2023 CAC Florida Climate Conference


The CAC’s 2023 Climate Conference focuses on “The Triple Threat from Water and the Emergence of the Climate Economy.” The conference is scheduled for February 9th in the Selby Auditorium of the  University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus.

The conference focuses on topics especially relevant to living in Florida: the threats posed by rising global temperatures, rising seas and extreme weather events; and how climate action can drive sound economic opportunities and growth objectives.

The 2023 CAC Florida Climate Conference is made possible by the generous support of this year’s sponsors, starting with our title sponsors, The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, and Tommy’s Express Car Wash.  Our sponsor community also welcomes the University of South Florida Sarasota-ManateeCumberland Advisors, Sarasota Magazine, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation,  Best Weather Inc., Elizabeth Moore, WUSF Public Media, and Climate First Bank.


3 Seats Available

Event Details

 Conference Agenda 

(subject to change)

Getting Started

8:00 am – Check-in, followed by Coffee, Beverages, Light Breakfast

8:30 am – Welcome – USF SM Chancellor, Karen Holbrook

8:35 am – Susan Burns, Former Editor Sarasota Magazine: Introducing CAC CEO Bob Bunting

8:40 am – What is the CAC, Why it’s Important & How to Participate

8:45 am – Introduction of Special Guests and Sponsor Acknowledgement

Introducing Moderator & Chairman Cumberland Advisors, David Kotok

8:52 am – David Kotok: Framing this Conference & Introducing Dr. Ken Lacovara


Morning Session Sponsor: Elizabeth Moore

The Triple Threat from Water in a Warming Climate & Changing Our Focus from Response to Prevention: A Hurricane Ian Retrospective

9:00 am – 9:35 am   The Climate Has Always Changed and The Lessons Are Clear - Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, Paleontologist & Geologist, Rowan University 

9:35 am – 9:55 am  Threat 1: The Unprecedented Rate of Climate Warming and Rising Sea Levels — A Long Road Ahead - Bob Bunting

9:55 am – 10:15 am  Threat 2: Storm Surges in a Climate Warmed Florida Won’t Be Unique. The Hurricane Ian Example - Bob Bunting

10:15 am – 10:30 am   BREAK

10:30 am – 10:55 am   Threat 3: Extreme Rainfall or None: “Ian Strikes Again" - Inland Flooding - Dr. Stuart Waterman, CAC CTO

A Personal Story Of Ian With A Surprise Ending - Elizabeth Moore

10:55 am – 11:15 am  Audience Participation

11:15 am – 11:35 am  CAC Recommendations for Adaptation/Mitigation: What You Can Do – Bob Bunting

11:35 am – 11:55 am  Threat Creates Opportunity – The IRA Act: A Catalyst for The Climate Economy - Marco La Manno, Anchor & Meteorologist, SNN News; Bob Bunting 

11:55 am – 12:10 pm   Audience Participation

12:10 pm – 12:55 pm   Lunch - USF Garden


Afternoon Session

The Emergence of The Climate Economy: Moving from Threat to Opportunity

12:55 pm – 1:20 pm  Keynote: Miami! A Beacon – Threats, Opportunities & Action: What Government Can Do - Carlos Curbelo, Principal: Vocero LLC & former Representative for Florida’s 26th Congressional District

1:20 pm – 1:30 pm   Audience Participation

1:30 pm – 1:55 pm   Insights on Insurance and Innovation in a Climate Warmed World - Dr. Guillermo Franco, Managing Director, Global Head of Catastrophic Risk Research, Guy Carpenter Reinsurance

1:55 pm - 2:05 pm   Audience Participation

2:05 pm - 2:30 pm   U.S. Economic Opportunities Beckon: A 30,000 ft. View of Meeting the Climate Threat

Moderator: Rick Newman, Columnist Yahoo Finance

Panel: Matt McAleer, EVP & Director of Equity Strategies, Cumberland Advisors; Jim Roemer, President, Best Weather Inc.; Rick Newman; Patricia Healy, Senior VP of Research and Portfolio Manager, Cumberland Advisors

2:30 pm – 2:55 pm   Academia Can Stimulate the Climate Economy: The Role of Entrepreneurship and Innovation as a Launchpad

Moderator: Suzanne Atwell – Host of the Suzanne Atwell Show & Former Sarasota Mayor

Panel: Dr. George Philippidis, Director, Biofuels and Bioproducts Lab, Patel College of Global Sustainability; Greg Smogard, Head Innovation & Business Development USFSM; Bob Bunting

2:55 pm – 3:10 pm   BREAK

3:10 pm – 3:35 pm   The Private Sector: Building the Climate Economy

Moderator: Rick Newman 

Panel: Dr. Al Browder, VP, Olsen Engineering; John Mousseau, CEO, Cumberland Advisors; Brandon Johnson, Senior Projects Manager, Stantec; Bill Johnson, President, Brilliant Harvest LLC

3:35 pm – 4:00 pm   The Role of Philanthropy in Transforming Threat into Opportunity: Informed Philanthropy

Moderator: Susan Burns

Panel: Matt Sauer, Collaboration and Impact Officer, Barancik Foundation; Jon Thaxton, Senior Vice President for Community Leadership, Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Elizabeth Moore, Founding Director, Climate Adaptation Center

4:00 pm – 4:25 pm  Working Together: An Optimistic Note - It’s Happening! 

David Kotok, Robert Bunting. Audience

4:30 pm   Adjourn


Date: February 09, 2023

Start time: 08:00 a.m. EST

End time: 04:30 p.m. EST

Venue: University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Selby Auditorium

Email: info@theclimateadaptationcenter.org

Additional information

ADA Access

The USFSM Selby Auditorium is wheelchair accessible.