New directors were elected during the Civic Association Annual Meeting held at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum on Monday, April 24.
Image: Board of Directors Meeting after Annual Meeting 2017
New Member of the Board of Directors
- Diana Barrett
- Lori Jayne Weitzman Bernstein
- Nathan Gantcher
- Christopher Goldberg
- Patricia Ann Humbert McLaughlin
- Alicia Cannon Mullen
- Donna Plasket
- Daniel E. Ponton
- Michael Pucillo
- Paul C. Shiverick
- Jeffery Smith
- Robert E. Swanson
New Liaison Director
- Erin Manning
New director bios below:
Ms. Barrett was on the faculty of Harvard University from 1975 until 2004. She was a member of the Social Enterprise Core Group, where she taught Business Leadership in the Social Sector, as well as in executive programs. She received both her MBA and her doctorate in business administration from the Harvard Business School. Her special interest was in large and complex health systems. She travelled extensively nationally and internationally, working with corporations and hospital systems as they explored innovative ways of providing high-quality and affordable care. Ms. Barrett has worked in many countries, particularly Mexico, Colombia and India, where she assisted their ministries of health in initiating programs for physicians and other healthcare providers. After a long academic career, in 2005 she founded The Fledgling Fund, a private foundation that works at the intersection of film and social change, providing grants to filmmakers who believe that their documentary films can ignite or sustain social change. Ms. Barrett is on the board of the Everglades Foundation, the Lord’s Place, United Way, and the Society of the Four Arts, and she is on the visiting committees for Photography and Scientific Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lori Jayne Weitzman Bernstein
Mrs. Bernstein grew up on The Main Line in Philadelphia and attended high school at The Agnes Irwin School. In 1996 she graduated from The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communications where she had concentrations in Marketing and Photography and became a member of Delta Phi, The St. Elmo’s Club. She began vacationing at The Palm Beach Polo Club in Wellington with her parents in 1978. After she graduated from University of Pennsylvania, she became a full time Palm Beach resident. Her entrepreneurial spirit began when she was a young girl making custom barrettes with scraps of fabric. She sold her wears around the pool at Palm Beach Polo and to Nan Duskin, a high end department store in Philadelphia, as well as Neiman Marcus. When she moved to Palm Beach she began to offer monogramming on the barrettes and got frustrated with waiting for the embroidery to be done. Soon thereafter, she purchased her own embroidery machine and was able to offer more instant gratification thus leading her to establish LORI JAYNE, Inc. She now has two eponymous boutiques on South County Road. Mrs. Bernstein and her husband, Michael, have 2 children who attend Rosarian Academy and live in Palm Beach.
Mr. Gantcher is currently the managing member of EXOP Capital LLC. He served as vice chairman of CIBC Oppenheimer Corp. from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that period, he was co-CEO and COO of Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Previously, he served as chairman of the board of trustees of Tufts University and is currently a member of the board of overseers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. In addition, Mr. Gantcher is a member of the board of overseers of Montefiore Medicine Academic Health Systems Inc. and its affiliates. He received a BA in economics and biology from Tufts University and an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Goldberg is an executive vice president at Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services, an insurance broker with staff in 29 cities that provides property and casualty insurance for personal and commercial clients with national and international exposures. Prior to working at Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services, Mr. Goldberg was part of a team responsible for handling the outreach and research for Standard & Poor’s, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies in Washington DC. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a double master’s degree, in government and in business administration, from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Goldberg is active with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County and serves on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Foundation Committee. He lives in Palm Beach with his wife and daughter.
Patricia Ann Humbert McLaughlin
Mrs. McLaughlin attended Sullins Junior College (Bristol, VA) and graduated from Brown's Business School, Bayshore, NY. She worked for BBD&O in New York in consumer product surveys, but her true passion was the hotel business. She held a number of management positions, including at the Plaza Hotel, heading the VIP program; the Sheraton Hotel at Prudential Center in Boston; and the Halloran House and Biltmore Hotels in New York City. In 1987, Mrs. McLaughlin left the hotel business, and she and her husband founded EFM Media, where they syndicated radio shows, beginning with Dr. Dean Edell. In 1988, they brought Rush Limbaugh to New York, syndicating him locally, then nationally; a few years later they started the Limbaugh Letter. Mrs. McLaughlin also devoted her time to such organizations in the Greenwich area as Greenwich Hospital, Bruce Museum, Red Cross, Breast Cancer Alliance, and the board of trustees at the Kildonan School (Amenia, NY), a school for dyslexic students; she is a former member of the Greenwich Junior League. Mrs. McLaughlin now supports a number of organizations in Palm Beach and is currently a member of the Palm Beach Civic Association Beautification Committee. She and her husband, Ed, reside in Palm Beach and Greenwich, CT.
Alicia Cannon Mullen
Mrs. Mullen is a principal at Washing Pond Ventures, which focuses on growing technology-enabled companies through either internal incubation or external investment. She is a founding board member of The Nantucket Project, an annual invitation-only thought leadership conference, which held its inaugural event in 2011. She is also a board member of Techweek, the largest technology event in the Midwest. Mrs. Mullin is a board member/advisor to numerous technology companies including Brave New Software, which created the government funded Lantern platform to allow global uncensored internet access. Her past positions include senior vice president/CIO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and CIO of First Options of Chicago (acquired by Goldman Sachs). She was selected as one of the Top Women in Computing by McGraw-Hill. Mrs. Mullen obtained her BA in computer science from Boston University, where she played on the varsity tennis team, and currently sits on the university’s board of trustees. She is an active supporter and promoter of public art and was a past president and board member of Redmoon. She currently serves as a court appointed guardian ad litem for Palm Beach County and co-leads the Mullen Family Foundation, which supports a broad array of education initiatives. Mrs. Mullen, a Chicago native, moved to Palm Beach in 2015 with her husband, Tim. She has a daughter at Palm Beach Day Academy and four college-age and older children.
Ms. Plasket served for 15 years as founding director of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of Virginia. She has also held positions in teaching, choral conducting, research and administration at Harvard University, New England Conservatory, and Westminster Choir College, as well as teaching in public high schools. Ms. Plasket holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and choral conducting from Westminster Choir College and a doctorate in higher education administration from Harvard University. She has served on and held leadership positions on the college board of Piedmont Virginia Community College, Piedmont Educational Foundation, Hospice of the Piedmont, Ash Lawn Opera Festival Foundation, Oratorio Society of Virginia, Piedmont Council of the Arts, and Women Educational Leaders of Virginia. Currently Ms. Plasket is actively involved in the Society of the Four Arts, where her husband, David Breneman, serves as president. She is also serving on the boards of Hospice of Palm Beach County (now Trustbridge), Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Palm Beach Public Schools Orchestra Strings Foundation, and the Leadership Council of Westminster Choir College, and she is a member of Impact the Palm Beaches.
Mr. Ponton was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He immigrated with his parents at the age of five; they divided their time between Colorado, Palm Beach, and Nantucket, MA. He graduated from George Washington University with a degree in finance in 1982. Within six months after his graduation, Mr. Ponton reopened Club Colette in Palm Beach. He has had restaurants throughout his career in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Colorado. His latest endeavor, as CEO and proprietor of Classic Cuisine Inc., is the Surfside Diner on South County Road, a cherished restaurant location for more than 50 years. Mr. Ponton is involved in many community organizations locally, nationally, and abroad. His focus is on health care, architecture, animals, and advocacy for children.
Mr. Pucillo has been a lifelong resident of Palm Beach. His parents opened the Petite Marmite restaurant in 1949 and operated it until its sale in 1983. Mr. Pucillo is a graduate of Williams College and Georgetown University Law School. After clerking for two federal judges and working at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, he and his wife, Deborah, settled in Palm Beach permanently. Mr. Pucillo practiced law in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach for 35 years. In 1994 he founded the firm of Burt & Pucillo, serving as managing partner until its merger with a national law firm. He limited his practice to securities litigation, and he represented several of the nation’s largest public pension funds. He retired from the practice of law at the end of 2015. Mr. Pucillo has been active in civic and community affairs. From 2011 until 2017 he was a member of the Town Council in Palm Beach, and served as Council president from 2015 to 2017. While on the Council, he chaired both the Public Works Committee and the Finance and Tax Committee.
Mr. Shiverick is a co-founder and co-CEO of Seminole Capital Partners, a global long/short equity investment fund based in New York. Before Seminole, he was a partner of SRG Associates, an equity research boutique, and he started his Wall Street career at Oppenheimer & Company as a stock analyst. Mr. Shiverick is also co-trustee of the Shelter Hill Foundation, a family foundation established in 2003, and he is the co-chairman of the board of the Cancer Research Institute, a New York based philanthropy focused on the development of immunotherapies to fight cancer. He serves on the board of the Clark Foundation, the US Wrestling Foundation, and the American Federation of Children, and he is a member of the visiting board of trustees of the Hawken School in Gates Mills, Ohio. Mr. Shiverick graduated from Northwestern University and received an MBA from Dartmouth College. He and his wife, Betsy, have four children and have resided in Palm Beach since 2006.
Mr. Smith is president of Smith Architectural Group, a Palm Beach based architectural office specializing in residential architecture that he founded in 1989. Mr. Smith was born in Chicago but moved to Palm Beach as a child in 1970. He attended the University of Miami and received his bachelor of architecture degree from Louisiana State University before joining Obst Associates, an office with Palm Beach roots since 1948. He became president of Obst Associates in 1985. Mr. Smith’s firm has won numerous state and national awards for their work, including the American Institute of Architect’s Top 100 Buildings in the State of Florida, the Preservation Foundation's Ballinger Award for Historic Architecture, and the Florida Trust Historic Preservation Award. Mr. Smith has been a trustee of the Preservation Foundation since 1996 and has served as chairman on the Town of Palm Beach’s Architectural Commission and on its Landmarks Preservation Commission. Mr. Smith currently serves as chairman of the Town of Palm Beach Underground Utilities Task Force and as a trustee of the Cathleen McFarlane Charitable Foundation. He lives in Palm Beach with his wife, Nancy, and has two daughters.
Robert E. Swanson
Mr. Swanson is the chairman and CEO of Ridgewood Energy. He founded the firm in 1982 with an innovative approach of capitalizing US oil and gas exploration through private equity fund capital. After four years of investing in onshore US energy, Ridgewood Energy began investing in the offshore Gulf of Mexico in 1986, initially in the shallow waters. Since 2008, Ridgewood’s investment focus has been on deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil assets. Under Mr. Swanson's leadership, Ridgewood Energy has raised over $6.5 billion in capital and commitments for US oil and gas investments since its inception. Prior to forming Ridgewood Energy, Mr. Swanson was a tax partner at the former New York and Los Angeles law firm of Fulop & Hardee, and an officer in the Trust and Investment Division of Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. His specialty was in personal tax and financial planning including income, estate, and gift tax. Mr. Swanson earned his AB from Amherst College and received his JD from Fordham University Law School. He and his wife, Barbara, wrote Tax Shelters: A Guide for Investors and Their Advisors, which was published by Dow Jones.
New Liaison Director
Ms. Manning, who has devoted her career to museum work, is the executive director of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, where she has served since February 2016. Her initial focus is to seek and serve new audiences, broaden the traditional season of events and exhibitions into the calendar year, and develop connections with community organizations. Prior to Ms. Manning’s arrival at the Flagler Museum, she was the executive director of the Historical Society of Princeton in New Jersey. There she led the renewal of the organization by developing new programs, expanding fundraising, shaping board advocacy and support, and relocating the organization’s headquarters from an important, but small, historic house to a vibrant, six-acre historic farmstead. Ms. Manning has held positions at the Morris Museum, New Jersey Historical Society, Staten Island Children’s Museum, and Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in Williamsburg, VA. She received her MA in education from the College of William and Mary and BA from the University of Michigan. Originally from New Jersey, she and her husband, Tom, live in Palm Beach County.
Annual Meeting Photos by Capehart