State College of Florida Foundation Elects New Members to Board of Directors

Bradenton, Fla. Apr. 20, 2023

(Bradenton, Fla., July 20, 2023) — The State College of Florida Foundation recently elected six new members to its Board of Directors. Each of the directors, including its officers led by President Chris Romine and Vice President Laura Cota, is a leader in the business or civic sectors of Manatee and Sarasota counties and volunteers their time and talents to help State College of Florida achieve its mission.

New Foundation board members include:

Vernon DeSear (Manatee, joined April 27): Vernon is Chief Executive Officer of the Manatee Memorial Foundation. For 25 years, he served on the Senior Management Group at Manatee Memorial Hospital, before retiring from that position in 2020.

Jane Knaack-Esbeck (Sarasota, joined April 27): Jane is a retired HR and administrative executive with a background in management, training, and people and culture development. She is also a lifelong educator, from her early efforts as an elementary school teacher to her later role as an adjunct professor for graduate and undergraduate students.

Atticus Frank (Venice, joined June 15): Atticus is a vice president with Mercer Capital, a business valuation and financial advisory firm that works with both public and private companies. His areas of expertise include estate and gift tax planning, compliance transaction advisory services and litigation support.

Cindy McCollum (Sarasota, joined April 27): Cindy McCollum moved to downtown Sarasota from New Jersey in 2020. She first became involved with State College of Florida as a sponsor and mentor for a music student, and is currently sponsoring a second student. She has a marketing and advertising background, having worked at several large advertising agencies in New York City.

Jeff Phillips (Manatee, joined June 15):  Jeff has more than three decades of experience in the banking, accounting and finance industry. Currently he serves as CFOO for Gallagher & Hagopian Law, where he oversees all aspects of accounting, finance and operational metric efficiencies.

Carol Whitmore (Manatee, joined June 15): A resident of Anna Maria Island since 1969, Carol attended MJC (now State College of Florida) and earned her RN degree in 1982. While working in healthcare, Carol was elected Holmes Beach City Commissioner in 1991 and Mayor of Holmes Beach in 1998.

These six new members will join existing board members Chris Romine, President; Dorothy Korszen, Past President; Laura Cota, Vice President; Jodi Allen, Treasurer; Cassandra Holmes (SCFF Executive Director), Secretary; Mike Fuller, Debi Cohoon, Kathleen Cucci, Lisa Krebs-Knepp, Lois Lucek, Alix Morin and Carol Probstfeld (SCF President).

Each member of the Board of Directors believes in the value of higher education and recognizes State College of Florida as one of the area’s major resources, educating and training our area’s future workforce. Providing external oversight of the Foundation’s operations, the Board has an active committee structure which includes an Asset Management Committee, Audit Committee, Finance & Resource Development Committee, Governance Committee and a Scholarship Committee.

Caption (L to R): Atticus Frank, Jeff Phillips, Jane Esbeck, Cindy McCollum, Carol Whitmore and Vernon DeSear.