Meet the team
ALONZO GARCIA, CHAIR: A native of Tallahassee, Florida. Alonzo since an early age has been an avid spectator and participant in political developments at all levels. With a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Florida State he has been involved in political work for Democrat candidates at the local, state, and presidential level. His main area of experience involved engaging in field work helping candidates and party organizations build teams of volunteers to turn out the vote. In addition to his work with Forward, he currently has a full-time role in the financial services industry.
CHRIS JONES, VICE CHAIR: Chris is a fifth-generation Florida native and US Army veteran who lives in Jupiter, FL. He has worked for over 20 years across numerous industries designing and implementing business solutions for enterprises, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to fast moving start-ups. A systems thinker and staunch believer in a representative government, he is focused on establishing a party system which both aligns with the larger national Forward vision and creates a strong, durable state framework that will enable and empower groups and members at all levels.
RON GRANITE, TREASURER: Ron is a business professional with over fifteen years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, both in the public and private markets, and currently is self-employed as a capital markets advisor. He has resided in the state of Florida for three years, currently living in Fort Lauderdale after moving from the city of Chicago in early 2020. He originally hails from New York City but holds his cultural Nordic heritage and values in high regard. Mr. Granite holds a Master’s degree from New York University with a major in Real Estate Finance, and also attended the University of Buffalo and Baruch College, earning a degree in Business Administration and minor in Mathematics.
KELLIE ACOSTA: “I came to Florida as a teenager, after my Grandparents retired in Sarasota, to play golf and enjoy the world's most incredible beach. My choice of USF in Tampa was ideal. While in school, I was married, had two sons, and started a business. I finished my college Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Business at GSU, Atlanta. Then, I retired early in Sarasota. I love everything about Florida. Growing up in Chicago led me to become a Democrat. I believe in social justice and a government that helps support its people so we can continue growing as a strong nation.
“In the past, our country seemed to be heading in the right direction. Democrats and Republicans provided us with a safe and thriving society. Even during hard times, we didn't point our fingers, looking to crucify each other. Then overnight, our country fell apart politically—another type of Civil War. It seemed like peace was gone. And now The Forward Party made everything seem possible again. I was proud to step up and spread information about its values and vision. This Party has the potential to revitalize even the most cynical people. I am all-in on the Forward future.”
RICHARD BALDOCCHI: Rick Baldocchi is a professional engineer working as a Principal and Owner of AVCON, INC., a regional consulting engineering firm headquartered in Orlando. The firm specializes in transportation infrastructure and development projects throughout the SE United States. Mr. Baldocchi has also been active in the at-large community and served as an elected official in the City of Maitland from 1998 to 2004.
Mr. Baldocchi was originally from San Francisco and received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (1983) and a Masters of Science Degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (1985). He moved to Florida in 1985 and received a Master’s of Business Degree from Rollins College in 2000.
He has been actively engaged in local politics and volunteer organizations his entire career and supported candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. He feels the current political climate lends itself to rewarding the extremist elements of the two main political parties and has always thought a third party closer to the center could improve the dialogue and work towards better solutions to the nation’s needs.
TODD HOOPER: Mr. Hooper has spent his career in management consulting and private equity. He is currently a Partner with Kearney, a global management consulting firm. Prior to Kearney, Todd was a Partner with Kurt Salmon, including roles as North American Strategy Practice Leader and Vice-Chairman of the Partner Board.
Prior to making his home in Florida, Todd was active in the Republican Party in northern California. In 2006, he ran for Congress. With no expectation of unseating the richly-financed, long-term incumbent, he achieved his goal of successfully upgrading the political discourse and debate in the district. Todd wrote a political commentary column for the Marin Independent Journal for more than ten years subsequent to his Congressional campaign.
He earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame and an MBA at the University of Chicago, also studying at the London Business School. Currently, he empty-nests in St. Petersburg with Nancy Chung Hooper, his wife of more than 30 years.
Mr. Hooper embraces Forward's focus on making government work better by valuing ideas over ideology and rejecting hyper-partisanship.