Governor-Elect Rick Scott Taps Major General Emmett R. Titshaw to Lead Florida’s National Guard

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Governor-elect Rick Scott said Floridians and the state’s National Guard can count on Major General Emmett R. (“Buddy”) Titshaw’s proven and steady leadership in a time of crisis as he announced the seamless transition of keeping General Titshaw as the state’s Adjutant General and Director of Florida’s Department of Military Affairs.

Gov.-elect Scott noted that General Titshaw’s 40-year military service in the state’s national guard, his leadership during the devastating 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, and his extraordinary service in senior national-level positions make him the right person to lead the Florida Guard’s soldiers and airmen.

“We must honor the service and sacrifices of Florida’s citizen-soldiers and airmen by providing them with the right leader at the right time,” said Gov.-elect Scott. “Buddy is certainly the right person to lead the Florida National Guard and I am especially gratified by his leadership.”

Scott said Titshaw, who assumed his duties as Adjutant General in June of 2010, would be responsible for the training, readiness and command of nearly 12,000 men and women of the Florida National Guard providing safety and security to Florida’s citizens during a disaster.

Scott also highlighted that Titshaw would be able to work seamlessly with Scott’s recent selection to head the state’s Department of Emergency Management, Bryan Koon.

“Floridians can rest assured that when disaster strikes, General Titshaw is on the job and our National Guard will be ready to get to work,” said Scott.

About Major General Titshaw:

General Titshaw brings more than 40 years of experience with Florida’s National Guard to his role as the state’s Adjutant General. A graduate of Auburn University, General Titshaw enlisted in the Florida Air National Guard in May 1970 and was a distinguished graduate of undergraduate pilot training in 1972. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. General Titshaw has served in a wide range of command and staff positions, including Fighter Squadron Commander, Air Operations Officer, 125th Fighter Wing Commander, Chief of Staff for the Florida Air National Guard, and Assistant Adjutant General-Air. During the 2005 Hurricane Season, General Titshaw served as Commander, Joint Task Force-Florida. He possesses remarkable leadership skills and a superb ability to motivate others. His experience as the Florida Guards Joint Task Force Commander during Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma have well prepared him to lead natural disaster response actions in support of Florida citizens. General Titshaw has commanded at every level of the Florida Air Guard. In addition to his military duties, General Titshaw served more than 26 years as a commercial airline pilot. General Titshaw’s military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Florida Cross.…

Governor-Elect Rick Scott Turns to Reformer Edwin G. Buss to Run Florida’s Department of Corrections

Tallahassee, Fla. – Living up to his outsider image and keeping in line with his plan to reduce wasteful spending, Governor-elect Rick Scott turned to a fellow Tallahassee outsider with a long and successful track record of improving agency operations while simultaneously lowering the burden placed on taxpayers to run the state’s prison system.

Gov.-elect Scott, who appointed Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Edwin G. Buss to head the Florida Department of Corrections, said Florida was fortunate to land such an experienced reformer who was being coveted nationwide.

“I am grateful that Ed Buss is coming to Tallahassee to help me change the way the Department of Corrections does business here in Florida,” said Scott.  “I know he is ready to get-to-work to ensure our prisons operate most efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Scott specifically highlighted Buss’s impressive credentials, which include drastically reducing wasteful spending across his state agency, negotiating the nation’s lowest medical per diem rate, and leveraging public/private partnerships to deliver heightened services at a fraction of the cost.

Scott also noted that Buss, who served as a key member of Governor Mitch Daniels’ cabinet, has proven his ability to successfully analyze an organization’s critical requirements, identify deficiencies and potential opportunities to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions to enhance government’s services.

Scott noted that under Buss’s leadership, Indiana found a way to house 40 percent more inmates without additional construction and at a dramatically lower cost per inmate.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels also congratulated Governor-elect Rick Scott for his selection of Ed Buss to run Florida’s prison system.

“Given the transformation and pro-taxpayer improvements of the last few years, it was inevitable that other states would come after top talent like Ed Buss.  He was actively pursued by several new governors. Congratulations to Governor-elect Scott for winning the sweepstakes,” said Governor Daniels.

About Edwin G. Buss:

Buss brings to Florida nearly twenty-four years of hands-on experience in corrections, emergency response, public safety, supervision and budgeting.  As Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections and a key member of Governor Mitch Daniels’ cabinet, Buss was responsible for over 7,500 employees, 26,000 inmates, 10,000 parolees throughout the state’s corrections facilities.  Prior to serving as Commissioner, Buss served as Superintendent of two Indiana prisons where he refined Death Row and execution procedures, implemented accountability metrics and implemented a safe prison initiative.  Throughout his career, Buss has been successful in implementing innovative policies that improve operations while reducing wasteful spending.…

Governor-Elect Rick Scott Names Bryan W. Koon as Florida’s Director of Emergency Management

Tallahassee, Fla. – Noting how a rapid, coordinated and proficient response to a natural disaster or other emergency can lessen the potential blow to the state’s fragile economy during an emergency, the Rick Scott Administration took another major stride forward today, appointing the Director of Emergency Management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bryan W. Koon, as the new Director of Emergency Management for the State of Florida.

The Governor-elect chose to make this one of his first agency head appointments to emphasize the importance of the office and its critical mission to protect the lives and property of every Floridian.

Governor-elect Scott said Koon’s experience leading Walmart’s Emergency Management efforts across the country and internationally, including preparedness, planning, operations, recovery, and mitigation would be a benefit to all Floridians before, during and after any potential crisis.

“I am both proud and honored Bryan has chosen to put his wealth of experience to work protecting and defending all Floridians and ensuring our State is prepared to tackle any emergency,” said Scott.

With the announcement of the appointment, Scott also announced his desire to seek transfer of the Division of Emergency Management into the Executive Office of the Governor.  If approved, the move will create a direct reporting structure and enhance communication and cooperation across all federal, state and local entities involved in Florida’s disaster preparedness efforts and response.

“Preparing for and defending against natural disasters in Florida must and should be at the top of the priority list for any Administration,” said Scott.  “This transfer will help cut bureaucratic red tape during emergencies and ensure the Director has full access and accountability to Florida’s CEO.”

About Bryan W. Koon:

Koon brings to Florida nearly twenty years’ experience managing tactical and strategic emergencies in the military, government and private sector.   In his current role as Director of Emergency Management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Koon is responsible for the emergency management operations of over 8,500 facilities worldwide.  He is an acknowledged expert in the fields of emergency preparedness, disaster response, continuity of operations and continuity of government.  Koon’s broad and varied experience includes several years in the White House Military Office where he developed, maintained and implemented high level, classified programs to ensure continuity of government and continuity of operations in the wake of a tactical or natural disaster. He also served the nation with distinction as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, both active duty and in the Navy Reserve.…

What They’re Saying About Gov-Elect Scott’s Appointments Today

Tallahassee, Fla. – “Florida’s gain is certainly Indiana’s loss, but that’s the nature of corrections.  Leaders with a vision for making their agencies the best they can be are in great demand – and Ed Buss is one of the finest in the country.  His proven track record with the Indiana Department of Correction as an innovator and pragmatist will stand him in good stead with the challenges he will face in Florida.” – George Camp, Executive Director, Association of State Correctional Administrators

“Ed Buss is an outstanding correctional professional, but more importantly a fine correctional leader.  Although it saddens me to see him leave Indiana; I know he will do an excellent job for the citizens of Florida.  I look to him to be a national leader in corrections for years to come.” – James Gondles, Exec. Dir., American Correctional Association

“Governor-elect Scott has made an excellent choice in selecting Ed Buss to run the state’s Department of Corrections. He is sending the right message that he is serious about reforming state government by bringing in one of the nation’s most respected reformers who will be ready to lead from day one and won’t be indebted to Tallahassee’s special interests.” – Sheriff Bob White, Pasco County Sheriff

“Bryan’s association and work with NEMA has allowed many of the State Directors and his colleagues to benefit from his expertise.  He has played an active role in the Association by chairing the Private Sector Committee, participating in NEMA’s strategic planning initiatives, and working on any number of special projects.  His enthusiasm, pragmatic approach, and willingness to partner with others will serve him and the citizens of Florida well.  We at NEMA look forward to our continued relationship with Bryan and his continued involvement with NEMA.” – David Miller, President of the National Emergency Management Association

Christmas Message from Gov.-elect Rick Scott

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – “As we join together with family and friends to celebrate this joyous time of year, I want to wish all Floridians a Merry Christmas.

“The holiday season is a time to give thanks for the birth of our Lord and the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. I am grateful for the brave military men and women who are away from their loved ones protecting our right to live freely, practice the religion we choose and celebrate this holiday with our families.

“While we are giving thanks, it is also important that we remember those struggling during these challenging economic times and lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need.

“I am hopeful that all Floridians will look optimistically toward the year to come when the state will have new leadership and a fresh start. When I take office on January 4, I will not rest until we have made Florida the greatest state in the nation to live, work and play.

“My family and Lt. Governor-elect Jennifer Carroll join me in wishing all Floridians a happy and safe Christmas and a happy New Year.”…

Governor-elect Rick Scott Meets with the Economic Development and Good Government Transition Teams

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.—Today, Gov.-elect Rick Scott listened to the Economic Development and Good Government transition teams’ recommendations, concluding his meetings with the transition teams.  Gov.-elect Scott has met with more than 200 members of the transition teams this week to hear their advice on how to enhance government services. He will consider all of the recommendations presented.

About the transition teams:

  • The 49-member Economic Development Transition Team was created to identify ways to reduce the size of government, transform the regulatory climate in Florida and look for ways to attract new businesses that will create 700,000 new jobs over the next seven years.
  • The 12-member Good Government Transition team has three primary tasks: identify opportunities to reduce the size of government; improve management and operating processes; and increase the levels of service his administration will provide to the people of Florida.