As the nations 3rd largest state, Florida’s key issues are more than just state issues – many are nationally significant.  Accordingly, the Florida Association of Counties' Board of Directors approved the creation of a Federal Policy Committee in 2013.   Participation in this committee is open to all FAC members.


Each year, the committee, through the guidance of the membership, develops a federal advocacy program to share with national leaders and lawmakers.  Staffed solely by internal FAC staff, FAC’s federal program consists of a limited number of key federal issues affecting Florida county governments. 


Eric S. Poole

Foundation Executive Director

Click here to email Eric

(850) 922-3677

Val Gelnovatch

Partner at The Ferguson Group

Click here to email Val

(202) 270-4074


FAC staff provide informational services on these issues to all FAC members throughout the year via newsletter, monthly conference calls, action alerts and committee meetings during FAC conferences.  FAC staff also advocates FAC’s program before the U.S. Congress and federal agencies. 


In order to build a strong and efficient federal advocacy program, FAC has partnered with The Ferguson Group, a Washington DC based lobbying firm with a Florida office, who specializes in representing local governments in Washington.  The Ferguson Group provides pro bono consulting to FAC on important federal issues facing counties.   Val Gelnovatch, a native Floridian and partner at The Ferguson Group, provides FAC membership with federal updates and insight on advocacy strategies at FAC Federal Committee meetings, monthly phone calls and Washington DC advocacy meetings.  The Ferguson Group also provides FAC membership with weekly summaries of congressional legislation, hearings, and federal grants for counties.  Links to all materials related to FAC’s Annual Federal Legislative Program can be found below.   



2017-18 Federal Committee Members

Heather Carruthers, Monroe County, Chair

Rob Williamson, Santa Rosa County, Vice Chair

Bill Truex, Charlotte County, Policy Leader

Brian Hamman, Lee County, Policy Leader

Doug Smith, Martin County, Policy Leader

Michael Moran, Sarasota County, Policy Leader

Barbara Sharief, Broward County, Policy Leader

Carl Zalak, Marion County, Policy Leader

Sean Parks, Lake County, Policy Leader

Charlie Justice, Pinellas County, Policy Leader

Kathryn Starkey, Pasco County, Policy Leader

2017 Congressional Calendar


The Ferguson Group Weekly Federal Grant, Legislative and Water Reports