Columnists


Guest Columnist / Sally Flynn

Winter Park Citizen
Sally Flynn grew up in Massachusetts and attended Smith College. The Flynn family moved to Winter Park in 1961 where all five children were raised.Sally was first and foremost an at-home Mom for her five children, but also managed a full schedule of community service, including twenty years with the Junior League and volunteer work at Lakemont Elementary, the PTA and the John Young Museum.Sally recalls her years as a Homeroom Mother at her kids’ school and notes that “My favorite work was helping with the Additions Program at Lakemont and being a docent at the John Young Museum, where we worked the planetarium by hand!”Ms. Flynn’s life of service to her community was inspired by the example set by her parents. Sally’s mother was president of The Red Cross in The Boston Area and devoted to community service and the Arts in Boston and in Winter Park. Her father instilled in her a strong sense of patriotism. His service to our country included his role as an advisor to three U.S. Presidents and espionage work with the French Resistance behind enemy lines during World War II.Sally has always been an avid tennis player and golfer. Her tennis skills have earned her top awards as a state 35 Doubles champion, twenty five years coaching Varsity Tennis at Trinity Prep and an Orlando Sentinel award as the “Winningest” tennis coach in Central Florida in 2006.Ms. Flynn continues an extremely active life of service to her community and her family, telling the Voice that “traveling near and far to be a part of the lives of my twelve grandchildren. This is a great joy.” Ms. Flynn adds that “I also have a passion for Winter Park and am committed to preserve what I love about this City.”



Guest Columnist / Jack Miles

MainSpring Advisors LLC
Former Secretary State of Florida, Dept. of Management Services

John P. “Jack” Miles is a business operations leader with over 30 years experience successfully transforming corporate services, administration and sourcing organizations in leading North American firms.Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Jack as the Secretary of the Department of Management Services (DMS) where he served until April of 2012. DMS is a large and diverse state agency with an annual direct operating budget of $2.5 billion and a functional budget of over $9.5 billion, about 14% of the state’s $70.0 billion annual budget. DMS also facilitates State Term Contracts; aggregating state wide public sector spending.Prior to his appointment Jack held senior sourcing executive, shared services and Chief Procurement Officer roles at leading North American firms including CIGNA, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), American International Group (AIG), Computer Associates (CA), Travelers, Ames Department Stores and Prentice-Hall.He serves on the Advisory Councils of DocuSign Inc., Clear Village Inc., Geocove Inc. nextSource Inc. and on the Visionaries Council of Coupa Software Inc. and the Board of Trustees of Florida TaxWatch.Jack and his spouse Nancy reside in Winter Park, Florida.


Guest Columnist / Rick Swisher

President, Rick Swisher Architect, Inc.
Former Chair, Winter Park Planning & Zoning Board

Rick Swisher established his architectural firm in 1980. After two years of general architectural practice his interest gravitated towards religious and religious art related projects. Within the past thirty years other creative opportunities and design endeavors with the Theme Park and Entertainment Industry and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority expanded the firm’s design portfolio.Rick has won numerous awards for his work and has served the City of Winter Park in different capacities including:City of Winter Park, Member of the Planning and Zoning Commission (2005-2011)
City of Winter Park, City Hall Redevelopment Task Force (2004)
City of Winter Park, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission (2000-2001)
City of Winter Park, Co-Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission (1999-2000)
City of Winter Park, Member of the Planning and Zoning Commission (1995-2001)
City of Winter Park, Member of the Board of Adjustment (1994-1995)Mr. Swisher has also served as the American Institute of Architects, Mid-Florida Chapter Director (1987) and is a current member of the Albin Polasek Museum Gardens Advisory Board (2002 -present).


Guest Columnist / Linda Kulmann

President, Winter Park Historical Association
Linda Kulmann is a long-time resident of Winter Park and the current President of the Winter Park Historical Association which operates the Winter Park History Museum at the Farmers Market. She has served on the WPHA Board for six years and was a past board member of the Friends of Mead Garden. Linda has a background in marketing and public relations and previously worked at BETA Center in the Development Office.


Guest Columnist / Arthur Blumenthal, Ph.D.

Director Emeritus, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College
Founder, Loving Art Partnerships

Arthur Blumenthal’s career as a museum professional began at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spans 40 years at some of America’s finest art museums. He is the founder of the museum-consulting firm Loving Art Partnerships and is Director Emeritus of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, where he served for nearly twenty years. He is married to Kären Blumenthal, a Florida native whose family dates back five generations in Central Florida. Arthur and Kären are currently producing a television series titled “Chasing Caravaggio” that is being filmed in Italy.



Guest Columnist / John Skolfield

Founder, Skolfield Homes LLC
John Skolfield was born in Winter Park in 1960, never living far from Park Avenue. While his father was a prominent attorney on Park Avenue, John chose a world of residential construction, not embracing the business side of construction until sky-diving and hang-gliding gave way to the far more exhilarating pastime of “raising a family.”Construction runs in the family. Skolfield family history includes six generations of ship building on the coast of Maine where the family built over sixty wooden sailing ships that traveled the world for more than a century.John met Joanna Henkel in the early 1990’s and is happily married with two wonderful girls. These girls are the great, great grandchildren of Dr. Thomas Henkel, the first physician in Winter Park.As residential construction, and more specifically, renovations and additions have been John’s focus for over thirty years, he has a unique appreciation for older homes and established neighborhoods.



Guest Columnist / Sara Whiting

Chair, WP Planning & Zoning Board.
CEO and Chair of the Florida Collegiate Summer League

Sara Whiting has held leadership and advisory roles in numerous organizations. After graduating with a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, Sara worked for Dow Chemical in Freeport, TX, then relocated to Winter Park, Florida with her husband, Mike.In addition to her leadership of Winter Park’s Planning & Zoning Board, Ms. Whiting has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Trinity Preparatory School and was President of the Winter Park Public Library. During Sara’s tenure at the library, she supervised the financing and construction of the library’s third floor.Ms. Whiting leads bible studies, participates in a monthly book club and serves as a trustee for the Macauley and Helen Dow Whiting Foundation.Sara and her husband, Mike, raised their children, Mack and Cory, in Winter Park. Sara points to her family and her love for baseball as her most cherished “success” in serving others during her many years here: “Probably my biggest success, besides nurturing a marriage and raising two sons — which I don’t consider as much successes as privileges — was founding (with my husband and two others) the Florida Collegiate Summer League ten years ago.” Sara continues to Chair the league board and serves as the league’s CEO.



Guest Columnist / Owen Beitsch

Assistant Chairman, WP Economic Development Advisory Board.
Senior Principal, Real Estate Research Consultants, Inc.

Owen M. Beitsch has been with Real Estate Research Consultants, Inc., A GAI Company (RERC) since 1990. Prior to joining the firm, he had been a principal with the real estate consulting practice of Laventhol and Horwath, one of the original Big Eight accounting partnerships. Owen began his professional career as the Chief of Planning for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, at that time one of the largest housing finance agencies in the country. In 2010, he was named a Fellow in the American Institute of Certified Planners of Planners, the highest honor bestowed in the urban planning profession.As an advisor with RERC, he is especially interested in the activities of the state’s many special district governments, their financial affairs, interactions with the private sector, reporting procedures, and systems to assure accountable behavior.Special districts, community development districts, assessment strategies, and other financial vehicles are among Owen’s areas of particular expertise.Owen attended Vanderbilt University and the University of Florida, receiving his Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University and his PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida (UCF). He remains actively engaged at UCF where he is a research associate and the professional in residence for the university’s urban planning program.He is engaged in a number of civic and business activities. He recently concluded eight years of service as a member of the Orlando Housing Authority Board of Commissioners which implemented two HOPE VI awards. He is the assistant chairman of the Xentury City Community Development District and former chair of the Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation where he served as Chairman for four years. As well as being a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, he is also active on the editorial board of Real Estate Issues published by the Counselors of Real Estate. He writes and speaks frequently on subjects associated with community building and planning.



Guest Columnist / Brian McGratty

Chairman, Board of Directors, Winter Park YMCA Family Center
Brian McGratty was born and raised in Winter Park and is proud of his “lifelong roots to this wonderful city.”  He is Vice President of Employee Benefits for BB&T / J. Rolfe Davis Insurance and has been in the insurance business for the last 15 years.Brian is active in his community and is an avid swimmer, cyclist and runner. He is a graduate of Auburn University and is married with four very busy children.



Guest Columnist / Geri Throne

Author / Journalist
Geri Throne moved to Winter Park with her husband and two young children 34 years ago, after learning about the city as a reporter for the now-defunct Winter Park Sun Herald. She wrote extensively for that weekly about city issues and local politics in the 1970s.She later joined the staff of the Orlando Sentinel where she specialized in local government issues and in the 1980s served as Winter Park bureau chief. She worked at the newspaper’s Orlando office as an assistant city editor, deputy business editor and member of the Editorial Board before her retirement in 2003. A series of her editorials won a national award for educational reporting from the Education Writers Association in 2003. Geri has published several essays and short stories. She continues to pursue her interest in fiction writing with local authors and is working on a novel set in World War II.


Guest Columnist / Laura Gimpelson

Environmental Engineering Consultant
Ms. Laura Gimpelson, P.E., is President of LG Environmental Engineering, a woman-owned engineering firm providing sustainable solutions to environmental compliance and remediation challenges. She has been part of the sustainability movement since college when it was called waste minimization, energy conservation and pollution prevention.Laura received her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a life member and Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. She is also a member of Florida Brownfields Association, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce and ASTM. She has served as a member of the Winter Park Environmental Advisory Board and the metropolitan Transit Authority of Houston Texas Small Business Advisory Board.


Guest Columnist / Phil Eschbach

Winter Park Resident
Phil Eschbach currently serves on the city’s Tree Preservation Board. His past service to Winter Park includes a seat on the Keep Winter Park Beautiful Board, the Library Board, the former chairmanship of the Parks Board (12 year member) and service as the president of the Winter Park Historical Association.Mr. Eschbach is a commercial photographer, specializing in Architecture and Travel. His work can be seen at www.eschbachphoto.com . Mr. Eschbach has lived in Winter Park since 1976 when he moved to the city following his college graduation. He is a 7th generation Floridian strongly committed to preservation and conservation efforts in Winter Park and throughout the state of Florida.


Guest Columnist / Marc Hagle

Winter Park Resident
Marc Hagle is CEO of the Maitland-based real estate development company Tricor International. Hagle and his wife Sharon are strongly committed to the Performing Arts Center, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Museum of Art and other local organizationsHagle is a past member of Winter Park’s Tree Preservation Board and is a founder of the Winter Park Live Oak Fund.



Guest Columnist / Steve Goldman

Winter Park Resident
Steve Goldman is a right-brain, left-brain soul, a gifted individual who clearly has it going on in both hemispheres. While his left brain was earning a degree in physics, developing the world’s first intelligent computer disc controller and serving as interim CEO for the Orlando Science Center, his right brain was composing orchestral music, amassing a collection of art-glass sculptures, developing an interest in haute cuisine, and becoming a board member and key supporter of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.Somewhere along the way, Goldman, 60, firmly established himself as the Renaissance man of Central Florida philanthropists. It’s a course he set out on 11 years ago, when he sold off his multimillion dollar, Maitland-based computer business, Distributed Processing Technology, and began devoting himself full time to the task of reinvigorating Central Florida’s cultural landscape. –from Orlando Home & Leisure



Guest Columnist / Sarah Sprinkel

Winter Park City Commissioner
In her current position as Senior Associate of Florida Services for Florida Virtual Schools (FLVS), Commissioner Sprinkel generates a new enthusiasm for the potential of online learning. Her assignment includes planning goals, objectives, activities and timelines for FLVS’ launch into elementary education. To perform that job, she brings insights gained as both a classroom teacher and a program manager. Prior to joining FLVS, Commissioner Sprinkel provided oversight of early childhood programs for Orange County Public Schools for 23 years. She is equally proud of the 10 years she spent teaching at the kindergarten level.Additional previous assignments include, creating childhood development centers for Walt Disney World®, creating family outreach programs for the Orlando Museum of Art, serving as a vice president for the YMCA, and providing private consultation services for social service agencies. She also lobbied with the Florida State Legislature on behalf of the needs of students.Commissioner Sprinkel is constantly motivated by a desire to educate young people. Her commitment to her students and her profession finds the perfect setting in a virtual school dedicated to excellence. Always a dedicated volunteer in her community, Commissioner Sprinkel has served on numerous boards, professional associations and committees over the years. –excerpted from City Commission Bios

We Depend on Your Support

Share WPV with Friends!

SUBSCRIBE

Get WPV in your Inbox



Recent Articles

Recent Comments

Archives