Ben Watts, a Florida native, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served for five years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with tours in Germany and South Korea. In 1974, he joined the Florida Department of Transportation, where he held increasingly responsible positions in maintenance, design, and production management. In 1984, he became a deputy engineer in District 5, and in 1987 he became District 5 Secretary. In early 1989, he was named Assistant Secretary of Operations of DOT’s seven districts and Florida’s Turnpike and later that year was appointed Secretary of Transportation by Governor Bob Martinez. He was retained as Secretary in 1991 by Governor Lawton Chiles and served as Secretary until 1997. After resigning from FDOT in 1997, he joined Carter & Burgess, Inc., a national architectural and engineering firm headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. He was named President and CEO of the firm in 2003 and retired in 2008.