(Sarasota, FL)  The Friendship Centers announced four new Board of Governors members and a new chair at its recent Annual Board meeting. The Board of Governors brings together regional community leaders from five counties to the govern Senior Friendship Centers and Senior Friendship Centers Foundation.

“This is an exciting time for the Friendship Centers,” said Immediate Past Chair Kathy Silverberg. “Our new Board members are a diverse and talented group and will bring new perspectives to the Centers as we move forward, serving the community and continuing our mission to promote health, dignity and quality of life throughout the journey of aging to more than 15,000 older adults a year.”

“Our new Chair, Kevin Maisch, is a dedicated and caring leader with strong business experience and nonprofit collaboration making him a perfect choice to head up the Board of Governors in 2017,” added Silverberg. Maisch retired in 2013 from IBM Corporation after nearly 40 years, and more recently consulted as a client executive for IBM Global Financing. Maisch was IBM’s loaned executive to the United Way, working with various businesses to develop their respective charitable contributions program.

He has been a volunteer on behalf of the Friendship Center’s fund development for a number of years, and has created value-added relationships with local businesses, vendors and suppliers.  He has also volunteered with Sarasota’s Community Haven.

Frank Fleischer, JD is a retired corporate attorney who practiced law in Tampa for more than 32 years. He volunteered his services for several area hospitals and health clinics, and was instrumental in developing and serving on the board of the Judeo Christian Health Clinic in Tampa. Fleischer is a former board chair of Tampa General Hospital and brings a wealth of healthcare business experience.

Karen Reynolds, DNP, CNS-BC is an Advanced Practice Nurse with Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, and has specialized in geriatrics for more than 20 years. Reynolds specializes in geriatric acute care.  She was appointed by the Sarasota County Commissioners to serve a three-year term on the Sarasota Senior Advisory Council as a geriatric representative from a local hospital. She is also an adjunct professor at State College of Florida teaching Gerontology courses. Her expertise in elder care will be an added benefit to the board.

Skip Cohen, a professional photographer and writer, is president of Marketing Essentials International, a consulting firm specializing in photography projects. Cohen worked with the Friendship Centers as a consultant and helped develop and write the Friendship Centers’ blog. He attended the Caregiver’s Support Group at the Friendship Centers for several years while his parents were facing the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s.

Barbara Kelly, PhD is a former superintendent of schools in Baltimore County, Maryland. She has served as a board member on several local organizations, and was a caregiver for her late husband for four and a half years. She attended the Friendship Centers’ Caregivers Support Group for four years, and will offer a caregiver’s perspective to the team.

Additionally, the Board of Governors named former Board member, Harold Ronson, as Board Emeritus. Ronson joins former co-founders, Brother William Geenen and Molleen Pust with that distinction.