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 – Francine Stevens
Vice-President – Patrick Higgins
Secretary – Jinny Ball
Treasurer – Ken Shapiro
Ted DeGroot
Dennis Giardina
John Kaiser
Don Leonard
Howard Lubel
Tom Maish
Glen Stacell

Committee Chairs

Governance – Ted DeGroot
Boardwalk Vision – Patrick Higgins
Communication – Bruce Bunch
Tours/Education/Interpretation – Patrick Higgins
Events – TBD
Fundraising – TBD
Membership – Jinny Ball
Finance/Treasurer – Ken Shapiro
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:

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

Friends of Fakhatchee Considering Establishment of Executive Director Position
The FOF Board of Directors is considering establishing an Executive Director position. Anyone interested in being considered for such a position should, by no later than April 4, 2017, notify the Board’s Secretary of their interest via email to, setting forth their name, telephone number and email address.