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Our mission is to provide
no cost medical, pharmacy and wellness services
to the under-served in Charlotte County, Florida

Meet Our Board of Directors

 

Joseph R. Schortz, President  CPA (FL & NJ), CGMA

Joe has been in Charlotte County since “5 days before Hurricane Charley” in 2004. He & his wife moved here from New Jersey, partially because their son, daughter-in-law & twin grandchildren were here. He and his wife call themselves “water rats”, since both of them love being near the water!

He is presently with the American Institute of CPA’s, New Jersey Society of CPA’s and the Florida Institute of CPA’s.

Joe has served on several Boards including; the American Heart Association of Charlotte County, Federation Americana de Agroquimicas, Inc.,  Southern Cross Campus & Military Heritage & Aviation Museum, Sun Trust Bank of SW Florida Regional Advisory Board.

Joe Graduated from Pfeiffer University and Monmouth University.

Ryan Rupert, Past President CFP, Morgan Stanley

Ryan is a native of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.  He attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Business Economics.  Immediately after completing his degree, Ryan spent two years working in Tokyo, Japan.  He returned to the U.S. to pursue a career as a financial advisor.  While relocating to the U.S., Ryan came to visit family living in Southwest Florida and decided on this beautiful place to live and work.

Ryan joined Morgan Stanley in 2007 and was one of the original members of what is now known as The Peace River Team at Morgan Stanley.  Ryan is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, having completed the requirements for certification in 2012.

Ryan lives in Punta Gorda, Florida with his wife, Megumi, and son Jachin.  He continues to be deeply involved in the community on both a personal and professional level.

 

Bill Hawley, First Vice President CEO, Fawcett Hospital

Bill is a community minded leader, who has 16 years in the Health Care field. He has been the CEO of several major Health Care systems in Virginia & Georgia.  In 2014 he was offered the opportunity to become the COO of Fawcett Hospital and move to SW Florida. Our weather and his love for outdoor activities such as fishing & riding his motorcycle made the decision to move, easy.   Bill believes in developing strong support systems with organizations that support the community. He feels VBA is an extension of what the Hospitals do & he wants to “help link Fawcett Hospital to the Clinic, for the betterment of our community”

 He was the President of the Baptist Free Clinic of Galax, Virginia, & Secretary of the Board of the FQHC in MedLink, Georgia. He was a member of the Boys & Girls Club and Kiwanis, he is no stranger to working with non-profits, so VBA was a natural fit for him.

Bill graduated with a Master’s Degree in both Health Services Administration & Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati Ohio.

His wife and two children, Will 13, & Jacky 11 are enjoying the new Florida environment too.

 

Brian Cruddas, Second Vice President, COO, Bayfront Health

Brian has been in the Charlotte County community for three years, moving to the area to start his career as an Assistant Administrator in what was then called Peace River Regional Medical Center. Since that time, both the hospital and County have grown significantly. He is proud to be a member of the leadership team of Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and excited to join the Virginia B. Andes Board to give back to the area he has quickly come to love.

Brian completed his Bachelors of Health Science/Business Administration at the University of Florida and continued on there to graduate with a Masters in Health Administration. Prior to coming to Charlotte County, Brian worked at UF Health in Gainesville, FL and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

 

Carla Nix

Carla Nix, Secretary, Co-owner, Nix Team Companies

Carla & her family moved to SW Florida about 6 years ago from Georgia. She and her husband, Danny loved Punta Gorda so much that they decided to share this blessing with other buyers looking for a home in this amazing community, they became co-owners of The Nix Team with Coldwell Banker Sunstar, selling both commercial and residential real estate. She loves Family time and is the proud mother of Kaydee and Riley. She also enjoys reading and spending time in her yard doing landscaping & gardening. Carla is involved in various community organizations including Charlotte County Chamber, Punta Gorda Chamber, Englewood Chamber, AMI Crossroads, Deep Creek Community Church, to name a few. She is excited about lending her time and energy to VBA and is grateful for the opportunity!

 


Kathy Robinson 

Kathy Robinson, Treasurer, Manager, Centinnial Bank

Kathy and her husband Mark left the cold North and moved to sunny SW Florida in 2006. Their family has owned a condo in the area since the early 90’s, they have seen many wonderful changes and growth in this community. They decided to make SW Florida their home.

They have 2 children, a son, Steven, and their daughter-in-law, Brittney, in Tampa and a daughter, Kelly in Texas. Kathy especially loves to spend time with her new granddaughter, Ellie Kate, whenever she can.

Because Kathy & Mark both loved golfing, they decided to open a store catering to the sport; Golf USA.  Kathy had sixteen years of banking experience, so she also decided to get back into banking and continue her career.   Today she is the manager of Centennial Bank, managing both the Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda Offices.  

Kathy has served on several boards, including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. She is also a 2009 graduate of Charlotte County’s Leadership Charlotte Program, and currently serves as Chair for the 2016 class.

She first discovered the Virginia B Andes Clinic during a Leadership Charlotte tour, “ I was so impressed with the services they provide to our community; I wanted to become more involved in supporting their mission. I am honored to be a member of this organization.”    

Darlene Armstrong, RN, Owner of Blood Matrix, LLC – Autotransfusion/PRP Services in Surgery

Darlene moved to Charlotte County in 2000. She graduated from Edison College with an Associate’s Degree in the Science of Nursing.  She had already been providing Autotransfusion services/PRO services to area hospitals and in 2006 she put her expertise to work and  decided to open her own business, Blood Matrix, LLC.  Her company continues to provide Autotransfusion services to hospitals in Charlotte County.

Darlene became interested in VBA when she heard about how uninsured people have been helped through the Clinic. She has a family member who was unable to obtain medical insurance due to a preexisting condition, so she understood how frustrating it can be to not have access to good health care.

 Presently she is also Vice President of Three Rivers Association.  She and her family enjoy camping, boating and the outdoors.

Mike Grant

Michael J. Grant, Owner of Ambitrans

Former State Representative Michael Grant is a native of Quincy, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Business Administration from Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1988 Michael and his wife, Lorraine, moved to Charlotte County and purchased a small wheelchair transportation company. That company, Ambitrans, has grown and currently employs over 200 people. Ambitrans has offices in Sarasota, Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties where it operates Advanced Life Support and Critical Care Ambulances. In 1998 Mike was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to fill a vacancy on the Charlotte County Airport Board. In 2004 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives where he served for four years. Mike and his wife of thirty-nine years, Lorraine, have three grown children: Vanessa Oliver, Nick and Chris Grant, and two grandchildren, Catherine and James Oliver. Mike and Lorraine are thrilled that their three children have chosen to return to Charlotte County to live and work.

Donna Cardenas, Co-owner, Port Charlotte Florist

Donna has been a resident of Charlotte County since 1979, moving here as a teenager and graduating from Charlotte High. She attended the University of Florida and graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Science, (majored in psychology). After Graduation, Donna moved back to Port Charlotte and worked for her father at Port Charlotte Florist.  After being involved with the florist shop for 22 years, she and her brother, Dennis, purchased the florist shop from their parents and have owned it for the past 9 years. 

 She & her husband, Steve, have 5 children and 4 grandchildren. Their oldest son is in Seminary in St. Petersburg, the other two sons are in college, and the youngest son is attending the firefighter academy in Englewood. Their daughter lives in Georgia with her 3 children.   

Donna has been involved with many organizations in the community, she worked with the March of Dimes Chef's Auction and eventually became their chairperson for that event. For 12 years Donna has served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Southwest Florida Florists Association. She has served and chaired the committee for the Homeless Coalition's Mistletoe Ball, and worked with Kiwanis for the "Night for Kids". Donna said she also enjoyed her past 15 years working with the Fred Lang Association on their Summer Ball.

Donna works regularly with local businesses and vendors for weddings and events.  Having lived here for so long she says, “I have been fortunate enough to meet so many amazing people to partner with not just for business but also for organizations and groups that do so much for our community." 

 

Laura Amendola, CFP, Raymond James Financial

Laura is a ninth generation local Floridian. She owns a private wealth management office of Raymond James Financial and is also the Founder of Wealthcare4Widows®, a specialty financial program integrated with Co-Active® coaching conversations.

Having graduated from The Florida State University with a BS in Finance, Laura has helped clients manage and maintain wealth for over 20 years. She is also a Certified Financial Planner™ professional (CFP®), having completed the requirements for certification in 1999. Born and raised in our local area, Laura believes in community spirit and enjoys volunteering. She has served as a board member with many non-profit organizations in Charlotte County, including the United Way and Big Brothers & Big Sisters. Currently, in addition to the Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic, she serves on the board of the Charlotte Community Foundation and is treasurer for the Harbour Oaks Homeowner’s Association.

Laura resides in Punta Gorda with her husband Jimmy, son Tyler, and lizard-chasing miniature dachshund, Lizzy. Everyday pursuits include cooking with friends, spending time with her book clubs, and getting in her 10,000 steps per day. 

 

 

 


 

Phyllis Walker, Attorney, McCrory Law Firm

Phyllis was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA and her Law Degree from Southwestern Law School.  Phyllis is an attorney with the McCrory Law Firm in Punta Gorda, and her practice emphasis is Family Law and Probate and Trust Administration.   Prior to moving to Charlotte County in 2006 Phyllis practiced primarily Family Law in Los Angeles for a small boutique family law firm and also spent three years in Moscow, Russia, where she worked as in-house counsel for Ernst & Young (CIS) Ltd.  

Phyllis became a board member with Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic in 2016 and is honored to be a part of an organization that is so vital to this community.  

Phyllis is a member of the Charlotte County Bar Association, past Present and past Board Member of Lifelong Learning Institute and is an alumnus of Leadership Charlotte, class of 2014. 

Phyllis enjoys traveling the world, home design and all that Southwest Florida has to offer.

   

 


PO BOX 494190, 21297 Olean Blvd. - Unit B, Port Charlotte, FL 33949
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