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CONTACT: Kristin Lock, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 778-7294 (cell)

DEP Announces New Florida Park Service Director

~26 year veteran promoted to lead Florida?s award-winning state parks~

TALLAHASSEE ? Today, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael W. Sole and Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation Bob Ballard announced the selection of Donald Forgione as Director of DEP?s Division of Recreation and Parks, also known as the Florida Park Service. Forgione is the first director to have worked his way up from a park ranger.

?Donald is the embodiment of the culture and service that Florida?s state parks are known for throughout the nation,? said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. ?I am confident that Donald will bring visionary leadership, strong values and great experience to continue to maintain Florida as the best state park system in the nation.?

A 26-year veteran of the Florida Park Service, Forgione began his career as a park ranger at Paynes Creek Historic Site in Bowling Green, Florida, in 1984. He has since worked his way up in the Florida Park Service throughout the state. He has served as assistant park manager, park manager, park law enforcement officer, as well as assistant bureau chief and bureau chief. For the last six years as District Two Bureau Chief, Forgione has provided overall management and administration of bureau operations for a 40 park network and more than 200 employees.

?I am truly in awe of the opportunity to be the leader of the Florida Park Service, an organization that I feel deeply connected to,? said new Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. ?I offer my sincerest thanks to my family, the staff, volunteers and mentors throughout my career who have taught me about the world?s finest natural and cultural resources - Florida?s state parks.?

Forgione was raised in Palm Beach Gardens and has lived in the Sunshine State since age six. He has received certification in environmental conservation and law enforcement, as well as in park maintenance management from North Carolina State University and is a state certified burn manager. Since joining the Florida state park system, Forgione has garnered additional training from the Florida Park Service?s Ranger Academy and Interpretive Workshop, the Nature Conservancy?s Fire Leadership Course and the National Recreation and Park Association?s Recreation and Park Executive Management course. Forgione has served as an instructor at multiple Ranger Academies in the areas of core values, land management, visitor services and facility maintenance.

Forgione has three children, four grandchildren and has been happily married for more than 30 years to Rosie Forgione. Forgione will bring with him a deep connection to the Florida Park Service values and a sincere commitment to the residents and visitors of Florida.

Donald Forgione

"Donald is the embodiment of the culture and service that Florida?s state parks are known for throughout the nation."

Michael W. Sole
DEP Secretary



Last updated: July 08, 2010

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