Susan Haggarty – Chair
Susan and husband George live in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI during the summer where they were born and raised. Susan is a graduate of Boston College where she majored in History. She worked in her own firm as a Financial Planner for 25 years. Her volunteer work includes The Junior League of Detroit, Beaumont Hospital, Detroit Institute for Children, The Grosse Pointe Academy and the Boca Grande Woman’s Club.
Steve Laughlin – Vice Chair
Steve is Executive Chairman of Laughlin Constable, an advertising, PR and brand marketing company with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee. Steve’s community service includes serving as a board member and board chair of The Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. He also chaired the Milwaukee Ballet Board and served on the board of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Steve is a former board chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. He currently serves on the board of the Milwaukee Film Festival and chaired that board as well. Steve and his wife Marge have a home on Boca Grande and were both instrumental in creating the Boca Grande Film Festival, presented by the Friends of Boca Grande, which is now entering its third season.
Jim Runde – Treasurer
A Wisconsin native, Jim Runde graduated from Marquette University through the NROTC program and served as a nuclear engineer on the staff of Admiral Rickover. While on active duty he got his master’s in business at George Washington University. Jim currently serves on the board of the Kroger Company and is an emeritus trustee at Marquette and the Morgan Library. He is also on the board of the Men’s Club as well as the Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation. He is the author of a new book called “Unequaled: Tips for Building a Successful Career Through Emotional Intelligence”. Jim recently retired from Morgan Stanley after 42 years where he was a Vice Chairman of investment banking. He and his wife Barbara moved to Boca Grande in 2014.
Barbara Edgerton is the former Director of Publicity and Public Relations of Tiffany & Co. including all of its branches. She has served as Special Assistant to the White House for Gifts to the President and Vice President of the United States. Barbara was a Docent at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for 8 years. She served as a President of the PTA & PTO for several schools in VA. In Boca Grande, Barbara was Co-Chair of the Literature Forum Steering Committee. As a former board member of The Friends of Boca Grande, Barbara edited two books for publication: Civil War Memories and World Wars – Memories & Reflections. Currently she a member of the Woman’s Club and a board member of the JF Library Foundation.
Dr. James May Jr. MD FACs. FRCS, a native Kentuckian, graduated from the University of Kentucky PBK with Distinction and Northwestern Medical School. He continued his surgical training as a Harvard intern at the Mass General Hospital and completed general and plastic surgery training in the MGH/Harvard program. After fellowship training in hand/microvascular surgery in Kentucky and Australia, Linda and Jim May and growing family (Alison and James) returned to Boston for an appointment in surgery and plastic surgery at the MGH/ Harvard program. He was elected as a member of the Academy at Harvard Medical school and was elected as an Honorary member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. After retirement in 2014, Linda and Jim, spend time in East Blue Hill Maine, traveling to see their children and five grandsons and at their permanent home on Gasparilla Island.
Peter E. Powell
Peter has been a resident of Boca Grande since 2014. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. His first experience with Florida was when he enrolled in 1974 at Rollins College in Winter Park, where he earned a BA in Economics/Theatre and an MBA in Finance. Although he spent an additional year working in Orlando, his grandfather convinced him to return to KC to take on an aggregate company he owned. Over his 35 years of ownership and management, he invested in aggregate and in salt mining, trading and distribution businesses. In 2015 he sold the salt businesses to a Private Equity firm out of New York City, kept one aggregate operation in Peoria, IL and took up a new life here in town. Peter currently serves on the Boards of Royal Palm Players, Inc., The GICIA, and will soon step down from the Board of Lemon Bay Golf Club where he served as its President from 2020 to 22. Peter feels privileged to serve on the Friends Board and looks forward to working on its mission to engage, enrich, and enjoy.
Honey Jacobs Skinner, her husband Sam and family have enjoyed Boca Grande for fifteen years and they live in Boca Bay. Honey is a retired partner of Sidley Austin in Chicago, and specialized in the representation of large hospital systems. Post retirement, she is the chair of advocacy at Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago), with a focus on expanded healthcare services for economically fragile children. She is a graduate and active alum of Harvard College and Northwestern University Law School, and serves as a corporate director.
Graduated from Yale University, B.A., 1968. Commercial real estate developer, NH, VT, FL, including several Restoration Projects; Founding General Partner Centerra Park with Dartmouth College; Founding Board Member, Ledyard National Bank and Ledyard Financial Advisors; Board Membership: Director, Dartmouth Savings Bank, 1984 – 1989. Director, Ledyard National Bank 1989 – 2020. Trustee, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital; Chairperson, Boca Grande Community Planning Panel 2003 – 2007; Commodore Boca Grande Pass Yacht Club 2006 – 2008; Board Member Gulf Coast Community Foundation 2010 – 2019; Founding Chairperson Island School Foundation 2009 – 2013; President, Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association 2013 – 2020. Boca Grande Woman’s Club 2020 Pandemic Task Force Member.
Geoff Verney graduated from Denison University and attended Columbia University’s graduate program in Art History. He later joined is father and brother at Monadnock Paper Mills in New Hampshire, a manufacturer of fine and custom-designed industrial specialty papers and media. His focus was in Sales and Marketing. Now retired, Geoff and his wife, Liz, split their time between Boca Grande and Nantucket Island, MA. He is currently president of the Community Foundation for Nantucket having served as president of The Nantucket Historical Association among a variety of non-profit boards primarily in the arts. Liz is a former elementary school art teacher and serves on the board of The Island School and is Vice Chair of Postpartum International.
Ed Vick spent his career in marketing communications and retired as Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Advertising Worldwide, whose clients included iconic brands such as Ford, AT&T, and Fedex. A Naval officer prior to his business career, Ed led over 100 combat missions on the rivers of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. He holds two Bronze Star Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Presidential Unit Citation, the highest honor an American combat unit can receive. He holds degrees from UNC, Chapel Hill and Northwestern. He has served on the Boards of The American Foundation for Aids Research, The United Negro College Fund, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and other non-profits. He served as Chairman of the Board of the School of Journalism and Media at UNC. Ed and Stephanie have been loving Boca Grande for nearly 20 years and, when not in residence here, can be found in Greenwich, CT or New York City.
Nancy and her husband Bill first came to Boca Grande in 2009 looking for a warm weather respite from the Boston winter. They drove over the bridges to Boca Grande and sighed “ oh yes, this will do”. They rented for several years and became homeowners in 2015. Nancy has served on the Barrier Island Parks Society board and was chair of the BIPS Gala for three years. She is also a member of the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, co-chaired the Woman’s Club Gala Auction in 2020 and is a member of the Scholarship Committee. Nancy spent 35 years as an Human Resource professional retiring in 2008 from Fidelity Investments as a Senior Vice President. Was involved in various volunteer activities in the Boston area including Newton Wellesley Hospital, The Handle and Hayden Society, the Joslin Diabetes Clinic and an organization providing health care to the homeless.
Tom has been coming to Boca Grande for 44 years with his wife Whitty Ransome whose family has visited Boca Grande through four generations Tom reports that it is “Friends” ability to inspire, enrich and engage that convinced them to retire here. Tom brings more than fifty years of nonprofit experience, having served as head of Concord Academy In Massachusetts and as president of the Baltimore Community Foundation. Tom is honored to have been asked to serve Boca Grande through the Friends board.