She is the first female elected as Lieutenant Governor in Florida and the first African-American elected Statewide. She was a state legislator for over seven years, a small business owner, former Executive Director of Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a Navy veteran. Carroll is an example of the American Dream come true. In addition to her duties assisting the Governor with economic development, Carroll oversees the Florida Department of Military Affairs, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, Governor Designee on the Florida Defense Support Task Force and also serves as Chairperson of Space Florida.
Carroll’s work as Chair of Space Florida has been instrumental in creating thousands of new private sectors space and aerospace related jobs. During her first year in office the State of Florida won a 10 year contract to manage the International Space Station National Laboratory bringing in $15 mil per year to the state for life science research and development. Additionally, her efforts to capture national contracts landed the operations of Boeing’s Orion spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Lockheed Martin Automated Underwater Vehicle testing and manufacturing, Shuttle Atlantis to have a permanent home at KSC and Embraer to manufacture it’s Light Support Aircraft in Jacksonville, just to name a few. These substantive contracts created high quality sustainable jobs and increased revenue for the state. In October of 2011, Carroll led a Space Florida Trade Mission to Europe where she signed Memorandum of Understandings with United Kingdom (UK) and the Kingdom of Spain. She met with companies from the UK which led to Florida business operations and new jobs. In November of 2011, Carroll led an Enterprise Florida Trade Mission to South Africa. The 39 person delegation’s work on this mission led to $40 million in new trade between Florida and South Africa.
In her role as head of Military Affairs, Carroll has visited nearly every military installation in Florida. She travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional and Pentagon officials to advocate for Florida’s $65 billion military economy and defense industry. Carroll’s efforts resulted in increased military positions, military construction funding and increased defense contract opportunities for Florida’s businesses.
She was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad West Indies, immigrated to the United States as a young child and served her adopted nation honorably and with distinction. Carroll enlisted in the United States Navy in 1979 rising from the ranks of an enlisted jet mechanic E-1 to retire as a Lieutenant Commander, Aviation Maintenance Officer after 20 years. During her time in the Navy she was awarded numerous awards that include: Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, Navy “E”, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, two Sea Service Ribbons, two Coast Guard Special Operation Ribbons, and an Expert Pistol Medal.
As a legislator, Carroll worked to pass meaningful legislation that enhanced economic development, which includes procuring $2.9 million to fund the Florida Export Finance Corporation to help employers have access to short term loans in order to retain and create jobs. She sponsored the Entertainment Economic Development Legislation that created thousands of jobs for Floridians who were paid over $485 million in wages.
Carroll also served as Deputy Majority Leader from 2003-2004, Majority Whip from 2004-2006, Vice Chair of the Transportation and Economic Development Committee 2003-2004, Chair of the Finance Committee from 2006-2008 and Chair of the Economic and Development Council from 2008-2010.
Carroll holds an MBA degree from St. Leo University, she and her husband Nolan started and ran a successful public relations consulting and franchising business.
Carroll is married to Nolan Carroll of Miami and they have three children, Nolan II, Nyckie and Necho.