The Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association has tapped Stephen “Pepper” Uchino to serve as its next president.
FSBPA Chair Gary McAlpin announced the hire last month, touting Uchino’s professional and educational background as a solid fit for the association.
Uchino is an alumnus of the University of Miami, where he earned his law degree as well as a master’s degree from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
His experience in Florida politics includes working as the staff director and attorney for the Florida Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation, a position he held from 2009 through 2015.
Most recently, Uchino had a successful career in state level lobbying.
During his final quarter at Anfield Consulting, he and fellow lobbyists Albert Balido, Frank Bernardino and Edgar Fernandez collected an estimated $855,000 in pay for the firm.
Uchino started the new job Sept. 1. State records show he withdrew his lobbying registration on Tuesday.
In a news release announcing the hire, FSBPA said its “Executive Committee and Interim President, Debbie Flack, are confident that Pepper will continue and strengthen the role of FSBPA on behalf of Florida’s beaches.”
FSBPA, which describes itself as a “league of cities and counties,” was founded in 1957 to explore the causes of and remedies to beach erosion. That year, they successfully persuaded the Florida Legislature to create the State Department of Beaches and Shores as well as a research wave tank at the University of Florida.