Jim is a native Floridian, born and raised in Panama City in the Florida panhandle. He graduated from Bay County High School. He attended the University of Florida, and graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Forestry, majoring in Wildlife Ecology. Jim worked nineteen years as an insurance agent in Brooksville and Spring Hill, and earned the prestigious Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter certification during that time. He worked for the Suwannee River Water Management District as a Water Resources Planner, and as a Consulting Ecologist for an environmental consulting firm.
Jim was employed three different times by Hernando County and served a total of 23 years. His jobs have included: draftsperson, zoning technician, zoning inspector, code enforcement officer, short range planner, long range planner, and conservation lands specialist. Jim has drafted ordinances, comprehensive plans, an Evaluation and Appraisal Report, comprehensive plan amendments, grant proposals, preserve management plans, and a variety of press releases and information pieces.
For the last nine years he served as land manager for Hernando County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) Program. His duties include managing most of the things that happen on the ground at the preserves, such as fences, structures, trails, habitat restoration, public environmental education, and management activities. He built a volunteer program that provided critical assistance with a variety of work on the ESL preserves. He also served as the voice of the program with numerous presentations to groups about the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program. During his tenure, preserves were cleaned up, habitats managed, and amenities improved, with added trails, pedestrian entrance gates, fencing, fire breaks, signage, and benches.
Jim will retire in 2017 and plans to continue sharing his knowledge of Florida ecosystems.