Board of Directors Announcement

Photo by Dennis Goodman

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Susan Trevarthen, JD, FAICP, selected as Chair of 1000 Friends of Florida Board of Directors

1000 Friends of Florida is pleased to announce that Susan Trevarthen of Fort Lauderdale has been selected to serve as the new Chair for the organization’s Board of Directors, effective January 1 of this year. Susan joined the Board of 1000 Friends in 2015, led the search for the current President in 2018, and led the organization’s Legal Advocacy Committee in 2019.

“I am honored by the Board’s decision to entrust me with their leadership,” says Susan. She notes that her first job in planning was working for 1000 Friends’ co-founder Dr. John M. DeGrove at Florida Atlantic University in 1986. “I am both humbled and gratified to have this opportunity to come full circle, and steward the organization to which he and co-founder Nathaniel Reed devoted so much of their energies, and which has played such an important role in the history of Florida growth management policy.”

Susan Trevarthen

1000 Friends President Paul Owens explains that with her extensive experience in both planning and law, Susan is a natural to chair the organization. “In addition to her stellar background, she also brings a passion for citizen involvement, sound public policy, and protecting our natural lands and waters.” Paul notes that both the Board and staff look forward to her leadership on these and other critical issues facing Florida. Greg Barnhart of West Palm Beach continues to serve as 1000 Friends’ Vice Chair, with Timothee Sallin of Clermont as Secretary and Tim Jackson of Longwood as Treasurer.

Susan succeeds Vicki Tschinkel as 1000 Friends’ Chair. “Vicki has successfully led 1000 Friends over the years, bringing her experience and wisdom to the organization,” says Paul. Most recently she shepherded the preparation of the Trouble in Paradise report, outlining key environmental problems facing Florida and strategies to address them. “We are pleased Vicki has agreed to continue to serve in a leadership position as chair of 1000 Friends’ Legal Advocacy Committee.” Susan adds “Vicki and Tim Jackson, our most recent chairs, have done an exceptional job of positioning the Board and the organization for success, and my goal is to live up to their example.”

Susan is an attorney with Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, PL, handling land use, planning and zoning matters for governments and serving as a municipal attorney for two small coastal cities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. She chairs the firm’s Public Land Use and Zoning Group, which handles all of the land use matters for the municipalities where the firm serves as the municipal attorney and serves as special land use and zoning counsel for clients throughout Florida.

Susan has been recognized as one of the top land use attorneys in the state in publications such as Florida Trend Magazine and SuperLawyers, and she has an AV rating (highest attainable) from Martindale Hubbell. A member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) and Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law by The Florida Bar, she speaks and publishes frequently on planning, zoning and land use issues.

She has held leadership positions in The Florida Bar’s Section for Environmental and Land Use Law and Section for City, County and Local Government Law, serves on the Legislative Policy Committee of APA Florida, and serves on the Board of Citizens for a Scenic Florida. She is also co-chair of the Land Use Section of the International Municipal Lawyers’ Association. Susan grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, was graduated from Duke University with a degree in public policy studies and received her master’s in planning and juris doctor degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Since 1986, 1000 Friends of Florida has focused on saving special places and building better communities in one of the fastest growing states in the nation. Over the course of close to 35 years, 1000 Friends has initiated and helped secure passage of vital statewide programs like Preservation 2000 and Florida Greenways. Its attorneys have successfully argued dozens of legal cases setting important statewide precedents. 1000 Friends maintains a strong presence in the halls of the Florida Legislature each year, advocating for sound public policy and halting damaging legislation.

1000 Friends’ commitment remains unwavering to educate citizens, professionals and elected officials on workable, Florida-specific strategies to enhance the quality of life. 1000 Friends spearheaded the landmark Florida 2070 project, showing the impacts of growth and development if current patterns of development remain the same, and more sustainable alternatives. Its free Dr. John M. DeGrove Webinar Series, launched in 2012, has reached more than 17,000 attendees on critical issues facing Florida.