This is the 25th Aniversary of the Governor's Hurricane Conference. I have lost count of how many of these conferences I have attended, but I know I have been to at least ten. I enjoy this conference because I get to see a lot of people in the Florida emergency management community that I don't get to see the rest of the year.
Besides the fact that this is the 25th anniversary of the conference, we have a lot of firsts for the conference this year. This is the first conference for the new Director of the Divison of Emergency Management, Bryan Koon. This is also the first conference for our new Governor, Rick Scott.
The first speaker of the afternoon opening session was Governor Bob Martinez, who was the Governor of Florida when the first conference was held. Bryan Koon spoke next and mentioned that the last hurricane conference he attended, in Rhode Island, was three hours long. Florida's five day conference and training sessions gives him a new perspective. Bryan says that he enjoys his job. That's good. He will have some trials in his future.
Governor Scott is a much different public speaker than Governor Crist. I heard Governor Crist speak at the State EOC and at this Conference many times. All his speeches were the same, and emphasized what a great job we were doing. Thus, I did not find them very memorable.
Governor Scott's first speech was memorable. He made a number of comments that weren't in his prepared remarks. He told funny stories. He made mistakes reading his presentation. And best of all, he kept it short. Like Bryan Koon, he may have to endure some emergency related trials as a part of his job in the future.
Tomorrow I have a speaking engagement first thing. I am looking forward to it.