CUTR Advisory Board
CUTR appreciates the service and support provided by the CUTR Advisory Board. Board members are appointed to two-year terms by the Dean of Engineering to the President of the University of South Florida, reviewed and approved by the Florida Transportation Commission and confirmed by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors. Specific responsibilities of the Advisory Board include:
- Periodically and objectively review and advise the center concerning its research program.
- Provide advice and support to CUTR executive director, faculty, staff and students on issues relating to transportation research and education and CUTR strategic vision.
- Serve as a voice, advocate and ambassador for CUTR to its various constituents and stakeholders, including research sponsors, agencies, industry, the transportation community, alumni, and colleagues.
- Introduce CUTR to new potential research sponsors and assist in CUTR fundraising activities toward funding more scholarships and endowments and improving physical space.
CUTR Advisory Board Materials
The CUTR Advisory Board will meet on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Details concerning the virtual meeting to follow.
The CUTR Organizational Guidelines are available.
Thornton J. Williams received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in 1977, and his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University in 1981. While attending Florida State University Law School, he was the president of the Black American Law Student Association (BALSA) and was awarded Best Team in the Southern Regional Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and interned with Florida Supreme Court Justice Joe Boyd.
Thornton is the managing partner of Williams Law Group, P.A. He has practiced private sector and governmental and administrative law for over 30 years. Thornton practices in the areas of construction litigation, contract review, transportation and governmental law. He has routinely provided comprehensive legal services for major projects.
Thornton has had an extensive legal career in Florida’s government, beginning in 1982 as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting criminal cases in the Felony Division of the Second Judicial Circuit. He has served as an Assistant General Counsel to Governor Bob Graham and as a Staff Attorney and Deputy General Counsel for the Department of Business Regulation, and has also served on Governor Jeb Bush’s Transition Team. Thornton left the Department of Business Regulation in 1990 to become General Counsel for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), serving in that capacity until 1996.
In over six years with the FDOT, Thornton actively participated in policy deliberations, contract negotiations and high profile litigation. Thornton was also responsible for the cost recovery areas for FDOT. Between 1990- 1996, FDOT was exposed to approximately $10 – 20 million per year but paid out only approximately 10% in claims each year.
He provided technical legal advice on all legislation for the FDOT. In addition to lobbying the transportation committees, he was also lead lobbyist on all claims bills before the Legislature. In 1996, he was recognized by the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his involvement in the settlement of the largest claim bill in the history of the state of Florida for $21 million for FDOT, which had an exposure of over 90 million dollars. .
He left the Department of Transportation, and joined the firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell as a Partner. After working there for approximately two years, he formed the firm of Thornton Williams and Associates on August 1, 1998. The firm became Williams Law Group, P.A. on August 1, 2012.
He is the only General Counsel who has had a statutory section name after him by the Florida Department of Transportation, called the “Thornton Williams provision” and he has been recognized as a “Pioneer in the area of Transportation Law” in an article by the Florida Transportation Monthly magazine.
Thornton has written numerous articles for the Florida Engineering Society’s magazine, has been the Chair of the Floridians for Better Transportation, is the immediate past Chair of the Advisory Board of the Center for Urban Transportation Research Advisory Board (CUTR) which oversees a 19 million dollar annual budget on transportation research. Thornton was recognized as one of the top lawyers in transportation for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 in Florida, by the Miami Daily Business Review.
Thornton received an “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, on his first review. Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest lawyer rating company in the country and an AV rating on the first review is reserved for less than 2% of all lawyers, nationally. Per Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment; a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.
Thornton is considered as one of the top transportation lawyers in the state of Florida. He was the lead attorney on the installation of SunPass, the Miami Intermodal Center and the I-595 Express, as well as many other transportation related projects. He presently represents the MPO for the Leon County area, the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) as well as other entities with transportation interest.
Thornton and his wife, Harriet, live in Tallahassee, Florida.
Current Advisory Board Members at the 2019 Transportation Achievement Awards
Previous Advisory Board Members
|Jose||Abreu||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|Thomas F.||Barry Jr||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|John H.||Beck||Beck Barrios & Malaney|
|Michael||Blaylock||Jacksonville Transportation Authority|
|Jim||Boxold||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|Carol||Browner||Secretary||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|Colleen||Castille||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs; Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|Thaddeus||Cohen||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs|
|Don||Crane||Floridians for Better Transportation|
|Mike||Dew||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|John||Forney||Raymond James & Associates Inc./United Insurance Holdings Company|
|Katherine||Frazier||Florida Transportation Commission|
|T. Wallace||Hawkes III||URS Corporation|
|James||Holton||Florida Transportation Commission|
|Arthur||Kennedy||Florida Transportation Commission/Floridians for Better Transportation|
|David||Kerr||Florida Transportation Commission|
|Stephanie||Kopelousos||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|Norman||Mansour||Commercial Real Estate|
|Maracos||Marchena||Florida Transportation Commission|
|William H.||McDaniel||URS Corporation|
|Darrick||McGhee||Interim Executive Director||Florida Department of Economic Opportunity|
|Gerhard||Meisels||Provost||University of South Florida|
|James||Murley||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs|
|Bob||O'Malley||Vice President for Government Affairs||Brightline Trains|
|Jesse||Panuccio||Executive Director||Florida Department of Economic Opportunity|
|Thomas||Pelham||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs|
|Ananth||Prasad||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|Cissy||Proctor||Executive Director||Florida Department of Economic Opportunity|
|Manuel||Rose||Florida Transportation Commission|
|William||Sadowski||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs|
|Jim||Sebesta||Senator||Florida Transportation Commission|
|Steve||Seibert||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs|
|Linda Loomis||Shelley||Secretary||Florida Department of Community Affairs|
|William V.||Sheppard||LPA Group|
|Robert E.||Skinner Jr.||Transportation Research Board|
|Michael||Sole||Secretary||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|David||Stamps||Provost||University of South Florida|
|Jon||Steverson||Secretary||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|David B.||Struhs||Secretary||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|Denver||Stutler||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|Thomas||Tighe||Provost||University of South Florida|
|Herschel T.||Vinyard||Secretary||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|Ben||Watts||Secretary||Florida Department of Transportation|
|Virginia||Wetherell||Secretary||Florida Department of Environmental Protection|
|Jack||Wilson||The Wilson Company|