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SRWMD Governing Board appoints Hugh Thomas as executive director

Submitted by SRWMD

Left to Right - District Governing Board Members: Kevin Brown, Bradley Williams, Charles Keith, Virginia Johns, Don Quincey, Jr., Executive Director Hugh Thomas, Alphonas Alexander, Virginia Sanchez, Gary Jones, Richard Schwab

At their board meeting today, the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board appointed Hugh Thomas as the new executive director of the District, effective July 17. Thomas has an extensive 25-year background in agriculture and environmental resource management including one year as senior project manager in the District’s Agriculture and Environmental Projects Division, 14 years as an environmental administrator in the Agriculture and Water Policy Division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and 10 years as an environmental manager for Mactec Environmental, Inc. This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Governing Board President Don Quincey, Jr. remarked on Thomas’ qualifications for the position, stating the Board looks forward to growing and expanding resource protection efforts over the next decade under Thomas’ leadership. Upon acceptance of the position, Thomas remarked that he shares the Board’s passion for north Florida’s water resources and their vision of expanding resource protection efforts throughout the District.

Thomas succeeds Noah Valenstein who was appointed by Governor Rick Scott and confirmed by the Florida Cabinet to the position of Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in May. Director of Agriculture and Environmental Projects Darrell Smith will continue to serve as interim executive director until July 17.

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.

For more information about the District, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, search @SRWMD.