Mr. Seidman is a Professional Engineer, licensed to practice in the state of Florida. He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami and completed several post graduate courses in Economics at Florida State University. For the past 35 years he has been a consultant in the field of public utility rates, management and regulation, operating his own firm for the past 25 years. Prior to joining FOCB, he served on the board of Lighthouse of the Big Bend in Tallahassee at the urging of a lifelong friend with Retinitis Pigmentosa. For two of those years he served as President. It was at Lighthouse that he initiated the Dining in the Dark event. Mr. Seidman is also a member of the West Palm Beach Lions Club and through that association participates in activities that support the blind community, including FOCB.
Vice President, Visually Impaired
Mr. Stevenson adds a different area of expertise to the Board – athletics and recreation. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up there and in Green Bay. While growing up he started refereeing and umpiring in different sports. He attended professional umpire school in Daytona Beach in 1976 and was retained as a Minor League prospect. He worked as a Class A umpire, was promoted to AA, and then to AAA in 1977. Assigned as replacement umpire in 1979, he worked 36 Major League games. He resigned to attend college at the University of Wisconsin. He was a walk on for the baseball team and was then offered a full scholarship as a short relief pitcher. He graduated in 1982 with a degree in Secondary Education. Since then he has worked continuously in the field of recreation. He started as a substitute teacher then moved on to coaching high school basketball and baseball for both boys and girls teams. He also continued to officiate sports events throughout college and after. He moved to Florida in 1983 and worked at the City of Oakland Park Recreation Department and then moved to the Village of Palm Springs where he served as Director of Recreation from 1987 through 2002. He is currently employed as the Athletic Program Supervisor for the Village. He continued officiating sports until he was sidelined by Macular Degeneration in 2008. Mr. Stevenson received the National Federation Fastpitch Umpire of the Year award in 1989 and was inducted into the Florida Football Hall of Fame as an official in 2010. He is a member of the Coalition for Independent Living Options Board of Directors, the Kiwanis Club of Palm Springs and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He began serving on the Florida Outreach Center for the Blind in 2009.
Secretary, Visually Impaired
Ms. Brondolo has been legally blind since age seven, as a result of retinitis pigmentosa. She holds the degree of Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. She has over 25 years of experience providing educational support to students with learning disabilities. She currently teaches English as a second language at Spanish River Church. She is also Vice President of the Caitlin Brondolo Charitable Foundation, which supports the mission of preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. It also provides scholarships for children in need. Being visually impaired herself, and with a special interest in children, she has consented to taking an interest in FOCB and has recently joined its board.
Jean Markevich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. She practiced as a Registered Dietitian for over five years before earning an MBA, Masters in Business Adminstration, with a concentration in Finance from DePaul University. She was employed for over fifteen years in a variety of corporate financial positions and gained experience as a Financial Analyst, Assistant Controller, and Controller in both a manufacturing and legal environment. She was involved with the day-to-day accounting, cash flow management, budgeting and strategic planning for these companies. Both her grandfather and mother had retinal macular degeneration which led her to volunteering at Florida Outreach Center for the Blind, Inc.
Member, Visually Impaired
Mr. Bauke joins the board in 2016. Born in Berlin, Germany he moved to the United States in 1961. He holds degrees from Gauss Engineering College in Berlin as well as from M.I.T. An expert in optics, he has worked on the development and application of laser instruments for the use of medical, communication and atmospheric research, including high power laser systems at the Los Alamos Laboratory and the high energy accelerator at the Ferme Laboratory. After the loss of his wife to Alzheimer’s disease, he founded the Walter E. and Barbara A. Bauke Foundation to provide financial support to agencies serving people with Alzheimer’s disease and also severe vision loss. Mr. Bauke lost much of his vision in one eye from a broken blood vessel and in addition has age related macular degeneration. He learned about FOCB when directed there by his ophthalmologist for assistance in learning computer skills for the visually impaired. The Foundation has been a sponsor for Dining in the Dark and Mr. Bauke will apply his experiences as a board member.
Member, Visually Impaired
Ms. Erickson is new to the board in 2016. She came to West Palm Beach from Evanston, Indiana where she was active in many faith-based charities, including aiding the homeless. She has glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. It was during one of FOCB’s outreach programs at the Mae Volen center in Boca Raton that she made the acquaintance of our Executive Director Carolyn Lapp and her husband and volunteer Bill. She said that when she “became aware of FOCB and the many important and useful services it provides” she offered to share her experience by serving on the board. That experience includes administration and marketing for her own business as well as fundraising and community outreach for various charities and religious groups.
Member, Visually and Hearing Impaired
Brooke Evans was born with Type 2 Usher Syndrome resulting in both a visual and hearing impairment. She brings to the Board of Directors her lifelong experience dealing with a dual sensory impairment as well as a passion for activism that has led her to advocate for numerous causes throughout her life. Early on she navigated the Children’s Family Services to ensure that she and her siblings would not be separated. She cared for both her siblings, managed her studies and was employed part-time during her high school years. As an adult, she traveled throughout the Far East while living in the Philippines for three years and conquered the cultural and adaptive challenges that not just disabled but all individuals encounter. She has also been active in advocating for equality and social integration in religious organizations. She continues to be a strong voice in support of the hearing impaired vision impaired community today.
Member, Visually Impaired
Ms. Strnad has a form of macular degeneration known as pattern distrophy. It has seriously affected her vision for 19 years and she has been legally blind for the past 5 years. She has taken advantage of FOCB’s training for help with her iPhone. She is a graduate of Vassar College. A former account executive at advertising agencies in Ohio and Washington D.C, she has devoted much time to non-profit causes and continues to do so in retirement. She comes to us with experience in fundraising for Vassar College, the Junior League of Cleveland and the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio where she was Director of Development. She is also associated with the Junior League of the Palm Beaches.
Member, Visually Impaired
Mr. Thompson retired in 2012 from the State of Florida Division of Blind Services. Since retiring, he volunteers his time and efforts at the Florida Outreach Center for the Blind where he serves on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board, in addition to raising 2 of his granddaughters. He is a graduate of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. He also attended Daytona Beach State College where he studied wood working and food service and served as the instructor at the College of Architecture. While at the Division of Blind Services, he served as an instructor at their training center and then entered into the food service program in 1979. He operated a cafeteria at the Department of Revenue in Tallahassee, returned to private industry in 1984, working as Assistant Director of Food Service, then got his own cafeteria at the Clyde Pepper Building across from the Capitol Building in Tallahassee.