Dr. Ann Shortelle is the executive director of the St. Johns River Water Management District, where she began work June 1, 2015.
Shortelle has more than 25 years of professional experience in lake, riverine and reservoir management for water quantity and quality. Her experience also includes surface water/wetlands restoration, surface water modeling, permitting and environmental assessments.
She previously served as executive director for the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) for three years, where she had been actively involved in the North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership and springs protection.
Prior to taking the helm at SRWMD, she was the director of the Office of Water Policy for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where she helped develop water policy for water supply planning and alternative water supplies, minimum flows and levels, reuse, water conservation, water quality protection and consumptive use permitting.
Shortelle worked as a consultant in the private sector before her employment at DEP.
Shortelle is a member of the North American Lake Management Society, the American Water Resources Association, and other professional organizations. She served on the North American Lake Management Society’s Board of Directors, and was a former two-term member of the Florida Lake Management Society Board of Directors and served on the policy advisory committee to DEP for designated use and classification refinement for surface waters.
She holds a doctorate degree in limnology from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Mercer University. She has authored/co-authored more than 40 publications and presentations on environmental topics.
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.
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.
Karl E. Hankin joined the St. Johns River Water Management District in May 2016 bringing to the agency 30 years of experience in water supply planning and engineering and construction.
As director of the Division of Projects, Hankin provides direction to and oversees the Bureaus of Project Management, Operations and Maintenance, and District Projects and Construction. The division is responsible for project design and construction for various district restoration projects and maintenance of flood control structures. The division also oversees and administers the district’s cost-share funding program.
Prior to coming to the district, Hankin worked for more than 25 years with the City of Jacksonville and JEA, a large utility in Northeast Florida, where he led efforts in water/wastewater master planning, hydraulic modeling, water resource strategy, and the engineering/construction of water/wastewater/reclaimed water treatment and conveyance systems. He was responsible for developing and publishing the Annual Water Resource Master Plan, which identified deficiencies and capital improvements for the utility and led several efforts in alternative water supply planning including the Total Water Management Plan, which became the basis for JEA’s water resource strategy. Hankin led efforts in project engineering and construction and was the Project Director for the design of the $55 million Blacks Ford Water Reclamation Facility Expansion.
Prior to his work at the city/JEA he worked for nearly five years in the private sector for FLOOD Engineers master planning and designing water/wastewater treatment and conveyance systems.
Hankin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida.
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.
Michael A. Register 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 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.
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.
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.
Bill Abrams is the district’s General Counsel. He has worked in the Office of General Counsel since 2004. He represents the district and its Governing Board and works closely with the Executive Director and the leadership team rendering legal opinions and providing advice on matters of policy and law.
Prior to his appointment as General Counsel, Abrams served as Deputy General Counsel and as a Senior Assistant General Counsel at the district. His areas of practice included general government and contract law, real property transactions, budgetary and other financial matters, and open government, public records and ethics.
Before joining the district, Abrams was a staff attorney with the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court where he assisted judges with complex civil and criminal cases, and managed the appellate and certiorari case load. He also worked at a private law firm for four years.
A graduate of the University of Florida (UF) with a Bachelor’s Degree in broadcasting, Abrams earned his Juris Doctorate Degree at UF, where he received several awards. For more than 30 years, Abrams has been a television cameraman. For the last 25 of those, he has primarily worked on live sports telecasts for regional and national networks, including most recently, the 2017 College Football Championship game (nominated for three Emmy awards), the 2017 SEC Gymnastics Championship, and the lead game of MLB 2017 Opening Day on ESPN.