Ms. Debbi Benedict – Nokomis, President

A 35-year resident of Sarasota County, Debbi Benedict is a blogger at the Civilized Homesteader where she chronicles her growing edible landscape. Her monthly column, Palm Trees & Pearls, debuts in the Herald Tribune's Style Magazine in October 2016.

During her event planning years she coordinated William G. Selby and Marie Selby Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and also TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care's Clowning Around Town outdoor art event.

Among the local boards she has served on are the Junior League of Sarasota (President), Sarasota Reading Festival (President), Ringling College Library Association (President), New College Library Association (President), Gulf Coast Heritage Association (President-elect), Friends of Venice Public Library (President), Sarasota County Arts Council (Executive Committee), and Venice Historical Society (Founding Treasurer).

She has chaired many events during anniversary years, such as the Junior League of Sarasota's 40th anniversary, the 30th Mistletoe Ball and 20th Pique-nique sur la Baie – both for the New College Library Association, the 20th Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series and the 25th Orchid Ball for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. She also founded, and chaired for five years, the Junior League of Sarasota Sustainers’ Legacy Luncheon and has chaired the Junior League’s inaugural Kitchen Festival and the Hermitage's Artful Lobster and Greenfield Prize Dinner.

Mr. Steven Adler – Fort Myers, Vice President

Steven P. Adler is President and Owner of Murex Properties, LLC. Prior to his current position at Murex Properties Steve held the position of Senior Vice-President with Sun Communities (12/02–3/04) and oversaw the development, marketing, and management of most of the developing properties in the Sun portfolio. Prior to accepting the position at Sun Steve served as President and CEO of Forest Communities (6/99-12/02) a wholly owned subsidiary of Champion Enterprises. Forest was the development arm of Champion whose mission was to acquire, entitle, build, market and manage new land/lease communities, subdivisions and other housing opportunities. During the time Forest purchased and developed 15 new communities in seven states. From 1986-1999 Steve was the Director of Operations and eventually President of Uniprop a private owner and operator of over 15,000 home-sites in twelve states. As COO of Uniprop, he received the first “Community Operator of the Year” award from MHI. Currently serving on MHI’s National Communities Council , Steve has also played an active lobbying role in Florida and has served on the Michigan Manufactured Housing Commission, and several other industry committees. Steve holds an M.S. degree in Resource Management and an M.A. degree in Sociology. He is a licensed Florida real estate broker.

Mr. David Green – Manasota Key, FL/Bigfork, MT, Vice President

David Green has a 45-year career of marketing and branding leadership with emphasis on strategic planning, passionate execution, motivating consumer communication and team building based on quality relationships and mentoring. As a marketing and branding consultant, he has worked with corporations including Boston Market, Redbox Video, Snap-On Tools and Chipotle Mexican Grill. From 1972 to 2002 he worked for McDonald’s Corporation, directing and supervising marketing and advertising, climbing to the position of Senior Global Marketing Officer. At McDonald’s he brought the Ronald McDonald House concept from a local market activity to an international charity, introduced the “Happy Meal” on both a national and international level and developed long-term partnerships with the Olympics and World Cup Soccer. From 2007 to 2013 he served on the Board of Tuesday Morning Inc. He currently serves on the Board of the Sarasota Orchestra, Manasota Key Homeowners Association, and is a marketing consultant for the Jewish Family & Children's Services of the Sun Coast and the President and Founder of Eclipse Jet Owners and Pilot Association. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and attended the Boston University Graduate School of Public Communications. He and his wife Linda live in Bigfork, Montana and on Manasota Key, FL.

Mr. Larry Bold (Emeritus) – Englewood, Treasurer

Larry Bold attended the University of Michigan where he received a BBA in 1961 and an MBA in 1962 and graduated second in his class from the law school at the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1965. Upon receiving his CPA certificate as he graduated from law school, Mr. Bold worked for several accounting firms. He was the sixth attorney with a law firm that eventually became Morris, Larson, King, Stamper and Bold. When he retired from the firm in 1986, it had approximately 45 lawyers.

In 1990 Mr. Bold co-founded Utility Resources Corporation, a consulting company that helped large manufacturers all over the United States reduce their cost of electricity and natural gas. This business was sold in 2008.

In 2001 he and his wife Carol White Bold, completed building their home on Manasota Key. In 2008 he was elected as a trustee and treasurer for The Hermitage Artist Retreat. He is an avid motorcyclist, riding 15,000 miles a year, poker and gin rummy player and a dedicated supporter of the Hermitage.

Ms. Michele Redwine – Bradenton, Secretary

Michele Redwine is a Diversity Education Consultant / Sculptor and educator with 35 years of executive–leadership experience in not-for-profit organizations, public sectors, educational institutions and local government entities. Michele holds degrees in fine arts from Boston University and (EEO) equal employment opportunity studies from Cornell University and has developed a variety of new programs to create a winning tradition of educational excellence. Her aim is to create sustainable change in the area of diversity and facilitate momentum towards creating a fully inclusive institutional culture. She has accomplished initiatives linking education and business in the execution of programs supporting institutional diversity, recruitment, and cultural learning. Her professional life focuses on human resources in the development of community partnerships, leading innovative diversity initiatives, policies, practices, programs and talent management strategies. In her retirement years, she is recognized as a successful artist and sculptor. She is a member of The Hermitage Artist Retreat, Board of Trustees and The Ringling, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Board of Trustees.

Marletta Darnall – Englewood/Chicago

After a brief career as a junior high school teacher, Marletta Farrier Darnall became a full-time homemaker and mother. She took community leadership roles in infant welfare, community service, and parents' associations; founded an anti-drug and anti-alcohol support network; and served twelve years as a docent for the Chicago Architectural Foundation. In Chicago, Ms. Darnall served as president, vice-president, and gala chair for multiple high-profile institutions. She is a member of the Guild of Chicago Historical Society, governing member of Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Sustaining Fellow of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ms. Darnall has been a trustee of Children's Home and Aid of Illinois since 1987, and in 2007 was the recipient of its Woman's Board's highest honor, the Pauline Palmer Award. In 2010 the Schaumberg Child and Family Center was named for her.

Ms. Rebecca Donelson – Sarasota/Aspen

After working at the Corcoran Museum, Washington, D.C., The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and at The Art Institute of Chicago, she opened her own gallery, The Dart Gallery, in Chicago specializing in Contemporary Art representing some of the great artists of the last forty years: Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, David Smith, Jim Dine, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Sam Gilliam and Frank Stella. She serves on the International Council of Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, CO, is a Fellow at The Aspen Institute and works with the Aspen Film Festival and Youth Entity in Carbondale, CO.

Ms. Laura Kaminsky – New York

Laura Kaminsky is a composer with “an ear for the new and interesting” whose works are “colorful and harmonically sharp-edged” (New York Times), and whose “musical language is compounded of hymns, blues, and gestures not unlike those of Shostakovich” (inTune). Social and political themes are common in her work, as is an abiding respect for and connection to the natural world. The visual is made manifest in sound, with color and image often serving as inspiration. Her music is “full of fire as well as ice, written in an idiom that contrasts dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection.” (American Record Guide)

Kaminsky has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund, Chamber Music America, American Music Center, USArtists International, CEC ArtsLink International Partnerships, Likhachev Foundation, Kenan Institute for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council, Seattle Arts Commission, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Meet the Composer, and others. She has received five ASCAP-Chamber Music America Awards for Adventuresome Programming and the Polish Ministry of Culture National Heritage 2010 Chopin Award. She has been a fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and Millay Colony for the Arts.

Mr. Andy Maass – Longboat Key, FL

R. Andrew “Andy” Maass was an art museum director for 30 years, including 11 years at the Tampa Museum of Art and five years at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, as well as the Tucson Museum of Art and Fresno Arts Center. He retired in 2001 from full-time directing to consulting as an “interim” museum director (including at the Florida Holocaust Museum and Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale). He is currently an independent curator and juror for art festivals and exhibitions. He serves on several not-for-profit arts and human rights boards, including the Hermitage, the American Jewish Committee and in September concludes his second three-year term on the Florida Humanities Council. Andy and his wife Ruth have lived in the same house in Longboat Key, FL, since 1999. The couple met as freshmen at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and have two children and four grandchildren.

Ms. Charlotte Perret – Sarasota

After graduating from the University of Chicago in Russian Studies, Charlotte traveled to Europe and stayed in Paris for 16 years where she worked with the Quakers against the US entry into Vietnam and founded an organization that raised money to buy milk for the children in Saigon. She remained a peace activist in France then in Washington, DC where she founded and ran Military Families Support Network and worked with the ACLU and Public Citizen on the rights of enlistees to refuse obligatory medications after the first Gulf War. She then acted as a conduit between the military and those who became very sick during their service. She also worked in the media department of the Center for Defense Information founded by retired military who analyzed national security as a healthy infrastructure, good education and deflated military operations. She received her masters degree in Museum Education and worked at several Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC before retiring.

Ms. Joy P. Norwood – Sarasota

Joy P. Norwood was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from San Jose State University. Her diverse career path includes starting and owning a design company that manufactured 3-dimensional soft sculpture, some of which were featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog; representing a space planning architectural firm company in Silicon Valley; and independent marketing consulting for a food products company. After moving to Miami in the mid 1990’s, Joy accepted a position as Director of Sales & Marketing for Issa Hotels & Resorts of Jamaica. She traveled extensively in the United States, Caribbean and South America.

As an avid cook, Joy was a consecutive, three time winner of The Fairchild International Mango Festival in Miami winning in all three categories. She further pursues this interest both through entertaining friends and donating gourmet dinners for the purpose of raising funds for charitable organizations. Joy is also an ardent gardener. She has designed and executed a one-half acre tropical garden at her home in the Museum area, which was featured in the October 2009 Great Homes & Gardens issue of Sarasota Magazine.

Ms. Karen Solem – Sarasota

Karen Solem is the President of Spencerhill Associates Ltd., a literary agency. She represents a broad range of commercial and literary fiction. A number of her clients have become NYT bestsellers and though it’s wonderful to have that kind of recognition she still takes a lot of pleasure in discovering and working with new talent.

She was previously associated with Writers House where she worked for nearly seven years; Prior to her years as an agent Solem had 25 years of corporate publishing experience. She was most recently Associate Publisher and Editorial Director of Harper Paperbacks at HarperCollins Publishers and, earlier, Editor in Chief of Silhouette Books for Simon and Schuster.

She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives. She owns two horses, is an avid equestrian and is on the board of Equine Advocates. Equine Advocates provides safe haven for nearly a hundred horses they've rescued from around the country.

Ms. Nelda Thompson – Manasota Key

Nelda Thompson is a native Floridian who made Englewood her home in 1969. In 1978, she and her husband moved the family to Manasota Key, and she has called the island home ever since. Nelda Thompson and Associates,LLC was formed in 1990 with a focus on selling Manasosta Key property. Over the years, Nelda has established a reputation as the most knowledgeable and trusted agent in the area. She's referred to by many as the "Queen of Manasota Key".

Shannon Staub – Sarasota County Commissioner

Shannon Staub was elected to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in 1996 and is now serving her 4th term until 2012. Ms. Staub believes that local government is the best government and closest to people. She also encourages citizen feedback and communication. She is a board representative of the Peace River Water Authority. She chairs the Community Health Improvement Program (CHIP) and is a member of the Veterans National Cemetery Committee. Ms. Staub is Vice Chair of the Environment, Energy and Land Use Steering Committee with the National Association of Counties. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Englewood Interagency Council as an Emeritus member and is an honorary member of the Board of Trustees for the Hermitage Artists' Retreat.