Jim Ely is a third generation Floridian who grew up in South Florida. After spending three years in the U.S. Army, he joined the Florida Department of Transportation in 1974, for which he held several positions including Director of Management Review and Inspector General. In 1989, he was appointed Director of Florida’s Turnpike, which has been part of the Florida Department of Transportation since 1969. He serves on the National Advisory Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, which promotes women in transportation. In 2003, the Turnpike was awarded the IBTTA President’s Awards for Innovation and Excellence for the design of the Suncoast Parkway, and in 2005 it received the JD Powers and Associates Seal of Approval for Excellence in Call Center Operations for its electronic toll collection system, SunPass. In 2004, Florida Trend listed Ely as one of the 174 Most Influential Floridians. He served as Second Vice President and President-Elect of IBTTA, Chairman of the Board of the Transportation and Expressway Authority Members of Florida, and serves on the Executive Board of the Florida Department of Transportation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business, an MBA, a master’s degree in Education, and a doctorate in Public Administration and is an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.