Board of Directors
KINDRA MUNTZ, PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A graduate of Harvard University, Kindra spent her career in business and industry, and now works with public interest groups for social justice and election integrity. Kindra worked in management at the Aircraft Engine Division of General Electric Company for 18 years, and five years as a retail broker at Merrill Lynch, before retiring to Florida in 1998.
In 2006, Kindra formed the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections that led a petition drive for paper ballots and spot-check audits of voting machine counts to ensure accurate elections. The referendum passed in Sarasota County in 2006, led to statewide legislation in 2007, and, after being overturned by the Florida Secretary of State, was validated by the Florida Supreme Court in February, 2010. Kindra won the Jim Barrett Social Justice Award of the UUA Florida District in 2007, and she and the three other co-founders of the Florida Voters Coalition won the 2008 Nelson Poynter Civil Liberties Award of the ACLU Foundation of Florida for their work for voters’ rights.
Kindra is the immediate past president of Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida (www.uujusticefl.org), and leader of the Justice Action Group of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice (www.uucov.org). She stepped down as president of the board of the Island Village Montessori School, a public charter school in Venice (www.islandvillage.org), in 2014 to focus on campaign finance reform, and building the grassroots movement (www.movetoamend.org) to amend the U.S. constitution to not only overturn Citizens United but to establish that only human beings have constitutional rights: corporations are not persons and money is not speech.
In 2018, the focus of SAFE's Board of Directors was passing the Sarasota County referendum to amend our County Charter to "Change County Commission elections to single member districts" . It was time! In fact, it was way overdue to make this needed change to restore integrity to elections in Sarasota County to benefit the people and the environment for the future for all of us. The referendum passed with support of people of all political parties and no party by a vote of 59.84% YES to 40.16% NO on November 6, 2018.
SUSETTE BRYAN, SECRETARY AND DIRECTOR
Susette moved to Venice, Florida, in 2004. She has an English degree from Ohio University and an M.A.from Stonybrook University, L.I.
She taught high school English for 36 years at Bellport High School on Long Island. She coached tennis, was an advisor to a creative writing publication, assisted in theatrical activities, and was a proud union rep in the days of Albert Shanker. She began work for SAFE, having read with horror from N.Y what had happened in 2000. Susette serves on the board of the Venice Area Democratic Club, has served on her Homeowner's Board, and has worked on several political campaigns. She is a member of the AAUW, and helped with the Academic Olympics for two years.
DAN LOBECK, DIRECTOR
Dan Lobeck is president of Control Growth Now, which for 28 years has sought to balance the influence of development interests in Sarasota County’s local governments to protect our neighborhoods, nature, mobility and taxpayers. Dan is an attorney whose firm specializes in representing condominium and homeowners associations, with several hundred such clients in the area at present. He has served in numerous leadership positions over the years, including as founding president of the local chapter of Community Associations Institute, vice president of Siesta Key Association, founding president of the Sarasota County Young Republicans and student body president at the University of Florida.
Dan is a self-described “refugee from Ft. Lauderdale” who moved here in 1983 in search of a better quality of life, which he now strives to maintain and improve by advocating reasonable controls on development. He has substantial experience with the Sarasota County Charter, having drafted the Charter amendment which brought mandatory recycling to Sarasota County as well as being involved in several other proposed Charter amendments. Dan is a strong supporter of single member districts for County Commission, believing that it would do much to reduce the big-money domination of development interests in Commission elections and thereby in County policies.
ARLENE SWEETING, DIRECTOR
Arlene Sweeting currently serves as the Communications and Engagement Manager for WSLR and Fogartyville. She is also the Director of the Peace Education and Action Center. From 2005-2014 she served as Station Manager of WSLR. Arlene taught public school for 7 years in Manatee County and was a Candidate for the Florida State House of Representatives in 2000 and 2002. During her time in Manatee County, Arlene served as Chair of the Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Committee and was appointed to serve on the Steering Committee of Manatee County's Visioning Process. Actively involved in the Sierra Club, Arlene served in various Executive Committee positions before becoming Chair of the local group and then Conservation Chair for the State Sierra Club.
HELEN JAMES, DIRECTOR
Helen James is a tireless advocate for underserved communities and a strong believer in civic engagement. She has been employed by the Sarasota County Clerk of Court for over 30 years. Outside her professional life she is the Founder and President of Suncoast Women of Action. She also serves on the boards of Second Chance Last Opportunity, Sarasota Branch NAACP, and Jewish Family and Children Services. She is also a proud church member of the Trinity Christian Fellowship Center, where Rev. R. Vincent Smith III is the Pastor.
With all these accolades, her proudest role is being the mother of her son Edward James III and the wife of the late Dr. Edward James II.
DON SCHILKE, DIRECTOR
Don is retired in Englewood, Florida. In early days in Illinois, he was President, Oak Park Young Republicans; Republican precinct captain; Elected two-term Oak Park Republican township committeeman; Suburban chairman, 1960 Cook County Election Recount; and State Central Committeeman.
Don is a former Navy bombardier and was a technical sergeant in a US Marine Corps Air Control Squadron. He “fiercely believes that a young military experience builds personal qualities not found in civilian life: determination to be the best, responsibility, heart- stopping sacrifice, dependable teamwork and exceptional accountability”.
His work experience includes 13 years as the top retail advertising salesman for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times; four years as Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Business and Economic Development; Commercial and Consular Officer in the US and Foreign Commercial Service, US Department of Commerce and US State Department; a tour in the US State Department’s Inspector General Office; and 22 years as District and Regional Director and Senior Commercial Officer of five US domestic and foreign duty stations.
In 2011, Don decided that the Republican Party had left him, and he re-registered as No Party (NPA), although he occasionally re-registers to vote in primaries.
Or email any one of the Board members directly,
Or call the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections at 941-266-8278.