Class Notes are published two times a year in Spirit Magazine. Send your updates for the next issue to email@example.com for publication.
Alumni talk about mission-driven leadership in new conversation series
Saint Leo University launched a new program designed to engage students, faculty, staff, and community members in conversations about mission-driven leadership this spring. The Mission-Driven Leaders: Conversations on Purpose program features interactive conversations with different guest leaders who have experience in leading with purpose and making a difference in their professions and in society at large.
The first guest leader in the series was alumna Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis ’98, who is the chief of the Memphis (TN) Police Department. Vice President of Sales at WeWork Nick DeMarinis ’05 was the second speaker in the series. Both alumni talked about their career experiences and shared advice from the lessons they’ve learned about how to lead with excellence and purpose.
“Mission-driven leadership is about working to achieve goals that make an impact and serve a greater good,” said Saint Leo University Vice President of Community Engagement & Innovation Dr. Mark Gesner. “Mission-driven leadership is not about position or title; rather, it’s focused on aligning your actions with your values to influence others to realize meaningful and positive outcomes.”
The university will continue to host more guest leaders for the series in the coming year. By engaging in conversations with leaders who practice mission-driven leadership, the intent is to help bring the Saint Leo mission to life for the university community and the public.
If you are interested in learning more about the series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert O’Donnell ’64 retired as a business and corporate lawyer with Vandeventer Black LLP, a law firm with offices located in Virginia, North Carolina, and Germany.
Frank Dwyer ’68 retired from teaching Advanced Placement government classes at Brooklyn Technical High School (NY) in 2019.
Brian “Buck” McGrath ’70 retired after 38 years of teaching and 40 years of serving as a firefighter. He is teaching CPR courses for a local hospital and lives in Neptune, NJ.
James Filippelli ’75 was tenured and promoted to associate professor of fine and performing arts at Dominican College in Blauvelt, NY. The promotion will take effect in August 2022.
Mercedes Gil-Ehrman ’75 retired in June 2020 from Miami-Dade County Public Schools (FL) after 40 years of teaching. She is now an adjunct professor, teaching English to Spanish-speaking adult professionals at Florida International University in Miami, FL.
Janet Robertson ’75 moved from South Carolina to the High Desert area of California in 2020 to be near her two sons and their families. She is retired, has two gorgeous granddaughters, and loves being a grandma.
Joseph Lacy Jr. ’78 celebrated his 44th year at Lacy Foundries, a family-owned business that specializes in casting in Baltimore, MD, and is loving every minute of it. He also completed his 12th season coaching Loyola Blakefield boy’s junior varsity, varsity, and middle school squash teams, which recently came in third in their conference. In January, Lacy welcomed his seventh grandchild, Lane Chapline. She weighed 4 pounds and 15 ounces.
Bonnie Crothers ’79, is a full-time religious author who has written and published two books, The Lord’s Prayer: Tidbits From Its Extraordinary History and Judas Iscariot, His Life & Times: The Most Hated Man in All of Christendom.
Bill Moulton ’82 and his wife are expanding their fabric and quilting store, Pam’s Fabric Nook, in Port St. Lucie, FL, after eight successful years.
Ann Souza ’86 is returning to college to study music, theater, and Spanish.
Jim Armitage ’87 married Kristin Armitage on December 3, 1966, at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, FL, and will celebrate 56 years of marriage this year. They met on a blind date on September 18, 1965, while Jim was home on a 30-day leave after returning from overseas. After Jim retired from the U.S. Army in 1983, they returned home to Tampa, FL. Jim worked another 20 years at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, and Kristin worked 23 years at a dental practice in Tampa. Jim completed his master’s and doctoral degrees after graduating from Saint Leo University. They have been blessed with two children and two grandchildren.
Michael Salazar ’87 began his 31st year as a practicing attorney with The Salazar Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in November 2021.
Timothy Boyd ’88 has been in business for more than 30 years as a professional licensed painter. He credits the U.S. Air Force and Saint Leo for helping him make it this far with his business.
John Chiari ’88 retired from teaching after 32 years in elementary education. He celebrated his retirement in June 2020 from Highland Lakes Elementary School in Palm Harbor, FL.
Laura Laberge ’88 is enjoying her life as a social work government activist and was recently appointed to the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) where she is actively helping to shape legislation for beneficiaries in need of Medicare policy reform in the United States.
Christopher Stallings ’89 is proud to celebrate his son, Garrett, who is a pitcher for the Bowie Baysox, a Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. After three years at the University of Tennessee, Garrett was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels.
Mike Fulton ’90 was named chief deputy of Brazoria County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office in Texas. Prior to this role, he served as supervisor in the Crime Scene Division at the Houston Forensic Science Center. He is grateful for going back to school to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice with a specialization in forensic science, as it provided a springboard for his current career.
John Merullo ’90 retired after 23 years as a librarian and manager at the Houston Public Library (TX) in September 2021. He now works part time in administrative support at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston.
Allison Newlon ’92 is celebrating 21 years in the real estate industry, with 12 years as the broker and owner of Platinum Properties of Florida. Focused on the greater Tampa Bay area, Newlon and her agents use the power of video to modernly market the brokerage and properties, as well as to attract clients.
Adelia Grandstaff ’94, ’13 received her master’s degree in information technology, with a focus in large-scale information management, from Florida State University in July 2021. She completed this degree with a 4.0 grade point average.
Cynthia Lynn ’95, who writes under various pseudonyms, is a silver member of the Authors Guild, a professional organization for writers. One of her lifestyle travel books is available in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.
Jeffrey Ewaldt ’97, ’10 joined the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness as a financial examiner/analyst in March 2021. Ewaldt is pursuing a Certified Governmental Financial Manager (CGFM)® designation.
Randall (R.J.) Hendricks ’97 is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and producer. His popular western stories include the “Frank Vito Bounty Hunter Series” and the “Killer Miller Series.”
Tracy T. Swearingen Sr. ’97 married Heydi Estefany Reynoso Marte in the Dominican Republic on February 1, 2022.
Angela Ducos-Potter ’98 officially launched an employee benefits insurance agency, A. Ducos Consulting, in August 2021. She is working with clients who want the personal attention to create solutions that help their insurance benefits (health, dental, disability, and life) and costs while protecting their employees, families, and bottom lines.
Terlynn Olds ’98, ’09 as hired in June 2021 as the director of athletics and recreation for LaGrange College, a NCAA Division III school in Georgia.
Johnny Garcia ’99 is the president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Coastal Virginia. He also was appointed to the Modeling and Simulation Advisory Council by the governor of Virginia. Garcia is completing a 10-megawatt data center and cable landing site in Virginia Beach, VA, with his company SimIS Inc.
Chris DeMarco ’00 was promoted to special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Region 5 Investigative Office, in Statesboro, GA. He will supervise the agents assigned to the work unit and will oversee the administration of criminal investigations and the daily operations of the office.
Charles Vertigan ’00 has worked in the defense and aerospace industries with Huntington Ingalls Industries, Technical Division (formerly Alion Science and Technology) for more than 12 years, providing support to the U.S. Navy. His highly specialized and professional team of subject matter experts routinely execute “Great Power Competitor Opposing Forces” emulations that help to challenge and prepare U.S. Navy staff worldwide. He and his wife, Patricia, celebrated their 40-year wedding anniversary on a Caribbean cruise in August 2021.
Kim Jowell ’01 was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a 2022 Business Woman of the Year honoree. Jowell is the CEO of the Hillsborough Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Tampa, FL, with a mission to strengthen public education in the area.
Mark Terry ’01 recently completed a children’s book, Kyle the Coyote: Lost in the Desert. The book’s moral is focused on what can happen if a child is lost or separated from a parent.
Marlon Onias ’02 , CEO and co-founder of Voilá Entertainment, recently announced the debut of a new product called Selektaa, a virtual DJ battle turntable.
Marquesio Robinson ’02 was promoted to lieutenant commander in the U.S. Coast Guard and is working for the International Port Security Program as an international port security officer. His duties include traveling to partner nations and assessing ports for anti-terrorism measures.
Derrick Wills ’02 was promoted to director of global payments at Bank of America in Tampa, FL.
Nicole Ortiz ’03 has been a quality assurance manager for Georgia Support Services, where she has provided support coordination for individuals with developmental disabilities for the past 11 years. Additionally, she serves as an online adjunct instructor for the Human Services Program at Saint Leo University.
Marc Bayram ’06 was named Connecticut Professional Golf Association Teacher of the Year in 2020. Bayram is entering his 12th season as the head golf professional at Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin, CT.
Ciro Dominguez ’06 published The Peacemaker’s Guide to Law Enforcement Leadership: Daily Advice/Tips/Reflections Journal for the Law Enforcement Servant Leader in February 2022.
Anne Gegg ’06 moved back to the United States after living in Panama for more than 10 years to take a job at Bosque School in Albuquerque, NM. She has been teaching seventh and eighth grade humanities and has taken on the role of the eighth grade dean as well.
Virginia “Jini” McClelland ’06 was promoted to administrator of Hugh Ash Manor, a Westminster Communities of Florida property, in DeLand, FL.
Stacy Oster ’06 received her master’s degree in law from Regent University (VA) in August. Her next step is law school.
Iskra Sbraccia ’05, ’09 welcomed her son, Aleksandar Marko Nikolovski, on July 13, 2021.
Mariana “Maya” Dominguez ’08 began teaching Fundamentals of Law at the University of New Hampshire in addition to celebrating her 10-year anniversary as a criminal defense attorney. Dominguez, her husband, Allan Frenette, and daughters Frida and Sonia Frenette, welcomed baby Eliza Frenette during the summer of 2021.
Courtney Judd ’09 passed the Association of Social Work Boards clinical exam in February 2022. She has met all requirements for licensure as a clinical social worker in Florida.
Marcus Scott ’09 is an international licensed real estate agent in Florida and Dubai. He also is a real estate investor and one of the newest owners of an Open Works franchise, which is a national commercial cleaning company.
Jonathan Mahfood ’10 was promoted to export manager at Jamaican Teas Ltd. in Kingston, Jamaica. He also married Stephanie Lue Yen on February 20, 2022.
Frank W. Carrillo ’11 was promoted to cognitive counselor at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women through the Virginia Department of Corrections in November 2021.
Glenn Chappell ’11, was named chair of Tycko & Zavareei’s new appellate practice group, based in Washington, DC. He will lead the firm’s new litigation practice, representing consumers and whistleblowers in appeals courts across the country.
Kamille Annette Garness ’11, who is the first doctor in her family, received both the Marquis Who’s Who in America and Marquis Who’s Who in Emerging Leaders, for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the field of medicine in September 2021. In 2018, she received the Red Cross Rising Star Award at the Sarah Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Awards for Women in Miami, FL, for her contributions in improving the quality of life of South Floridians and demonstrating the humanitarian principles
of the American Red Cross. Garness looks forward to opening her own private medical practice in the near future.
Aspasia Luster ’11 graduated from Valdosta State University in May 2021 with a master’s degree in library science.
Alberto Marino ’11 has accepted an executive position as director of workforce planning and development at Capital Metro in Austin, TX.
Velma “V.J.” McNeil ’11 became a grandmother to Catalina on December 30, 2021.
Scott Ashcraft ’12 was promoted from paralegal in the local U.S. Marine Corps legal department, to e-business procurement coordinator for the U.S. Marine Corps’ regional contracting office.
Salathiel DeLoach ’13 established the DeLoach Lupus Foundation, in Savannah, GA, in October 2020. She established the foundation after realizing there was a need for people to have a greater understanding about lupus and autoimmune diseases. Her vision is to one day provide services to address the unmet needs of lupus and autoimmune patients around the world.
Brittany (Brasseur) Czekaj ’13 began working as development manager for Leadership Roundtable, a Catholic nonprofit organization, based out of Washington, DC, in June 2021. Czekaj and her husband, Peter, recently relocated from Vermont to Central Florida and welcomed their daughter, Alexis Rose Czekaj, on August 22, 2021.
Jennifer Marchione ’13 received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Bay Path University and is a licensed occupational therapist. She also married Kevin Brennanon on September 3, 2021, at The Mansion at the Hellenic Center in Ipswich, MA.
Michael Rogers ’13 completed his doctoral degree in psychology in October 2021, and has been serving as president and clinical director of Key Bridge Inc., which provides mental health counseling and psychiatry services for individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds. He formed Key Bridge in 2016 as a nonprofit corporation.
Konstantin Pyankov ’13 is working as a manager of sporting operations for the New York City Football Club, the 2021 champions of the Major League Soccer Cup.
Kimrorn Tolbert ’13 was promoted to program manager at Compassion House, a shelter for women and children.
Dawn Moninger ’14 was promoted as corporate environmental, health, and safety director at J.D. Heiskell & Co. in Omaha, NE.
Keith Bettcher ’15 manages more than 30,000 acres of longleaf and slash pine plantations in North Florida for pine straw production and harvest.
Nicole Heard ’15 is a grant and contract analyst for Johns Hopkins University. She is grateful for her education at Saint Leo for being a model for the levels she has reached.
Samuel Jacobs-Abbey ’15 has been appointed as global diplomatic council special envoy to the United Nations and African Union. Jacobs-Abbey was an Institute of Comparative Studies Fellow at University of Connecticut where he studied international human rights, leadership, and conflict resolution. He is a recipient of the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Leadership Award for Social Good by Lanka Achievers Foundation, Sri Lanka, aimed at honoring and popularizing the social good impact of thousands of individuals and organizations making social change.
Jade Jackson ’15 published her second book in the “Call Me” trilogy, They Call Me Mother, which is a tale of magic, loyalty, and courage for a band of adventurers. Her first book in the trilogy is They Call Me Aide, and the name of the final book will be They Call Me Queen.
Thomas Sikes ’15 and Desiree Sikes welcomed a baby boy, Greyson Thomas, on December 19, 2021. He weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and measured 22.25 inches long.
Karen Adams ’16 is now a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty, Atlantic Partner, in Jacksonville, FL.
John M. Jones ’16 celebrated one year at Simmons Bank, in Columbia, MO, as vice president in the Trust Office. In 2019, he also celebrated his marriage to Trisha Thomas Mullins.
Hope Boyce ’17 was promoted to director of field services for Change Healthcare (SC) in January 2022. She has been with the company for 12 years.
David Hardemon ’17 received the YMCA of South Hampton Roads (VA) 2021 Volunteer Service Award. He also launched a business called, Children Are My Purpose (CAMP), became a certified life-skills coach with ARISE, and was certified as a sports performance coach with the nonprofit organization Soldiers to Sidelines.
Jeffrey Hawes ’18 and Lauren Whitley ’19 were engaged on May 21, 2021. They are planning a June 2023 wedding in New Jersey. Whitley is a third grade teacher for Pasco County Schools (FL).
Dora Anyssia Malloy ’18, ’20 has joined the Saint Leo University staff as an academic coordinator for the Graduate Social Work Program in the College of Education and Social Services.
Adriane Wunderlich ’18 married Luis Mendoza on July 10, 2021, in Tampa, FL.
Kadyann L. (Stupart) Gonzales-Dones ’19 married her boyfriend of five years, Joey Gonzales-Dones, on November 22, 2021.
Melanie Clemente ’20 recently became a general life coach, providing one-on-one coaching for those looking to change their life, feel better, and be more aware of how thoughts create results.
Philip Harrell ’20 opened Sundae Scoop, the first veteran- and Black-owned ice cream shop in Hampton Roads, VA, after earning his master’s in business administration from Saint Leo.
Elizabeth “Beth” Clifford ’21 is working on her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Florida.
Jacques Felix ’21 will attend Howard University School of Law in fall 2022.
Jose N. Gutierrez ’21 joined USC Consulting Group as a project manager in February 2022. USC Consulting Group is an operation management consulting firm based in Tampa, FL, and Canada.
Taina Laloi ’21 joined Aspire Health Partners, located in Orlando, FL, in November 2021, just three months after graduation.
Jacqueline Torres ’21 recently launched NerysGlamorousCircle to create her own apparel store.
Dolly O. Rice ’45
April 9, 2021
Stella Barthle ’50
August 8, 2021
Marlene S. Sumner ’52
February 6, 2022
William McSweeney ’53
January 11, 2021
Faye Martin ’55
September 9, 2021
William Anthony Kreusch ’56
September 22, 2021
Daniel O’Connell Culliton ’57
February 18, 2021
Simon Albert St. Laurent ’58
June 12, 2021
Allen C. Behringer ’59
January 11, 2022
Marjorie Catherine Corwin ’59
November 15, 2021
Jerome Charles Greif ’64
January 31, 2022
John A. Bermingham ’67
March 19, 2021
Thomas Michael Boaz ’68
August 5, 2021
John J. Hollern ’68
November 11, 2021
William T. Biossat ’69
December 14, 2021
William Victor Feldmann ’69
April 16, 2021
Daniel T. Rooney ’69
February 10, 2022
James Michael Bellanca ’71
June 16, 2021
William Joseph Griffin ’71
January 4, 2022
Dennis K. Smith ’71
May 24, 2021
V. James Spiniello ’73
March 5, 2022
Eleanor K. Grudzinski ’74
August 14, 2021
Kevin James Connors ’75
January 3, 2021
Elaine Terrill ’75
February 1, 2021
Edward W. Markey ’76
January 9, 2021
Shirlie C. McCarthy ’76
January 25, 2021
Stuart Alan Engstrom ’77
December 1, 2021
David Ford Rankine ’81
February 5, 2021
William J. Sigmund ’82
February 28, 2021
Herbert Louis Williams ’82
January 10, 2022
Burnice C. Long ’83
December 21, 2020
Joseph F. Barresi ’84
January 28, 2021
William Bruce West ’84
December 31, 2020
Mark Harris Holland ’86
July 31, 2021
Nancy E. Twaddell ’86
April 17, 2021
Judy Lynn Bodenhamer ’87
January 19, 2021
Jimmy R. Jones ’88
September 3, 2021
Jimmie D. Robbins ’88
January 17, 2021
Michael M. Morgan ’92
November 27, 2021
Paul Douglass Hennessey ’93
April 21, 2021
Todd D. Cairns ’95
June 23, 2021
Terrance J. Freed ’95
October 4, 2021
James R. Neblett ’95
July 15, 2021
Elisabeth A. Ronan ’95
July 29, 2021
Lynn M. Teague ’96
January 9, 2022
Carmela Watson ’00
January 24, 2022
Sharon M. Miller ’08
October 12, 2021
Tabitha Anne Velazquez ’10
October 31, 2021
Shanetra L. McCollum ’13
August 3, 2021
Georgie A. Jones ’14
December 22, 2021
Ronnetta Yvette Staley ’15
January 23, 2022
Patrick Joseph White ’15
January 19, 2022
Conor Dakota Schmelter ’16
September 28, 2021
Latosha Wilson ’16
April 21, 2021
Larry L. Collins ’21
September 24, 2021
Keith Dennis Costley ’21
November 1, 2021