AWRA FLORIDA

President's Message

Mark C. Diblin, PG
Amec Foster Wheeler
404 SW 140th Terrace
Newberry, FL 32669
352-332-3318
  • 14 Sep 2017 5:30 PM | Mark Diblin (Administrator)

    As I write my September message our state is recovering from a visit by Hurricane Irma and many are still without power, some without a home. I hope and pray that all our AWRA friends and family are doing well and the storm has not gotten the best of you! Hang in there as we are a strong and resilient state & we will recover and be stronger as a result of this.

    The place of our last meeting – Key Largo – was in the path of Irma. Let’s hope all are well and that power is restored quickly in the Keys and they recover from the damage quickly. The annual meeting was a big success so “thank you” to all the sponsors, speakers and attendees who made the meeting a huge success. And a special thanks to our water management district Executive Directors for making the trip and updating us on the hot topics in each district. We do appreciate your attendance and hope to see you again next year.

    Proceeds from our annual meeting allow us to continue our support to students and water resources education throughout Florida. Again we held our silent fundraiser for our scholarship programs and raffled off a Yeti cooler and “cheer” that again was a big success. Unfortunately for all in attendance, Ray Scott won 2nd prize (Yeti tumbler) and 1st prize taking the cooler and cheer. Party at Ray’s house!

    Our next meeting is Friday, September 29 in West Palm Beach at the City Hall. Sam Palermo and his team have done a fantastic job lining up sponsors as well as developing a great technical program focused on water quality issues. It is sure to be a very informative program. We will close out the year on November 17 in DeLand at the Stetson University Institute for Water and Environmental Policy. Ray Scott and his team continue to develop this technical program.

    In the coming months we will hold elections for three new board members for 2018. I want to thank Gary Howalt for his years of service as part of the executive committee. Gary is a past president and treasurer and I am sure he wishes he had the new financial transaction and reporting capabilities we have today back when he was the treasurer. We also say goodbye to Garrett Wallace as he focuses more on his new job with the Nature Conservancy. Thank you Garrett for always making the annual meeting run so smoothly. Lastly we say thanks to Rick Creech who has been a part of numerous committees and has been a big supporter of AWRA Florida for many years. I want to thank them all for their service and wish them well in the future. Each of you have an open invitation to come to all our meetings and return whenever you want. I hope you will all stay involved in some way. We have had tremendous interest from many people wishing to serve on our board so this is great news. The bad news is we have 7 people interested in 3 open positions. Therefore we are in an enviable position but obviously cannot add everyone. I see this as a sure sign of the great work our board is doing and the success of our meetings in bringing state and local government officials together with industry and academia to discuss the pertinent water resource issues affecting our state. Additionally our membership sees the value in the organization and is stepping forward to support. Please watch for an email in the coming months for you to go online and vote.

    I hope to see you all in sunny West Palm Beach at months end! I will close with some words of wisdom as I always do.

    “Tough times don’t last; tough people do.” - Unknown

    “Let us drink for replenishment of our strength, not for our sorrow.” Cicero

  • 25 Jul 2017 10:00 PM | Jeremy McBryan (Administrator)

    As we head towards our annual meeting in Key Largo August 10-11, I wanted to briefly look back at our May meeting in Tampa. Thanks to Randy Smith, Allison Lewis and the entire meeting team for an excellent meeting and celebration and remembrance of Buddy Blain’s life and accomplishments. The technical meeting was focused on the Tampa Bay estuary recovery with numerous presentations providing examples of successful restoration projects. In attendance were many of Buddy’s family and friends that helped us remember Buddy with inspiring words and funny stories of times spent with Buddy. Thanks again to all who helped put the meeting together and make it special in so many ways.

    We now move to our annual meeting in Key Largo where we will again host the executive directors from around Florida in a panel discussion addressing each district’s priorities and hot button issues. We will again hold our banquet feast and have the always enjoyable “Eco Tour” (snorkeling trip) on Friday afternoon. We hope you will all join us in the keys for this meeting.

    We again will hold our student scholarship fund raising event by raffling off our “cooler of cheer” in its very own Yeti cooler. This event was well received and was one of the highlights of our banquet. If you are interested in sponsoring the cooler or the event check our web page or get in contact with one of our 2017 officers.

    During May and June we received and reviewed the applications for our various scholarships and reached conclusion on our various awards. Once again we had a great group of applicants and deliberations and discussions were as difficult as always. The winners will be announced soon. Again AWRA Florida is on track to give to needy students via scholarships, poster contest prizes, travel reimbursement for meetings and student chapter support awards totaling $20,000. Thanks to all our sponsors and members who make the development and nurturing of our future water resources professionals possible.

    With each passing meeting we are also seeing our membership rise and we are on track to surpass our membership total from 2016 of 382 members. This would give us 5 straight years of increasing membership! I would say part of the appeal of AWRA Florida is the high quality technical meetings and diversity of attendees across the water resources community that draw many of our members to us. I encourage you all to ask a friend or peer to join AWRA Florida or attend a meeting with you. The value for the dollar cannot be beat with any other organization. I hope to see you all in Key Largo wearing your best tropical attire!

    “May neighbors respect you, Trouble neglect you, The angels protect you, And heaven accept you”. Irish Drinking Toast.

    “Drink moderately, for drunkenness neither keeps a secret nor observes a promise”. Miguel De Cervantes.

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