Board of Trustees
Linda Uhler Patti Jurney-Sousa Martha Siders Don Rice
President Vice President Secretary Treasurer
Bill Burch Claude C. Crawford, Ph.D. Ron Gibson Doris Holzheimer
Deborah La Gorce
Ran Niehoff Philip Puschel Robbie Roepstorff
Ed Wheeler, MD, FACR
Linda Uhler, President
Returning for a second term on the SCCF board, Linda Uhler has been a full-time resident of Sanibel since 1977. She has been an elementary school teacher, managed and owned retail businesses and served as district deputy for Congressman Porter Goss. Her community involvement includes chairing major fundraisers, such as the United Way of Lee County campaign, American Heart Association Heart Ball and BRAVO!Ballet for Gulfshore Ballet. She is currently serving on the Sanibel Public Library Commission and the board of Hope Hospice. She has also been the president of the Junior League of Fort Myers and the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva. Linda and her husband, Tom, are life members and members of the Legacy Society and have been permittees for the sea turtle program. They created and co-ordinate the popular Wines in the Wild fundraiser.
Patti Jurney-Sousa, Vice President
Patti Jurney-Sousa is a native Floridian, born and raised in West Palm Beach. After graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Recreation, she followed her passion to a career in non-profit administration for Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., YWCA, and The Girls Club. She is a Certified Trainer of Trainers. Patti and her husband George owned and operated their own sales and marketing business in New Jersey for almost two decades. After vacationing in Sanibel since 1983, they made Sanibel their permanent home in 2001. Patti has continued to contribute volunteer service to the Girl Scouts, the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, the Lee County Board of Elections, The Sanibel School, the Sanibel Bicycle Club, and the Butterknife Property Owners’ Association. She and George have served as SCCF sea turtle program volunteers since 2002.
Martha Siders, Secretary
Martha, her husband Rick and family first came to Sanibel in 1975, and they purchased a residence in 1990. Martha holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan, as well as an M.A. from the University of Toledo where she was an Instructor in Geography. She has been a board member of the AAUW, League of Women Voters and the Auxiliary to the Academy of Medicine in Toledo. She was president of the board of Toledo’s Mobile Meals and Mobile Market. Most recently Martha served on the board of Gulfside Place Condominium Association, dealing with the issues involved in the rebuilding of the complex after Hurricane Charley. She has been volunteering at SCCF for over 15 years, in the Nature Shop and the office.
Don Rice, Treasurer
Don Rice and his wife Joyce have owned property on Sanibel since 2001 and since 2004 have spent the majority of their time on the island. Don served as a senior vice president of the Ingersoll-Rand Company before his retirement from the firm in 2004. His career included assignments in human resources, leadership of the company’s Asia Pacific and Latin America operations, global business services and corporate communication and public affairs. Don began his business career at General Electric following service in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon where he received a BA in Economics and an MS in Industrial and Labor Relations. Don has served on SCCF's Finance Committee since 2009. He is a member of the Captiva Island Yacht Club where he serves as fleet captain. Don began a term as president of BIG ARTS in 2012 and is a member of Kiwanis. Don and his wife summer on Lake George in upstate New York, where he just completed a five-year term as Chair of the FUND for Lake George, and chaired the West Brook Conservation Initiative a $15 million public/private partnership restoring the wetlands in the South Basin of Lake George.
Soon after Bill Burch and his wife Tory moved to Sanibel in December 1996, they became involved with SCCF’s sea turtle program. From 1999 to 2008, they oversaw Sanibel’s East End beaches; they are still permittees. For the past ten years Bill has been a naturalist and boat captain with Tarpon Bay Explorers. He is an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, a Qualified Crewman for the Coast Guard Station at Fort Myers Beach and he holds a U. S. Merchant Marine 100 Ton Master’s License. Bill is a retired lawyer, with both his B.B.A. and J.D. from Loyola University in New Orleans. From 1982 until his retirement, Bill was the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Loudon County, Virginia.
Claude C. Crawford, Ph.D
Claude received his Ph.D. in Zoology from N. C. State University in 1971 and during his graduate studies and subsequent post-doctoral posts at The University of Georgia and Johns Hopkins University, he was involved with the startups of two small marine research labs. He worked in the medical device field, managing research and development of many innovative and successful diagnostic and therapeutic devices, including immuno-diagnostics, neonatal intensive care devices, cryosurgical units, and cardiac resuscitation devices. In 2000 Claude joined his wife Marsha to form a successful real estate team in Annapolis, Maryland. They first visited Sanibel in the Fall of 2001, and moved here full-time in 2007. Claude and Marsha have been members of SCCF for several years. Claude was a volunteer member of the Marine Lab committee for two years before joining the Board and serves as the Lab's liaison to the Board.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Ron moved to Captiva Island with his wife, Phyllis, in 1991. Ron Gibson held executive positions with several East Coast brokerage firms, including Vice President of Operations for Baltimore-based Legg Mason, and Principal and Board Member for Phase 3/Sungard Systems of Waltham, Massachusetts. Retiring in 1992, he continued to consult until 2001. He is Past Commodore of the Captiva Island Yacht Club and served on the Community Foundation of Sanibel-Captiva and the Captiva Community Panel. He is a retired Fire Fighter One Volunteer at the Captiva Fire Department. Ron served on the SCCF Board from 1998 through 2002 and from 2005 to 2010. He was Vice President from 2001 to 2002 and Treasurer from 2005 to 2010.
Doris and her husband, Gordon Hullar have owned a house on Captiva since 1984. Doris is a Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District and has led the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee. She is the past president of the board of Women Helping Women of Hamilton County, Ohio and is on the Advisory Board to the Dean of her alma mater, the College of Arts & Science at Miami University. Doris and Gordon own a wine distribution company headquartered in Mason, Ohio. She worked for Procter & Gamble for 20 years, leading strategic planning for the worldwide manufacturing and sales organizations. As an on-loan executive, she assisted the Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent.
Deborah La Gorce
Born in Boston, Deborah La Gorce moved to Washington, DC, after college, where she met and married John. Three young children later they moved from the city to a small farm in rural Virginia. She calls herself a professional volunteer and has served on seven boards and as President of three, including six years as President of the Board at BIG ARTS. In the environmental area she and John fought to designate a scenic highway byway and to landmark the small town near their Virginia farm; they also put their farm into a conservation easement. Full time Sanibel residents for 17 years, Deborah has been actively involved in every SCCF land conservation campaign since Frannie’s Preserve and is also involved in the RECON water quality sensor program. On Sanibel, they also worked to limit the height of cell phone towers. In addition to SCCF and BIG ARTS, Deborah supports FISH and other island nonprofits.
Ran and his wife, Marilyn, moved to Sanibel in 1991 when he became Senior Minister of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ and they both joined SCCF. In the larger community Ran served two terms as one of Sanibel’s representatives on the Lee County Commissioner’s Community Development Committee and one term on the founding board of the Sanibel-Captiva Community Foundation. Retiring in 2008 after 41 years of parish ministry, he now teaches in the Winter Academy of BIG Arts and writes a column in the local magazine, Times of the Islands. Born and bred in the St. Louis, Missouri area, Ran and Marilyn have lived in West Seneca and Wellsville, New York and Marblehead, Massachusetts. Currently the Niehoffs divide their time between Sanibel and Captiva and the woodlands of Winsted, Connecticut. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Philip and his wife Roberta bought their current home on Sanibel in 1996 and retired there in 2000. Philip has a Bachelors degree from Hamilton College and an MBA from Stanford University. After spending three years as an officer in the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet, he returned east to New York City, where he joined the home furnishings company, F. Schumacher & Co. His entire career of 34 years was spent at Schumacher, the last 19 years as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman for the last 27 years. Philip was a founding member of the Kent (CT) Land Trust and he served on its Board and Advisory Committee for ten years. He has also been involved with land conservation in Vermont where he spends part of the summer. Philip led the fundraising campaign for his 50th Hamilton reunion, reaching record highs. He and his wife have been active on Sanibel with SCCF, CROW, and BIG ARTS fundraising efforts and they are SCCF Life Members.
Robbie is the President, Director and Co-founder of Edison National Bank and Bank of the Islands. The bank was founded by Robbie and her husband, Geoffrey Roepstorff in 1997. Robbie is known in Southwest Florida as an accomplished business leader and an active member of the community, serving in many professional and community organizations that benefit the citizens of Southwest Florida including the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees, The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, The Sanibel School Advisory Council, Edison-Ford Winter Estates Foundation, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Lee County’s Industrial Development Authority and Horizon Council. She has served on Sanibel Community Association, Hope Hospice of Southwest Florida, Uncommon Friends Foundation, American Heart Association, and the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation. Robbie has received various awards for her leadership. Most notable and meaningful to her is the 2008 Paulette Burton Lee County Citizen of the Year Award, named in honor of a former Sanibel resident. She and Geoff received the statewide honor of being named the “Bankers of the Year” by the Florida Bankers Association. The Roepstorffs are longstanding Sanibel residents and have one son. Robbie and Geoff are longstanding supporters of SCCF. Through Bank of the Islands, they have sponsored publication of SCCF’s Annual Report, past Earth Day celebrations, and the Wines in the Wild fundraising event. They have served as Turtle Walkers, and work on the Coastal Clean-Up with their entire Bank of the Islands staff.
Following four years as president of the SCCF Board, Paul continues his long association with the Foundation as a trustee. Paul and Lucy first visited Sanibel with their children in 1972, and they have lived here for a total of 15 years , interrupted by a five-year stint in Santa Fe, NM. Paul graduated from the University of Missouri, majoring in engineering and forestry, and attended graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis. His 35-year career was with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) and retired in 1991 as president of the company's Texas Division. Paul has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Sanibel Public Library, the Community Foundation of the Islands, and remains active in the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ.
Edward C. Wheeler, MD, FACR
Dr. Wheeler, a native Hoosier, earned his AB and MD degrees from Indiana University and interned at Marion County General Hospital in Indianapolis. He served his residency and fellowship in radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Ed returned to Indianapolis to begin an active radiology practice and remained there for the remainder of his 33-year career, except for two years spent at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN, practicing the subspecialty areas of vascular and interventional radiology. Ed served on the Boards of the Indiana State Medical Association, the Indianapolis Medical Society, the Indiana Roentgen Society (president 1991-92). He became a Fellow in the American College of Radiology in 1992. Ed and his wife Jane were active in many non-profit organizations throughout their marriage. They first purchased a home on Captiva in 1978, then moved to Sanibel in 1984. After Ed’s wife Jane passed in 1992, he retired from the active practice of medicine in 1997 and became a Florida resident in 2001. He and his partner Anne Haslem have been active in environmental causes for several years and are members of the Colorado Land Trust.