Alex Gillen is a graduate of Martin County High School, the University of Florida, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Oregon. Alex holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy and a Juris Doctor degree, and is a member of the Martin County and Florida Bar Associations. Alex formerly worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations for the Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and the full committee staff. Alex believes the St. Lucie River and Estuary, the most biodiverse Estuary in North America, should be treated as the national treasure that it is.
Peter Girard leads audience and content development, including research and reporting on South Florida's water management and its impact on the Everglades, Florida Bay, Lake Okeechobee, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. He learned to fly fish on the St. Lucie, and caught his first snook on a grass flat that was destroyed by discharges in 2016.
Native ties and deep-rooted appreciation go a long way towards inspiring action. After graduating from St. Augustine’s Flagler College, Allie Preston returned to find her home waters of Stuart, FL in disrepair. Working alongside a team of like minded, impassioned individuals, Allie has aided content development, research and social media engagement that has generated an upwelling of grassroots involvement and statewide recognition for the mismanagement of South Florida’s water and its effect on the Everglades and coastal estuaries.
Betsy Bullard has lived in South Florida since 1998, first moving to Melbourne Beach, Florida where she fished the Indian River Lagoon system and off the beach area. Betsy moved to Tavernier, Florida Keys in 2004 and has been a strong member of the fishing community there ever since. After retiring from running fishing tournaments in June of 2018, Betsy has dedicated herself to helping the water and conservation issues of south Florida, especially the home of her heart - The Everglades National Park.
Marshall is the publisher of MIDCURRENT, a fly fishing website, and a digital marketing consultant. He was one of the founding board members of Reef Relief and was a Key West flats guide from 1985 to 1997. He has served in a number of executive roles in publishing and technology businesses over the past 35 years.
Chris is a retired Internet entrepreneur. He received his BS in Economics at Harvard University. He is an avid fisherman whose favorite two places are Florida Bay and the southern Indian River Lagoon, which he looks forward to seeing healthy again in the not too distant future.
Sandy grew up bass and trout fishing in Georgia. “Fishing was available in my family from an early age and as I grew older I would fish at every opportunity. I always felt a passion for the outdoors, it was just the thing to do on weekends or after school (and often instead of school). I was very torn about leaving the familiar waters and woods of my youth to pursue a business opportunity in Miami in 1972.”
Soon After arriving in South Florida those concerns were quelled when he had the good fortune to meet Flip Pallot, Steve Huff, and Chico Fernandez, all of whom introduced him to the wonders of South Florida, the Keys and Everglades. For Sandy, sight fishing for bonefish, tarpon, snook, and redfish was an incredibly rewarding challenge. Tournament participation provided a chance to focus on specific species. He was able to learn and share knowledge with many of the sport’s finest anglers and guides. During those times Sandy was Grand Champion of the Keys’ most prestigious fly tournaments eight times.
After selling a successful business in Miami in 1985 he moved to Islamorada full time and was a frequent guest on the Walker’s Cay Chronicles, The Reel Guys, and Andy Mill’s Sportsman’s Adventures. By then he had released well over 100 permit on fly. Sandy has fished and explored throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Central America, the Seychelles, Christmas Island and Palau He was among the first US anglers to fish for Atlantic salmon on Russia’s Kola Peninsula before Perestroika.
After attending a saltwater fly-fishing seminar in the Everglades, Sandy invited his friends to join in teaching a school he would base in Islamorada. The Florida Keys Fly Fishing School had its first class in 1989 and recently reached its 30-year mark for world class instruction. The school eventually led to opening the premiere salt water fly shop in Islamorada Florida Keys Outfitters.
Sandy was past president of the Everglades Protection Association and served on the East Everglades/Everglades National Park Advisory Board at the appointment of Governor Bob Graham. He is a founding member of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and past Chairman of The Don Hawley Foundation (Guides Trust Foundation). In 2018, Sandy was awarded the Fly Fisherman Magazine – Sage Conservationist of the Year and presented with The Orvis Company Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the Now or Neverglades Movement. He is on the Board of Directors for The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Bullsugar.org
Richard was born in Miami in 1958 and his love affair with the Everglades started soon after. Richard has explored the Glades from its Shingle Creek headwaters to Sandy Key. He has served as President of the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation. The Foundation has made Everglades National Park as its sole beneficiary. Living in Islamorada, Florida he is now focusing his efforts on helping the River of Grass flow as nature intended from the southern lip of Lake Okeechobee to the bights and bays of Florida Bay.
As publisher of Florida Sportsman magazine, Blair Wickstrom also oversees all related media and products associated with the brand, including: television, Reel Time Florida Sportsman, Florida Sportsman Best Boat and Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat, online, website, social media and video, expos, Florida Sportsman Expos, radio, FloridaSportsman Radio Live, and Florida Sportsman books, charts and products. He has hosted television shows; written magazine features and regularly contributes photography. He has been a board member for both the American Sportfishing Association and Coastal Conservation Association.
Dr. Lloyd Wruble was born in Exeter, Pennsylvania. He is an Oral Surgeon by Profession and remains very active serving on several committees and the Board of Baptist Medical Group with Baptist Health South Florida. He was a member of the group organizing the Florida Conservation Association now known as CCA. He remains an active angler and is well known for his prowess fishing the waters of Everglades National Park, particularly the area known as Hell’s Bay. Dr. Wruble has been featured on many TV fishing shows such as Sportsman’s Adventures and Flats Class. He also has been featured in Florida Sportsman Magazine. Dr. Wruble has been a steward of ENP and raises funds for the Park through the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation, founded by him in 1999. All funds are currently being raised by The Herman Lucerne Backcountry Fishing Championship. This Tournament is the largest backcountry event in the Florida Keys. Having witnessed the decline and destruction of our estuaries Dr. Wruble has been very involved via social media and fishing clubs, providing education regarding our water issues. He believes that although he may not be around to see Florida Bay and our Eastern and Western estuaries returned to their pristine conditions, he will continue to focus his attention towards correcting these disasters facing us today.