Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Five to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Martin Garcia, Bridget Ziegler, Brian Aungst Jr., Michael A. Sasso, and Ron Peri to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, with Mr. Garcia appointed chairman of the board.

Martin Garcia

Garcia, of Tampa, has practiced law and served as partner in two premier law firms. Additionally, Garcia owned and operated a successful private equity investment firm and served on the board of a NASDAQ and three New York Stock Exchange companies.

Bridget Ziegler

Ziegler, of Sarasota, serves on the Sarasota School Board and is the Director of School Board Programs at The Leadership Institute. Prior to her current role, Ziegler has over a decade of experience in commercial insurance working with two of the largest global risk and insurance brokerage firms.

Brian Aungst Jr.

Aungst, of Clearwater, is an attorney and shareholder at the law firm of Macfarlane Ferguson and McMullen, P.A. Aungst has previously served as the Chairman of the Pinellas County Commission Redistricting Committee and has a growing land use law practice where he has gotten approval for hotels, condominiums, affordable housing developments, and the redevelopment of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Michael A. Sasso

Sasso, of Orlando, is the Managing Partner of Sasso and Sasso, P.A. His practice focuses on election law and complex business and construction litigation. Sasso was also appointed to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, was subsequently elected its chair, and now serves on the Sixth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission. He also serves as a commissioner of the Public Employees Relations Commission and as a trustee of Valencia State College.

Ron Peri

Peri, of Orlando, is the Chairman and CEO of The Gathering USA. Peri was also founder, Chairman, and CEO of the airline software company Radixx International, Inc. after serving as Vice President and CTO of AirTran Airways.

These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

  • a bunch of ideological fanatics without one whit of actual infrastructure or urban planning experience. Pure play political theater rather than actual governance. Just like Ronnie.

    • They seem a heck of a lot more qualified than anyone on either our county or city commission. And their resume’s look like they won’t be bamboozled by the smooth talkers at Wall Street like the rubes at our fair city.

    • And what exactly does infrastructure or urban planning have to do with a tourism oversight board? If they need expert opinions in those areas they can always get them.

      DeSantis 24

  • Why does tourism need government “oversight’? Am I the only small government conservative left in this state?

    • Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is the new name for Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

      Based on news analysis all the legislature/DeSantis did was change the name and give DeSantis the power to appoint the board. All powers, privileges, and functions under Disney were left intact.

      Disney has stated they can live with the changes.

      All the appointees are either major donors to the DeSantis campaign or well connected to the Fla Republican Party–examples being Martin Garcia, donated $50,000 to the DeSantis campaign while Bridget Ziegler is the wife of the Fla GOP’s chair and co-founder of Moms for Liberty.

      Nothing else has changed regarding Disney operations according to news reports.

    • Listen “Conrad,” I (and the people who EARN MY VOTE) may not adhere to the classic tenants of Individual Freedom, Limited Government, Rule of Law, Peace through Strength, Fiscal Responsibility, Free Markets. OR Human Dignity. BUT…. I’m for anyone or anything that advances performative white nationalism and penalized private companies who run their own companies in a way that is politically damaging to me….

      ….and I think democrats eat babies so I’m PRETTY SURE we here in the Alachua Chronicle comments section are the conservative-est of ALL CONSERVATIVES! Shove off Edmund Burke! Mr. Trump and his loyal followers are the TRUE CONSERVATIVES 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  • >