's chief lawyer during his transition, continues to advise the governor on an informal basis. The former solicitor general is a partner with Foley & Lardner law firm and previously served as an adviser to former Gov. Charlie Crist.


Bob White

Bob White
Bob White, Pasco County sheriff, chairs Scott's "law and order" transition team, serving as a top adviser to the governor on law enforcement issues