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Calusa Waterkeeper Staff

Codty Pierce

Codty Pierce

Calusa Waterkeeper

Codty Pierce is a life-long resident of the Caloosahatchee watershed. Growing up along one of its many tributaries helped shape his passion, love and admiration for the area’s history and biodiversity. This complex ecosystem that has supported flourishing civilizations longer than written record, has been a natural inspiration to him, while growing up in the community. Codty’s early background in reptiles, wetland restoration and native plant landscaping coupled with a career as a professional fishing guide has created a unique collage of in-the-field experience across local uplands, wetlands, estuaries and nearshore Gulf waters. To protect and restore the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee to Coastal Waters is the mission–and in Codty you will find the passion to unite and protect this special watershed.

Connie Ramos-Williams

Connie Ramos-Williams

Executive Director

A Florida native, Connie Ramos-Williams, has chosen to step out of early retirement to dedicate her life to championing the clean water movement as Calusa Waterkeeper’s Executive Director. She will work alongside Waterkeeper Codty Pierce to spearhead the organization’s efforts to safeguard the region’s water resources, promote environmental awareness, and advocate for policies that protect and enhance water quality. Armed with a Science degree, a passion for water conservation and a commitment to community engagement, she is poised to lead the organization in its mission to preserve the natural beauty and ecological balance of Southwest Florida’s waterways. Her dedication to environmental sustainability and expertise in strategic leadership will be invaluable assets as Calusa Waterkeeper continues its important work that focuses on water quality’s impact on human health, ecosystems, and aquatic life. Ramos-Williams brings a wealth of advocacy, communications, management, and entrepreneurial experience to the organization. Her professional trajectory led her through the realms of marketing, media, and nonprofit leadership, providing her with a comprehensive skill set to address the multifaceted challenges faced by Florida’s waterways. She will play a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission to ensure clean water for current and future generations to come.

Tricia Santucci

Tricia Santucci

Administrative Coordinator

Tricia has over 30 years of experience leading global technology operations and risk management functions in the financial sector.  Prior to joining Calusa Waterkeeper, Tricia was responsible for overseeing all business administration functions at one of the top commercial diving institutes in the country. Tricia was born and raised in Delaware and spent most weekends and vacations at the many beaches along the Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland coastline.  She loves boating, fishing and spending time relaxing at the beach.  Tricia relocated to the Tampa Bay area in 2000 and further south to Fort Myers in 2022, and now spends her weekends exploring the area and all that our waterways have to offer.  Tricia is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of the local wildlife and the amazing Florida skies.

Board Officers

Chuck Avery

Chuck Avery

President

As a construction executive, Chuck lived and worked where great rivers, the Colorado, Mississippi, and the Nile, had major impacts on peoples lives. Now retired, he kayaks the Estero Bay, Spring Creek, and the Gulf. A member of numerous environmental organizations, he co-founded his community Eco Club in order to get residents aware and involved in local issues.

Tim Huyck

Tim Huyck

Vice President

Tim spent most of his professional career in investment management in Boston, Dallas and New Hampshire. He and his family have been visiting Southwest Florida for 30 years and have owned property on Captiva and Sanibel since 2010 and 2016 respectively. Upon retirement in 2019, he and wife Louise have lived on Sanibel eight months of the year. An avid fisherman and boater, Tim is acutely aware of the fragility of our waterways and joined the CWK board to contribute to improving water quality for Southwest Florida citizens and visitors.

Nikki Tinsley

Nikki Tinsley

Treasurer

Nikki spent her career evaluating the success of government programs including serving as the Inspector General for the Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to moving to Florida, she was also a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, advising Bay State Governors on the Chesapeake Bay restoration. She has a master’s degree in management and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Jason Pim

Jason Pim

Secretary

Jason is a Southwest Florida native, business owner and boater. With roots in Cape Coral since 1972, the Pim family enjoys regularly sailing and fishing throughout Florida and the Bahamas. Over the years, Jason has become increasingly active in working to conserve local waterways and lands, advocating at a variety of coalitions, citizens groups and governing bodies. Jason hopes to ensure future generations enjoy the unique natural resources he experienced while growing up in the SWFL outdoors. 

Board of Directors

Solemi Hernandez

Solemi Hernandez

Director

Mother to two wonderful young boys, who motivate her ongoing environmental justice work, she is enrolled as a Political Science student at FGCU and has been a grassroots activist and community organizer for years. She volunteers for organizations advocating for the environment and Everglades restoration, and is inspired to create the political will for climate solutions.

Mary Kay Kralapp

Mary Kay Kralapp

Director

As a nurse and attorney, Mary Kay worked as in-house counsel and Director of Operations for a Michigan healthcare company. She oversaw multiple operations, including risk management, quality control, human resources, and overall patient care. Growing up near freshwater lakes and rivers, Mary Kay developed a love for water. Since moving to Cape Coral in 2006, she has experienced the declining health of our waters firsthand, motivating her to become a Calusa Waterkeeper Ranger, champion water quality initiatives such as the Right to Clean Water Amendment, and most recently, joining the Calusa Waterkeeper Board of Directors.

Howard Simon

Howard Simon

Director

Howard Simon retired after serving in Michigan and Florida as the American Civil Liberties Union’s most senior state Director. He organized Clean Up Okeechobee Waters, a project with doctors and scientists to address the public health threat of Harmful Blue-Green Algae. Simon received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Jim Watkins

Jim Watkins

Director

Jim has been visiting Florida since the 1950’s and went to the University of Miami in the 60’s. He’s been a waterfront property owner here since 2004. He has served as President of numerous Boards of water quality watch dog groups, such as the Clark Fork Coalition and the Rock Creek Alliance as well as founding the Kaniksu Land Trust. He is an avid boater and fisherman and attended the first class for Waterkeeper Rangers. Jim has served as both Treasurer and President of the board.

Ruth Watkins

Ruth Watkins

Director

Ruth Watkins has over 30 years experience working for water quality-focused environmental organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Much of that time was spent coordinating with agencies, local governments and diverse groups to undertake multifaceted projects to protect vulnerable water resources. Ruth has served as both Treasurer and President of the board.

John Cassani

John Cassani

Calusa Waterkeeper Emeritus

John’s professional career as an ecologist started here in Lee County in 1978 after receiving degrees in Biology and Fish and Wildlife. From 1978 to 2014 he worked as a resource manager for local government, managing waterways of Southwest Florida. He has authored both peer-reviewed scientific publications and popular media sources on resource management, history, water policy and conservation issues. His service on advisory boards, his commitment to community and involvement with land and water conservation has led to recognition from various civic groups, Including the Florida Audubon Society, Estero Bay Agency on Bay Management, Lee County Government, the Everglades Coalition, the American Fisheries Society, and the Alberta provincial government. In November 2016, John accepted the position of Calusa Waterkeeper, a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. In December 2022, John retired and the board bestowed the title of Calusa Waterkeeper Emeritus to honor his incredible service and leadership.

Committees

  • Board Advisory Committee

  • Executive Committee

  • Finance and Fundraising Committee

  • Nominating Committee

  • Legal, Regulatory and Policy Advocacy Committee

  • Membership, Volunteers and Interns Committee

  • Program and Events Committee

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