Jay Price, Member at Large Trustee

Jay was born in Southport, Connecticut and raised in Manchester and Stowe, Vermont. After finishing high school in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, he moved to Wichita, Kansas to serve six years in the 8th Air Force Strategic Air Command. After his Air Force service and education at Wichita State University, he joined Boeing Military Co. Aerospace Group, and worked on National defense projects. In 1984 Jay moved to Sarasota, FL and spent 12 years traveling and managing worldwide, special access international defense projects for Fairchild Weston and its successors, Loral Aerospace – Lockheed Martin. He then served as Director, Corporate Accounts for an international telecommunications firm. His board service includes chair of the St. Thomas More Finance Committee. He and his wife, Leslie Juron, co-chaired the Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County Capital Campaign and were both awarded the Girls Inc. Visionary Award.

Jay Price is a First Vice President – Investments and Financial Advisor with the Juron Price Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Jay and Leslie have two rescued English Springer Spaniels and have lived in The Sanderling Club on Siesta Key for 19 years.

By Al Balaban

When her mother, 101 years old, passed away last September, Fran Nikolich decided it was time to move from the home she and her late husband, Paul, had bought in Palmer Ranch 21 years ago. They had grown up and spent most of their adult lives in Detroit, MI, Paul as a commercial printer, Fran, as cosmetologist.

When they agreed, after both retiring, to buy a place in Florida, Fran called mother to inform her of their plans. Her mother’s reply: “Buy another one for me.” Although she had been invited to live with them, “she wanted her own thermostat” and continued an independent life until her final days.

Although growing up with a powerful, intimidating, old-fashioned Italian father who tried to pressure her into an arranged marriage in Italy with a son of his friend, Fran found her own voice, refused, and eventually gained her father’s respect.

Although they had met when she was a teenager, Paul, a cousin’s friend, reconnected with Fran after his service in the U.S. Navy. They had a close, loving relationship which produced Georgeann (living in Tampa), Michael (now in Panama) and six grandchildren.

An early fascination with hair-styling led Fran, after graduating from high school at 16, to cosmetology school, licensing, and eventually ownership of two successful hair salons. Thirty years later, she and her husband retired to Florida in 1994. After 45 years of happy marriage, Paul passed away. Wanting to be active and involved, Fran worked as a hostess at the elegant Michael’s on East for the last ten years.

Fran has been a painter in various media for some time, as evidenced by the beautiful work that hangs on the walls of her bright, sunny apartment. This is a passion she wants to pursue and is already taking the necessary steps. She will be a welcome addition to our talented artists.

By Barbara Leverone

wellnes12Only within the past few decades have scientists begun to embrace the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Prior to this, it was believed that after childhood, adult brain anatomy was fixed, only changing in the direction of decline.

Dr. Michael Merzenich, considered to be one of the world’s leading researchers in the field today, has repeatedly validated, along with many others, that the adult brain, in response to experience, is indeed plastic and capable of change.

Dr. Norman Doidge, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and research faculty member at both Columbia University and the University of Toronto, went wellnes1on to explore this hypothesis. He documented Merzenich’s experiments along with many other leading-edge scientists in his 2007 best-selling book, The Brain That Changes Itself. In Dr. Doidge’s most recent book, The Brain’s Way of Healing, he continues to explore the brain’s highly dynamic ability to heal when stimulated by noninvasive use of light, sound, vibration, and movement. Using everyday language, he writes about successful treatment protocols for numerous conditions including Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, balance issues, and chronic pain.

He devotes a chapter of his book to Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity. As early as 1949, Dr. Feldenkrais wrote that the brain could form new neural pathways to organize itself in response to demands of the environment. Dr. Feldenkrais even created a method that uses movement lessons as a stimulus to develop new options for thinking, feeling, sensing, and doing.

Learn to move with ease and efficiency, and also improve posture and flexibility through the gentle, exploratory movements of The Feldenkrais Method. Discover how mindful, novel movements can create new neural pathways, and experience firsthand the power of neuroplasticity.

To read a portion of Dr. Doidge’s chapter on Dr. Feldenkrais, click here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Elaine Litherland, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Doidge, M.D., Norman. The Brain That Changes Itself. New York:
Penguin, 2007. Print
Doidge,M.D., Norman. The Brain’s Way of Healing. New York:
Penguin, 2015. Print.

Lee DeLieto, Sr., Board of Trustees

“I have a personal sensitivity for what the folks at Plymouth Harbor do. Because of that, I was compelled from an objective as well as subjective point of view to want to get involved. It’s an honor to be recognized as a member of The Plymouth Harbor Board, and I’m very proud and pleased to contribute to such an iconic organization.”

Lee DeLieto, Sr. joined the Commercial Group at Michael Saunders & Company more than 20 years ago and he and his partner, Lee Jr., have repeatedly received the “Top Commercial Real Estate Team” recognition. Lee is an active member of various professional organizations including member and Past President of The Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the Sarasota Association of Realtors, member of Sarasota Association of Realtors and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Community involvement includes Founder and Board Member of Insignia Bank, and current Board Member and Past Chair of Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. Additionally, Lee is a Past President of the Downtown Sarasota Kiwanis Club, Past Board Chair of the Sarasota University Club, and Past President of the Sarasota Alumni Club of Phi Delta Theta. Lee received a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the University of Rochester.

John M. Cranor, Board of Trustees

“My first experience with Plymouth Harbor was its ‘connection’ with New College. John Whitney McNeil was, along with his wife, the ‘adult presence’ for the Charter Class of New College. He was also the ‘creator’ of Plymouth Harbor. For nearly fifty years, Plymouth Harbor has been an icon in Sarasota. For most of that time, friends of New College have been residents there. Two local institutions, nurtured by a single, inspired individual, have shaped a half century of growth and history in Sarasota.”

John M. Cranor is the former President and CEO of the New College Foundation, and has over 30 years of management experience in the food service and retail industries. John is an active member of the Sarasota community and has held senior executive positions with several notable corporations, including Pepsi-Cola North America, Taco Bell Corporation, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Frito-Lay Company.

John holds degrees from a handful of prestigious institutions including a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New College of Florida, a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Business and an honorary Doctorate from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Currently, John serves as the non-executive Chair of the Board of Directors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

Since 1999, more than 25 scholarships have been awarded through The Mildred and Bernard Doyle Charitable Trust to Plymouth Harbor employees and their children. A result of the deep admiration the Doyles developed for Plymouth Harbor employees during their residency, the trust was established as a means to provide ongoing educational assistance to “a worthy and needy child of an employee of Plymouth Harbor” or “a worthy and needy employee seeking to increase their skills or to obtain a higher education.” Each year, a scholarship committee at Northern Trust Bank, including former Plymouth Harbor executive director Jack Smith, selects two recipients of the $5,000 scholarship. This year, Tara Mitchell and Louise Franca received the prestigious recognition.

Tara Mitchell joined the Smith Care Center as a certified nursing assistant in 2006. With the help of the Doyle Scholarship, Tara plans to complete her associate degree in nursing at the StateCollege of Florida. Once completed, Tara will enroll in the LPN to RN transition program at St. Petersburg College.

scholarships imageLouise Franca is the daughter of Marcos Franca, who has worked as a landscaper at Plymouth Harbor for over seven years. A senior at Manatee High School, Louise has been a Dual Enrollment student at the State College of Florida since her junior year. After graduation, Louise plans to pursue a degree in fashion marketing, first at Tallahassee Community College for her associate degree, then transferring to Florida State University to earn her bachelor’s degree.

Congratulations, Tara and Louise!

To hear Carol and Mort Siegler reminisce, one might wonder if they are talking about the same lifetime. Using words sparingly and eschewing any hint   of exaggeration, Mort recounts his childhood in Jersey City, Cornell college days, wartime service as an Army Ordnance Officer in Detroit, and a career   in construction. Carol on the other hand, bubbles with colorful detail, exciting stories of an exotic upbringing and adventures of a lifetime.

With time, it is apparent that there is no disconnect at all. The two have been partners since college in an elegant dance – Mort holding the frame with calm, cool confidence, while Carol adds the flare and fascination. It’s a dance lasting 67 years and counting.

Carol’s father started a successful textile venture in Havana, Cuba, in 1920 and brought his family there where they lived privileged lives within a thriving American colony community. Always attentive to her environment, she grew up bilingual with culturally sensitive and politically progressive viewpoints.

“I learned a lot from dinner table conversation where the news of the day was often about refugees from Europe prior to World War II,” Carol recalls. Their community banded together to accommodate and take care of recent arrivals who were destitute.

Raised in Jersey City, Mort’s family kept their regimented, hard-working Austrian traditions. His father ran a successful construction firm involved in the construction of the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan. However, music also filled their home. His father played violin, his mother was a coloratura soprano, and his sister played piano. “Nothing really stuck with me,” adds Mort. Instead, Mort focused on his engineering studies, earning a degree from Cornell University after the war. That’s where he met the beautiful young and spirited pre-med student, Carol.

After marriage, they settled in West Orange and commenced to raise three daughters – Jan, Kim, and Meg. Known as a quiet intellect, Mort grew the family business and expanded into commercial and industrial real estate. He lent his quiet intellect to crafting extraordinary deals and win-win negotiations that landed him the reputation as a “mover and shaker.” (Please note that the laudatory adjectives come from Carol, not Mort!)

Mort later moved to the public sector, managing a $300 million budget as the Director of the Division of Building and Construction for the State of New Jersey. While Mort may have lacked musical talent, Carol is quick to point out that Mort is an excellent cook and served on the board of Restaurant Associates. This might just be a footnote, but it explains how this no-nonsense businessman fits so well with an ebullient arts and human rights advocate.

sieglers 2Having been immersed in dance, arts, and music as a child, Carol still uses her keen visual eye as an interior designer—their home on the 20th floor is stunning. Volunteer work included founding a cooperative nursery school and The Creative Arts Group to provide art, dance, drama, and film experiences for school children, and serving as a Spanish interpreter for Planned Parenthood in Newark, New Jersey, in the late 50s.

When their youngest daughter was in college, the Sieglers found their time was spent more in their second home on Abaco in the Bahamas, a climate more reminiscent of Carol’s youth. They eventually explored both the east and west coasts of Florida by boat, searching for a possible full-time southern home. Honing in on Naples or Sarasota, Mort and Carol inspected both during a land-based road trip and much preferred Sarasota’s inclusive community. They   set down their roots on Longboat Key in 1990, immersed themselves in the arts, and continued their fifty-year commitment to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) (they both still serve on the national board). As a result of their work with the AJC, St. Leo University’s Center for Catholic Jewish Studies was founded in the Siegler’s very own Longboat Key apartment, where they even served as co-chairs of the board at one time.

Continuing their commitment to the Florida community, Mort served on the board of the Sarasota Orchestra, while Carol served on the board of the Asolo Rep and even had the opportunity to travel back to Havana with the Sarasota Ballet. When the Ballet hosted a trip to Cuba, the group met with Alicia Alonso of the famed Cuban National Ballet, who is just a few years older than Carol. “I was surprised she remembered me from the days we were ballet students together,” shared Carol.

The arts for children are a more visible community commitment, but Carol’s voice took on a more urgent tone when she spoke of human rights, crisis     relief, and human services. Just as the expatriate community in Havana took care of the dire needs of refugees, Carol and Mort have extended themselves     in myriad ways throughout their lives to fill in the gaps. Citing the Herald Tribune’s Season of Sharing endeavor, Carol mentioned just a couple of recent cases Mort has supported: destitute NYC firefighters relocating to Sarasota, and paraplegic twins whose mother needed housing. The Children’s Guardian Fund, the supporter of the Guardian Ad Litem program providing resources that fill the basic needs of children in foster care, is another focus of their time and attention.

Through the years, their dance together has progressed from career and family to new homes and endeavors. Yet holding between them a mutual love for the arts and commitment to making the world just a little bit better for those who could use a little help, Carol and Morton Siegler still make it all look easy.

Back in February, we reflected on the spirit of philanthropy – that only through helping one another and uniting our efforts, can we truly make a difference in the world, and in turn, create a better tomorrow for our children. One of the primary reasons people engage in philanthropy is the desire to make an impact on someone’s life. In 2012, The Plymouth Harbor Foundation was founded to ensure the appropriate stewardship of funds contributed to Plymouth Harbor, provide funding for innovative programs and services, and guarantee that these gifts are able to make that desired impact.

This year, with the help of The Foundation’s 2014 Impact Report, we wanted to share with you the far-reaching impact that your gifts have made, not only within the Plymouth Harbor community, but also the greater Sarasota community.  The report includes heartwarming stories of families that overcame overwhelming obstacles, residents and donors that contributed unbelievably generous gifts, countless hours of volunteer service, and much more.

Here are a few highlights from the 2014 report:

  • Over $541,000 was donated in gifts to The Foundation.
  • Residents and employees of Plymouth Harbor contributed 10,486 hours of volunteer services to nearly 70 different organizations in the Sarasota area.
  • 14 individuals became members of The MacNeil Society (those who included a gift to The Foundation in their estate through a will, gift annuity agreement, trust arrangement, life insurance, or retirement plan).
  • Gifts By Source Vs. Gift By Fund

impact report image

If you have a minute, take some time to read the full impact report, found here. You’ll be amazed by the generous gifts and inspiring stories found here at Plymouth Harbor.