Our Board

Executive Board of Trustees:
  • Walter Zielinski, IIIhas successful experience in leadership of Higher Educational and Non Profit organizations. He transforms start ups and young organizations to move them to well organized, mature and progressive entities. Walt is involved with education and  serves as Director of Philanthropy for Florida Naturopathic Physicians Association. He has also served as Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Beacon College.  Walt has a PhD Philanthropy and Leadership and a M.A. in Counselor Education.
  • Mitch Roop an accountant, strategist, and successful entrepreneur. Skilled in leadership development, strategic and business planning, as well as management consulting, he also serves as a trusted advisor to organizations in a wide range of industries.  An active participant in his professional community, Mitch is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). He served on the COSO Internal Controls Panel, which in 2012 concluded the modernization of internal controls, risk analysis & assessment, including integrated framework processes. Mitch co-chairs the research and strategic communications subcommittee of the Small Business Financial & Regulatory Committee.  His professional accomplishments include induction into the Stuart Cameron McLeod Society for global leadership and excellence in the accounting profession.  Mitch is an active member of Wildwood Rotary, and Van Dyke Church; is an alumnus of the Leadership Development Institute of the University of Florida, Leadership Tampa, Leadership Tampa Bay and Lifework Leadership.  He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida, with academic credentials in the areas of accounting, computer information sciences, philosophy and religion as well as a Doctoral degree in Theology. He is a military veteran and a native of Florida.
  • Bill Geringswald  For more than twenty-five years, Bill has led BG&A Consulting to provide comprehensive business analysis to more than 600 corporate clients worldwide. This experience grows from – and feeds – his ability to grasp business potential quickly. His expertise extends to contract negotiations, reengineering, new business development, fundraising and personnel training. His secret weapon: Instilling a teamwork mentality.  Accomplishments include obtaining (pro bono) more than $8,000,000 in donations for various non-profits, helping a client alleviate $1.3 million in internal hemorrhaging while generating $2.9 million in commissioned sales volume. Bill also spent three years as interim president of FUS Corporation. In that position, he held total corporate responsibility for international and internal operations re-engineering internal operations. More significantly, he met his obligation to turn around the multi-million dollar clothing manufacturing company.

  • Becky Claffy,   is the Senior Business Consultant with Claffy Consulting which offers commercial loan products for the purchase or refinance of commercial real estate, the purchase of a business or professional/medical practice, business equipment and inventory, retail investment properties, apartment complexes, small, medium and large manufactured home communities/parks, church expansions or new construction. Services include loan package preparation, presentation and progress monitoring, financial analysis, and assistance in the planning and preparation process prior to borrowing. General business consultation is available to clients on an ongoing basis. Some of the more common topics include personnel management, day to day business operations, improving financial strength, marketing and promotion, goal setting and sales. 
  • Ellen Didion  Early career includes an internship with the National League of Cities, and experience in non-profit corporations including the Smithsonian, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Science Foundation, and The Graduate School, USDA.  She has worked as a grant writer, fund raiser, program specialist, teacher and consultant.  Work and travel to five continents has given her a greater appreciation of the importance sustainable development and environmental and natural resource economics, fueling her desire to develop ecological, sustainable communities through smart partnerships that optimize local and regional resources.
  • Dr. Richard Benjamin   A practicing foot and ankle specialist in Lady Lake, Florida.  He resides in The Villages. Dr. Benjamin has been president of his national association as well as the chief of staff of numerous hospitals in the Washington, DC.  Dr. Benjamin is a nationally and internationally known speaker on lower extremity surgery and wound care.  He has headed medical missions to Latin America, the Caribbean, and to his self-funded charity in Kiev, Ukraine where he performs surgery on Chernobyl orphans. With a background in law as well as medicine, Dr. Benjamin has added insight in to the medical needs of the community at large and it's interactions with local governments. He is an avid golfer, horseman, and boater.

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