About Us

Consumers for Smart Solar is a diverse coalition of business, civic, and faith-based organizations working to promote solar energy without sacrificing commonsense consumer protections.  Amendment 1 does just that by guaranteeing Floridians the right to place solar panels on your home, and ensuring that all residents are treated fairly, whether they choose to put solar panels on their home or not.


Endorsements

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Leaders and Coalition Members

Dick Batchelor

Co-Chairman

Dick Batchelor is a former Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives with more than 35 years of business and public affairs experience in Central Florida. He is one of the youngest individuals ever to serve in the Florida House of Representatives (1974-1982), where he served as chairman of the Auditing Committee, the Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee and the House Energy Committee. Additionally, Dick served on the Southeast Regional Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, which was created by Congress in 1980 to allow states to responsibly dispose of their low-level radioactive waste

He was also chairman of four subcommittees and is the recipient of more than 50 awards for his legislative service. From 1991 through 1997, he served as the chairman of the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission, which sets standards and rules that protect Floridians and the environment based on sound scientific and technical validity, economic impacts, and risks and benefits to the public and Florida’s natural resources.

Batchelor continued his commitment to his community when he left the Florida Legislature in 1982. He currently serves on several boards, including the Florida Children's Hospital Board (Chair), Florida Hospital Foundation Board (Chair), the First Amendment Foundation, the Central Florida Urban League Board of Directors, Florida's Children First and the Florida Tuskegee Airmen Board. Since 1981 he has served as honorary chairman of the "Dick Batchelor Run for the Children," an annual 5-K run that raises funds (over $1,000,000 to date) to treat abused children. In 2010, Dick was awarded The Chiles Advocacy Award presented by United Way of Florida for his “Integrity, Dedication, and Commitment to Improving the Lives of Florida's Children and Families”.

He has been named one of “The 50 Most Powerful People” by Orlando Magazine (2004 to 2011), the 2002 “Central Floridian of the Year” (The Orlando Sentinel), the 2002 “Businessman of the Year” (Orlando Business Journal, November 2002) and the 2008 and 2009 “Best Corporate Citizen” (Orlando Magazine).

Jim Kallinger

Co-Chairman

Jim Kallinger is an inventor, small business owner, and former Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives from Central Florida. In the Legislature, he served as Chairman of the Business Regulation Committee and as Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

A certified general contractor, Kallinger holds a certificate in Solar Energy Design from the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa. During his time in the House of Representatives, he made a $750,000 budget request for the SunBuilt program, which promoted solar energy expansion in Florida. In addition, he has served as a consultant to state and local governments on public-private partnerships and has held statewide executive leadership positions in both Florida and Kansas in the area of child welfare and adoption.

Currently, he serves as President of the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition, providing leadership and vision for the day-to-day operations of the Coalition. Jim and his wife, Dana, have been married for over 32 years and have four children.

Screven Watson

Coalition Member

Screven Watson is a former Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party with an extensive background in public policy at the state and local levels for over two decades.

Before opening his own practice, Watson served as Chief Cabinet Aide for Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford where he helped to oversee Department of Highway Safety, FDLE, Division of State Lands, Marine Fisheries and many other state agencies and divisions. Additionally, Watson has worked extensively over the years with the Democratic Minority Leaders of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives including Buddy Dyer, Tom Rossin, Steve Geller, Al Lawson, Ron Klein, Les Miller, Ron Saunders, Chris Smith and many others.

After graduation from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Screven worked on Capitol Hill for several years before moving to Florida as a Political Director for a United States Senate campaign. While involved with campaigns in Florida, Screven received his law degree from Nova Southeastern University in Broward County.

Screven is married to Sabrena Feagle Watson, a native Floridian from Holmes County and they have one daughter, Shelby Watson. They reside in Tallahassee.

Billie J. Tucker

Coalition Member

Billie Tucker is a Florida Tea Party leader and Chairman and CEO of the Grassroots Victory Tour, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of America’s founding principles.

Billie’s business career spanned 30 years, during which time she helped entrepreneurial CEOs grow and succeed through executive coaching, leadership development and Board governance. In 2008, Tucker became involved in grassroots, conservative activism after seeing many of her clients struggle to survive in a climate of economic hardship, financial upheaval and federal mismanagement.

On April 15th, 2009, Billie founded what would become one of the largest tea party groups in the nation, with more than 9,000 members.

Julio Fuentes

Coalition Member

Julio A. Fuentes is President & CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC).

He founded the chamber in 2000 in response to the tremendous growth of Florida’s Hispanic population. Today, the chamber has grown to 38 chapters and supports a network of over 80,000 minority-owned businesses.

Fuentes, of Cuban descent, received his degree in Business Administration from Iona College, located in New Rochelle, New York. After graduating, he began his career as an Investment Associate with Merrill Lynch from 1990 to 1992. For the next six years, Fuentes continued his career as an Investment Banker.

Currently, he serves on the Step Up for Students’ Governance Board and the Board of Directors for Florida Kidcare. He is Chairman of Latin CEO and was appointed by Former Gov. Charlie Crist as the Commissioner for A Blueprint for Juvenile Justice Reform. Fuentes served on Gov. Rick Scott’s Education Transition Team and was appointed to Former Gov. Mitt Romney’s Education Policy Committee. Florida Trend Magazine ranked Fuentes as one of Florida’s 100 Most Influential Leaders.

Fuentes resides in Wellington, Florida with his wife and two kids, Nicholas and Gabriella.

Matthew Carter II

Coalition Member

Matt Carter is a former Public Service Commission Chairman and current member of the Board of Trustees for Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU).

He served in senior roles for then-Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson and as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Management Services under Governor Jeb Bush. Governor Bush appointed Matt to the Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2006, where he served until 2010. He was Chairman of the PSC from 2008 to 2010.

Matt served in the Florida Legislature for seven years. He was a Staff Director, Policy Coordinator and Council Director in the House for five years. From 2010-12, he served in the Florida Senate as Staff Director for the Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee and the Military Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee. In March, 2012 Governor Rick Scott appointed Matt to the Florida Board of Governors, the statewide board charged with oversight for Florida’s 12 public universities.

Matt is an attorney and a member of the Florida Bar. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Theological Science and a Ph. D. in Christian Ministry. He is an Associate Minister for the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL.

Matt is a veteran of the United States Army and is married to Rita T. Carter. They are the parents of two grown children.


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