Trustees who have served with distinction for some minimum period of service, whose commitment to the institution remains strong.
SUSAN BENNETTSusan Bennett is the president and owner of Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, a full-service marketing and public relations firm, specializing in non-profit, health care, and governmental agencies. Susan offers more than 35 years experience in marketing, public relations, and fund-raising. She also serves her community as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, where she has held positions of Chair, vice Chair and Secretary-Treasurer as well.
Susan opened her company in 1991, after attaining more than 25 years experience in marketing, primarily with Gannett Co., where she was marketing director of TheNews-Press and served on the launch team ofUSA TODAY in its first 15 markets around the country. Among her responsibilities was orchestrating the USATODAY launch party on the White House lawn for 8,000 guests including the President of the United States.
She is one of the most honored public relations professionals in Florida, having earned more than 180 regional and national awards for her work, including the state’s highest award -- the All-Florida Golden Image Award for the best public relations campaign in Florida. She also is the recipient of a bronze award from the International Film and Television Festival of New York, numerous Addy Awards and more than 150 awards from the Florida Public Relations Association. She received special recognition from former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, as well as Sen. Bob Graham when he was governor of Florida, for her nationwide newspaper campaign to free the American hostages held in Iran.
Susan is an accredited public relations professional (APR) and a certified public relations counselor (CPRC), both from the Florida Public Relations Association. She also has been recognized as Southwest Florida’s PR Professional of the Year and is a member of the FPRA Counselors’ Network, which consists of the state’s most experienced professionals.
Susan has earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a Master of Arts degree in mass communications from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She also is certified in Government and Foundation Grant Writing from Nova University and is a registered fund-raising consultant with the State of Florida.
Along with her diligent work for the Foundation, Susan has volunteered her time and talents to other community-based organizations, such as board member of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, president of the Gulf Coast Society of Fund-Raising Executives, treasurer of United Way’s BoardWALK, secretary of the Health Education Center of Southwest Florida, Community Advisory Board of the Junior League of Fort Myers, Community Coordinating Council, and board member of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Robin BrownAs a former Trustee for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Dr. Robin Brown served Southwest Florida as a prominent Ear Nose and Throat Physician. Now retired, Dr. Brown is recognized as a Caloosa Indian Historian and has published several books on the subject.
Jerry HusseyJerry Hussey is a former president of the board for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. He was also a prominent banker within the Southwest Florida community.
Jerry was previously president of the Fort Myers Kiwanis Club, the Edison Pageant of Light, and many other civic organizations.
Jerry currently resides in Southwest Florida.
Also a former Executive Director of the Foundation, Jim McFadden also served as President of First National Bank in Fort Myers.
Steve PontiusSteven Pontius is currently the Executive Vice President of Waterman Broadcasting and General Manager of NBC-2 WBBH-TV. He is also responsible for the operation of Fort Myer’s based ABC-7 WZVN-TV and WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, Virginia. Steve is currently a Director of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, where he served as the Association’s chairman in 2000. He has also served as President of both the Southwest Florida Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Executives Association of Texas.
CAROLYN ROGERS, APR, CPRC
Carolyn is the owner of SimplifyPR, a public relations and marketing firm offering strategic marketing programs for a variety of clients in the fields of health care, education, engineering, fund development, air conditioning and in-home repair service, and more. Areas of specialty include public relations, media relations, communications, advertising, Web marketing , social media services, and multi-media production.
Before forming SimplyfyPR, Carolyn was co-owner of Briggs & Rogers Marketing & Public Relations and principal of Carolyn Rogers Public Relations. She served as director of development for Lee County’s prestigious private independent school, Canterbury School, as well as The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. She worked in health care marketing and public relations for University Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla. and physician practices in Fort Myers.
A long standing resident of Southwest Florida, Carolyn is a member of the board of trustees for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, alumni member of the Leadership Lee County (Class of 1996), and member of the United Way allocations team. She is a member of the Southwest Florida chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA).
Carolyn earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication specializing in public relations from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She has earned certification as an accredited public relations professional (APR) and a certified public relations counselor (CPRC) from the universal accreditation board for the FPRA and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She has also been a certified fundraising consultant (CFRE) since 2000 and is registered with the State of Florida Department of Agriculture as a fundraising consultant.
Carolyn’s work has been recognized by FPRA with Golden Image Awards for numerous programs including best public relations program in the state for special events 2009 and 2010, and best community relations program 2008. Her work has also received local awards including recognition by the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA the SWF Chapter of the Ad Federation.