TAVARES — Lake County Commissioners today officially tapped Jeff Cole to serve as the county’s next manager.
“He really does get our collective vision. I think he understands some of our individual goals,” said Vice Chairman Leslie Campione, who made the motion to offer Cole the position on April 18. “His past experience, his education, his demeanor, his presence, his ability to adapt – I think that’s a critical part of this job – his appreciation for and attention to service, I have seen that firsthand.”
Cole joined Lake County in January 2016 as the director of Public Resources, where he oversaw management of the Parks & Trails Division, the Lake County Library System, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Services and the Lake County Fairgrounds and Events Center.
Cole served as chief of staff for the St. Johns River Water Management District between 2011 and 2015, where he was responsible for intergovernmental affairs, coordination with local and state officials and media outreach. He began working for the agency in 1994, following four years with Brevard County.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida.
“I am honored to serve as county manager for Lake County, which is a unique community with so much to offer residents, business owners, and visitors,” said Cole. “I appreciate the board’s support and trust in me to lead county government forward.”
Cole will begin his new role on June 3, upon the retirement of County Manager David Heath.