Board of Directors
Robert V. Carlson
PresidentRobert V. CarlsonRobert V. Carlson has been very active over the past several years in supporting and administering lifelong learning programs as an instructor and administrator. He served most recently as Executive Director Emeritus for Pierian Spring Academy. He is a professor emeritus from the University of Vermont where he directed and taught courses in the doctoral program in educational leadership. His career has been committed to increasing educational opportunities for adults of all ages.
Vice President / TreasurerSam SamelsonSam Samelson is a retired business executive who was engaged in the home furnishings textile industry for over 35 years. Since moving to Sarasota, Sam has been involved in Lifelong learning and for the past 6 years, he has been Chairman of the Board of the Lifelong Learning Academy. He is also with OLLI at Ringling College of Art and Design.
Vice President / Treasurer
Second Vice PresidentDanelle GilbertiDanelle Gilberti is the Program Manager for the Adult & Community Enrichment (ACE) Program at Suncoast Technical College offered through Sarasota County Schools. After receiving a B.A. in Accounting, she started her career working for Arthur Andersen, LLP and Jackson Hewitt Tax Technology developing tax software products. She has been very involved in the local school system for the past 15 years. Danelle was chosen as the Adult Volunteer of the Year for a local elementary school, and has served as a Treasurer and active member of the school PTSOs and Band Booster Organizations. She is now focusing on providing Lifelong Learning Opportunities for adults within our community as Program Manager at ACE.
Second Vice President
SecretaryTom DietrichTom Dietrich worked at Caterpillar for 43 years in management positions. He received a BSIE from Millikin and an MBA from Case Western Reserve. Tom taught Management Training programs in the Caterpillar Training Institute, and is a past President of the Central Illinois chapter of the American Society for Training & Development. Tom served on the Organization Development Committee of National ASTD and has been a presenter at National ASTD Conventions. He teaches courses at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Long Boat Key Education Center.
DirectorDiane AlexanderDiane Alexander is President of The MindWorks Inc.,
a company dedicated to translating the latest research about the brain into powerful tools that enable participants to harness more of their brainpower. Her captivating presentation style has made her an international speaker, consultant, and author. She brings a wealth of education (graduate school: psychology, business, and neuroscience) and practical work experience to her audience. She has appeared on CMH Fox News, written a regular business column titled "The Executive Brain" and her book Break-out Creativity is required reading for many corporations. By translating the latest scientific research Into practical and easy-to-learn techniques, Diane enables employees to tap into their own brainpower to produce solutions that equipment and money can't buy.
DirectorLynne AnastLynne Anast a former business owner, entered the non-profit community in 1996 at the Flanzer Jewish Community Center, as the Director of Elderhostel. She continued in the same position when the Center reopened as the YMCA/JCC. She has been at the Friendship Centers since 2007, currently as Director of Lifelong Learning. This includes; Road Scholar programs formerly known as (Elderhostel) and the Friendship Center for Aging Studies, offering CE courses to licensed professionals; social worker, master social worker, family and marriage therapists and mental health counselors. Lynne has been a member of Visit Sarasota for the past nine years and became a member of Women in Tourism last year. She currently serves on the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Duvall Conference Advisory Committee
DirectorRobyn LevinRobyn Levin has spent the past 20 years in Marketing, Business Development, and PR. Levin is the founder of Robyn Levin Media, Inc., a strategic marketing & PR consulting firm, based in Sarasota, Florida. Levin specializes in Celebritizing™ entrepreneurs, travel/tourism companies and CEO’s in helping them attain name recognition and expert status in their industries. Her efforts land clients in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Time Magazine, CBS MarketWatch, Fortune Small Business and more. She guided PENSCO Trust, a financial services client in tripling their assets to $3 billion in less than three years.
Levin’s clients have included Citibank, the NHL Florida Panthers, UC Hastings College of Law, Alcatraz Cruises & Tours, PENSCO Trust and the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) in addition to dozens of entrepreneurs. As a passionate connector of small business owners to big brands, Levin has forged strategic partnerships with Citibank, NHL, Women Sports Foundation, sports celebrities, and many others to significantly raise awareness and revenue.
A true entrepreneur, Levin purchased and turned around a bankrupt Ice Skating Arena into a 40,000 square foot multi-million dollar money-making enterprise that was later sold to the NHL Florida Panthers.
Robyn is the author of the Cocktail Napkin Plan® e-Book & marketing template which was featured on Inc. Magazine online — Tools for StartUps. She has been published in Money magazine, COSTCO Connection, "Walking with the Wise" and the best-selling, "Networking Magic." She is consistently a top-ranked speaker by her audiences and has been chosen as the “Best of the Best Speaker” by E-Tourism.
A graduate of Temple University, Fox School of Business & the Netherlands School of International Business, she guest lectures at Temple University & Wharton's Executive Program for Working Professionals on Marketing Strategy & PR.
Advisory Board Member, Digital Marketing Program, Temple University, Fox School of Business
Advisory Board Member, Creative Writing Program since inception Ringling College of Art and Design
DirectorGalina JordanGalina Jordan is the Community Outreach and Marketing Specialist at Adult & Community Enrichment (ACE). She brings to her position a well-established background in education, social science research and community relations. Prior to joining ACE, Galina worked for a non-profit organization focused on accelerating solutions to enhance the quality of life for older adults and is a strong advocate for lifelong learning. Galina holds a Master of Arts in Linguistics from Sofia University, Bulgaria.
DirectorLarrry WinegarLarry Winegar has been WEDU’s Philanthropy Officer for Sarasota and Manatee counties for over 3 years; working with existing donors, cultivating new annual and planned giving donors for the support of WEDU's programming and educational outreach. He holds the Certified Financial Planner designation and is a graduate of Olivet College.
Prior to joining WEDU, he was the Director of Charitable Giving with Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. He previously served as a private wealth advisor with regional bank trust departments for over 20 years. Mr. Winegar has resided and worked in Sarasota and Manatee counties since 2005.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch and is a classroom reader in the Books for Kids program sponsored by the Club. In addition, he is a frequent volunteer at children’s literacy events hosted by WEDU and PBS Learning Media. Mr. Winegar is a Board member of the Manatee Estate Planning Council. Larry and his wife Diane have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.