Dave Rogers for Florida 17

Fighting for Florida's future

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A few words about myself...


I'm a retired Navy commander, having served 22 years on active duty following graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1979, with a bachelor's degree in ocean engineering.

The oldest of seven kids, I grew up in several states as my father was an enlisted sailor in the Navy, finally settling in rural upstate New York in 1968 when Dad retired from the Navy. We lived on two acres of land we bought from my grandfather's dairy farm, and I had some early farm experiences, baling hay, shoveling cow manure, milking cows and pitching silage at 5:00 a.m. in the middle of an upstate New York winter. One of my uncles was a beekeeper, and I spent one summer working for him, servicing his hives, extracting honey and bringing it to market.

I've lived in Florida for over thirty years, with a couple of absences while I was on active duty. I've been a resident of St. Johns County since 2006.

I was a registered independent (no party affiliation, or NPA) for all of my life until I became a Democrat in 2016 following the election of Donald Trump. I went on to become active in local politics, running for a seat on the St Johns County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors (Group 5). Unopposed, I won the seat in November 2018 and served on the board from January 2019 until May 2020 when I resigned to run for state representative. While on the SWCD board, I organized a series of tutorial presentations from the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and the St Johns County utility department, seeking to understand our region's water resources and challenges.

In May 2019, I attended the three day Keeping History Above Water conference held in St Augustine. I learned a great deal about the risks faced by America's oldest continuously inhabited city, and the innovations other cities and regions are making to adapt and reduce risk.

In January, I attended the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Marine Estuary Research Reserve (GTMNRR) inaugural tri-county water school, to further my understanding of our water resources and the challenges they face.

I'm a 2019 graduate of the Northeast Florida Regional Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC). That was a very worthwhile experience, where I met a number of regional leaders and learned a great deal about northeast Florida and the seven counties of the regional council.

I'm a member of the NEFRC Public/Private Regional Resilience (P2R2) Committee, which seeks to promote resiliency efforts to address sea level rise and flood risks.

I'm a member of the policy committee of the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, which seeks to promote legislation that encourages sustainable business practices.

I'm the father of three adult children, grandfather to four (about to be five). My wife is the wonderful Mitzi Saul, and we reside together with a 15-year-old Shih Tzu in a battery-backed, solar powered home in Del Webb Ponte Vedra.

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