Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) today announced the appointment Mr. James Matthew “Matt” Terry, SRA of Port St. Joe to the Board of Directors of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. Mr. Terry is the owner of Appraisal Group of North Florida, LLC.
“Matt Terry is a lifelong resident of the Florida Panhandle with deep roots in Gulf County. As a business owner and community leader, he will be an excellent addition to the Triumph Board of Directors, and a strong advocate for our great legacy communities across the Panhandle as they work to overcome the lasting impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill as well as the devastation caused last fall by Hurricane Michael,” said President Galvano.
The eight Florida counties disproportionately affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill include: Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Wakulla Counties. The disproportionally affected counties receive 75 percent of all economic damage settlement funds received by the state.
In 2013, the Legislature created Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., to ensure economic damage settlement funds coming to the state would both benefit the eight disproportionately affected counties and be properly accounted for. The Triumph Gulf Coast Board is tasked to make awards to programs and projects that meet the priorities for economic recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the disproportionately affected counties. The corporation is required to abide by the state’s public record laws and public meeting notice requirements.
In 2017, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed and Governor Scott signed into law House Bill 7077, which amended the Gulf Coast Economic Corridor Act expanding the board to seven members and requiring the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to appoint an additional member from the private sector in one of the four least populous disproportionately affected counties ensure that two such counties are represented on the board. In 2017, Senate President Joe Negron appointed Gulf County resident, Mr. Jason Shoaf. Mr. Terry’s appointment fills the board vacancy created by Mr. Shoaf’s election to the Florida House of Representatives. The appointment takes effect immediately and expires on June 29, 2021.