The Greater Pine Island Civic Association (GPICA) was created more than 40 years ago as a voice for residents and business owners, advocating for the health, safety and quality of life in our community. Our goal is to work for the betterment of the entire community — north to south and east to west — Matlacha, Pine Island Center, St. James City, Pineland and Bokeelia. Over the decades, GPICA has worked to preserve and maintain a desirable, livable community that promotes smart growth and preserves sensitive natural areas by working with Island residents to develop a future land-use plan — the Pine Island Plan — that governs growth rules.
President: Scott Wilkinson (2019-2021)
Scott Wilkinson was born in Lawrence, Mass. He received his BA (Cum Laude) from the University of New Hampshire. He’s been a Florida resident since 2005 and has lived in Bokeelia since 2008. He served active duty in the U.S. Army from 1971-1973 and was honorably discharged in 1977. Scott worked for the USPS from 1974-1975, then became a U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division Field Investigator from 1975-2001 in Manchester, N.H. From 2001-2005, he worked in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, U.S. Department of Labor. He retired in 2005. He is a current member of the American Legion Pine Island Post 0136, Loyal Order of Moose Pine Island Lodge 1954, Greater Pine Island Civic Association, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program — Civilian Advisory Committee, Calusa Land Trust, Charlotte Shores One Property Owners’ Association, S. W. Florida Central Labor Council.
Vice President: Nadine Slimak (2018-2020)
Nadine Slimak has lived in Bokeelia since 2000 and joined the GPICA board in 2017 to help protect the coastal-rural lifestyle that drew her to the Island. She also volunteers at Pine Island Elementary School. She spent 15 years as a journalist in Ohio, upstate New York and Florida before joining Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fl., where she served as Director of Communications for 11 years, directing national, regional and local media activities, handling crisis communications and helping the organization develop direct communications with its members and supporters. In 2015 (tired of the long commute from Pine Island), she left Mote to develop her own communications and public relations consulting business, Vetted Communications, LLC. Her main clients are nonprofit organizations working in the marine environment and include the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System and The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. (Membership & Communications Chair)
Treasurer: Roger Wood (2018-2020)
Roger Wood attended Iowa State University for two years then was drafted and served as a combat medic with the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam in 1967-68 and was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V for Valor. He attended classes at the University of Illinois, Chicago, while working for architectural firms, gaining his architectural registration in 1974. After working for firms and serving as project manager, construction manager, vice president and in other roles, he started his own architectural firm in Arlington Heights, Ill., in 1988. He specialized in restaurants and clients included the Chicago-based Portillo’s Hotdogs, but his architectural experience runs the gamut from residential to commercial and government. He retired in 1998 and moved to Pine Island, where he resides in St. James City. He joined the GPICA board of directors in 2007 and has served as vice president and president. He is also involved with the Calusa Land Trust and is a member of the Pine Island Community Church. He has been involved in land-use issues since the Pine Island Plan’s inception and has played a significant role in helping to promote Smart Growth on Pine Island.
Secretary: Shari Perkins (2018-2020)
Shari first visited family on Pine Island in the 70s, with as many as 20 family members eventually living here. Over the years, she attended community events, meetings and enjoyed nature resources in the area. She finally retired here in 2004 from a faculty position at Ohio University.
Shari holds degrees in Parks and Recreation Administration, Environmental Education and Research Methodology in Leisure Behavior from Michigan State University and Indiana University. She held many community board positions including Parks & Recreation Board President for nine years in Stow, Ohio. She has volunteered for multiple community organizations for more than 40 years, most related to community cohesiveness, environmental resources, people’s leisure lifestyles. Shari is a single mother of three and a grandmother of four.
Claudia Bringe (2018-2020)
Claudia Bringe lives in St. James City and moved to the island in 2014 from Marietta, Ga. She became involved in the GPICA to help maintain Pine Island’s beauty and its unique lifestyle.
Claudia has an MA in School Administration and Supervision from CW Post College, where she is an adjunct professor, and a BA from Mercer University. During her career, she worked with staff to create the Open Admissions Program for City University of New York and served as Director of Career Counseling. She also taught history and was an Assistant Principal and County Coordinator for discipline in the Fulton County (Ga.) School System. She has volunteered in her sons’ schools and sports programs, on political campaigns, her national sorority, her subdivision board and is a member of DAR. (Bylaws Chair)
Helen Fox (2019-2021)
Helen Fox and her husband Jim Koopman retired to Bokeelia in 2016 after spending many delightful winter breaks in the Matlacha/Pine Island area. On the Island, Helen has become a volunteer docent at the Randall Research Center, where she gives tours of the Smith Burial Mound and assists with the training of new volunteers. She is a volunteer with the archaeology salvage team at the Center and is helping to put together an educational collection of ancient Calusa artifacts. As a member of Pine Island Writers, she is learning to write prose-poetry on topics ranging from encounters with nature, to incarceration, to ancient and not-so-ancient political history.
In her former life as a faculty member at the University of Michigan, Helen taught undergraduate courses on human rights, international development, race and racism, nonviolent social movements and argumentative writing. She has written four books on educational topics as well as a training manual for Peace Corps Volunteers. She was Chair of the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission, a Board member and Clerk of the Friends School in Detroit, and a member of the Midwest Regional Board of the American Friends Service Committee. As a Quaker, Helen continues to be active on issues of social justice with the Fort Myers Monthly Meeting.
Nancy Harwood (2018-2020)
Nancy Harwood grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and earned her B.A. (Cum Laude) from Lawrence University. She taught high school English in Japan, California, Missouri and at North Fort Myers High School in Lee County. She lived in south Fort Myers from 1977 through 1994, when she moved to Matlacha, which she still calls home. She was drawn to the area because of its focus on preserving habitat and a coastal-rural way of life. She has volunteered for the Matlacha Civic Association for more than 15 years, was a member of the Matlacha Overlay Committee and currently serves on the MCA Board of Directors. “Our little paradise in the Greater Pine Island area has been assailed on multiple fronts for decades,” she says. “Greater Pine Island Civic Association has been the umbrella organization leading our defense. I wish to do what I can to aid in that defense.”
Tim Heitz (2019-2021)
Tim Heitz was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and now lives in Bokeelia. At 66, he is a Double E Journeyman both as an Electronic Technician and an Electrician. He has two daughters and wife, Patricia, of 40 years. He lives on Pine Island because it’s the last of its kind.
Leoma Lovegrove (2019-2020)
Leoma Lovegrove is an impressionist-expressionist painter known worldwide for her vivid colorful paintings. Leoma is a graduate of Florida’s prestigious Ringling School of Art and makes her home and international headquarters on Matlacha Island. Every year she greets thousands of visitors where Leoma is inspired to paint with endless creativity. She loves the Matlacha Island and is currently the President of the Matlacha Island Chamber of Commerce and promotes tourism to the Sunshine state. In the United States her works are represented in numerous galleries. More recently, Bealls Florida Department Stores is featuring her as their Florida artist under the designer label Leoma Lovegrove complete with her trademark eye glasses. In Atlanta, Georgia, her portrait of Jimmy Carter hangs in his Presidential Library. Her art is in the private collection of the White House in Washington, DC and in President George W. Bush’s Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas. Lovegrove was honored at an artist’s reception in the White House given by First Lady, Laura Bush. Her artwork has also graced the windows at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Internationally, Lovegrove was commissioned to paint a portrait of Richard Branson for the Virgin Airlines Headquarters in London. Her Beatles Series drew the attention of the city of Liverpool. She was the first American to paint on the replica of Claude Monet’s floating studio in Giverny, France, and she was honored to be the first American artist to exhibit, An American in Giverny in the famous Pierre Bonnard home in Vernon, France.
Deborah Memoli (2019-2021)
Deborah Memoli lives in Saint James City. She moved to Cape Coral in 1977 from Lanesboro Mass, then moved from the Cape to Pine Island in 2006. She runs Uni-Scape Landscape & Design with her husband. This local landscape company has been servicing Pine Island for more than 27 years. Debbie is also Vice President of the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and is involved in these island groups so she can “help protect our Island and the people of Pine Island.”
Anna Stober (2019-2021)
Anna Stober has been a Bokeelia resident since January 1992 and has been a member of the GPICA since she moved here. She has previously served as a GPICA board member and board president. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a major in industrial and personnel psychology. She’s a Midwesterner who has lived in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan who has worked as a vocational counselor and as a human resource manager with a hospital. She was widowed in 1998.