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Bret A. Smith; B.S., C.E.H.P.

Environmental Administrator; Osceola County Health Department

Kissimmee, FL. 34741

Biography:

Bret A. Smith currently serves as the Environmental Administrator for the Osceola County Health Department, in Kissimmee, Florida. He began his career as a Robotics Programmer/Engineer in Kokomo, Indiana. He soon had the desire to share his knowledge and experience by teaching. This lasted 16 years in which he taught High School Physics, Chemistry and Biology. In 1996, he had the desire to serve the public in a much larger arena. He started with the Osceola County Health Department as an Environmental Health Specialist and soon climbed the ladder to Environmental Supervisor and Assistant Environmental Health Director. He was given the job as Environmental Administrator in 2006. He has earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Heritage College in 1986.

In his many years of service, he has been awarded a number of awards including Teacher of the Year Awards and many Public Health awards, but none of these have been more rewarding than the opportunity to serve as an EPHLI Fellow in Cohort V and as a servant of his local community.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

I will have to admit I desired for years to be part of EPHLI but never submitted my application paperwork; but little did I know what I was getting into. This has been an extremely hard year with the work, reading and research while still trying to maintain my workload. With all that being said it has also been the most rewarding and beneficial thing I have ever done. The sessions and sharing have been a real learning experience and the mentors, coaches and instructors have been outstanding. EPHLI has completely changed the way I view Public Health and has shown me how to focus on finding solutions. It has also shown me how to communicate with people and understand their views and input as well. When I started in EPHLI

I had just started our PACE-EH project and it appeared to be slowly creeping along. When I began to apply the things I was learning the project began to explode. By applying the techniques that I learned from EPHLI, I now know why I began a career in Public Health. The daily results and lives changed have been truly rewarding. If I were asked to do it again, I would jump at the opportunity. EPHLI has trained and equipped me to be a better leader, public servant, and most of all a better person. Finally I am truly grateful to the dedicated EPHLI staff, instructors, my mentor and Team Keene for their support and encouragement through this very valuable program.