2020 Distinguished Service Award

Sally Lieb

Sally Lieb

Distinguished Service Award

Sally Lieb consistently demonstrates the department's values in all her interactions with others and in her relentless pursuit to achieve our mission. Sally has been a passionate and dedicated leader for her entire Florida Park Service career.

Starting in 1993 as the wildlife care supervisor at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and then promoting up to important management positions, Sally has made significant contributions to the protection of natural and cultural resources while enthusiastically providing resource-based recreation to thousands of visitors.

Sally brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, having earned a Bachelor of Science in biology with distinction from Pennsylvania State University and working at five separate springs parks. She combines her knowledge and skills with outstanding experience to be incredibly effective in her current position as park manager at Silver Springs State Park.

Silver Springs State Park is one of Florida's most significant springs and has the distinction of having the highest long-term average historic flow of any spring in the United States. Sally has made significant contributions to achieving the goals of getting the water right and increasing access to state parks. Sally works directly with outside groups advocating for springs protection and is often called on to interpret the importance of natural and cultural resources to the public.

Not only does Sally advocate for springs stewardship but she is a highly motivated practitioner of natural resource preservation and restoration. She is one of the elite managers who can manage high visitation challenges and still prioritize, coordinate and implement an effective prescribed fire program. Sally is active as a burn boss and has personally been responsible for increasing the prescribed fire program at the park, resulting in a significant reduction of backlog fire type acres. She has also prioritized exotic plant removal of areas that had been neglected for years. Sally trained and focused staff on several projects that resulted in large restorations.

In addition to transforming the natural resources and despite monumental challenges, Sally provided extraordinary leadership and oversaw the transition of the former Silver Springs attraction into a state park we can all be proud of. Sally worked closely with Palace Entertainment employees and multiple city, county, state and federal agencies on countless details, and she managed to do so with a positive attitude. Sally spent long hours handling complex and overwhelming details such as the development of an exhaustive property inventory, coordinating the restoration of glass bottom boats, contracting with a new concessionaire, managing repair projects, unit management planning details, hiring new staff, interpreting natural and cultural resources, running interference among many diverse interests, managing a friends group and coordinating a new signage program.

Of all her important contributions, Sally's greatest impact that benefits the department is her ability to keep staff upbeat and positive during challenging times. Sally goes out of her way to recognize and appreciate staff and volunteers for all they continue to accomplish, day after day. She listens to everyone's input and makes them feel a valued member of the team. She is a mentor and motivator to her entire staff. Through it all, Sally maintains her sense of humor, her love of the resources and her dedication to the mission. Sally is a true asset to the Florida Park Service!

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded annually to recognize contributions that require a high degree of personal initiative, professionalism, leadership, effort or skill; must represent a significant benefit to the division; and must be made on a voluntary or special assignment basis completely above and beyond the requirements of the employee's position description.

2020 Florida State Parks Division Award Winners 

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