How We're Organized
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.
Drew Bartlett, Executive Director
Contact: Mary Hall
The Executive Director directs the state's largest water management agency, leads the District in carrying out its mission to balance and improve flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems across the region. The agency provides flood protection to South Florida through one of the largest water management systems in the world; works with utilities and stakeholders to develop long-term water supply plans; and is implementing landmark restoration strategies to improve water quality, expand water storage and restore more natural flows to the Everglades.
Drew Bartlett previously served as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Deputy Secretary for Ecosystem Restoration before becoming SFWMD’s Executive Director on April 1, 2019.
At DEP, he was responsible for overseeing statewide water supply; restoring and protecting Florida's aquatic ecosystems including the Everglades; managing aquatic research, monitoring, and laboratory analysis; funding water and wastewater infrastructure and governing coastal protection and resiliency.
Bartlett also previously served as Director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration, responsible for setting water quality standards, monitoring and assessing surface water quality, establishing restoration goals and adopting restoration plans. Prior to his service at DEP, Bartlett spent 17 years implementing the federal Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Bartlett holds a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University.
John Mitnik, Assistant Executive Director
Contact: Mary Hall
John Mitnik serves as the Interim Assistant Executive Director and Chief District Engineer. He previously served as Engineering and Construction Bureau Chief after working as a section administrator and a supervising engineer with that group. Before joining the District in 2004, he worked as an environmental administrator and engineer for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Mitnik has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA specializing in Environmental Resource Management from Florida Atlantic University. He is a professional engineer registered in the state of Florida.
Mitnik manages around-the-clock water control operations and monitoring of the regional water management system and coordination with local entities. He also supervises the inspection and refurbishment of existing facilities, along with the design and construction of new projects and infrastructure.
Jennifer Smith, Chief of Staff
Contact: Mary Hall
The Chief of Staff provides strategic counsel to key leaders within organization and is critical in supporting a successful leadership team. The Chief of Staff serves as strategic advisor and counsel to the executive team assuming day-to-day responsibility for projects and tasks creating and maintaining agency-wide relationships to assure leadership success.
Sean Cooley, Director, Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Contact: Yailenis Diaz
Sean Cooley leads the Office of Communications and Public Engagement at the South Florida Water Management District. In his role as Director of Communications and Public Engagement, Cooley is responsible for connecting people to the District’s important restoration, flood protection and water supply work. Cooley provides leadership to the Office of the Open Government and Media Relations, Office of the District Clerk, Communications, and Community/Government Relations functions. He also serves as the District’s ombudsman.
The agency’s communications and public engagement efforts include government and community relations, media relations, public records, district clerk, governing board, website, internal communications, events, design, publications, video production, social media, crisis/emergency communications, and public outreach.
He has worked in various communications leadership roles in the non-governmental and public sectors and was previously the Florida Communications Director for a national conservation organization. Cooley frequently serves as an adjunct university professor and lecturer. He has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in communications from The Florida State University and also holds graduate certifications in public administration and project management. When not in the office, Cooley enjoys birding and spending time exploring America’s Everglades.
Carolyn Ansay, General Counsel
Contact: Rickeisha Salesman
Carolyn S. Ansay previously served as the South Florida Water Management District's General Counsel from August 2011 to May 2014. She rejoined the District in August 2020. Ms. Ansay has over 24 years of experience in both public and private practice specializing in water resources, environmental, local government, and land use law. Throughout her career, Ms. Ansay has represented cities, counties, state agencies, special districts, and private clients in a variety of complex environmental, water, and legislative issues. Ms. Ansay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Management from the University of Miami and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida's College of Law.
As General Counsel, she provides and supervises legal services in support of the agency's mission responsibilities. The Office of Counsel provides the legal framework for advancing and accelerating the District's projects and priorities. Ms. Ansay leads a team that includes attorneys, paralegals, and administrative professionals, each with unique backgrounds and expertise that allows the office to think creatively and provide diverse perspectives on every issue. The Office is organized in two distinct sections, one that focuses on the District's mission to champion Everglades restoration and environmental policy, and another that concentrates on the District's general agency legal needs and civil litigation matters. The Office of Counsel also has a dedicated Labor and Employment Specialist.
Stephen Collins, Division Director, Real Estate
Contact: Staci Machado
Stephen Collins joined the South Florida Water Management District in November 2016. He brings more than 25 years of practical experience and insights in South Florida’s corporate real estate industry to the agency. Most recently, Collins served as CEO of The Wetlandsbank Group, a wetlands mitigation bank company, and prior to that as Asset Manager of Florida Power & Light Co.’s multibillion real estate portfolio.
Collins’ work in the wetland mitigation industry has been recognized both nationally and internationally. He was a 2001 recipient of the Edison Electric Institute National Land Management Award for his work at FPL’s Everglades Mitigation Bank. In 2010, The Wetlandsbank Group’s Panther Island Mitigation Bank was designated as a Ramsar wetlands of international importance by the Ramsar Convention. In both instances, it was the first time a mitigation bank had been recognized.
Born in Schenectady, N.Y., Collins is a 30-year resident of Palm Beach County. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Collins is responsible for the District's extensive property interests, which include more than 1.4 million acres of land with a combined value of more than $2.5 billion. He and his staff handle all real estate acquisitions, exchanges, sales, leasing and asset management for the agency.
Jill Creech, P.E., Division Director, Regulation
Contact: Lourdes Elias
Jill Creech, P.E., joined the District as the Regulation Division Director in February 2016 after serving five years as director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Southeast District Office in West Palm Beach. In addition to her public service experience with South Florida's regulated community, Creech brings an extensive private sector background to the District. She was president and co-owner of her own engineering firm for 18 years. Creech has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Florida. Creech manages the agency's regulatory programs, which help protect, manage and improve regional water resources. The District's streamlined permitting process and online database provide ready access to historical and current regulatory information, including pending applications.
Lawrence Glenn, Division Director, Water Resources
Contact: Lourdes Elias
Lawrence Glenn serves as Director of the Water Resources Division. He previously served as Administrator of the Coastal Ecosystems and the Lake and River Ecosystems Sections in the Applied Sciences Bureau. He joined the District in 1996 to work on the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.
Glenn manages the Water Supply, Water Quality, and Applied Sciences Bureaus at the District. He supervises the water quality monitoring conducted across the District, updating of regional water supply plans, rulemaking for Minimum Flow and Levels and Water Reservations, and scientific monitoring to evaluate ecological conditions in the District’s lakes, rivers, estuaries, and Greater Everglades including Florida Bay.
Glenn is the Co-Chairman of the South Florida Environmental Restoration Task Force Science Coordination Group and serves on the RECOVER Leadership Group. Glenn has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Biology from Florida Atlantic University.
Candida Heater, Division Director, Administrative Services
Contact: Candy McCulloch
The Director of Administrative Services manages the day-to-day business/administrative support operations for the District including budget, finance, procurement, human resources and performance metrics.
Lisa Koehler, Big Cypress Basin Administrator
Lisa Koehler is the Big Cypress Basin Administrator. She has worked for the District for 11 years and previously served as a Policy and Planning Analyst after working as an Outreach and Media Specialist. In her current role, she provides leadership for the activities, projects and management of the local flood control system, implements Basin Board policy and oversees the development of the Basin’s budget.
Koehler has lived in Florida over 20 years and grew up in Illinois where she received her B.S. in Geology/Geography, with a minor in Business from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Illinois.
Koehler is a graduate of Leadership Collier and is an active member in the Leadership Collier Alumni Foundation. She also works with the Collier Education Foundation, Take Stock in Children program. Throughout her career, Koehler has worked extensively with the public, working with elected officials, restructuring organizations and functions, project management and budget preparation.
Jennifer Reynolds, Division Director, Ecosystem Restoration & Capital Projects
Contact: Lourdes Elias
Jennifer Reynolds serves as the Director for Ecosystem Restoration and Capital Projects Division. Before joining the District in March 2020, she served in the United States Army for 24 years as an active duty engineer. In addition to her time working on Everglades restoration with the U.S. Army Corps, she brings experience managing emergency operations and supporting efforts in more than 90 countries worldwide.
Reynolds has worked on unique international capital projects including the Mosul Dam, health clinics, schools, and wastewater treatment plants in Iraq; Kajaki Dam and the national electricity system in Afghanistan; building maintenance facilities and road repair in Bosnia; base camp design and construction in Kosovo; and construction of training facilities in Germany.
Reynolds has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from Western Illinois University, a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, and an MA in Procurement and Acquisitions from Webster University.
Reynolds manages the District’s projects and programs to restore America’s Everglades and the mosaic of ecosystems and estuaries that comprise the landscape of South Florida. She also supervises the design, construction, survey, modeling, and analysis teams that inform and execute the District’s restoration projects and infrastructure investments.
Duane Piper, Division Director, Information Technology
Contact: Ashley Mangual
Duane Piper became the agency's Chief Information Officer in 2011. He brings 25 years of Information Technology experience, including 11 years at the District and 14 years in the private sector, helping businesses remain competitive through the efficient use of technology. His experience with large information systems in complex operational environments includes international and multi-site settings in the manufacturing, database and publishing industries.
Piper earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Science in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also a Certified Project Manager (PMP) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Additionally, Piper serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Palm Beach County School Board.
Information Technology supports critical work throughout the agency. Piper supervises network infrastructure, systems engineering, software applications, data security and desktop resources. He and his staff enable District functions that include Everglades restoration modeling, project planning and design, geospatial mapping and water resource and water supply monitoring and analysis. They also manage systems that support the agency’s financial and regulatory operations.
Rich Virgil, Division Director, Field Operations
Contact: Lourdes Elias
As Director of Field Operations Rich Virgil manages the operations and maintenance functions conducted by the agency's eight field stations to provide year-round water management system readiness. He also supervises the District's canal and levee rights-of-way.
Rich Virgil came to the District in 1997 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In his most recent role as the Bureau Chief for Infrastructure Management his duties included oversight of the District’s engineering inspection program. Responsibilities included identification of deficiencies within the water management system in order to generate recommendations for corrective action and prioritization of capital repairs. Rich’s extensive knowledge of the District’s water management system gives him the tools necessary to effectively manage Field Operations.
Rich received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York Polytechnical Institute in Utica. He holds a Professional Engineering License in Civil Engineering in both the State of Florida and New York and is a Certified Project Management Professional.