Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Barbara Miedema, vice president of public affairs and communications at the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, to the Palm Beach State College Board of Trustees. Miedema was appointed for a term that began Feb. 10 and ends May 31, 2019.
Chairman Charles Cross Jr. welcomed Miedema to the board. “Because of her extensive community involvement and professional expertise, she will be a great addition to our board at an exciting time for the college,” Cross said.
The appointment of Miedema, 58, of Wellington, comes as the college is preparing to open its fifth campus in Loxahatchee Groves, and she is the first trustee appointed in recent years who has direct ties to the Glades. The Michigan native has worked in the sugar industry for 31 years. She worked as vice president of public relations for the Florida Sugar Cane League before moving into her current role in 1991 at the cooperative, which comprises 45 small and medium-sized sugarcane farms in the Everglades Agricultural Area.
Miedema has been a supporter of the college and involved in its initiatives. She said she looks forward to continuing that support and bringing to the policy-making board a voice for the Glades as well as the western communities that the new Loxahatchee Groves campus will serve.
“I’m excited to serve the college. I’ve been a big supporter of the college, as has the cooperative. We’ve been active in the college for its entire time in the Glades,’’ she said, noting the cooperative helped the college secure land for the Belle Glade campus. “We kind of consider it the hidden jewel in the Glades. We’re really excited about the opportunity to help it expand and grow.”
Miedema praised PBSC President Ava L. Parker’s leadership and the direction of the college. “I look forward to working with her to bring the college into a whole new level of success and bring it to greater heights.”
Miedema served on Scott’s 2010 Transition Team for Regulatory Reform that provided input on how to streamline regulations that hinder job creation in Florida. She is a charter member of the South Florida Water Management District’s Water Resource Advisory Commission and a member of the Florida Fruit and Vegetables Association’s Environmental and Pest Management Committee.
She sits on the board and is a member of the executive committee of the Lake Okeechobee Regional Economic Alliance, a trustee of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce and a participant in the Glades Career Workforce Readiness Roundtable.
Miedema is a graduate of the University of Florida’s Leadership for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Leadership Palm Beach County and Leadership Glades programs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. She is an accredited public relations professional through the Florida Public Relations Association and has received 15 statewide awards of recognition for her work.
ABOVE: Barbara Miedema