Board of Directors

Florida Development Finance Corp.

Jason Rojas, Chair

Jason received bachelor’s degrees in both History and Criminology, along with his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida. For more than 12 years, he worked in the Florida House of Representatives as an Attorney and as a Staff Director for various committees, he later served as General Counsel for the entire chamber and finally as Staff Director for the Office of the Majority Leader before he was asked to serve as the Director of Agenda Development and Transition for Speaker Oliva.  Jason has a unique perspective on the agency, as he was a part of the team working on the legislation that created DEO. He has been at DEO since March of 2019.

Paul Tanner, Vice-Chair

Paul C. Tanner brings 36 years of experience in the financial industry as a Registered Representative and serves as a Managing Director and a Founding Partner for Las Olas Capital Advisors and a Member of the GP for Las Olas Venture Capital.

Paul graduated from Florida Atlantic University.  Paul has served on the Board for the City of Fort Lauderdale General employees Retirement System, and on the St. Thomas Aquinas Foundation, and currently serves on the Board of the Florida Development Finance Corporation, the Investment Committee for the Community Foundation of Broward, the Advisory Board for the Flagship Campus of Keiser University, and the Urban League of Broward County.

Paul and his wife, Jodi Jeffreys-Tanner, enjoy living in the Fort Lauderdale community and spending time with their three sons: Stephen, Garrett, and Jerrod.

Ayanna Louis-Charles, Treasurer

Ayanna Louis-Charles has 16 years of experience in the financial services industry and is currently an Executive Director with Morgan Stanley’s Fixed Income Division. Ms. Louis-Charles has spent the past 13 years providing investment banking services to a wide range of state and local government issuers nationally and in the state of Florida for the past seven years. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2014, Ms. Louis-Charles held positions in the public finance groups at Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and PNC Capital Markets.

Ms. Louis-Charles received a B.A. in economics from Williams College and an M.B.A in finance, economics, and international business from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Ayanna and her husband have two young sons and reside in South Florida.

J. Nelson Bradshaw, Board Member

Nelson Bradshaw is the NE Florida CEO for BBVA Compass Bank. A graduate of LSU with a degree in Finance, he started his banking career 30 years ago with J.P. Morgan Chase in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has spent the last 23 years as a banker in Florida with SunTrust and BBVA Compass Bank. Bradshaw relocated to Jacksonville in September 2008 as the market executive, after holding the same position in Pensacola, Florida since 2001. He has held numerous civic leadership positions over the years including State board positions with the Florida Development Finance Corporation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Florida Bankers Association, and NAIOP. Local board positions include Jacksonville Downtown Rotary, World Affairs Council, JAX Chamber of Commerce, Hubbard House Foundation, and UNF College of Business Advisory Board.

J. Ben Watkins, III, Board Member

J. Ben Watkins III was appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Cabinet as the Director of the Florida Division of Bond Finance in 1995. Director Watkins is well known and respected for his work in the municipal “muni” bond industry. He is an active member and has served in a variety of leadership roles on muni associations. He is a past vice chairman and board member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), former chairman of the Committee on Government Debt for the Government Finance Officers Association, and currently serves as a member on the National Association of State Treasurers and National Association of Bond Lawyers.

He has been nationally recognized for his contributions to the muni industry by receiving the Jim Lebenthal Infrastructure Champion Award (2017), the National Federation of Municipal Analyst Industry Contribution Award (2009), and the National Association of Treasurers Tanya Gritz Award for Excellence in Public Finance (2001).

Additionally, Director Watkins serves as the chairman and past president of the Economic Club of Florida and board member on the Municipal Code Corporation Board, Florida State University Coastal and Marine Lab Advisory Board, Maclay School Board of Trustees, and Tall Timbers Research and Land Conservancy Board.

Prior to his role as Director, he practiced public finance law with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida and his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Auburn University. A Florida native, Director Watkins and his wife Joy have two daughters and reside in Tallahassee.

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