Board of Trustees
Phyllis Sharp, (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.
Peter Bender, (Vice President) - 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.
James M. Young, (Treasurer) - Sanibel, Florida
Jim recently started at Investors Security Trust Company in Fort Myers as a Senior Vice President and a Senior Portfolio Manager. He previously held this position at the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. His work experience includes wealth management at major financial institutions and being an advisor to a private foundation. Jim 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. Jim has served one term on the Board and is presently the Treasurer.
Janet M. Strickland, (Member at Large) - Sanibel, Florida
Janet is an attorney and has her own law firm on Sanibel, with a satellite office in Fort Myers. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1977, after which she lived in Breckenridge, Colorado, for 20 years, during which time she graduated from the University of Denver Law School. Janet moved back to Florida in 1997 and is in her 25th year of practicing law. She opened her law firm on Sanibel in October 2010, and practices in the areas of estate planning, trusts, probate, and transactional business matters. Janet has served one term on the Board, served as Chair of the Nominating Committee for the past two years, and chaired the Search Committee for the Executive Director of the Museum in 2013.
Don Adams - Sanibel, Florida
In 1999, Don Adams began devoting full-time to a museum management consulting practice. Since then he has provided counsel in collections research and interpretation, exhibit and public program development, public relations, marketing, strategic planning and fundraising to museums in the U.S. and Canada. Don’s facilitation of a strategic planning committee for the Edison and Ford Winter Estates led to the successful privatization of these national landmarks. Don was a founder of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Standing Professional Committee on Public Relations and Marketing and the AAM Professional Interest Committee on Museum Tourism. In fund raising, he has staffed or advised on capital campaigns totaling more than $250 million over the last few years, and has guided development of several museums’ corporate sponsorship and membership programs. He is the author of the book Museum Public Relations and has published and lectured extensively.
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.
Clair Beckmann, (Past President, Ex Officio) - 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.
Chris Davison - Sanibel, Florida
Chris Davison joined Island Inn in May 2010 as V.P. of Operations, recruited from the Resort and Hospitality Management Program at Florida Gulf Coast University. Chris also has worked in the financial services sector in both New York and Florida. In January 2011, Chris became the General Manager at Island Inn, and he manages a staff of 35 and oversees hotel operations, including capital projects, sales, and marketing. Chris has been responsible for a major refurbishment program at the Inn, and also raised the Inn’s revenue over 110% in the 3 plus years of his employment. Chris serves on the Board of Directors for the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce and is a Sanibel resident who loves to fish and boat.
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.
Phyllis Gibson - Sanibel, Florida
Phyllis Gibson is Assistant Vice President, Client Services, at the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. She has over 20 years experience in the investment industry. She worked for several major brokerage firms including Legg Mason Wood Walker and Morgan Stanley, as branch operations manager, before joining Sunguard Data Systems as their conversion support leader. Phyllis moved to Captiva 20 years ago where she has served on the board of the Captiva Civic Association, the Captiva Hurricane Committee, board secretary of the Captiva Island Yacht Club and Commissioner of the Captiva Fire Control District. Phyllis assists in the handling of the Trust Company’s client service operations.
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.
Lynn Schneider - Fort Myers
Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC, is the Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Shell Point Retirement Community. Lynn has been with Shell Point since 1994, and oversees marketing, advertising, and public relations; manages internal communications to 2,300 residents and 950 employees; and serves as the public spokesperson for the community. She is accredited in Public Relations and certified as a Public Relations Counselor by the Florida Public Relations Association. Schneider and her husband, Craig, have lived in the Fort Myers area since 1984 and will soon begin construction on a home in the Gumbo Limbo neighborhood of Sanibel.
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
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.