RONNIE FERNANDEZ - President
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 - Treasurer
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.
GARY YOUNGBERG - Secretary
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.
Karen was born in Venice Hospital and raised in the Bay Point neighborhood of Nokomis. She attended Nokomis Elementary, Venice Junior High School, and is a graduate of Venice High School. She obtained her certificate at Sarasota County Vocational-Technical School in the Legal Assistant Program and passed a nationally-recognized exam to earn her Certified Paralegal designation. She is also a Florida Certified Paralegal, a Florida Registered Paralegal, and holds a Florida real estate license. Karen has worked in the legal field almost 30 years and is currently employed by Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A., a law firm in downtown Sarasota, handling real estate closings. She has been on the boards of the Southwest Florida Paralegal Association and the Venice Area Old Timers Picnic and is currently on the Paralegal Advisory Council for Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, LLC.
Karen and her husband, Earl, watch over Venice’s first fire truck, Old Betsy, a 1926 American LaFrance pumper, attending events with Old Betsy around the city and in parades.
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.
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.