Mark Cooper spent his formative years in Atlanta. He received a bachelor’s degree in government from Indiana University and his law degree from the University of Georgia. He practiced law in Orlando and Winter Park for forty-one years where he concentrated on business litigation, business law, and civil rights. Mark is a frequent speaker before the History Group on issues related to the law and civil rights. He and his wife Roberta have been members of the University Club since 2013.
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 and Executive VP, is on the Receptions committee, and is Past President.
Executive Vice President
Jeannie Schiff received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Central Florida UCF (FTU) in 1977. She received a commission in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at UCF and embarked on a career in military intelligence. On active duty, she obtained a master’s in public administration (MPA) from the University of Oklahoma. She retired from the Air Force in 1998, but continued her formal education, culminating in a PhD in Public Affairs from UCF in August 2010. She joined the University Club in 2004 and has chaired the Science, Health and Wellness Group since 2011. She previously served on the University Club Board as an at-large Director and as the Vice President for Intellectual Affairs.
Vice President Development
Myra Gaziano is a native of Southwestern Pennsylvania. She received a bachelor and master’s degree from West Virginia University. The majority of her working career was in various management positions in Florida County Government including grants and management. She is the author of the cookbook Generations. She is also the president and cofounder of a foundation that raises funds and provides services to the cystic fibrosis community in coordination with Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. Myra is active in several community organizations where she has held leadership positions including past president of the Orlando-Winter Park AAUW. She has been a member of the University Club since 2019.
Vice President Finance
Jim Fitch is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Louisiana Tech, and graduated from LSU with a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering. Following graduation, he worked as a refinery engineer for two years and then went to Naval Officer Candidate School and served three years in the Civil Engineer Corps in the Philippines. After the Navy, he earned his master’s in business administration from Stanford University. His career included management positions in the paper industry, process control, automatic test equipment for electronic manufacturing, and home building. A member since 2017, Jim serves on the Finance Committee.
Vice President House & Grounds
Roger McDonald was raised in Miami Beach. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in finance and minor in history. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a captain in the Military Police. Later he graduated from the University of Florida School of Law. He practiced law in Orlando for twenty-three years and was elected a circuit judge. He served three terms and retired. He now works when needed as a senior judge in court, and he is the Club’s Ombudsman. He is married to Club member Sue McDonald.
Vice President Intellectual Activities
Christine Porter was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan, receiving her BS in biochemistry and her MHSA from the School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. She came to Orlando in 2006 to be closer to family, where she worked remotely for Trinity Health doing statistical analyses on patient safety and quality for the board of directors, until her retirement in 2016. Christine has been a member of the University Club since 2018 but enjoyed many dinners and lunches as a guest prior to joining. She currently heads the Scrabble group.
Vice President Membership
Patricia Johnson was born in Winter Park, at her family home at the time on Lyman Street. She attended what was then Webster Elementary and Jones High School. She received her BA in psychology, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and her MA in clinical psychology from Fisk University. She enjoyed two careers, first as a district-wide School Psychologist and later as a Systems Engineer with IBM, before retiring and moving back to Florida. Patricia is on the Board of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, volunteers as a member of the Friends of the OPO, and is on the Board of Music Kitchen, Food for the Soul, NYC. She has been a member of the University Club since 2017.
Vice President Programs
Diana Sisley served the first 11½ months of her first term as the VP of Programs during the Covid lockdown. During that time, the Program committee hosted weekly Zoom meetings and helped establish the Club’s YouTube channel. During her second term, the Club had reopened and her committee brought back Club favorites and introduced new talent as they resumed hosting luncheons and dinners. Whenever possible, the programs were recorded and posted on the Club’s YouTube channel. The Program Committee is currently working on several exciting new projects, and Diana is looking forward to serving a third term.
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 Long Island University. For many years he worked in banking, then started a video projection business that provided services 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 and has been an active member of the University Club since joining at that time. He is our immediate Past President.
Sandy Rizzo was born in Charleston, South Carolina; while studying nursing in Minnesota she met her first husband who was in the Navy. They traveled to London and Cuba and had two children. While in London, she was treasurer of the European Navy Wives Club. She later married Joe Rizzo. For more than forty years in her real estate business function, she has managed monies. Her late father-in-law Joe was a club president, who, through his considerable music contacts, was able to bring many music programs to the University Club for members’ enjoyment. Sandy enjoys the Club and is happy to contribute.
Maria Delose was born and raised in Manchester, N. H. She attended Mount Saint Mary College where she received a bachelor degree in mathematics. Before moving to Florida with her family in 1986, she taught high school mathematics in the Manchester Public School System. Her career as an educator continued at Bishop Moore High School where she taught many different levels and courses in high school mathematics before her retirement in 2018. Since retiring she has been involved in a variety of community programs. Her passions involve gardening, cooking, music, and speaking different languages. At the University Club since 2019, she has enjoyed the classical music programs, social bridge groups, and especially the French Conversation Group where she currently serves as the facilitator.
Edward Korry. Born in Paris, France, he has lived in several countries including Ethiopia, Chile, Egypt, and the UK, and also has visited more than seventy countries, giving him a global viewpoint. He attended Harrow in the UK and graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA and University of Cairo in Egypt with a MA. He also studied hospitality in Lausanne. He worked in the food and beverage industry at various corporate and independent hotels and restaurants and worked as F&B Director for the Practicum Properties of Johnson & Wales University until he became a fulltime academic where he taught for twenty-six years and created a new department focused on beverage education for culinary, hospitality, retail, and business students. He achieved a number of beverage certifications and served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Wine Educators for eight years before serving as President. Edward also served on other community centric boards including the French American School of Rhode Island. He moved permanently to Winter Park in 2019 after retiring. He has been very active in the many intellectual activities at the Club and while serving on the board has been involved in the Public Relations Committee. As his familiarity with the community increases, he plans to be even more engaged.
Ann Beck was born in Grenada, Mississippi and grew up in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Most of her career has been spent as an educator (admissions director, principal, counselor, teacher, and drama director) at US Department of State sponsored international schools in India, Hong Kong, South Africa, Paraguay and Sudan. Ann received degrees from Southern Illinois University (history), Columbia University (counseling), Harvard University, (policy, planning, and social policy). She completed her doctoral degree at American University in Washington in Educational Administration and is the founder and director of Delhi Community Players (international theater group in India). Her recently published memoir, Slue Foot-A Black Girl Grows Up in Midwest America, received a semifinalist in the 2021 Florida Writers’ Association Royal Palm Contest. She and her husband have been Club members since retiring and moving to Winter Park in 2018. She enjoys singing, writing, and serving the community.
Dr. Ruth Edwards is a native of Awendaw (AW-win-daw), SC. She was educated in the Charleston County School System and graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC with a degree in communications. She’s an award-winning TV producer/host. She earned a PhD in Human Development with an MS in organizational systems at Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA, and holds a master’s in education from SIU-Carbondale. She is currently Director of Education at the Winter Park Library.