MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

JEAN TRAMMELL - PRESIDENT

Jean has been a Venice resident since 1967 and has been involved in a number of community organizations. She is also a founding member of Venice Heritage, as well as a past President. Jean’s local affiliations include; Vice President: The Venice Company, Secretary: DKE Inc., President: Ehrhart Family Foundation, Blogger, Venice Magazine, 35 years of volunteer experience with Venice Theatre, Venice MainStreet, Venice Art Center, Triangle Inn Association, Venice Area Historical Society, Venice Area Beautification Inc., Friends of the Venice Library, Arts Council of Sarasota County, TEDB, EDC, City of Venice Advisory Boards for Historic Preservation and Public Art.

SUSAN HANKS – TREASURER

A Certified Public Accountant, Susan began her work with Robinson, Hanks, Young & Roberts, P.A. in 1986. She grew up in Venice and, after graduating from Venice High School, attended Georgia Southern College where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Susan has lived in the Venice area for more than 50 years and has seen lots of changes and growth during that time. She has been married to Jim for 36 years and they have two children: Beth, 27, and Tommy, 22. “Venice’s heritage is important to me and to my family,” she said. “As John Henrik Clarke said, ‘A people’s relationship to their heritage is the same as the relationship of a child to its mother.’ It is certainly a relationship vital to our well-being as a society and as individuals.

 

DIRECTORS

JIM BENNETT

Jim is a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford Law School and was a judicial clerk with the Supreme Court of New Jersey. After several years of large law firm legal practice, he spent twenty years as in-house corporate counsel for Fortune 100 companies. He then developed a private solo practice in Connecticut as an outside general counsel to small business. Moving to Florida in 2006, he served a term on the Venice Planning Commission and was elected to the Venice City Council in the Fall of 2009, where he served for six years.

GAIL CONWAY

Gail has a Master’s Degree in Education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, as well as undergraduate degrees from Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts and Salem University in Salem Massachusetts. She has taught adult evening classes and full time high school in Massachusetts and Ohio. Her business experience includes work for General Electric, Mead Paper, and W.R. Grace companies.

RONNIE FERNANDEZ

Ronnie is originally from Fort Worth, Texas and moved to Venice in June 2014. He has been an experienced banker for 19 years. Through working at a local community bank in Venice, he is able to meet many members of the community. Ronnie has a passion for history and even started out as a history major in college. He and his wife, Tiffany, fell in love with the history of Venice and started their own business offering historic walking tours here in Venice. The walking tours encourage locals and tourists to become interested in Venice history. Ronnie is happy to extend his involvement in the historic Venice community by serving on the VHI board.
Ronnie has been married to Tiffany for 13 years and they have 4 fur-babies; 2 yellow labs: Maisy and Malibu and 2 cats: Mango and Mojito.

DOROTHY KORWEK

A resident of Venice since 1983, Korwek is a former member of the Venice City Council and former Director of Historical Resources for the City of Venice. She is the author and editor of several books on Venice area history.

NANCY PIKE

Nancy graduated from Rockford University in Illinois. She taught school, including a time as Miss Nancy on TV’s Romper Room School, then earned a Masters Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After working five years at the University, where she was a member of the library’s Preservation Committee, she and her husband David sold their house and bought a sailboat on which they lived for a year, sailing from Wisconsin to Florida. Nancy was hired at Venice Library, becoming Manager in 1988. She was named Director of the Sarasota County Library System in 2000, a job she held until her retirement. She was honored to be elected President of the Florida Library Association. Her current volunteer interests include Literacy Volunteers of South Sarasota County and the annual Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival. In her spare time, she makes paper and binds books.

GARY YOUNGBERG

Gary is a Venice native and a 1972 graduate of Venice High School. He attended the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago studying radio engineering. In 1981, he spent four months in West Africa on a technology related project. In 1978, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and joined a small business as a chimney sweep. In 1982, he established his own business, Associated Chimney Sweeps, that he operated until the fall of 2017 when he retired and moved back to Venice.

His interests include aviation, radio communications (amateur radio), audio/video engineering, and local history research and preservation. Gary is a volunteer on the Lord-Higel House restoration project and assists with the maintenance of "Old Betsy," Venice's original 1926 American LaFrance fire engine. He also assists the Venice Area Historical Society with its archival collection and serves on the planning committee for the Old Timer's Picnic.

Gary is a grandson of George E. Youngberg, Sr., who worked as a civil engineer for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers during their 1925-28 development of Venice.