Commissioner Heather Carruthers

Heather Carruthers is in the midst of her third, four-year term on the Board of County Commissioners. She was first elected in 2008.

Current County-Related Committees and Initiatives

  • Early Learning Coalition of Miami/Dade and Monroe County
  • Florida Association of Counties Federal Legislative Committee / Co-Chair
  • FAC Representative to National Association of Counties (NACo) Gulf Caucus

Carruthers continues with her policy-making and policy-changing efforts in Tallahassee and Washington, DC on issues of Sea Level Rise and reform of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. She is currently spearheading the County's workforce and affordable housing initiatives in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Former County-Related Committees

  • Champion in permanent funding source for County Social Services
  • Monroe County Climate Change Advisory Committee
  • Commission Liaison to Monroe County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
  • Monroe County Land Authority Chair
  • Monroe County Tourist Development Council
  • Circuit 16 Juvenile Justice Board
  • Ecosystem Restoration Task Force / Everglades restoration issues
  • Criminal Justice Mental Health & Substance Abuse Policy Council
  • Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services
  • Lower and Middle Keys Fire and Ambulance Taxing District Board of Governors
  • Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee
  • Monroe County Community Alliance
  • South Florida Regional Planning Council, Chair
  • Southeast Florida Regional Partnership (Seven50)

FIRM Involvement

Carruthers has been involved with Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) since its inception in 2006, an organization that Senator Bob Graham cited as one of Florida's most effective grassroots organization in his book America: An Owner's Manual.  

FIRM was founded to address unfair and excessive increases in windstorm insurance rates charged by Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. FIRM successfully challenged wind premium increases and helped revise wind loss models.

In response to her achievements with FIRM, in 2007, Commissioner Carruthers was appointed to Florida’s Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution. State Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty described her as “a forthright citizen and strong advocate for Florida’s insurance policyholders” when he appointed her to this Task Force.

Leadership Roles and Awards

  • Mayor, Monroe County Florida 2011-2012, 2014-2015
  • Advisory Council, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM)
  • Past President, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM)
  • Past Chair, South Florida Regional Planning Council
  • Event Chair – 2013 Relay For Life
  • Former Chair of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys
  • Former President of the Key West Business Guild
  • Graduate of Leadership Monroe County (Class XI)
  • Graduate of the Key West Ambassador Academy
  • Named Samuel’s House 2017 Woman of Integrity for Public Service
  • Zonta Club of Key West Non-Zontian Community Service Award 2014
  • Named 2010 Voice for Equality by Equality Florida
  • Named Leadership Monroe’s 2006 Leader of the Year
  • Key West Business Guild 2003 CAP Award Person of the Year

Community Contributions / Memberships

  • The Rotary Club of Key West
  • Member and soloist with the Keys Chorale, Key West Masterworks Chorale and the vocal quartet, Swing Low
  • Featured soloist with the Key West Pops and Island Opera Theater
  • Founded the Southernmost Women’s Invitational Non-Profit Golf (SWING) Tournament, an important annual fundraiser for the health clinic WomanKind Inc. (2004-2010)
  • Key West Chamber of Commerce
  • Key West Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors
  • Sculpture Key West Board of Directors

Education Background

  • Graduate of The Good Government Initiative with the University of Miami, 2011
  • Florida Association of Counties: Certified County Commissioner designation 2010
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Wells College in Aurora, New York
  • Additional studies in music at the Julliard School in New York and SUNY Purchase in White Plains, New York

Professional Background

Carruthers is a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Knight & Gardner Realty in Key West. She was the owner of Pearl's Key West, a 38-room, award-winning guesthouse, from 2000 to 2013. 

Prior to that, she lived in New York City and pursued careers in marketing with the Meredith Corporation, Bantam Doubleday Dell and Ogilvy & Mather. She also spent six years in New York as a professional classical ensemble singer and continues to sing with local Keys groups. 

When she's not working, Carruthers enjoys spending time with her spouse and two young children experiencing the laid-back culture and extraordinary natural beauty of the Florida Keys, especially while out on the boat.