Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown today announced additional members of his administration, bolstering the team of high-caliber professionals previously announced.
(l-r) Mayor Alvin Brown, Donald "Donnie" Horner Jr., Michelle Barth, Karen Bowling, Jessica Deal, Mario Rubio, Angela Spears and Mia Jones.
"We are continuing my commitment to compel the best and brightest to serve in city government," said Brown. "Today's appointments will complement key members named last week."
Donald H. "Donnie" Horner Jr. will serve as the mayor's education commissioner. Dr. Horner is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering. He holds graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. Dr. Horner has a long and distinguished academic career that includes stints at West Point, Penn State, the Naval Academy and the University of Maryland. Most recently, Dr. Horner has served as a Davis Professor of Management and the Director of the Davis Leadership Center at the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University. Dr. Horner has significant fund raising, development and community engagement experience, including the development of a leadership program to St. Benedicts's Prep, an inner city school in Newark, New Jersey.
Michelle Barth will serve as deputy chief of staff. Barth most recently served as the regional director for U. S. Senator Bill Nelson, a position she has held since 2003. In that role, she managed and initiated outreach for nine counties in Northeast Florida. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida. She earned a master's degree from the University of Florida and a graduate degree from the University of Durham, England, where she attended as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar.
Karen Bowling will serve as the deputy chief administrative officer. Ms. Bowling most recently served as the co-founder and chief executive officer of Solantic, a walk-in urgent care center with locations throughout Florida. Bowling started her career in television news in Jacksonville and transitioned to a career in health care marketing and management. Prior to establishing Solantic, Bowling was Vice President of Marketing for The Health Network, a cable television network owned by FOX.
Jessica Deal will serve as Mayor Brown's council liaison. Deal has worked for the Jacksonville City Council, previously serving as the executive assistant to now-state Rep. Daniel Davis. Deal previously served as the director of government affairs and business advocacy for the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. Her most recent position was with Advanced Disposal Systems, where she handled government relations for the company.
Mario Rubio will serve as Mayor Brown's state affairs liaison. Rubio is a retired executive with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, where he worked in government affairs. Rubio and Deal will join a legislative advocacy team that includes state Sen. Tony Hill, who will be responsible for federal relations.
Angela Spears will serve as a deputy to the director of communications. Spears is a former television news anchor, working in outlets in Jacksonville and Waco, Texas. She previously served as a public information officer for the Nassau County Sheriff's Department.