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About the FVMA and our team

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.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Wayne Poole
(President)

Certified arborist and utility specialist and hold commercial applicator license State of Florida with 35 years’ experience in utility line clearance and vegetation Management. Currently Manager for Burfords tree LLC region 344 in Florida. Past experience Davy tree expert and Asplundh tree expert Arborist for Ocala electric utilities, Vegetation management specialist for progress energy, and Divisional forester for Duke Energy and a proud member of FVMA from Day 1

Andrew Seibel
President-Elect

Andrew Seibel is the Environmental Specialist for Florida’s Turnpike. He oversees contracts for herbicide application and natural area maintenance. He also manages landscape installation and landscape maintenance contracts. Andrew has a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies from Florida State University and has worked in vegetation management for over 15 years, focusing primarily in south Florida natural areas. He has been involved with FVMA for years but in 2019 became a member of the Board of Directors.

Hope Atkinson
(Treasurer)

Bio coming soon

Jess Mason
(Secretary)

Jess Mason’s UVM career began in 1989 around the Central Florida area. He spent the first 16 years of his career working with vegetation management programs for various Utilities, Municipalities and Government agencies across the state as a Tree Contractor. Joining ACRT in 2006, Jess continues to dedicate his time and energy to our industry as their Southeastern Operations Manager. As a 21 year Certified ISA Arborist / Utility Specialist, Jess serves Utility programs throughout the state of FL, managing roughly 45 Contract Arborist. Jess also participates as the Southeastern Representative for the UAA where he submits UVM related articles and works with other area representatives as part of their bi-monthly publications.

Steve Fairtrace 
(Past President)

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.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Buck Lowery
(Electric 1)

Bio coming soon

Tamron Fernandez
(Electric 2)

Tamron Fernandez Graduated Missouri Southern State University with a B.S. in Business Management and holds an A.A.S. in Horticulture.  Tamron has worked as a trimmer, General Foreman, and Operational Supervisor for Nelson Tree Service and is currently a Vegetation Management Specialist for Duke Energy.  Tamron is an ISA Certified Arborist and Utility Arborist as well as a state licensed pesticide applicator.

James Oliver (FDOT)

Bio coming soon

Billy Moye
(Applicator)

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.

Carl Della Torre
Manufacturer/Distributor

Bio coming soon

Richard Evans
(Contractor/Supplier)

Rich joined the Lewis Tree Service Team in March 2016 after 15 years in the military. After training in the Tamp area, Rich was promoted to the Division manager position of the Chicago Area in 2017. In January 2021, Rich became the Division Manager of the Southeast Division of Lewis Tree service with responsibility for North and Central Florida. Rich joined the Florida Vegetation Management Association in April, 2021.

Josh Campbell          (Natural Resources - Uplands)

Bio Coming Soon

Cody Wolfe (Aquatics)

Bio coming soon

Lenora Chase
(At Large #1)

Bio coming soon

   Hugh Cucurullo      (At Large #2)

Bio coming soon

Linda Yarrish
(At Large #3)

Linda has served as the Secretary, President-Elect, President, Past President and Treasurer on the board.  

She is the Section Leader of the Canal/Levee & Aquatic Plant Management Unit at the South Florida Water Management District in the Vegetation Management Section.  She has worked at the District for 35 years. Linda is the Lead Emergency Debris Removal Officer at the District and trains a team of monitors and documentation emergency staff including contractors .

Linda received a scholarship in Music at Broward College for playing the bassoon.  She was part of the BCC Youth Symphony.   Linda then received her BS in Environmental Sciences at Florida International. University and an MBA at Florida Atlantic University.  

Linda enjoys this Association. It is a great group!!  She also enjoys all of the people she gets to meet at the conference.

 

Georgia Donberg (At-Large #4)

 GEORGIA DONBERG RETIRE FROM BURFORD TREE AS A (RSS) REGION SAFETY SUPERVIORS. SHE WORKED WITH DUKE-ENERGY FLORIDA FOR 38 YEARS AS A DISTRIBUTION FORESTRY. GEORGIA DONBERG WOULD LOOK OVER THE BUDGET AND WHAT FEEDERS WOULD BE TRIMMED IN THAT YEAR. GEORGIA DONBERG HAS RETIRED FROM DUKE-ENERGY FLORIDA IN 2020.

 

GEORGIA DONBERG HAS HER HERBICDE LISCENSE AND ARBORISTS LISCENSE.   GEORGIA DONBERG GRADUATED FROM VALENCIA COLLEGE IN 1995 WITH AN   AA DEGREE GEORGIA DONBERG FINISH FOUR YEAR BUSSINESS DEGREE AT UCF.

 

GEORGIA DONBERG LOVES RIDING FOUR-WHEELER AND MOTORCYCLES. GEORGIA DONBERG HAS BEEN ON FVMA BOARD FOR EIGHT YEARS. GEORGIA DONBERG HAS TWO CHILDREN

GEORGIA IS THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE.  YOU WILL SEE HER AT THE CONFERENCE COMMANDING THE SILENT AUCTION.  

Nicole Long
(At Large #5)

Bio coming soon

ADVISORY BOARD

David Hawley

Bio coming soon

Matt VanLeeuwen

Bio coming soon

Ryan Brown

Bio coming soon

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