Meet UF/IFAS Extension Administration! Below you will find the members of our administrative team, their bios as well as their contact information. To find other UF/IFAS Extension Agents visit the IFAS Directory or the UF Directory.
NICK T. PLACE, PH. D. DEAN AND DIRECTOR, FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
Dr. Nick Place began his appointment as the Dean and Director of University of Florida/IFAS Extension in September 2012. In this role, Dr. Place is responsible for meeting the mission and goals of the University of Florida Extension program, and serves on the IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Administrative Team. UF/IFAS Extension has faculty located in each of Florida's 67 counties, 13 research and education centers, 15 academic departments and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
Primary responsibilities of this position include: 1) providing visionary leadership that addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with Florida's diverse food and agricultural systems, natural resources, and sensitive ecosystems; changing and expanding human population; ongoing urbanization; and globalization of markets for agriculture and natural resources; 2) provide vision and leadership that supports and advances the comprehensive land grant mission of the University of Florida; 3) work effectively in a multi-disciplinary capacity with UF administrators and faculty; state and local leaders in agriculture, food, life science, and natural resources; industry, private organization and government agencies; and other institutions of higher education; 4) maintain close working relations with state and county governments; 5) work cooperatively and serve as the primary liaison with the Florida Sea Grant and the 1890 Extension program at Florida A&M University; 6) lead and manage all aspects of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, including budget and salary management, and the hiring, placement, tenure, promotion, and permanent status of state and county faculty; 7) secure private endowments and increase extramural funding for Extension programs; 8) work closely and collaborate with other IFAS Deans as well as fellow UF College Deans; and 9) actively participate and represent UF/IFAS Extension at the state, regional and national levels.
From 2007 through 2012, Dr. Place served as the Associate Dean and Associate Director of the University of Maryland Extension. In this role, Dr. Place was administratively responsible to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Director of UME for meeting the mission and goals of the extension program, and he served on the College Administrative Team. UME has faculty located at University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES); 23 counties; Baltimore City; four regional centers; and the Maryland Sea Grant program. UME also supports faculty positions in the Colleges of Chemical and Life Sciences, Health and Human Performance, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences.
Prior to the University of Maryland, Dr. Place was a faculty member at the University of Florida in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC) from 1999 - 2007. At Florida, he served as the AEC Graduate Coordinator, and he served as the Coordinator for the Program Development and Evaluation Center for two years. Dr. Place taught undergraduate and graduate course on the role and development of extension, extension methods, adult education, extension administration and supervision, and extension systems. As a Graduate Faculty member he advised M.S. and Ph.D. students focusing on extension; to date, he has been on 71 graduate committees, of which he has chaired 30. The primary focus of his extension appointment was in the area of professional development, including new faculty orientation and training, extension mentoring, professional development needs assessment, extension in-service programs and extension leadership development.
Dr. Place's initial start in Extension was as a Multi-county Extension Agent for 12 years in Pennsylvania. This work included conducting educational programs in dairy, livestock, 4-H / youth development and community development. During this time, he also served as the County Extension Director for seven years and as an Assistant Regional Extension Director for two years. In 1995 he was selected by USDA to work in Poland as part of the Polish-American Extension Project for six months on extension education methods and dairy/livestock technologies.
Dr. Place has received a number of awards, including: 2006 AIAEE Outstanding Achievement Award, 2006 NAAE Outstanding Early Career Award, 2006 AAAE Southern Region Outstanding Young Agricultural Educator Award, 2005 NACTA Teacher Fellow Award, and 2005 CALS Graduate Teacher/Advisor of the Year Award. Dr. Place earned his B.S. in dairy husbandry at Delaware Valley College. He earned his M.S. in dairy and animal science and his Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education, both from Penn State University.
TOM OBREZA, PH. D. SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN AND ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
Thomas Obreza is Senior Associate Dean for Extension and Associate Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). A native of Ohio, he received his bachelor's degree in agronomy from the Ohio State University. He went on to obtain his M.S. and Ph.D degrees in soil science from the University of Florida.
Dr. Obreza joined UF/IFAS in 1989 as an Assistant Professor of Soil and Water Science at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. His research and extension programs at SWFREC focused on improving nutrient and water management for citrus, vegetable, and sugarcane crop production. He has published extensively in the area of nutrient management for citrus trees. In 2002, he moved to his home department on the main UF campus where his extension program took on a broader scope in the area of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect Florida's water resources. He is the UF liaison to the USDA-CSREES National Water Program, and is also part of the statewide BMP leadership team. He chairs the Board of Directors for Florida's Certified Crop Advisers. He is a previous recipient of the Art Hornsby and Dallas Townsend extension professional enhancement awards.
JERI SHELL ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST TO THE DEAN FOR UF/IFAS EXTENSION
As the Administrative Specialist to the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Jeri maintains the Dean's active calendar and assists him with various projects. Jeri organizes meetings and travel arrangements for the Dean and is responsible for coordinating the meetings of the Extension Leadership Team, Extension Faculty Advisory Committee and provides support to the Plant Nutrient Oversight Committee.
Jeri has been with the University of Florida since 2005 where she worked within the College of Business’ Public Utility Research Center (PURC) and the College of Engineering’s Transportation Institute (UFTI) prior to joining UF/IFAS Extension in 2018.
VALKYRIE ALDRNARI EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN AND ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR UF/IFAS EXTENSION
Valkyrie is the Executive Assistant to the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Director for Extension. She maintains his calendar, which includes setting up meetings and interviews for county and state positions. She arranges travel and receives, composes, and finalizes correspondence. Valkyrie receives all correspondence for the Senior Associate Dean and assists with various state wide and regional projects.
Valkyrie is originally from New England and holds an Associates of Science in Computer Information Technology from Webster College.
MICHAEL GUTTER, PH. D. ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR EXTENSION AND STATE PROGRAM LEADER, 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
Dr. Michael Gutter is the Associate Dean for Extension - State Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities for the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. His BS is in Family Financial Management and his PhD is in Family Resource Management from The Ohio State University with a specialization in Finance. Gutter worked for over a decade as a State Specialist in Wisconsin and then Florida until he move into administration in 2015. Gutter's research focuses on the role of heuristics and economic psychology in key financial behaviors. His outreach focuses on improving financial behaviors by increasing knowledge, skills, and access to services. Gutter's outreach projects include Managing in Tough Times, Florida Saves, and the Florida Master Money Mentor, My Financial Future. He regularly tweets on personal finance topics under @mikegutter on Twitter.
PIERCE JONES, PH. D. EXTENSION PROGRAM LEADER, ENERGY PROGRAMS
Dr. Jones is the Extension Program Leader for Energy Programs. He leads the development and delivery of educational programs and products related to energy- and resource-efficient community development with emphasis on housing. These programs and products include targeted continuing education courses for licensed builders, architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, and others. Topical areas covered in these programs and products include energy efficiency; water conservation and quality; termite control and prevention; windstorm mitigation; resource efficient landscaping; indoor air quality; and other topics.
Dr. Jones works with Extension Specialists through Extension's Goal, Focus and Work Action Teams as well as other organizational units to encourage progressive and timely delivery of research-based information to various user groups. He also directs the recently established Program for Resource Efficient Communities, an interdisciplinary group that promotes the adoption of "best design, construction, and management practices" in new residential master planned developments.
Before coming to the Extension Administration office, Dr. Jones was an Information Technology Specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Dr. Jones came to the University of Florida in 1985.
MARTIN MAIN, PH. D. ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR EXTENSION, ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES PROGRAMS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, FLORIDA SEA GRANT PROGRAM EXTENSION AND EDUCATION
Marty created the Florida Master Naturalist Program, a conservation education and natural history program for adults which is provided by many UF/IFAS extension offices and partner organizations throughout the state. The program issues about 1,000 certificates of completion annually, and has been replicated in a number of other states across the country. Since 1996, he has been a professor in UF's department of wildlife ecology and conservation. He conducts an active research program on the behavioral ecology of Florida wildlife such as deer, panthers and wading birds from the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. He is considered an expert on coyotes in Florida.
While completing his master's degree, Marty was named one of Florida's John A. Knauss Marine Policy fellows. The competitive program places highly qualified graduate students in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government for one year. Marty was a legislative aide fellow, and worked with the congressional subcommittee that reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the federal legislation that ensures the sustainability of U.S. fisheries. He later served for two years as a physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Marty has authored or co-authored nearly three dozen articles in scientific journals, more than 50 articles in extension publications, and chapters in four books. In 2005 he was named the Conservation Educator of the Year by the Florida Wildlife Federation. He has been recognized with the National Wetlands Award in Education and Outreach by the Environmental Law Institute for extraordinary effort, innovation and excellence in wetlands education and conservation.
SAQIB MUKHTAR, PH. D. ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR EXTENSION AND AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS LEADER
Saqib Mukhtar is a professor in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at the University of Florida (UF). Since April 2015, he has served as associate dean for Extension and agricultural program leader in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at UF. Saqib provides leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of IFAS/Extension's major initiatives that address critical issues in Florida's food, agricultural and horticultural production systems. He guides Extension High Priority Initiative Teams to accomplish milestones and goals outlined in the IFAS Extension Roadmap in 67 counties and 12 research and education centers.
From 1998 to 2015, he was an Extension specialist in Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at Texas A&M University with statewide responsibilities in animal manure and process generated wastewater management education and research. Dr. Mukhtar holds a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in Pakistan (1981), a M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1989) in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University.
Nikki Wilson is the Office Assistant to Dr. Tim Momol, District Extension Director for the Central District of Extension, respectively. She composes and/or finalizes correspondence for the two directors, makes travel arrangements, and files reimbursement requests.
Nikki is responsible for the approval of time and leave for the Extension agents in the district, as well as the travel authorization requests and expense reports. She arranges and confirms faculty meetings and training with approximately 150 agents, confirming that the scheduling conflicts will be minimal. She handles the yearly reports as they are received from the counties.
Nikki ascertains that the Promotion and Tenure packets of the agents meet the guidelines of the University of Florida and IFAS. She prepares these packets for distribution to agents for voting and to other Extension personnel for their review of the packets. She is responsible for the communication between the agents and directors, either by phone, fax, or in person. Nikki assists the County Extension Directors with various other annual travel and training reports.
In addition, Nikki coordinates the interview schedules of prospective new agents for the Central District and, if necessary, corresponds with the candidates in relation to travel and lodging. Once an offer is made to the candidate and it is accepted, Nikki prepares and forwards the Letter of Offer and other employment paperwork to the new hire for his or her approval and signatures.
TIM MOMOL, PH. D. CENTRAL DISTRICT EXTENSION DIRECTOR
Tim Momol is the District Extension Director for the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Central Florida. Dr. Momol works closely with the Dean and Associate Dean of Extension and program leaders in 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, Agriculture, and Sea Grant / Natural Resources. Major emphasis is placed on hiring faculty, program development, implementation, evaluation, and county relations.
Dr. Momol received a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida. He worked at Akdeniz and Cornell Universities in research, extension and teaching. Since 1998, he served as a plant pathologist and extension specialist at the UF/IFAS, North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy. He developed integrated management systems for tomato diseases and lead the Florida Plant Diagnostic Network (FPDN) and the Plant Disease Clinic at NFREC, Quincy, FL.
ANITA NEAL, PH.D. SOUTHEAST DISTRICT EXTENSION DIRECTOR, FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
Dr. Anita Neal is the District Extension Director for the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Southeast Florida. Ms. Neal works closely with the Dean and Senior Associate Dean of Extension and program leaders in 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, Agriculture, Sea Grant / Natural Resources and Energy. Major emphasis is placed on hiring faculty, program development, implementation, evaluation, and county relations.
Dr. Neal grew up in upstate New York, learning horticulture from her father and uncle, who were avid gardeners. She received a Bachelor of Biology from State University of New York in 1979, a Master of Agriculture Degree in Education and Communication from the University of Florida in 2002 and a PhD in Entomology in 2018. She joined the University of Florida IFAS Extension as an Environmental Horticulture agent in St. Lucie County in 1995 and became the County Extension Director in 2002. Ms. Neal has a desire for knowledge and a passion to share expanded learning.
ERIC SIMONNE, PH. D. NORTHEAST DISTRICT EXTENSION DIRECTOR
Eric Simonne is the District Extension Director for the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Northeast Florida. Dr. Simonne works closely with the Dean and Associate Dean of Extension and program leaders in 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, Agriculture, and Sea Grant / Natural Resources. Major emphasis is placed on hiring and mentoring faculty, program development, implementation, evaluation, and county relations.
Dr. Simonne received an MS-equivalent degree in Agronomical Engineering from the Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Toulouse, France, and a PhD in Horticulture from the University of Georgia. He started his Extension career at the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University where he coordinated the vegetable variety trial program, conducted research in irrigation scheduling, and assisted growers with production issues for six years. Before taking on DED responsibilities, he was an Extension Specialist in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida focusing on integrated water and nutrient management and Best Management Practices for vegetable crops.
KEITH GOUIN DIRECTOR OF FINANCE FOR THE UF/IFAS EXTENSION ADMINISTRATION OFFICE
Keith Gouin is the Director of Finance for the UF/IFAS Extension Administration office. Keith works directly with the Dean and Associate Dean in the management of Extension resources, including budget development and administration.
KATHY HARTMAN FLORIDA 4-H
Kathy Hartman is the Business Manager for the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program. Kathy works directly for the Associate Dean for Extension and State Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities. She is responsible for the management of Florida 4-H resources, including budget development and administration. Kathy also is the liaison to the University of Florida’s Group Exemption for the County 4-H Associations.
CARREE MOSGROVE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION SERVICES
Carree serves as the day-to-day resource for development and management of Extension’s financial activity related to revenue and gifts for all 67 counties.
Sara covers a wide range of administrative office tasks and special projects. She can assist with general questions and is happy to direct you to the correct contact personnel.
AMBER BUSH ACCOUNTANT
Amber assists with managing revenue, cash, and foundation funds for each county. This includes providing training information, PCards, travel, deposits, taxes, bill pay, journal entries, and reconciliations.
MELANIE EDMONDSON PERSONNEL COORDINATOR, COUNTY OPERATIONS OFFICE
Melanie Edmondson is the Personnel Coordinator for the County Operations Office. She works closely with everyone in the County Operations Office, each District Director's office, and the Associate Dean for Extension, while coordinating personnel actions for over 350 people statewide. Melanie works as the liaison between the counties and larger human resources offices across campus--including IFAS HR, Academic Personnel, and Central Employment. In addition, she is your contact person for payroll inquiries and time entry issues.
Christy Huntley is the Grants Coordinator for IFAS Extension Extension Administration. She assists and advises Principal Investigators (PIs) on the interpretations and implementations of existing and new federal, agency, state, and university rules and regulations. Christy administers and manages grant funding under the prevue of the Dean and Associate Dean for Extension.
In addition, she oversees the fiscal dispensation of the Special Pesticide Certification Examination program, which is administered in all sixty-seven Florida counties to license limited and restricted pesticide applicators. She also prepares the state contributions report--Partners for Progress--that is disseminated to Florida Extension offices annually.
Christy holds a Bachelor's degree in Food & Resource Economics from the University of Florida.
ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN TRAVEL AND PCARD SPECIALIST, COUNTY OPERATIONS OFFICE
Elizabeth McLaughlin is the Travel and Pcard Specialist for County Operations for UF/IFAS Extension. Beth works directly with Charlotte Simmons--the Administrative Assistant for County Operations--and is responsible for approving travel authorizations and travel reports for all sixty-seven counties.
Beth is a UF alum of the College of Journalism and Communications.
KARRIE PATRICK ACCOUNTANT I
Karrie Patrick Is the Accountant for UF/IFAS Extension Administration. Karrie works directly with Charlotte Simmons, Administrative Assistant for UF/IFAS Extension. She manages the state appropriations by administering the budget and expensing the capacity funds for all sixty-seven counties in the great Sunshine State of Florida. Additionally, managing the assets, vehicle fleet, and PCard assignments. Karrie is the main Department Security Administrator and provides access to UF systems. Karrie holds a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management: Human Resources from Santa Fe College.
BECKY REDMOND SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR
Becky covers a wide range of administrative office tasks and special projects. She can assist with general questions and is happy to direct you to the correct contact personnel.