Longtime Captains supporter, Gene Nesbeda, joins the board of directors bringing decades of business expertise and a passion for the water. Throughout his 40-year career, Gene has focused on building, managing, and investing in for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, with the know-how to scale and grow people and processes. Gene helped found an international management consulting firm, then went on to serve as an executive and investor for companies like Yeti Coolers, General Electric Corporation, CITIC Capital Partners, and Cortec Group. He has also served on non-profit boards including the largest non-governmental organization in New York City. Gene holds a B.S. from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Together with his wife Jennifer, Gene followed his love for the water to Florida to retire in 2018. Shocked by the water crisis unfolding in their newfound backyard caused by a devastating red tide bloom that lingered for more than 12 months, Gene saw Captains as the most effective organization advancing solutions and got involved.
Dr. Michael J. Collins, MD, FACS, is the Medical Director, President and founder of the eye care practice, Collins Vision. Collins grew up just outside Washington D.C. and, thanks to his love for boating and fishing, moved to Southwest Florida in 2001. In recent decades, Collins has seen the accelerated damage in our water quality and is committed to finding a sensible solution that takes into account the needs of agricultural business, the rest of the economy and, most importantly, the quality of life of Florida residents.
Chauncey Goss grew up on Sanibel in the 1970’s and ‘80’s and he and his wife, Allison, have raised their three sons on the island. He began his professional career as the Executive Director of the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association in Boca Grande and then moved to Washington, DC and became an expert in the federal budget process working at both the Office of Management and Budget and as Deputy Staff Director for the House Budget Committee. He has served as an elected Councilman for the City of Sanibel and was appointed to the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District by Governor Desantis in 2019. He was chosen to Chair the Board by his colleagues. He is currently managing partner of a firm he founded that provides budget forecasting and federal fiscal policy analysis.
A Florida native, and second generation trial attorney, Leland Eric Garvin, began his legal career working as a State Prosecutor until he and his father joined forces to create the Garvin Law Firm. Leland is an avid fisherman and diver who spends countless hours on the water, both in Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys. It was during his time on the water that he witnessed firsthand the catastrophic impact of the Lake Okeechobee discharge, as well as the lack of flow into the hyper-saline Florida Bay. After studying the problem for years, Leland decided to join the other board members to have a positive impact on all the estuaries in South Florida, which he believes are on “Life Support” due to poor management at the State and Federal levels.
Capt. Bob Beville is a third generation Floridian and began coming to SW Florida from Miami in the 1950s, where he fished the crystal clear waters of Pine Island Sound with his grandfather. Bob moved to Ft. Myers in 1976 and took a position with Waterman Broadcasting in 1980, where he is presently VP of Sales. Bob obtained a USGC Captain’s License in 2004. He is the former President of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the former President of The Rotary Club of Fort Myers, President of the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation and serves on the United Way Allocations Committees, the Lee County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Komen Grant Review Committee.
Wendi Peterson, together with her husband Chris Peterson, owns the Florida-based skiff manufacturer, Hell’s Bay Boatworks. “Our business relies on clean healthy estuaries and, with roots deeply embedded in South Florida and the Everglades, the partnership between Captains For Clean Water and Hell’s Bay is symbiotic,” say the Petersons. Wendi joins the Board of Directors with years of experience in the marine industry and is deeply passionate about protecting the resource that drives so many businesses in Florida’s economy: water.
Reid McKinstry graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a BS in Business Management and is a Sales Manager at the world’s oldest and largest fishing hook, Mustad Hooks. Having grown up fishing snook, tarpon and redfish on the Caloosahatchee River, Reid is an avid hunter and angler, fully committed to growing Captains For Clean Water.
Christopher M. Kelly is a senior partner at the global law firm, Jones Day, with more than 30 years of experience as a corporate lawyer. As a Sanibel homeowner and avid fisherman, Chris’s love for the water and appreciation for big challenges inspired him to get involved with protecting Florida’s water. Chris is committed to advancing Captains’ mission and working on strategies to permanently win the fight for clean water.
Capt. C.A. Richardson has been a professional fishing guide and television personality for 25 years. As a lifetime waterman growing up on Florida’s west coast, he’s seen his share of water-quality issues in Tampa Bay. He now lives on Florida’s unspoiled Nature Coast but understands that South Florida’s water issues are a problem that affects everyone in the state. Always willing to lend a hand in conservation issues that have a negative effect on fisheries, he took a call from co-founders Chris Wittman and Daniel Andrews when they decided to launch CFCW. In short, they wanted Capt. C.A.’s voice (literally his voice) behind the effort to fix Florida’s water problems that were devastating the Everglades and most of South Florida. At that moment, Capt. C.A. was onboard with CFCW—along with a handful of frustrated fishing guides and some very experienced local business leaders ready to fight for clean water. With Capt. C.A.’s unique way of articulating his fishing expertise to an audience through colorful fishing stories and practical experiences, fans always listen and learn. More importantly, he keeps his “Flats Class” fans engaged, providing him the opportunity to influence anglers about water issues and solutions. But he considers his devotion to CFCW as his hallmark responsibility at this point in his career. Why? Simple, he’s realized over his lifetime that if we allow our waterways and estuaries to be diminished any further, there will be no future for Florida. And that’s unacceptable!