Meet the District Governing Board
A nine-member Governing Board sets the policies for operation of the St. Johns River Water Management District, and the agency’s executive director administers those policies on a daily basis. Board members, who hold monthly public meetings, are appointed by Florida’s governor to four-year terms and serve without compensation. The Florida Senate must confirm all Board appointments.
John A. Miklos, Chairman
Mr. Miklos is president and senior project manager of Bio-Tech Consulting (BTC) Inc., an Orlando-based environmental consulting firm. He was appointed to an at-large seat for a four-year term on the Governing Board on March 31, 2010, and was reappointed to a four-year term on March 28, 2014. Mr. Miklos was elected chairman on Nov. 12, 2013, and re-elected to the position on Nov. 12, 2014. Prior to serving as chairman, he served as secretary from Oct. 12, 2010, until Nov. 8, 2011, when he was elected vice chairman. He was re-elected as vice chairman on Nov. 13, 2012. Mr. Miklos has a bachelor’s degree in limnology from the University of Central Florida and many years of experience in environmental permitting, mitigation, wetland delineation, listed species evaluations, wildlife surveys and water quality studies. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners appointed Mr. Miklos in December 2006 and reappointed him in April 2008 as the Environmental Conservation Organization Representative to the Orange County Development Advisory Board, which reviews subdivision regulations and recommends amendments to the County Commission. The Commission also appointed him in April 2010 as the Environmental Conservation Organization Representative to the Orange County Environmental Protection Commission. Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Mr. Miklos in April 2008 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Regulation Commission, which he served on until April 2010. In June 2009, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge, a nonprofit organization that rescues, raises, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned and injured native wildlife species. Mr. Miklos is a certified stormwater management inspector, and is a member of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, the Florida Lake Management Society, and the Society of Wetland Scientists.
Term of Appointment: March 2010–March 2018
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Fred N. Roberts Jr., Vice Chairman
Mr. Roberts was appointed to the Governing Board on March 2, 2012, to represent the Ocklawaha River Basin (Area 3). He was reappointed to a four‑year term on March 27, 2015. The Board elected him vice chairman on Nov. 12, 2014. Prior to that date, Mr. Roberts served for a year as secretary beginning on Nov. 12, 2013. Mr. Roberts is an attorney with the law firm of Klein and Klein in Ocala, where he has worked since 2006. His practice focuses on real estate, probate and commercial law. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Florida and a law degree from Stetson University. A sixth-generation Floridian, Mr. Roberts is active in community affairs, including serving on the boards of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Marion County and the College of Central Florida Foundation. He has also served as a member of the Ocala 2035 Leadership Counsel, as a Division Chair for the United Way 2009 Campaign Cabinet, as counsel for the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority and is a member of the Metropolitan Ocala Rotary Club.
Term of Appointment: March 2012–March 2019
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Charles “Chuck” Drake, Secretary
Mr. Drake was appointed to the Governing Board April 21, 2011, by Gov. Rick Scott to represent Area 4, a region that extends from southern Putnam County to southern Indian River County. He was reappointed to a four-year term on March 27, 2015. Mr. Drake was elected secretary on Nov. 12, 2014. Mr. Drake is a licensed professional geologist in Florida, Alabama and North Carolina, and is currently a vice president at Tetra Tech, Inc., a national engineering consulting firm. He has been employed as a hydrogeologist for almost 30 years. After graduating from the University of Florida, Mr. Drake began his career at the St. Johns River Water Management District, where his work focused primarily on protecting and allocating water resources based on the issuance of consumptive use permits. Since then, his professional work has focused on protecting water resources while ensuring that they are used to expand and enhance economic development. His expertise is in hydrogeology, groundwater resource evaluation, well and wellfield design and water use permitting that provides a solid foundation to support smart water management strategies that balance our need to protect the environment with our need to use resources. As a founding member of the Florida Association of Professional Geologists, he has worked to promote the profession of geology. He has served as president of the Florida Association of Professional Geologists and served for two years on the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Professional Geologists.
Term of Appointment: April 2011–March 2019
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Carla Yetter, Treasurer
Ms. Yetter was appointed March 28, 2014, to a four-year term representing Nassau and Baker counties and portions of northern Duval County (Area 1). She was elected to serve as treasurer on Nov. 12, 2014. Ms. Yetter is vice president of environmental affairs for Rayonier Advanced Materials in Jacksonville, where she has worked since 2004. At Rayonier Advanced Materials, she oversees environmental matters for the company and leads a team that provides counsel to company officials in addressing air, water, waste, remediation and environmental policy issues. Ms. Yetter received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.; a master’s degree in environmental science and engineering from Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Hillsboro, Oregon; and a juris doctor of law and a certificate in environmental and natural resource from Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon. She has more than 20 years of experience in environmental engineering, law and government relations. Her other work in the environmental field includes SEH America, Vancouver, Wash., and Port of Portland, Portland, Oregon.
Term of Appointment: March 2014–March 2018
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Douglas C. Bournique
Mr. Bournique is executive vice president of the Indian River Citrus League, where he has served on committees for both the St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts, including the St. Johns District’s Agriculture Advisory Committee. He was recognized by both districts for commitment and leadership in the protection of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. He was appointed to the Governing Board for a four-year term on April 2, 2008, and was reappointed June 19, 2012. The seat represents Area 5. He served as the Board’s secretary from Nov. 8, 2011, to Nov. 12, 2013. Previously, Mr. Bournique worked for the 350,000-acre Florida Sugar Cane League. Among his numerous affiliations, he is currently a member of the Florida Agriculture Water Policy Group, Indian River Area Citrus Best Management Practices (BMP) Implementation Committee, South Florida Water Management District Water Resource Advisory Committee, and the St. Lucie River Issues Team. He also was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables. Mr. Bournique has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Whittier College and attended San Diego State University, Florida Atlantic University, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
Term of Appointment: April 2008–March 2016
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Mr. Burnett is president of Doug Burnett and Associates, a consulting firm for major defense contractors. He was appointed to a four-year term to an at-large seat on the Governing Board on May 21, 2013. Mr. Burnett is a retired major general with the Florida National Guard, having served during his 47-year tenure as a tactical fighter and airline pilot, technical and personnel program manager, and a commanding officer. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Burnett held several key positions with the Florida National Guard, including Chief of Safety, Group Operations Officer, Director of Operations, Chief of Staff, Assistant Adjutant/Air and Adjutant General. As Adjutant General, he had responsibility for more than 12,000 soldiers and airmen who were engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, as well as responding to hurricanes, wildfires and other major natural disasters. Mr. Burnett served on the Reserve Forces Policy Board, an advisory board to the Secretary of Defense, and was Chairman of the National Guard Domestic Operations Advisory Committee. In addition to his military career, Mr. Burnett was a commercial pilot for Pan American World Airways and National Airlines. He earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a graduate of the USAF Command and General Staff College and the USAF Air War College. Mr. Burnett is past president of the National Guard Officers Association of Florida and has served two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Guard Association of the United States. Mr. Burnett currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Air National Guard, U.S.
Term of Appointment: May 2013–March 2017
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Maryam H. Ghyabi
Read Maryam Ghyabi’s guiding principles
Ms. Ghyabi was appointed to a four-year term in an at-large seat on the Governing Board on May 19, 2009, and was reappointed on May 21, 2013. The Board elected her vice chairman on Nov. 12, 2013 and she served through Nov. 12, 2014. Ms. Ghyabi served as treasurer from Oct. 12, 2010, until her election as vice chairman. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Ms. Ghyabi holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in transportation engineering. She is the CEO and President of Ghyabi & Associates, Inc., with offices in Jacksonville, Lake Mary and Ormond Beach, Florida. Ms. Ghyabi is active in the industry’s professional associations and is a tireless advocate for economic growth, having led many key transportation efforts: leading the ISB Coalition, spearheaded the I-4 St. Johns River Bridge Coalition, was appointed to the Transportation Outreach Program (TOP) Advisory Board, served as chair of the Volusia County Area Responsible Development (VCARD), and Central Florida Transportation Commission Task Force. She is also involved in many community charity and leadership organizations: she served as the chairwoman for the Women’s Center at Daytona State College and as the chairwoman for the Floridians for Better Transportation (FBT). Her career and community activities have been recognized with awards, including the Floridians for Better Transportation 2008 Chairman Award, a proclamation from Daytona State College Women’s Center designating Nov. 7, 2008, as “Maryam Ghyabi Day,” many awards for initiatives to fund and accelerate the I-4 St. Johns River Bridge, a proclamation from the County of Volusia designating May 31, 2001, as “Maryam Hosseini Ghyabi Day,” Volusia County Metropolitan Planning Organization recognition for contributions to the Technical Coordinating Committee as chair in 1998, and the Florida Legislature has recognized her and her leadership role in the Florida Transportation Outreach Program (TOP) Advisory Board.
Term of Appointment: May 2009–March 2017
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Mr. Howse lives along the Indian River Lagoon in Cocoa, and is president and founder of Real Deal Development Group, a real estate investment, civil engineering and land planning business where he has been in practice for more than 25 years. He was appointed to an at-large seat on the Governing Board on April 8, 2015. Mr. Howse is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He was elected to the St. Cloud City Council at the age of 28, one of the youngest ever elected to that post, and is a former assistant public works director for the city of Altamonte Springs. Mr. Howse has been a member of the Florida Transportation Commission since 2009, and has served three years as the Commission’s chairman. He previously served on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and on the boards of directors for the Kissimmee/Osceola County and St. Cloud Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Howse is the former majority owner of the Orlando Predators and a former member of the Arena Football League’s Board of Directors. His community service includes the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, Pop Warner Football, the Rotary Club and the Masonic Lodge.
Term of Appointment: April 2015–March 2018
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George W. Robbins
Mr. Robbins is chair of Vistage Florida, an international organization that provides professional and personal development to business and industry leaders. He was appointed to the Governing Board on Oct. 12, 2011, and reappointed on May 7, 2012, to a four-year term. The Board elected Mr. Robbins to a one-year term as treasurer on Nov. 12, 2013. He is a resident of Jacksonville and represents Area 2, the lower St. Johns River. A native of Norfolk, Va., Mr. Robbins is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology. He is a former mayoral fellow for the City of Jacksonville; trustee of the Jacksonville Library System, Better Jacksonville Plan review board, the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board and the Jacksonville Economic Development Council; and is a member of the Mandarin Rotary Club and First Coast Manufacturers Association. He also served in the U.S. Army.
Term of Appointment: October 2011–March 2016
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