Board of Trustees
Clair Beckmann, (President) - Lousiville, Colorado, and Sanibel, Florida
Clair Beckmann grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated first in her class with a degree in finance from the University of Missouri many many years ago. She moved to Colorado in 1975 and enjoyed a 30-year career with JPMorganChase and various predecessor institutions serving in many capacities including many years as Regional President for Boulder County. Currently she is the Planned Giving Officer for the Boulder Community Hospital Foundation. Non-profit work has been a hallmark of her life and she has served on dozens of Boards and served as Board Chair of non-profits such as the Community Foundation serving Boulder County, Community Food Share, the Boulder Economic Council, the Louisville Chamber of Commerce and others. Clair has been instrumental in raising funds for Hospice, Impact on Education, the Women's Foundation of Colorado, Community Food Share and other institutions. Passions include reading, eating, gardening, travel, PEOPLE, and seashell collecting. Clair and her spouse, Ron Nixon, reside in Louisville, Colorado and Sanibel, Florida.
Phyllis Sharp, (Vice President) - Denver, Colorado, and Sanibel, Florida
Phyllis Sharp is a retired business executive, including 23 years with Johns Manville, in sales and marketing of commercial building materials. Phyllis was introduced to shelling and Sanibel in the 1980s, and has been coming here each winter for almost 20 years. Along with shelling on Sanibel, Phyllis has taken a number of shelling trips, including trips to Fiji, Tonga and the Bahamas. Phyllis has also been very involved in volunteering and museums. She has been a volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since 2001 in their Paleontology and Zoology Departments, along with completing their Paleontology Certificate Program for laboratory and field work. Since 2007, Phyllis has been a Department Associate with overall responsibility for the Marine Invertebrate Collection, which is a small worldwide collection including mollusks, corals and echinoderms. Phyllis holds a BA and MA in English and earned her MBA at the University of Denver.
Mark Blust, (Secretary) - Fort Myers, Florida
Mark is the V.P. of Operations and Marketing for the Prawnbroker Restaurant Group which operates restaurants on Sanibel and in Ft. Myers. Mark has the privilege of sitting on the boards of both the Sanibel-Captiva and the Greater Fort Myers Chambers of Commerce. He also sits on the Lee County Sports Organizing Committee Board. As a Ft. Myers native, Mark is intimately involved with organizations and activities that recognize and preserve our special ecosystems and outdoor treasures as well as local charities that work hard to help the underprivileged in our area.
James M. Young, (Treasurer) - Sanibel, Florida
Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Sanibel-Captiva Trust Company. Mr. Young has extensive experience conducting investment research and managing client portfolios for both high net worth families and institutions. Prior to joining the trust company, Mr. Young’s responsibilities ranged from Chief Investment Officer to Senior Portfolio Manager with the wealth management divisions of major financial institutions and a Naples based Family Private Office and Foundation. Mr. Young received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in Economics and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded the Certified Financial Planner® designation in 1986 and became a Chartered Financial Analyst® charter holder in 1994. He is a past president of CFA Tampa Bay, has been an advisor to several non-profit organizations, currently serves on the Lee Memorial Health System Investment Advisory Council and remains an active volunteer in USA/Florida Youth Hockey.
Nancy J. Pierce, (Member-at-Large) - Sanibel, Florida
Ms. Nancy J. Pierce, a Kansas native, has resided in Florida for the past 25 years. She and her husband, Richard Famiglietti, reside both on Sanibel Island and on Florida’s east coast. She is active in her island neighborhood, having served two terms on its Board of Directors. Her favorite endeavors focus on her many and varied avocations that range from animals to the arts. Ms. Pierce has been actively involved in the health care industry for 30 years. Education includes Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Communicative Disorders and Sciences, followed by post graduate specialization in Health Care Administration. She has administrative experience in hospital, outpatient and rehabilitation agency settings. Clinically, Ms. Pierce is a speech/language pathologist, having provided therapy services in the aforementioned settings as well. Much of her career has been spent as a self-employed health care management consultant. Most recently, her focus had been on the development and operations of ambulatory outpatient surgical centers of which she was an owner/general partner.
Lee Almas - Sanibel, Florida
Lee was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of Case Reserve University, formerly Western Reserve University, Cleveland, with a BBA degree in Marketing, Accounting, and Industrial Organization. He has extensive background in wholesale and brokerage, co-owned a lumber company, was a regional sales representative for industrial sales for a national cold heading manufacturer, National Sales Manager for an automotive parts manufacturer and an electronic sound equipment, and building contractor of custom homes, owned a roof and floor truss manufacturing company, and operated property management business. Lee is married to Margery, and the couple has three married children. He has been a resident of Sanibel since 1977. He had a family business on Sanibel, a motel, dating back to late 1950s until 1986; it was named the Beachcomber Motel. Lee is also a 32 Degree Masonic Mason and member of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, both for 51 years. He is Past President of Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club and Board member. Member of Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church, Sanibel, and a Eucharistic Minister, a chair person, and a committee member of other ministries.
Peter Bender - Sanibel, Florida
Pete Bender and his wife Nancy purchased their home on Sanibel in 1997, and moved to Sanibel from Michigan in 1999. Pete continued to work as a lawyer in Michigan until he retired in 2010. Pete has an extensive list of accomplishments and was involved in many Michigan bar associations. Pete volunteers for many island organizations, including F.I.S.H. of Sanibel, and is the past President of the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club.
Alan Gettleman - Merritt Island, Florida
Alan is a lifelong collector of shells beginning with family vacations to Florida beginning in 1955. He lives in Merritt Island and is retired from federal civil service after 31 years divided between the U.S. Army and NASA. At NASA his work included processing satellites and experiments on rockets or for the Space Shuttle. He received medals for outstanding civilian service from the Department of the Army and also from NASA. He holds a BA from Southern Illinois University and a MBA from Florida Tech. He was also a firefighter and EMT for fire departments in Illinois and Florida. He is a past officer and shell show chairman for several shell clubs, and was a President of the Conchologists of America (COA) and convention co-chairman for COA conventions in St. Louis in 1987 and the most recent Astronaut Trail Shell Club sponsored COA in 2011. He is one of the most recent recipients of the Neptunea Award from COA. In 2010, he was the co-founder of the Florida United Malacologists (FUM) which is having their third annual meeting in Sanibel on February 12, 2012 at The Bailey Matthews Shell Museum. Alan is a member of Conchologists of America (COA), American Malacological Society (AMS), Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, Astronaut Trail Shell Club including current shell show chair and newsletter “The Capsule” editor , Central Florida Shell Club, North Carolina Shell Club and San Diego Shell Club.
Jim Hall - Sanibel, Florida
Jim Hall moved to Sanibel in 1991. He is married to Karen and has four children. Jim is a graduate of Boston College, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, after which he took graduate courses in Land Disposition and Development at Harvard University. Jim has worked for VIP Realty on Sanibel since 1990, and is now the Managing Partner and Owner of both the Sanibel and Captiva offices. Jim has been very active in Island organizations, including acting as Past President of the Board of Realtors, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as a Board member for the Ding Darling Wildlife Sanctuary, and as an Eucharistic Minister at St. Isabel’s Catholic Church.
Rob Lisenbee - Fort Myers, Florida
Rob is the Office Manager for the Bank of the Islands on Sanibel.
Amy Nowacki - Sanibel, Florida
Amy Nowacki is a resident of Sanibel and a registered architect in both New York and Florida. She moved to Southwest Florida from New York after working for architectural firms there, and also worked in Fort Myers firms prior to opening her open practice here on Sanibel. She has been involved in various civic organizations, including the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce.
Marie Peart - Toronto, Canada, and Sanibel, Florida
Marie Peart is a native Canadian and grew up in Toronto, Ontario. Marie taught at The Toronto Montessori Institute until the birth of her second son. She visited Fort Myers over the last eight years, then spent the last year living on Sanibel, where she discovered her passion for shelling and became a Docent at the Shell Museum. In 2012, Marie purchased a home on Captiva. She enjoys being an active member of the Islands community, and belongs to Sanibel Community Church, as well as The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club.
Tom Risher - Sanibel, Florida
Tom spent his early childhood in northern New Jersey, relocating to Delray Beach in 1962. Shortly after high school he served with honor in the United States Navy for four years. Tom attended Florida Atlantic University where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration. In 2006, Tom and his wife Jeanne retired to Sanibel, and he has been a volunteer at the Bailey-Matthews Shell museum for the past three years, giving over 2000 hours of his time. He has always been an avid shell collector and says that Sanibel has played a large role in this interest since he has visited and shelled this island since the early 1950s.
Vasanta Senerat - Sanibel, Florida
Vasanta attended University of Minnesota, gradauting as a Chartered Financial Consultant and Real Estate Broker. She moved to Fort Myers from Minneapolis to to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also worked for GE as a Tax Specialist before opening her own practice in Fort Myers in 1994. Vasanta opened her Sanibel office in 2004.
Evelyn Stewart - Sanibel, Florida
Since 1986, Evelyn owns and manages, with husband Craig and son Joshua, the eco-tourism outfit Adventures in Paradise, on Sanibel and Fort Myers. She has been a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce and several island organizations
Janet M. Strickland - Sanibel, Florida
Janet Strickland was born in Detroit and moved to Gainesville, Florida, at age of seven. After graduating from the University of Florida, she moved to Breckenridge, Colorado, attending law school at the University of Denver. Janet visited Sanibel for many years prior to moving to the island with husband Walt Hendry in 2010. Janet opened her law practice on the Sanibel on October 2010, and has since been an active member of the island community. Janet has practiced in the area of wills, trusts, and estate planning for over 22 years and has an “AV” Martindale Hubbell rating, the highest attainable by the independent national attorney rating service.
Ronald B. Toll - Fort Myers, Florida
Dr. Toll has been the Provost and Vice-president for Academic Affairs of Florida Gulf Coast University since 2008. Dr. Toll earned his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami, and served as Vice-president for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Lebanon Valley College, and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas.