Port Manatee is a dependent special district created by the Florida Legislature in 1967. The port is governed by the Manatee County Port Authority – a seven-member oversight board which sets policy and oversees major expenditures for the port. Manatee County Port Authority members serve four-year staggered terms with an annual election of officers.
While the Manatee County Port Authority is comprised of the same seven members as the elected Manatee County Commission – each governing body has a separate set of officers and financial accountability. Port Manatee is not a unit of Manatee County Government and does not receive ad-valorem tax support from the citizens of Manatee County.
Chairwoman – Priscilla Whisenant Trace
Commissioner Whisenant Trace is a native of Manatee County. She and her husband, Craig, founded the Ellenton Nursery Growers in the 1980s. Her son, Blake, has joined the family business.
Second Vice Chairwoman – Misty Servia
Misty has lived in Manatee County since 1988 after accepting her first job as a planner for Manatee County government. She worked for the Manatee County Planning Department for nearly 18 years, where she met her husband Joaquin. Misty and Joaquin have three children.
Member – Stephen R. Jonsson
Commissioner Jonsson was born in Orange, New Jersey and is a widower after 39 years of marriage. He has one son who is an attorney and a daughter who is a veterinarian tech.
Member – Carol Whitmore
Originally from Dearborn Heights, Mich., Ms. Whitmore moved to Manatee County in 1969 and grew up on Anna Maria Island. She is a graduate of Manatee High School, Manatee Technical Institute and has an associate of science degree from Manatee Community College. Ms. Whitmore is a licensed registered nurse and was a certified health risk manager until 2006.