FRANÇOIS ILLAS, Infrastructure Partner
François Illas joins Sustainability Partners as an Infrastructure Partner in south Florida. Former Vice President of Corporate Development for Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), Mr. Illas, was responsible for pre-development, including land use, environmental, traffic, general governmental regulation, and property acquisition and seller issues on such projects as Brightline MiamiCentral Station, funding of Tri-Rail extension to MiamiCentral and Flagler Global Logistics’ development of South Florida Logistic Center a 200 acre complex just west of Miami International Airport.
As Vice President, François was also involved in many of FECI’s other projects. These included Brightline, a $3 billion transportation and commercial real estate investment, which also represents the United States’ first privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system connecting Miami and Orlando; Flagler Global Logistics, the largest industrial developer in Florida and an integrated logistics company; Parallel Infrastructure, a nationwide developer, owner and operator of telecommunication towers; and Flagler, a full-service real estate company focused on the commercial office sector.
In 2004, he opened his consulting firm, Metropolitan Strategic Consulting, Inc., focusing on governmental and political consulting throughout Southeast Florida. In 2011, he merged his efforts with Strategic Access Group. His governmental practice focused on procurement, regional and local legislative matters, land use, transit-oriented development, and permit processing. He also maintained a campaign management, fundraising, statistical research, and media production/ placement practice during this time for numerous campaigns throughout South Florida.
François was appointed Chief of Staff by City of Miami Mayor Manuel A. Diaz in 2001, where he served until 2004. During his tenure with this administration, he worked on some of the most impactful projects to be achieved by the City of Miami, including the agreement that realized the Port of Miami Tunnel with the Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade County.
He also served as Campaign Manager for the 2000 Re-election Campaign of Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas. Following the successful re-election of Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas, François joined the Office of the Mayor, serving as a Senior Advisor and Political Director. François has also worked for Miami-Dade County Public School System, one of the largest school systems in the United States, as the Chief of Staff to School Board Member and former Chairperson Perla Tabares-Hantman.
He brings extensive public relations and advertising experience from his work with BVK McDonald, headquartered in Milwaukee. As a senior accountant executive for campaigns and government relations, he worked on such accounts as the 1998 Jeb Bush Campaign for Governor (Statewide Hispanic Media and Public Relations Campaign), the 1998 Referendum on Statehood for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and a host of other international, Federal, state, county and municipal elections during his years at BVK McDonald.
François Illas attended Boston University and earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Florida International University ( Magna Cum Laude). During his postgraduate work at Florida International University, he also completed his Scholars Certification at George Washington’s Graduate School of Campaign and Political Management.
Appointed to the Miami Dade County Public Schools 21st Century Bond Committee, the Miami Dade County Charter Review Committee (2008), and the City of Doral Charter Review Committee (2009 & 2010), Francois is married and the proud father of three boys.