Board of Directors
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc
- October 12-13, 2023
Warren R. Colbert, Sr., Chair, is a Senior Vice President - Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, Inc., located in New York, NY and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. His four-decade financial services experience includes tenures at PaineWebber, Inc. and Kidder, Peabody & Co. His earlier years began with IBM in computer sales, but before that his graduate school experience was with the laser/quantum electronics group within the Federal Systems Division of IBM. Warren’s served on the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University, PA 2000 – 2013, his alma mater, as Development and Investment Committee Chairperson, and on the Executive Committee. Also on the Advisory Board for Lincoln University’s Center for Banking, Finance and Entrepreneurship. Chaired several committees on the Board of Green Chimneys Children’s Services and Schools, 1988 – 2002, lastly as Chairperson. The Twenty-First Century Foundation, an African American endowed public foundation based in New York City, 1995 – 2002, Finance Committee Chairperson. Served as Treasurer and Observer to the Board of Directors for The UNIS Society of the United Nations International School 1987 -1990 and more. Warren has an ongoing mentorship with UBS interns that have worked with him over the last 20 plus years. Civic acknowledgments include: 2006 Proclamation from the City Council of New York City for Community Service and the Green Chimneys Children's Services’ “Exceptionally Significant Service” award. B.A. from Lincoln University, PA in mathematics and completed several years of graduate studies as a doctoral candidate of physics at the University of Maryland. Warren is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) achieved at the Wharton School. Warren’s work in photography is a strong part of his artistic interests. Warren and his wife, Marie, are art enthusiasts and collectors. Splitting their time between the New York and Sarasota homes as well as visiting their son and his family who live in California with two beautiful daughters.
Margaret “Meg” Dunwoody Hausberg, Vice Chair has ties to The Ringling dating to the 1980s, when her circus enthusiast parents, James and Millicent Dunwoody, retired to Sarasota and became active volunteers in the Museum's circus archives. A graduate of Wellesley College with an M.A. fron the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Meg has a varied career in the field of art - at galleries and an auction house in New York and London, as an author and publisher of finr art reference books, an instructor in the Appraisal Studies Program at NYU, and a research associate and co-author of the University of Glasgow's online catalogue raisonné of James McNeill Whistler's etchings. She sits on the Committee for Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago and was co-curator of the Art Institute exhibition "Whistler and Roussel: Linked Visions" in 2015. Currently a member of the Print Council of America, Meg previously served on the boards of the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. She was a Trustee of the Village of Bronxville, New York, in the 1990s, and she facilitated the gift of her parents' circus collection to The Ringling in the early 2000s.
H. Michael Bush, Treasurer, is the President/Owner of Home Resource, Inc. located in Sarasota, FL. He and his wife, Kathy, are design and home furnishings industry professionals headquartered on Central Avenue. Situated within the boundaries of the city’s historic Rosemary District, the area represents Sarasota's Design District with its collection of architects, interior designers, home builders, cabinet makers and showrooms devoted to flooring, home entertainment, furniture and decorative accessories. Since 1995, Home Resource has been the place in Southwest Florida to shop for contemporary and licensed modern furniture. Over the last several years, the Home Resource showroom has also been converted into a "fringe theatre" where live performances have been conducted. Home Resource has been Mr. Bush's most recent business turnaround; where he has taken an essentially bankrupt company and successfully led it back to profitability and success. Mr. Bush has held senior executive positions in Europe and the United States for Exxon Mobil, Domino's Pizza, Red Hot Concepts (Chili's), and other smaller publicly traded companies. His specialty is start-up and turnaround environments. In addition, he was a key executive in the creation of Mobil Chemical's Global Petrochemical Operations. Mr. Bush is a licensed CPA. He has served on the boards of the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Contemporary Dance, West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, Theatre Odyssey, SaraSolo, Sarasota Season of Sculpture, and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation in addition to a14 year term as the President of the Rosemary District.
Dr. Sarah H. Pappas, Secretary, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and spent the early years of her life in Havana, Cuba and Mexico City. Her family later moved to the United States where she attended high school and Penn State University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, a master's degree from the University of South Florida, and her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Her experience in Florida's higher education system includes 44 years of holding progressively more responsible positions at three community colleges and the University of Central Florida. she served as president of State College of Florida (formally Manatee Community College)from 1997 until 2008. From 2008 she served as President of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. Dr. Pappas has been a resident of Florida for the past 53 years, now in Sarasota. She is married to artist George Pappas and has two children: Tom, an artist in Brooklyn, and Jane, a bank-training officer in Jacksonville.
Jasleen “Ritu” Anand is an author, artist, and writer of children's books. In January of 2022, she joined Coffee House Writers while maintaining her status of being a "self- employed" writer at PathBinder Publisher. Mrs. Anand also owns Ritu Writes 4 Kids.
Mrs. Anand most recent children's book, Kara's Dreams, debuted as a picture book and was acquired by PathBinder Publishing. She also has a second manuscript titled, I Am My Language in submission. Mrs. Anand is currently working on a middle grade novel titled, Jokhee and Samara.Mrs. Anand's sketches and artwork are on quality clothing and jewelry manufactured in Montreal, Canada. Ritu is a member of the American Library Association and Book Trailers Creating Services. She is an organizer and member of Indian Festival Sarasota. She graduated from St. John’s University with a BS in Business and Criminal Justice and is married to Harvinder “Harry” Anand.
The Honorable Dennis Archer is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Dennis W. Archer, PLLC. He is also Chairman Emeritus of Dickinson Wright, PLLC. Mr. Archer is a trial lawyer and has taught as an associate professor at the Detroit College of Law and an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School. He was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1985, by Governor James Blanchard. In 1986 he was elected to an eight year term. Mr. Archer resigned from the Court in 1990. In 1993 he was elected to become the city of Detroit, Michigan’s 59th Mayor. While in office, he had a balanced budget and a surplus every year he was in office. His Administration attracted $20.2 Billion dollars of investment in the City of Detroit. He declined to run for re-election in 2001 and rejoined Dickinson Wright. He has been President of the National Bar Association and in 2003, he became the first member of color to become President of the American Bar Association. Mr. Archer currently serves on the corporate board of Alix Partners Inc., and he has been a member of the boards of Johnson Controls, Compuware Corporation, MASCO, Top Build and the Global Senior Policy Advisory Board of Jefferies Group. He has been a Circle Member since 2014.
Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig is an art historian, independent curator, and art critic. She received a Master’s in art history and a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Miami. She is a founding and contributing editor of ArtNexus, the leading Latin American art magazine. Since 1989, she has written about contemporary art for specialized magazines and newspapers and essays for artists’ monographs and exhibition catalogs. She is the author of From Popular Expression to Public Spectacle: History and Visual Testimonies of the Carnaval de Barranquilla in the XX and XXI Centuries (Scholars' Press, 2016), Humberto Castro (hCg Collection, 2021), and Essays on 20th Century Latin American Art (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2022). As an independent curator, she has organized more than one hundred exhibitions in the United States and Latin America. From 2008 to 2015, she worked as an adjunct curator at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University. In 2018, she was appointed Senior Curator at the Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota, Florida. In that role, she has organized exhibitions and programs featuring local, national, and international visual artists and promoted the arts among the hotel’s guests and the local community. She is a former founding board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA), and Founding Arts Broward. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. She belongs to several professional organizations, including the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the College Art Association (CAA), the Association for Latin American Art (ALAA), and ArtTable.
Larry J. Cuervo, Jr. has served as Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor for Truist Financial Corporation since 2014. He offers more than 25 years of financial services experience working with financially complex, high net-worth families, C-level executives, and entrepreneurs/business owners. Mr. Cuervo provides solutions for multigenerational wealth transfers, asset protections, retirement planning, estate planning, credit solutions, and fiduciary investment management. Larry was raised in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Sarasota in 2021. He is a graduate of Florida State University. Larry is involved with the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Florida and was on the Board of the Straz Center for Performing Arts for 8 years. He enjoys fishing, golf, painting, and playing guitar. Larry is the father of two daughters, Lauren and Hailey.
Rebecca Donelson is an art dealer. After working at the Corcoran Museum, Washington DC, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 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. Rebecca worked on retrospective exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago with Robert Rauschenberg, William Dekooning, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alexander Calder and The Estate of Salvador Dali. She serves on the International Council of Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, CO, the Board of the Edis-Neeson Fooundation in Chicago, is a Fellow at The Aspen Institute and works with the Aspen Film Festival and Youth Entity in Carbondale, CO. Rebecca shares her time between Sarasota and Aspen.
Andrew M. Economos was born in Sarasota, graduated from the University of Florida with a BS and MS in Mathematics, worked in the Aerospace industry in California, and earned a Ph.D from UCLA. Afterward, he joined NBC where he headed up the computing activity for 14 years. He then started and led his software company which was a business leader supplying broadcasting software with a client base all over the world. In 2005, after 30 years, Economos sold his company. In 2015, he moved back to Florida and now resides in St. Armond Key. The Ringing Museum played a big role in his Sarasota childhood. He states he owes its presence to his current an ongoing relationship with art. His home is full of paintings, sculptures, and drawings (some of them are his own). He learned to love architecture and practiced it as well as furniture building. He remembers being surrounded by great examples The Ringling offered and is grateful for the gentle education in art it gave him.
Leon R. Ellin held a number of senior financial and operating positions, in both large and mid-sized companies. From 2003 through 2016 he was an operating partner/ consultant with Littlejohn & Co., a private equity partnership. At Littlejohn he worked primarily with the Information Technology and Financial Management functions of the portfolio companies. He spent the 20 years immediately prior to his service at Littlejohn managing turnaround, restructuring and strategic business refocusing tasks at a number of mid-sized companies, including Wilton Industries, ITCO Holding Company, Edward Don & Company, Champion Products, Inc. and Voit Corporation. His prior experience includes ten years with Colgate-Palmolive, including Director of Corporate Strategic Planning and as CFO of Helena Rubinstein, Inc., a Colgate subsidiary company. His educational background includes a MBA from the Wharton Graduate Division (member of Beta Gamma Sigma) of the University of Pennsylvania and an AB from the University of Chicago (National Merit Scholar). He served for over ten years on the Board of AgriLabs, Inc. until it’s sale in early 2018 and was active on a charitable foundation board in his home of Sarasota, FL. He volunteers at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the John & Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota.
Robert D. Hunter was raised in New York. Bob received his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and MBA from Columbia University. He spent 28 years with Chase Manhattan in New York and London. He retired in 2003 as CEO of Barclays Bank Private Clients and returned to the U.S. from London. He and his wife Marie moved to Sarasota in 2006 and became full-time residents in 2009. Bob has served on numerous commercial and non-profit boards and is currently an active Docent at the Ringling Museum of Art and a Guardian Ad Litem for the State of Florida.
Thomas F. Icard, Jr. is a fourth generation resident of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. A shareholder and Vice President of the Icard Merrill law firm in Sarasota since 1995, he is a former partner with the Carlton Fields law firm in Tampa, a past President of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and a past Chair of the Forum on Construction Law of the American Bar Association. He is also a member (by invitation) of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He has variously served as a mediator, arbitrator or court appointed special master in a broad spectrum of more than 400 legal proceedings ranging from two to nineteen parties. Tom is a graduate of the Leadership Florida program of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and a past Chair of the Riverview High School Foundation. He has also served since 2004 on the Board of Directors of Tampa based Bay Area Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit corporation that provides legal services to the indigent. He received his BA from Mercer University in 1970 and law degree from The Florida State University in 1973. Tom and his wife Cameron now divide their time between their homes in Sarasota and Charlotte, North Carolina and visiting their children in California.
Dr. Ronald A. Johnson is a highly experienced business leader, board director, and recognized academic professional. He has served on almost two dozen boards and held the chairman position on six of them. Most recently, Dr. Johnson served as president of Clark Atlanta University and Chairman of the Consumer Advisory Board of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Prior to joining Clark Atlanta University, he was the dean of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University. Dr. Johnson also served as dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. He previously taught and developed innovative curriculum at Florida A&M. University, Northeastern University, and Howard University. Dr. Johnson is an accomplished researcher and has developed expertise in the design of learning-focused business curriculums. His earlier work includes appointments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as an economist under Paul Volker, division chief at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the International Monetary Fund. Dr. Johnson’s private sector leadership roles include President and Chief Investment Officer at Smith Graham & Company, Director of Fixed Income Research, at Templeton Worldwide Inc., as well as Chief Strategist and Chairman of the Investment Committee for America’s Trust Bank. His distinctions include the Center for Houston’s Future Leadership Forum, The One Hundred Black Men of Atlanta, and recipient of the National Diversity Council’s 2018 Leadership Excellence Award. Dr. Johnson has considerable experience at the top level of academia, combined with repeated successes in the global investment management industry gain him tremendous credibility in all board rooms. His insights on governance, fiduciary accountability, and sustainability have gained him recognition as an outstanding and sought-after board leader.
E. Marie McKee is a retired Senior Vice President of Corning Incorporated. For over 170 years Corning has combined expertise in glass science, ceramics and optical physics with deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop life-changing innovations. During her career at Corning, Marie served in a variety of positions including SVP for Human Resources, President and CEO of Steuben Glass and operating President and CEO of the Corning Museum of Glass. The Corning Museum hosts approximately a half million visitors each year to experience the art, history, and science of glass. The visitor can see glass being made and make glass themselves. Marie is a member of the Duke Energy Board of Directors and served on the Progress Energy Board prior to the merger with Duke Energy. Marie has served on a variety of not for profits boards focusing on community needs and the arts. Marie holds a BS and MS degree from Purdue University. Marie and her husband Robert Cole have two adult daughters. Marie races dinghy sailboats with her husband on Sarasota Bay and Upstate NY in the Finger Lakes. When not participating in sailboat regattas they love to ski and travel extensively. Since moving to Florida, Marie has loved the challenge of growing orchids.
Dr. Lisa Merritt is a physiatrist in Sarasota, affiliated with Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She received her medical degree from Howard University after completing undergraduate studies at Georgetown University with honors and has been in practice for more than 25 years. She underwent training in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, and completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Merritt is a graduate of the faculty development program at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including AAPMR (the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), NMA (the National Medical Association), and is Executive Director of the Multicultural Health Institute.
Cynthia Louise Peterson, is the Founder and Board Chair Emeritus of the Center for Architecture Sarasota. Ms. Peterson, MLIS, CA holds a Master in Library and Information Science with concentration in Archival Science and Preservation from Simmons College, Boston, MA. She is a Certified Archivist (CA) and a specialist in the preservation and description of architectural archives. Working in partnership with the University of Florida School of Architecture, she helped establish the UF CityLab-Sarasota graduate architecture program, which now shares space with the Center. Beyond its programming, the Center carries out the vital task of showcasing Sarasota as an important center of Modernist architecture. She was the former curator of the University of Florida Architecture Archives and helped to establish the acquisition and collection of the historical archives in Florida. Ms. Peterson was previously the Director of Operations of the Elling O. Eide Charitable Foundation, Sarasota, FL. She received the Bob Graham Architecture Awareness Award from the Florida American Institute of Architects and, in 2017, Cynthia was given honorary membership in the National AIA for her contributions to the Institute. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Foundation for Architecture. Since retirement in 2017, she and her husband Guy spend time at their homes in Cashiers, North Carolina, Windermere Island, Bahamas, and Sarasota.
Frederic D. Pfening, III is the retired president of a 103-year-old family business. He began working at the Fred D. Pfening Company in 1976 and was the president since 1989. Under his leadership the company has continued to grow and has developed new product lines such as liquid ingredient handling. During this time the Pfening Company partnered with Advanced Food Systems to develop a high-speed mixer. Fred has a BA and an MA from Ohio State University. Beyond the business, Mr. Pfening III is a life-long circus enthusiast since 1955 when his father owned a circus. He has written over 50 articles on circus history and is recognized as an expert in the field. Fred is a board member of Helping Hands Health and Welfare Center in Columbus, Ohio, as well as a Trustee of the Circus Historical Society, Board member of Circus Fans Association and official historian of that organization. He is married to Janet Lynn Evans-Pfening.
Kelly Ann Romanoff is the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Evaluation for Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, in Sarasota, Florida. In her role, Kelly develops strategies to achieve the foundation’s mission, creates learning agendas in collaboration with nonprofit partners, and evaluates grants and initiatives. She also leads the foundation’s early childhood development and early learning initiatives. She began her career in 2005 at the statewide association for foundations, Florida Philanthropic Network, where she led research and policy efforts. She moved to Sarasota in 2008 to join the Gulf Coast Community Foundation team, where she contributed to marketing, grantmaking, community engagement, and donor development. In 2015 she joined the Barancik Foundation. Kelly earned a Master’s in Public Administration from University of Central Florida and she is also a trained nonprofit governance consultant and facilitator. Kelly serves on The John and Mable Ringling Museum Board of Directors where she chairs the Development Committee. She is vice chair of the Florida Education Funders Group of the Florida Philanthropic Network. She and her husband Burt, who practices tax and estate law, are raising two young sons.
Mayra Niubo Schmidt was born and raised in Cuba and moved to the United States in 1966, living in New Jersey until 2014 when she and her husband John moved to Sarasota. She attended St. Peter’s College and Rutgers Law School, graduating in 1980. After practicing as a sole practitioner, Mayra retired to raise three children. She has served as a Board member in Hudson County Legal Services, the Garden Club of the Oranges, and the Orange Orphan Society which awards grants to organizations serving underprivileged children. For 10 years, she served as a Commissioner in the West Orange Historic Preservation Commission as well as volunteering at the New Jersey Historical Society and the Thomas Alba Edison National Historic Site. She is currently a member of the Garden Club of the Oranges, the Sarasota Garden Club, and a Circle member of The Ringling Museum of Art.
Debra (Deb) Short grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, majoring in Art History. After more than 25 years in the retail management and buying arena for JC Penney, Saks, and Bealls Inc., she was fortunate to find her way back to her first love, the appreciation of art. Since 2013, volunteering in various roles at The Ringling has provided Debra with an avenue for personal growth, and the development of many friendships. Her primary assignment is as a Museum of Art Ambassador, every Monday. She thrives on the action of the busiest day at the Museum. For two years, she was a member and the designated secretary of the Orientation and Communications Committee (OCC) and served a 2-year term as Secretary of the Volunteer Services Advisory Committee (VSAC). Debra currently serves in the elected role of VSAC Vice-Chair, representing all volunteers in the Corps and continues her role as the co-editor of The Volunteer Voice Newsletter. Additionally, Debra works closely with the Education Team; assisting with research, training materials, and hands-on help with programming. After retiring in 2013, Debra and her husband, Steve, became members of The Ringling. They have also been aggressively attacking their travel bucket list, visiting 27 countries in the past 6 years. They support both The Ringling and St Jude’s Hospital in their Philanthropy. They live in Bradenton and generally keep a low profile in the Community. Debra’s passion is truly the Museum of Art.
Mercedes Soler-Martinez currently works with her husband, Tom Martínez, at Solmart Media, LLC. Solmart Media, LLC is their radio and digital media company. As President of the company, she oversees editorial content, community outreach, advocacy and marketing. Tom serves as CEO. Prior to this, she coached media/press strategies to high placed leaders, executives and diplomats as a subcontractor for the US State Department. She is a renowned bilingual keynote speaker at women-girls empowerment and media conferences. Mercedes has been awarded 5 Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, as well as 1 Peabody and 1 GLAAD award, for her contributions to Spanish television in the U.S. From 2010 to 2016, she anchored a daily, live, news issues, and women’s show for CNN Español. Prior to that, she spent two decades at Univision News as an international investigative correspondent. Mercedes co-authored the book Dish & Tell: Life, Love and Secrets (Entre Nosotras de Mujer a Mujer) [Harper-Collins, 2005] with a group of five girlfriends. The book was adapted for the stage as a musical. She has been a columnist for El Nuevo Herald and is well versed in current U.S. and hemispheric affairs. She taught journalism in Spanish through the University of Miami. Mercedes sits on the boards of the following non-profit organizations – The Community Foundation of Sarasota and the Ringling Museum of Art. Mercedes and her husband Tom raised two wonderful children who are pursuing their parent’s passions in their own careers of art and broadcasting.
James B. Stewart is a Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and African and African American Studies and Management and Organization at Penn State University. He previously served as vice provost for Educational Equity and Director of the Black Studies Program. As vice provost he was responsible for planning, developing, coordinating, articulating, and advocating the university’s goals, policies, and procedures pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Stewart's research interests include Diversity Management, Globalization, and Africana Studies. His ten books include Black Families: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, The Housing Status of Black Americans, W.E.B. Du Bois on Race and Culture: Philosophy, Politics and Poetics, African-Americans and Post-Industrial Labor Markets, Managing Diversity in the Military, Flight in Search of Vision, and African Americans in U.S. Labor Markets. Dr. Stewart is the past-president of the National Council for Black Studies, he has also served as a consultant formany universities and the Department of Defense. He is the recipient of many awards and honors not the least of which is the Award for Outstanding Contributions Improving Equal Opportunity and Cross Cultural Relations, Penn State University.
Edward M. Swan, Jr., CFA, is a resident of Sarasota spending part of the year on Martha’s Vineyard. He received a BA from Tufts University and a MBA from the Wharton School. He also attended a director development program at the Kellogg School (Northwestern University). He was a captain in the US Air Force. Ed has over 35 years of experience in institutional investment management, marketing and enterprise management. Many of the nation’s largest pension funds were among his clients. Ed has experience serving on both corporate and not for profit boards, including serving as a Trustee on both Tufts and Dillard Universities. He has a longstanding interest in the arts and community service. He has been a furniture maker for over 35 years in parallel with his investment management career. He is a volunteer developing and managing programs at several Sarasota area secondary schools designed to help lower income students understand what they need to do to be successful in high school and beyond.
Janice Tibbals, of Sarasota, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, has been an active supporter and advocate for The Ringling Museum for almost 30 years. A resident of Sarasota, she was born and raised in LaFollette, Tennessee. Janice and her husband Howard have three children, five stepchildren, sixteen grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Since their marriage in 1991, Janice has dedicated herself to supporting Howard’s passion; working with him to install The Howard Bros. Circus model in venues around the country and engaging with the community to build support for the Circus collections at The Ringling. In 2000, and again in 2008, Janice and Howard donated funding, which was matched by the state, for the construction of both phases of the Circus Museum’s Tibbals Learning Center. The building project initiated a period of growth at the museum in its early years under the management of Florida State University. Their gift also established the Tibbals Endowment, providing funds for the ongoing care of circus collections, staffing, and programing. Today, the Howard Bros. Circus model is the centerpiece of the Circus galleries and Tibbals Circus Collection is an unparalleled collection of Archival holdings documenting the history of the circus. Janice believes strongly in an ongoing commitment to personal and financial involvement in the care, growth, and improvement of the Museum and its collections.
Kirk Ke Wang has been a Professor of Visual Arts at Eckerd College since 1993 and is a professional artist and an educational software developer. He was born in Shanghai, China, and received MFA degrees from the Nanjing Normal University in China and University of South Florida in the U.S. In 1986, Mr. Wang came to the U.S. as an exchange scholar continuing his graduate studies. After receiving his second MFA, Mr. Wang was appointed as the art director of a design firm and designed many projects for the entertainment industry, such as Disney World, MGM Studio, Sea World, and Bush Gardens, etc. In early 1990s, Mr. Wang taught at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. He joined Eckerd College as a tenured full-time faculty in the fall of 1993. Mr. Wang has exhibited his art in art galleries, none for profit institutions, and museums locally, nationally, internationally, such as the Museum of Modern Art, PS1 in NYC and the National Museum of Art of China in Beijing. His works have been collected by museums, galleries and private collectors in the US and Asia, including the National Gallery in Beijing. Mr. Wang was awarded the bronze medal by the Cultural Ministry of China, and he is also the recipient of numerous grants and awards from many distinguished institutions, such as, the National Endowments for the Arts, the Freeman Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Asian Network, Florida Arts Council, etc. In early 2000s, Mr. Wang lead a team of educators, artists and computer software engineers to develop a computer learning system for early education, which was implemented by many private and public schools nationwide. In 2020, Mr. Wang was appointed by the mayor of Tampa to serve on the Public Art Committee of the City of Tampa, Florida. Mr. Wang maintains a studio in Tampa and NYC, and he often travels back to his hometown, Shanghai.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc
Board of Directors – Ex-Officio Members
Joan Uranga is the 2020-2022 Chair of the Volunteer Services Advisory Council (VSAC) at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Joan is originally from New Jersey, but retired to Florida in 2002 after working for a national insurance company in Northern California. In October 2002, she began training as a Ringling Docent and currently provides tours in the Ca' d'Zan, Circus Museum, and Bayfront Gardens, which she still enjoys. Joan has served on the Docent Advisory Council and was Chair during the 2012–2014 term. She has been an active member of the Volunteer Services Advisory Council (VSAC) Recognition Committee for many years and was recently elected to the role of VSAC Chair for the 2020–2022 term. In 2016, Joan was honored as the Florida Association of Museums (FAM) Outstanding Volunteer. She has also volunteered for Ringling special events and with the Membership Department, and she continues to volunteer as an usher for the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Besides her volunteer work, Joan loves to travel (especially to see her two young grandsons in Germany and one in Hong Kong), play tennis, read, and visit the wonderful cultural offerings of Sarasota.