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Board of Directors

Board of Directors Meeting Schedule

Please note: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. will hold a public meeting of the Board members for updates on projects and future planning Monday, November 27, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in the Deputy Director’s Office in the Johnson-Blalock Education Building. Contact

  • January 12, 2018
  • March 9, 2018
  • May 4, 2018
  • October 12, 2018


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc

Board Members

Paul G. Hudson, Chair, is the Market Leader of Sarasota and Manatee Counties for Northern Trust.  He leads the sales, holistic advice and client servicing activities for Northern Trust across Sarasota and Manatee counties.  Paul brings with him over 20 years of wealth management experience including 16 years with Northern Trust as a Sarasota-based Wealth Strategist.  For the past five years, he was the Managing Director for U.S. Trust in Sarasota.  Paul is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Finance and a graduate of the Cannon Trust School.  He is deeply involved in the Sarasota community and is currently or has previously served as a board or committee member with the following civic, academic, philanthropic, and healthcare organizations: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; Historic Spanish Point; Arts Center Sarasota; Asolo Repertory Theatre; Venice Public Library; Florida State University Foundation; Education Foundation of Sarasota; Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council; Rotary Club of Sarasota; Southwest Florida Planned Giving Council; Sarasota Memorial Hospital; American Heart Association; The Pines of Sarasota; Holy Cross Associates; and Tidewell Hospice and Palliative Care.

Nancy J. Parrish, Vice Chair, is a private investor and collector.  Nancy was founding co-chair of Human Rights Watch, northern California Chapter.  She served two terms as Development Trustee of Friends of UCSF’s Dept. of Psychiatry’s Hospital Board, focusing on the creation of a children’s center.   Nancy served as a board member and Chief Negotiator with the federal government for Plum Orchard Foundation, whose mission was to preserve the historic Carnegie estate within the Cumberland Island National Seashore.  She currently serves as Vice President of The Children’s Guardian Fund of Sarasota.  Prior to 1996, Nancy was founder and managing partner of Parrish, Smith Associates, a southern-based consulting firm.  Nancy is a native Floridian.  She is married to Chuck Parrish, co-founder of (PHCM) now Openwave Systems, Inc. (OPWV) and Chairman of the Board of Family Independence Initiative.  The Parrishes have two grown children and reside in Sarasota, Fl. and Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

Dr. Frances Daly Fergusson, Ph.D., Treasurer, is President Emerita of Vassar College. She has served in leadership positions on numerous boards, including as Chair of the Mayo Clinic Board and President of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University.  She has been a director of HSBC Bank USA and of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.  Fran is currently on the boards of Pfizer and Mattel.  She is also Trustee Emerita at The School of American Ballet and the National Humanities Center.  Fran is now also on the boards of The Getty and Second Stage Theatre.  A graduate of Wellesley College, she holds her Ph.D. in art history from Harvard University, and has published widely in her field of architectural history.  She has served in tenured positions in art history at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, at Bucknell University, and at Vassar College, where she was president for 20 years, from 1986-2006.  The recipient of many awards and three honorary degrees, she received the Centennial Medal from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1999.  Fran was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002 and received the Harvard Medal for outstanding service to the University in 2011.

Daniel J. Denton, Secretary, founded what is now Gulfshore Media in 1979, sold the company to national publisher CurtCo Media in 2004, and repurchased it—along with its 22 publications across Florida. Sarasota Magazine and its sister publication, Biz941, took seven awards at the Florida Magazine Association annual conference, and President and Group Publisher Dan Denton was honored with induction into the Florida Magazine Association Hall of Fame. Gulfshore Media publishes Sarasota Magazine, Biz941, Gulfshore Life, Gulfshore Business, the Homebuyer family of magazines across Florida, and a variety of contract and special publications. The company has offices in Sarasota and Naples.

Ellen S. Berman’s 40-year career has spanned the intersection of science, technology, and the arts.  She served as President of the Consumer Energy Council of America from its founding in 1973 until its closing in 2006 where she sought to advance the public’s understanding of the interrelationship of energy policy and the environment, transportation, telecommunications and other disciplines. Ellen pioneered a process for developing public policy through consensus of major stakeholders from divergent interests in the public and private sectors – consumer and environmental leaders, Congress, federal agency officials, state regulatory commissions, utility executives, manufacturers, research organizations, academia, small business, and industrial users. In addition, Ellen has been actively involved in important arts organizations for decades, including producing on- and off-Broadway plays.  She is an art collector and has served as a corporate art consultant.  Ellen is an active member of the Council for Arts at MIT and serves on its Grants Committee.  She is also a member of the McDermott Award Selection Committee at MIT, one of the largest prizes in the nation for an artist of exception merit.  Ellen serves on the Tourist Development Grants Panel of the Sarasota County Arts Council.  She holds a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Barnard College of Columbia University and currently resides in both Sarasota, Florida, and Washington, DC.

Madeleine H. Berman, a pianist and former music writer for the West Bloomfield Eccentric, has long been active with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Humane Society of Michigan, the Detroit Zoo and Americans for the Arts. Ms. Berman serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Americans for the Arts and the Boards of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theater and the Detroit Zoological Institute. She previously served as Vice Chairperson of the Michigan Council of the Arts in 1984 and on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 1994. She and her husband Mandell “Bill” Berman provided the majority of the costs for the new Berman Center for the Performing Arts at the Jewish Community Center in Detroit. The Bermans have a residence on Longboat Key.

Thomas J. Charters - Tom has a Sarasota history stretching back to the 1960s when his father and mother  retired here. Tom and his wife Ann bought their first home in Sarasota in 1983 while they were living in Korea and Tom was with Citibank and Ann with the Financial Times. They visited often during dual 25 year careers abroad which, in addition to Korea, included multiple stints in Brazil and Venezuela. Returning to the United States in 1995 Tom was for 15 years the President of PCFG Advisory, Inc. a New York- based family office for Latin American investors. They have been Sarasota residents since 2003, and both their daughters were married on the grounds of the Ringling Museum. Tom is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and has a BA from DePauw University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Herta K. Cuneo was born in Munich, Germany, to a world-famous family of professional animal trainers and circus performers, Herta Klauser Cuneo, established her own reputation as one of the greatest bear trainers of her generation. She was the first to train a white tiger to ride on an elephant!  Following in her father's footsteps, she and her performing bears were featured in the center ring on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show. She continued to perform until her retirement in 1978.

Rebecca Donelson, 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. 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. Rebecca shares her time between Sarasota and Aspen.

Kenneth J. Feld is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Feld Entertainment, Inc., the world’s largest live entertainment company. Founded in 1967, family owned and operated Feld Entertainment produces some of the best known family entertainment brands, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice, Disney Live, Super Cross and Monster Jam, and entertains over 30 million fans a year worldwide.  Kenneth’s philanthropic interests include the establishment in 1995 of the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation,  a facility dedicated to the preservation of the endangered Asian elephant, and the Feld Family Foundation which focuses on the support of the arts, children’s health and education organizations. He is a trustee of Boston University and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Boston University School of Management.  Additionally, he serves on the board of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC.  A resident of Tampa, Florida, Kenneth and his wife Bonnie are the proud parents of three daughters, Nicole, Alana and Juliette, who are carrying on the family tradition as senior executives at Feld Entertainment.

Darrel E. Flanel is a lifetime resident of Sarasota. Mr. Flanel is a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the healthcare investment banking group. Mr. Flanel has over 30 years of investment banking experience primarily serving non-profit hospitals, universities and cultural organizations. He has completed transactions aggregating in excess of $30 million as well as advising on mergers and acquisitions in excess of $5 billion.  Mr. Flanel has served on the board of the New York Dram League.  In February 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force selected Mr. Flanel for the Air Force National Security Forum at the Air War College. In 2008, The Secretary of Defense selected Mr. Flanel for the JCOC-76 program that included study at the Pentagon followed by travel throughout the US European Command. Mr. Flanel is a board member of the Kaplan Service Organization that provides a forum for education of civilian leaders on current defense topics and support of active duty military personnel.  Mr. Flanel holds a Bachelor of Science and an MBA from Florida State University.

Jeffrey R. Hotchkiss  is a retired President of Teradyne (NYSE:TER), a Boston based manufacturer of systems for the testing of electronic products. In Mr. Hotchkiss’ thirty eight year career at Teradyne, he has held roles in various sales, marketing, and division management positions, including Chief Financial Officer from 1997-1999. In 2000, he founded Empirix Inc. and served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for four years, before returning to Teradyne as President of the Systems Test Group. He retired from Teradyne in July of 2012. Mr. Hotchkiss is currently on the Board of Overseers for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and serves on the Research Oversight Committee. He is also on the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) New England Chapter and serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee.  He has previously served on the board of numerous high tech start-ups in the Boston area including, Empirix, Goldwire Technology, Hammer Technology, and RSW Software. He also served on the Advisory Board for the International MBA Program at Suffolk University and lectures at the Suffolk Graduate School of Finance. Mr. Hotchkiss has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and a Masters in Management Science from The Sloan School at MIT. Jeff and his partner Betsy Winder reside on Longboat Key, Florida and spend their summers in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

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.

Dorothy C. Jenkins is a member of the Board of Governors at Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida and a past Chair of its Board of Directors. She is a member of the Advisory Board at Tri-County Peace River Center, a Board Member at Westlake Chemical Company in Houston, Texas, a Trustee at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a member of Neurological Institute National Council at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. She has also served as a Trustee at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida and as a Board Member at Bok Tower and Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida. She has previously served as a gubernatorial appointed Trustee and member of the Board of Directors of the Ringling Museum and past Chair of its Board of Directors. She is a longtime friend and supporter of the Ringling Museum. She is a graduate of Wellesley College with a B.A. in Mathematics. Her husband, Charles Jenkins, Jr., is Chairman of the Board at Publix Supermarkets, Inc.  They have two children, a daughter Jennifer and a son Anthony.

Thomas W. Jennings, PhD., is the first person to hold the position of vice president for University Advancement at Florida State University. In this role, Jennings oversees the Florida State University’s Alumni Association, Foundation, Real Estate Foundation, Ringling Museum and Seminole Boosters.  Jennings joined Florida State from the University of Virginia, where he served as assistant vice president for School Programs and Institutional Priorities, a position he held from January 2008 until joining Florida State in September 2010. During more than eight years with UVA, Jennings served as senior development officer for special projects in the central development office and as associate dean for development in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. At Arts & Sciences, Jennings led the early strategic planning and implementation of a $500 million comprehensive campaign.  As assistant vice president at UVA, Jennings directed all fundraising activities that supported the university's initiatives for historic preservation as well as those for pan-university initiatives in the arts, sciences and technology. Jennings served as a key member of senior management in development and public affairs and was instrumental to the success of UVA's current $3 billion comprehensive campaign.  Jennings is a respected leader within the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), delivering numerous presentations at CASE's District III annual conferences and serving as co-chair for the philanthropy program track in 2009 and 2010. He presided as co-chair for the CASE District III annual conference in 2012.  A native of Delaware, Jennings earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in psychology from James Madison University and his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Virginia.

Ambassador James A. Joseph has served in senior executive or advisory positions for four U.S. Presidents, including Deputy Secretary of the Interior for President Jimmy Carter and U.S. Ambassador to South Africa for President William Clinton. He is currently an emeritus professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and honorary professor at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town, where he also serves on the board of advisors. A graduate of Yale Divinity School and a former visiting fellow at Nuffield College at Oxford University, he has nineteen honorary degrees. 

Joseph served for almost fourteen years as president and CEO of the Council of Foundations whose 2,000 members came from five continents. A former vice president of Cummins Engine Company and CEO of the Cummins Foundation, he has also served on many foundation boards, including the National Endowment for Democracy and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the world renowned living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was chair of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation established by Governor Blanco in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and he serves currently as a member of the board of directors of the H.B. Heron Foundation in New York, the Conservation Fund and the Water Institute of the Gulf. He was also the founding chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he helped establish AmeriCorps.

In 1999, the Republic of South Africa awarded Joseph the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen of another country, and in 2008 he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. He has also been honored as a Louisiana Legend. A frequent speaker to academic, civic and religious audiences, he is the author of four books, most recently Saved for a Purpose: A Journey from Private Virtues to Public Values published in 2015 by the Duke University Press.

Nancy Kotler earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago, a M.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and a J.D. from Loyola University.  She taught in both the English Department and the Business School at Northeastern Illinois University.  Nancy practiced with the firm of Lurie Sklar and Simon in Chicago. She was Chair of the Evanston Arts Council and worked to find collaborative projects with other organizations in Evanston working to serve under-served youth.  She then became Chair of the Public Art Committee which was engaged in placing works for the new library and in renovated parks.  Nancy also served on the Illinois Humanities council, the Executive Committee of the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago, and the Board of Northlight Theater.  Nancy and her husband, Philip Kotler, are collectors of studio art glass and Nancy served as President of the Collector’s Association, The Alliance for Contemporary Glass.  She presently sits on the Grants Committee for that organization.  The Kotlers have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

Patricia R. Lombard is a native of Manhattan and moved to Sarasota in 1996. She earned a BA from Hunter College, an MA from NYU, and an MBA from Pace University. While earning her graduate degrees, she worked for Wells, Rich Greene advertising agency. Later, she managed the David Findlay Art Gallery on Madison Avenue. Mrs. Lombard has dedicated much of her time to serving her community by being active in several associations and organizations.

Thomas B. Luzier is a native Sarasotan, where he has practiced law since 1991. Tom joined Dunlap & Moran, P.A. as a shareholder in 2004. A Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer, Tom’s practice covers a wide variety of real estate and business transactional matters, focused in the representation of individual and institutional clients in all phases of buying, financing, selling, and leasing residential and commercial property.  Tom has successfully closed more than $1 Billion in transactions to date. He is also approved counsel for a variety of banks, both local and national, and is involved in structuring and documenting all manner of secured and unsecured loan transactions, including workouts and restructuring of troubled projects. Tom is an approved agent for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, and Chicago Title Insurance Company. Tom’s civic affiliations include causes that promote the preservation of Sarasota’s cultural heritage, and the diversification of Sarasota’s economy. Tom is a member and past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where he also chaired its CEO Search Committee. In 2015 he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve a four-year term as a consumer member of the Florida Real Estate Commission, of which he is currently the Vice-Chair.  Among numerous other civic engagements, Tom previously served as the Chair of the City of Sarasota’s Historic Preservation Board, as a member of the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council, and as a member of the 2009 Super Bowl Host Committee Board of Directors. A graduate of Emory University and the Cumberland School of Law, Tom and his wife Allison divide their time between their homes in Sarasota and Tampa. Tom’s comments on Sarasota’s history, economy, and real estate market have appeared in such diverse publications as the New York Times, Gulf Coast Business Review, Sarasota Herald Tribune, SRQ Magazine, New York Social Diary, and Metropolis Magazine.

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.

Tina Shao Napoli, immigrated to the United States in 1993 from her home country of China.  Having studied Journalism and the Performing Arts in People’s Liberation Army, Nanjing Political College, Tina established herself as a professional vocalist in United States performing in many notable establishments such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Expanding upon her cultural diversity, Tina lent her vocal talents to New York City landmarks supporting international voice-overs for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the United Nations.  For the past few years, Tina has focused her attention towards producing numerous concerts for the Chinese community across the country. 

Dr. Sarah H. Pappas 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.

Michael R. Pender Jr. joined the firm Cavanaugh & Co LLP, Certified Public Accountants in 1976 and was made a partner in 1980.  He holds the CPA designation in the states of Florida and North Carolina.  He also holds an ACFE designation of a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and  AICPA specialty designations as a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and is a member of the AICPA Tax Section. He served as President of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants 2010-11. He has been on numerous committees and task force of the FICPA for the last 30 years.  In addition, he has served as Treasurer of National, State and Local charitable organizations for many years.  He received the FICPA outstanding public award in 2003. He has published articles in the Florida CPA Today on accounting issues.  He has been a featured speaker at the FICPA Not-For-Profit Conference on the topics of “Private Foundations” and “Non Profit Governance”.

Margaret A. (“Peggy”) Rolando  is a native Miamian who returned home when she joined Shutts & Bowen, LLP in 1978.  She has been a partner in the firm since 1984. Peggy concentrates her practice in the acquisition, development, sale, financing and operation of large scale real estate projects.  She is a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and former chair (2013-14) of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.  Peggy is a committed supporter of higher education, the arts and historic preservation.  She served on the Board of Trustees of Florida State University 2010-2015.  She has been a member of the Board of Visitors of FSU College of Law since 1994.  She previously served on the Board of Trustees of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama for 9 years and was recently re-appointed to it.  Peggy is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia.   She also serves on the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of Seraphic Fire, a choral ensemble that presents under-performed music of cultural significance. She earned her B.A. in English and Education from Spring Hill College and M.A. in English Literature and J.D from FSU.

Ina L. Schnell has a background which reflects a focus on themes central to her being: Devotion to the arts through participation in significant cultural organizations, enhancing the role of the library through an innovative Sarasota Reading Festival, the 2002 On the Edge Sarasota Festival of performing and visual arts to develop new audiences, a committed activist in support of child advocacy programs are among those themes. Her participation with outstanding arts and cultural organizations includes such groups as the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Shakespeare and Company, Lenox MA, The Music Theatre Performing Group/ Lenox Arts Center, Hancock Shaker Village and Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Composers Orchestra and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Her professional career focused on fashion merchandising and design. She is a graduate of Skidmore College, BA History and MA in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis, New School for Social Research.

Dr. Judith F. Shank is a retired physician who first had a career as a nursing educator. She has a history of community service in health-care delivery and policy, the arts and fund raising.  She was an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Boston University.  After completing medical school and residency at the University of Minnesota, she founded a private dermatology practice. She was also a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota.   She has served as the President of the Minnesota Medical Association, chaired their task force on healthcare reform, and was Chair of the Minnesota Medical Foundation, the fund-raising arm for the University of Minnesota  School  of Medicine. She was Vice Chair of the Board of Allina Health Systems, which at that time was the largest health care provider and employer in Minnesota. She was a founding board member of Hennepin Health Systems, a public safety net hospital. While there, she helped establish a philanthropic foundation for the hospital and became its first chair.  Judy currently serves on the Sarasota Area Board of United Way Sun Coast, and SPOON Foundation. Spoon Foundation is the first and only organization dedicated to transforming nutrition and feeding for children, with and without disabilities, in orphanages and foster care around the world. Along with her husband, Steve, she serves as Co-Chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Steve is the former CEO of the Tonka Toy Company and more recently founded Capella Education Company, the first wholly online university. The Shanks have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Javi Suarez is an award winning architect with extensive experience in a wide variety of design applications such as cultural, institutional, educational, commercial, religious, and residential projects.  He was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Sarasota at the age of 10.  He is a product of the Sarasota public education program, having graduated from Ashton Elementary, McIntosh Middle School, and Riverview High School. He received his Bachelor of Architectural with honors from the University of Florida and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).  Javi’s work has been published in numerous local and national publications.  Most recently it has been exhibited in “Think Fast Exhibition,” which was displayed at Ball State University in Indiana, Kansas State University, and the School of Design Strategies at Parsons in New York City.  Javi is also a graduate of Leadership Florida class XXVII.  He currently serves on the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board and is the President-Elect of the American Institute of Architects Gulf Coast Chapter.  Javi and his wife Liz are raising two wonderful kids in Sarasota – their 12-year-old son Javierito and 8-year-old daughter Natalia.  

Edward M. Swan, Jr., CFA and his wife Claudia are residents 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 on both corporate and not for profit boards and a long-standing 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 currently a volunteer managing a portion of a program at Booker High School designed to help 9th graders understand what they need to do to be successful in high school and beyond.

Howard C. Tibbals of Knoxville, Tennessee, is known as a philanthropist dedicated to enhancing educational experiences. His love for the circus led him to the monumental project of creating the Howard Brothers Miniature Circus. This 3800 sf miniature circus, along with generous funds, has been donated to the FSU/Ringling Cultural Center for the Arts.  His gift in 2000, which was matched by the state, funded the construction of the Circus Museum’s Tibbals Learning Center and established an endowment. In 2008, an additional donation from Mr. Tibbals was matched by the state to fund construction of an addition to the Tibbals Learning Center which is expected to be complete in Fall 2011. The first floor will showcase engaging exhibitions celebrating the history of circus performance.  The second floor will establish the Tibbals Center for the Study of the American Circus and be well-equipped for research by scholars and curators. Mr. Tibbals is the 2001 recipient of the AFP Outstanding Philanthropist Award.

Dr. Larry A. Wickless, an Osteopathic Gastroenterologist, has been coming to Sarasota since the 1970’s, where his wife Carole’s parents retired and lived in the Museum District.  In fact, their son Scott Wickless took his first step in that home.  Their younger son Kevin came to Sarasota the first time as an infant in arms! Larry and his wife, Carole Crosby JD, have been interested in the visual and performing arts throughout their lives, visiting museums and music venues throughout the world.  After living in Bloomfield Hills, MI for their professional careers, they spent 5 years in Chicago until moving permanently to Sarasota in 2010.  Larry has been extensively involved in Medical education throughout his professional career.  He has served as Interim Director of Medical Education for the past year and Internal Medicine Program Director for the last 2 years, at the Manatee Memorial Hospital.  He has provided medical care for the underserved at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Outpatient Clinic and at the Turning Points Clinic in Bradenton.  Larry has served on many Boards, Foundations and Medical accrediting organizations.  He has also served in many leadership positions as President and led multiple organizations at the state, national and international levels.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc
Board of Directors – Ex-Officio Members

David L. Emison is the 2016-2018 Chair of the Volunteer Services Advisory Council (VSAC) at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.  Upon obtaining his BA in Psychology from DePauw University, Dave entered the US Air Force where he spent the next six years as a pilot, primarily flying C-130 transports.  He participated in the final days of the Vietnam conflict with five missions into Saigon before it fell in 1975.  Returning to the US, assignments included missions in the US, Europe, and the Persian Gulf. He left active duty in 1979, joined Pfizer Inc., spending the next 25 years in Human Resources at the plant, division, and corporate levels with the final assignment as Vice President Human Resources and Administration for the Pfizer Legal Division-worldwide.  He has been a volunteer at The Ringling since 2006 when he and his wife Betty moved to Lakewood Ranch, Florida, from Redding, Connecticut.  Dave is also on the Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 5 (CDD5) Board of Supervisors where he has served for the past 9 years.  Betty and Dave have two children and four grandchildren who all love the variety and fun that The Ringling offers.

Wilmer Pearson is the 2016-2018 Chair of the Docent Advisory Council (DAC).  He retired in 2001 after 37 years in education in Wisconsin where he still summers.  He has been a volunteer at the Ringling Museum since 2002.  Wilmer presently serves as a docent at the Ca’d’Zan, the Circus Museum, Gardens and Grounds, and school tours.  He also volunteers in the Membership department.  Wilmer served as Co-Chair of the Events Committee of the Docent Advisory Council from 2014 to 2016 and as Chair of the Volunteer Services Advisory Council from 2010 to 2014.He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse.