Triumph Approves Transformational Projects in Northwest Florida


DeFuniak Springs, FL – Triumph Gulf Coast’s Board has voted to support transformational workforce and entrepreneurial projects in five Northwest Florida Counties. Following Friday’s support to expand workforce industry certification provided by the Walton County Sheriff, the Triumph Board has approved projects in all eight Triumph counties.

The Triumph Board conducted its annual election with Don Gaetz being re-elected as Chair, Allan Bense elected Vice Chair, Stephen Riggs, IV re-elected Treasurer and Executive Director Susan Skelton (non- member) re-elected Secretary.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office gained support by the Triumph Board to move forward to a Term Sheet for $2,217,965.00 of Triumph funding to expand pre- and post-release technical education and certification training programs in partnership with Emerald Coast Technical College (ECTC), a part of the Walton County School District.

The funds will be used to pave a driving pad for CDL training and certification, expanded welding certifications and computer technology certification. The program will also allow Sheriff Department employees to take classes and earn certifications in computer technology. Triumph’s participation is just under 50% of the $4,451,565.00 project.

This program is expected to reduce the challenges of those released from jail in successfully re-enter the mainstream economy, gaining employment and decreasing recidivism. The results of this program will be studied by Florida State University.

Triumph Gulf Coast’s board of directors is appointed by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General and presiding officers of the Legislature. The appointees to the Triumph Board are Allan Bense, Dr. Pam Dana, Chair Don Gaetz, Ben Lee, and Stephen Riggs, IV and Jason Shoaf. All meetings of the board are public.