The District’s Governing Board voted in a new slate of officers Tuesday for the 2019-2020 term.
Governing Board members are unpaid, citizen volunteers who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. The Governing Board sets policy for the District, whose mission is to protect water resources, minimize flood risks, and ensure the public’s water needs are met.
The new officers are:
Mark Taylor was elected chair of the Governing Board. Taylor represents Hernando and Marion counties and is president of TTG Properties, Inc., a real estate management, investment and development firm. Taylor was appointed to the Board in August 2016.
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Taylor is now a resident of Hernando County. He is a graduate of North Fort Myers High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in environmental engineering. Taylor has served as a Hernando County Planning and Zoning commissioner and chairman, Hernando County Chamber of Commerce director, and Hernando County Youth League director.
Michelle Williamson was elected vice-chair of the Governing Board. Williamson represents Hillsborough County and is a manager of G&F Farms in Dover. Williamson was appointed to the Governing Board in August 2016.
Williamson currently serves on the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Hillsborough County Agriculture Economic Development Council and International Responsible Farming Council Board of Directors. She also has served as a board member for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association and served as the state chair of the Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee and serves as the chair of the Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee for District 5.
Joel Schleicher was elected secretary of the Governing Board. Schleicher represents Charlotte and Sarasota counties. He was appointed to the Governing Board in May 2017.
Having grown up in Minnesota, he earned a BSB in accounting from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and went on to earn a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate. Schleicher is the founder and executive chairman for Focal Point Data Risk, LLC., a nationwide leader in data risk management, which he founded in 2014. Schleicher is a member of Business Executives for National Security and has served on various corporate and community boards – currently The Argus Foundation and The Van Wezel Foundation.
Kelly Rice was elected treasurer of the Governing Board. Rice represents Citrus, Lake, Levy and Sumter counties. He was appointed to the Governing Board in September 2015.
Rice is the broker/owner of Prime Property Resources, Inc., president of Physical Therapy Services of Brooksville, Inc., and the president of Rice Cattle Company. A Florida native, Rice was born in Lakeland and graduated from Pasco Comprehensive High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Florida. Rice currently serves as a state director of the Florida Farm Bureau and has served as a past president of the Sumter County Farm Bureau Board of Directors as well as a past president of the Sumter County Economic Development Council.
The new officers will serve a one-year term beginning 24 hours before the next Governing Board meeting.