Lorrie Belovich is Executive Director of the Sustany Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that supports sustainable initiatives in the Tampa Bay area. The Sustany Foundation is home to the region’s Sustainable Business Coalition, hosts the annual Sustainable Business Awards and provides free resources to businesses interested in assessing or adopting sustainable practices. Previously, she served in director level roles at local, state and federal organizations, including as Director of International Business Development for the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., Tampa Bay Regional Manager for Enterprise Florida, Private Sector Liaison for World Bank, and contractor for international development projects under USAID, World Learning, Department of Defense and Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Libby Carnahan (panel moderator) is the UF/IFAS Extension, Florida Sea Grant Agent in Pinellas County. Libby is playing a leading role in Tampa Bay in helping citizens, governments, and industry make well-informed choices in the face of a changing climate. She facilitates the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel, is a member of the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice, and a leader of the UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant Work Action Group. She holds a BS in Biology from Truman State University (1998) and an MS in Marine Science from the University of South Florida (2005).
Denise Drews began her mortgage career in the 1980s in Minneapolis and relocated to Florida in 1990. She has worked in the Tampa Bay area for the past 28 years in virtually every area of the mortgage business, including processing, originating, underwriting and operations. She has also been an instructor for Real Estate and Mortgage Broker Licensing courses for the Frank Cooke School of Real Estate. She is the past treasurer of the Pinellas Independent Real Estate Professionals and former director and founding member of the Pinellas Realtor Organization Affiliates Business Partners. Denise is the current chapter president of the Tampa Bay Mortgage Bankers Association and a member of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals.
Dr. William Fleming (facilitator) teaches economics at St. Petersburg College and serves as a Collegiate Model UN adviser to SPC students. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College, a Master’s of Science Risk Management and Insurance from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. in Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia. His teaching philosophy is that students need practice to master anything worthwhile (including economic concepts) and his role is to help students along the path of their own learning process.
Whitney Fung is currently a third-year doctoral student at the University of South Florida in the College of Public Health. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences and Master’s in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences, with a concentration in Non-profit Organizational Leadership. Prior to USF, Ms. Fung worked for UF/IFAS Extension as a state program coordinator and county Extension Agent in Polk County. She is a community advocate and looks to promote community collaboration through community-based participatory research, civic engagement, and interdisciplinary, cross-sector initiatives to promote sustainable food systems. She will be sharing her experiences working for the Physicians for Social Responsibility Florida Chapter and their work in advocacy on climate change and impact on health.
Erica Harris is a coastal and climate scientist providing technical expertise related to extreme hazard analysis, climate change resilience planning, and adaptation strategy development. Erica has provided a unique blend of science and engineering, policy, and visualization techniques on numerous collaborative and multi-agency projects spanning the municipal and industrial sectors. Her project experience focuses on providing locally relevant tools to help clients visualize, understand, and prepare for vulnerabilities to sea level rise and other climate stressors.
Jake Holehouse is president of HH Insurance in St. Petersburg. He grew up in the insurance industry, working throughout high school for his father’s agency, Holehouse Insurance. After graduating from Florida State University, he worked for American Strategic Insurance as a national account manager. Following ASI, he joined his father again at Holehouse Insurance. After growing the agency, they sold it to Regions Insurance, and he worked at Heritage Insurance Holdings as an Executive Vice President of Business Development. Seeing an opportunity, he opened HH Insurance with his father in June 2018. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Risk Management and Insurance at Florida State University. Additionally, he also earned a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. He is an advisor to the risk management and insurance program at FSU, as well as multiple local community service positions.
Ernest Hooper (panel moderator) has served the Tampa Bay Times for more than 25 years in a variety of roles, and currently works as a metro columnist and an assistant sports editor. The dual role features two of his journalistic passions: representing the Tampa Bay community and reflecting the passion of its ardent sports fans. His news columns contain unique perspectives on politics, news events and life in an area he has grown to love since moving here in 1988. Hooper, who also hosts “That’s All I’m Saying,” a public affairs show on WEDU-PBS, often shines the spotlight on non-profits and other community contributors. He also represents the Times as an unofficial ambassador, frequently appearing as an emcee or keynote speaker at non-profit efforts. In addition, he’s the co-leader of the Write Field, a writing intensive program for marginalized middle school and high school boys at the Poynter Institute.
Al Johnson, mayor of St. Pete Beach, is a retired professional engineer who had a 35-year career with General Electric, serving in design engineering, project management, international sales and construction contraction negotiation and management. He received a BS Degree in Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute and did graduate studies at Union College. An avid runner, he co-founded the St. Pete Beach Classic and St. Pete Road Runners, where he served as a board member. He is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach and member of the St. Pete Beach Mad Dogs Triathlon Club. Before being elected mayor in 2017, he served on the city’s Finance and Budget Review Committee five years, and was its chairman for three years. He also served on the city’s Recreation Advisory Committee.
Bill Jonson served 14 years as a Clearwater City Councilmember, first from 2001 to 2007 and again from 2010 to 2014. He represented Clearwater on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, and served on the board of the Florida League of Cities. He is a member and chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee of TBARTA. Mr. Jonson was the founder (1988) and president of Citizens for a Better Clearwater, which successfully petitioned the City Commission to phase out billboard clutter on a portion of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. He is Founder and Chair of the Courtney Campbell Scenic Highway Advocacy Group, which successfully achieved designation as a Florida Scenic Byway resulting in the multi-use Trail across the Causeway today.
Kelli Hammer Levy is Division Director for Pinellas County Environmental Management, where her responsibilities include oversight of the environmental monitoring and assessment, coastal management, and environmental compliance and outreach programs. Kelli represents the county on the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel, is Vice President of the Florida Stormwater Association, serves as the Vice-Chair of the TBEP Management Board, and co-chairs the TBEP Technical Advisory Committee and the Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative at St. Petersburg College. She received her B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College, her M.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Florida, and is pursuing her Master’s In Public Administration from Florida International University.
Rob Lorei is Managing Editor of Florida This Week on WEDU-TV (PBS) and a co-founder and News and Public Affairs Director of WMNF Radio. B born in Pennsylvania, he attended Antioch College (Yellow Springs, Ohio) where he received a BA in Journalism in 1977. He got his start in radio as a news reporter at his campus NPR station, WYSO-FM. He moved to Florida in 1978 to help start WMNF Radio. He took the moderator’s seat of WEDU’s Tampa Bay Week in 2001 and has piloted the program through its 2005 update to Florida This Week. He has covered West Central Florida politics for more than 20 years and moderated numerous televised political debates including the 2002 Attorney General’s race, the 2003 and 2011 Tampa Mayoral races, the 2004 U.S. Senate primaries, and the 2006 Gubernatorial Primaries. He has interviewed hundreds of authors, academics, politicians, musicians, artists and entertainers for his broadcasts.
Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media. She has been a voice on public radio stations across Florida since 2012— in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa. Her writing, reporting, and hosting have been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists. In June 2018, she was named the recipient of RTDNA’s N.S. Bienstock Fellowship for promising minority journalists in radio. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Florida International University.
The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer is Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches and a pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church & Faith Lutheran Church in Tampa. He is the convener of the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network, now planning its sixth assembly for early 2020. He serves as community co-chair of the Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative at St. Petersburg College with the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions. He serves as the fiscal sponsor for the Real Talk Coalition for Education Equity and is active in state and national climate and moral policy movements. His doctoral work is in applying social field theory to generate conversation among heterogeneous groups that leads to new collaborative action. He is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served churches in New York, Maryland, South Carolina and Florida.
Robert Minning is the former Mayor of Treasure Island (9 years) and Commissioner (2 years). He has also served as President of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the Agency on Bay Management, and the Barrier Island Government Council (BIG-C). He is Co-chair of the Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, Chair of the Treasure Island Sustainability Committee and Chair of the Treasure Island/Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce – EPIC (Environmental Preservations Initiative for our Communities) Committee. Professionally, Mr. Minning is a Licensed Professional Geologist (Indiana and Wisconsin) specializing in hydrogeology and geophysics and has been providing consulting services for almost 50 years to private and public clients throughout the western hemisphere.
John Morales is Chief Meteorologist at WTVJ-TV NBC-6 in Miami. He is also founder and president of ClimaData Corp., a commercial weather firm providing specialized forecasts and meteorological consulting for government, industry and media. His 35-year career includes civil service, as a forecaster for NOAA’s National Weather Service, as well as decades of experience as a Certified Consulting and Certified Broadcast Meteorologist. He earned his undergraduate degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Cornell University and is a candidate for a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. John is also an aviator with 1,500 hours as a private pilot with multiengine and instrument ratings. He has won four Emmy awards and was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle for 25 years of distinguished work in broadcasting. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and garnered the AMS Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advance of Applied Meteorology.
Craig Pittman is an Environmental, Growth and Development reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. He is a native Floridian whose family arrived in 1850. He graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him “the most destructive force on campus.” Since then he has covered a variety of beats and natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. His stories on environmental issues have won national awards, and The Daily Show once called him a “nerd” about Florida history. He has written four books, the most recent of which, Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, is a New York Times bestseller and won a Florida Book Awards gold medal in 2017.
CJ Reynolds is Director of Resilience and Engagement at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and is the staff lead for the new Regional Resilience Coalition which includes 26 local governments. From 2011 to 2018, CJ was a research associate at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, where she developed and coordinated stakeholder engagement research. CJ has more than 20 years of experience working with scientists, business executives, planners, associations, and state and federal agencies to address emerging risks through innovative education and public-private partnerships. Prior to moving to joining USF, CJ was the Director of Industry Education at Merieux NutriSciences, a global food testing and consulting company, and Director of Consumer Public Relations for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. CJ has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
Justin Smith, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is a Project Director and Airport Architect at Tampa International Airport (TPA) whose role includes Sustainability Program Manager for the built environment and other sustainable initiatives at TPA. Justin is currently overseeing TPA’s resiliency efforts, carbon accreditation program, and sustainability management plan analysis as well as one of TPA’s representatives in the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Davidson College, his Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Florida, and he is a licensed professional with over 15 years of experience. He has managed capital projects at TPA as well as the three General Aviation facilities managed by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.
The Hon. Mike Twitty, MAI, CFA, is Pinellas County Property Appraiser. Before assuming this office in 2017, he was a Senior Managing Director and Principal of Valbridge Property Advisors of Tampa Bay, a residential and commercial appraisal company. He has over 26 years of valuation experience, and has served as a key member of a national appraisal technology task force. A life-long resident of Pinellas County, he is a director of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, from which he holds the MAI designation. He is currently chairman of the Florida Flood Impact Committee with the Property Appraisers Association of Florida. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida, has a State-Certified General Real Estate Appraisal Certification, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker.
Lisa Vanover, an innovator, relationship builder, and advocate, works to accomplish social and environmental equity through strategic, systemic change. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and followed education and job opportunities around the country before settling in Pinellas County in 2004. With an M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from Texas State, she’s pursuing her MBA at USFSP. Her career has taken her from higher education administration to energy management. She is the Academic Services Administrator in the Graduate and Executive Education Office of the USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business. She serves on the board of Community Leveraged Learning and has volunteered for United Way, Pinellas Hope, and the Edible Peace Patch Project. Joining the LWVPSA in 2016, Lisa also serves as the Co-Chair of the Sustainability Action Team. She works to advance solar energy for people of all incomes to create environmental equity and reduce our footprint.
Jennifer Webb won election to represent Florida House District 69 seat last November. A Democrat, she serves on the House Commerce Committee, the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, the Gaming Control Subcommittee, and is the ranking member of the PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee. She earned a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of South Florida. As Director of Community Partnerships for the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships at USF, she built projects that bring together business, the university, non-profits, and residents to create stronger communities. Through these projects, she worked to reduce violence and increase employment, to eliminate hunger, to bring justice to victims of crime and abuse of power, to assist student veterans and military members, and to support high quality public schools.