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Aug. 23, 2019
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New executive director takes the reins at Lake Lanier Association

By Pamela A. Keene
 
The Lake Lanier Association has a new executive director. Gainesville resident Jennifer Flowers’ first day on the job was Monday, July 15. She replaces Joanna Cloud, who now works in the private sector with Marine Specialties Inc.
 
Flowers worked for more than eight years in the Water Resources Department for the City of Gainesville. Specifically, she worked with water conservation and water quality issues, as well as storm-water run-off and environmental protection.
 
“Jennifer’s application was among the first, if not the first, that we received for the position,” said John Barker, president of the association. “She was the first to apply and the last one standing. The board and I feel like Jennifer is the exact best fit for the association going forward. The decision to hire her was unanimous.”
 
Flowers has worked in the water resources arena for the past 10 years. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor of science degree in ecology, she worked in New Jersey with AmeriCorps on river cleanups, monitoring and public education programs. She also earned her master’s degree in environmental law and policy from the Vermont Law School before returning to Georgia to work for the City of Gainesville.
 
She was recently selected to participate in the 2019 Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, a five-week program with sessions held around the state. Each session focuses on different environmental issues that affect the state. 
 
“I am so excited to join the Lake Lanier Association as executive director,” Flowers said. “Already I feel like I know many of the Lake Lanier stakeholders and leadership in the area, plus my experience has put me in the position of being familiar with and understanding water policy and regulations.”
 
During her tenure with the City of Gainesville, Flowers managed community programs and outreach, working with residents and businesses regarding water conservation, pollution and environmental concerns. She also organized public meetings, including setting up a panel to bring together interested parties around the Tri-State Water Negotiations and speaking to schools and civic groups. 
 
“I enjoyed all aspects of my work, but particularly my community outreach and education stands out,” she said. “Meeting so many people in the community and learning about issues and how they can be addressed has been very rewarding.”
 
She interfaced with the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. As a member of the Hall County Green Alliance, she chaired the group’s Land/Water and Public Education Workgroups She also served as a board member for Keep Hall Beautiful, a member of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals and on the Training Advisory Committee.
 
One of her first priorities will be meeting with environmental, community and governmental leadership to jump-start her work with the association. “Lake Lanier is vital to this area, to Northeast Georgia and the state on so many levels,” Flowers said. “Georgia wouldn’t be what it is – from an economic standpoint, a conservation perspective and agriculturally – without Lake Lanier. And our partnerships with leadership and the community are vital or achieving the association’s mission and purpose.” 
 
Flowers is also gearing up for this year’s Shore Sweep, slated for Saturday, Sept. 14. Bonny Putney, LLA board member who serves as chairman of the annual lake clean-up, has worked with Flowers for nearly a decade.  “Plans for the 31st annual Shore Sweep are already well under way,” said Putney.

“Because Jennifer is already familiar with Shore Sweep and our programs, I know she’ll hit the ground running to help us create another successful event for 2019. She and I have worked together before on clean-up projects and she is an excellent organizer who has a real passion for her work.”
 
Flowers is married to Tyler Flowers, who serves as the children’s minister at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Gainesville. They have two daughters, Brooklyn, 5, and Liza, 3.
 
Flowers said that she and the board welcome community comments and input about the association and Lake Lanier. “We really want to hear from people about their issues, concerns and compliments,” Flowers said. “And I encourage people to reach out to us. Lake Lanier is big and there are so many issues that we may not be aware of. We look to the public to help us be more effective and to be our eyes on the lake.”
 
For more info about the association visit lakelanier.org.

Posted online 7/16/19
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