Former state representative Holly Raschein accepted a position as director of government relations with AshBritt Environmental. She officially began her new job on Tuesday. CONTRIBUTED

Former state Rep. Holly Raschein started a new job in the private sector on Tuesday, as AshBritt Environmental named her the new director of government relations. 

In her new position, Raschein will lead the top rapid-response disaster company in its policy objectives at the local, state and federal levels. Elected to the Florida House in 2012, Raschein termed out after serving eight years representing the Keys and parts of south Miami-Dade in Tallahassee. 

“AshBritt Environmental is excited to welcome a leader of Holly’s caliber and expertise to the AshBritt team,” said CEO Brittany Perkins Castillo. “Holly’s leadership, including during Hurricane Irma, commitment to community members, and her passion for protecting and preserving the environment aligns with our company’s mission to help communities recover after a disaster. With Holly’s knowledge and impressive government experience, tremendous opportunity lies ahead.”

Raschein earned a bachelor of science in political science from Florida State University, the first member of her family to go to college. She earned a master of public administration from Florida International University in Miami.

During her tenure in the legislature, Raschein made environmental issues a priority and championed legislation like the Florida Keys Stewardship Act to protect Florida’s fragile ecosystem and precious natural resources. Among her service on several key committees, Raschein served as chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriation Subcommittee and chair of the House Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee. 

In 2017, Raschein personally coordinated state and local emergency response, cleanup and restoration in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm.

“I have long been a fan of the work AshBritt Environmental does in Florida and across the country,” Raschein said. “The company’s track record in environmental services and disaster recovery is unparalleled in the industry, and I look forward to working alongside this talented leadership team.”

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.