Leadership

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors

Michael O'Reilly, Chair
Michael O’Reilly recently retired as Vice Chair and Chief Financial Officer of The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. He remains actively involved in the financial and insurance business. He is a Director and Deputy Chairman of Harbor Point, Ltd, and Chairman of the Board of Alterra Capital Holdings, Ltd. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Pace University and is a member of the Lake George Land Conservancy. He holds an MBA from Pace and a BS from New York University, and he is a Financial Analyst Fellow. In addition to serving as Chair, O'Reilly also serves on the Finance Committee, Governance Committee, Grants Committee and Nominating Committee.
Michael Toner, Vice Chair
Toner is a retired executive Vice President of General Dynamics. He was responsible for the Marine Systems group, which includes Bath Iron Works, Electric Boat, NASSCO and AMSEA from 2003 until his retirement in December 2008.  He had been a Vice President of General Dynamics since January 2000 and President of Electric Boat from January 2000 to October 2003. He spent his entire career (43+ years) in shipbuilding. In addition to serving as Vice Chair, Toner is the Chair of the Grants Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee and the Governance Committee.
Marjorie D. Raines, Treasurer
Raines is a resident of Coral Gables.  A chartered financial analyst, Raines previously served as Executive Vice President & Chief Investment Officer-International of the Chubb Corporation. Served or serves on the board of directors of the Navigators Group, Inc., Trident Investment Management for The Vardana Fund, and Healthpoint Capital.  She currently has her own investment and financial consulting practice. In addition to serving as Treasurer, Raines also serves as Chair of the Finance Committee and is a member of the Governance Committee.
Michael J. Brown, Sr.
Michael J. Brown, Sr., a resident of Fort Pierce, has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HCBF since 2010, as well as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Harbor Community Bank since 2011. From 1976 until its sale to National City Corporation in 2006, Mr. Brown served as President, CEO of Harbor Federal Savings and Loan Association ("Harbor Federal"). He joined Harbor Federal in 1974 after having served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for University Federal Savings and Loan Association in Coral Gables, Florida since 1972. Mr. Brown began his banking career with Prudential Savings and Loan in Clayton, Missouri in 1964, including serving as its Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Brown received a bachelor's degree in finance from St. Louis University in 1962. He has served on numerous community, state and national organizations, including serving as Director of America's Community Bankers, Director of the Florida Bankers Association and member of the Advisory Board of the Federal Home Mortgage Corporation. Mr. Brown also completed a two-year appointment on the Thrift Institutions Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Additionally, Mr. Brown has served as President of the St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce, St. Lucie EDC and the Florida Savings & loan League. He has also been a Board member and Treasurer of the Treasure Coast Hospice and Pelican Yacht Club. Brown serves on the Audit Committee and the Grants Committee.
C. Amos Bussmann 
Amos Bussmann’s father, Charles Bussmann, was an original Harbor Branch enthusiast and board member. Bussmann is now publisher with Compass Publications which his father founded and which publishes Sea Technology Magazine. Sea Technology is the worldwide information leader for marine business, science and engineering. Bussmann serves on the Audit Committee and Grants Committee.
Joseph Ferro, MD
Since 2001, Dr. Joseph Ferro has served as the Worldwide Corporate Medical Director for Johnson & Johnson where he oversees integrated primary care services in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson's occupational health services in developing countries. In his current role, Dr. Ferro runs a world class executive and employee health program and manages global travel health, emerging health issues, and pilots innovative medical programs with business partners. As a seasoned physician executive with experience on all aspects of occupational medicine and employee health, Dr. Ferro has had extensive international experience including the development of Johnson & Johnson's occupational health programs in Asia, South America, and Europe. In addition, he has developed medical surveillance for oncologicals utilized by the Chinese government as well as provided early training in ergonomics in China and India. Previous to his time with Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Ferro served as Senior Medical Director for Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Dr. Ferro is currently on the Board of Directors of the Frances E. Parker Memorial Home, serving as the Chair of its Nominating Committee. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and received his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School. His undergraduate degree was from New York University. Ferro serves on the Grants Committee and Nominating Committee.

Nancy N. Higgs

Higgs has had a dynamic career as a university administrator and instructor, private business owner in a firm that developed and managed training for youth and adults around the United States, and public official.  The company was sold in 2006 and Higgs currently serves as the President of Education Solutions a consulting and training firm. Higgs served on the Board of County Commissioners for Brevard County for twelve years. She was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Children’s Home Society, and received the Community Steward Award from 1000 Friends of Florida, the lifetime Achievement Award from the Sierra Club, the Environmental Ally Award by the Partnership for a Sustainable Future and a Special Service Award from the Martin Luther King Coalition. Higgs holds an undergraduate degree from Florida State University majoring in Religion and minoring in Government. Her Master's Degree, also from FSU, is in Counselor Education. She was also a doctoral student at Florida Institute of Technology in Management and in Science Education with a concentration in Psychology. Higgs serves on the Audit Committee and Grants Committee.

Michael D. Minton

A lifelong resident of Fort Pierce, FL, Minton is a tax attorney in private practice with Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer in Fort Pierce. Dean, Mead is a prominent Florida firm with six statewide offices in Fort Pierce, Orlando, Viera, Tallahassee, Gainesville and Tampa. His practice also includes Agricultural and Resource Management law. He was elected to the Board of Directors of HBOIF in 2009. Minton serves on the Governance Committee and Nominating Committee.

John A. Papa
Mr. John Papa recently retired from the corporate headquarters of Johnson & Johnson where he had held several positions since 1978.  He joined the Corporate Treasury function in 1984 and in 1993 was elected Assistant Treasurer for domestic treasury operations and assumed responsibility for cash management, capital markets, interest rate/foreign exchange exposure, and mergers/acquisitions in 1995 and held positions of increasing responsibility until his appointment as Treasurer in 1997.  As Treasurer of Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Papa's responsibilities included all activities related to capital structure/allocation including credit agency relationships, investment of DB/DC assets ($60.0B), risk management (including captive insurance entity), mergers & acquisitions, and stock/savings plan administration, and captive leasing as well as financial strategy for the organization. Previous to his career with Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Papa served in operations accounting at American Cyanamid.  His volunteer activities include or have included service on the boards of the Frances E. Parker Memorial Home, St. Peter's Hospital, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, and the Somerset County New Jersey Business Partnership. He also serves on the Finance Council of the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ and on the Finance, Investment and Audit & Compliance Committees of the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. Mr. Papa received his M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus and his B.S. from Seton Hall University. Papa serves as the Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Ex-Officio

 
Anton Post, PhD

Before joining FAU Harbor Branch, Anton Post, Ph.D., served as the executive director of the Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island. Post earned a Ph.D. in microbiology, a Master of Science degree in aquatic microbial ecology and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Amsterdam. He began his research career as a graduate student nearly four decades ago in the Netherlands and went on to the Hebrew University for his postdoctoral work. Over the course of a 20- year career of research and teaching, he climbed the ranks to full professor before being promoted to academic leadership roles. Post is well-published, with 120 peer-reviewed publications, and has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including being named visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earning the Gruss-Lipper Fellowship at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. He has held several similar leadership positions at state universities, overseeing multimillion-dollar budgets comprised mainly of competitively awarded research grants. In recent years, he also served as a program director in the Division of Ocean Sciences at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Post serves ex-officio.

William J. Stewart, Esq. Secretary, Legal Counsel

Stewart is a practicing attorney with the firm Rossway Swan Tierney Barry Lacey & Oliver in Vero Beach, FL. His practice includes real estate law and trust and estates. He is a long-standing member of the Board at Harbor Branch and has been the Secretary of HBOI Foundation board since 2008. Bill serves as Chair of the Governance Committee and as a member of the Nominating Committee and is ex-officio to the Board.

Emerita

Marilyn C. Link
Link is the sister of Edwin A. Link. She met Seward Johnson, Sr. and his family in the early 1960’s and has been a part of Harbor Branch since its beginning in 1971. She served as its Managing Director from 1974-1982. She is a longtime supporter of the Smithsonian Institution and Indian River State College. She established the first gift annuity for FAU's Harbor Branch. The Link Foundation has been part of her life work since 1954. 

Emeritus

Joseph Z. Duke, III

Joe Duke is a member of the founding family of Harbor Branch as he is married to Seward Johnson’s daughter, Jennifer. Currently, he is the President of Off Road Holdings, based in Jacksonville. Duke is an industrial designer and entrepreneur whose business life has involved various manufacturing activities as well as a partnership in an advertising agency. He is a third-generation Floridian and resides in Ponte Vedra Beach and Hobe Sound, FL as well as Oldwick, New Jersey. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Everglades Foundation and has been deeply involved in environmental issues for many years. 

Staff

Katha Kissman, President & CEO
Katha Kissman has over 25 years of experience managing and consulting with nonprofits.  Kissman is also one of the nation’s leading specialists in Interim Leadership, providing organizations with a short- or long-term leadership bridge and organizational development consulting.   Her consulting is informed by her previous staff and board leadership experiences.  In the past three years, she has served as Interim Executive Director of The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), and the National Flute Association.  Previously, she served as National Director, Training and Organizational Development of Volunteers of America, Leadership America's Executive Director in 1996 and 1997 and President and CEO in 2000 and 2001. She lived in the United Arab Emirates in 1998 and 1999 where she helped found the American University of Sharjah's Continuing Education Center. Kissman also served on the founding leadership team to establish the American University of Kuwait's Continuing Education Center in 2004 In 2006, she authored BoardSource’s Taming the Troublesome Board Member and its 2009 publication, Trouble at the Top:  The Nonprofit Board’s Guide to Managing the Imperfect CEO. In 2015, Kissman co-authored with Indiana University's Beth Gazley, Transformational Governance:  How Board's Achieve Extraordinary Change, published by ASAE Foundation – Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint.  She received her B.S. in Public Administration, School of Public Service at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Effective July 1, 2014, Kissman assumed the role of President & CEO of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation.

Debbie Dutton, Director of Operations

After moving to Florida in 1985, Debbie Dutton worked with various real estate appraisal firms as administrative support for several years. Debbie then joined the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) in 1996 as a member of the accounting team and has since remained in a non-profit research institution setting for 20 years working at Torrey Pines and VGTI. Debbie was given the opportunity to join the Harbor Branch Foundation as Director of Operations in May 2016. She brings an extensive background in administration for the Foundation in its mission to support FAU.

Cyndi Permenter, Administrative Assistant

Cyndi Permenter comes to HBOI Foundation, extending her Midwest roots into the field of philanthropy. She has a diverse background with experience in social services, banking, construction, and theatrical and special events. Cyndi arrived in Florida in 2005, and focused primarily on raising her two sons. After re-entering the workforce, she held positions as a personal banker at Wells Fargo, project manager at Conco Concrete Construction, and Technical Director for the live event production company, Peak Technology Group. Cyndi brings a fresh outlook to the HBOI Foundation and looks forward to contributing to the growth and ongoing success of the organization’s mission.

Spotlights

CURRENT HARBOR BRANCH
OCEANOGRAPHIC
INSTITUTE FOUNDATION
BOARD AND STAFF
 
Michael O’Reilly, Chair
Michael Toner, Vice Chair
Marjorie Raines, Treasurer
Michael Brown, Sr.
C. Amos Bussmann 
Joseph Ferro, MD
Nancy N. Higgs 
Michael D. Minton
John A. Papa
 
 
EX-OFFICIO
Anton Post, Executive Director, FAU HBOI
William J. Stewart, Esq. Secretary, Legal Counsel
 
EMERITA
Marilyn C. Link
 
EMERITUS
Joseph Z. Duke, III
 
STAFF
Katha Kissman, President & CEO
Debbie Dutton, Director of Operations
Cyndi Permenter, Administrative Assistant
 
PAST HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC
INSTITUTE FOUNDATION
BOARD MEMBERS
Bill Barrows
Richard Carnell, Esq.
Dr. Charles Finkl
Pam Houghten
John N. McConnell, Jr.
Sherry Plymale
Dean Saunders
Dr. Jerry R. Schubel
James L. Seitz
Karl Steene
Robert J. Stilley
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
John Warner
 
PAST HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC
INSTITUTION
BOARD MEMBERS
Charles G. Berry, Esq.
Charles H. Bussmann
John V. Byrne, Ph.D.
Robert E. Campbell
Judith Carter
John B. Dodge
Stephen Farinacci
Michael Greenleaf
Sidney M. Hecht
Richard J. Herman
Louis R. Hewitt
Charles W. Jefford, Ph.D.
J. Seward Johnson, Jr.
John S. Johnson, III
Donald S. Marszalek, Ph.D.
John N. McConnell, Jr.
Kathy Morton
Shirley Pomponi, Ph.D. 
Daniel R. Richey
Leonard Rose
Eric B. Ryan
Carl W. Schafer
James L. Seitz
Lois M. Silagya
Adrian J.R. Smith
Maryann Waun
Admiral Paul A. Yost, Jr., (USCG ret.)