Governor Rick Scott’s former chief counsel is slated to take over as the president and CEO for Enterprise Florida.
The executive committee of Enterprise Florida unanimously approved a recommendation to make an offer to Peter Antonacci to take over the state’s job and business recruitment agency instead of going through a search process.
“My experience with Pete is he is able to negotiate a lot of good deals. That’s part of what you have to do both as general counsel and running the water management district,” said Gov. Scott, in support of Antonacci receiving the offer. “I think he will do a good job. He’ll work hard. He’ll get deals done. And he’ll also be a good team player.”
Antonacci served the governor’s office as an attorney. After leaving that post, Antonacci registered as a lobbyist working for GrayRobinson. Currently, he’s the executive director of the South Florida Water Management District.
Enterprise Florida’s former president and CEO Chris Hart left abruptly citing a difference of opinion with Gov. Scott about the direction of the agency. Mike Grissom was appointed interim director as Gov. Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran publicly fought about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing business to and creating jobs in Florida. The speaker wanted to see the agency eliminated but the governor negotiated it’s future.
The two sides reached a compromise, creating an $85 million budget to be used for infrastructure projects and job training but via the Department of Economic Opportunity.
Enterprise Florida’s board of directors will schedule a conference call next week, when it’s possible the vote to approve Antonacci’s job offer as CEO could be taken.