Gaston Cantens – From School Teacher to Legislator to Executive

Gaston Cantens is a Vice President of Florida Crystals  Corporation, where his responsibilities include corporate relations, communications  and government affairs. Florida Crystals is a leading, vertically integrated  sugar company with headquarters in Palm Beach County, Florida, where Cantens is  primarily based.

During the months of legislative session, Cantens resides in  the state’s capital, Tallahassee.

Florida Crystals farms 187,000 acres of land in Palm  Beach County, where the company also has two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a  rice mill, a packaging and distribution and a biomass power plant. In its  renewable energy facility, Florida Crystals recycles sugar cane fiber and  municipal wood waste as fuel to power its sugar operations and tens of
thousands of homes. Florida Crystals’ power plant is the largest of its kind in
North America.

As part of his responsibilities, Gaston Cantens is a  leader of the Florida Crystals’ public policy team, a position for which he is  uniquely qualified. In 1998, Cantens was elected to the Florida House of  Representatives. During his three terms in the House, he served in various  leadership positions, including Majority Whip, and was consistently ranked as
one of the most effective legislators in the Florida House. The main issues  Cantens worked on as a legislator included domestic violence, criminal justice,  child custody and administrative procedures. In 2003, Cantens was a finalist  under consideration by Gov. Jeb Bush to succeed retiring Lt. Governor Frank  Brogan.

Gaston Cantens began his professional career as a school  teacher and coached basketball at the high school and college levels. He was  also an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College, St. Thomas University School  of Law and Florida State University College of Law. Beyond the Legislature,  Cantens’ public service included time spent as an Assistant State Attorney and  Assistant Chief of the County Court Division in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s  Office.

Gaston Cantens holds a bachelor’s degree from the  University of Miami and a juris doctor degree from St. Thomas University.

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