Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch has lived in Martin County since she was eleven months old. She considers herself a “native” although born at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California. In 1964, her father was serving as a United States Air Force Judge Advocate (JAG) Officer during the Vietnam War and Jacqui is proud to be an “Air Force brat.”
In 1952, her father’s (Tom Thurlow Jr.’s) family, moved from the brutal cold of Syracuse, New York, to the warmth of tropical Stuart, Florida. Her grandfather, Tom Thurlow Sr., was one of the first real estate attorneys in Stuart. He was a partner of Senator Evans Crary with the law firm Crary, Thurlow and Randolph before establishing his own practice, Thurlow and Thurlow, which is the family firm her father and her brother run today. Tom Sr.’s wife Jane was a home maker and member of the Stuart Garden Club.
Jacqui’s mother, historian and author, Sandra Henderson Thurlow, is a fifth generation Floridian. Jacqui’s maternal grandfather, J.R. Henderson, was a soil scientist in the Agriculture Department, taught at the University of Florida, and worked for UF/Institute of Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS). Mr. Henderson’s work included surveying the Florida Everglades, and the well-known 1939 publication “Soils of Florida.” His wife, Dot Henderson was a public school nutritionist.
Jacqui has a younger sister, Jenny Flaugh, who is married to Michael Flaugh, and a younger brother, Todd Thurlow, who is married to Deanna Wintercorn. Jenny and Mike have one daughter, Evie. Todd and Deanna have three daughters, Natalie, Mary, and Julia. All reside in Martin County as do Jacqui’s parents.
Jacqui lives in Sewall’s Point with her husband, Dr. Ed Lippisch and their dogs, Bo, Coyote, and Luna. Ed is an oral surgeon and owner of Lippisch and Engebretsen: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and has had a successful practice in Stuart for many years.
Jacqui’s Government Experience
Jacqui has served as a commissioner for the Town of Sewall’s Point since 2008. Her second term ends in November 2016. From July 2011 to November 2012, Jacqui served as the Town’s mayor. She is most proud of being part of the Town Commission when it:
Implemented a $3.2 million FEMA grant to raise houses in the flood zone which resulted in lower insurance costs for all homeowners within the flood zone (2008-Present)
Successfully negotiated with the Florida Department of Transportation and FPL to under-ground power lines along the AIA corridor (2010-2014)
Led the first strong fertilizer ordinance on Florida’s east coast (2010)
Assisted the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Martin County Board of County Commissioners in the designation of Bird Island as the first Critical Wildlife Area in the state of Florida in 20 years
For promoting the grassroots Sewall’s Point youth movement, River Kidz.
Other government appointments and service:
Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council; Vice Chair (2016), Town appointed (2014)
Florida League of Cities, Chair, Environmental and Energy Legislative Committee, (2013). Jacqui oversaw a committee of more than 50 state mayors and council members to establish statewide legislative priorities. Appointed by the president of the league.
Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments, Martin, St Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee elected officials meet for intergovernmental cooperation and promotion of regional issues. (2009-2014.) Chair 2011
South Florida Water Management District, Water Resources Advisory Commission, alternate member (2012-Present)) Business category
Senator Joe Negron’s Select Senate Hearing on Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee, Special Panel member, 2013. Spoke on behalf of the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
“Indian River Lagoon” blog. Jacqui writes a blog called “Indian River Lagoon, which has more than 4000 subscribers and is known by many state agencies and individuals throughout Florida. Her blog, as quoted by Florida Trend Magazine, “tracks algae growth, toxic plumes, and shares information and political commentary. Her aerial photographs provide evidence of environmental damage to the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.” She also writes about history, land use, other water-related issues and often features the work of leaders in these fields. Her blog is featured regularly in Eco-Voice Magazine, TreasureCoast.com and can be viewed online at http://www.jacquithurlowlippisch.com.
Natural Resources Leadership Institute, Class XV, University of Florida/IFAS. This year, Jacqui was recruited as one of only 20 individuals from throughout the state to participate in Class XV of the prestigious University of Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute. The program teaches leaders “how to facilitate participatory decision-making in the most controversial of situations.” Fellows visit multiple locations throughout the state over an eight month period to learn about issues affecting business and the environment in Florida.
Community and Regional Involvement:
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, Board of Directors (2013-2016)
Rivers Coalition Defense Fund, board member and Rivers Coalition Leadership Team. (member since 2011, ex-officio until 2016)
River Kidz (part of the Rivers Coalition), Volunteer administrator (2011-present)
Tourist Development Council, member (2011)
Treasured Lands Foundation, board of directors (2010-2012)
Realtors Association of Martin County, board of directors (2006-2007)
Martin County High School, Class of 1982, Vice President Alumni
Florida Blue Key, University of Florida, an honorary leadership organization (1986)
Delta Gamma Sorority, Gamma Theta (1982, life member)
Sewall’s Point Cultural Committee, founding member (2008-2010)
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Marine Mammal volunteer (2011-2014)
Martin Cares, graduate (2008)
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (lifetime member)
Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR)
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism & Communications, University of Florida, 1986
Bachelor of Arts, German, University of Florida, 1994
Master of Arts, Curriculum and Development, College of Education, University of West Florida, 1999
Lived in Los Angeles California, studied acting, worked part-time at John LaRocca Talent Agency, and waitressed to supplement income, 1986-1989
Lived in East and West Germany, studied German, taught English in private and public schools, and worked in restaurants to supplement income, 1990-1993.
Jacqui’s early professional career including teaching German and English in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Pensacola High School in Pensacola, Florida where she taught both IB students as well as at-risk students. (1994-1996)
After three years in Pensacola, she returned to her hometown of Stuart and taught English at Murray Middle School (1997), Stuart Middle School (1998-2000) and then German and English at South Fork High School (2001)
In 2001, due to a falling accident, Jacqui broke her neck. If not for the quick response of Bennett Richardson and the Martin County Fire Department rescue team, Jacqui believes she would be paralyzed today. It was her difficult rehabilitation that taught her determination and resiliency, traits that characterize her today. Due to her condition, Jacqui left the teaching profession in 2002, and pursued a different career, training to become a real-estate professional and joining the Patrick Stracuzzi Real Estate Team. She later worked for Life Style Realty specializing in seniors and then, in 2010, joined Water Pointe Realty Group in Sewall’s Point. Selling real estate through the boom and bust years taught Jacqui valuable lessons. She continues to hold a real estate license at Lifestyle Realty Group, owner/broker Maria Well, President, Florida Realtors, 2017.
Jacqui’s Awards and Recognitions
Everglades Coalition’s “John V. Kabler Award” for Grassroots Activism. This award was given for Jacqui’s work to organize and educate the public about Everglades restoration efforts including the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon (2015)
Conservation Award from the National Daughter of the American Revolution. Awarded at Halpatiokee Chapter, Stuart, Florida, 2015
“Wings Award” for advocacy of Marine Mammals of the Indian River Lagoon from the Pegasus Foundation, 2013
“Realtor of the Year” award from the Realtors Association of Martin County, 2007
Woman of Distinction nominee (three times), Soroptimist International of Stuart
Environmental Stewardship Award nominee in the Unsung Hero category, Keep Martin Beautiful
Burl Long Award, from the University of Florida/IFAS Natural Resources Leadership Institute, Class XV. The award is a peer award, presented each year to the classmate who has shown the most growth and use of NRLI concepts and tools, incorporating conflict management and collaborative decision-making into their work and changed the most as a result of their NRLI experience (2016)
Albert Tuttle Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Indian River Lagoon, Marine Resources Council, Brevard County, (2016)
(From Jacqui is Rooted in Our Community, Firefly Group, 2016)