Thank you for visiting my website to learn more about me, why I am passionate about serving you and why a Vote for me is a Vote for the committed leadership you deserve and expect.
I have lived and worked in our District 74 for over 12 years, am 54 years old and a life-long Republican. Currently I serve as the Vice Mayor of the City of North Port and have served as Mayor twice since first elected to the City Commission in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
Prior to serving on the Commission, I worked in management, marketing and public relations for over 29 years. As a small business owner, I specialized in managing trade show events, public speaking and business consulting. In the course of my business I wrote and published a book on business strategies as well as numerous training manuals and quarterly publications for freight transportation entrepreneurs. I also made appearances as a featured speaker on national radio and at international conventions and coached many individuals pursuing new careers.
Originally from New York, in 1987 I moved to Ohio where I met my husband, Mark, and we just celebrated our 26th anniversary. We moved to North Port in 2006 and have a daughter and 3 grandchildren. As a North Port resident I was involved in various civic and business organizations including: the Society of North Port Performing Arts Center; North Port Area Women’s Club; North Port Area Chamber of Commerce; Port Charlotte Chamber of Commerce; Toledo Blade Business Group; North Port High School Booster Club and the Coastal Wildlife Club.
As a City Commissioner for nearly 8 years I have served citizens in the South Sarasota County area through my leadership roles on various boards and committees including: the Policy Committee of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary; Florida League of Cities (FLC) Urban Administration Committee and Energy and Environmental Committee. Currently, I serve on the FLC Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee; National League of Cities (NLC) Transportation and Infrastructure Services Committee; NLC Youth and Family Council; Manasota League of Cities (a past president); Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the MPO Public Transportation Taskforce which I served as Chair.
During my tenure in public service, I have completed over 22 courses through the FLC and NLC for elected officials covering various topics including: ethics; land use planning; economic development; pensions; human resources; labor relations and leadership. Recently, I achieved a Silver Level in the NLC Leadership Training Institute. In 2015, 2017 and 2018 I was a recipient of the FLC Home Rule Hero Award for my advocacy efforts during the Florida legislative sessions to protect the home rule powers of all Florida cities and the peoples' right to local self-government afforded by the Florida Constitution.
Over the years I have met and worked with elected officials from all over the state and nation, advocating positions on bills and issues that affect local communities. That experience has not only enabled me to build relationships with my peers but also to gain a broad perspective of the similar yet unique challenges of cities, counties, citizens and businesses across our state.
When I came into office in 2010 it was a time when things were difficult for residents, businesses and the City due to the state of our national economy. I too was impacted by the recession so I know first hand how life can change in an instant. My slogan was, and still is, “Yates Relates”. I was in the trenches with the average person trying to overcome the challenges life throws our way and from my life experiences it is natural for me to be able to put myself in the shoes of others. My endeavor into the political arena was not something I ever aspired to do but rather was prompted by my fellow citizens asking me to run for office. I was intrigued, did a lot of research and believed that as a North Port resident, taxpayer, average citizen, mother, grandmother and small business owner, I not only could relate to most people, but with my passion, skills, courage and integrity I could help make a difference in protecting our rights, ensuring government works for the people and improving the quality of life in our community. I was honored the voters believed that too and elected me to serve as their voice on the City Commission.
In 2014 I sought re-election and while I had the drive to continue serving, what was important to me was whether I met the expectations of people so I asked folks what stood out to them about my service as Commissioner during my first term. The most common response was that I did exactly what I said I would do in staying true to being the reliable voice in standing up for the people. I had earned the trust and confidence of voters and was successful in my re-election.
Since 2010, I have consistently been the strong voice on issues important to my constituents including among many things: identifying and eliminating wasteful spending of taxpayers’ funds; keeping taxes low; improving public communications and involvement in the processes; leading the battle to retain the Bayflite Helicopter life-saving services in North Port; championing the protection of Warm Mineral Springs and refurbishment of the historically significant buildings; displaying of our Nation’s and Florida State motto “In God We Trust” in North Port’s City Chambers; advocating inclusion of protections for our veterans and pregnant women in the City’s Human Rights Ordinance and protecting the peoples' right to local self-government.
I am so humbled by the strong support and encouragement of so many people in my run for the State House. I would have never imagined that I would be doing what I am doing today.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me. It would be an honor to serve as your State Representative in District 74 and your support in any way possible can help make that happen. I am asking for your Vote in the August 28, 2018 Primary Election.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call me at 941-888-4088. Thank you for your consideration in voting for me to be your representative in the State House District 74.