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Friends of Myakka River

Meet our Newest Board Members Sandy Plette and Stacey Mazza-Gilkison.

July 03, 2023 2:40 PM | Friends of Myakka River (Administrator)

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to the Friends of Myakka River Board of Directors.  Their appointments reflect the board's continued commitment to growing Friends of Myakka River's impact in our community, while increasing our financial support of Myakka River State Park.

Sandy Plette (Treasurer):

Having retired to Florida from Maine, where she and her husband Andre’ (who also volunteers in the Park) continue to spend their summer months, Sandy Plette’s professional career included tenures as an insurance company executive specializing in investments and finance as well as a practice administrator for a group of physicians.  In addition, she served in various positions on several boards of directors for charitable organizations in Maine.

Her passions for both being in nature and of service to others led Sandy to support various visitor service and administrative roles within Myakka River State Park over the past 5 years. A lifetime member of Friends of Myakka River, she also served as a valued advisor to our Board of Directors.

“Sandy’s deep understanding of both the Park and our organization, as well as her keen financial insights, have greatly benefited Friends of Myakka River over the past few years” said Bob Frank, President of Friends of Myakka River.  “As we continue to grow our fundraising efforts in support of the Park, Sandy’s new leadership role as an officer of our organization will greatly benefit of our beloved Myakka.”

At Myakka River State Park, Sandy enjoys walking the trails, gazing at the alligators and birds, encountering occasional deer along her way and myriad sights, sounds, and smells of nature. She looks forward to supporting our efforts to wisely deploy the funds with which our donors entrust us.

Stacey Mazza- Gilkison (Board Member):

A Sarasota native, Stacey Mazza-Gilkison has been visiting Myakka River State Park for over 47 years. She fondly recalls visiting the park as a child with her oldest sister on a school project, observing and documenting the foraging habits of ibises and egrets. Stacey and her husband Mike became members in 2021 at our inaugural Bike Myakka event. They live and operate a small business in Myakka City, where they also foster senior dogs and add them to their growing dachshund pack.

Driven by her strong desire to preserve our park while helping others understand the importance of protecting our fragile environment, Stacey, who is an avid animal rights activist, has actively supported our new Outreach and Environmental Education Program since its inception. As a board member, she strives to further advance our strategic priorities, especially as they relate to direct partnerships with our community at large.

“Stacey’s enthusiastic support of our new initiatives has greatly enhanced our organization’s impact and growth over the past two years” noted Bob Frank, President of Friends of Myakka River. “We are thrilled to add her energy, creativity, idealism and local and environmental insights to our board, and look forward to working together to continue to protect and share Myakka’s Magic”.

In her spare time, Stacey enjoys running & biking, volunteering for various environmental & animal rights organizations, being out in nature, and relaxing with her husband and their dogs.

Want to Help us Protect and Share Myakka's Magic?  Join us as a Board Member!

Becoming a member of the Friends of Myakka River’s Board of Directors can be a rewarding, high impact way to get involved with a community of like-minded individuals, who are helping support and grow one of Florida's oldest, and largest state parks.

It is also a meaningful way to apply your passion for Wild Florida, experience and expertise to help the Friends advance our mission to support Myakka River State Park and the Wild and Scenic Myakka River.

  • Curious to learn more about current initiatives where Friends of Myakka River could directly benefit from your talents and knowledge?
  • Passionate about helping us fundraise to support Myakka River State Park?
  • Ready to get involved and want to complete a Board Member application?

Please contact Miri Hardy.


Friends of Myakka River
13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

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