Gilda Gomez, a native of New York, moved to Casselberry, Florida in 1959. She attended Lyman High School and the University of Florida and 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; she previously served as Vice President of Membership, Executive Vice President, and is on the Receptions committee.
Executive Vice President
Glen Winter was born and raised in a small town in northern New Jersey. He attended Bucknell University where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration, then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Accounting from Bucknell. For many years, he worked in banking, then started a video projection business that provided service for large business meetings, concerts, and conventions. Ten years later, after a back injury, he returned to his accounting roots and became CFO of an electronics manufacturing company. Glen retired from that company in 2013. He has been an active member of the University Club since joining in 2013.
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 Executive Vice President of the University Club board and is currently on the UC Library committee and the Development Committee.
Vice President Development
Lee Van Valkenburgh, graduated from Pomona College and earned an MA from Emory University and a PhD from Princeton. After several years in academia, he transitioned to a career with Blue Cross, first in Florida and later in Pennsylvania. When he retired, he had been in charge of corporate communications, human resources, and facilities management. In Central Pennsylvania, Lee was a board member and chairman of the Allied Arts Fund, on the board of the Susquehanna Art Museum, and a vestry member and senior warden of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral, as well as chair of the diocesan finance committee. Since returning to Florida, he has been active with the Jobs Partnership of Florida and at All Saints Church in Winter Park, where he chairs the Outreach Commission. Lee and his wife Judy have been actively involved in the University Club since joining in 2014.
Vice President Finance
Phil Wack is an Ohio native who graduated from Ohio State University with a BS in psychology. In 1964, he joined the J.C. Penney Company as a management trainee. He has held various positions with that company in thirteen different stores and district offices in Washington D.C. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida. After opening the Sanford, Florida store as store manager and thirty-four years of service with the J.C.Penney Company, he retired. Phil joined the University Club in 2014 and presently serves on the Club’s Finance Committee.
Vice President House & Grounds
A member of the Club since 2005, Diana Secor calls Pennsylvania her home state. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and works in Association and Real Estate Management. Diana previously served two years in the House and Grounds vice presidency, another year as Executive Vice President, and a two-year term as President.
Vice President Intellectual Activities
Patricia Karr,was born and raised in Southern California. She attended the University of Denver where she graduated with a BS and MS in Chemistry. For twenty-five years, she worked as a Materials Engineer for Martin Marietta (later to become Lockheed Martin) in both Denver and Orlando. In Denver, she was in charge of the Materials Analysis Lab for several years, before packing up her family and moving husband and two small daughters to Orlando where she worked on Low Observable Technology, composite development and processing, and structural composites design. A lifelong interest in why things are the way they are, both physically and culturally, has led to much reading in history. She and husband Clark have been active members of the University Club since joining in 2016.
Vice President Membership
Gayle Austin grew up in a small town in Virginia and graduated from the College of William and Mary with history and government majors. She began her teaching career in the public school system in Virginia Beach and moved to Florida in 1974 where she taught at Park Maitland School. Later careers included owning a plant business and becoming a real estate broker. In the latter venture, she progressed from Sales to managing the Altamonte Watson Realty office. Gayle has been a member of the University Club since 2011and is Chair of the popular Canasta Group.
Vice President Programs
Mark Cooper spent his formative years in Atlanta, moving to Central Florida in 1971 where he practiced law continuously until his retirement in 2012. Mark is an active member of the History Group, where he has been a frequent speaker on issues related to Civil Rights and social justice. An activist by nature, Mark has stepped down as a long-time director of the American Lung Association of the Southeast and recently completed a three-year term as a member and chair of the committee of the Florida Bar, responsible for enforcing lawyers’ compliance with the rules of ethics.
John Perry spent almost fifty years in the newspaper industry starting as a reporter for The Columbia Record while still a journalism student at the University of South Carolina. In 1968, he began a seventeen-year career with United Press International as a reporter, editor, and eventually vice president of the Southern Division. In 1984, he joined King Features Syndicate, first as Southeastern Sales Representative and then as International Sales Manager. He also served two years in the Army, including a year in Vietnam. He and wife of fifty years, Anne, live in Orlando. He joined the University Club in 2014 following his retirement from King Features. He is an avid history reader, and leads the Club’s Nonfiction Discussion Group.
Matt Giles holds a BA in Business Administration and a minor in Spanish from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. After a few weeks of post-graduation travel abroad, Matt returned home and began his career in wealth management as an Associate at Morgan Keegan & Co. A 2012 merger with Raymond James & Associates offered Matt the perfect opportunity to go into practice for himself where he continues to have the privilege of serving families to this day. Matt joined the University Club of Winter Park in 2014 and is the proud chair of our Economics Group. He also currently serves as Treasurer for the Orlando Museum of Art Acquisition Trust.
Sarah Hansard graduated magna cum laude from Florida State University with a Master’s degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant, is Certified in Financial Forensics, and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She is president and owner of Hansard Accounting and Consulting, Inc. Her firm services areas of Fraud and Forensics, SEC consulting, and audits for state and local governments. Her hobbies are travel, puzzles, photography, and gardening. She’s been an active member of the University Club since joining in 2017, especially involved in the Current Events groups and Trivia4U.
Niles Rosen received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Chicago and did his post graduate training at the University of Chicago and State University of New York (Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse). He also received BS and MS degrees in mathematics from the University of Illinois in Urbana. He practiced pathology for more than twenty years in Chicago and Indianapolis. For the last twenty years he has been a contractor of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. His two companies have developed anti fraud, waste, and abuse programs for the Medicare and Medicaid programs that have saved the American taxpayer more than $10 billion. He joined the University Club in 2011 and became a lifetime member the following year.
Collette Davis grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pa, then attended Widener University in Chester, Pa. where she graduated with a BS in Chemistry. She worked as an analytical chemist for Wyeth Laboratories and has taught school in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, and Florida, where she’s lived for the past thirty-one years. She has been an active member of the club since joining in 2014.
Steve Bertha was born in Budapest, Hungary, but grew up in Venezuela. In 1963, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Chemistry, then attended Florida State University where, in 1967, he graduated with a PhD in Chemistry. He worked as a research chemist at DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware and for thirty-one years, managed the inventions of Yale University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He founded the Chemistry Department of Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela and later served as director of the University-based Industrial Research Institute. He has traveled extensively worldwide, including Hungary and its surrounding neighbors, and has written a partial biography so that his children and grandchildren will know about their origins. He has been an active member of the University Club since joining in 2015. He cochairs the Foreign Affairs Group, is a member of the Spanish-Speaking Group, and reviews books regularly for the Book Review Group.