By Dave Scott
Laura DiBella, Former Nassau County Economic Development Director and head of the Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County, has accepted a position this week in Florida Governor Rob DeSantis’s administration as Deputy Secretary of Commerce for the State of Florida. You read it here first.
In her new position, which she assumes July 25, Ms. DiBella reports directly to Governor Ron DeSantis as the position of Secretary of Commerce is vacant, essentially making Ms. DiBella the unofficial or acting Secretary of Commerce.
If she excels in her new job could the Secretary of Commerce job be hers? Why not, I haven’t heard of anyone else waiting in the wings to fill the position. But I’m getting way ahead of the story here.
Jamal Allen Sowell, the former Secretary of Commerce, resigned as Secretary to attend military training for the United States Navy Reserve.
Ms. DiBella, successfully served as Nassau County Economic Development Director from 2014 to October 2019 and unpaid Director for the Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County. She resigned those positions to assume the newly created position as Executive Director of the Florida Harbor Pilots Association in Tallahassee.
The very professional, personable, and attractive Ms. DiBella, who looks like she just stepped off the pages of Vogue Magazine, is a tough lady who doesn’t back down when she knows she’s right.
Diplomatically dealing with a squabbling Nassau County board of Commissioners, an indecisive Port Authority Board, and the loopy Fernandina Beach City Commission prepared this tough-as-nails gal for anything that lays ahead.
In a letter announcing her departure from Nassau County in October 2019 Ms. DiBella was gracious, polite, and offered to assist in the transition to a new director and aid on ongoing projects. Her list of successes in attracting businesses and jobs to our community is lengthy and lasting.
There is no doubt this talented lady will be an asset to the state and its citizens.
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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.