Board additions represent four Florida regions, bring wealth of outdoor recreation and conservation experience

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State Parks Foundation is pleased to announce four new additions to its Board of Directors.

Jose Felix Diaz of Miami, Jackye Maxey of Lakeland, Avery McKnight of Tallahassee and Greg Wilson of Ormond Beach will all serve on the 14-member volunteer board, effective immediately.

“We are so excited to welcome such an impressive group of new board members,” Foundation president Tammy Gustafson said. “Jose, Jackye, Avery and Greg are outstanding leaders in their respective communities, and their skills, perspectives and expertise will be of great value as we continue our mission to support Florida’s award-winning state parks.”

Diaz is a managing partner and executive vice president at Ballard Partners, a consulting firm based in Tallahassee. He
previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010-17, during which time he represented parts of Miami-Dade County while also chairing the Energy & Utilities, Regulatory Affairs and Commerce committees.

Diaz is a board member for the National Recreation and Park Association, the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, and the Zoo Miami Foundation, which he currently Chairs.

Maxey is the president of Maxey, Inc., which provides leadership and guidance in organization development, finance, budgeting, program management, project management and training. She recently transitioned to the private sector after dedicating 35 years to public service in the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Labor, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Banking and Finance and Florida A&M University. Maxey also served in the budget offices of Govs. Bob Graham and Bob Martinez, and the Board of Regents.

Maxey currently serves as secretary on the Bonnet Springs Park Friends Board. Bonnet Springs Park is a privately owned and financed public park in Lakeland that opened in October 2022.

McKnight is a shareholder at Allen Norton & Blue’s Tallahassee office. A fifth-generation native of Gainesville, Florida, McKnight has been recognized by Florida Trend Magazine as one of the state’s “legal elite” and served for several years as vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at Florida A&M University.

McKnight previously served on boards of directors for Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Inc., the Character Center and the Florida State University Center Club, as well as on the Big Bend Hospice Community Outreach Council.

Wilson is the co-founder, board director and chief scientific officer of Riverside Conservancy, a Florida-based conservation
organization focused on living shoreline restoration and land conservation. A certified Florida Master Naturalist with a doctorate in ecology, Wilson is a dedicated environmental champion who has served on the U.S. EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, the Indian River Lagoon Council Management Board and Finance Subcommittee and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz’s Environmental and Water Quality Advisory Committee.

He currently serves as the board director and president of the Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park, the official citizen support organization for Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach.

“We are fortunate to have an active and dedicated board of directors, and adding Jose, Jackye, Avery and Greg will take our board to even greater heights,” Foundation CEO Julia Gill Woodward said. “Each new board member brings something unique to our team while sharing a passion for Florida State Parks. I can’t wait to see what we achieve together.”

About the Author: Foundation Staff