Executive Director Receives Florida Association for Water Quality Control 2022 Wade Hopping Leadership Award

News Release

Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) Executive Director Brian Armstrong has received the Florida Association for Water Quality Control (FAWQC) 2022 Wade Hopping Leadership Award.

Named for a true leader and pioneer in the development of Florida water policy, the award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding professional who oversees policies and/or personnel in the area of water resources and is dedicated to managing, improving, and protecting the quality of Florida’s waters. The award was presented at FAWQC’s 2022 Annual Conference in Naples, Florida, Thursday, June 16.

"It's humbling to be recognized with this award," said Brian Armstrong, District executive director. "It's truly been a privilege to devote my career to protecting Florida's water resources. However, I owe much of my success to the talented and hard-working staff at the water management district."

Under Armstrong's leadership, the District invests millions of dollars each year in water quality initiatives, including seagrass mapping, springs protection, habitat restoration, National Estuary Program support, properly plugging abandoned wells, agricultural cost-share projects, and data collection and analysis. 

Armstrong was appointed as the executive director of the District in June 2016. He brings more than 20 years of water resources experience to his role and his focus is on overseeing the District’s extensive environmental and water resource recovery efforts, promoting a regional approach to water supply planning and development, and guiding efforts to investigate and implement innovative solutions to water resources challenges.

Armstrong previously served as the District’s assistant executive director where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of three divisions and more than 400 staff. He facilitated the development of the District’s first Business Plan, which outlines the people, funding and assets needed to carry out the District’s Strategic Plan. Armstrong also served as the District’s negotiator for the historic development of the Polk County Regional Water Cooperative, involving Polk County and 15 separate municipalities.

Previously, Armstrong served as the assistant director for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Southwest District, which oversees environmental protection for eight counties. Before working at DEP, Armstrong served as the Water Supply and Resource Development manager for the District.

Armstrong is a licensed professional geologist, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Geology and his master’s degree in Hydrogeology from the University of South Florida.