Supervisors & Staff
The governing body of a Soil & Water Conservation District consists of five elected supervisors. The office of a SWCD Supervisor is non-partisan and district wide. Candidates are elected in a general election to a four-year term with no term limitations. Supervisors receive no monetary compensation for their public service. A SWCD can hire employees as needed.
Board of Supervisors
Scott Kirouac was elected to the Board of Supervisors in the Election of 2014. Taking his Oath of Office in January of 2015, Kirouac joined the board with a vast amount of knowledge in soils and the ornamental landscape nursery industry. Kirouac is a full-time sales representative for Hillary Peat Co., a bulk soil supplier with locations in Groveland and Avon Park, Florida. In addition to his sales position, he is a managing partner of Big Sky Growers, Inc., an ornamental nursery with two locations located in Highlands County Florida.
Having a career in sales and serving as a manager in production agriculture requires more hours than the typical forty hour work week, yet Kirouac finds time to volunteer his expertise and leadership skills with a variety of organizations He serves his local community and state by being actively involved in an array of Associations and Boards. They include:
American Farm Bureau Pest & Invasive Species Issue Advisory Committee (Past Chairman & Committee Member); Florida Farm Bureau Environmental Horticulture & Overall Advisory Committees (Current Committee Member); Highlands County Farm Bureau (Current Director, Past President & Treasurer); Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association Highlands Heartland Chapter (Current Treasurer, Past President);
Highlands County Extension Overall & Horticulture Advisory Committees (Current Committee Member); Heartland Agriculture Coalition (Current Director);
Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Work Group (Group Member)
Kirouac also founded and serves as chairman of Ag Angels, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that raises and provides funding to local schools and organizations to purchase Christmas gifts for less fortunate children.
Scott resides in Sebring, Florida, has two daughters and six grandchildren.
Dr. John H. Causey. DVM
Supervisor Dr. John H. Causey, grew up in Palm Beach County. After receiving a degree from University of Florida, he continued his education at Auburn University where he earned a degree in Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduation Causey served in the United States Air Force Veterinary Corp stationed in SE Asia.
When discharged from the military, he returned to Florida to practice Veterinary Medicine in Stuart, Belle Glade, and later settled in Lake Placid, Florida. For 32 years Causey practiced veterinary medicine and surgery at Citrus Animal Clinic in Lake Placid.
He and his wife of 45 years, Jessie Ann Sheffield of Pahokee, have two grown children; Joanna, a CPA living in Valrico, Florida and Kathryn a commercial real estate broker in Birmingham, Alabama. They have been blessed with four grandsons. Even though Dr. Causey isn’t practicing anymore, he stays busy managing a family citrus and cattle operation in Hardee, Desoto, and Highlands Counties. He has served on the District Board for several years and is also active in the Highlands County Cattlemen’s Assoc., and the Heartland Agriculture Coalition.
As of April 2015, Doug Deen was appointed to Seat 1 on the Board of Supervisors. He is a graduate of Avon Park High School. After graduation, Doug worked as a mechanic for a local Chevrolet dealer where he received extensive training in automotive computer technology. During this time, he earned an AS degree in Industrial Technology from SFCC in Avon Park. Doug also served as an adjunct professor at SFCC in Specialized Electronics Training.
While in high school, Doug was involved in FFA and gained a great deal of respect for agriculture. So, after years at the Chevrolet dealership, Doug was given the opportunity to work for Coca-Cola Foods/Minute Maid in their citrus division. While working for Coca-Cola, he began working on a business degree at Webber College. After a short time in the Avon Park division, Doug was promoted to shop superintendent of the Indiantown grove. His job was to oversee all the equipment used to take care of 8,000 acres (5,000 of which was citrus), and the equipment used to control the Indiantown water district and waterways. Eventually, Coca-Cola Foods was sold to Running W Citrus. Soon after the sell, Doug was promoted to assistant area manager and harvesting superintendent.
In 1994, Doug left Running W and returned to Avon Park where he began working with Barben Fruit Company. He is still with Barben Fruit and his duties include fruit procurement, overseeing harvesting operations and all of the equipment involved with harvesting. Doug is very dedicated to agriculture and eager to see it thrive.
Doug is a member of Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church; serves on the Highlands County Cattlemen’s Association; and is also on the Highlands County Fair Jr. Livestock Committee. He and his wife of 23 years, Stacia, have two sons; Bo (17-years old) and Ben (14-years old).
As a citrus, sod, and palm tree producer in the Lake Placid, Florida area, Pam Fentress possesses a deep passion for Highlands County and its agriculture industry. In addition to being a Supervisor for the HSWCD, Pam also currently serves on the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Assoc. Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.
As her numerous board positions reflect, she has always given back to her community by serving; she has received much deserved recognition for her dedication: Farm Credit of Florida Leadership Award; Wedgworth Leadership Program for Agriculture & Natural Resources Honorary Director Award; Dal Hall Memorial Award, the Chamber Charger Award and Outstanding Service Award from the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce; Service Award from Highlands County Citrus Growers, as well as being a past HCCGA Board member and a member of the USDA Farm Service Agency’s County Committee. Pam is proud to be a Past-President of the Highlands County Farm Bureau, but equally honored to have served as a Past-President for the Lake Placid Jaycees. Adding to the list of service she served the past Treasurer of the Lake Placid Elementary PTO and is currently the Chairman of SAC for Lake Placid Middle School. Having served on SWFWMD’s Governing Board and chairing its Peace River Basin Board for a four year term, Pam brings a wealth of water experience, leadership and knowledge to the HSWCD.
Pam is a graduate of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture & Natural Resources (Class II), holds a BS Degree from Tampa College and graduated as a Lake Placid Green Dragon. Supervisor Fentress prides herself on serving the citizens of Highlands County with respect, trust, honor, fairness and well thought-out discussion as she works with the District Board to conserve our natural resources and sustain agriculture production for future generations. Pam resides in Lake Placid with her 13 year old daughter Tressa.
Steve "Smitty" Smith
As a 4th generation Highlands County cattle rancher, Steve Smith brings a lifelong passion for agriculture and appreciation for our natural resources. Smith was elected in 2016 as a Supervisor to join the Board of the Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District. Following his graduation from Sebring High School, Steve attended and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Operations Management. After college, Steve began his career in Agriculture with Super Sweet Farms as a producer of watermelons, followed by joining the Florida operation of Newton Crouch and currently works for Howard Fertilizer in the Sales Division. Steve is an active member on the Board of the Highlands County Cattlemen’s Association and recently served as its Board President. “Smitty”, the name the locals call him, resides in Lorida with his wife of 19 years, Sharla, and their two boys; Joel who is 13 years old and Waylon who is 8 years old. The Smith family is active in Youth Baseball, enjoying the outdoors and attending First Baptist Church of Avon Park.
Susie Bishop began her position as the sole staff member for the District in October, 2012 bringing with her years of experience in agriculture, public governmental affairs and public communication.
Previously to taking this position Susie was the Business Development Manager for Atlanticblue/Blue Head Ranch, where she was instrumental in the successful adoption of a Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the protection of 50,000 acres of Blue Head Ranch. Prior to her role at Atlanticblue, Susie was the Business Development Manager for Glades Electric Cooperative, Inc., and the Area Director for the Highlands County Division of United Way of Central Florida.
She has always enjoyed giving back to her native community and feels this position will enable her to continue that passion while helping to sustain agriculture production and conserving natural resources. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Warner University and is a recent graduate of the University of Florida Wedgworth Leadership Institute.
Susie and her husband of 38 years, Nick, reside in Sebring. They have two grown sons, Roland married to Marla & Drew married to Ashley. When not busy with the work of the District, Susie enjoys spending time with family in the outdoors, especially with grandsons, Hayden (8) & Landon (4) who will soon be joined with the newest Bishop family member, Kate- to arrive in July 2019.