About Us

Leadership

2022-2023 Board of Advisors, OLLI-USF's Leadership Team

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.

View our bylaws. 

View our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

Apply to join the board! View our application/information.

Officers

Michael Viren, Chair, retired after almost 50 years as an engineer, economics professor, salesman, and entrepreneur. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and a PhD in economics. Mike previously served on the board of directors for several companies, four of which were start-ups, and remains active in a family charitable foundation. He also designed power plants and directed Missouri’s Public Service Commission. An active OLLI-USF participant over the past 6+ years, Mike finds the idea of seniors teaching seniors exciting and very enjoyable and has taught a variety of OLLI courses in both liberal arts and technology.

Linda Feeney, Vice-Chair, originally from Boston, moved to Tampa upon retiring from a 17-year career at the Ford Foundation, a major philanthropy with headquarters in New York and field offices worldwide. At the foundation she experienced and learned collegiality, a willingness to understand and value experiences, and also consensus, the active solicitation of input and the flexibility to adapt to it. She has used these skills working in her many volunteer activities. When Linda first encountered OLLI, she was impressed with the quality and depth of the classes. Since then she has been teaching OLLI courses and has participated in the Leadership Course, which added depth to her knowledge of how OLLI functions. She believes that OLLI is a wonderful example of how a community of members can develop and sustain an organization serving a meaningful purpose.

Bruce Gobioff, Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair, 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 spent 35 years with IBM in technical and management positions developing software for mainframes and personal computers. Bruce 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." He has taught multiple classes for OLLI-USF on the history and future of innovation in information technology and has created a new and well-received OLLI class, “Antarctica, Earth’s Last Frontier.”

Arlene Zimney, Secretary, holds a masters degree in Information Studies from Syracuse University. She and her husband moved from snowy Rochester, NY to sunny Tampa in 2002. After a 30-year career in Purchasing & Contracts for various manufacturing, telecommunications companies, and governmental agencies, she retired in 2015. Arlene served as Chair of OLLI’s Volunteer Management Committee for 3 years. She enjoys our classes in literature, history, technology, human behavior, and the arts and participates actively in several Shared Interest Groups.

Committee Chairs

George Hyde, Travel Opportunities Committee Chair, is a previous OLLI board member who rejoined the board in Fall 2022. He has been an OLLI member for many years, a popular faculty member, and part of the leadership team. He has served on the board’s Membership Committee and the External Marketing Committee. George has brought his expertise in several areas to OLLI, including teaching his unique courses. These include the history of and in-depth looks at national and international radio broadcasting, and his “My Favorite Places” classes taking students around the world through his photos, videos, lectures, and even ethnic food samples! He wrote a “Community Hero” nomination for our OLLI’s first director Lee Leavengood, which resulted in a $25,000 grant for OLLI-USF from the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation. George held 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.

Judith Page-Lieberman, Program Planning Committee Chair, is a pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in Adolescent Medicine and Pediatrics. An OLLI-USF member since 2013, Judith has embraced all aspects of OLLI Life, teaching classes, leading an important committee, and orienting new  instructors.

Diane Russell, Volunteer Management Committee Co-Chair, is a proud Chicago native and Cubs fan. Diane lived in New Haven, CT and worked at Yale University and the New Haven Housing Authority. She lived in Tbilisi, Georgia in the former USSR for six months in 1979-80. During her 30 years of employment at USF, Diane worked as human resources coordinator in Classification and Employment Services, then became a career counselor in Career Services after earning an MA in Guidance and Counselor Education from USF. Since retiring from USF and joining OLLI in 2014, Diane has been volunteering as a proofreader for the OLLI catalog and is a regular contributor to OLLI Connects. She has served as Recruitment and Post-Orientation Chair on the Volunteer Management Committee since 2016. In her spare time, Diane sings, is a Stephen Ministry Leader, and enjoys movies, theater, and theme parks with her husband, Tom.

Steven Specter, Development Committee Chair, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Molecular Medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine at USF. He has a B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Steve taught medical students at the Morsani College for 39 years and continues to teach for USF's Honors College and for OLLI-USF.  Steve is active in philanthropy at USF and in the community.

Pam Tyler, Membership Committee Chair, is a retired lawyer and ordained Episcopal priest with extensive experience in the secular and ecclesiastical worlds. She was a Miami prosecutor, a development officer for a large non-profit, and an executive director of a refugee resettlement program. She served as Vice Chancellor and as a priest for the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles and also owned and managed the San Geronimo Lodge in Taos, New Mexico. Pam has a B.A. in French (FSU), a J.D. in Law (UF), and an M.Div. in Theology (Yale). Although she was born in Turkey and had primarily an urban life, upon retirement she moved to the family home in Dade City. She has been on the Membership Committee for two years and was part of the 2020 "Exploring Leadership Opportunities at OLLI-USF" class. Pam is especially keen to work on expanding OLLI membership north of Tampa and diversifying the OLLI community.

Joan Weaving, Strategic & Operational Planning Committee Chair, embarked on a successful business career as the first woman product manager for Nabisco, Inc., and a corporate vice president for Equitable, before starting her own consulting company in 1988 specializing in leadership development and executive coaching for major corporations. Joan has been an active OLLI participant and has played a key role in the conceptualization and execution of the annual Board of Advisor's retreat. Joan leads our Exploring Leadership Opportunities class in the fall term.

Diane White, Volunteer Management Committee Co-Chair, is a proud USF alumna, having graduated from the university with a masters degree in Education. She retired from Verizon after 28 years in Information Technology as a systems engineer and project manager. Currently she writes and develops curriculums for a wide variety of management subjects including project management and process improvement. In addition, she has co-authored a book on project management. Volunteering is a life-long passion for Diane, who has led many international and local non-profit and volunteer organizations. She joined OLLI in 2014 and, after taking the Leadership class, she joined the Volunteer Management Committee. Diane teaches technology classes for OLLI on a wide variety of subjects and is always searching for new ways to use technology to connect us to people and information around the world.

At-Large Members and Shared Interest Group (SIG) Liaison

Robyn Cheung, Social Events Coordinator, was born in New Jersey and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. An alumna of the University of Kentucky, the University of Pennsylvania, and USF, she earned a PhD in nursing. She had a rich career working in most areas of nursing, as a bedside nurse, case manager, nurse researcher, and director of nursing practice. In 2016 Robyn retired and relocated to Tampa to be with family – two daughters and five granddaughters. These days she is enjoying having her family around her very much. Robyn is active in OLLI's social events and game groups, and she loves reading and politics.

Kevin Chittim is a previous member of the board who rejoined the board in Fall 2022. He served as chair of the Nominating Committee and on the Executive, Finance, Marketing and Program Planning committees. He has taken more than 350 OLLI classes at OLLI-USF and OLLI-Eckerd and has taught 19 courses (mostly Great Books). He was one of the active members who stepped up to help with the technology and the teaching of Zoom for OLLI when the pandemic hit, enabling our OLLI to keep offering classes and more for our members. Before retirement, Kevin was a senior executive in the technology field, specializing in lasers, optics, and scientific instrumentation. His specialties are in finance, marketing, and general management, with experience in volunteer fundraising and board experience in both religious and community organizations. He was CEO of three companies, served on a broad variety of boards including school boards and the Great Books of Tampa boards, and was chair of the Florida Business Incubator. Kevin says his special OLLI interests will continue to include keeping up the quality and breadth of courses, energizing fundraising and bequests, and building our active membership.

Kathy Palmer, Shared Interest Group (SIG) Liaison, is a former board member who rejoined the board in Fall 2022. She previously served as the OLLI Social Committee Co-Chair and kept the former Games SIG group going by figuring out how to play Scattergories online and hosting these games throughout the pandemic. Kathy loves the variety of courses and the social side of OLLI. She was born and raised in Rhode Island and lived in Taiwan, Oregon, Massachusetts, Okinawa, and Montana before moving to Florida. Much of her career was spent working for the Federal government at the Department of Defense Schools Headquarters in Okinawa, at the IRS, and at the Tampa VA with the Homeless Women Veterans Program. Kathy also owned a deli in downtown Tampa and had a catering business. Some of her most fulfilling time was spent in Okinawa, living among the local people and teaching English to Japanese kindergarten children. She likes to volunteer and has served as treasurer for the Sacred Heart Council of Catholic Women and as recording secretary for Our Lady of Grace district of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Earl Richardson retired as an Air Force officer, having served more than 26 years as an Air Force bomber pilot and instructor pilot. He commanded a squadron that supported the day-to-day alert of our nation’s nuclear forces and was responsible for the safety and operational readiness of nuclear weapons. He also held senior leadership positions in military space programs and at the Pentagon. While at the Pentagon, he worked with our nation’s most senior military leaders as he managed the procurement of major new military weapons systems. Earl holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University and has taught graduate school in Business and Public Administration. Since retiring to the Tampa area, he has been an active local community volunteer in various leadership positions. Earl loves teaching and has especially enjoyed teaching here at OLLI-USF. 

Bruce Shanker was born in the Washington, DC area and lived there for 40 years before moving to Tampa in 1994. His professional background includes accounting, finance, financial planning, charitable planning, marketing, real estate, and fundraising. Since his retirement, Bruce has been active with OLLI-USF for the last three years and has taken more than 30 classes. Through the OLLI Eckerd reciprocity program, he and his wife have attended more than 15 classes on the other side of the bay. When not involved with OLLI, his other interests include tennis, biking, gardening, gourmet cooking and politics.

Linda Tournade, Marketing Work Group Co-Leader, has been an OLLI member since 2018 and participated in a Strategic Operating Procedures ad hoc work group. She is the web editor for OLLI, has been the technical moderator for the Games SIG’s Scattergories sessions, edits course descriptions for the catalogs, and more. Some of the goals Linda wants to work on during her term on the board include helping grow the membership base, expanding membership diversity, and enhancing our website. Linda was born and raised in Tampa, is an avid traveler and photographer, graduated from the University of Florida with a masters degree in journalism, and studied epidemiology, public health, and social work at the University of Texas. She lived in the Washington, DC area for 30 years as well as in Charlottesville and Austin. She worked at The Washington Post as a researcher, fact-checker, and project manager; at Bloomberg BNA and the University of Virginia as a project manager; and at LexisNexis and Gartner as the senior director of market research.