Meet our leaders

Michael A. Register

Michael A. Register, P.E.

Executive Director

Michael A. Register was appointed Executive Director by the District’s Governing Board on Sept. 14, 2021. He has been with the St. Johns River Water Management District since 1990.

During his tenure with the district, he has worked in a variety of areas, including environmental resource permitting, consumptive use permitting, water supply planning, engineering and environmental sciences.

As director of the Division of Water Supply Planning and Assessment, he is currently responsible for overseeing the Bureau of Watershed Management and Modeling and the Bureau of Water Supply Planning. These work groups are responsible for performing surface water and groundwater modeling, developing minimum flow and levels (MFLs) and prevention/recovery strategies, and conducting the district’s water supply planning efforts.

Register holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Florida. While at the University of Florida, he conducted research on using reduced irrigation rates to freeze protect commercial foliage crops. He is a registered professional engineer in Florida.

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Lisa A. Kelley, J.D.

Assistant Executive Director

Lisa A. Kelley joined the St. Johns River Water Management District in June 2015, bringing to the agency more than 18 years of experience in regulation of natural resources in Florida.

As Assistant Executive Director, Ms. Kelley provides direction to and oversees the district’s regulatory program; real estate services; transportation and facilities; information technology; financial services, budgeting and business practices; communications and educational outreach; public records; safety program; and other support functions of the district.

A native Floridian who enjoys spending her free time outdoors, Ms. Kelley has a diverse environmental background. Her experience includes educational initiatives for the public, regulatory compliance inspections in various programs, investigation of complaints, enforcement actions, and coordination with local governments, other stakeholder groups and the media.

Prior to coming to the district, Ms. Kelley worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where she was assistant district director of DEP’s Central District Regulatory Office. In that role, she was a liaison with local governments and various stakeholder groups, formed community partnerships, and led the district’s compliance and regulatory program.

Ms. Kelley received a bachelor’s degree in environmental resources management and planning from the University of West Florida and a juris doctorate from Barry University School of Law. She is involved in community activities and has been published in legal journals.

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Jeff Prather

Division of Regulatory Services

Jeff Prather joined the St. Johns River Water Management District in July 2018, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in environmental protection to his role as director of the district’s Division of Regulatory Services.

Under his leadership, the division is responsible for implementing the district’s Consumptive Use and Environmental Resource Permitting programs. This division encompasses the Bureau of Water Use Regulation, which is responsible for water use permitting, water well construction permitting, water well contractor licensing, compliance and enforcement, and the Bureau of Environmental Resource Regulation, which is responsible for environmental resource permitting, administration compliance and enforcement.

Prior to coming to the district, Prather worked for more than 18 years in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, including as Director of the Central District Office; and Deputy Director and Communications Director/Ombudsman, also in the Central District Office. He also worked in the private sector with Siemens Information and Communications Systems, where he was the Environmental, Safety and Health Manager. In the public and private sectors, he has worked with diverse groups of stakeholders in all areas of environmental protection. Prather has served in the community as a governor’s appointee to the Wekiva River Basin Commission.

A graduate of Ferris State University (Michigan), he holds Bachelor’s Degrees in biology and industrial and environmental health management. Outside of work, he enjoys camping in Florida State Parks and is an avid bass fisherman.

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Erich R. Marzolf, Ph.D.

Division of Water and Land Resources

Dr. Erich Marzolf worked for the St. Johns River Water Management District from 1994 to 2012 and returned to the agency in October 2015 after three years as the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Water Resources division director.

In his current role, Marzolf is responsible for directing the St. Johns District’s aquatic sciences, land and water resource management activities, and hydrologic and water quality data collection efforts.

During his tenure with the district, he has worked as a limnologist, working on the Upper and Middle St. Johns River basins’ restoration programs as a supervising scientist with the Lake Apopka restoration program. He has also worked as a technical program manager for the Middle St. Johns River and Orange Creek basins, overseeing all aspects of the district’s scientific work in the basins.

Marzolf holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Colorado College and master’s and doctorate degrees in ecology from the University of California Davis, where he focused on subalpine lake ecology. Marzolf moved to Knoxville, TN, to work as a post-doctoral scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he worked on nutrient cycling in stream ecosystems.

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Dale Jenkins, P.G.

Division of Projects

Dale Jenkins is division director for the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Division of Projects, where he began work in summer 2015.

He directs the division’s work for the bureaus of Project Management, Operations and Maintenance, and District Projects and Construction, leading in the bureaus’ strategic planning activities, budgeting, identification of key projects and priorities, and providing proactive insight into possible challenges and solutions. This division is responsible for district-led project feasibility and pilot projects, engineering and construction of district water resource restoration projects, flood control structure operation and maintenance, as well as managing cost-share projects with local government and other partners.

Mr. Jenkins previously served for five years as the district’s Chief of the Bureau of Project Management. In that role, his responsibilities included leading a team of project managers and professionals that implement the district’s annual Districtwide and REDI community / innovative projects cost-share funding programs.

Prior to joining the St. Johns District, Mr. Jenkins served as a Senior Hydrogeologist at the Suwannee River Water Management District for six years, where his responsibilities included the implementation of district-led water resources projects and water supply assessment and planning efforts.

Mr. Jenkins is a water resources professional with more than 22 years of planning, assessment and management experience encompassing water resources and related projects. Before joining the water managements districts, his experience ranged from managing water resource assessments to providing technical support for the acquisition of various permits. Project work included water supply planning, watershed studies, groundwater and surface water resource assessments, wellfield studies, and alternative water supply assessments.

He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Geology from the University of Florida.

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Thomas Frick

Division of Strategic Planning and Initiatives

Tom Frick is division director of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Division of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, where he began work in December 2019.

He directs the division’s work of the annual strategic planning process, which includes performing detailed analysis and interpreting information to make recommendations on strategic opportunities for science-based solutions to regional water quality and water supply challenges, resiliency of communities at risk to riverine or coastal inundation, and other key opportunities.

Prior to joining the district, Frick was director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for six years.

Frick began his career as an environmental scientist with the DEP Chemistry Laboratory. He has more than 25 years of experience in both the private and government sectors specializing in the areas of data collection, quality assurance, ecological assessment, interpretation of environmental data, and water body restoration. His focus during his tenure with DEP was to ensure the highest quality data, methodologies and technology to inform better environmental decisions to assess, restore and protect Florida’s unique water resources.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Florida State University.

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Tiffany Cowie

Division of Management Services and Public Affairs

Tiffany Cowie joined the district in November 2015, bringing with her more than a decade of public relations and leadership experience.

As director of the division of Management Services and Public Affairs, Cowie provides leadership to the Offices of Communications, Human Resources, and Business and Administration Services, as well as Risk Management functions. The work of these groups includes media relations, public information and outreach, quality assurance of district records, recruiting, staff development and benefits, identifying insurance requirements, and includes ombudsman duties.

Prior to her current role, Cowie was director of the district’s Office of Communications. Her experience also includes serving as Communications Director at the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee, as Press Secretary at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and as Public Information Officer at the Florida Department of Education. Prior to entering public service, she was a reporter, anchor and executive producer in television news.

Cowie is a proud graduate of Troy University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications and master’s degree in International Relations, both earned with highest honors. She holds an Accreditation in Public Relations and, as of 2018, is a Certified Public Relations Counselor, putting her in a top-tier group of senior public relations advisors in the state.

Outside of the office, Cowie serves her community as a licensed foster parent and holds a leadership role with the Florida Public Relations Association Counselors’ Network.

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Mary Ellen Winkler

General Counsel

Mary Ellen Winkler is General Counsel with the St. Johns River Water Management District. Ms. Winkler provides advice and counsel to the District’s Governing Board, the Executive Director and staff regarding matters of law and policy.

Her primary areas of practice have included consumptive use and environmental resource permitting, minimum flows and levels and water supply planning. Ms. Winkler has also represented the District in numerous cases before the State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. Ms. Winkler has been with the District since 1999 previously serving as an Assistant, Senior Assistant and Deputy General Counsel. During her time with the District, she has received several awards for her service to the agency.

Ms. Winkler graduated with high honors from the University of Florida College of Law where she was awarded the Order of the Coif and Order of the Barrister. She previously graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Central Florida and also earned a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida where she was a U.S. Department of Energy Applied Health Physics Fellow.