August 30, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday recognized Talmadge G. “Jerry” Rice for his dedication to public service as an outgoing member of the Governing Board and the Withlacoochee River Basin Board.

Rice was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in March 2003. He served as the Governing Board chair from June 2006 until May 2007. Before serving as chair Rice was also the Board’s vice chair and treasurer. As a Governing Board member, Rice also served as chair ex officio of the Withlacoochee River Basin Board.

During the Aug. 28 meeting, the Governing Board passed a resolution that recognized Rice as demonstrating exceptional skill in coalition-building, environmental leadership, foresight, wisdom and administrative abilities instrumental in ensuring responsible stewardship of water resources and related natural systems.

“Jerry leaves big shoes to fill,” said Sallie Parks, Governing Board member, summarizing the accolades of her fellow board members. “He is a man who helped make the board more cohesive. He was the glue that kept us all together.”

The resolution also recognizes Rice as a leading advocate for the development of alternative water supplies to meet growing public supply demands while preserving groundwater resources critical to the continued viability of agriculture in the region.

“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes on here at the District that the public doesn’t realize,” said Rice. “I enjoyed serving on the board and feel the work the District does is important to the region and the state of Florida.”

Rice is a native Floridian and resident of Dade City. Before beginning his real estate business, he was president and chief operating officer of Lykes Pasco, Inc., and subsequently vice president of government and industry relations for Lykes Bros., Inc. He retired from that position in 1998. Rice is currently a member of the Greater Lake County Association of Realtors and Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.

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