On Wednesday, incoming Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced the leadership of her Inaugural Committee as she readies to take over as the only Democrat holding statewide office in the Sunshine State on January 8.

The chairs of Fried’s Inaugural Committee are her sister Jenni Shaffren and Ben Pollara. Pollara is a Miami-based political consultant who was a Senior Advisor to Fried’s campaign. Stephanie McClung will serve as Executive Director of the Inauguration efforts, McClung served as Senior Finance Advisor to the Fried campaign.

Heading up finance for the Inaugural Committee are longtime Democratic strategists and activists, Mitchell Berger, Kelly Cohen, Jodi Bock Davidson, Justin Day, Sean Pittman, Heather Turnbull and Stephanie Grutman Zauder.

“I could not be more honored to be a part of my sister’s inauguration,” said Shaffren on Wednesday. “Nikki is a tremendous inspiration to me, my 9-year old daughter – who adores and idolizes her Aunt Nikki – and to women and girls throughout our state. This is an incredible moment for our family, but also for the people of Florida, who I know Nikki will serve with the same level of commitment and integrity that I have always known her to have.”

“When Nikki is sworn into office, she will do so as a leader that all Floridians can count on, and who will follow through on the promises of her campaign,” Pollara said. “From January 8th on, Nikki will fight every day to expand access to medical marijuana, protect our clean water and beaches, and ensure concealed weapons permits are issued responsibly. I am thrilled to be part of a dynamic, diverse group of Floridians who will help welcome her into office.”

The complete list of Commissioner-elect Nikki Fried’s Inaugural Committee leadership is below:

Nikki Fried 2019 Inauguration Committee 


Jenni Shaffren

Ben Pollara


Honorary Co-Chairs

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson

Senator Audrey Gibson

Representative Kionne McGhee

Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo


Finance Chairs

Mitchell Berger, Kelly Cohen, Jodi Bock Davidson, Justin Day, Sean Pittman, Heather Turnbull, Stephanie Grutman Zauder


Inaugural Host Committee

Michael L. Bronstein

Yolanda Cash Jackson

Ana Cruz

Mayanne Downs

Candice Ericks

Michael Fernandez

Susan Glickman

Brian Goldmeier

Pamela Goodman

Alexander P. Heckler

Fedrick C. Ingram

Shellie S. Levin

Hon. Fred Lippman

Melissa McKinlay

Todd Michaels

Harold Mills

Pete Mitchell

Dan Newman

Rhett O’Doski

Juan Penalosa

Ariel Pereda

Joseph R. Salzverg

Andrew Smith

Sawyer Smith

Richard Swann

Allison Tant

Screven Watson


Executive Director

Stephanie McClung


Director of Scheduling and Advance

Ashley Walker


Director of Operations and Logistics

Matthew Van Name


Finance Advisors

Nick Merlino and Samantha Pollara

Florida Daily
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