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The Past, Present, and Future
of Water in Florida

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Water For Fighting
Water For Fighting
Hugh Thomas
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Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas

This week, Brett got to share some time with a true gentleman, friend, and public servant - Hugh Thomas. Hugh has been the Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District for over seven years, and he has brought a wealth of experience to that role which was earned in the private sector as well as his various roles at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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Ansley Tilley

Ansley Tilley

This week, Brett goes on a deep dive with a friend who exemplifies what this podcast is all about – Ansley Tilley. Ansley is one of the most talented engineers in Florida who has a wide array of experience from her time with the United States Air Force, the City of Palm Gardens, and the South Florida Water Management District. But her real talent and passion is for service and problem-solving, so they discuss how her experiences have culminated in her current role as the Director of Alternative Delivery Solutions with our friends, Resource Environmental Solutions (RES).

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Ernie Barnett

Ernie Barnett

This week, Brett sits down with his friend and Executive Director of the Florida Land Council, Ernie Barnett. Ernie has a wealth of experience from his days in leadership positions at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the South Florida Water Management District. They discuss his long and consequential public service career; how a scientist ends up as an effective communicator and policy expert; his eventual shift into a successful career in the private sector; and Florida’s shifting understanding of the science behind water quality impairment in South Florida and beyond.

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Send a message to Brett Cyphers at Water For Fighting

About Host Brett Cyphers

Brett is a partner at Anfield Consulting, representing clients that range from environmental restoration companies to local governments. Before joining Anfield, he served as Executive Director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, where he focused on developing broad partnerships to achieve springs restoration, overall water supply and quality improvements, and significant permitting efficiencies and service upgrades.

Brett’s work in Florida government began as a member of the Senate’s reapportionment staff in 2001, followed by two years as a legislative assistant to then-Sen. Victor Crist. In 2004, Brett joined Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration as a policy and budget analyst in the area of water resources, before he moved to a community and legislative affairs role with the Southwest Florida Water Management District in 2005. 

Brett moved back to Tallahassee in 2007 to serve as environmental policy chief for Gov. Charlie Crist. He then spent two years with the Florida House of Representatives, first in the Majority Office, and then as staff director for the Federal Affairs Subcommittee. In 2011, Brett joined the Department of Environmental Protection overseeing water management district budgets, process improvements, and accountability measures, before moving to the Northwest Florida Water Management District in 2012.

 Prior to his work in Florida government, Brett served with the U.S. Army and the Florida National Guard which included combat operations during Operation Desert Storm, as well as relief efforts following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. He also holds a B.S. in Social Science from Florida State University.

 Brett has a passion for problem solving and building partnerships, but most of all he enjoys spending time with his wife, Karen, his three daughters, and two dogs.

About the show

Mark Twain is said to have quipped, “Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting. And in Florida, the subject of water can bring out the strongest of opinions. The Water for Fighting podcast will discuss the past, present, and future of water in Florida with the people who make it happen.  

The host, Brett Cyphers spent over 20 years working throughout Florida government getting to know the people who’ve made water their life’s work and created this podcast to allow you, the listener, to get to know them as well.

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