Ric Katz is the executive vice president at Balsera
Communications where he focuses on the issue advocacy, public
infrastructure, crisis communications and public involvement
Katz is also the president and founder of Balsera Communications affiliate agency Communikatz, which specializes in public relations consulting and services to major corporations, public agencies and issue advocacy campaigns. Katz has over 30 years of governmental relations expertise and extensive knowledge of South Florida's many, distinct communities and is able to easily maneuver legislative and administrative channels. He is well received by the area's news media and a much sought after public speaker. He also provides pro bono advice to a myriad of community-based organizations, and is widely regarded for his extensive involvement in professional and civic organizations at the local, state and national level.
Highly respected for his crisis management techniques, Katz is often called upon by clients to assist with emergency situations and provide immediate responses to unusual and varied circumstances as they occur. He recently completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology course on Crisis Management and Business Continuity.
Katz currently acts as the Task Manager of the Public Affairs Program for the Florida Department of Transportation's Miami Intermodal Center. From the MIC’s beginning in 1993, he has worked in close collaboration with FDOT executives to create an imaginative logo and slogan and has helped cast the entire program in innovative directions. As the senior member of the Public Affairs Program team, Mr. Katz supervises a broad communication program that includes community, governmental and media relations. He is often called upon to facilitate high-level discussions and negotiations with public officials and principal stakeholders. He has produced major media events for the project, most recently the Rental Car Center grand opening and groundbreaking for the Miami Central Station.
Additionally, Katz is Public Affairs Manager for the South Florida East Coast Corridor Study being conducted by FDOT District Four. The study seeks to reduce roadway congestion and improve mobility by providing local and regional passenger transit service for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties along an 85-mile-long corridor centered on the FEC railway. He provides strategic planning, facilitates high-level briefings and manages the overall public involvement program. That includes planning and implementing public workshops and hearings and producing attention-getting newsletters, fact sheets and meeting notices.
For more than a decade, Mr. Katz served as the Florida Department of Transportation's liaison officer to the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Miami-Dade County’s long-range transportation planning body and to other governmental entities throughout the county. His responsibilities included meeting with elected officials to brief them about the Department’s work program, and in turn bringing their interests and concerns to the Department's attention.
As FDOT District Six moved forward with its public/private partnership to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the Port of Miami Tunnel, Mr. Katz was FDOT’s Public Affairs Manager, developing and implementing strategies and serving as liaison to national and international media and the general public. Under his direction, the project groundbreaking garnered widespread media attention, as did
the arrival of the tunnel boring machine and placement of the cutter head in the launch pit.
He managed the governmental affairs and public outreach components of the marketing program for 95 Express/I-95 Managed Lanes, as well as providing the PIOs for Districts Four & Six advice and support on the overall marketing program.
Mr. Katz was the pro bono director for the successful November, 2002 referendum on the People’s Transportation Plan. This effort was a resounding victory, with more than 66% of voters in favor of creating a dedicated funding source for transportation by adding one half cent to Miami-Dade County’s sales tax.
He managed the Community Awareness Program for the successful City of Miami Beach's Collins Avenue Reconstruction Project, assuring access for business owners and residents on the city’s signature thoroughfare and keeping them informed about progress of the roadwork. At Mr. Katz’ suggestion, a citizen’s advisory committee met regularly to talk with project managers and air their concerns. When the project was completed, the public involvement program was lauded by the city commission and business owners for a job well done.
Prior to opening Communikatz Mr. Katz was a founding executive officer of Florida International University. In 1971 he left his position as coordinator of the Florida House Appropriations Committee to help create the new state university, and over his 13-year involvement there he held many important posts as the institution continued to grow. He led FIU's efforts to become known in South Florida and obtain state approval for program and facilities expansions. He lobbied effectively in Tallahassee and Washington and won substantial victories for the then-fledgling state university.
Katz was inducted into the Miami Dade College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004. He is on the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and a past member of the Board of Directors of the regional Transportation Infrastructure & Regionalism Committee. In1995 he was the Chairman of the Transportation Summits and the New World Center Action Committee, The Making of a World Class City Symposium Chairman; Downtown Transportation Task Force Chairman. Katz was the pro bono coordinator of the successful referendum on People’s Transportation Plan which created a dedicated funding source for transportation. He is also a member of Community Based Organizations, such as: Urban Land Institute; Miami Design Preservation League; The Black Archives; Urban Environment League, and the NAACP.
Katz has a BS in Journalism and a Broadcasting from the University of Florida. He has a Master of Science in Communication from Florida State University and a Certificate in Crisis Management and Business Continuity from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Public Affairs & Media Relations
2199 Ponce de Leon, Suite 200
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone: (305) 441-1272
| Ric Katz