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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Philip Kushlan is a Coconut Grove resident and a passionate advocate for the conservation of South Florida’s unique ecosystems. He is an avid boater, diver and underwater photographer and graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and a Master of Science in Biology. He also serves on the boards of the Zoo Miami Foundation, Miami Waterkeeper, and as board chair of Friends of the Everglades.
Suzee Bailey’s passion for preserving and restoring our waterways led her to found Residents for Resilience, a non-profit aimed at motivating state and local governments to focus on safe and clean drinking water, flood mitigation, coastal resiliency and restoration.
With a background in television and journalism, the Fort Lauderdale resident has published articles and advocated for clean and sustainable waters at local government meetings. Suzee’s advocacy led to the City of Fort Lauderdale’s partnership with Miami Waterkeeper Waterway Quality Testing program, with 10 sites now being tested weekly for bacteria levels. Data is then posted on the Miami Waterkeeper website or the SwimGuide App.
She also helped prompt a City of Fort Lauderdale ordinance limiting application of fertilizers with nitrogen or phosphorus from June 1-Sept. 30.
Prior to focusing on local waterways, Suzee helped found the Belmont Childcare Association. She served two terms on the Board of Children’s Aid Club, two terms as President of the Nurmi Isles Homeowners Association and five years on the Las Olas Mobility Task Force. She currently serves on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Sustainability Advisory Board.
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.
Billy Hinners’ career in software spans several decades and continents, with both startups and large enterprises and roles in both product development and corporate IT.
Recently, Billy defined digital strategy as VP of Technology for nationwide residential solar startup, Sunrun. Billy’s Sunrun innovations resulted in multiple patents, a Department of Energy SunShot award and Sunrun’s rapid rise to IPO. Previously, he worked for several years at Autodesk in a variety of software engineering roles in the San Francisco bay area, Switzerland and Australia. He’s also held leadership positions at various startups throughout his career. Currently, Billy is cofounder and CEO of a nascent enterprise software startup.
At home, Billy enjoys running and he’s also happy to spend time out on the river or in the ocean.
Billy received his Bachelor’s in Engineering Science and Mechanics at Georgia Institute of Technology. He now serves on the Advisory Board of Georgia Tech’s College of Computing.
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.
Michael Beautyman spent 10 years at the law firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, six years as Chairman of a Department at Faegre Drinker Biddle in Philadelphia, and several decades running his own law firm, Beautyman Alvstad, LLP.
Over the years Michael has been involved in a number of environmental projects, some involving litigation. He was partially responsible for the passage of Massachusetts' bottle bill in the 1970's.
Michael is a sportsman who has been ranked in the top ten in the United States in four different sports, and ranked #1 in the world in masters tennis.
He founded and runs the Beautyman Cup, an international masters tennis competition pitting Team USA against Team World.