Denny is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the retired founder and owner of Meridian Printing, a commercial art printing company based in Rhode Island. The company worked nationwide primarily in the high-end art market, working directly with artists, photographers and art museums and galleries. He is past Chairman of Milton Holdings, a Dublin, Ireland holding company, running their U.S. Division. He is past President of the Boards of Rocky Hill School, East Greenwich Public Library, Wannamoisett Country Club, Naples National Golf Club and Carnegie Abbey Golf Club. Denny is currently the Board Chair of the Naples Historical Society and Chairman and Founder of the Ron Baliciki Scholarship Foundation and is serving on the boards of The Naples Players, Terra Cotta Golf Charities, and is Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Independence Trail Foundation. Denny and his wife Tanya are full-time Naples residents and have called Naples “home” since 2004.
Otto Immel is a partner at Quarles & Brady, a national law firm of 500 attorneys with offices in Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. Otto heads the firm’s Florida labor & employment practice. He counsels and represents employers in a wide variety of workplace-related litigation. Otto regularly advises HR professionals and all levels of management for a diverse array of businesses throughout Florida, including leading businesses in the health care, retail and services sector, manufacturing, consumer products, construction, and financial services areas. He also represents retailers, pharmaceutical companies, medical and dental practice management companies on a national basis. Otto is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Temple Law School and is a member of the Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania bars. Otto is a member of the board of HR Collier, where he serves as the director of legislative affairs and is an emeritus board member of Fun Time Early Childhood Academy. Otto and his wife, Jennifer, have lived in Naples since 2005.
Dan Lavender is Chief Executive Officer of The Moorings Park Institute, Inc. The recipient of a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Ohio University, an Ohio Certified Public Accountant license, and a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Economics from Bluffton College, he has spent the majority of his career serving seniors. Prior to joining Moorings Park in 2006, Dan was Chief Financial Officer for Methodist ElderCare Services in Columbus, Ohio, helping to guide it through a period of strategic growth and improving financial performance. Previous assignments included regional and division leadership roles at Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, one of the 15 largest multi-site non-profit senior living organizations in the country.
Dan currently serves as a director on the Miami Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Board and the Naples Zoo Board. He was the former chair of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Champions for Learning Leadership Council. Dan is a graduate of the Leadership Collier Class of 2010, and was recognized as a 2013 Man of Distinction by Collier County Champions for Learning.
Terry Edwards and her husband, Bob, are committed to the Naples community. They are trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation and former chairs of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. They co-chaired the 2017 and 2018 Naples Zoo galas. The Edwards have received Gulfshore Life magazine’s Man & Woman of the Year award, the Community Impact Award from the Naples Art Association, and Stars in the Arts recognition from the United Arts Council. Terry is a former board member of The Shelter for Abused Women & Children. A native of St. Louis, she moved to Naples in 2004. She is committed to education and wildlife conservation. The Edwards are proud parents of three children, one granddaughter, and one Great Dane.
Laura Alexander is an independent consultant, helping businesses and non-profit organizations achieve strategic growth. Laura’s background is a mix of legal, operations and merchandising leadership roles. Most recently she held the position of SVP, Chief Merchandising Officer for Regis Corporation, the global hair salon leader. She also owned the organization's relationship with Walmart, operating more than 2,000 salons in the US and Canada.
Laura received her BA from Mount Holyoke College and JD from William Mitchell College of Law, and is a member of the Minnesota Bar Association. Laura and her husband spend most of their free time traveling with family, including their three young children. Laura is passionate about improving access to education, art and healthcare, particularly for underserved populations.
Kevin J. Bell was born in New York City and grew up on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo, where his father was the curator of birds. Kevin became a zoo volunteer at the age of 10, a part-time animal caretaker at 17, and a keeper at 20. After earning his degrees, he was hired in 1976 as the curator of birds at Lincoln Park Zoo, promoted in 1992 to assistant director, and appointed in 1993 to director. After the zoo privatized in 1995, Kevin was also named president and CEO of the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, which manages and operates Lincoln Park Zoo and he served in this capacity through 2021.
An American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) member since 1976, Kevin has served on the Wildlife Conservation Management Committee. In 1996, he was chair of the Privatization Task Force, which produced AZA’s first reference book for member institutions contemplating a governance change. Kevin was elected to the AZA Board in 2007 and assumed the role of chair from September 2009 through September 2010. He has published numerous articles in the International Zoo Yearbook and other zoo-related publications. In 2011, he was selected as one of the three U.S. delegates to serve on the board of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
In 2006, Bell was elected to the Board of Visitors of the College of Arts and Sciences at his alma mater, Syracuse University, from whom he received an Honorary Ph.D. in 2016. In 2017, he was named chair of the Board of Visitors. He is also a member of various other civic and conservation organizations, including serving for many years as a board member of the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare in Detroit.
Juan D. Bendeck
Juan D. Bendeck focuses his practice in estate planning, estate administration and asset protection planning. He formulates and drafts tax-efficient estate plans for his clients, including more advanced and novel estate planning techniques geared toward lessening estate and gift tax liability. His practice includes the administration of complex will s and trusts. Additionally, Juan works with physicians and other professionals interested in asset protection planning. Juan also assists his clients with the creation of entities (such as corporations and limited liability companies) started for a variety of reasons, such as a new business or for liability protection.
Juan is a lifelong resident of Southwest Florida and is actively involved in the community. He is a member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Planned Giving Committee, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Planned Giving Committee, and he also serves on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and the Florida Humanities Council. He is also a member of the Council of Hispanic Business Professionals; born in Spain, Juan is fluent in Spanish.
Among his accomplishments, in 2008 Juan was chosen as one of Guffshore Business magazine's "40 Under 40." This award is given out to the most influential rising business stars in the Southwest Florida community. Juan and his wife, Enas, are one of the few couples to have ever both won the award.
Nikkie Dvorchak is the Director of Development & Events for Southwest Florida with The Everglades Foundation where she manages donor relations, philanthropy, sponsorships and fundraising events for the southwest region. Previously, she served as Vice President of Events & Development at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, where she is managed all annual and member events including Naples Chamber Classic Golf Tournament, Annual Meeting, Distinguished Public Service Awards, Business After 5, Wake Up Naples, Accelerated Lunch Annual Holiday Party and Professional Education Workshops. Nikkie also launched a development committee in effort to expand their investor & philanthropic support. She worked closely with the Chamber’s Leadership Collier Foundation on fundraising for scholarships, talent development, work-based learning and spearheading the Naples Children’s Business Fair for young entrepreneurs and coordinated the two-day Intercity Visit to Palm Beach County for 25 community leaders in 2019.
She is a Board Member for the Naples Zoo where she is also in her third year as Co-Chair for the annual fundraiser, Zoobilee, Feast with the Beasts. She is on the Board of Directors for Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Collier-Lee Chapter and is a member of their National Philanthropy Day Committee, Annual Symposium Committee and participating in the Masterminds Group. She is a member of the Events & Engagement Committee for Leadership Collier Foundation, supports the Naples Therapeutic Riding Center Bootstrap Barn Dance as well as Lighthouse of Collier’s Dining in the Dark event and the All-Star Panel event for Children’s National Foundation. She is a 2017 GAIN (Growing Associates in Naples) Graduate and was recognized as 40 Under 40 Young Professional in 2018 from Gulfshore Business.
Prior to her time with the Naples Chamber, Nikkie was the Director of Events & Corporate Relations at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for 6 years overseeing their annual fundraising events, corporate sponsorships and assisting with donor cultivation and stewardship. She started with the Conservancy in 2011 when she and her husband relocated to Naples from her hometown, Pittsburgh, PA and since expanded their family with two sons.
Nikkie held the position of Club Marketing Manager with the Pittsburgh Steelers Organization for nearly five years before her relocation to Florida. There she managed the club level during Pittsburgh Steelers and Panthers games overseeing a staff of 80 employees. She also organized and managed over 300 special events a year at the stadium. In addition, she was selected as a member of the advanced team, to prepare and manage all aspects for both Super Bowl XLIII and Super Bowl XLV for the organization.
John W. Fisher, III
John W. Fisher, III began his professional life in the United States Air Force, serving for over four and a half years. A development and implementation specialist and business manager with entrepreneurial interests, Mr. Fisher subsequently launched several businesses and managed two restaurants. A 1996 graduate of International College, now Hodges University, Mr. Fisher is extensively involved at Hodges where he has served on the board of Hodges University Foundation and veteran affairs cabinet. The Fisher School of Technology is named after him. Mr. Fisher is a member of the Board of Directors of Artis-Naples and, a generous philanthropist, is engaged with The Naples Players, The Salvation Army, the Boys & Girls Club of America, and the American Red Cross among other organizations."
John retired to Naples in 2005 from Chicago after many years in international business including nearly a decade living in Tokyo and Hong Kong. He has been a managing director of Bankers Trust New York as well as managing director of Sara Lee Corporation, Asia and President of his own consulting firm, Global Reach Associates. Since moving to Naples he has been very involved in community service including serving as president of Greater Naples Leadership and is now on the Advisory Council for Champions for Learning. He was the 2016/17 Chair of the Golden Apple Selection Committee which he has served on for the last three years and is currently on the Naples Zoo’s Education Committee. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jay Hartington is the co-founder of RumbaTime, MakeupDrop and Topanga Project LLC. He is also an owner of luxury specialty store Marissa Collections in Naples, Florida , where he oversees numerous buying, online and marketing functions while managing back office administration. Prior to Marissa Collections, Mr. Hartington worked for Saks Fifth Avenue in their buying department have completing the executive development program. Directly out of college, he was an investment banking analyst with Bank of America. Mr. Hartington earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Emory University.
Susan Hassan is an experienced financial services executive, investor and strategic advisor. She is an expert in public and private company M&A transactions, capital raise transactions and corporate governance matters. Susan has decades of experience navigating complex business challenges and serving as a trusted partner to boards of directors, C-Suite executives, and entrepreneurs building some of the most notable companies in the financial services, energy, biotech, consumer products, and technology sectors.
Susan founded Sea Dune Partners to provide capital and strategic advice to early-stage and growth companies, with a particular focus on women founders and entrepreneurs. She has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards of directors.
Prior to founding Sea Dune Partners, Susan was a partner with Valor Equity Partners, a private equity firm with over $4.5 billion in assets under management, focusing on tech- enabled growth companies, including SpaceX, Addepar, Brightloom, Fooda, and Manduka. At Valor, Susan lead firm-wide management and strategic planning, investment prospect generation and transaction structuring and execution, and served on the firm’s investment committee.
Prior to joining Valor, Susan was a corporate partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. During her nearly 20-year career with Skadden, she specialized in M&A transactions, corporate governance and strategic advice matters for Fortune 500, middle- market, emerging growth, and family-controlled companies. Susan’s clients included CME Group, Sara Lee Corporation, Amicus Therapeutics, WEC Energy Group, and various S.C. Johnson Family Companies. Susan served as a hiring partner in the Chicago office, where she focused on firm efforts to foster diversity and inclusion.
Susan has served as an invited lecturer on corporate transactions at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Law School. In 2009, the Aspen Institute named Susan a Henry Crown Fellow. She is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Susan currently serves as the Vice Chair of the board of directors of CARE USA and on the board of CARE Enterprises, Inc. Susan formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Equality Now, where she served as Board Chair She has also served on the boards of directors of The Clean Energy Trust, where she served as Lead Director, the Women's Sports Foundation and the Chicago Public Library. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and a former board member and member of The Chicago Network. Susan received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Mr. David Hoffmann is the chairman of the Hoffmann Family of Companies and founder of DHR International, the largest privately held global executive recruitingfirm, and Osprey Capital, LLC, a multi-billion dollar private equity enterprise.
Named 2019 Man Of The Year by Gulfshore Life Magazine and Grand Marshall of the Naples St. Patricks Day parade. Mr. Hoffmann has been recognized in the 2020 & 2021 Florida Trend 500 list, Naples Top 100, is a member of the Florida Council of100 and has been featured in numerous business publications such as the cover of Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago SunTimes, The New York Times, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Business Journals,Crain’s Chicago Business, Smart Money Magazine, The Pioneer Press and Fortune magazine. He has also made multiple appearances on Fox Business, CNN and CNBC.
Heidi Huizenga is the chairwoman of Huizenga Capital Management, LLC. She serves or has served on the boards of Cardinal Bernandin Cancer Center at Loyola Hospital, DePauw University, DuPage County Children's Advocacy Center, Prison Fellowship, Timothy Christian Schools, Trinity Christian College, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Zoological Society (16 years), Elm Christian Services, and the Robert Crown Center of Health Education, among others. Mrs. Huizenga received her B.A. from DePauw University. She lives in Naples, Florida.
Teri opened an Interior Design Company in Saint Charles and is a member of the ASID. Teri has a true appreciation for philanthropy contributing to many charitable organizations in the Napa Valley and in Saint Charles. Teri served on the Board of Directors for Saint Francis High School and for the Dunham Wood Riding Club Capital Campaign, and she is the past president of Wayne Women Fellowship.
Teri owns her own vineyard in Napa Valley called Pillar Rock Winery. She enjoys the wine industry and has participated in donating wine dinners, trips, and wine to many different charitable organizations. Teri is also Principal Benefactor at Mayo Phoenix.
Teri believes that it is important to give back when one has the means to do so. Her continued philanthropy to St. Francis High School has enabled the school to build the cultural arts center, music room, biology lab, athletic stadium, and parking lot among other projects to support the needs of the students and families.
Teri is an Honorary Trustee for the Naples Winter Wine Festival and was the 2010 Honorary Vintner for the V Foundation Fundraiser in Napa Valley, California. Teri was recently published in a cookbook called “Wine Country Women”.
Ms. Marinello served as the President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., from January 2019 to May 2020. Prior to joining Hertz, Ms. Marinello served as a Senior Advisor of Ares Management LLC, a global alternative investment manager, since March 2014. Ms. Marinello served as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stream Global Services, Inc., a business process outsource service provider, from 2010 to March 2014. Ms. Marinello served as the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ceridian Corporation, a provider of human resources software and services, from 2006 to 2010 (promoted to Chairman in 2007). She served in a broad range of senior roles over 10 years at General Electric. Prior to GE Capital, she served as President of the Electronic Payments Group at First Data Corporation, which provides electronic banking and commerce, debit and commercial processing to the financial services industry. She has also served in senior leadership positions at different financial institutions, including US Bank (previously First Bank System), Chemical Bank, Citibank and Barclays. Ms. Marinello serves as Chair, Concentrix Corporation, and as a Director of the Volvo Group, Creative Artist Agency, and Subway. Ms. Marinello served as a member of the Supervisory Board at The Nielsen Company B.V., from July 2014 to May 2017, as a director of General Motors, from July 2007 to December 2016, and as a director of RealPage, Inc., a provider of property management software and solutions, from 2015 to March 2017.
Charlie is a retired corporate executive in the financial services industry. He is active and focused on community service through board membership and volunteering in Naples, Florida, Kalamazoo Michigan and Wheaton Illinois where he spends his time with friends and family.
Charlie retired as President of Northern Trust Bank’s West Florida Region in March of 2021 after 38 years in the banking and wealth management industry. Prior to moving to Florida in 2017, He served as an Executive Vice President of the firm’s Trust And Advisory Services Practice and National Sales Manager for Wealth Management based in Chicago. Charlie’s initial background in commercial banking and his training and experience in wealth management provided him with a solid foundation to assist business, owners, corporate executives with their wealth management needs. Charlie received his B.S. degree in Finance from the University of Illinois and held the designations of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and Certified Private Wealth Advisor when we was active in the field. Charlie is also holds a Private and Commercial Pilot’s License with an Instrument Rating.
Charlie currently serves on the Board of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, The Naples Historical Society, Florida Gulf Coast University Water School and The Naples Zoo. He is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 9- 6 Naples, Florida and Certified Aircrew and Observer for the Auxiliary’s Aux Air Program headquarters at Air Station Clearwater.
Past Board service include Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota. The Nature Conservancy of Illinois (Board Chair) and Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago. The DuPage Foundation, Wheaton, Illinois. Charlie is an avid fisherman and pilot who enjoy time outside in nature. He is an owner of a Piper Dakota aircraft that he keeps at Naples Florida.
Mike Neal was Vice Chairman of General Electric Company, a global industrial and financial services company, until his retirement in 2013. He was also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE Capital from 2007 until 2013. During his 34 year career at General Electric, Mr. Neal held many different operating positions.
Mr. Neal is also a trustee of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s GT Foundation and serves on the real estate committee. Mr. Neal graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
As the President of the West Florida Region for Northern Trust, Tom is responsible for overseeing seven offices in West Florida with a team of seasoned professionals who serve high net worth clients and families with comprehensive wealth management services incorporating investment management, trust, and advisory services, and banking.
Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of South Florida in 1986 where we graduated Cum Laude. In 1996, Tom completed the Executive Management Program at Florida State University.
Tom has been a community leader and board member with several civic and not-for-profit organizations in Broward County. Tom is also a board member of: Memorial Foundation and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation, Naples Historical Society, and Collier County Foundation.
Since getting his Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1967, Dave Parsons has been an architect, professor of architecture, construction manager, industrial engineer, and co-founder of Simulation Dynamics, a firm that builds computer models of manufacturing and logistic systems. He grew up in Washington DC, spent eight years in Boston, married Jutta, and settled in DC for a full three years. Then off to San Francisco where Jennifer was born, then to Milwaukee to raise a family in the heartland. He served on the Shorewood, Wisconsin Architectural Design Review Board for nine years and was chairman for three. He and Jutta migrated from Wisconsin to Naples in 1999, where he served on the Conservancy’s Environmental Advisory Committee for nine years. Having been a life-long lover of zoos, Dave is excited to bring his experience to the chairmanship of the Naples Zoo Facilities Committee. The next five years will be amazing.
Mark Anthony Rometty
Mark was an executive vice president at Webster Engineering, where the company focused on future model engineering for the automotive industry. He retired from Webster in 2003 after nearly 20 years with the company. He served as President of Pine Lake Country Club in Orchard Lake, MI in 2002. Mark has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Eastern Michigan University. He divides his time between homes in Georgia and Florida. Mark is an avid golfer.
David A. Ruben is a Shareholder at Roetzel & Andress LPA. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen articles on a variety of estate planning topics as well as a book on intentionally defective grantor trusts. David is a frequent speaker on change of domicile, asset protection and estate planning. He is admitted to practice in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Florida.
David earned his B.A. from Vanderbilt University (cum laude), his J.D. from Penn State Dickinson School of Law and his LL.M. in taxation from Villanova University School of Law. David is an active member of the Naples community, and serves on both the Planned Giving and Zoobilee Committees for the Naples Zoo. Born and raised in Wheeling, W.V., David lives in Naples with his wife, Mary, and three children, Teddy, Amelia and Margot. In his spare time, David enjoys spending time with his family and running.
Ann and her husband, Rick, served as First Lady and Governor of Florida, respectively, from 2011-2019. They were both truly honored and humbled to serve and represent the people of Florida. As First Lady, she focused her efforts on reading and literacy, foster children and military families.
Throughout their lives, Ann and Rick have been committed to their community locally and around the world. In addition to the Naples Zoo, they also support the United Way, Salvation Army, St. Matthews House, Children’s Museum of Naples, and World Vision, where the Scott family worked to create a primary health care system in Bunyala, Kenya. Together, they funded an entrepreneurship competition (now known as the GW New Venture Competition) at George Washington University, where their daughter, Allison, received her business degree. Ann has also donated her time to Liberty Youth Ranch, a home for abandoned, abused, neglected and orphaned children in Collier County. Ann was honored to be a recipient of Gulfshore Life’s 2015 Woman of the Year.
Ann grew up in Dallas, TX and met Rick when she moved to Kansas City, MO in the middle of her senior year of high school. She is a graduate of SMU Cox School of Business. Ann and Rick have been married 48 years, have two wonderful daughters and six amazing (!) grandsons and another grandchild on the way.
Jim Weiss is regional president of Fifth Third Bank, N.A. (South Florida). He is responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of our Business, Commercial, Wealth & Asset Management and Consumer businesses to deliver distinctive value to our customers and community impact in the region. Jim has a decade’s experience in Florida banking with Fifth Third, most recently as credit risk executive, with oversight for Middle Market, Business Banking, Wealth & Asset Management, Treasury Management, Dealer Floorplan and Asset Based lending. He previously served three years as Tampa city president and before that as senior commercial banker in the North Florida region and as Tampa business banking executive. Jim relocated to Florida after four years with Fifth Third in St. Louis, where he served as Wealth & Asset Management executive and commercial sales manager. Before coming to Fifth Third in 2007, he served as first vice president and middle market team lead for Commerce Bank, N.A., in St. Louis. He has more than 25 years of commercial management experience. Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in finance from Saint Louis University, where he also earned certification in economic development. Jim serves as chairman of the board of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, on the board of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and on the executive board of directors for the Florida Aquarium. In addition to his commitment to the community and nonprofit work, Jim also enjoys spending time with his wife and three grown children traveling, scuba diving, watching baseball and cruising.
President and CEO
In 2013, Jack Mulvena joined Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens as President and CEO. Mulvena served for 20 years as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Zoological Society and Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. Jack is a national conservation leader with a special focus on education and motivating young people to get involved in wildlife conservation. Jack is also a leader in the effort to persuade the United States Congress to pass legislation to address critical environmental challenges by strengthening and expanding environmental education in America’s classrooms. Most importantly, Jack knows from experience how to sustain the highest standards of animal care, offer compelling experiences to zoo guests, and create a professional working environment that attracts the top talent in the zoo profession.
Additional Naples Zoo Board Members: Carol Dinardo, Jamie Dockweiler, Jeanne Guglielmi, Nancy Hamill, Susan Hassan, Jennifer McCurry, and Charlie Mueller.