Meet the Leadership

Meet the Leadership

Friends of Fakahatchee: Dedicated to financial and volunteer support to preserve the unique ecology and cultural heritage of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and educate the public about its importance.

Meet the Board

Members are elected to our board each April for 2-year terms. The current board members come from a wide variety of backgrounds including education, the professions, tourism, business, and volunteerism.

Our Board activities are governed by a Board Code of Ethics. Click here to download.

If you would like to serve on the Board or our committees, contact Francine Stevens at (239) 495-6744.

Board Members

President – Patrick Higgins
Vice-President – John Kaiser
Secretary – Ken Shapiro
Treasurer – Scott Geltemeyer

Jinny Ball
Ted DeGroot
Chris Gair
Don Leonard
Howard Lubel
Tom Maish
Gayle Norton
Glen Stacell
Stacey Wolfe

Ex-Officio Board members
Bruce Bunch
Dennis Giardina

Executive Director
Francine Stevens

Committee Chairs

Boardwalk Vision – Tom Maish
Communication/PR – Bruce Bunch
Tours/Education/Interpretation – Patrick Higgins
Events/Member Dinners/Volunteer Picnic – Francine Stevens
Fundraising – Chris Gair
Membership – Jinny Ball
Finance/Treasurer – Scott Geltemeyer
Nominating – Ted Degroot
By-laws – Ken Shapiro

The Mel Finn Award

The Mel Finn Award goes to individuals who have given their time to benefit the Fakahatachee and who, as it states on the award, “reflect the spirit of the founding father of the FSSP.” Read more about Mel Finn and the award in his honor here. Read more about this year’s recipient here.

Recipients of The Mel Finn Award to date are:

2017 Dino Barone
2016 Patrick Higgins
2015 Howard Lubel
2014 Bill Mesce
2013 Glen Stacell
2012 Caryl Tilden
2011 Tom Maish
2010 Marya Repko
2009 Nelson Tilden
2008 Allen Caldwell
2007 John Elting
2005 Franklin Adams
Barbara Lewinski
Elsa Caldwell
Dennis Marlin
Roger Dykstra
Don Harmon