A native North Carolinian and a resident of Florida since 1990, Phil has lived in the Florida Keys since 1999. A graduate Chemist from North Carolina State University with an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Phil spent his entire professional career of more than 40 years in the global chemical industry in numerous technical and executive positions. After working several years in chemical application, he entered the chemical development and manufacturing industry with BASF. He later was a partner in a start up operations for Boehme Filatex, Inc. and retired as its president in 2008 after 27 years.
Since his retirement, Phil has used his chemical experience in numerous volunteer and governmental efforts where chemical environmental impacts are of concern. This included joining the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary where he was a volunteer deployed during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Phil currently serves as the head of the Auxiliary’s Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Program in District 7 which spans South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and the Caribbean. Phil also currently serves as a member of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and The Marine and Port Advisory Committee. Phil is also a Monroe County, FL (county wide elected) Commissioner of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, in his second term where he currently serves as Board Chair.
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is now considered one the leading mosquito control districts in the US and world wide. The Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries Zika and other mosquito borne diseases is a major concern in parts of the Florida Keys. Being at the tip of South Florida and having a sub tropical climate, Zika and other mosquito borne diseases are a major concern. This District was the site of the first US dengue fever oubreaks in decades in 2009 and 2010. Conventional methods of mosquito control, including pesticides, have shown limited effectiveness over this dangerous mosquito. There are a number of emerging technologies that offer promise to increase efficacy of control and are being evaluated by The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. Some of these are seen as a real paradigm shift in future mosquito control programs and have been met with objection by various environmental groups and have become political issues. For the past six years, this District and Phil have been on the front lines of these discussions and actions thereby gaining much insight into these issues. Many of these issues and lessons learned in these processes will be discussed in this lecture.