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.
THIRD VICE CHAIRMAN – 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.