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FWC welcomes new chairman, vice chairman

News Release

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

Today, new leaders assume their roles with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). At its meeting June 25 in Sarasota, the FWC elected Vice Chairman Brian Yablonski of Tallahassee to serve as chairman and Aliese “Liesa” Priddy of Immokalee to serve as vice chairman.

Yablonski has served on the Commission since January 2004 and is currently in his third five-year term. During his service, he has helped the Commission build a strong record of conservation and sound management of Florida’s natural resources while expanding opportunities for Floridians to hunt and fish. He is especially enthusiastic about the Commission's efforts to connect Florida's youth with quality outdoor experiences.

“I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity to continue doing what is best for Florida,” Yablonski said. “I’ll work to uphold the conservation heritage of this great state while ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy our diverse fish and wildlife resources and habitat.”

Yablonski is external affairs director for Gulf Power Company. An avid sportsman, he particularly enjoys backpacking, hunting, mountain biking and fishing.

He also serves as an adjunct fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center based in Bozeman, Mont. The center is the nation's oldest and largest institute working to use market principles to solve environmental problems.

Yablonski graduated from Wake Forest University and the University of Miami School of Law. He served as deputy chief of staff and as policy director from 1999-2003 to Gov. Jeb Bush. He also served on the 2007-2008 Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, where he sponsored the successful Constitutional Amendment 4 to protect Florida's wildlife habitats through tax relief. In 2009, he was named Florida's Wildlife Conservationist of the Year by the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Priddy has served on the Commission since January 2012. A third-generation Floridian, Priddy learned about hunting and fishing from her parents and grandparents at a young age. She owns and operates the JB Ranch, a working cattle ranch in southwest Florida.

 “I look forward to continuing to highlight the value that land management and species conservation have in Florida,” Priddy said.

Priddy has served on the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District since 2005, and served on the Big Cypress Basin Board from 2004 to 2010. Priddy received the 2011 Land Conservationist of the Year Award from the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Priddy received a bachelor's degree from Georgia Southern University and Florida Gulf Coast University and completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

FWC Facts:
Programs such as Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs© have successfully reduced the potential for youth attraction to dangerous lifestyles.

Learn More at AskFWC