LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced new board members who will immediately take control of the 40-square mile Reedy Creek Improvement District – now functioning under a new name, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
The move comes as DeSantis signs legislation passed in a recent special session that removes the Disney-selected board and imposes a state-controlled, term-limited board appointed by the governor.
MEET THE NEW BOARD
Bridget Ziegler, Board Member, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Bridget Ziegler, a mother of three, is a member of the Sarasota County School Board. Ziegler was appointed to the school board in 2014 by Governor Rick Scott to fill a vacancy and was subsequently reelected in 2018 and 2022. Ziegler is a strong conservative who believes in limited government, parental rights, transparency, and fiscal responsibility.
In 2015, Ziegler co-founded the Florida Coalition of School Board members which served as a rival to the Florida School Board Association. The board was instrumental in passing numerous pieces of legislation focused on school choice, parental empowerment, and curriculum transparency.
Ziegler helped draft the Parents Bill of Rights with Florida State Representative Erin Grall. The legislation played an instrumental role in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order prohibiting school districts from imposing mask mandates. Ziegler, who worked closely with Moms For Liberty in its early stages of development says it’s critical that “the proper role of education is restored to protect our children and the future of our country.”
Brian Aungst, Jr., Board Member, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Brian Aungst, Jr., is an attorney and shareholder at the law firm of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, P.A. in Clearwater. Aungst recently served as the chairman of the Pinellas County Commission Redistricting Committee and is a gubernatorial appointee and past chairman of the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County. Aungst currently serves on multiple boards, including Ruth Eckerd Hall, one of the largest performing arts centers in the Tampa Bay region, the YMCA of the Suncoast, and the St. Petersburg College Public Policy Advisory Committee.
Mike Sasso, Board Member, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Michael A. Sasso serves as a partner in his law firm and focuses his practice on high-stakes litigation in Florida’s state and federal courts. He has served as the president of the Seminole County Bar Association, president of the Seminole County Legal Aid Society, president of the Seminole County Inns of Court, and as an elected governor for three terms on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, Young Lawyers Division. Michael has also been appointed by the president of The Florida Bar to the Florida Bar Civil Rules Committee. Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Michael to the Judicial Nominating Commission for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit and to Florida’s Public Employee Relations Commission. In 2021 Sasso was elected as chair of the commission.
Martin Garcia, Board Member, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Martin Garcia is an attorney and former partner of two law firms. He has owned and operated a private equity firm and served as chairman of his family’s charitable foundation. Garcia previously served as chairman of the Investment Advisory Council for the Florida Pension Fund System, chairman of the Trial Lawyer Section of the Florida Bar, chairman of the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nomination Commission and on the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, Board of Governors of the Florida Bar Association and Board of Trustees of Wake Forest University.
Ron Peri, Board Member, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Ron Peri is chairman and CEO of The Gathering USA, a ministry that focuses on areas where faith and culture intersect. Peri was founder, chairman, and CEO of Orlando-based airline software company Radixx International from 1993 to 2017. He has founded and managed three companies while also working as a consultant to international corporations and government agencies.