Barbara Palmer, appointed by Rick Scott, to lead agency for persons with disabilities.

From Governor of Florida, Rick Scott’s staff on August 3, 2012:

Governor Rick Scott named Barbara Palmer as director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, effective August 22, 2012. She has served as the agency’s chief of staff since 2011.

“Throughout her distinguished career, Barbara has been widely recognized for her leadership and advocacy work on behalf of individuals seeking equal opportunities, and she has demonstrated that same high energy on behalf of Floridians with disabilities,” Governor Scott said. “The agency and the customers it serves will benefit from her broad range of experience and expertise.”

Previously, Palmer served as assistant secretary for administration with the Florida Department of Children and Families from 2009 to 2011. Among her private-sector experience, she was president and CEO of Palmer, Musick and Associates from 1993 to 2009 and CEO of Illuminactive Multimedia Inc. from 1995 to 1997. She served as director of the division of hotels and restaurants within the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation from 1989 to 1991.

At Florida State University, she was associate vice president for governmental relations from 1985 to 1989 and director of women’s intercollegiate athletics from 1977 to 1985. Nationally recognized for her efforts to secure passage of Title IX and ensure equity in sports for women in school athletic programs, Palmer was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1982.

In the 1970s, Palmer began her career as executive director and vice president of IMPACT Enterprises Inc., a company serving individuals with developmental, mental and physical disabilities transitioning from institutional settings to community placements. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University.

The current director, Mike Hansen, has accepted a position with the Florida Senate. With more than 30 years of experience with health and human services policy and budgeting, Hansen has spent the past year working to continue increased efficiencies at the agency with the goal of balancing the agency’s budget and ensuring the continuation of services to Florida’s persons with disabilities.

“Mike’s extensive experience with Medicaid services and budgeting have been a tremendous help as we continue to work to ensure the availability of services to one of Florida’s most vulnerable populations,” Governor Scott said. “I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

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