Gil Smart
Executive Director

Gil Smart

With more than three decades of experience as a high-profile newspaper columnist and investigative reporter, Gil Smart is adept at taking a deep dive on complex issues in search of solutions. A Pennsylvania native, father of three, sometimes musician and long-time champion of environmental causes, Gil fell in love with wild Florida and can conceive of no greater moral cause than fighting for better water quality and protecting the "River of Grass."

Our Board

We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and accomplished board with a wide range of expertise.
Together, we are committed to serve as the voice and conscience of 22 million Floridians who recognize the importance of clean water to marine life, human life, and economic vitality.

wickstrom

Blair Wickstrom

President

As publisher of Florida Sportsman magazine, Blair Wickstrom oversees all related media and products associated with the brand, including: television, online, social media, Expos and radio. In addition, Wickstrom writes a regular column in the magazine, Florida Sportsman Watermen, which focuses on water quality issues facing the state. Wickstrom is currently a Board of Director for: Bullsugar.org, Friends of the Everglades, and Rivers Coalition.

WilRevehl

Wil Revehl

Vice President

Wil Revehl hails from Southwest Florida and is the Founder and Executive Director of Benefit Earth, the Florida based nonprofit behind OneTree.org. Wil has volunteered in humanitarian and environmental work throughout his life and has made ecosystem restoration his ultimate focus. Wil is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the nationally renowned creative agency Go Media. He is a veteran graphic designer and web developer, lending these skills to help propel VoteWater.org and our Clean Water Voting Guides.

trotta

Richard Trotta

Treasurer

Richard was born in Miami in 1958 and his love affair with the Everglades started soon after. Richard has explored the Glades from its Shingle Creek headwaters to Sandy Key. He has served as President of the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation. The Foundation has made Everglades National Park as its sole beneficiary. Living in Islamorada, Florida he is now focusing his efforts on helping the River of Grass flow as nature intended from the southern lip of Lake Okeechobee to the bights and bays of Florida Bay.

GaryOster_bw

Gary Oster

Director & Secretary

Gary Oster is a successful executive with over five decades of business experience. He founded Topline Growth Partners (TGP) and serves as its Chief Growth Strategist. TGP is a results-oriented consultancy that designs strategic, customized programs that drives growth, effectiveness, efficiency and higher performance.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from the University of Baltimore. A passionate sport fisherman, photographer and writer, Oster lives in Sewall's Point, Florida with his wife Lisa. He currently serves on the Boards of Catch the Wave of Hope, The Plantation and Vote Water.

kushlan

Philip Kushlan

Director

Philip graduated from the University of Miami with a BS in Biology and Marine Science in 2008, from UM's Biology department with a MS in 2011, and is currently a Maytag Fellow and a Ph.D. student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Virginia Key, studying coral resiliency under climate change scenarios. Philip grew up spending time in and advocating for conservation of the Everglades. He currently serves on the board of the Miami Waterkeeper and as President on the board of Friends of the Everglades.

judah

Ray Judah

Director

Ray Judah graduated from the California State University of Humboldt with a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Bachelor of Arts in Zoology.

As a former environmental land planner with the Lee County Department of Community Development and Lee County Commissioner (1988-2012) he remains a strong advocate for providing a balance between management of growth and responsible stewardship of our precious natural resources.

During his tenure on the Board of Lee County Commission, Commissioner Judah assumed a leadership role in the efforts to protect the Caloosahatchee and coastal estuaries by advocating for restoration of the historic southern flow-way to the Everglades and responsible management of Lake Okeechobee. He also served as liaison with federal, state, and local agencies of officials on issues pertaining to natural resource issues and throughout his career he has written articles, commentaries, and spoke on behalf of land and water issues affecting Southwest Florida.

IMG_1380-e1637015029153-800x918

Robert L. Lord, Jr.

Director

Rob Lord recently retired as the President of Cleveland Clinic Martin Health. Prior to that, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Martin Health System. And, prior to that, he served as Martin Health's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Lord oversaw construction and development of a new hospital campus (Tradition Medical Center) located in Port St. Lucie, Florida which opened in December 2013.

Mr. Lord joined Martin Health System in 1998 as the Vice President/Chief Legal Officer. Prior to that, he was a partner in the law firm of Crary, Buchanan, Bowdish, Bovie, Lord & Roby, Chartered, in Stuart, Florida (1986-1998). In addition to experience in health law, Mr. Lord spent many years as a civil trial attorney.

Mr. Lord is a member of The Florida Bar and is board certified by The Florida Bar in health law. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), board certified as a healthcare executive.

Mr. Lord received his Juris Doctorate degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1983. In 1980, Mr. Lord received a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University with majors in government and communications.

Carl Bettinger 2

Carl Bettinger

Director

Carl Bettinger of Palmetto began fishing at age 5, and fly fishing at 14, in California, then across the U.S. He earned a mathematics degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in 1978, and then his M.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1982.

After a four-year residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico, he earned his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1990. As an attorney from 1990-2015 and partner with Shapiro and Bettinger, then Shapiro Bettinger Chase LLP in Albuquerque, he specialized in large, complex civil litigation against large, for-profit health and nursing home companies.

Since retiring to Snead Island in 2014, he spends about 400 hours annually on his two boats and returns most of what he catches.

Todd Thurlow

Todd Thurlow

Director

Todd Thurlow, a Stuart native and 7th generation Floridian, is a third-generation Stuart attorney, practicing in the areas of estates and trusts and estate and gift taxation. 

He's been fascinated with changes to our local waterways since childhood, when he explored the shorelines and sandbars of the Indian River Lagoon in his 8-foot boat. 

His obsession with historical maps, plats and aerials was fostered by his law firm’s historical archives and by his mother, Sandra Thurlow, author of four books on local history. Todd assisted her with her creation of a private digital collection of thousands of historical photographs.

He collaborates on the "Indian River Lagoon" blog with his sister, Jaqui Thurlow-Lippisch, who also serves on the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District Board. Todd provides Google Earth overlays of historical maps, aerials and satellite imagery; the videos are also posted to a YouTube playlist.

In addition, he hosts the "Eye on Lake O" website, which automates the collection of satellite imagery and online government data to track local algae blooms and the discharges into the St. Lucie River.