Genesis of the Florida Vegetation Management Association

About us, our history & more

History of the FVMA

The foundation for the FVMA began in early 1999 when Andy Lewis and Tracy Maxwell were discussing a forum for the training and continuing education credits for herbicide applicators. Prior to this time, Walter Dykes of Florida Power Corporation sponsored an annual training event for individuals applying herbicides, ambulance primarily for FPC, in Bartow, Florida. Due to a change in Walter’s job responsibilities this annual meeting would cease to exist. Andy and I talked about taking the event over and implementing some changes. We met with Walter and discussed our ideas and said that we would continue the meetings, thus the genesis of the Florida Vegetation Management Association.


"Our mission would be twofold"...


To provide training for applicators in practical field skills and to earn their continuing education credits to meet the state licensing requirements and to provide an educational forum for supervisors and managers to learn about regulations, new chemistry, vegetation management programs and other developments that could enhance their existing programs. Initially our program model would be based on providing information on the implementation and management of comprehensive vegetation maintenance programs and training, hopefully with some hands-on, for the field applicators.  As our ideas evolved, we wanted the meetings to be held prior to spray season so that the field applicators could obtain some practical skills and useful knowledge that could be directly put to use. It was also important to accomplish this phase in a single day to lessen any financial impact on their employer. As could be expected, all presentations on that day were to be focused on the needs of the field applicators. The second day was to be dedicated to the supervisors and managers and focused on more technical and managerial issues. We also wanted to provide our sponsors with the opportunity to highlight developments in their particular areas and time to interact with meeting participants. Our first annual meeting was held in Gainesville with a combination of field demonstrations in the morning and a series of educational presentations in the afternoon of the first day. The evening of the first day was an informal social meet and greet for sponsors and managers. The second day focused on presentations for supervisors and managers as well as product updates by our sponsors.


Board of


John MacLaren received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1999 from the University of Florida. He has been employed with NaturChem Vegetation Management since 1999. His position is General Manager of Florida and Gulfcoast Operations. John is a native of Ft. White, Florida and enjoys hunting, farming, and fishing in his spare time. He holds a FDACS commercial applicator license..

John MacLaren (President)


Linda Yarrish (Treasurer)(Past President)

Linda received a Masters in Business Administration – Environmental from Florida Atlantic University and a  B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences from Florida International University. Linda and has been employed by the South Florida Water Management District since 1989 where she is currently a Supervising Lead Scientist in the Vegetation Management Section, Canal/Levee and Aquatic Plant Management Unit. Linda's work at the District involving hazardous and exotic vegetation removal along the District's canals and facilities put her in the forefront of emergency debris management operations.  She is now an expert in the field of land and water based emergency debris management operations. Linda enjoys volunteering at the Oakland Park Bark Park and is always jumping in to extend a helping hand.

Steve has been employed by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) since 1993, where he is responsible for the planning and implementation of hazardous and exotic vegetation removal, bank stabilization and right of way revegatation projects for more than 2500 miles of the District canals and levees. Additionally, during significant weather events Steve also serves as one of two, emergency debris removal officers for the Districts’ Emergency Operation Center. Prior to SFWMD Steve worked as an assistant golf course/landscape superintendent at a private country club in South Florida and as an area supervisor for a nationally recognized landscape management company. Steve is an active member of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA), where he currently serves on the landscape certification committee. Steve received an A.S. degree in Landscape Operations form Lake City Community College (1988), B.S. degree in Landscape Design and Management from Florida A & M University (1991) and an MBA from Columbia Southern University (2012). Steve is also a FNGLA certified Landscape Designer (FDLD) and maintains a FDACS pesticide certification in the categories of right of way and ornamental and turf.

Steve Fairtrace (Secretary)

David Hawley is the current President of FVMA . David has worked in the line clearance industry for 18 years with Asplundh Tree Expert Company. He has served prior to that in the United States Marine Corps. David is a Supervisor over Compliance and operations for Asplundh Tree Expert Company in Florida. He is an ISA certified arborist and a Certified Pesticide Applicator. David has been on the FVMA board since 2006.

David Hawley (Past President)

Jason graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. degree in wildlife biology and forest management in 2001. He has worked as a contract forester for Davey Resource Group with FP&L and Georgia Transmission Cooperation before working for Progress Energy. He is currently a Forester with Duke Energy. Jason is an ISA certified arborist and a licensed state pesticide applicator.

Jason House (Past President) (Electric #1)

Lindon graduated from Waycross College with a degree in Forestry. He currently works for Davey Resource Group.  He has worked for FPL, ACRT,Inc , ECI , and The Timber Company. Lindon is an ISA certified arborist and is also a state certified pesticide applicator .  

Lindon Deal (Electric #2)

Paul (Rocky) Robinson (Contractor / Supplier)

Paul (Rocky) Robinson is a Certified Arborist and Professional expert in the field of Vegetation Management with 40 years of experience and knowledge of utility line clearing, hazardous tree removals, and storm management. Rocky is the Division Manager for Lewis Tree Service, Inc. in Central and North Florida. He is a member of the Utility Arborist Association and holds a Commercial Applicator License, State of Florida.

I have been with Florida Department of Transportation for 4 years.  I am currently the MRP and Roadside Manager for the Office of Maintenance since October 2016.  I came out of Midway Operations Office where I was the MMS/RCI Coordinator for 22 months prior.   Before that I was the assistant Bureau Chief at the Division of Licensing in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.   I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Aviation Engineering.  I also served in the United States Army for thirteen years where I was an Aviation Officer and helicopter pilot.

Jon Heller (FDOT)

Billy Moye (Past President)

Billy has been in the vegetation industry for over 15 years. He started his career as vegetation and right of way manager for one of the nation’s largest investor owned utilities. He currently is a general manager for a large herbicide application company. He has served on the board of directors for several NWTF Chapters and is currently the President Elect for the FVMA. Billy has a degree in Natural Resource Conservation with a minor in Forestry from the University of Florida.

Bio Coming Soon

Guy Murtonen (FDOT Proxy)

Dan Mixson is the current Florida and Georgia Area Sales Manager for Bayer Environmental Science a division of Bayer Crop Science. Mixson has assisted vegetation management professionals with programs to improve roadside, municipal, and utility right-of-way safety as well as forest health for 30 years.  He recently transferred to Bayer through their acquisition of Dupont’s Land Management business including over 30 brands of dependable trusted products. At Dupont, Mixson held positions in sales, research and development, and technical services.  Mixson holds professional applicator licensing in Right-of-Way, Forestry, Natural Areas, and Research and Demonstration categories in the State of Florida and is an active board member of the Florida Vegetation Management Association (FVMA) as well as an active board member of The Association for the Management and Operations of Transportation Infrastructure Assets (AMOTIA).   Mixson holds a BS in Forest Management from Auburn University.

Dan Mixson (At-Large #5)

Tim McDuffie (Manufacturer-Distributor)

Bio Coming Soon

Bio Coming Soon

Josh Campbell (Natural Resources - Uplands)

I have been in the vegetation management industry since 1993. Started my career as a spray tech in wetland, upland and aquatic areas. I am currently the Training Program Manager and QA for Aquatic Vegetation Control.

JD Gillenwalters (Aquatics)

Bio Coming Soon

Wayne Poole (At-Large #2)

Bio Coming Soon

Georgia Donberg (At-Large #4)

Board of


From November 2001 to present Tim is The Manager of Roadside Vegetation, and Maintenance Rating Program for The Florida Department of Transportation Office of Maintenance. He is responsible for the Quality Assessment, Policy and Procedures for Turf Management statewide. Tim is a Certified Public Manager from Florida State University, and has an Associate in Science Degree from Saint Petersburg College, in Architectural and Building Construction Technology.

Tim Allen

J. A. “Andy” Lewis – Andy is a native Floridian, now retired to his small farm in north Florida. He devotes most of his time to hunting, fishing, and travel. He serves as an advisory Director with FVMA, a Property Owners Association and the Quality Deer Management Association. In his forty year plus career he served with the State of Florida Department of Transportation in engineering highway design, construction, and maintenance. He served for the better part of his career as the Engineer of Roadside Maintenance for FDOT Statewide Operations. He also served as the Bureau Chief of Logistical Services with the Division of Law Enforcement Logistical Services of the Florida of Natural Resources and as IVM Manager with Timberland Enterprises. Andy has consulted, owned and managed a custom application company and organized and conducted guided western hunts. He was a Certified Senior Engineering Technician, a Certified Prescription Burner and Certified with FIFRA – the Federal Insecticide Fungicide, Rodenticide Act in Aquatics, Right of Way and Research. He was instrumental in the organizing and formation of the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association (NRVMA) and the Florida Vegetation Management Association (FVMA). He served as the first elected President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of NRVMA the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association. He has served with FVMA as Secretary/Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors. Hs is a strong proponent and supporter of the basis for which FEVMA was founded – that being Education in and for the profession and practice of vegetation management!

Andy Lewis

Has been involved with the FVMA since the beginning. Past president (2004 /2005) Terry retired as lead forester (transmission) from Progress Energy Florida in June 2005 with over 35 years of line and rights-of-way experience. Terry hired into Florida Powers’ line dept in November 1969 after serving 4 years in the United States Navy, Submarine Service. He worked 5 years on a distribution line crew then managed distribution tree trimming crews for 5 years. Terry acquired 10 years of distribution engineering experience before moving permanently to transmission as the rights-of-way inspector. He earned an associate degree in Business Administration and Management from St.Petersburg Junior college while working full time. Terry became lead forester responsible for developing an Integrated Vegetation Management program and associated re-clearing contracts on Progress Energy Florida entire transmission system until his retirement from Progress Energy. Terry was hired by UAP Timberland/now CPS as a Utility Specialist for 3 years before retiring a second time. Terry is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist / Certified Arborist Utility Specialist (FL-O607BU) subscribes to using ecologically sensitive maintenance and management techniques, PHC to maintain plants. Terry holds a Florida Commercial Pesticide Applicators License. He is also a licensed nurseryman with a passion for native tree species. A life long herpetologist, Terry has conducted safety programs on Identifying Florida snakes for more than 45 years. No Photo Available

Terrence (Terry) Whitecar

Trace has spent over 36 years in the Vegetation Management Industry, mostly in aquatic plant management. Trace worked over 18 years as an Aquatic Technician and then Regional Manager for AmerAquatic, Inc, with four offices in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. His career began in 1974 at the Coral Springs Improvement District as an applicator. Then in 1977 moved to the private sector joining Florida Aquatic, which eventually grew out of state becoming AmerAquatic. AmerAquatic was sold in 1995, so a new path led to Helena Chemical Company. Trace spent five years with Helena Chemical Co. as a Florida VM Product Sales Rep, and then one year as the Branch’s Sales Manager. Trace then joined Clear Waters, Inc. in October 2002 as a partner and Vice President taking over responsibility for Sales and Marketing. Since then developing new business in Right of Way Management, Aeration, and Fountain Sales. Trace has been involved with the FVMA as a sponsor and Board member since 1998.

Trace Wolfe

Dan has been on the board since its foundation and served as President of the Florida Vegetation Management Association 2002 & 2003. Dan graduated with a BS in Agriculture Science specialization in forestry from Penn State University. He has worked as a consulting forester for a variety of utilities throughout the United Stated including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and California. He is currently the North Areas Transmission Forester for Florida Power and Light. Dan is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Utility Arborist Association and has maintained his arborist certification for many years. In addition, Dan is a State of Florida Pesticide applicator.

Dan Marsh

Judd is utility/right-of-way manager for Clear Waters, Inc. He maintains certifications in Aquatic, Natural Areas, and Right-of-Way, and a Florida Master Naturalist. Judd has been a Florida resident for over 40 years with background and experience in wetland mitigation, seashore restoration, and commercial/residential landscape development/design and installation. Judd is a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. Avid waterman, Judd enjoys and has been surfing for over 40 years.

Judd Lee 

Tom Weintz (Website Support)

From a young age, Tom developed a passion that lead into the vegetation management industry. Tom is the President of EnviroChem Environmental LLC, a smaller but highly capable vegetation management firm engaged in unique and innovative strategies.  In late 2002, through extended family in the industry, he became interested in the field of vegetation management and specialized herbicide application services. He has maintained an FDACS pesticide certification in Aquatic, Natural Areas, and Right of Way and became a certified arborist in 2006 and maintains all his certifications to date. Since starting, his areas of practice and core business have been in providing solutions to fit specialized needs of clients across Florida.       

Tracy Maxwell

Mr. Maxwell has been involved with utility operations since 1976. He has supervised tree-trimming crews and managed line clearance operations for F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company and Stackhouse Inc, line clearance contractors. Mr. Maxwell has also been Manager of Special Projects with Davey Environmental Services and Vice President for Urban Forestry, Special Projects and Business Development for ACRT, Inc. providing consulting services to municipalities and utilities. Mr. Maxwell’s utility experience includes Division Forester with Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, System Forester for Philadelphia Electric Company and Electric System Operations Manager for Gainesville Regional Utilities. Mr. Maxwell has a BA and MA in Plant Ecology and is a Past President of the Florida Vegetation Management Association and past Utility representative for the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Ray Spirnock (In Loving Memory)

In 1960 Ray Spirnock’s experience with herbicide application began with the South Florida Water Management District where he would eventually serve as Director of Maintenance for the District from 1970 to 1975. Ray went on to serve the State of Florida as Pesticide Administrator from 1975 to 1980. After 20 years with the State of Florida his work in the private sector began. Ray Spirnock and Complete Vegetation Management, Incorporated; have now been providing quality service to utility companies and the agricultural industry as herbicide applicators for over 30 years. Since 1982 Ray has been working as a private contractor in the Southeastern United States and continues working today in both Florida and Georgia.

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