Big Bend Chapter

The FWEA Big Bend Chapter serves the Florida Panhandle, from approximately I-75 in Live Oak to Pensacola. Our membership is diverse including operators, engineers, and administrators of several urban and rural municipalities and private and cooperative utility companies, as well as representatives of private-practice engineering firms and utility equipment sales and service companies.

Our foremost mission is to provide professional and technical educational opportunities to members in the Big Bend area through bi-monthly meetings and seminars. These events provide a forum for professional networking and shared interests. 

In past years, the Big Bend Chapter operated out of the Tallahassee area.  Due to availability of members in this area, FWEA is working to shift the meeting focus to the west of the Chapter boundary to better serve FWEA members in the Big Bend region. 

FWEA is seeking individuals interested in serving on a Steering Committee for the Big Bend Chapter.  The Steering Committee is charged with planning and executing Big Bend Chapter events.  These may include luncheons for the water industry on a quarterly or monthly basis, or planning a technical seminar to provide PDH‘s and CEU‘s.  Other activities could involve visiting schools, or arranging tours to water treatment facilities.  If you would like to get involved with the Big Bend Chapter, please reach out to Sondra Lee.  

Each year at the annual banquet, the Big Bend Chapter presents the Thomas P. Smith Award to an individual in recognition of individual leadership, contribution to the advancement of wastewater design, operations or regulations, and demonstrated willingness to help others solve problems. Past recipients of the Thomas P. Smith Award are provided below. 

Past Recipients of the Thomas P. Smith Award
1998   John L. Dean2006   Maurice Barker2014   Sondra Lee
1999   William "Billy" M. Bishop2007   Leon Hightower2015   Catalina Weaver
2000   David W. York2008   Donna Nichols2016   Charlie Martin
2001   G. Keith Turner2009   Tom Printy2017   Shanin Speas-Frost
2002   Mike Murphy2010   Dave Stewart2018   Monica Autrey
2003   Bill Leseman2011   Joseph Cheatham2019   Amir Zafar
2004   Neal Gray2012   Lynne Putnam
2005   Ron Trygar2013   Jim Oskowis


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Vice Chair



Past Chair (2017 & 2018)
James H. Peterson IV, P.E.
Jim Stidham and Associates Inc.

Past Chair (2015 & 2016)
Shanin Speas-Frost

FAMU/FSU-FWEA Student Chapter Liaison
Shanin Speas-Frost, Acting

FAMU/FSU Student Chapter Advisor
Dr. Youneng Tang 
FAMU/FSU College of Engineering

Awards Chair
Shanin Speas-Frost

Membership Coordinator
Sondra Lee, Acting
City of Tallahassee

Website Coordinator
Sondra Lee, Acting
City of Tallahassee