Fred Macdonald, a native of Huntington, West Virginia, graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and from Harvard University with an MBA. He worked for the next 35 years in operations management and marketing for various high tech companies, the last one being the Electronic Imaging Division of DuPont. He retired from the corporate world at age 55 to start a wholesale gift business based on the artistic skills of Linda, his wife of 31 years. The products were manufactured in Mexico and sold in the US and Caribbean. After ten years, Fred and Linda sold the business and moved to Costa Rica where Fred started a construction company to build houses designed by Linda. In 2011 the Macdonalds moved to Winter Park, and immediately joined The University Club.
Executive Vice President
Barbara Buchele grew up in Cedar Vale, Kansas and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas State University. She taught in Australia, Germany, Kansas, Indiana, and New Jersey. Before moving to Florida in 2007, she worked part time in New Jersey for Literacy Volunteers of America. Several years ago, Barbara served as the secretary for the University Club board and is currently on the UC Library committee and the Development Committee.
Diana Secor, who calls Pennsylvania her home state, is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and works in Association and Real Estate Management. She has been President for the past two years, and before that served two terms as Vice President of House and Grounds. Diana continues to be leader in the management of the Club.
Vice President Development
Ned Cooper holds a MS in Decision Sciences and a MBA in Finance from Georgia State University, as well as a BS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a Captain in the U.S. Army Signal Corps serving in Vietnam before spending more than forty years in the information services and health care industries. He held numerous executive positions at Lockheed Martin including Chief Information officer, Vice president of operations, and program manager and worked at IBM as well. He has served as a member of Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (CHS) Board of Directors since 1985 and Chief Financial Officer from 2003 to 2013. Ned has been a frequent speaker at industry and government conferences on technology issues and also a guest professor at the University of Central Florida, Stetson University, and the University of Colorado MBA programs. He is the proud father of three sons and two daughters and he lives in Winter Park, Florida
Vice President Finance
Simon Thompson, University of Cambridge: M.A. Economics; B.A. Modern Languages and Economics; various senior corporate finance positions including Vice President, Treasury, RJR Nabisco; Board Director, Gerber Insurance; Group Treasurer, Trafalgar House plc; Fiscal Director and Board Member, Shell-Texaco JV; consulted in Finance to corporations in US and Europe.
Vice President House & Grounds
Robert Rolle is a PhD chemist (Pratt Institute, Purdue, and the University of London) whose career at Johnson & Johnson as a scientist progressed to Director of Technical/Administrative Services where he devised a master facilities plan. Subsequently he worked at Shuster Labs (now Underwriters Laboratories) consulting on healthcare products manufacturing where he traveled extensively and provided tactical and strategic design input for a new facility. Bob is an active member of the American Chemical Society, the Mercedes Benz Club and an aficionado of classical music and opera.
Vice President Intellectual Activities
Sharon Vitas was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. She received a nursing degree from Saint Mary’s School of Nursing, an affiliation of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After obtaining her degree, she worked in the pediatric department at Saint Mary’s Hospital. In 1972 she and her husband Ovid moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida where Ovid opened a private medical practice that eventually grew to include four physicians and fifteen employees. Sharon served as the Office Manager for the practice until 2008 when she and Ovid retired and relocated to Winter Park to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Vice President Membership
Gilda Gomez, a native of New York, moved to Casselberry, Florida in 1959. She attended Lyman High School and the University of Florida. She has taught in Orange County Public Schools for thirty years. For six years, she was a facilitator at a Senior Center for the Central Florida YMCA. She joined the University Club in 2008 where she presently serves as board secretary and is head of the cashier committee.
Vice President Programs
Jim Arnold attended Yale University on a full NROTC scholarship and graduated with a BS in mathematics. He was then awarded a NSF scholarship to Bowdoin College where he earned an MA in mathematics. After graduation he taught advanced math and computer science at some of the finest colleges and private schools in the country, including Lawrenceville, NJ and Trinity Preparatory in Orlando. His interest in musical theater and opera brought him to Central Florida in 1974 and he has performed professionally in more than 1,000 shows at Once Upon A Stage and the Orlando Opera Company. Jim has been an active member of the Club since joining in 2011. His background and experience in music and theater has helped him, in his role as Deputy Director of Programs, to bring excellent quality programs to the University Club.
Meryl Schwartz graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York with a BA then attended Dominican University in River Forest, Ill where she graduated with an MLS. Since then she has served in both public and corporate libraries as a reference librarian. She joined the University Club in 2013 after having retired as senior librarian of the Casselberry Branch of the Seminole County Public Library System.
Glen Winter Glen is the former Chief Financial Officer of a local electronics company, retiring in August 2013. His other work experience includes twenty years in banking and twelve years managing his video projection company, providing that service to large corporate clients and to well-known touring musical groups. He holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and an MS in Accounting from Long Island University. He is currently Treasurer of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Longwood and of the Scottish American Society of Central Florida.
Jackie Abrams was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, then attended Thiel College where she majored in mathematics and graduated with a BA. After graduation she taught math, first for six years in Coraopolis, PA, then Cedarburg, WI, with a break between the teaching stints to stay at home with her two daughters. She moved to Casselberry Florida in 1984 and opened a business selling industrial identification products in her home. The business expanded quickly and became a huge success. Jackie served as its President, DFO and owner for 27 years. She sold Florida Marketing Products in 2010 and retired in 2011. She then joined the University Club and became involved in serving on committees (community assistance and business model) and is currently Assistant Treasurer for the Club. She also serves as VP of Finance and Philanthropy for the Sigma Kappa Alumnae Chapter of Central Florida.
Eli Porth, a native of Lode, Poland, attended the University of Illinois where he graduated with a BS in 1966. In 1971, he obtained a DO degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. For the past thirty-three years, he has had an private ENT medical practice in Casselberry, He and his wife Ina have been active members of the University Club since joining in 2010.
Jeannie Schiff Growing up in the local area, Jeannie received a BA in Political Science from UCF. She was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force and pursued a career in military intelligence. While on active duty she obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Oklahoma. She retired from the Air Force in 1998 and continued her formal education at UCF, culminating in a PhD in Public Affairs in August 2010. She currently chairs the Science & More Group at the Club.
John Sanders, B.A., Lawrence University; J.D., Duke University; Navy veteran; practiced law with Foley & Lardner from 1974 until retirement in 2011; currently serves on the boards of the Community Health Centers, Inc. (Board Chair), Community Supports, Inc., and Neighbors Network; leads the Club’s Fiction Book Discussion Group.