Executive Management

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The Governing Board appoints the agency's Executive Director (subject to approval by the Governor, and confirmation by the Florida Senate). The Executive Director carries out the Board's directives.
 

 
Photo of Peter Antonacci
 
Peter Antonacci, Executive Director
Contact: Peter Antonacci or Rosie Byrd
 
Peter Antonacci became Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District in October 2015. He brings more than three decades of extensive experience in Florida state government, finance and law to this leadership role.
 
He served as General Counsel to Governor Rick Scott from 2013 to 2015 and previously as State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County. He served as a Governing Board member at the Northwest Florida Water Management District from 2006 to 2012. From 1991 to 1997, he was Bob Butterworth's Deputy Attorney General where he managed major litigation involving a variety of issues, including state lands.
 
Raised in Hialeah, he attended Hialeah High School and Miami Dade College. He also attended Florida State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts as well as a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law. more »
 

 
Len J. Lindahl, P.E., Assistant Executive Director
Contact: Candy McCulloch
 
Len J. Lindahl, P.E., has more than 18 years of experience in water resource engineering and complex project management. His diverse expertise ranges from developing and implementing comprehensive strategic plans and operational budgets, to a wide spectrum of civil and environmental engineering services.
 
Prior to joining the District in 2013, he served as vice president of Florida operations for a multinational Fortune 500 company providing technical and management support in a variety of markets including energy, water, transportation and the environment. Lindahl also has served as District Engineer for a number of South Florida local water control districts, responsible for regulatory, construction and operational components. His professional affiliations include the Florida Engineering Society, National Society of Professional Engineers, American Water Resources Association, Florida Association of Special Districts and the Water Management Institute.
 
Lindahl has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. A life-long Jupiter resident, he is a professional engineer registered in the state of Florida. more » 

 
Brian Accardo, General Counsel
Contact: Jennifer Aiton
 
Brian Accardo joined the District in January 2016 as General Counsel. He previously held leadership positions at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for five years, serving as a program director and as special counsel.
 
In 2013, the American Bar Association awarded Accardo the Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award for his accomplishments and contribution to the development of law, policy and programs in the areas of energy and the environment.
 
Prior to joining the Department of Environmental Protection, Accardo practiced environmental law in Tallahassee. Earlier in his career, he worked as a project manager at a South Florida engineering and construction firm.
 
Accardo received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Florida and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. more » 

 
Tia Barnett, Governing Board & Executive Services
Contact: Haley Koptak
 
Tia Barnett took over responsibility for Governing Board and Executive Services in February 2016. Since joining the District in 2000, Barnett has spent many years supporting the agency's legislative agenda and community outreach.
 
In her most recent role, Barnett was the Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC) Coordinator, working closely with Governing Board and WRAC members, advocacy groups and interested citizens. Earlier in her career, she worked in the Engineering and Construction Bureau and supported several senior managers. She also has private sector experience as a manager in the hospitality industry.
 
Barnett earned a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Palm Beach State College. more »  

 
Richard Bassell, Real Estate
Contact: Andrea Schluter
 
Richard Bassell joined the District in November 2012 as part of the Real Estate group. His depth of experience in acquisitions, marketing and sale of properties helped support the District's comprehensive land assessment process, completed in 2013.
 
Bassell brings extensive experience in real estate asset management, highlighted by resolving a $200 million portfolio of properties and loans in the private sector. Prior to District service, he was an executive with several Florida-based real estate investment and development firms.
 
He has a Master of Science in Urban and Environmental Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, double majoring in environmental studies and philosophy. more »  

 
Terrie Bates, Water Resources
Contact: Terrie Bates or Lourdes Elias
 
Terrie Bates joined the District in 1985 and has gained wide-ranging experience in environmental regulation, water supply, water quality, wetland mitigation, ecosystem restoration, applied science and watershed management issues. She directed a streamlining effort in environmental permitting to combine the state's surface water management, dredge & fill and sovereign submerged lands programs and to create the mitigation banking program.
 
Bates has held executive management responsibilities for overseeing the District's water shortage and drought response in 2006-2007 and again in 2011.
 
Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Bates received a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources & Conservation from the University of Florida and a Master in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. more » 

 
Doug Bergstrom, Administrative Services
Contact: Kimberly Bates
 
Doug Bergstrom has 25 years of experience in public financial management and budgeting, working for government at both the federal and local levels. Early in his career he spent two years serving in the budget offices of the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.
 
Bergstrom came to the District in 1988, working his way from entry-level analyst to budget supervisor before becoming the District's Budget Director in 2004. From 2009-2011, he supervised the financial and business functions for Operations & Maintenance – the agency's largest work unit.
 
Bergstrom received a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and a Master in Public Administration from George Mason University. more » 

 
Jill Creech, P.E., Regulation
Contact: Lourdes Elias
 
Jill Creech, P.E., joined the District as the Regulation Division Director in February 2016 after serving five years as director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Southeast District Office in West Palm Beach. In addition to her public service experience with South Florida's regulated community, Creech brings an extensive private sector background to the District. She was president and co-owner of her own engineering firm for 18 years and also worked as a project engineer at several national firms.
 
Creech has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Florida. more » 

 
Karen Estock, Field Operations & Land Management
Contact: Candy McCulloch
 
Karen Estock initially joined the District in 2004 as Director of the West Palm Beach Field Station and most recently served as Bureau Chief for Infrastructure Management. Her responsibilities included supervising the District's structure inspection program, surveying and hydrologic data acquisition and management.
 
Previously, Estock worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 22 years where she rose to Chief, Field Operations and Readiness, in the Clewiston Office. Her duties included operations and maintenance of the Herbert Hoover Dike, Lake Okeechobee, the Okeechobee Waterway and its associated infrastructure.
 
She has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from Pennsylvania State University and is a graduate of the Corps' Emerging Leaders Program. more »  

 
John Mitnik, P.E., Operations, Engineering & Construction
Contact: Candy McCulloch
 
John Mitnik was named Director for Operations, Engineering and Construction in February 2016. He previously served as Engineering and Construction Bureau Chief after working as a section administrator and a supervising engineer with that group. Before joining the District in 2004, he worked as an environmental administrator and engineer for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
 
Mitnik has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA specializing in Environmental Resource Management from Florida Atlantic University. He is a professional engineer registered in the state of Florida. more » 

 
Barbara Ross, Communications & Public Affairs
Contact: Candy McCulloch
 
Barbara Ross joined the District in 2003 and the management team in 2009. A skilled writer and editor, she previously worked in the publishing industry, specializing in science, technology, medicine and other nonfiction subjects. Her responsibilities included manuscript development, strategic marketing and project management.
 
Additionally, Ross has authored and edited content for national and regional newspapers, websites, technical journals, trade books and advertising campaigns. Her writing portfolio of District work and technical editing were recognized with first place awards by the National Association of Government Communicators.
 
Ross holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Michigan. In 2009, she completed a year-long leadership development program, The Leader Within, with colleagues from the District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. more » 

 
Duane Piper, Information Technology
Contact: Sharon Fleming
 
Duane Piper became the agency's Chief Information Officer in 2011. He brings 25 years of Information Technology experience, including 11 years at the District and 14 years in the private sector, helping businesses remain competitive through the efficient use of technology. His experience with large information systems in complex operational environments includes international and multi-site settings in the manufacturing, database and publishing industries.
 
Piper earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Science in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also a Certified Project Manager (PMP) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
 
Additionally, Piper serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Palm Beach County School Board. more » 

 
Thomas M. Teets, AICP, Everglades Policy & Coordination
Contact: Lourdes Elias
 
Tom Teets was named Division Director in December 2014. Well-suited and experienced for this role, he has worked at the District on regional water resource planning and implementation for more than 25 years.
 
In his previous position as Federal Policy Chief for the District's ecosystem restoration initiative, he was responsible for helping lead the implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and other federal projects for which the South Florida Water Management District is the local sponsor. He has a proven track record in successfully coordinating the diverse activities of multi-disciplinary teams and interagency collaboration in order to achieve results.
 
A certified planner, Teets received his Bachelor of Science from Indiana University and his Master of Science from the University of Florida. more » 

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