Have you ever had a “drop the microphone and walk of the stage” moment. What did you do, did you actually take advantage of the moment?
On July 3, 2007, I began my career with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District), a career I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have learned so much about our water supply, water quality, natural systems, and how we provide flood protection in our state. More importantly, I have made lifelong friends!
Many of us have co-workers but how many of us call these co-workers friends or family? Blessed is the best word I can use to describe my life at the District. For a time my daughter even worked as an intern in Communications at the District. Again, I have been blessed.
In addition, while I have made lifelong friends and family at the District I have (abundantly) added friends from those I serve.
What I would consider most important during this time is meeting my wife. She is not only my best friend, soul mate, and biggest fan, she is my life and I am so very happy.
There is not enough space (I would have to buy space in the Cloud to continue) to list all of the people -that have helped me along the way, and my co-worker family knows I love them, so the best thing I can do is just say THANK YOU to everyone I have met over the last 8 ½ years. You ALL have been pivotal in success……..
So what is next? Deep down I felt I would have one last move before retirement and I have found that move. Growing up in the farming community and continuing that tradition for many years gave me a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to try new things. I now have that opportunity!
Through a mutual friend (of which I will forever be in-debt), I was introduced to an innovative leader in agricultural packaging, marketing, food safety, and cutting-edge technology farmers can use to reduce their costs and save water. After several months of discussion, we found a way I can contribute and help create a company that could quickly become a global leader.
Okay, so why now? Let us go back to the “drop the microphone and walk off the stage” moment I mentioned earlier. I have used my years with the District to repair, create and maintain relationships with key constituents. These relationships are with high-ranking governmental staff, elected officials, and the business community and they have helped further the mission of the District.
Well, one of the missions of the District is reduce groundwater usage and restore natural systems. In Polk County, we have 18 local governments all vying for the same water supply and it was quickly determined this was not sustainable. Thus, with the District and my help, certain leaders within Polk County stepped up to begin the process of creating a water supply cooperative where all 18 local governments can work together to solve their long-term water supply needs.
With a water summit (August 2015) kicking off the effort, in just 6 short months an elected official and their top staffer from each of the 18 local governments met monthly to create the Polk Regional Water Cooperative Inter-Local Agreement. No small feat to be sure. Over the last several years, I felt this was my biggest responsibility and now that it is complete, I am comfortable moving on to my next adventure. So, what is next, you ask? I will reveal that, next week but it starts April 4, 2016.