Pompano Beach, FL
Dawn McCormick is responsible for communications and community relations activities for Waste Management in Florida, co-manages the company’s Public Affairs activities in Tallahassee and coordinates the company’s Recycling Improvement initiatives in the state.
A former TV anchor and reporter, Dawn is Chair of the Florida Recycling Partnership, Vice Chair of Keep Florida Beautiful, a board member of The Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida, and Chair of the Legislative Committee of Recycle Florida Today. She is a member of Leadership Florida’s Class XXXIV.
McCormick received her Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.
She is married to Rev. Dr. Kirk McCormick, Executive Pastor of Royal Palm Church in Lake Worth, FL. They have three young adult children.
Elizabeth Castro DeWitt
Florida Beverage Association
St. Augustine, FL
Elizabeth is the Executive Director of the Florida Beverage Association where she oversees public policy initiatives, and works with local and state governments on issues impacting the Beverage Industry.
Elizabeth previously worked as the Manager of State Government Affairs for the world’s 3rd largest petrochemical company, LyondellBasell, overseeing all legislative and regulatory strategy for the company’s portfolio in the United States. She ensured that business objectives were met through both direct advocacy and liaising with trade associations. In addition, she managed the Political Action Committee (PAC) and all grassroots activities for LyondellBasell.
Beginning in 2007, Elizabeth worked at BP as the Director of the BP Civic Action Program, where she successfully launched a nationally recognized grassroots program. In 2008, she became the Director of BP Civic Affairs, overseeing both grassroots and PAC efforts. In 2010, she served as the Public Information Officer and Operational Liaison in the Joint Incident Command for MC252 (BP Oil Spill). In this role, she managed relationships and communications with key stakeholders at the local, county and state levels.
Elizabeth graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from Northwest Missouri State University, as well as, a Master’s of Business Administration.
International Bottled Water Association
With nearly 30 years in the public affairs arena, James P. (J.P.) Toner, Jr. is Director of Government Relations for the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), where he handles state and local government relations and lobbying and management of the IBWA PAC. In this role, J.P. testifies on legislation, authors comments, works with state and local government organizations, and monitors state and local legislative and regulatory activity across the country on behalf of the association and its members.
Prior to joining IBWA, J.P. was Manager of External Affairs at Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the association of the nation’s shareholder-owned utility companies. In this role, J.P. manages grassroots activities, Internet advocacy and state and local government group relationships for the association.
J.P. worked as Director of Grassroots Consulting for Aristotle, an international public affairs consulting firm, supporting clients in their efforts to improve their grassroots, PAC and advocacy programs.
He came to Aristotle after four years as Manager of Political Involvement Programs at the Public Affairs Council (PAC), the country’s premier association for public affairs professionals. At PAC, J.P. was a resource for grassroots, community involvement, corporate philanthropy and international public affairs for the Council’s members.
J.P.’s first position in the Washington DC area was as a Manager of Legislative Services at Stateside Associates, a state legislative monitoring and issues management firm in Arlington, VA. Prior to moving to the area, J.P. worked for several public and private organizations and specialized in the fields of public affairs, public relations, media relations, community involvement, grassroots organization and campaign work.
Vice President of Operations
Donn Githens currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for Goodwill Manasota and in this role, reports to the President & CEO. Githens is responsible for the successful operation of GIM primary and secondary Goodwill GoodNeighbor Centers (GGCs), Transportation, Home Services, Purchasing, White Glove-Donor Development, Attended Donation Centers (ADCs), Titled Goods, post retail operations, as well as technical assistance, training, and leadership development. Additionally, responsibilities include planning and developing donated goods operations activities using all available data, resources, and capabilities to ensure continuous performance improvement within GIM.
Previously the Director of Retail Operations for Goodwill Manasota, Githens was promoted in 2015 to his new role as a Vice President in the nonprofit organization. Before becoming employed at Goodwill Manasota, he held the titles of Director of Transportation and Attended Donation Centers and Regional Director of Retail Operations at Goodwill of North Georgia (Atlanta) for several years. Before that, he was the Director of Retail Operations for the Southern District of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers. Githens earned his MBA at Ashton University, and a Bachelor’s of Science from Florida State University and is a graduate of Goodwill Industries International’s Senior Leadership Program and the University of Georgia-Fanning Institute’s Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations (ELPNO). He enjoys fishing, boating, and all the outdoor activities Florida offers. Githens lives in Sarasota Florida with his wife Jenny and sons Tommy and Patrick.
Marpan Supply and Marpan Recycling
Andrew Williams serves as Vice President of Marpan Supply and Marpan Recycling in Tallahassee, FL.
The third generation working for the family-owned business, Andrew has experienced every facet of the organization from container maintenance to commercial truck and heavy equipment operation to overseeing the hauling and recycling daily operations. He has been with the company since 2000.
Marpan offers a broad suite of services to the greater Tallahassee area through its container rental and hauling division; C&D, Class III, and Single Stream Recycling plants, as well as its safety supply store.
A 7th generation Floridian, Andrew was born and raised in Tallahassee. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at the Florida State University College of Business.
Andrew and his wife, Marlene, reside in Tallahassee with their two children.
President and CEO,
Florida Ports Council
Doug Wheeler serves as the President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council (FPC), a nonprofit corporation that serves as the professional association for Florida’s 15 public seaports and their management. The FPC provides leadership, advocacy and information on seaport-related issues before the Legislative and Executive Branches of State and Federal Government.
Mr. Wheeler has more than 20 years of governmental affairs and association leadership at both the state and federal levels where he held previous positions with Associated Builders and Contractors, and more recently, the Florida Chamber of Commerce where he served as Vice President of Grassroots Advocacy and Political Action Development. Under Mr. Wheeler’s leadership and management of Florida’s largest federation of businesses, associations, and local chambers of commerce – encompassing more than 139,000 grassroots members – the Chamber worked aggressively and effectively to represent the interests of business in Florida.
Mr. Wheeler was also previously with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) for nearly six years serving as the Southeast Political Manager covering seven southeastern states. He worked closely with ABC chapters and members on all areas of political affairs at the federal level including candidate outreach, PAC fundraising, lobbying and grassroots efforts.
Before joining ABC he was with the Governmental Affairs firm of Watson, Daley and Gosnell, located in Tallahassee. He has also worked for the Florida House of Representatives during five Legislative Sessions and the Republican Party of Florida during the 1994 elections.
Mr. Wheeler graduated from The Florida State University with a degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in Political Communications. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife Ami and their two children.
Karl Berven is the Director of Corporate Services for Bealls, Inc., a United States retailer of 575 stores founded in 1915 in Bradenton, Florida.
Karl’s career began with Oregon-based retailer Fred Meyer Stores and continued with this retailer while attending Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. He advanced through store management positions and later accepted one as Corporate Trainer with Thriftway Stores. Soon, a business opportunity arose for Karl and his future wife to work in South Australia so they took the challenge to relocate there for three years.
While living in Adelaide, South Australia, Karl accepted an advisory position with Independent Grocers Cooperative (IGC), the largest grocery cooperative in the southern hemisphere, to implement and oversee store conversions to scanning systems.
Upon returning to the Pacific Northwest, he gained additional experience in the Industrial Engineering Department with Safeway Stores by identifying procurement and expense reduction opportunities and participating in ratio-delay time and motion studies to improve labor productivity. Other responsibilities included oversight of the Miscellaneous Income programs that enhanced the customer experience while increasing profits.
In 1998, Karl was recruited by Bradenton-based Bealls Inc., as Manager of Corporate Services. When the existing Facilities Manager retired, Karl accepted the position of Director of Facilities & Corporate Services, with expanded areas of responsibility. In this capacity he has managed $23 million in annual utility expense, as well as administration of waste and recycling services. Other areas of oversight included management of Bealls’ 130 car fleet program, Bealls’ corporate employee relocation program, and corporate office space management.
Karl became a member of the group “Professional Retail Store Management (PRSM)” in 2010, and has participated as a guest speaker and moderator during the PRSM National Conferences. Additionally, he wrote an article published in the PRSM Best Practices book regarding Retailer Recycling Best Practices.
Steven J Lezman
Senior Director, Government Affairs
Steve Lezman is PepsiCo’s Senior Director Government Affairs based in Bradenton Florida. Steve has 27 years’ experience with PepsiCo including Government Affairs, Environmental Affairs, Public Relations, Plant Operations Management, Facility Planning, and Engineering. Steve’s responsibilities include state and local government affairs in ten states assisting all the PepsiCo brands including Tropicana, Frito Lay, Pepsi Cola, Quaker and Gatorade. Steve also was a Plant Engineer for Ore Ida Foods in Michigan.
Steve has a Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Michigan.
Honorary Board Member
Charles “Chuck” Dees is Vice President, Public Affairs for Waste Management and is responsible for government affairs, community relations and communications in the State of Florida. Based in Houston, Texas, Waste Management is North America’s leading provider of comprehensive waste management and environmental services. It is a FORTUNE 200 company with revenues of approximately $13 billion and more than 43,000 employees.
As a 38-year veteran in the waste industry, Mr. Dees has held several positions over the years, gaining significant management, financial, field service and government relations experience.
He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Mississippi State University.