Bay County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee
Enacted in July 2012, the federal Resources, Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies (RESTORE) of the Gulf Coast States Act provides for the allocation and use of funds resulting from Clean Water Act civil and administrative penalties from the Deepwater Horizon blowout and subsequent oil spill. A portion of these funds will come directly to Bay County.
On January 21, 2014, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution 3207 to establish a RESTORE Act Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to solicit public input, draft a plan, and set goals for Bay County’s use of funds received from the RESTORE Act. The Committee also reviews projects and submits recommendations to the Bay County Board of County Commissioners for consideration. Final decisions rest with the County Commissioners.
The Committee consists of nine members. Each of the five county commissioners appointed a member, and the four remaining members represent organizations specified in the County’s resolution. Committee members receive no money for their work on the committee. They are volunteering their time because of their concern for the community and the opportunities RESTORE funds offer for the betterment of Bay County.
Members of the Bay County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee are:
- Becca Hardin, representing Bay County Economic Development Alliance
- Kim Bodine, representing the CareerSource Gulf Coast
- Dean Dr. Randy Hanna, representing Florida State University Panama City
- Wayne Stubbs, representing Port Panama City
- Melissa Thompson, nominated by Comm. Tommy Hamm, District 1
- J. Adam Albritton, nominated by Comm. Robert Carroll, District 2
- Brandon Aldridge, nominated by Comm. William T. Dozier, District 3
- W.C. Harlow, nominated by Comm. Guy M. Tunnell, District 4
- Jack Bishop, nominated by Comm. Philip Griffitts, District 5
J. Adam Albritton, a fourth generation resident of Bay County, Florida, graduated from Gulf Coast State College and then went on to graduate from Florida State University at- Panama City campus with his Bachelor's degree. He then went on to receive his Law Degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida. He is currently practicing law in Bay and surrounding Counties.
Mr. Albritton has spent his life fishing, hunting and enjoying the waters surrounding Bay County; employing the lessons handed down to him from the generations that preceded him. He is anxious to begin working with the members of the Advisory Committee, the Board of County Commissioners, and the residents of this County in determining the best way to preserve and enhance the economic and environmental future for generations to come. As a member of this Advisory Committee, Mr. Albritton hopes to assist the Board of County Commissioners in designating projects that will have a meaningful impact on all Bay Countians.
Brandon Aldridge has called beautiful Bay County his home since the year 2000. Since then, Mr. Aldridge married his wife Jennifer and they have two daughters named Abigail and Scarlet. He is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in International Business. Mr. Aldridge is V.P. of Operations and owner of A Converting Inc., a 3M Preferred converting manufacturer that he, along with his father and brother, founded in 2011. He is also an Associate Pastor for Cornerstone Family Fellowship and has served the congregation there since 2008.
Mr. Aldridge currently serves on the advisory board for the Bay County Juvenile Teen Court. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and girls on the beach and at Econfina. He also enjoys hunting duck and quail when time allows. Mr. Aldridge is honored to serve the people of Bay County and assist the Bay County Commission on the Restore Act Advisory Committee. He believes his love for Bay County and its citizens will translate into being beneficial for future prosperity both economically and environmentally in Bay County.
Jack Bishop is a restaurateur on Panama City Beach since 1971. He is an owner of Capt. Jack's Family Buffet, Jack Bishop's Family Buffet, the Breakers Restaurant and the New Harpoon Harry's Waterfront Restaurant.
Born in Hancock Michigan, Mr. Bishop grew up in Houghton, Michigan, graduated from Houghton High School in 1961, and graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. He started his career in the restaurant business at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty Restaurant in 1961. The USAF took over in 1967 and Mr. Bishop was assigned to Tyndall AFB. He was discharged in 1971.
Jack Bishop and two partners bought the Breakers Restaurant in 1971, and for the next 42 years operated the Breakers and numerous other restaurants including the Breakers East, the Shade Tree, Bishop's Steak and Spirits and the St. Andrews Bay Restaurant in Bay County while raising two wonderful children, Terri and Christopher. He is now a grandparent to four lovely granddaughters.
Kimberly L Bodine, Executive Director for CareerSource Gulf Coast, has nineteen years of experience in implementing and managing workforce programs. Mrs. Bodine is active in workforce and economic development organizations and area chambers of commerce throughout the three county area. She serves on the executive committee of Florida's Great Northwest, is a member of the Small Business Incubator Board of Bay County, and is Interim Chair of the Bay, Gulf, Franklin Healthy Start Coalition.
Mrs. Bodine is a past Richard L. McLaughlin Volunteer of the year award winner, and participates in several task forces/working groups at the state level related to workforce and economic development. She holds a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of West Florida. Mrs. Bodine is married to husband Bob, and has two teen aged sons, Ryan and Noah.
Becca Hardin joined the Bay Economic Development Alliance (BayEDA) in October 2014 and currently serves as interim president. Previously, Ms. Hardin served as the executive vice president of economic development for the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Partnership joint development authority. Over her 13 year career with the Chamber, Becca was instrumental in leading the business recruitment strategy for the Valley Partnership region. She was involved in the efforts to recruit Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia and Kia suppliers. She also led the efforts to recruit NCR to Columbus, Georgia. Most recently she served as Vice President of Business Development for Batson-Cook Company.
Ms. Hardin has been named (three times) as one of Georgia's Top-100 most influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine. She is a member of the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC), IEDC (International Economic Development Council), SEDC (Southern Economic Development Council), and Rotary International.
Mr. W.C. Harlow is a native of Panama City. After serving in the U.S. Army signal intelligence branch, he returned to Panama City and received his degree from Gulf Coast Community College. For thirty-five years Mr. Harlow was in the banking business, and was vice-president of commercial lending for 14 years. He is a charter member and former president of the Lynn Haven Rotary Club, and was a long-term member of the Lynn Haven Planning Commission, including a three-year stint as chairman. Mr. Harlow is also a former Lynn Haven Commissioner.
Wayne Stubbs began his career in 1979 as a boarding agent with Harrington and Co. in the Port of Savannah. From 1982 to 1986, he managed the export of woodchips to Scandinavia as Executive Vice President of Savannah Sales Corporation.
In 1986, he moved to Fernandina Beach to develop and manage a new deepwater port. There he served as the President of Nassau Terminals until 2001.
Mr. Stubbs came to Panama City in August 2001 to serve as the Executive Director of the Panama City Port Authority. During his tenure, the Port has invested over $75 million dollars in new facilities, and achieved a threefold increase in cargo activity.
Melissa Thompson moved to Bay County from her hometown of Niceville, Florida in 1997. She and her husband, Sven, raised their two children in Panama City. Together, they own and manage E-file America, Inc., a tax preparation business with locations in Panama City and Marianna. Her other work background includes banking, insurance and the US House of Representatives.
In 2011, US Rep. Steve Southerland tapped Ms. Thompson to be his Deputy District Director, overseeing the seven western counties of Florida's 2nd Congressional District. In that roll, she took a keen interest in US fisheries management. On behalf of Rep. Southerland, Ms. Thompson worked to prevent the nation's recreational fishing sector from becoming privatized.
Attending five Gulf Council and FWC meetings annually, along with various AP committee meetings, Ms. Thompson learned a great deal about fisheries management and the value of the industry to coastal counties. As a private citizen, she helps groups that want to grow the fishery and increase access for recreational fishers.
For additional information, please contact Jim Muller, Bay County RESTORE Act Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org