DeSantis announces four new board members to the SFWMD

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Governor Ron DeSantis speaks in Naples. (Governor Press Office)
FILE- Governor Ron DeSantis speaks in Naples. (Credit: Governor Press Office)

Set before a serene backdrop in Naples, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced three board members to the South Florida Water Management District. DeSantis also made the announcement of a fourth newly appointed board member in Stuart.

DeSantis announced new members Charlette Roman, Charlie Martinez, Cheryl Anne Meads and Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Thursday.

“First of all, I’m going to take on a program of study and research, and I’m going to meet with folks and hear the issues,” said Roman, a Marco Island councilwoman. “I’m going to hear the background and going to work with my fellow board members to see how we’re going to chart the way ahead.”

DeSantis said he plans to announce the remainder of the SFWMD board before the end of next week.

In January, DeSantis asked for the immediate resignations of all SFWMD members, as he wanted “a fresh start.”

The SFWMD manages and protects water resources in the region. They focus on flood control, water supply planning, water quality improvement and ecosystem restoration.

The nine-member governing board sets the policy for the agency. The members are unpaid volunteers, typically serving four-year terms, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate.

Watch below:


Background of the newly appointed members of the SFWMD

Charlette Roman

Since 2002, Charlette has been a full-time resident of Marco Island. She settled there after serving 26 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a full Colonel. Colonel Roman’s experience has given her extensive leadership and management experience in supervising and training personnel. After retirement, Charlette moved to Marco Island and began serving her new community. Notably, in 2013, the Collier County Commissioners unanimously appointed Charlette to serve as the first At-Large Environmental Commissioner on the Collier County Planning Commission.

Carlos ‚ÄúCharlie‚ÄĚ E. Martinez

Carlos ‚ÄúCharlie‚ÄĚ E. Martinez is President of CEM Investments LLC where he has served since 2010. He also serves as Partner of Grove Bay Group and has vast experience in residential development. He has been a member of the Everglades Foundation for the last eight years and holds a B.S. in Building Construction from the University of Florida.

Cheryl Anne Meads

Cheryl Meads is CEO of Trumpet Calls LLC, Real Estate and a member of the Islamorada Village Council. In her career, Cheryl has worked as a contractor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency performing research and development creating test methods found in the Code of Federal Regulation Title 40-Protection of Environment. Her leadership experience gives her a unique perspective for the challenges facing Florida’s environment. Cheryl holds a chemistry degree from Western Carolina University and has experience in Biology and Microbiology.

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch 

Jacqui¬†Thurlow-Lippisch¬†grew up in Stuart and Sewall’s Point in Martin County and is the former Mayor of Seawall Point, Florida which is surrounded by the St. Lucie River and¬†the¬†Indian River Lagoon. Since 2008,¬†Jacqui¬†has dedicated herself to learning and writing about the Northern Everglades system.¬†Jacqui¬†also served on Florida‚Äôs Constitution Revision Commission where she chaired the General Provisions Committee, Article II, Section 7, known as the “environmental section” of the Constitution.¬†

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