Scott names FDOT bossby John Kennedy | April 18th, 2011
After apparently mulling the decision for months, Gov. Rick Scott didn’t look far in naming a new chief of the state’s road-building agency, which lawmakers look to as a potential job creator in a punishing economy.
Ananth Prasad, an 18-year Florida Department of Transportation veteran, was named the agency’s new secretary Monday by Scott. Prasad rejoined FDOT last July after a two-year hiatus in which he was vice-president of a construction services firm.
The $7 billion agency oversees road-building, land acquisition and highway maintenance, along with port dredging, an area close to Scott, who wants Florida ports better positioned to compete for trade. Prasad had been an assistant secretary for engineering and operations.
Prasad succeeds Stephanie Kopelousos, who left FDOT when former Gov. Charlie Crist’s term expired, and is now with the U.S. House Transportation Committee, under chairman Rep. John Mica, R-Orlando.
Prasad had been recommended to Scott by the Florida Transportation Commission, along with two other finalists, Thomas Conrecode, a vice president of Collier Enterprises; and former Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordon Goodin.
“Florida is facing challenging times and FDOT plays a significant role in the kind of private-sector job creation that this state desperately needs,” said Bob Burleson, president of the Florida Transportation Builders Association.