Meet Our Board

The Board of Trustees of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is made up of community leaders who are representative of the communities that we serve.  As Trustees, they are responsible for the mission, direction, and policies of the organization. Trustees represent the Board to the community and they represent the community to the Board – they are our public ambassadors. Trustees approve all grants made by the Community Foundation and ensure that the organization meets all laws and legal requirements.


Guy E. Whitesman is a shareholder and chair of the Business and Tax Department of the law firm of Henderson, Franklin Starnes & Holt, P.A., in Fort Myers, Florida. Guy received his B.A. (1978) and J.D. (1981) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his Master of Laws in Taxation (1985) from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is an active member of the Tax Section of The Florida Bar and will be its Chair Elect on July 1, 2009. Guy has been board certified in Tax law since 1992. He is a past chairman of the Tax Certification Committee which oversees the board certification process in tax law. Guy concentrates his practice in the areas of taxation, business and estate planning (business creation, operations, acquisitions, mergers and health care law). He frequently writes and speaks on issues regarding taxation, business, and estate planning to members of the public as well as to accountants and attorneys in professional education courses.

Guy has been active in community affairs in Southwest Florida and became a member of the Foundation Board in July, 2009. He has served as a Director and Past President of the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties, as a founding Trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southwest Florida, as Director and Past President of the of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, and as a Trustee Emeritus and Past President of the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. Guy is currently a member of the Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc.

Prior to moving to Fort Myers in 1986, Guy served as a criminal defense attorney with the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was engaged in the private practice of law in Miami. He is married to Ilene Safron, and has a son, Joseph Samuel and a daughter, Jena Morgan.


Joining the Foundation Board in July 2009, Larry brings with him experience and knowledge received from the medical field since 1985. A native of Illinois, Larry attend the University of Miami-School of Medicine with his internal medicine internship at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. He was bestowed with the Lange Publications Award for outstanding achievement as a medical student. His residency in emergency medicine was at the University Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and is a Fellow American College of Emergency Physician member. Presently, Larry is with the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center where he is an Emergency Physician.

Other professional areas Larry is or has been involved with are:

  • Medical Director Emergency Department, Gulf Coast Medical Center
  • President of the southwest Florida Emergency Physicians, P.A.
  • Managing Partner, UCC of SW Florida, LLC
  • Board of Directors, Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
  • Medical Executive Committee, Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
  • Medical Executive Committee, Gulf Coast Medical Center

Larry has been affiliated with and is active in many membership organizations:

  • Member of American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Delegate to the American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Member of the Florida College Emergency Physicians
  • Board of Directors, FCEP. Also has served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer
  • President and on the Board of Governors, Lee County Medical Society
  • Member of the Florida Medical Association
  • Vice Chair of the Medical Economics, FMA and served as a delegate
  • Member of Lee County Medical Society and served as it’s President

Larry is an accomplished musician with his own band and loves golf, boating and sailing with his wife, Debra, and three children, Angelina, Pierce and Spencer.


Joe Mazurkiewicz is the President of BJM Consulting, Inc., a firm that specializes in local government activities. Elected as Mayor of Cape Coral, Florida, in 1983 and serving for ten years, he led the City in its attempt to change from a bedroom community to an urban center. Presently, Joe works on a variety of local issues ranging from land use cases to incorporation studies, and his company has completed incorporation studies for numerous areas in Southwest Florida.

Joe attended the University of Florida where he studied engineering and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Administration from Barry University, a Masters of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Public Administration Cum Laude from Stamford Hill University. Presently, he is a MBA facilitator at Keiser University’s Fort Myers campus.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board of Trustees asked Mr. Mazurkiewicz to join them in 2003, and the Asset Development Committee as well as the Strategic Planning Committee have benefited from his professional knowledge and experience.

Currently, Joe also serves as Trustee Member of the Ruth Cooper Center for Behavioral Health Care Board, Executive Director of the Council for Progress Foundation, Board Member of Gulf Coast Village, Board member for the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Lee Memorial Community Visioning Committee and Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Leadership Initiative. In the past, he has been Chairman for the Leadership Cape Coral Class of 2000, appointed to serve on the Florida Transportation Commission in 2008 by Governor Charlie Crist and served as Chairman in 2011, and was a member of Lee County’s Local Planning Agency.

Joe and his wife, Heather, have five daughters and two grandsons and reside in Cape Coral, Florida.


Sandy is President for the Fort Myers office of Northern Trust which he joined in 2006. Prior to that he was with Fifth Third Bank in Naples, Florida, where he served at Vice President and team leader in the commercial real estate division.

He mastered a range of disciplines within the financial arena during his twenty six year career with NBD Bank and in 1993 was selected to fulfill a newly created position as Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer.

Sandy received a degree in History from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

He serves on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America – Southwest Florida Council, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Habitat for Humanity – Lee County, Hope Hospice, Princeton Club of Southwest Florida, the Uncommon Friends Foundation and the United Way of Lee County; he is also a member of the Lee Cancer Care Advisory Board.

Sandy and his wife, Patty, reside in Bonita Springs


Craig Folk is a CPA and Shareholder in the firm Miller, Helms & Folk. He has a BS from Vanderbilt and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Craig has been in practice in Fort Myers for the past twenty-one years. Prior to joining Miller Helms & Folk, he practiced with Price Waterhouse Coopers in Fort Myers and Arthur Andersen in Miami. Craig has served on numerous boards in the past and is currently on the boards of The United Way of Lee County and The Harry Chapin Food Bank.


Chris joined Wells Fargo Advisors in September 2015, and has built a specialized advisory business focusing on high net worth individuals and foundations and endowments.

He works in conjunction with his team and Wells Fargo Private Bank to provide holistic financial advice across banking, investments, lending, estate planning and philanthropy.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo Advisors, Chris worked for seven years at J.P. Morgan. He started his tenure at the firm’s Investment Bank, working in its Mergers and Acquisitions group, where he focused on transactions in the energy and biotech sectors.  He joined the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in 2009, covering ultra-high net worth clients at the bank’s global headquarters in New York.  In 2010, he moved to South Florida to expand the practice there, where he managed a nearly $2 billion book of business.

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Chris earned his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and MA in International Studies via the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors.

Prior to attending graduate school, Chris worked with European banks Banco Espirito Santo and BNP Paribas, serving high net worth individuals across Latin America.

Chris completed his undergraduate studies at Barry University, where he was in the honors program and received degrees in Economics/Finance and International Business.

Chris lives with his girlfriend Iana, and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his first child, J.R, in December.  He has been a Trustee of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation for the past three years, where he chairs the Scholarship Committee and sits on the Socially Responsible Investing Task Force.  He is an avid CrossFitter, olympic lifter and obstacle course race enthusiast, and has a 1-0 amateur muay thai record.


Rusty is a founding member of Wiltshire, Whitley, Richardson & English, PA, a full-service accounting firm offering a comprehensive range of business and personal accounting services. He is a shareholder, member of the company’s board of directors and partner in charge of tax services.

Raised in Winter Haven, Rusty graduated from Stetson University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He joined the team of Taylor, Edenfield, Gilliam & Wiltshire, Southwest Florida’s largest accounting firm. Following the business’s acquisition by Coopers & Lybrand, a corporation recognized as one of the world’s “Big 8” accounting firms, Rusty became the partner in charge of tax services for the Southwest Florida operations. In 1989, he and three colleagues formed a partnership and founded WWRE.

Rusty is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). He is a former Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) with the Center for Fiduciary Studies. Rusty has been a seminar leader for accounting professionals and isWWRE’s continuing education coordinator.

He has a strong community commitment and contributes time and expertise to a range of organizations and charitable groups. He became a member of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board of Trustees in July 2009. Rusty is a director and past president of the Uncommon Friends Foundation; past chairman of the board of the Charles A. and Ann Morrow Lindbergh Foundation and secretary-treasurer of its support group, the Earth Shine Institute, which he helped establish. He is a past president of the Bonita Springs Speakers Assembly; treasurer of Classic Basketball Inc., the organization that coordinates the annual City of Palms Classic; and is a former member of the finance committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. He currently serves as a director, and is past president of the Boy Scouts of America, Southwest Florida Council. His volunteer work with scouting, which includes participation as vice president of both the finance and endowment executive committees, began as a troop leader for eight years when his sons were Cub Scouts. Four of the eight scouts in his troop went on to become Eagle Scouts. Rusty was named Distinguished Citizen of the year by the Southwest Florida Council of Boy Scouts in 2005 and was named an Honorary Lifetime member of the Uncommon Friends Foundation in 2007.


Robbie is the President, Director and Co-Founder of Edison National Bank and Bank of the Islands located in Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Florida.  The bank was founded by Robbie and her husband, Geoffrey Roepstorff in 1997.  Robbie is the principle representative and spokesperson for the financial institution and is a member of the bank’s Board of Directors and its Holding Company.

Robbie graduated in December, 1973 from the University of North Alabama where she earned degrees in sociology and political science. Her college leadership and business accomplishments earned her the 2004 University of North Alabama Alumni of the Year.  With just over 40 years of banking experience, Robbie began her banking career in January, 1974 as a teller in her hometown of Florence, Alabama and moved to Southwest Florida in 1977.

Mrs. Roepstorff currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Florida Gulf Coast University, Immediate Past Chair, Director and Executive Committee member of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Chair of the Healthy Lee Steering Committee, Trustee and Executive Committee member for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, a business representative for the Sanibel School Advisory Council, a voting member and past Chair of the Horizon Council, and serves on the board of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Airports Special Management Committee, appointed by the Lee County Board of Commissioners.

Mrs. Roepstorff is also an investor and a past President of the Horizon Council Foundation, a past Chair of Hospice of Lee County, a past President of the American Heart Association (Lee County Division), a past President and member of the Real Estate Investment Society, former Director of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, and has served on Lee County’s Junior Achievement Hall of Fame Advisory Board.

Mrs. Roepstorff has received the following recognitions: 2014-2015 Person of the Year by the News-Press Media Group, 2014-2015 PBS/npr WGCU Makers: Women Who Make Southwest Florida, 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horizon Council, 2012 Honorary Lifetime Member Award by the Uncommon Friends Foundation, 2010 “Bankers of the Year”, (a state-wide recognition from the Florida Bankers Association with her husband, Geoff), 2008 Paulette Burton Lee County Citizen of the Year award, one of Gulfshore Life Magazine’s 2008 Women of the Year, 2006 Junior Achievement Business Leadership Hall of Fame Laureate Award, 2004 National Philanthropy Award for Outstanding Small Business in Lee County, 2004 University of North Alabama Alumni of the Year, 2004 Sanibel-Captiva Chamber Citizen of the Year, and 2002 Athena Award.  Mrs. Roepstorff, by invitation, is a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Mrs. Roepstorff resides on Sanibel Island with her husband, Geoffrey Roepstorff.  They have one son, Matthew, an attorney with the Pavese Law Firm who resides in Fort Myers, and are all members of St. Michaels Lutheran Church.


Gay Rebel Thompson is CEO, President, and Chairman of Cement Industries, Inc., a construction products manufacturing company founded by her father nearly 60 years ago in Fort Myers. A fourth generationFloridian, Gay has been involved in the community for many years. She was the first female president of the Downtown Rotary Club and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. She has served as Campaign Chair and Chair of the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades. She is the Board Secretary of the PACE Center for Girls and is a founding member of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund where she currently serves on the Executive Committee. In 2003, Gay was recognized as a Laureate by Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. She recently completed a six-year term on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Miami Branch.


A board certified dermatologist, Dr. Badia opened Florida Skin Center in July 2001, just after completing her dermatology training in Albany, N.Y. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, a doctorate of osteopathic medicine from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a doctorate of medicine from University of Health Sciences Antigua School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency and a pediatric dermatology mini fellowship at Miami Children’s Hospital, and a dermatology residency at Albany Medical College. She is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology.

Dr. Badia sits on the national osteopathic pediatric dermatology certification board. She has been recognized locally with the Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board Volunteer of the Year and nationally with the Congressional Medal of Distinction. She is a regular lecturer at the Miami Children’s Hospital Pediatric Postgraduate Course and is a national speaker for the American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine. She also lectures nationally and locally on a variety of dermatology topics and is published in leading dermatology and pediatric journals.


Juan D. Bendeck is a partner with the Naples law firm Hahn & Loeser.  He focuses his practice in estate planning, estate administration and asset protection planning. He formulates and drafts tax-efficient estate plans for his clients, including more advanced and novel estate planning techniques geared toward lessening estate and gift tax liability. His practice includes the administration of complex wills and trusts. Additionally, Juan works with physicians and other professionals interested in asset protection planning. Juan also assists his clients with the creation of entities (such as corporations and limited liability companies) started for a variety of reasons, such as a new business or for liability protection.

Juan is a lifelong resident of Southwest Florida and is actively involved in the community. He is a member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Planned Giving Committee, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Planned Giving Committee, and he also serves on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and the Florida Humanities Council. He is also a member of the Council of Hispanic Business Professionals; born in Spain, Juan is fluent in Spanish.

Among his accomplishments, in 2008 Juan was chosen as one of Gulfshore Business magazine’s “40 Under 40.” This award is given out to the most influential rising business stars in the Southwest Florida community. Juan and his wife, Enas, are one of the few couples to have ever both won the award.


Carolyn Conant, former Director of Budgets for the Turner Corporation, joined the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board in 2013. Carolyn earned her M.A. from the University of Chicago, majoring in Social Science and Urban Studies and her B.A. from Indiana University.

Carolyn is very well known in the community for spearheading various projects, including:

  • Cape Coral Pike Ped – Led the volunteer effort whose mission is to interconnect bike lanes, paths and sidewalks in Cape Coral, FL. The project raised funds to interconnect over 90 miles of pathways which will be completed by the end of 2014
  • Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Directors – Was instrumental in implementing ‘new urbanism’ Master Plan for expanded downtown area, revising building codes, grants to small businesses for improvements, etc.
  • GreensCape – Co-chair of volunteer landscaping organization that raised funds and landscaped City of Cape Coral medians on Del Prado Blvd. between Cape Coral Parkway and Hancock Bridge Parkway; on Hancock Bridge Parkway from entrance to City to Del Prado Blvd., and memorial medians with fountain at Cape Coral Parkway entrance to city; as well as developing a Master Plan adopted by City of Cape Coral to continue landscaping medians within the city and maintaining them.

Carolyn has received various awards for her involvement in our community including:

  • 2014 Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Service Award – Attraction Honorable Mention
  • BikeWalkLee 2013 Complete Streets Champion of the Year Award
  • Certificate of Appreciation – City of Cape Coral Redevelopment Agency for Holiday Decorations Project
  • LeeScape Roadway Enhancement Program Dedication Ceremony for GreensCape beautification project
  • Garden Club of Cape Coral Honorary Membership Award for GreensCape beautification project
  • Hometown Hero Award for GreensCape by Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce


Patricia Dobbins is the Administrator of the Health Departments in the rural counties of Hendry and Glades and joined the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board in July 2009. Ms. Dobbins was appointed to this Leadership position after 18 years as the Executive Community Health Nursing Director.

Ms. Dobbins has practiced Professional Nursing for 35 years in a variety of settings. Her practice included working for the Veteran’s Administration; working at both urban and rural hospital settings; as a Nurse Educator for 15 years in a public school district and as an entrepreneur owning her own business.

Ms. Dobbins serves on numerous local, regional, and state boards/committees/task forces/coalitions as an advocate and voice for rural uninsured or underinsured, and rural health disparities. She has served in leadership roles for the Florida Association of Public Health Nurses (FAPHN), the Florida Public Health Association (FPHA), and has received a Public Health Nursing Leadership Award; she is an alumnus of the University of South Florida Public Health Leadership Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows program, and the National Rural Health Association Fellows program. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and is on the School of Nursing’s Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Florida Rural Health Association; serves as a trustee for the SWF Community Foundation, serves on the Healthy Start Board, Hendry/Glades Mental Health Board, and the AHEC Board.


Kevin Erwin is a certified ecosystem ecologist specializing in wetland and watershed evaluation, restoration and management.  Since 1980 he has served as the President and Principal Ecologist of Kevin L. Erwin Consulting Ecologist, Inc. in Ft. Myers, Florida.  His work has focused on large-scale wetland restoration, watershed evaluation and management to improve the functional capacity of wetlands to implement source water protection, mitigate the impacts of climate change and alleviate poverty and water related diseases in more than fifty countries.

Kevin is a guest faculty member of Florida Gulf Coast University’s College of Arts and Sciences.  He is currently a member of the Ramsar Scientific & Technical Review Panel filling the thematic expert post on wetland restoration, mitigation and management, a recent member of Wetland International’s Supervisory Council (2000-11), the coordinator of Wetlands International’s Wetland Restoration Specialist Group, a board member of Teen Challenge of Southwest Florida and a member of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board of Trustees.


Chauncey Goss was raised in Southwest Florida with a deep interest in the community and public policy. He has enjoyed a rich and varied career that ranges from being the Executive Director of a small, but influential non-profit in SW Florida to working for the President’s Office of Management and Budget to becoming the Deputy Staff Director of the House Budget Committee under Paul Ryan to starting his own firm in SW Florida that provides budget forecasting and analysis. He received a BA from Rollins College and Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Chauncey was also raised in a family that embraces public and volunteer service. He serves on the Sanibel City Council where he is the Council liaison to the Planning Commission and the Horizon Council. Chauncey is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Canterbury School in Ft. Myers.  He is also on the Boards of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee, the Lee Coast MOAA Foundation, the Freedom and Virtue Institute, and the Main Street Growth Project. He is a member of the Sanibel Captiva Kiwanis and the Sanibel Community Church.

Chauncey is married to Allison Goss and they live on Sanibel with their three sons.


Dennie Hamilton is Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LCEC), a position to which he was named in July 2007. He received a B.S. in Radiation Protection Engineering and M. Eng. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as an M.B.A. from Tulane University. At LCEC he leads a team focused on providing reliable electricity and quality customer service at the lowest reasonably achievable price to over 200,000 customers in portions of five counties in Southwest Florida.

Dennie serves as Chair of the Horizon Council (Lee County) and will become President of the Horizon Foundation in 2015. He also is Board Chair of the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council and sits on the Board of the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance. Dennie actively supports the United Way, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, American Lung Association and Keep Lee County Beautiful. He has been named Chair for the Lee County Heart Walk in 2015, is a charter member of the Tiger Bay Club of Southwest Florida and a former Board member of the Arkansas Children’s Museum.

Prior to their moving to Southwest Florida in 2005, Dennie worked in and lived with his wife (Priscilla) and daughter (Olivia) in New Orleans, Little Rock and Houston.


A native of Fort Myers, Florida, Archie B. Hayward was educated in the Lee County schools—graduating in 1976 from North Fort Myers High School and later obtaining his Associate of Arts degree from Edison Community College. He went on to complete his Bachelor’s degree in 1980 at the University of Florida where he also was awarded the Juris Doctor in 1983.

Licensed by the Florida Bar since 1984, he was also admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. Since 2000, Archie Hayward has served as a staff attorney with Florida Rural Legal Service where he provided leadership for the Senior Advocacy Project. Prior to this appointment, he operated a solo practice for nine years where he handled court appointed criminal conflict cases for the County Court Administrator’s Office. From 1984-89, he worked with the Public Defenders Office of the 20th Judicial Circuit managing felony, juvenile, misdemeanor, and traffic. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Hayward occasionally serves as an adjunct paralegal instructor with Edison College where he is a member of the Paralegal Advisory Committee. Presently, he serves as a Judge for the Lee County Court.

Ever concerned with his local community, he has worked as a volunteer Child Support Hearing Officer for the County Court Administration Office of the 20th Judicial Circuit. In addition, he is a member and secretary to the Board of Trustees of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center and holds memberships in the Lee County Bar Association, Isaac Anderson Bar Association, and Downtown Rotary Club of Fort Myers Incorporated.


Jung was named president of the News-Press Media Group in August 2015. Prior to joining the News-Press, he held the same position with the Idaho Statesman, a McClatchy newspaper. Before joining the Statesman, Jung was the publisher at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. His newspaper career includes stints in the Bay Area, Akron, southern California and Florida with notable companies like Knight Ridder, McClatchy, Gannett and Media News. He is a graduate of San Jose State University and was awarded with a McCormick Fellowship. He is active in the community serving as the immediate past board chair for United Way and previously served on the board of directors for the Boise Metro Chamber, Idaho Business for Education, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Idaho Food Bank.


Hugh Kinsey is a Fort Myers native, and is an attorney and partner at Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A. in Fort Myers, Florida. Hugh earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida, and has practiced law in his hometown for over 20 years. Hugh focuses his practice on real estate, estate planning, estate and trust administration, guardianship, and real estate and probate litigation.

Hugh has worked closely with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation during his career. He has personally assisted clients in the funding of gifts to the Foundation. In addition, Hugh has served in various Grants Advisory capacities, and currently is a member of Grants Advisory Board. Hugh is particularly proud to note that the retired senior partner of his law firm, John W. Sheppard, and his uncle, Tom Smoot, Jr., are two of the original three founders of the Foundation.

Hugh’s wife, Dr. Terri Kinsey, is the Grants Coordinator for the Lee County School District. Their daughter, Heidi, is a fourth grader at Allen Park Elementary School. In his spare time, Hugh enjoys fishing and Gator sports.


Howard Leland has been a Vietnam War pilot, an international pilot for Northwest Airlines, and a trainer of new pilots. He currently serves as an Elder and Treasurer for the Church of the Cross in Fort Myers and is an Advisory Board member of Teen Challenge of Southwest Florida. Howard is also a long-time supporter of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

Alan Mandel

Alan Mandel, serves as CEO/President, Good Wheels, Inc, a non – profit corporation providing transportation to the disadvantaged in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. Formerly, Vice-President of Operations for Jacobsons Stores, after 27 years with Jacobsons, and Board Member of the Jacobsons Realty Corporation; a Board Member of Comerica Bank Ann Arbor, Alan, with his wife Carla, permanently moved to their Fort Myers Beach home.

A long time volunteer, having served as the Chair of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, President of the State Street Merchants Association, Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Michigan Merchants Association, and Chair of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Alan was appointed to the Fort Myers Beach Land Planning Agency May 200;, in 2010 Alan was elected to his first term on Town Council, then served as Acting Mayor, and Mayor beginning March 2013-2014; and is currently completing his second term on Council.

Alan serves on the Tax and Finance Committee of the Florida League of Cities, is a Board Member of the Horizon County, and is a Board Member of the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), as well as Chair of the Transportation Disadvantaged Committee of the MPO, and the Transportation Committee of the Southwest Florida Planning Organization.

Alan has been and will continue to be an advocate for maintaining the quality of the Caloosahatchee River, Gulf of Mexico and bay waters; viable flood insurance rates for our community and State, and meeting the transportation needs of the disadvantaged as well as the community at large.


Gail graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland College of Business and Management and is the founding partner of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A.

Gail has extensive experience in litigation services, mediation and forensic accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Financial Planner, is Accredited in Business Valuation, Certified in Financial Forensics from the American Institute of CPAs, is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, and a Registered Investment Advisor. Gail has been recognized for being an outstanding community leader on several occasions.

Professional Affiliations:
• American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
• Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA)
• Institute of Certified Financial Planners (CFP)
• Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
• Association of Family Law Professionals (AFLP)
• Association of Family Court and Community Professionals (AFCC)
• Founder of the Lee County PACE Center for Girls, Former Chair of the Board
• Lee County Industrial Development Authority Advisory Board, Former Chair of the Board
• Leadership Lee County – Charter Class and Charter Steering Committee
• Leadership Southwest Florida – Charter Class
• The Chamber of Southwest Florida, Former Chair of the Board
• Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, Former Chair of the Board

Awards and Recognitions:
• Firm recipient of “Best of Business, Best Accounting Firm” by Gulfshore Business in 2013 and 2016
• Firm recipient of the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Best Places to Work by Florida Trend Magazine
• 2013 Laureate for the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in Lee County
• Recipient of the 2013 SWFL Makers Award by WGCU
• Named the 2011 Woman of the Year by Gulfshore Life Magazine
• Named the 2010 Philanthropist of the Year by Gulfshore Life Magazine
• Firm recipient of the 2010 Top 500 Businesses by Gulf Coast Business Review
• Firm recipient of the 2010 Business Ethics Award, Uncommon Friends Foundation
• Firm recipient of the 2009 Small Business of the Year, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce
• Recipient of the 2008 Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce APEX Award
• Firm recipient of 2008 Collier County, Best Places to Work from the Economic Development Council
• Honored by Florida Department of State in recognition of outstanding service to the SWFL Community
• Recipient of the Athena Award, 2000
• Firm recipient of the 2000 Innovation Award by Practical Accountant magazine
• Firm recipient of the 1999 State of Florida Blue Chip Award


Born and raised in New York City, Moon graduated from Amherst College and the Harvard Business School. After business school he served as an Assistant Treasurer at the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in New York City. During that time, he engaged in a variety of community based educational and health activities which led him to a career shift from banking to the nonprofit sector. From 1975 to 1990 he was Vice President and Treasurer of Pomona College. Pomona College is the founding institution of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five independent colleges. As a consequence, administrative work there focussed on collaboration and partnership.  In that timeframe he was active with the California accrediting body (WASC) rewriting the financial and governance standards for college and university accreditation. In 1990, he opened the west coast office of Cambridge Associates, the national consulting firm serving the investment and endowment management needs of large nonprofits across the US. His consulting clients focused on west coast colleges, universities and foundations.

After leaving Cambridge in the late 1990s, Moon worked as a director of The Surdna Foundation in New York City.  He was a director for 20 years, chair for 6, and chairman of the Investment Committee for his full tenure there. He helped transform the foundation from a low key family foundation to a professionally managed one, noted by field building, collaboration with other national funders, and partnering with grantees.  In addition to grant making activities, Surdna had founded two operating nonprofits (a residential treatment center for learning challenged youth and a retirement home) which Moon helped transform to self sustaining, locally managed institutions.  The Foundation held extensive timber assets in California which Moon managed.  Consistent with Surdna’s environmental grant making program goals, Moon developed sustainable forestry practices and positioned the foundations timber assets as a demonstration model for others in the business.  As chair of the Investment Committee, he sought to bridge the gap between the separation that exists between grantmaking and endowment investing.  These efforts helped encourage grant making to be more strategic and business like on one hand, and helped locate endowment investment opportunities which could support the Foundation’s overall mission and program goals on the other.

Moon has served on numerous nonprofit boards over his career in Southern and Northern CA and Maine. He continues to be active in many causes, notably environmental sustainability and energy issues, human and civil rights, and finding strategies for local communities to be healthy and sustainable.  He has two daughters, each of whom has three sons.  In addition to living in Florida, he has a house on the coast of Maine.


President and Chief Executive Officer

Sarah Owen, president & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to driving regional change for the common good.  The Foundation is committed to engaging the community in conversations and action that creates sustainable positive change and provides the funding to make those changes a reality.

Her journey into the non-profit sector followed a career  in investor relations, public relations and corporate communications.  She worked for publicly traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange as well as private companies throughout the Southeastern United States.  Her corporate experience was in the automotive and engineering industries and Sarah was sought out by innovators and entrepruneurs developing emerging technologies to create strategic communication plans.

Sarah brings this focus on innovation to her work at the Southwest Florida CommunityFoundation.  In concert with a visionary Board of Trustees, Sarah is guiding the Foundation in reimagining its role in the region.  Under Sarah’s leadership the Foundation has become laser-focused on regional issues affecting the quality of life in Southwest Florida, gathered hundreds of community leaders and stakeholders around these issues, and has grown the Foundation’s assets to become one of the largest funding organizations in the region.  Notably, her work attracted national foundations such as Lumina Foundation to the region to provide funding and resources to the FutureMakers Coalition.

Sarah shares her leadership at the national, state and regional level. She is Florida delegate for the Vision 20/20 Initiative, serves as vice-chair of Florida Philanthropic Network’s Community Foundation leadership team and serves on the Healthy Lee Steering Committee.

A graduate of Florida Southern College and the University of South Florida, Sarah holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education as well as certifications in environmental engineering from University of Florida’s TREEO Center.


Reiss brings insights gained in her more than 40 years of experience in organizational, financial, planning and management strategies and has advised public and private companies, corporations and financial institutions in all aspects of development, investment and finance. She has experience serving on public, private and nonprofit boards and in a wide variety of industry leadership roles. Reiss has expertise in global strategic, financial, investment and governance issues. Her industry exposure includes real estate, construction, retail, hospitality, restaurant, gaming, banking and financial services, professional services, transportation and infrastructure. She was Ernst & Young’s global and Americas director of real estate, hospitality and construction until her retirement in 2008 and continued to consult to the firm until 2011.  She managed the firm’s real estate, REIT, homebuilding, construction, engineering, hospitality, gaming and restaurant practices with global revenues of more than $2 billion and more than 5000 personnel, and developed an integrated global practice with emphasis on India, Asia and the Middle East. She’s currently the managing director of Artemis Advisors, LLC, a real estate restructuring and consulting firm, and also serves clients in the position of senior managing director of Brock Capital Group, LLC, a boutique investment bank. Reiss serves as a director, chair of the audit committee and member of the investment committee of iStar Financial, Inc. (NYSE: STAR), a real estate finance and investment firm, as a director of Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE: TPC) where she is chair of the audit committee, as a director of Care Capital Properties, Inc. where she is chair of the compensation committee, and as a director of CYS Investment, Inc. (NYSE: CYS) where she is a member of the audit, nominating and governance committees. She is a governor of the Urban Land Institute and its foundation, where she has been a past trustee, treasurer and chair of the audit committee, and is a board member of The Guttmacher Institute and of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also serves on the board of Educational Housing Services, Inc., a nonprofit student housing organization, and contributes to her local community as a trustee of the Police Pension Board on Sanibel Island. Reiss has a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MBA in finance and statistics from the University of Chicago and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Not many hoteliers learn their profession by working in three of the world’s most famous ‘five star’ hotels, but Darren Robertshaw did.

Now Vice President of the Hospitality Group for Trianon Hotel Company, he oversees all aspects of hospitality and is active in development of additional hotel properties.

Prior to coming to Southwest Florida, Darren worked at Ritz-Carlton hotels in Laguna Niguel and Pasadena California, and helped open Ritz-Carlton’s in Seoul, Korea; and Operations Director of the Ritz-Carlton, Naples.


Romine is co-owner of EnSite, Inc., a leading Florida-based design firm specializing in planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering, urban design, sustainability and graphic design. His passion is making a positive impact on the community in which he lives, works, learns and plays, and he has spent more than a decade serving the Southwest Florida community. He has served as a board member and various other capacities for The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, FutureMakers Coalition, HealthyLee Steering Committee and currently serves as president of the board of directors of the Imaginarium Science Center.


Karson Turner is the vice president at Quality Electric Contracting and currently serves as District 5 County Commissioner of Hendry County and current chair of the board. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education and early-childhood studies from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. Turner is the current chair of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council has won the 2014 Legislative Award for Presidential Advocates from the Florida Association of Counties.


Myra joined the Foundation Board in July 2009. She is a Professor of Speech Communication at Edison State College and Chair of the Department of Speech Communication and Foreign Languages. She has been associated with Edison State College for over 25 years. Her degrees are: B.A. in Political Science/Speech Communication and a M.A. in speech Communication with emphasis in Organizational Communication and also is a graduate of Leadership Lee County.

Presently, Myra volunteers within the community with Bravo Ballet! (a fundraiser to support GulfshoreBallet School); Junior League of Fort Myers, Sustainer; and the United Way Keel Club Member. In past years, she has been an Auction Committee Member for the Lee County Heart Ball and worked with the United Way Allocations.

Other boards Myra has served on are:

  • Past President of the Junior League of Fort Myers
  • American Society for Training and Development, Southwest Florida Chapter
  • Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida
  • Children’s Charities for Southwest Florida
  • Board Walk (a not-for-profit training program for United Way Agencies)

Myra is married to Roy D. Walters, owner of Preferred Electric, Inc.


Click on the staff member’s photo to email them directly.


President & CEO
(239) 274-5900, x229
Ronald E.<br />
Penn, CPA

Ronald E.
Penn, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
(239) 274-5900, x228
Carolyn<br />


Vice President of Development & Communications
(239) 274-5900, x222
Luis<br />


Director of Finance
(239) 274-5900, x224
Nick<br />


Accounting Associate
(239) 274-5900, x231
Michele<br />


(239) 274-5900, x221
Kim<br />


Facilities & IT Coordinator
(239) 274-5900, x227
Melanie<br />


Scholarship Coordinator
(239) 274-5900, x236
Tessa<br />


Director of Social Innovation & Sustainability
(239) 274-5900, x225
Ashley<br />


Regional Initiatives & Partnerships Coordinator
(239) 274-5900, x235
Sydney<br />


Executive Assistant
(239) 274-5900


Click on the consultant’s photo to email them directly.
Dave<br />
Fleming, DM, PH.D.

Fleming, DM, PH.D.

(239) 274-5900
Cindy<br />
Banyai, PH.D.

Banyai, PH.D.

Evaluation & Research Specialist
(239) 274-5900
MARK<br />


(239) 274-5900

Various forms and statements are available below as PDF downloads. You may also request that documents be mailed to you. Simply contact the Community Foundation at 239-274-5900.

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