Emilio 'Sonny' Vergara
Sonny's a native Floridian, a former Marine helicopter pilot and veteran of the Vietnam War, and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications. He is former executive director of two of Florida's water management districts and a 4-county regional water supply authority. He lives in Spring Lake, FL., where he writes about and takes photographs of Florida, his home state.
Emilio Vergara owns and sells his work through his business, Skyshadow Photography. He is the winner of several major art festival awards and his work has been published in a number of publications.
He has served as a member of Leadership Florida Class XVIII, a member of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida , the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry, Chair of the Hernando County Fine Arts Council, and Charter Chair of the Friends of Weeki Wachee.
He was awarded the Marjorie Carr Award by the Florida Lake Management Society at the Society's Annual Conference in Daytona Beach on June 19, 2013. The Marjorie Carr Award is the Society’s highest award and is given for “life-time work on behalf of Florida's aquatic resources.” He joins an impressive list of earlier winners of the award including Senator Everett Kelly, former state legislator; Roy G. Harrell, former chair of the Southwest Florida Water Management District; and, Nathaniel Reed, former assistant U. S. secretary of Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and National Parks.
In 2012, Sonny received the 2012 Liberty Bell Award from the Hernando County Bar Association. The award is for those who have provided "exceptional service to the community." "It is presented to a layperson, a man or woman who has promoted better understanding of the rule of law, encouraged greater respect for law and the courts, stimulated a sense of civic responsibility, or contributed to good government in the community."
In November 2018, he published his first book, "FLORIDA! Images of Natural Florida" which sold out in a matter weeks. He is now working on a second photo book which he hopes to publish before Christmas 2019.