header directors and members

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BOD - Officers
Bob Wright, Chairman and CEO
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:18

 

Mr. Wright has had a diversified career in law, general management, marketing, and television. He served as vice chairman of General Electric and president, CEO, and chairman of NBC and NBC Universal from 1986 to 2007. He formerly served as president of General Electric Financial Services and as president of Cox Cable Communications. Mr. Wright is a senior advisor of THL Capital, serves on the board of directors of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp, LLC, and AMC Networks Inc.; and is advisor to the Lustgarten Foundation and a trustee emeritus of New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was formerly a member of the executive committee of Rand Corporation and a director of EMI Group Global Ltd. Mr. Wright has been inducted into the Advertising, Broadcasting and Cable Halls of Fame. In 2005, Mr. Wright and his late wife, Suzanne, co-founded Autism Speaks, dedicated to raising public awareness and research funds for autism. It has committed more than $570 million to its mission, largely in science and medical research, and has become the world’s leading autism advocacy organization. Mr. Wright has played a leadership role in national autism legislation and advocates for federal funding of treatment and services for individuals with autism. The Wrights’ recognition for their advocacy and philanthropy includes being named in 2008 in the Heroes and Pioneers category of the TIME 100 annual list of influential people. The Wrights also received the first Double Helix Award for Corporate Leadership from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the NYU Child Advocacy Award, the Castle Connolly National Health Leadership Award, the American Ireland Fund Humanitarian Award, the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy 2011 Leadership Award, the Moffly Media’s Light a Fire Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Eugene M. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award from the I Have A Dream Foundation. In 2013, they received the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean’s Medal for Global Leadership in Autism Research and Advocacy. In addition, the Wrights received honorary degrees from St. John’s University, St. Joseph’s University, Fairfield University, and UMass Medical School. Mr. Wright graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, and the Law School of the University of Virginia. His 2016 memoir, “The Wright Stuff,” pays tribute to his wife of 49 years as his “chief passion officer” who was integral to his professional success. Mrs. Wright died of pancreatic cancer in July 2016. Together, the couple enjoyed spending time with their three children and six grandchildren. In honor of his wife and her battle with pancreatic cancer, Mr. Wright established the Suzanne Wright Foundation, dedicated to accelerating pancreatic cancer research through awareness. His focus as chairman is on making the fight against pancreatic cancer an urgent national priority.

BOD - Officers
J. Patterson Cooper, Secretary and Treasurer
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:27

Chair, Tax and Finance

Mr. Cooper has been a partner with Prudent Capital Partners since 2012. Prior to that he served as president and CEO of First Bank of the Palm Beaches; Deutsche Bank Florida (legacy Bankers Trust) and JPMorgan Chase (legacy Chemical Bank). He has held senior management positions in Asia, Europe and the United States in commercial, investment and private banking as well as asset management. Mr. Cooper is the immediate past chairman of the board of Camp Boggy Creek, a medical camp for children founded by Paul Newman and Norman Schwarzkopf. In Palm Beach County he has held leadership positions in the Economic Council, Town of Palm Beach United Way and the Local Initiative Support Corporation. He and his wife, Patricia, have been residents of Palm Beach since 1989.

BOD - Executive Committee
Michael L. Ainslie
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:30

Mr. Ainslie is a private investor. He served as president and chief executive of Sotheby’s Holdings, the parent of Sotheby’s auction and real estate business, 1984-94. Prior to Sotheby’s, Mr. Ainslie served as president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC. He has also served as president of Palmas del Mar, a subsidiary of the Sea Pines Company, and as an associate in McKinsey & Company’s New York office. Mr. Ainslie recently completed 15 years as the founding chairman of the Posse Foundation, which annually grants more than 700 university scholarships to outstanding graduates of New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, and Miami public high schools. Mr. Ainslie serves as a trustee emeritus of Vanderbilt University. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics from Vanderbilt University. He lives in Palm Beach with his wife, Suzanne, and their daughter. He has four grown children.

BOD - Executive Committee
John J. Borland
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:31

Chair, Palm Beach County Committee

Mr. Borland is a chartered financial analyst and a general partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Since joining the firm in 1991, he has run its Chicago and Palm Beach offices, as well as its national wealth management business. Prior to joining Brown Brothers Harriman, he served as executive vice president of Fiduciary Management Associates and in various positions for Northern Trust Company. Mr. Borland is a graduate of Harvard College and University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Palm Beach, and have three children and seven grandchildren.

BOD - Executive Committee
George A. Cohon
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:33

Mr. Cohon, founder of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and McDonald’s in Russia, was born in Chicago. He practiced corporate law in Chicago (1961-67), then moved to Toronto as the licensee of McDonald’s Corporation. He served as president, chairman and CEO of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada for 25 years. His best-selling autobiography, To Russia With Fries, recounts his drive to open McDonald’s in the former Soviet Union; the first restaurant opened in 1990. Mr. Cohon became a Canadian citizen in 1975. Among other awards, he has received the highest public service awards from three continents: he is an officer of the Order of Canada for his outstanding contribution to his country; he received the Order of Ontario; he was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship; and he received the Israel Prime Minister’s Medal. Mr. Cohon is the founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Canada and in Russia, a founding patron of Ronald McDonald Houses, and a former director on the boards of Royal Bank of Canada and Astral Media Inc. He graduated from Drake University and Northwestern University School of Law. He lives in Toronto and Palm Beach with his wife, Susan. They have two sons and three grandchildren.

BOD - Executive Committee
David A. Duffy
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:34

Chair, Public Safety Committee

Mr. Duffy is the retired founder and chairman of Duffy & Shanley, Inc., a public relations/marketing firm in Providence, RI, serving national and regional clients. His early career included positions as newspaper reporter, US Army officer, and publicist with General Electric. Active in politics and government affairs, he served as a special assistant in the office of the US Secretary of Transportation and counsel to numerous election campaigns, and he worked on many special projects worldwide for NY Govenor and US Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller. Mr. Duffy is a past national chair of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ). He has also chaired the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and served eight years as chair of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority. He is a 1961 graduate of Providence College, which awarded him an honorary degree in 2011. He is past vice chair of the college’s board of trustees. He and his wife, Heidi, reside in Palm Beach and North Kingstown, RI.

BOD - Executive Committee
E. Llwyd Ecclestone
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:36

Chair, Bridge Committee

Mr. Ecclestone began his career in real estate development and construction in Michigan. His numerous Palm Beach County projects include Lost Tree Village, Old Port Cove, PGA National Resort and Spa, Forum III, Tower 1555 and several apartment projects. For his distinguished community efforts, he has received the Outstanding Business Leader Award and an honorary Doctorate of Law from Northwood University, the Elmer Hedrick Award for Excellence from Gold Coast Builders Association, the John D. MacArthur Business Leader of the Year Award from the Palm Beach Post and the Palm Tree Award from Palm Beach Police Foundation. Mr. Ecclestone was a founding trustee for Florida Atlantic University and the Palm Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and is life trustee for the Kravis Center. He is the former chairman and current board member of the Aviation and Airport Advisory Committee for Palm Beach International Airport and currently serves as chairman of the Shore Protection Board for the Town of Palm Beach.

BOD - Executive Committee
Gerald Frank
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:49

Chair, Underground Utilities Committee

Mr. Frank is the retired president of Hardware Supply Company, a distribution firm he co-founded in 1955 and one of the earliest developers of computerized distribution in the industry. He also founded construction and water purification companies in Philadelphia. Mr. Frank served as chairman of Middle Atlantic Hardware Association, Allied Hardware Services, and Pro Distribution Company. He also served as a director of BDP International, a global logistics and freight forwarding company. Mr. Frank has served with civic associations in Philadelphia, Delaware County, PA, and Stone Harbor, NJ. He is the past president of his condominium association and past co-chairman of the Citizens Association of Palm Beach. He is also a graduate of Palm Beach Citizens Police and Fire Rescue Academies and is on the board of directors of Palm Beach Crime Watch. He is a volunteer with the Palm Beach Police VIPS Program, as well as the secretary/treasurer of Palm Beach Police Foundation. Mr. Frank is on the Executive Committee of Palm Beach Civic Association and is vice-chair of the Town of Palm Beach Shore Protection Board.

BOD - Executive Committee
Michele Kessler
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:50

Chair, Fundraising Committee

Mrs. Kessler is the director of community relations at the Kessler Group and co-founder and director of the Kessler Family Foundation. She is a member of the Women’s Health Leadership Forum at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as a member of the President’s Advisory Council. She also serves on the board of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she co-chaired the Visiting Committee for Gastrointestinal Cancers. Mrs. Kessler is the co-chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Leadership Council for Psychiatry and the Global Ambassador of the Measles Initiative for the American Red Cross. She is the chairman of the board of the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society and co-chair of South Florida PBS. She serves on the executive committee of the American Ireland Fund, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, and the Palm Beach Police Foundation. She is also on the board of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, the Ayenda Foundation, the Global Health Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School and the Town of Palm Beach United Way. Mrs. Kessler was formerly Honorary Consul of Monaco in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2013, she received the Jack Connors, Jr. Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. In 2012, she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the American Red Cross’s Life Time Achievement Award and the Palm Tree Award from the Palm Beach Police Foundation. Mrs. Kessler was honored in 2009 by Massachusetts General Hospital with the Leadership Award by the Chief of Psychiatry and with the 2009 American Red Cross International Leadership Award and the 2009 American Ireland Fund Humanitarian Award. In 2007, she received the Women of Distinction Award by Palm Beach Atlantic University. Mrs. Kessler and her husband, Howard, have two sons and four grandchildren. They divide their time between their homes in Palm Beach, Boston and Osterville, MA.

BOD - Executive Committee
William M. Matthews
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:52

Chair, Raymond J. Kunkel Committee

Mr. Matthews, a native Floridian, has been involved with private investments and venture capital activities for more than 35 years. His interests have ranged from energy and real estate to technology and entertainment. For the last decade, Mr. Matthews has been increasingly committed to not-for-profit and charitable concerns. He currently is treasurer for Palm Beach Day Academy, and treasurer for Henry Morrison Flagler Museum. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and as a life trustee of Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA. He is the former chairman for Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

BOD - Directors
Brian A. McIver
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 15:38

Chair, Marketing/Membership

Mr. McIver is a private investor. He is retired from Kraft Foods International, where he was senior vice president of marketing and strategic planning. He was group vice president of General Foods International and held several brand management assignments at Procter & Gamble. He has served as board member and advisor to nonprofit organizations, including Palm Beach County Food Bank, Town of Palm Beach United Way, Feeding South Florida, World Affairs Council, The Lord’s Place, New York Young Audiences and Croquet Foundation of America. He is a past member of Guggenheim Museum’s International Development Council and Commanderie de Bordeaux Wine Society. A graduate of Michigan State University, he has been guest lecturer at Harvard, Dartmouth and the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Pamela, have residences in Palm Beach and Sag Harbor, NY.

BOD - Executive Committee
Robert E. Nederlander
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:55

Mr. Nederlander has been the managing member of Nederlander Company LLC, which owns and operates theaters outside of metropolitan New York; an officer/director of Nederlander Organization Inc., which operates theaters in New York City; and president of Nederlander Television and Film Productions, Inc. He is a limited partner in the New York Yankees Partnership. He served for 16 years as an elected regent for University of Michigan and was appointed by President Carter and confirmed by the Senate to be a member of the National Council on Educational Research. Mr. Nederlander graduated from University of Michigan in 1955 with a BA in economics, earned his JD from University of Michigan Law School in 1958 and received an honorary Doctorate of Law in 1990. He has also received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award and the Presidential Society Service Citation. He is a fellow of both the ABA and the State Bar of Michigan and served as a director of four different public boards.

BOD - Executive Committee
Linda R. Olsson
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:56

Ms. Olsson is the president/broker of Linda R. Olsson, Inc., Realtor, "Specializing in Palm Beach Luxury Properties" for over 27 years. Recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of “America's Best Real Estate Agents", ranked 26th in the state for sales volume.​ This year has been another banner year for her boutique firm, known for its professionalism, superior service, and unrivaled website. Born and raised in Boston, she lives and works in Palm Beach and believes in supporting local civic causes. Ms. Olsson has been a member of the Palm Beach Civic Association for 2​5 years prior to becoming a ​​director and member of the Executive Committee. ​A​n active member of the Palm Beach community, she has been a 25-year​ ​member and supporter of the Preservation ​Foundation​ of Palm Beach, a supporter of the Society of the Four Arts, and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. She is a founding member of the Palm Beach/Flagler Rotary Club, where she was club secretary and received a Paul Harris Fellow award. In addition, Ms. Olsson is a member of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Flagler Museum, Norton Museum of Art, the Palm Beach DAR, and is a sustaining member of the Palm Beach Junior League.

BOD - Executive Committee
Harvey L. Poppel
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:57

Chair, Water Resources Committee

Mr. Poppel is a private investor. He served as managing director of Broadview Associates, an information technology (IT) mergers and acquisition firm, 1985-96. Previously, he managed the worldwide IT and information systems management consulting practices at Booz, Allen and Hamilton, Inc., and served on Booz, Allen’s board. Mr. Poppel was a four-time Ernst and Young Entrepreneur-of-the-Year judge in New Jersey and Northern California, and co-authored Information Technology: The Trillion-Dollar Opportunity. He has served on the executive committee and is currently a director of Israel Cancer Association and is on the Vice President’s Council of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Mr. Poppel received his BS and MS degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He and his wife, Lee, live in Palm Beach and Tiburon, CA. They have two children and three grandchildren.

BOD - Directors
John F. Scarpa
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 15:53

Mr. Scarpa is an entrepreneur in the cable television and cellular communications industries. He was co-founder, president and COO of American Cellular Network Corporation, licensed to operate cellular telephone systems in the northeastern US. As co-founder of Unitel Wireless Communications Systems, Mr. Scarpa also developed and operated cellular telephone systems throughout the US and was one of the original members of the Cellular One Network. He was instrumental in establishing the New Jersey and the Northeast Cable TV Associations. Through the John F. Scarpa Foundation, he supports education, healthcare, and disadvantaged families. He is the principal benefactor for the Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Center in Vineland, NJ. Mr. Scarpa serves on the board of directors of the Town of Palm Beach United Way, Home Safe in West Palm Beach; he is a former director of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews. He has received honorary doctorates from the American University of Rome and Villanova Law School, and he established the John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies. He has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2010) and the National Italian American Foundation Special Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit (2008). In September 2015, he founded the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship at Villanova Law School. Mr. Scarpa and his wife, Jana, reside in Palm Beach and Avalon, NJ.

BOD - Directors
Leo A. Vecellio, Jr.
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 15:59

Mr. Vecellio is chairman, president, and CEO of Vecellio Group, Inc. He joined the family-owned Vecellio & Grogan in 1973, with degrees in civil engineering and construction management from Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, and four years of US Air Force active duty. He spurred the company’s growth and expansion into new markets and industries, making Vecellio Group a top contractor with extensive heavy/highway construction, mining, and petroleum operations. Mr. Vecellio is a founder of Floridians for Better Transportation, serves on Florida’s Council of 100, and is active in the Florida Transportation Builders Association. He is past chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and he currently chairs its Transportation Development Foundation. Mr. Vecellio is a member of Virginia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni and Academy of Engineering Excellence, Georgia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, and West Virginia Academy of Civil Engineers. He and wife, Kathryn, are active in numerous philanthropic endeavors as well. The Vecellio Family Foundation has provided more than $2.6 million in college scholarships and helps support numerous other educational, civic and charitable organizations. The couple’s two sons, Christopher and Michael, the fourth generation in the family business, also reside in Palm Beach.

BOD - Executive Committee
Mary E. Watkins
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:59

Ms. Watkins has been a resident of Palm Beach since 1999. She retired from JPMorgan following 28 years with the firm. During her tenure with JPMorgan, she held numerous leadership positions, including her last position as president of JPMorgan Florida and head of the firm’s Private Banking business in Florida. Previously, as a managing director in New York, Ms. Watkins was responsible for the firm’s Global Loan Syndication Group and separately JPMorgan’s Private Placement Advisory Group. Further, she was the first executive selected to lead JPMorgan’s firm-wide Diversity Initiative. Ms. Watkins has served as a trustee on the board of Hollins University and on the Vestry of Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. She is a graduate of Kent School in Kent, CT, and received a BA from Hollins University. She received a master’s degree in Economics from New York University. Ms. Watkins is married to Reuben B. Johnson, and they have three grown children.