Volume 3, Number 52, December 25, 2006
IN 2007: RESOLVE TO SAVE MORE
Wishing you the best for the New Year,
-- Tom Gallagher
CFO-ELECT ALEX SINK ANNOUNCES NEW APPOINTMENTS, FOCUS ON ACCOUNTABILITY
Chief Financial Officer-elect Alex Sink announced the appointments of Eric Miller and Karen Chandler as deputy chief financial officers, Dr. Karen Stanford as research and planning administrator and Tara Klimek as communications director.
“I’m pleased to welcome experienced and talented professionals to my administration,” said Sink. “Their history of public service, commitment to accountability and leadership skills will be an asset to the Department of Financial Services and the people of Florida.”
Eric Miller, Deputy Chief Financial Officer-- To increase the Department of Financial Services’ focus on fraud prevention and investigation, Eric Miller has been promoted to the position of deputy chief financial officer. As deputy CFO, Miller will oversee the Divisions of State Fire Marshal, Insurance Fraud and Workers’ Compensation. Miller is currently the director of insurance fraud and has served as a sworn Florida law enforcement officer for over 24 years. CONTINUED
Karen Chandler, Deputy Chief Financial Officer-- With two decades of public service and a focus on consumer outreach, Karen Chandler will continue her service as deputy chief financial officer. As deputy CFO, Chandler will oversee the Divisions of Consumer Services; Insurance Agent and Agency Services; Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services; and the My Safe Florida Home mitigation program. Chandler has a proven track record of managing more than 1,000 state employees that advocate for Florida consumers in a variety of areas including: banking, insurance and funeral and cemetery services.
Dr. Karen Stanford, Research & Planning Administrator—A nationally-recognized expert in performance measures and cost-effective programming, Dr. Karen Stanford has accepted the position of research & planning administrator. In her new role, Dr. Stanford will spearhead the development of specific projects, including the implementation of more stringent accountability standards and the evaluation of state procurement practices. Dr. Stanford has served in the Department of Children and Families for the past eight years, focusing on performance, planning and contracting issues. Prior to her service at DCF, Dr. Stanford was executive director for the Florida Commission on Government Accountability to the People for five years, during CFO-elect Sink’s tenure as chair.
Tara Klimek, Communications Director-- A communications professional with several years experience in state government, Ms. Tara Klimek has accepted the position of director of communications. She recently served as communications director for the House Democratic Caucus in the Florida Legislature. She was also communications director for the Alex Sink for Chief Financial Officer Campaign, Tampa press secretary for Kerry/Edwards Victory 2004 Campaign and issues director for the Bill McBride for Governor Campaign. Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher’s Communications Director Tami Torres will serve as special program administrator for the My Safe Florida Home mitigation program under Deputy CFO Chandler.
CFO-elect Sink has previously appointed Jim Cassady as her chief of staff, Leslie “Les” Hallman to serve as the director of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Diana Flagg as the director of the Division of Administration.
GALLAGHER SAYS HOMEOWNERS ARE PLEASED WITH SERVICE THROUGH MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME PROGRAM
More Than 83 Percent of Survey Respondents Rate Service as Good or Excellent
Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, said that based on the results
of an electronic survey of 5,500 homeowners who have received inspections
through the My Safe Florida Home program, an overwhelming majority of
homeowners are pleased with the service they received through the program.
More than 35 percent of homeowners surveyed, or 1,940, responded. When
asked about the application process, over 95 percent stated that it was easy
(79 percent) or somewhat easy (16 percent). When asked how they would rate
their experience with their free inspections, over 87 percent of homeowners
who have received inspections stated that they were completely satisfied (62
percent) or somewhat satisfied (26 percent) with their experience.
funded with $250 million by the Florida Legislature, was created to better
protect Floridians by strengthening their homes against hurricanes and to
reduce the state’s exposure to hurricane damage.
Applying and obtaining a free home inspection is just the first step of the program. Homeowners who undergo a My Safe Florida Home inspection may also qualify for matching grants of up to $5,000 to fortify their homes. As directed by the new law to reduce hurricane exposure and property losses in Florida, grants will be prioritized and awarded to homeowners who live in high-risk, hurricane-vulnerable areas of the state.
Floridians eligible for a free home inspection must live in a single-family, site-built home with an insured value of $500,000 or less and have a valid homestead exemption. Documents verifying this information must be submitted with a completed application. Floridians can apply on-line at www.mysafefloridahome.com or by calling 1-800-342-2762 to get an application packet.
Gallagher said that the public response to this program and support for strengthening homes has been tremendous. Nearly 100,000 Floridians have gone on-line or called to learn more about the My Safe Florida Home program. Nearly 58,000 eligible Floridians have submitted completed applications for free home inspections.
Consumer Services HelpLine (800) 342-2762 www.MyFloridaCFO.com/PressOffice/Newsletter/