Board of Directors
Todd Underhill (Sarasota), President
Todd Underhill is an eighth generation Floridian and agriculturalist. An Alumnus of Manatee Community College (now the State College of Florida) and the University of Florida. Having been involved in the family citrus and cattle operation Todd is also an Information Technology Consultant.
Todd serves as an elected official on the Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District and is a past president of Florida’s State association of Conservation Districts. He has served on advisory committees for the National Association of Conservation Districts and on a special committee advising the Chief of the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regarding conservation delivery. Todd is currently serving as the chair of the Sarasota Agricultural Council, an organization he helped organize. Todd is also a member of the Sarasota County Farm Bureau and serves on its board of directors.
Danny Smith (Manatee), Vice-President
Danny brings over 16 years of professional experience in the fields of land management, conservation, and agriculture research. In addition to time spent working as a research assistant for the University of Tennessee, Danny managed Manatee County’s Conservation Lands program for several years and worked in the ecological consulting field for several years performing habitat restoration activities. In addition to his vast ecological and land management experience Danny is well versed in operations management and problem solving. Danny was born and raised in Manatee County and has a true understanding of southwest Florida as well as an overall connection to the area that he and his family consider their home.
Danny has a B.S. in Soils and Land Use from the University of Florida, did post graduate study at the University of Memphis, and has certifications in natural areas management and prescribed fire management. Danny is particularly interested helping to develop local sustainable agriculture which provides people with choices, energy crops, and improving the quality of living for residents of the areas the FWCRCD serves.
John O’Connor (Manatee), Secretary/Treasurer
John O’Connor brings his 35 years of experience in multi-disciplined project engineering and project management, along with his deep commitment to local issues, to the RC&D. John obtained his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College and did graduate work at Villanova University. John is currently a Project Engineering Manager at PennPro Engineering and Technical Services where he oversees a variety of projects in environmental, chemical, and geotechnical disciplines.
John is an extremely active in his local community of Duette where he is involved with his local fire department and church. John’s other activities include Florida Institute of Phosphate Chemical Process Technical Advisory Committee, Supervisor of the Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District (elected), and founder and President of the Palmetto Chapter of the Future Farmers of America Alumni Chapter.
Nick Baden (Manatee)
Tim Brown (Sarasota)
Richard Carroll (Pinellas)
As president of Carroll Brothers Nursery and Garden Center in St. Petersburg, Richard Carroll brings to the RC&D his solid agricultural business experience and dedication to the future success of agriculture in our area. The successful family nursery business, which Richard operates with his brother, Robert, was started by his father over 40 years ago. Richard provides invaluable insights into many of the critical issues facing nursery producers, and is always thinking ahead to innovative, long-term solutions.
Richard is the immediate Past-President of the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA), working to promote a unified grassroots approach to building strong support for agriculture and small business in our state.
Stephen Gran (Hillsborough)
As Manager of Agriculture Industry Development, Stephen Gran has served in the Hillsborough County Economic Development Department for the past 12 years. In this position, Stephen coordinates with wide-ranging agriculture, agribusiness interests, and governmental agencies to evaluate issues of concern, facilitate communication, and resolve problems. The overall purpose of the program is to initiate and assist in efforts to create a business atmosphere that is conducive to the continuation and expansion of agricultural businesses in the County.
Stephen received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida. Immediately after college, Stephen took a position as a County Extension Agent with the Sarasota County Cooperative Extension Service. In this position he offered services in the area of agriculture management.
Mike Sosadeeter (Sarasota)
Mike Sosadeeter brings to the Florida West Coast RC&D extensive experience in sustainable agricultural systems, sustainable community development, and landscape architecture planning, design, and construction. He also is a project planner, partnership builder, and visionary problem solver.
Mike grew up on a farm in a small town in Indiana. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Botany from DePauw University. His master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at Ball State University had an emphasis on sustainable community planning and design.
Mike started his career in agricultural, economic, educational development, and landscape architecture in the Caribbean -- Haiti, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. Mike has also worked for a variety of agencies with demonstrated expertise in the priorities of Florida West Coast RC&D. Mike has worked for Habitat for Humanity, Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center, USDA Forest Service, Florida House Institute for Sustainable Development, Resource Management Group, Inc., and Children’s Haven and Adult Community Services, Inc. Mike is currently employed by the Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department as a Park Planner.