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.
Joe Catti has been extensively involved in the Lee County community since he moved to this area in 1992. A native of Miami, he graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelors degree and a major in finance.
He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation since 1999. Besides working with the Foundation, his abilities as a fund raiser found him as the recipient of the Lee County Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2005. Other organizations and Board of Director positions that have benefited from Joe Catti’s expertise are: Chairman of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Immediate past Chairman and current Executive and Finance Committee, member of the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, Lee County Public Education Foundation Board of Director, Hope Hospice Board, Salvation Army, Finance Committee Chairperson of the Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation, United Way, and Stetson University Family Office School.
Presently, Joe is the President/CEO of FineMark National Bank and Trust Company.
GUY S. EMERICHA native of New York state, Guy Emerich was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, attended the University of Florida, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Juris Doctor degree with honors and then graduated from the University of Miami with a Master of Laws degree in estate planning.
Before establishing himself with a law firm, Guy served as an editor of the University of Florida Law Review and as an assistant professor of law. In 1971, he joined the law firm of Farr, Farr, Emerich, Sifrit, Hacket and Carr, P.A., Charlotte County’s largest law firm, where he has served as President and Managing Director.
Along with serving as a Board of Trustee for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation since 2000, Guy Emerich has been active in the Charlotte County Estate Planning Council and conducts lectures and seminars on estate planning. Other voluntary positions he has held are past President of the Charlotte County Mental Health Services and currently serves as a Director of Endowment Trust for the Charlotte County Art Guild.
He is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts and Estate and is a member of the American Bar Association and The Charlotte County Bar Association, for which he has served as president. Presently, he is the Chairman of the Estate and Trust Tax Planning Committee of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Section of the Florida Bar and a member of the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the Florida Bar. Twice, Guy has been named one of Florida’s Legal Elite, which is a distinguished group selected by one's peers, honoring only two percent of the state's lawyers.
Guy and his wife, Annette, live and have raised their two children in the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte areas of Florida.
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.
JIM NATHANJim Nathan has been affiliated with Lee Memorial Health System as President from 1982 through 1997 and again as President and Chief Executive Officer since 2000. He initially joined Lee Memorial in 1975 and has been instrumental in its emergence as a health system serving southwest Florida including five acute care hospitals, a rehab hospital, a children’s hospital, a skilled nursing system, a home health agency, as well as multiple physician practices and various outpatient services. Under his leadership, Lee Memorial has received many national recognitions and awards.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation asked Jim Nathan to join their Board in 1984; and since that time, he has served as President and Vice President of the Board of Trustees and has been a vital member of numerous committees. Presently, he is a member of the Executive Committee and Chairs the Governance Committee.
Along with volunteering at the Community Foundation, Jim is chairman of the Florida Hospital Association, immediate past chair of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has given his time to serving on the Boards of Voluntary Hospitals of America—Southeast Regional Partnership, Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Southwest Florida Branch of the American Heart Association, and the Southwest Florida Branch of the American Red Cross. He was instrumental in founding the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida and has been active as Campaign Chairman and President of the United Way of Lee County.
Jim spent nearly three years away from Lee Memorial as a leadership consultant and served multiple times as a national keynote speaker on the nation’s health care system. He also testified before the U.S. Senate on issues related to health care competition and antitrust.
He graduated from Miami University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and holds Masters Degrees in both Business Administration and Health Care Administration from Xavier University. An Honorary Doctorate in Healthcare Administration was presented to Jim for his years of service to the community by Southwest Florida College.
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.