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 annual seminars. These events provide a forum for professional networking and shared interests. The Steering Committee is charged with planning and executing the events of the Big Bend Chapter. Any FWEA member is welcome to attend the Steering Committee meetings. 

The FWEA Big Bend Chapter is active in outreach to the educational community, participating in scholastic events to encourage awareness and education for the protection of our valuable water resources.   Each year we plan activities with the FSU/FAMU College of Engineering student chapter, either as a part of the bi-monthly meetings or at social events. Several FWEA Big Bend members have also made presentations to local schools and civic organizations. We encourage students and educators to participate in our local chapter events as well as State and National events, whenever possible.  The Big Bend Chapter also hosts Florida Water Festivals to help educate the community on the importance of our water resources. 

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

Several of our events are offered at low prices due to the generosity of sponsorships.  Our sponsors for Fiscal Year 2016-2017:
  • GOLD: Mott MacDonald
If oyou would like to get involved with the Big Bend Chapter, please email us at  

Past Recipients of the Thomas P. Smith Award
1998   John L. Dean2005   Ron Trygar2012   Lynne Putnam
1999   William "Billy" M. Bishop2006   Maurice Barker2013   Jim Oskowis
2000   David W. York2007   Leon Hightower2014   Sondra Lee
2001   G. Keith Turner2008   Donna Nichols2015   Catalina Weaver
2002   Mike Murphy2009   Tom Printy2016   Charlie Martin
2003   Bill Leseman2010   Dave Stewart
2004   Neal Gray2011   Joseph Cheatham

The Big Bend Chapter participated in the Tallahassee Communities Festival where they showcased the value of water:



James H. Peterson IV, P.E.
Jim Stidham and Associates Inc.

Vice Chair

Randi Peddie
Jim Stidham and Associates

Joe Cheatham
City of Tallahassee

Membership Coordinator

Past Chair (2015 & 2016)
Shanin Speas-Frost

Past Chair (2013 & 2014)
Tony Holley
Jim Stidham and Associates 

Past Chair (2011 & 2012)
John Hallas
Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc.

FAMU/FSU-FWEA Student Chapter Liaison
Brian Moody
City of Tallahassee

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

Awards Chair
Michael Murphy
Mott MacDonald

Website Coordinator
Sondra Lee (interim)
City of Tallahassee
Please contact James Peterson if interested in assisting

Steering Committee At-Large
Catalina Weaver