The South Florida National Parks Trust (SFNPT), the official nonprofit partner of South Florida’s four national parks, has elected two new officers to lead the organization during the coming year.
Wayne Rassner of Miami was elected chair on Sept. 25 during a meeting at Biscayne National Park. Fran Mainella of Bonita Springs was elected vice chair.
Rassner is a Miami attorney, a park volunteer and a member of the Python Patrol at Everglades National Park who is licensed to capture pythons in the park for scientific research. A Miami native and a graduate of both the University of Miami and the UM School of Law, Rassner is the coowner of Kramer & Rassner PA. He and his wife, Debbie, live in Miami and have two sons and one granddaughter. Rassner joined the SFNPT board in May 2008 and formerly served as the organization’s vice chair.
Mainella became the first woman to lead the National Park Service in 2001 when she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 16th director of the NPS. She led the agency until her retirement in 2006. Prior to joining the NPS, Mainella served for 12 years as director of Florida’s State Parks, which earned a Gold Medal Award recognizing Florida as the best state park system in the nation. She is a visiting scholar at Clemson University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management in South Carolina. She joined the SFNPT board in 2014 and lives on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Rassner is the fourth board member to chair the SFNPT since its inception in 2002. He succeeds Neal McAliley, a partner at White & Case LLP in Miami.
The South Florida National Parks Trust was established in 2002 to support South Florida’s four national parks — Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve. Since its inception, the Trust has provided more than $5 million in funding to support park projects and programs in five critical areas: environmental education, resource protection, ranger programs, volunteer activities and community outreach. For more information, visit www.southfloridaparks.org or www.facebook.com/southfloridanationalparkstrust on Facebook.