Candidate : Rachael Bennett
Office : County Commission - Dist 5
. Rachael Bennett graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree (BLA). She spent nearly 15 years in Atlanta during which time she pursued her career as the principal of a landscape architectural consulting company working with corporate and academic clients. Georgia was a great place, but Rachael wanted to be closer to family, and because her grandfather had lived, and both parents still lived in Florida, in 2001 Rachael returned to Florida to become the third generation of her family to live and work in this lovely state.
. She began her career here by working for St. Johns County as the Assistant Zoning Manager and had the opportunity to interact with a wide cross-section of residents, businesses, and professionals. It was during this time that she became thoroughly familiar with the County growth management regulations and policies, as well as with the character and needs of the different areas of the county and the folks who make it their home.
.It was also during this time that Rachael was inspired to begin the long process of preparing to run for County Commission. During her participation as Staff in public hearings, she was impressed with one of the most dynamic women in the County, who served on the PZA. Cathy Brown spoke often of serving the community, and the need for more people (and especially women) to get involved in policy making. That struck a chord in Rachael’s heart, and set the course for her future.
. In 2004, Rachael joined the engineering firm England, Thims & Miller, Inc. as a Senior Planner, and became involved in project planning and management, and interaction with regulatory agencies. During this time she had the opportunity to work with and become well versed in matters based in a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, wetlands and wildlife concerns, land use legal considerations, transportation projects, and budgetary and project scheduling management. Then in 2006 Rachael joined The Hutson Companies as a planner, and was soon promoted to Vice- President. Her tenure at Hutson Companies saw her involved with community planning, database management, permitting and project management, and with management of the conservation lands, timberlands and farm lands of the acreage located in St. Johns County.
. In 2012, Rachael determined that the time was right for her to step forward and run for Commission. She was elected and installed as a Commissioner in November of 2012, and has served wholeheartedly since that time. She was honored to be elected as Chair in 2014, and had the opportunity to deepen her knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges before the County.
.Experience in a wide range of subjects, disciplines, and concerns is a critical factor in having the ability to serve effectively. The many years spent studying, participating, and preparing have stood Rachael well in giving her the background necessary to be an effective Commissioner. Her experience with answering residents' concerns and her continuing volunteer efforts keep her grounded in what matters most- the good people of this wonderful County! Experience matters!
.Rachael is a conservative Republican, a staunch supporter of private property rights, and believes in the importance of individual initiative, the entrepreneurial spirit, and free enterprise as the basis of a healthy economic system.
.Rachael lives on Anastasia Island with her two dogs, is an avid reader, a beekeeper, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and spends most of any free time that she has working in and enjoying her garden that provides fresh fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers for her table year 'round.
Please learn more at www.Rachael-Bennett.net
Rotary of St Augustine
Trinity Episcopal Church
St. Augustine Art Association
St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce
Friends of the Library- Anastasia Island Branch
St. Johns Federated Republican Women
Friends of the Guano(sic)-Tolomato-Matanzas NERR
Enterprising Women’s Leadership Institute
This profile has been approved by Rachael Bennett
PRISCILLA "RACHAEL" BENNETT