The Florida State Parks Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to the Board of Directors: Gwen Graham, Wendy Spencer, Karen Cyphers and Dale Brill.

“I am delighted to welcome our four new board members,” said Ben Pingree, Foundation President. “These individuals bring a wealth of experience and expertise in their fields and will be tremendous assets to the Foundation as we further our mission of supporting Florida’s fabulous state parks, the best in the nation.”

“These four individuals are an outstanding statement of who we are as a Foundation,” said President Elect, Gil Ziffer. 

As U.S. Representative for Florida’s 2nd congressional district from 2015 to 2017, Gwen Graham made protecting Florida’s environment a priority. She co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to stop oil drilling off Florida’s beaches, rallied Florida’s congressional delegation to support the Apalachicola Bay, and supported Florida counties in their campaigns against fracking. In 2018, she made defending Florida’s natural treasures a key issue of her gubernatorial campaign and she is dedicated to protecting Florida’s state parks. She is the daughter of pioneering environmentalist, former Governor and former United States Senator Bob Graham. 

Wendy Spencer serves as President and CEO of Leadership Florida. Prior to this she served as Chief Executive Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service which administers AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps and promotes service across the nation. She is a former Director of the Florida Park Service, and from 2003 to 2012, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism, commonly known as Volunteer Florida. 

Karen Halperin Cyphers, PhD., is vice president of research with Sachs Media Group. Formerly she was director of health care policy with the Florida Medical Association and served as deputy policy chief for health and human services in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget. She is also an adjunct instructor of public policy at Florida State. 

Dale Brill, PhD., is Senior Vice President Research and Community Development, Orlando Economic Partnership. He was formerly President of the Florida Chamber Foundation, Chief Marketing Officer of Visit Florida, Dean of e-commerce, General Motors Corp., and Executive Director of the Governor’s Office if Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.

The Foundation, founded in 1993 as Friends of Florida State Parks and renamed in 2018, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to support and help sustain the Florida Park Service, its 175 award-winning parks and trails, local Friends groups and more than 13,000 park volunteers.

It does this through programs that preserve and protect state parks, educate visitors about the value of state parks, encourage community engagement and active use of state parks, and advocacy.

The volunteer Board of Directors represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

About the Author: Foundation Staff