Lisa Molitor Gearen, President of the Board
Lisa Molitor Gearen is a native Floridian. She migrated to Gainesville from South Florida as a young woman to attend The University of Florida. A lifetime of outdoor recreation has sustained her love affair with natural Florida.
An ARNP, she practiced professional nursing at The UF Medical Center and The ACORN Clinic (Brooker) for 35 years. She is married to a retired Orthopaedic surgeon, and their daughter works in DC.
Celeste Shitama, Vice-President of the Board
Celeste is a longtime supporter of land conservation in Florida. Her work with Sandhill Cranes at the Florida Wildlife Commission led to graduate studies at the University of Florida in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, as well as work on the Northwest Florida Permanent Exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She is the former owner of the first property in Costa Rica protected with a conservation easement, and current owner of restored springs property along the Suwannee River. She has five grown children and seven grandchildren that keep her life interesting and the stakes high for the future.
KC Nayfield, Secretary
KC is a Florida native. He spent his veterinary career as a surgeon to pets and exotic animals in Crystal River. He built a practice there over three decades, and as an independent veterinarian, he gained tremendous small business expertise. He is regionally known as a skillful and ethical surgeon. KC and his wife, MaryBeth, brought their two children up to cherish the great outdoors. MaryBeth has been a public health nurse in Citrus County for her entire career. The family are lifelong sailors, explorers and wildlife fans.
Barry Rutenberg, Treasurer of the Board
Barry has been active in homebuilding, community development, and community organizations since the 1970’s. He has served on many Gainesville and Alachua County committees and task forces. In the early 1980’s, Barry became active in local energy and land conservation committees. Barry was the 2000 president of the Florida Home Builders Association and the 2012 chairman of the board of directors of the National Association of Home Builders. He is currently chairman of Arthur Rutenberg Homes and holds a BS degree from Northwestern University and a MBA from Harvard University
Jeff Hardesty, Member at Large
Jeff’s educational background is in biology and wildlife ecology, and he spent his career protecting and restoring public lands. As a senior level strategist for The Nature Conservancy, Jeff was responsible for leading global conservation programs. His retirement came last year, and he’s returned to Florida where his wife, Susan, continues her career at the University of Florida.
Jon Graham, Member at Large
Jon is a senior health care executive with extensive experience building organizations and improving operations. His experience includes hospital leadership, expertise in oncology and physician practice leadership, and academic medicine. He is also a coach and mentor who strives to develop new leadership and a collegial organizational culture. Jon earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration at the University of Iowa and a doctorate in health services policy and administration from Walden University. He is a pilot and budding photographer focusing on Florida landscapes and wildlife.
Linda Jones, Member at Large
Linda is a recently retired member of the University of Florida’s College of Education Faculty, where for over 30 years, she prepared undergraduate and graduate students for careers as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educators. Her innovative and creative approaches to curriculum development resulted in generous grant funding over the life of her career. A child of South Florida, Linda grew up in the outdoors and developed a deep love of natural Florida. She has spent more than two decades championing the protection of water and habitat in Florida. Her passion is shared by her husband Griff, also a UF educator.
Ed Montgomery, Executive Committee Member at Large
Ed joined Rayonier Inc. in 1979 after graduation from the University of Florida with a BS in Forest Resources and Conservation. Ed recently retired from a successful forestry and land conservation career at Rayonier, which spanned 35 years. While Ed held various real estate positions at Rayonier, his favorite job was conserving and protecting suitable tracts of Rayonier’s land for future generations. A native of north Florida, Ed enjoys boating on Florida’s beautiful waterways with his wife Jennifer, playing folk music and serving on praise music and prison ministry teams.
David graduated from Rollins College and the University of Florida. He was a founding member and past president of the Florida Native Plant Society. He is a licensed real estate broker specializing in restoration and preservation of unique properties. He remains committed to protecting native and working landscapes throughout Florida.
John Regenfuss, MBA, CMPE, CRA, Member at Large
John has been the Director, Healthcare Administration for the University of Florida Department of Neurosurgery since 2010, where he has guided the department through unprecedented growth. In the early part of his career he specialized in turning around financial and/or administratively distressed academic departments. He holds a BA degree in Philosophy from St. Francis Seminary and a MBA with emphasis in Human Resources and Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management. He also holds a Yellow belt from Six Sigma. John has a long history of serving his community. In addition to being a Lions Club member since 1988, he has served on the boards of many organizations including the Curative Rehabilitation Center, Moraine Symphony Orchestra, Port Washington Fish Day, Rehabilitation Facilities of Wisconsin, Mukwonago School Board, and Big Bend Police Commission. His hobbies are running, bicycling, camping, fishing, kayaking, gardening and tinkering.