Governor Ron DeSantis today announced the appointment of Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez as chair of the Florida Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the appointments of Representative Ana Maria Rodriguez, Representative Kim Daniels, Judith Bense, Nancy Acevedo, Jennifer Houghton Canady, Sophia Eccleston, Rachel Saunders Plakon, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Senator Lauren Book and Julie Brown to the Florida Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.
On June 9, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1306, creating the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee. The purpose of the Commission is to ensure the statewide observance of the centennial of women’s suffrage in 2020.
Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez
Núñez, of Miami, was elected Lieutenant Governor of Florida in 2018. She previously served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018 and was Speaker Pro Tempore from 2016 to 2018. She has been involved with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Miami, WHEN and Women in Government. She was named Hispanic Woman of Distinction in 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Florida International University.
Representative Ana Maria Rodriguez
Rodriguez, of Miami, is a member of the Florida House of Representatives representing District 105. She is vice president of government affairs for the Miami Association of Realtors and serves on the board of the Florida International University President’s Council. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida International University and her master’s degree in leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Representative Kim Daniels
Daniels, of Jacksonville, is a member of the Florida House of Representatives representing District 14. She is currently a member of the Education Committee, Subcommittee on Health Quality, Subcommittee on Government Operations and Technology, and is the ranking minority member of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Transparency and Public Management. She served in the U.S. Army and is a Desert Storm Veteran. Daniels earned her bachelor’s degree in criminology from Florida State University.
Bense, of Pensacola, is an archaeologist and has worked with the University of West Florida (UWF) since 1980. She is the founder of UWF’s Anthropology program, Archaeology Institute and Florida Public Archaeology Network. She served as president of UWF from 2008 to 2016. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in anthropology from Florida State University and her doctorate in anthropology from Washington State University.
Acevedo, of Winter Springs, is the community relations coordinator for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. In 2015, Acevedo retired as a crime analyst for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, where she worked in the Domestic Security Division as a Terrorist Liaison Officer. She graduated from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Community Law Enforcement Academy and the University of Puerto Rico.
Jennifer Houghton Canady
Canady, of Lakeland, is the director of the RISE Institute at Lakeland Christian School. She coaches the school’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team and oversees the school’s Center for Law and Public Policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Florida State University and her master’s degree in gifted education from the University of South Florida.
Eccleston, of Palm Beach, is the external affairs manager at Florida Power and Light Company. She is an Army Veteran and has worked for Halliburton and KBR Inc. in the Middle East and Africa. She currently serves as president of the board of the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. In 2018, Legacy Magazine of South Florida named her one of South Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Black Business Leaders. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and an MBA with a concentration in organizational psychology and development.
Rachel Saunders Plakon
Plakon, of Winter Garden, is a land specialist with NAI Realvest, a commercial real estate brokerage in Central Florida. She currently represents the Orlando-Sanford International Airport in their land and development projects. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass media communications from Oral Roberts University and her master’s degree in business administration from Florida International University.
Helen Aguirre Ferré
Ferré, of Miami, serves as Director of Communications for Governor Ron DeSantis. Previously, Ferré was Special Assistant to the President and Director of Media Affairs at the White House under the Trump Administration. She was Director of Hispanic Communications at the Republican National Committee and was an award-winning bilingual journalist and communications strategist. She served as Chairman of the District Board of Trustees of Miami Dade College becoming the first woman to hold that position. She received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Saint Anselm College, received the Distinguished Alumni award from Barry University, Cuban Women’s Club, the American Nicaraguan Foundation and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of the United States, amongst others, for her success. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Barry University and her master’s degree in Inter-American studies from the University of Miami.
Senator Lauren Book
Book, of Miami, is a member of the Florida Senate representing the 32nd district, a seat which she was elected to in 2016. Her charity, Lauren’s Kids, was founded in 2007 to fight for stronger penalties for sex offenders. Previously, she taught in the Miami-Dade public schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Miami.
Brown, of Tampa, is a member of the Florida Public Service Commission. She was originally appointed in 2011 and has served on the Commission for three terms. Prior to becoming a Commissioner, she was Associate Legal Counsel of First American Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, where she handled a variety of legal issues in the Eastern, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic Regions, including corporate compliance with regulatory authorities. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her juris doctorate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.