As the Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation, Mara Gambineri oversees 175 state parks and trails, more than 12 million acres of public lands, and 4 million acres of coastal uplands and submerged lands. The program also acquires and protects lands for preservation and recreation.
Mara most recently served as director of external affairs for the Executive Office of the Governor. Previously, she served as deputy communications director for then Governor Rick Scott and as communications director and press secretary for the Florida Department of Health. She also served at DEP as a communications specialist and then communications director.
Mara has a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and international affairs, and a Master of Science degree in applied American politics and policy from Florida State University. Mara serves as the designee for the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and Chair on the FCT Board.
Vacant - Development Industry Representative
Deborah Denys, of New Smyrna Beach, is a former member of the Volusia County Council. Previously, she served as Chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties and as a Volusia County School Board member. She has volunteered her time with the Indian River Lagoon Council, River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization and the Central Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Deborah serves on the FCT Board as the former elected official of a county government.
Frank Mingo, of Miami Lakes, is a real estate broker at All Out Realty. Previously, he was an executive with the Oliva Cigar Company and Vice Mayor of the Town of Miami Lakes where he served on the Economic Development Committee. Frank serves as the former elected official of a metropolitan municipal government on the FCT Board.
Noah Valenstein is a founding partner in the consulting firm Brightwater Strategies Group, PLLC, where he provides strategic guidance, lobbying, and external affairs services to both the non-profit and private sectors. His work with national environmental associations, strong Washington D.C. relationships, and past leadership positions on the United States Coral Reef Task Force, the United States Everglades Task Force, and the Environmental Council of the States, allow him to advise national and international clients as well.
He was appointed Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by Governor Rick Scott on May 23, 2017 and reappointed by Governor Ron DeSantis on February 15, 2019. He returned to DEP with nearly 15 years of public service experience with governmental agencies and a passion for natural resource protection. Noah previously served as executive director for the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Executive Office of the Governor and Florida House of Representatives, as well as with several of Florida's leading environmental nonprofit groups.
Noah graduated from the Florida State University College of Law, and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, where he graduated with honors. Noah serves on the FCT Board as representative of a nonprofit organization which has among its principal goals the conservation of natural resources or protection of the environment.
August 17, 2023 - 3:59pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.