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DeSantis appoints/reappoints five to the Big Cypress Basin Board


Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Michelle McLeod, Michael Romano, and Patricia “P.J.” Smith and the reappointment of Andrew Hill and Daniel Waters to the Big Cypress Basin Board.

The Big Cypress Basin Board and Big Cypress Basin Service Center manage a network of 134.1 miles of primary canals, 34 water control structures and three back pumps providing flood control during the wet season and protecting regional water supplies and environmental resources from over-drainage during the dry season. The basin includes Collier County and part of Monroe County.

Members of the Big Cypress Basin Board, like members of the SFWMD Governing Board, are appointed by the Governor and must be approved by the Florida Senate. This Board sets the Basin regional policy, budget and millage rate. The Governing Board member appointed to represent the Southwest region on the SFWMD Governing Board also serves as the Basin Board's Chairman. The Basin Board typically meets once every quarter, unless otherwise announced. Meetings are open to the public. Big Cypress Basin staff work in administration, planning, environmental permitting, right-of-way permitting and operations and maintenance. Tasks related to Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project management are also supported by this office.

Michelle McLeod 

McLeod, of Naples, is the Director of Business Development for Lutgert Construction. She was elected as a Naples City Councilmember in 2016 and serves on the board of the Collier County Community Land Trust. McLeod earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Mary’s College and her master’s degree in business administration from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Michael Romano

Romano, of Naples, is the Owner of Romano Canvas & UPH, LLC. He has 40 years of experience in the marine canvas industry and is a member of the Rotary Club of Naples.

Patricia “P.J.” Smith

Smith, of Naples, is the Owner and Broker of Naples Golf to Gulf Real Estate. She previously served on the Naples Design Review Board and is the Treasurer of the Naples Area Board of Realtors. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree in integrative health from Capital University Integrated Medicine.

Andrew Hill

Hill, of Naples, is the Co-Founder and President of Andrew Hill Investment Advisors, Inc. He is a board member of the Greater Naples Area Chamber of Commerce and was previously a board member of the Naples Chartered Financial Analyst Society. Hill earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Canisius University and his master’s degree in business administration from Syracuse University.

Daniel Waters

Waters, of Naples, is the Vice President of Peninsula Engineering. He previously served as a Regulatory Administrator for the South Florida Water Management District. Waters earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and his master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Florida.

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