Bocilla Islands Conservancy  Inc.  P.O. Box 881, Placida, Florida 33946

Info@Bocillaislandsconservancy.org  941.830.4179

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Board of Directors

Barbara Deyulio - President

Barbara was born and raised in New Hampshire. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, she moved south to Connecticut, where she taught 8th grade English for 30 years. Upon retirement, she moved further south to sunny Florida.

"Having found Don Pedro Island is like finding paradise. There is no place I'd rather be! I love the nature here and have been a sea turtle patrol volunteer for twenty years."

Barbara completed gopher tortoise training under Ashton Biodiversity Research and Preservation Institute and is a member of the Island's Gopher Tortoise Team, which aids and addresses gopher tortoise issues with residents, builders, and landscapers.

Living on this unique island has shown her the importance and the impact we all have on the environment. She and Linda Cotherman established the Bocilla Islands Conservancy in 2015 to help preserve these special islands that we all call home.

Linda Cotherman - Vice President

Originally from a small town near Buffalo N.Y., Linda discovered Don Pedro Island Fl. in 1974 and moved there in 1979 with her husband and two children.

She has had many occupations over the years, including day care owner/operator, project manager with a local engineering and surveying firm, septic tank and drainfield designer/installer, local pub owner/operator, and charter fishing captain/mate on Boca Grande and in Key West. She is a general contractor and has been since 1982.

Linda attended college in Buffalo as well as Edison and Gulf Coast Universities in Fort Myers, receiving an AS degree in Paralegal Studies. She is presently pursuing a degree in psychology.

She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity International, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness and has been a Guardian ad Litem for Children in the foster care system in Charlotte and Lee County for the past five years.

Here on the Island, she was involved in establishing the Island Fire Brigade and was in the first class of volunteer firefighters. She continues to participate on the local Gopher Tortoise Team and Sea Turtle Patrols. She is presently a board member of the Charlotte County, Don Pedro/Knight Islands Street and Drainage MSTU Advisory Committee. She is dedicated to preserving the environment for future generations.

Cheryl Klaus - Secretary

Cheryl grew up in St. Paul, MN and Peoria, IL. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a major in Spanish and US History. She attended graduate classes at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA and also at Southern Illinois University.

Her career includes teaching Spanish, English, Geography, US History and Government. Cheryl is Co-founder and Co-owner of International Gymnastics School-Camp Inc., International Sports Camp, and Trout Lake Retreats, in Stroudsburg, PA.

Cheryl moved to Don Pedro Island and became a Florida resident in 2005. Since that time, she has served as Secretary of Bocilla Islands Conservancy Inc. She has been instrumental in the conservation easement program and placed the first conservation easement property at 21 Cole Place into Conservancy Easement in 2017. Cheryl says, “I believe responsible conservation of nature is an act of love.”

Mike Riley - Treasurer

Mike grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. As a member of the US Navy, he was trained at the Basic Electricity & Electronics/Radioman School, San Diego, CA. He later attended the University of Kansas receiving his BS in

Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.

Mike’s career includes working as an Auditor with Arthur Andersen & Co., Controller/Treasurer with Edson Express, Inc. Longmont, CO, and as a CPA with his own company in Longmont/Denver, CO. He also had his own semi-trailer dealership, Regional LTL Transportation Company, and Regional Truckload Transportation Company in the Southwestern United States.

He and his wife Vicki purchased their home on the islands in May, 2009 and have been residents since then.

Land conservation, native plant environment, and animal habitat (especially endangered species) are important to Mike and Vicki. They would like to preserve the Bocilla Islands Community as it is today. Mike believes that open space allows us to live a quality lifestyle while still allowing a protected habitat for our native plants and animals.

Mike became involved in BICI because of its potential and the enthusiasm exhibited by its founders, Barbara Deyulio and Linda Cotherman. He admired their vision and mission and judged his skills as a CPA and his knowledge of government regulations would benefit the Conservancy.

Mike is recently retired and hopes to pursue his interests that include working on his fishing skills, playing golf, enjoying the beach and travel, and spending time with his wife.

Arthur Auer - Director

Art grew up in St. Louis, MO in a suburb called Clayton. He graduated from MIT with a degree in Industrial and Chemical Engineering. Following his graduation from MIT, he decided to change paths and entered Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and became an M.D.  He was a General and Vascular Surgeon from July 1961 to July 1997 when he retired to the peace and quiet of private life.

Art arrived on Palm Island September 1986 and bought a Lands End Cottage in Palm Island Resort.  He and his wife liked it so much they built a home near Stump Pass and moved in August 1995.  Since Art’s retirement, they have been spending more and more time in paradise on the Island.

Art joined BICI because he did not want to see the Island lose all its green space. He hopes the islands will remain a mix of one and two-story homes and a large amount of green space for decades to come.

Art says, “We all must try to preserve the beauty around us so future generations have the opportunity to enjoy what we have had. There is a wonderful, interesting mixture of people and families here from all over the country who have engaged in all sorts of businesses.  What could be better?"

Dona Cabela - Director

Before coming to the Islands, Dona lived the past 18 years in Delray Beach Florida where she and her husband owned and operated a number of businesses in the health industry.  Dona holds a Master Degree in Psychology and is a certified Florida Board member. She is also a Certified Addiction Professional through the Florida Board. Currently, Dona and her husband own and operate two rental companies with properties located in Florida and Michigan. 

Dona and Chaz have just recently purchased a piece of paradise on Knight Island.  They have become attached to the islands and want to see them preserved, not only for the human residents but also the wildlife.  Dona divides her time between the beautiful shores of Knight Island and a Lake in Northern Michigan.

Wendy Dalzell - Director

Wendy was born in Scarsdale, New York. She attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her varied career and life experiences have included working at a camp for challenged individuals, spending 10 years as part of the crew and 1st mate on a sailboat trip around the world, and volunteering for 20 years as a firefighter at Don Pedro Station 10 in Charlotte County, FL.

Wendy discovered the Bocilla Islands when motoring by in a houseboat in 1988. She built her house there and became an island resident in 1990.

After 20+ years as a volunteer on the Don Pedro Turtle Patrol and a participant in the gopher tortoise relocation project, she became familiar with the people involved in conservancy projects on the islands and wanted to become a founding member of the island conservancy group. Wendy has been a board member since the Conservancy began and has served as membership chair for all of that time. She enjoys participating in all Conservancy events. Her other interests include gardening, golf, reading, volunteering, and boating.

Gary Galloway - Director

Gary was born and raised in Louisville, KY and after 4 years in the Marine Corps, earned a BS and a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Louisville. He has a lifelong maintenance and engineering background and retired in 2012 as a senior systems maintenance and engineering analyst after 34 years with Lubrizol. Gary and wife, Judy, moved as full-time residents to Don Pedro Island in June 2015 after owning a condo in Bonita Springs, FL  and a home in Louisville.  Gary and Judy spent many years as presenters with Worldwide Marriage Encounter. They also have enjoyed working with Habitat for Humanity and volunteered at Harry Chapin Food Banks in Naples and Fort Myers as well as food distribution throughout Lee and Collier counties. Gary serves as the Conservancy webmaster and technology advisor. He looks forward to serving with the conservancy board and continuing to help preserve the island and the way of life we enjoy.

Lisa Haney - Director

Lisa grew up in Indian Head, a rural Southern Maryland town.  She is the eldest of three children and is married to her high school sweetheart.

Her career focus has been in Human Resources, Recruiting and Employee Benefits management, having managed these for schools and small businesses in Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. 

She became a “re-born Floridian” in 1993 when she and husband, Mike, moved from Maryland to Florida. She fell in love with Florida's flora and fauna.  Though it took them a few years, they found this beautiful Barrier Islands chain and just knew it had to be their home. They moved to the Island in the spring of 2014

Lisa enjoys the community of friends on the islands and enjoys boating, fishing and time at the beach.   She has been instrumental in coordinating fundraising events for the Conservancy.  She says, “It is a pleasure being part of an organization like the Conservancy which focuses on the preservation of green spaces on the islands for us and future generations to enjoy.”

Kjell Plotkin - Director

Kjell grew up in Excelsior, Minnesota--a small town on Lake Minnetonka. She earned a BS in Education from California State University, PA. She also embraces her education from the School of Hard Knocks, a few top-notch mentors, and a lifetime of curiosity.

Her varied career was focused in Perishable Product Development in Europe, North and South America.

Kjell moved to the islands full time in 1992, first on Knight Island and then on Don Pedro Island. She has been involved in environmental issues on the islands since then. She is a registered Gopher Tortoise Agent with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and feels it is only fitting to align her concern for habitat and wildlife with the goals of the Bocilla Islands Conservancy. She has served as team lead for the Gopher Tortoise Conservation Team.

Kjell also enjoys tennis, weaving on her grandmother’s 1920 floor loom, and anything in nature.

Shannon Roberts - Director

Shannon was born in Midland, MI. She earned a BA in Economics from Kalamazoo College in 1991 and a Juris Doctor Degree (Order of the Coif) from University of Denver College of Law in 1994. She practiced corporate labor and employment law for Denver based firms for nine years.  She later started a real estate development firm, Sublime Real Estate, for which she renovated and built multi-family homes in Denver’s urban neighborhoods.  After merging her business with MJS Properties, she began designing and building luxury homes near the University of Denver. 

Shannon and her husband continue to operate their business from Don Pedro Island, as full-time residents.  She enjoys design work, mixed media painting, long walks on the beach and spending time with her three college student daughters. 

Shannon values the close island community, wondrous green space and beaches, and natural habitat with which we so fondly coexist. 

She enjoys working with the local community and business leaders in advancing conservation efforts and looks forward to facilitating a thoughtful and balanced approach to future growth on the Bocilla Islands Chain. 

Gisela Ziegler-Allen - Director

Gisela was born in Germany and lived there until age 6 when she moved to the US where she lived in Illinois and Wisconsin. She attended the University of Hawaii. Gisela worked at the U.S. Postal Service and retired as Postmaster at the Placida, FL 33946 post office.

She and husband Duane moved to the islands in 1998. She became involved in the Conservancy because she believes in their mission “to protect our natural environment by ensuring habitat for flora and fauna”. She has served as Publicity Chair for the organization.

Her other interests include scuba diving, reading, and gardening.

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