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May 22, 2012

H. Paul Senft Jr. was re-elected today by his peers to serve as Governing Board chair of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

The Governing Board also decided to re-elect its other current officers which are: Hugh M. Gramling, vice chair; Douglas B. Tharp, secretary; and Albert G. Joerger, treasurer.

Chair H. Paul Senft Jr. of Haines City was appointed to the Governing Board in March 2008. He has also served as the Governing Board secretary.

Senft graduated from Druid Hills High School in Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Emory University and his master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University.

Senft is the owner of Townsend-Senft Consulting and Insurance Inc., and is past president of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. He has also served in numerous appointed and elected government positions on the Polk County Commission, Polk County Industrial Development Authority, Polk County Zoning Board, Polk Community College Board, and the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is a past chairman of the Central Florida Economic Development Council and is currently the director of the Haines City Economic Development Council.

Vice Chair Hugh M. Gramling of Plant City was appointed to the Governing Board in April 2008. He has also served as the Governing Board secretary.

Gramling graduated from Plant City High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

Gramling retired as executive director of the Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers in March. He is also a member of several professional organizations, including the International Plant Propagators Society, the Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association, the American Nursery & Landscape Association, and the Florida Society of Association Executives.

In addition to his nursery and landscape industry experience, Gramling is chair of the Hillsborough County Soil & Water Conservation District, and has served on the Green Industry Advisory Committee, the Plant City Election Board, the Hillsborough County Utilities Water Technical Advisory Committee, and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association Research Committee.

Secretary Douglas B. Tharp of The Villages was appointed to the Governing Board in September 2008. He has also served as the Governing Board treasurer.

Tharp graduated from Shamokin High School in Shamokin, Pa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Penn State University.

Tharp is a retired industrial engineer. He has more than 15 years’ experience managing large government contracts. He also has more than 10 years’ experience as an outreach specialist for the Penn State Department of Engineering, where he advised entrepreneurs and manufacturers on using technology to improve efficiency.

Tharp serves on the Sumter County Republican Executive Committee and is the past president of The Villages Homeowners Association, which boasts 17,000 members. He currently serves on the association’s board of directors and The Villages Homeowners Charitable Foundation, Inc., which raises money for local charities and disaster relief.

Treasurer Albert G. Joerger of Sarasota was appointed to the Governing Board in February 2008.

Joerger graduated from Council Rock High School in Newtown, PA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University. Joerger continued his education at Cornell by earning a master’s degree in landscape architecture and a doctorate in environmental information science with a minor in conservation and sustainable development.

Joerger is founder of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in Osprey. He also currently serves as president emeritus of the Florida Alliance of Land Trusts. He served two governors on their transition teams. He was recognized as one of Sarasota’s top “40 Under 40” by the Gulf Coast Business Review for his work in the Sarasota community, as well as an “environmental hero” by Sarasota Magazine.

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