2017-2018 Board of Advisors
The OLLI Board of Advisors' mission is to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of OLLI-USF by guiding decision making, enabling program excellence, responding to the membership, and promoting member participation. Sharing leadership with the OLLI staff, the board is future oriented, continually striving to improve while addressing present challenges and opportunities.
George Hyde, Chair, served on the Membership Committee, founded OLLI's Marketing Committee, teaches radio and media classes--all in the space of several years while taking OLLI classes and attending OLLI events. This whirlwind OLLI career notwithstanding, George found time to write a "Community Hero" nomination for Lee Leavengood, which resulted in a $25,000 grant for OLLI-USF from the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation. George's dedication was recognized in 2015 by OLLI with an Outstanding Volunteer award, and attained Roll of Honor faculty status in 2017 after teaching more than ten successful courses. George employed the same level of drive and commitment in his lengthy career in media and marketing. He undertook leadership roles with the National Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Advisory Boards of the Associated Press and United Press International.
Phyllis Alpert, Vice-Chair proves that Miami-Dade's loss is OLLI's gain. As assistant director of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, she was responsible for managing the main library and for system-wide collection development, automation and training for all 49 branches. With a master's degree in Library and Information Science, she applied her extensive skills in research and database searching to strategic planning initiatives for both the Miami-Dade library system and the Southeast Florida Library Information Network. Since her move to Tampa, Phyllis was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library Board where she focuses on planning, policy and budget. Phyllis discovered OLLI classes several years ago and, with her usual energy and passion, became involved in classes and governance. She hopes her time on the OLLI board will allow her to share with others the joys of new friends and new intellectual interests via OLLI.
Bruce Gobioff, Secretary, holds a Masters degree in the Management of Technology from MIT and spent nearly 50 years in the information technology field prior to retiring in 2015. He is an avid OLLI course participant, particularly those courses that emphasize group discussion, where "you learn as much from the students, many of whom have interesting backgrounds with different points of view, as from the teacher."
Sheldon Busansky, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair, also serves OLLI on the Strategic and Organizational Planning Committee. After a long career at Honeywell, Sheldon retired as vice-president for business development to teach in the USF College of Engineering's graduate program in Engineering Management. He has participated on numerous boards and has served as chairman of the board of the Massachusetts Engineering College and chairman of Bay Area Legal Services. He is currently on the boards of Frameworks and the Florida Consumer Action Network. He remains an active poker and game player.
Beryl Byles, Membership Committee Chair, has become active not only by taking classes and attending events but also by serving as an ambassador, a class assistant and a retreat facilitator in addition to chairing OLLI-USF's Membership committee and serving on the Board of Advisors. She brings to OLLI a wealth of experience with volunteer groups, including serving on the boards of The Beginning Experience, an international program to help peers through the grieving process, and The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. Building on her more than thirty years as a teacher and consultant, Beryl worked as an Executive Coach and also authored a book Authentic Leadership: An Inside Job. An enthusiastic traveler, she recently blogged about her extended visits in Asia, Australia and Europe.
Kat Hanscom, Social Events Committee Co-Chair, has been an OLLI-USF member and volunteer since 2013. If it seems as though Kat is everywhere in OLLI, she is. Kat has taken a variety of courses, completed the OLLI Leadership Development Program and A Course is Born, and is an inaugural member of the OLLI Singers and the Carpe Diem Special Interest Group. In OLLI classes, Kat serves as an ambassador and class assistant. In addition, Kat volunteers with the Tampa Bay AARP as a Life-Reimagined guide and greeter at trade shows and workshops. Kat, a retired educator, continues to substitute teach on a regular basis. She is also an Enrollment counselor for Club Z In-Home Tutoring, Inc. Kat enjoys the arts, road trips, walking, reading, and being with family and friends. If you are fun and friendly, Kat hopes you will join her on the Social Events Committee.
Kay Menzel, Program Planning Committee Chair, has been teaching classes and serving in various leadership roles with OLLI since 2005. She served as chair of the OLLI Board of Advisors from 2009 to 2011 and chaired the Nominating Committee for several years after that. Kay also led the yearlong effort to publish Reflections, OLLI's 20th Anniversary Anthology, which we published in 2014. Prior to retiring, Kay worked as a public school teacher in Ohio, West Virginia, and Florida and enjoyed a second career in local government and political consulting in Illinois and Florida.
Lilli Guttman, Strategic and Organizational Planning Committee Chair, grew up in New York. During a long and varied career in education, she was instrumental in lobbying government officials for education and in designing educational courses. Lilli held a number of managerial and administrative positions, trained and coached teachers, and received specialized training in economics, labor management, government, teacher training and research, talents she has been sharing with OLLI since 2004.
Berni Stephenson, Social Events Committee Co-Chair, discovered a wonderful surprise after moving to Florida in 2003: OLLI had followed her from Cincinnati. Actually, the program she had so enjoyed in Ohio was also in Florida. Berni soon shared her considerable talents with OLLI-USF. With a bachelor's degree from the Ohio University and a master's degree from the Ohio State University, Berni made science come alive for her elementary school students in both the classrooms and the lab. She also served on the Ohio State University Education Alumni Board of Directors, on the Board of Directors of Warren County (Ohio) Soil and Water Conservation District, and as a Scholastic Science Consultant in Warren County. An experienced class assistant and class ambassador, Berni now adds board member to her many other roles.
Lorraine Watson, Development Committee Chair, is a clinical psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience in the behavioral health field. She is the co-founder and president of the largest provider of web-based continuing education to the behavioral health and human services profession. Prior to this, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a psychiatric disease management company with responsibility for 35 outpatient programs serving more than 2500 consumers of mental health services in 15 states. She also has been the Chief Executive Officer of a large multi-facility behavioral health system. Dr. Watson has been an adjunct clinical professor at Alliant International University in San Diego and has taught graduate level courses in clinical and industrial/organizational psychology programs. She has been a clinical consultant for federal law enforcement agencies and has developed and conducted over 100 workshops on mental health and wellness topics for behavioral health professionals and the public.
Arlene Zimney, Volunteer Management Committee Chair, escaped the cold winters of Rochester, New York, and never looked back. A SUNY graduate with a master's degree in Information Studies from Syracuse University, she also left library science behind and enjoyed a varied career in purchasing with experience in manufacturing, telecommunications and schools. Her experience as president of a Purchasing association and on the board of the National Association of Governmental Purchasing prepared her for the commitment she made to OLLI as class assistant, Ambassador, and Leadership Program enthusiast. In addition to new duties as a committee chair, Arlene loves theater, traveling, film and opera.
Kevin Chittim recently retired after a 40-year career as an executive in the laser, optics and healthcare industries, most recently as the CEO of technology companies in New Hampshire and Florida. He has served on numerous college and community boards and is an avid participant in all things OLLI, at both USF and Eckerd College. He moderated his first course for OLLI-USF in the winter of 2017. He is chairman of the Florida Business Incubator, serves on the Tampa Bay Great Books Council and on the OLLI-USF Marketing Committee.
Darlene Choe retired in 2009 after serving as an elementary school teacher, assistant principal and principal in Hillsborough County. Darlene became an OLLI member in 2010, joining the Volunteer Management committee and acting as class assistant. She remains active with the Lake Magdalene School Advisory Committee and the Hillsborough County Association of School Administrators (HASA). Darlene has done consultant work as a Hillsborough County Title I mentor and coach. With a BA degree from Morehead State University and an MEd from the University of Louisville, she earned educational leadership and gifted certification from USF.
Michael Viren retired after almost 50 years as an engineer, economics professor, salesman and entrepreneur. An active OLLI-USF participant over the last 3 years, Mike finds the idea of seniors teaching seniors exciting and very enjoyable: he is currently developing a course on economic and tax policies of the current presidential administration that will be a future course. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering with a PhD in economics. He previously served on the board of directors for several companies, four of which were start-ups, and remains active in a family charitable foundation.
Sara Emma Zimmerman served the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a teacher of writing and comparative literature for 22 years during which time she received a prize for innovative teaching. Sara created unique courses, published in scholarly journals, and helped develop fresh approaches for teaching undergraduates. Following early retirement from UW-M in 1998, she attended seminary, was ordained, and served churches in Florida before retiring from ministry in 2013. She led her first course for OLLI-USF, "Introduction to Conversational German" the Spring-Summer of 2017.