About Us


2018-2019 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 a summary of our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.


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 he 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." Bruce recently taught his first class for OLLI-USF on the history and future of innovation in information technology.

Committee Chairs

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.

Robyn Cheung, Social Events Committee Co-Chair, 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, and she loves reading and politics.

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.

Kathy Palmer, Social Committee Co-Chair, was born and raised in Rhode Island and has lived in Taiwan, Oregon, Massachusetts, Okinawa, Montana and finally Florida. Many of her career years were 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 owned a deli in downtown Tampa and had a catering business. She likes to volunteer, and she serves on two local boards 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. Kathy loves the variety of courses and the social side of OLLI, and that OLLI offers something for everybody.

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.

At-Large Members

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.

Joan Weaving 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.

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.