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Former Secretaries

Citizens watching a shuttle launch from the Max Brewer Bridge.
Ed Scott Ed Scott 1915-1919

 

Ed Scott was born in Ontario, Canada. He came to Florida in 1896 and three years later became the surveyor of Lee County. In 1915, he was appointed by Governor Park Trammell as a member of the State Road Board (SRB). Within a few months, he was elected as the first chairman of the SRB.

Michael M. Smith Michael M. Smith 1919-1920

 

Michael M. Smith was born in Tattnall County, Georgia. He moved with his family to Winter Park, Florida in 1902. He was involved in the buying and selling of timber land, and was instrumental in organizing several banks around the state. In 1915, Smith was appointed by Governor Park Trammell as a member of the State Road Board. Four years later, he served for a brief time as the board’s chairman.

Forrest Lake Forrest Lake 1920-1921

 

Forrest Lake was born in Newberry, South Carolina. He moved to Sanford, Florida in 1886 at the age of 17. He was elected mayor of Sanford at the age of 24, and ultimately served 11 terms as mayor. He also served in the Florida Legislature between 1910 and 1914, during which time he played a central role in the creation of Seminole County, making Sanford its county seat. Governor Sidney Johnston Catts appointed him chairman of the State Road Board in 1920.

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Henry B. Phillips Henry B. Philips 1921-1925

 

Judge Henry B. Phillips was born in Duval County. He studied law at Vanderbilt University and served as county judge for Duval County for 20 years. In 1915, he prepared a legislative bill to officially create the State Road Board. The Florida Legislature passed the bill almost exactly as Phillips had prepared it, except they placed its headquarters in Tallahassee instead of Gainesville. Six years later, Governor Cary Hardee appointed Phillips as a member of the State Road Board. That same year he was made chairman.

Fons A. Hathaway Fons A. Hathaway 1925-1929

 

Fons A. Hathaway was a native of Holmes County and came to Tallahassee in 1925 as an executive director to Governor John W. Martin. Governor Martin appointed him chairman of the State Road Board and he served from 1925 to 1929. Under Hathaway’s administration, the plan was developed to connect some of Florida’s more remote areas by road, moving from the construction of "stretches" of pavement to continuous highways that connected major cities.  The Hathaway Bridge in Panama City which crosses St. Andrew's Bay was named after him.

Robert W. Bentley Robert W. Bentley 1929-1931

 

Robert W. Bentley and his family moved from North Adams, Massachusetts to Silver Springs, Florida when he was 11. Three years later, he began an apprenticeship with a printer in Ocala. From 1906 to 1912, he was a reporter with the Tampa Times. With R.P. Sponenbarger, Bentley established the Bradenton Herald in 1921 and became a strong editorial and civic force in the Tampa Bay area. Bentley became chairman of the State Road Board in 1929, appointed by Governor Doyle Carlton.

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Harry H. Wells Harry H. Wells 1931-1933

 

Harry H. Wells was born in Washington County, Florida. He was an attorney and a member of the bar in Florida and Tennessee. He practiced in Chipley, Florida during 1907 and was a member of the Florida Senate in 1912, 1921 and 1923. He was also chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee in 1928. Wells became chairman of the State Road Board in 1931, appointed by Governor Doyle Carlton.

Chester B. Treadway Chester B. Treadway 1933-1937

 

Chester B. Treadway was born in Booneville, Kentucky. He was educated in Kentucky and graduated from law school in 1909. That same year, Treadway moved to Sebring, Florida and got involved in insurance and real estate businesses. He also bought and sold many orange groves. From 1917 to 1920, Treadway served as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He was appointed chairman of the State Road Board in 1933 by Governor Sholtz.

Arthur B. Hale Arthur B. Hale 1937-1940

 

Arthur B. Hale was born in Dickson, Tennessee in 1888. After his public school education, he studied mechanical engineering. In the early 1900s, Hale moved to Tampa and became a successful businessman. Governor Fred Cone appointed him to chair the State Road Board in 1937.

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James W. Perkins James W. Perkins 1940-1941

 

James W. Perkins was born in Floyd County, Georgia in 1863. His family moved to Monroe County, Florida in 1871 and later to Fort Myers. Perkins attended Eastman Business College and studied law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. He moved to DeLand, Florida and served as prosecuting attorney of the criminal court of Volusia County, and in 1899 was elected mayor of DeLand. Governor Fred Cone appointed him chairman of the State Road Board in 1940.

John H. Faulk John H. Faulk 1941

 

Chipley Council Member and business leader John Hughey Faulk, Jr., established one of Florida's first tree farms near his home town.  Faulk planted nearly 250,000 pines between 1929 and 1937.  He harvested both pulpwood and turpentine from his farm.  In 1937 Faulk joined the State Road Department.  He was elected to serve as Chairman of the State Road Board on January 11, 1941.  Prior to the appointment of a permanent Chairman by the Governor, he served as Chairman just a little over a month before retiring on February 17, 1941.

Thomas A. Johnson Thomas A. Johnson 1941-1945

 

Thomas A. Johnson was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. After graduating from school in 1904, he served as chief deputy clerk of the Circuit Court, president and general manager of Bruce Dry Dock Company, chairman of the Intercoastal Waterways Committee, and executive director of the Pensacola Housing Authority. In Pensacola, Johnson was also a member of the board of bond trustees, which handled proceeds of a $2 million road bond issue. In February 1941, Governor Spessard Holland named Johnson chairman of the State Road Board.

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F. Elgin Bayless F. Elgin Bayless 1945-1949

 

F. Elgin Bayless was born in Tennessee. The early years of his career were spent in sawmill operation in Port St. Joe, Florida. In 1925, Bayless was appointed director of the State Land Division, a position he held until 1944 when he became chairman of the State Road Board, appointed by Governor Millard Fillmore Caldwell. While chairman, he laid out the route for U.S. Highway 27 through Florida and established the first welcome center near the Florida-Georgia border.

Alfred A. McKethan Alfred A. McKethan 1949-1953

 

Alfred A. McKethan was born in Brooksville, Florida in 1908 and was educated at the University of Florida earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He was a banker and a citrus grower. He was president of several organizations, including the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, Brooksville Kiwanis Club, Florida Bankers Association, and Brooksville Citrus Growers Association. McKethan was appointed chairman of the State Road Board by Governor Fuller Warren.

Richard H. Simpson Richard H. Simpson 1953-1954

 

Richard H. (Dick) Simpson was born in Chicago and moved to Monticello, Florida with his family in 1911 when he was six. He attended Georgia Military Academy, Purdue University and the University of Florida. He was Monticello’s mayor from 1935 to 1944, served in the Florida House of Representatives, and was active in the American Red Cross, Florida Seedman’s Association, Southeastern Pecan Growers Association, and Florida Kiwanis Clubs. Governor Charley Johns appointed him chairman of the State Road Board.

 

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Cecil M. Webb Cecil M. Webb  1954-1955

 

Cecil M. Webb was born in Georgia and moved to Florida during the early 1930s. He founded and operated Dixie Lily Milling Company. He served as chairman of the Florida Game Commission prior to his appointment as chairman of the State Road Board by Governor Charley Johns. He was a major proponent of the National Defense Interstate Highway Systems Act.

Wilber E. Jones Wilbur E. Jones 1955-1958

 

Wilbur E. Jones was born in Miami, Florida and was educated at Silver Bay Preparatory School in Lake George, New York, and Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed chairman of the State Road Board in 1955 by Governor LeRoy Collins.

Joe Grotegut Joe Grotegut 1958-1960

 

Joe Grotegut was born in Rock Island, Illinois in 1916 and moved to Florida in 1931. He attended the University of Florida and in 1936 began his career in the newspaper business with the Tampa Times. Two years later, he became city editor of the Tampa Times, and subsequently worked for the Associated Press, the Miami Herald, and the Daytona Beach Morning Journal. He was president of the Legislative Correspondents Association and Associated Press Association of Florida. Governor LeRoy Collins appointed him chairman of the State Road Board.

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William Killian William B. Killian 1960-1961

 

William B. Killian attended Oberlin College and the University of Illinois where he received his law degree in 1953. He joined Steel Hector & Davis, a prominent Florida law firm, in 1954, and served as legal assistant to Governor LeRoy Collins in 1958 and 1959. In 1960 Governor Collins appointed him chairman of the State Road Board. He returned to private practice in 1961 and is a senior partner with Steel Hector & Davis.

John R. Phillips John R. Phillips 1961-1965

 

John R. Phillips was born in Spray, North Carolina and was educated at the University of North Carolina. In Florida, he was a residential and commercial real estate developer and was active in many business and civic organizations in the Lakeland area. He was president of Triad Corporation, industrial developers; Phildel Corporation, residential developers, Citrus Center Corporation, office building owners; and was a director of the Florida National Bank of Lakeland. He was appointed chairman of the State Road Board by Governor Farris Bryant.

Floyd Bowen Floyd B. Bowen 1965-1967

 

Floyd B. Bowen was born in Chipley, Florida and was educated at the University of Florida. He was employed by International Minerals and Chemical Corporation in Bartow beginning in 1925. He also served as chairman of the Florida State Chamber of Commerce for three terms and was a member of the Florida Nuclear and Space Commission from 1955 to 1965. Governor Haydon Burns appointed him chairman of the State Road Board in 1965.

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Jay Brown Jay Brown 1967-1969

 

Jay Brown was born in Texas in 1913 and moved to Ocala with his family when he was 12. He earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering in 1935 from the University of Florida and began working with the State Road Department soon after. After moving up in the ranks, Governor Claude Kirk named him chairman of the State Road Board in 1967, the first professional engineer to head the department. Following the reorganization of state agencies in 1969, Brown became director of Road Operations for the newly-created Department of Transportation.

Michael O. O'Neal Michael O. O'Neal 1969

 

Michael O. O’Neal was born in Akron, Ohio in 1927 and attended Cranwell Preparatory School in Lenox, Massachusetts, and the University of Notre Dame, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in economics and philosophy. O’Neal was named Florida’s first Secretary of Transportation by Governor Claude Kirk.

Edward A. Mueller Edward A. Mueller 1970-1972

 

Prior to being named Secretary of Transportation by Governor Claude Kirk, Edward A.  Mueller had served for seven and a half years as an engineer with traffic and planning at the State Road Department. Mueller received a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Catholic University of America. Before joining DOT, he was an assistant program engineer for the National Highway Research Board.

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Walter L. Revell Walter L. Revell 1972-1975

 

Walter L. Revell, an engineering management executive for 15 years, was appointed Secretary of Transportation by Governor Reubin Askew in 1972. He previously served as director of information and research with the State Road Department and for three years served as vice president of development with Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan, a Miami engineering firm. He graduated from Florida State University with a major in business administration and journalism.

Thomas B. Webb, Jr. Thomas B. Webb Jr. 1975-1979

 

Thomas B. Webb Jr. was born in Homestead and graduated from Dixie County High School in Cross City. He served five years in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-29 pilot in the South Pacific. He earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Florida and was a registered professional engineer and a registered land surveyor. He joined the State Road Department in 1956 as a designer and served as District Drainage Engineer for District Three in Chipley. Governor Reubin Askew appointed him Secretary in 1975. During his term, Webb was instrumental in the addition of I-75 from Tampa to Miami to the Florida Interstate System and the funding of I-595 in Broward County.

William N. Rose William N. Rose 1979-1981

 

William N. Rose grew up in Miami and graduated from Landon High School in Jacksonville. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Florida in 1950. Before being named Secretary of Transportation by Governor Bob Graham, Rose worked as a consultant to highway agencies and had directed a management improvement program for DOT.

 

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Jacob Varn Jacob D. Varn 1981

 

Jacob D. Varn graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and a law degree. He was an attorney with a Tampa law firm, specializing in environmental law and served as an executive of the southwest Florida Water Management District. Prior to being appointed Secretary of Transportation by Governor Bob Graham, Varn had served as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Regulation.

Paul N. Pappas Paul N. Pappas 1981-1985

 

Paul N. Pappas, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He began his 30-year career with the Florida Department of Transportation in 1955 as a professional engineer trainee. His career was briefly interrupted for two years taking a military leave of absence from the department to serve in the U. S. Army. Returning to the department, he served as a construction project engineer and maintenance engineer in Jacksonville. From 1963 to 1969 he served as Assistant District Engineer, Maintenance, in the DeLand District. His assignments in Tallahassee from 1969 to 1985 included serving as Administrator of Program Management, Assistant State Transportation Engineer, Deputy Secretary for Operations, and Assistant Secretary. He was appointed Secretary of Transportation by Governor Bob Graham in 1981.

Thomas E. Drawdy Thomas E. Drawdy 1985-1987

 

Thomas E. Drawdy joined DOT in 1950 in the contracts office and entered DOT’s Engineer Training Program, then a three-year course. From 1958 to 1962, Drawdy served as a project engineer in both District Two and Three, supervising construction projects. In 1971, he was named State Estimates Engineer and was responsible for engineering computer applications, as well as preliminary and final estimates on all DOT construction contracts. Prior to being named Secretary by Governor Bob Graham, Drawdy served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technical Policy and Engineering Services.

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Kaye Henderson Kaye N. Henderson 1987-1989

 

Kaye N. Henderson grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Virginia Military Institute. After his military discharge, he worked at Tampa Electric Company, and was the utility’s youngest general manager. In 1969, he joined Reynolds, Smith and Hills, a Jacksonville engineering firm, where he was corporate vice president when Governor Bob Martinez named him Secretary of Transportation.

Ben G. Watts Ben G. Watts 1989-1997

 

Ben G. Watts grew up in Chipley, Florida, and District Three was the beginning point of his career.  Watts was a registered professional engineer, and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in science.  He served five years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before joining DOT as a district roadway maintenance engineer. In 1984, he became a deputy engineer in District Five, and in 1987 he became District Five Secretary. In early 1989, Watts was named Assistant Secretary of Operations of DOT’s seven districts and Florida’s Turnpike, and in August, Governor Bob Martinez appointed him Secretary of Transportation. Watts was retained as Secretary of DOT in 1991 by Governor Lawton Chiles.

Thomas F. Barry, Jr. Thomas F. Barry, Jr. 1997-2003

 

Thomas (Tom) F. Barry, Jr., P.E. graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  Barry began his DOT career in the department's District Four office in Ft. Lauderdale in 1979.  Barry served as Secretary of the department from August 1997 to February 2003.  Prior to his appointment, Barry served as Assistant Secretary for Finance and Administration.  Previously, he directed DOT operations in ten Central Florida counties as District Five Secretary.

Jose Abreu Jose Abreu 2003-2005

 

Jose Abreu was born in Cuba and is a 1977 graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a certified engineering contractor.  He is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Miami’s School of Engineering and the Board of the Association of Cuban-American Civil Engineers.  Abreu served as Secretary of the department from March 2003 to July 2005.

 

   
Denver Stutler Denver Stutler 2005-2006

 

Mr. Stutler completed his undergraduate studies in 1987 at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he majored in civil engineering.  He received his Masters degree in civil engineering in 1989 from UCF and was elected Student Body President while attending the university. Stutler served as Secretary of the department from June 2005 to December 2006.

 

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Stephanie Kopelousos Stephanie Kopelousos 2007-2011

 

Ms. Kopelousos is a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama. Ms. Kopelousos entered public service in 1993 as a Legislative Assistant to Congresswoman Tillie K. Fowler, who represented Florida's 4th District including Jacksonville. Ms. Kopelousos served as Secretary of the department from April 2007 to February 2011.