Ten candidates, including three incumbents, are running for three seats on the Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. board of directors.

BSU candidate photos

The candidates are:
• Wayne Bauman, who owns a small business as a boat captain and broker.
• Richard Garner, a retired banking executive and real estate professional and BSU board member since 2020.
• Lawrence Kosilla Jr., a licensed residential contractor and vice chairman of the Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue District and BSU board member since 2020.
• Mike Malloy, vice president for client services at iES MACH, an energy management company, and BSU board member since 2012 and current board treasurer.
• Mary Meima, who retired after a 35-year career with BSU.
• Betsy Morrison, a community development professional who serves on the Bonita Bay Club finance committee.
• William F. Ribble Jr., the current Village of Estero mayor whose term ends in March.
• Gary Shearer, a retired professional recruitment executive.
• Paul M. Sheldon, a retired Hertz senior vice president who oversaw North American rental operations.
• Martha C. Simons, an officer for Cherokee Painting Co. Inc. who served on the Bonita Springs City Council for eight years.

The candidates’ submitted applications are available for review at www.bsu.us/2021election.

Members will elect three directors for a three-year term to the utility’s nine-member board. BSU will mail ballots and candidate profiles to members in late February. Completed ballots must be received no later than Thursday, March 11 and are not accepted at BSU’s offices. A third-party election monitor receives and counts all ballots and will announce the election results during the utility’s annual meeting Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Customer Service Center, located at 11900 East Terry St., Bonita Springs.

Other board members are Paul J. Attwood, Robert Bachman, Brian Farrar, Vincent J. Marchesani, James Murphy and Ben Nelson. The board of directors holds public meetings at 5 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. In addition, each board member serves on various subcommittees and task groups, working with the utility’s management and staff.

Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. is a not-for-profit water and wastewater utility cooperative founded by local citizens in 1970. The member-owned utility provides service in the City of Bonita Springs, the Village of Estero and unincorporated South Lee County. The utility is recognized as an industry leader with awards from the American Water Works Association, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Water Environment Association.

For more information, visit the BSU website at www.BSU.us.

2021 Candidates for Board of Directors

Wayne Bauman has lived in Bonita Springs for six years and is currently a local small business owner as a boat captain and boat broker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering management and manufacturing administration from Western Michigan University. Wayne has a career background in construction and engineering, with experience in groundwater containment, infrastructure and water handling and treatment systems, as well as plant expansions and remediation systems to clean up soil and groundwater. He is a board member of CREW Land & Water Trust and member of Captains for Clean Water and SWFL Inc. Wayne was instrumental in creating a full public-private partnership team for the redevelopment of a historic papermill in Plainwell, Michigan. He worked with the city council, city manager and public works department, as well as the state, EPA and local agencies to accumulate tax credits and grants for the redevelopment of an EPA Superfund site.

Richard Garner, a BSU board member since 2020, is a 30-year resident of Bonita Springs and retired banking executive and real estate professional. He was president and CEO of First National Bank of Bonita Springs, now First National Bank of Florida; founding chairman and CEO of CNL Bank of Southwest Florida, now Valley National Bank; and founding chairman & CEO of Southern Community Bank of Southwest Florida, now Fifth Third Bank. Richard has served as chairman of the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce, now SWFL Inc., as well as president and treasurer of the chamber’s foundation. He has held leadership positions with numerous local organizations, including Bonita Bay’s Habitat for Humanity Resident Steering Committee, The Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida; Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue District Firefighter Pension Fund; The SKY Family YMCA Bonita Springs; and the Rotary Club of Bonita Springs.

Lawrence Kosilla, Jr., a BSU board member since 2020, has lived in Southwest Florida for 15 years and is a licensed residential contractor. He is vice chairman of the Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue District. Larry holds two associate’s degrees in chemistry and fire science from Westchester Community College and has more than four decades of experience as a firefighter, both with Scarsdale Fire Department and North Tarrytown Fire Department, where he served as fire chief. He is vice president of A Shore View Condo Association and a member of SWFL Inc, formerly the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce. Larry served as president of the Calusa Palms Homeowners Association for seven years and president of the Calusa Palms Condo Association for eight years. He is a former member of Knights of Columbus and previously fostered animals for Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Mike Malloy, a BSU board member since 2012 and treasurer since 2017, has lived in Bonita Springs for 17 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brown University and has taken MBA courses at the University of Houston. Since 2006, Mike has worked as vice president for client services at iES MACH, an energy management company. He previously served in management positions with construction company AZCO and utility company Kansas City Power & Light.

Mary Meima has lived in Bonita Springs for 44 years and retired in 2019 after a 35-year career with BSU. She worked in various roles across the utility, including administration, engineering and accounting. During her last 12 years at the utility, Mary served as administrative liaison. She studied social work at College of DuPage and has completed numerous classes and seminars throughout her career. Mary currently serves on the steering committee for the Florida Section of American Water Works Region V. She served on the Everglades Wonder Gardens board of directors, including two years as secretary, and is a graduate of Leadership Bonita. A longtime supporter of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life Bonita Springs-Estero, Mary served as event chair and BSU team captain numerous times over her 19 years of involvement.

Betsy Morrison has lived in Bonita Springs for seven years and works in community development for Trinity Commercial Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. She was previously a principal of Morrison Capital Advisors, working in developing and debt and equity. Betsy serves on the finance committee for Bonita Bay Club and has previously served on the strategic planning committee. She is also a volunteer for Harry Chapin Food Bank. Prior to moving to Bonita Springs, she served as treasurer of the Rhode Island Country Club and was a board member focused on capital planning for the Bayside YMCA.

William F. Ribble, Jr. has lived in Estero for 14 years and has served on the Village of Estero Council representing District 1 since 2015 and has been mayor since 2019. His current term will finish in March. William holds an MBA and bachelors of science degree in education and has completed additional college courses in human resources, labor relations and OSHA compliance. His 35-year career with United Parcel Service included positions as vice president of corporate operational development, overseeing safety and risk management, along with other areas, and district chief operating officer. William is currently president of the Southwest Chapter of the Florida League of Cities and an executive committee member of the Estero Chamber of Commerce.

Gary Shearer has lived in Bonita Springs for 28 years and is a retired professional recruitment executive. For nearly 30 years, he was president and owner of Management Recruiters of Bonita Springs, Inc., providing national executive recruitment services for electric, water/wastewater and natural gas utilities and engineering, construction and management consulting firms. Gary holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University, with a major in structural design and courses in hydraulics and water distribution. His career experience also includes executive management positions with large construction firms leading the performance of engineering and construction services for electricity infrastructure, oil refineries, pulp and paper mills, steel mills, cement plants and other manufacturing and industrial facilities.

Paul M. Sheldon has lived in Bonita Springs for six years and retired in 2018 as a senior vice president for Hertz Corporation, overseeing North America rental operations. Over his 38-year career with Hertz, he worked in various management positions. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management and is Six Sigma Green Belt-certified. He has completed professional training in high performance business culture, sales training and development, and effective executive speaking. He is a volunteer for Lee Health Coconut Point’s surgery and registration department and serves on the City of Bonita Springs Street Light Advisory board.

Martha C. Simons has lived in Bonita Springs for 31 years. She is an officer for Cherokee Painting Co., Inc. Martha was elected to the Bonita Springs City Council, where she served for eight years and received the Florida League of Cities Home Rule Hero Award for her advocacy for municipal clean water legislation. A life member of the Bonita Springs Historical Society, she also serves on its board of directors. Since 2008, she has served on the Estero Bay Agency on Bay Management Advisory Board as a representative for the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. After joining the Bonita Springs Lions Club in 2008, where she served as a board member, Martha became a founding member of the Bonita Springs Community Lions Club and is the club president. Martha is an officer of the Bonita Springs Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.