The Florida State Parks Foundation has two important announcements this month! The first is to introduce you to Julia Gill Woodward, our new Chief Executive Officer, and the second is a call to action as the Florida Legislature discusses the 2019-2020 budget for the Florida Park Service.

We are delighted to announce the hiring of Julia Gill Woodward as our new Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.

“I’m honored and thrilled to serve as the Chief Executive Officer for the Florida State Parks Foundation. As a ninth generation Floridian, my love for our state and our award-winning park system runs deep. I can’t imagine a better job than to help protect, preserve and sustain our state’s natural treasures for generations to come,” she said.

Foundation President Ben Pingree said, “The search for a new CEO has been long and thorough because we were determined to wait until we could find the right person for the job. With Julia, we are confident that we now have the right person in place to lead us as we embrace a challenging yet exciting future.”

Julia is a dynamic leader with more than ten years of campaign and government experience. She has worked across the spectrum in Florida politics – including managing multiple campaigns, serving as a Congressional Chief of Staff in Washington DC and most recently, managing Gwen Graham’s Florida gubernatorial bid. 

In addition to her campaign and governmental management experience, Julia has helped raise more than $25 million dollars for candidates and organizations throughout the course of her career.

One of her first actions as CEO was to hold a press conference in Tallahassee in support of the Governor’s request for $54 million funding for the Florida Park Service (FPS) in this year’s budget. So far, both the Senate and House have indicated that their FPS allocations will fall short of this amount. The Governor has also requested an additional $100 million to go to Florida Forever.

“It is imperative that the Florida Park Service receives adequate funding to ensure that our award-winning state parks continue to be the best that they can be. When you compare the $54 million that has been requested with the $3 billion in economic impact that the state parks generate, it is hard to think of any other example that is a better return on the investment,” Woodward said.

About the Author: Foundation Staff