The Governing Board appoints the agency's Executive Director (subject to approval by the Governor, and confirmation by the Florida Senate). The Executive Director carries out the Board's directives.
Reports to the Governing Board
Melissa L. Meeker, Executive Director Executive Office
Melissa L. Meeker became Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District in June 2011. With nearly 20 years experience in both the public and private sectors, Ms. Meeker brings to this leadership position a proven record of executive management, policy development, business administration and government relations expertise. more »
As head of the state's largest regional water management agency, she is accountable for ensuring that the District carries out its missions for flood protection, water supply and ecosystem restoration efficiently and effectively.
Previously, Ms. Meeker served as Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Projects for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), charting a new course for the implementation of statewide water policy for Governor Rick Scott. Her record of public service with DEP also includes appointment to the Environmental Regulation Commission and leading DEP's Southeast Regulatory District.
Familiar with the region's water management issues and challenges, Ms. Meeker was appointed in 2007 to the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, serving from 2007-2009. Additionally, she served in 2004 as Chair of the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, leading a 37-member committee to address critical issues facing the Treasure Coast region.
Her accomplished private sector experience includes serving as Florida Operations Manager for a major international environmental consulting firm and founding and managing her own strategic consulting business.
A Florida native, Ms. Meeker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Ernie Barnett, Everglades Policy Director
Contact: Haley Jain
Ernie Barnett has 27 years of water resources management experience and public service, during which he contributed to several landmark environmental laws. He had a lead role in the successful passage by the Florida Legislature of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act and the Everglades Restoration Investment Act, which has provided more than $1 billion dollars for Everglades restoration. He also helped secure approval of the Water Resource Development Act of 2000, in which Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. more »
During a 22-year tenure with Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, Mr. Barnett worked as a shellfish biologist, aquatic preserve manager, environmental administrator, Water Policy Director and Ecosystem Projects Director. In recognition of his work, Mr. Barnett was the recipient of the 2001 National Wetlands Award for Outstanding Wetlands Program Development from the Environmental Law Institute.
Mr. Barnett has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management and Planning and a Master of Science in Biology, both from the University of West Florida.
Bob Brown joined the District in 1987 after serving three years with the former Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (now part of FDEP). His first assignment was to gain support and approval for District water resource projects from external state and federal agencies, including regulatory approvals. He has served as a project manager on numerous water resource-related construction projects and directed the District's Environmental Resource Compliance Division. more »
Mr. Brown gained field experience as director of the Okeechobee Service Center and, after returning to West Palm Beach, became director of the Water Re source Regulation Department, providing oversight of the Environmental Resource, Consumptive Use and Everglades Works of the District permitting programs.
Mr. Brown has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management and Planning and a Master of Science in Biology, both from the University of West Florida.
Deena Reppen served with Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) prior to joining the District in 2007, where she has directed the agency's regulatory functions, governmental programs and public affairs. During her eight-year tenure with FDEP she served as Chief of Staff, Director of Communications, Press Secretary, Ecosystem Projects Director and as the Northeast Regulatory District's Community Affairs Coordinator. more »
Ms. Reppen's communications and citizen services experience also includes serving as Press Secretary to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and as the Director of Operations for the Reef Environmental Education Foundation – a marine conservation organization based in Key Largo, Florida.
Born and raised in London, England, Ms. Reppen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Kings College, University of London and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Florida.
Tommy Strowd, P.E., Director of Operations, Maintenance & Construction
Contact: Diana Longhurst
Tommy Strowd, P.E., has more than 30 years experience in environmental and water resource engineering, gained in both the public and private sectors. Since joining the District in 1992, he has served as Operations Director, helped accelerate the design and construction of projects in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and contributed significantly to regional water resource planning and engineering. Most recently, he led the agency as Interim Executive Director. more »
Mr. Strowd's government experience also includes stints with other state and federal environmental agencies. He has spent a significant portion of his career in the private sector, serving in engineering, project management and senior management positions with several consulting engineering firms.
Mr. Strowd is a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology and has been a professional engineer registered in the state of Florida since 1983.
Terrie Bates joined the District in 1985 and has gained wide-ranging experience in environmental regulation, water supply, water quality, wetland mitigation, ecosystem restoration, applied science and watershed management issues. She directed a streamlining effort in environmental permitting to combine the state's surface water management, dredge & fill and sovereign submerged lands programs and to create the mitigation banking program. more »
Because of her water resource expertise, Ms. Bates has held executive management responsibilities for overseeing the District's water shortage and drought response in 2006-2007 and again in 2011.
Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Ms. Bates received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resources & Conservation from the University of Florida and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University.
Doug Bergstrom, Director of Administrative Services
Contact: Ester Story
Doug Bergstrom has 25 years of experience in public financial management and budgeting, working for government at both the federal and local levels. Early in his career he spent two years serving in the budget offices of the US Customs Service and the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. more »
Mr. Bergstrom came to the District in 1988, working his way from entry level analyst to budget supervisor before becoming the District's Budget Director in 2004. Since 2009, he has been responsible for running the day-to-day business of the Operations & Maintenance resource area.
Mr. Bergstrom received his Bachelor's Degree from Penn State University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University.
Sharon Trost, P.G., AICP, has been with the District for more than 30 years. First hired as a hydrogeologist, Ms. Trost has managed divisions and departments throughout the agency, bringing her technical, organizational and leadership skills to the following areas: data collection, regulation, planning, research, ecosystem restoration, Everglades stormwater, operations and information technology. more »
Ms. Trost has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Sciences from Lehigh University and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the University of South Florida. She is a licensed professional geologist and a certified land use and environmental planner.