Enterprise Florida Business Development Director Cori Henderson was selected Wednesday to oversee which Florida Gulf Coast will get some of the hundreds of millions of dollars BP PLC has agreed to pay for damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Henderson, who’s also a former legislative aide to state Sen. Tom Lee among others, was picked to be program administrator for Florida Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., the corporation created by the state Legislature to oversee distribution of 75 percent of the Deep Horizon lawsuit settlement money, which will exceed $1 billion for Florida, along areas of the Gulf Coast.
Distributions could start being approved as early as Jan. 29. Florida will receive a total of $2 billion over an 18-year period.
She’ll evaluate and rank economic recovery project applications for the first $300 million available from individuals, organizations and local governments responding to losses suffered because of the massive soil of nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, much of it washing up on beaches from Florida to Texas.
The Florida Triumph Gulf Coast board of directors offered her a three-year contract, paying $96,000 a year.
The board first met in July and has solicited and received the applications for the first round of settlement money.
“I am very happy to say that we now have Triumph Gulf Coast in place,” said chairman and former House Speaker Allan Bense of Panama City. “We have the folks, the people that we need, the law firm, the CPAs, the economic adviser, the program administrator, the executive director in Susan Skelton, and it’s time now to begin reviewing these applications and moving forward.”