Master of Ceremonies:
Mack Bernard, Palm Beach County Commissioner
Dana Little, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council
Mr. George Webb brings 35 years as a transportation engineer to his role as County Engineer for Palm Beach County, Florida.
In 2005, Mr. Webb was selected to serve as a designated local representative to the Federal Highway Administration’s VII/Connected Vehicle program. In that capacity, Mr. Webb has traveled to California, Michigan, and Washington, DC to work with other local, State, and Federal officials and industry representatives on this groundbreaking project.
Mr. Webb is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Florida Engineering Society, and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. He holds Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Master of Transportation Engineering degrees from the University of Florida.
Mark Plass serves as FDOT District 4 Traffic Operations 1990-present; focus on safety and transportation system management and operation (TSM&O). He holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, MS Transportation Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to his ten year at the FDOT, Mr. Plass was a Traffic Engineer for the City of Green Bay 1986-1990.
Michael Busha has spent 35 years with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council--the last 22 as its Executive Director. Michael has spoken from coast to coast on the importance of thinking regionally on topics related to downtown redevelopment, disaster preparedness, coastal resiliency, transportation, water, economic development and job creation. Michael also serves as President of the Treasure Coast Enterprise Fund, Inc., a small business loan fund operated by the regional planning council for the Treasure Coast. Michael is also a recovering school board member who served from 2010 – 2014 on the Martin County School Board.
As the Director of Public Affairs for Brightline, Ali Soule is responsible for leading and developing the strategy for the day-to-day government, media and community relations efforts. She has nearly a decade of experience managing public outreach efforts for rail and transit projects, specifically in South Florida.
Ms. Soule holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from the University of Florida.
A 35 year travel and tourism industry veteran Jorge Pesquera joined Discover The Palm Beaches (formerly the Palm Beach County CVB) in November 2007 to lead the region’s destination marketing organization with a staff of 45 and a budget of $15 million.
In 2016 he attained the Certified Destination Marketing Executive (CDME) designation after completing rigorous educational requirements by DMAI. He holds a degree in hotel administration from Cornell University and has held senior executive positions with Hilton International and Conrad Hotels in New York, London and Beverly Hills.
Nancy Graham was Mayor of West Palm Beach from 1991-1999, and is considered the city's first "Strong Mayor". Some of her major accomplishments as Mayor include spearheading the New Year’s Eve demolition of a rundown downtown Holiday Inn and bringing in the waterfront Meyer Amphitheatre and the fountain on Clematis Street that now bears her name, and the launching of a national competition to draw developers that lead to the creation of CityPlace.
Mr. Uhren currently serves as the Executive Director for the Palm Beach MPO, a board of locally elected officials comprised of five County Commissioners, 15 elected officials from 13 cities and one elected official from the Port of Palm Beach. The mission of the MPO is to collaboratively plan, prioritize and fund the transportation system of Palm Beach County.
Mr. Uhren is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County and has served as Transportation chair for that program for several years, outlining growth and development trends in the county and making the connection between transportation, economic development, and quality of life.
Clinton B. Forbes, a Florida native, born in Miami-Dade County, has served in the public sector for more than 27 years, twenty (20) of which serving at the senior management and leadership levels at the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and three transit properties; Miami-Dade Transit (MDT), the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).
Mr. Forbes holds a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Thomas University, Miami, FL in Political Science and Public Administration and has completed a number transit/transportation industry and leadership training. Mr. Forbes is a member and actively involved with the American Public Transit Association (APTA) and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).
Tom Bradford was appointed Town Manager effective January 10, 2015. Mr. Bradford is serving his second employment stint with the Town. From 1982 until 1986, Mr. Bradford worked for the Town achieving the position of Assistant to the Town Manager. In 2000, Mr. Bradford was hired as Assistant Town Manager. Mr. Bradford served as Acting Town Manager of Palm Beach for 8 months in 2000-2001. In 2005 Mr. Bradford became Deputy Town Manager. For 14 years, from 1986 to 2000, Mr. Bradford served as Village Manager of Tequesta, Florida. Mr. Bradford began his 30 plus year career in city management with the City of West Palm Beach, Florida in 1982.
As a Certified Government Financial Manager, Verdenia is responsible for the management of activities necessary to insure the efficient and effective operation of county government with a budget of approximately $4 billion, 6,300+ employees and a population of approximately 1.3 million. In 1987, Verdenia began her career with Palm Beach County as a Budget Analyst; she then was promoted to Impact Fee Coordinator and eventually became the division director of the County’s Financial Management Department. Her experience as a financial manager was a prelude to her current day responsibilities as Deputy County Administrator and second in command of county government.
Verdenia lives in Royal Palm Beach with her husband, Joe and daughter Jasmin.
John Renne, Ph.D., AICP, is the coordinator of the School’s two undergraduate programs, Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning and Bachelor of Urban Design and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions. He joins FAU after serving for over 10 years in the Department of Planning and Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He holds a visiting position at the Transport Studies Unit of Oxford University and is Managing Director of the TOD Group, a private real estate investment and master development firm.
Juan Mullerat is a designer with over fifteen years of experience in design, with several highly respected firms. Born and raised in Barcelona, Mullerat studied in England and the US, completing dual Master degrees in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Miami. Mullerat has received awards and published works in both urban design and photography. This dual interest provides critical and novel insight and understanding of the man-made and natural environments, enabling him to uniquely visualize and create sophisticated and refined designs that are sensible and clear in their composition.
With work published in several countries, Mullerat has been a guest lecturer in a number of universities. His work strives to create and capture the essence of places that transcend trends and value culture. It is Mullerat’s belief that a society can be understood by the nature of its public spaces.