Marta Howell – Executive Director
Marta is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Urban Planning. She was hired as Executive Director for Friends in 2010. She has held position of Executive Director with the M.S. Hershey Foundation and Neighborhoods Inc. of Battle Creek, and served as interim executive director for numerous nonprofit organizations in a consulting capacity. Marta enjoys cooking, reading, and boating.
Debbie Frank – Program Director
If an artist needs a muse then they also need a medium. Putting art into practice, Debbie thrives on seeing the big picture then plugging in the details. A skill set that has been cultivated by working in education, franchise establishment, real estate and the entertainment arena. From conducting weekly open calls for models and actors to planning trade shows for the home service industry to supporting 22 elementary schools in Sarasota County, FL. Debbie loves the art of organization and meeting the needs of others, a fitting trait for a graduate of Lee University with a B.A. degree in psychology. Originally from Virginia Beach, this coastal gal found her way to Florida in 1996. She spent several years in St. Augustine and traveling about with her husband before making SW Florida home. Debbie joined the Friends of Boca Grande in 2015. You will likely see her exploring the island with her toddler son, enjoying a morning walk for coffee or dancing under the stars at a concert. “The island has called my name and I am forever grateful. See you at the Community Center!” – Debbie
Jessica Rich – Program Assistant
Jessica has been working with Friends of Boca Grande since 2016. In addition to her role as program assistant, Jessica also enjoys contributing her Graphic Design skills for fun projects within the organization. She loves all things Disney and enjoys drawing and painting. When she’s not hard at work, you can probably find her at the local Art Festival with a large iced coffee in hand and her 5 year old and toddler in tow!
Jodi Overman – Program Assistant & Receptionist
Originally from the Midwest, Jodi has lived and worked in the area since 2000. In 2008, she returned to school to earn a certificate in Digital Design at the Charlotte County Tech Center, allowing her to pursue a website design business. She joined Friends in 2017 with over 30 years of experience in the tourism industry, and attributes that longevity to the fact that she loves to meet new people. Jodi has two grown children who attended Lemon Bay High School, then continued on to graduate college. Her son and his wife live in Red Lodge, MT and her daughter lives with her boyfriend and works in Minneapolis, MN. Jodi continues to work where others vacation to fulfill her love of travel. She also enjoys fishing, bicycling and paddle boarding, practicing yoga and attending music festivals.
Kyle Rich – Show Production Coordinator
This New Yorker landed in Englewood in 2004 at only 13 years old. Talk about a culture shock! Kyle is a performer at heart. He’s spent most of his life performing on stage in musical theatre and rock & roll bands. Art, technology, writing and philosophy are also passions of this eccentric young “dude”. He received his B.S. in Recording Arts at Full Sail University in Orlando 2011, where he also began working in live show production. Now at 28 years old and a proud husband and father, Kyle stays rooted in his passions alongside his wife Jessica, and his sons, Saylor and Elias.
D.J. Keisling – Executive Assistant & Boca Bunch Director
Keisling, a Pittsburgh native, graduated in 1987 from Edinboro (PA) with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education with minors in Fitness Management and Athletic Coaching. Has been a teacher at L. A. Ainger Middle School in Rotonda West since 1994. Coached football, wrestling and track for 15 years at Lemon Bay High School. D.J. and his lovely wife of 25 years, Janine, have two children, Trent and Alannah, who attend Thiel College in PA. He has been with the Friends since April 1995.