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
?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.