Board of Directors


John Hargreaves – Chair

John moved to Bradenton in 1981 from Detroit, Michigan right after getting married to the joy of his life, Kathy. He started a wholesale janitorial & restaurant supply company called Maintenance Too Paper Co. with $500 and determination. Today they have 12 employees. John is a past President of Rotary International, a member of The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, The Chamber of Commerce and the Bradenton Yacht Club.


Jeff Evans – Immediate Past Chair

While still doing some consulting, Jeff is retired from a 45 year career in the financial services industry. Ten years ago, he, wife Nitza and daughter Alina moved to Florida from New Jersey. When Alina first appeared in one of our shows in 2009, Jeff got involved as a tech volunteer.


Jack Hawkins – Vice Chair

Jack Hawkins has been a lifelong resident of Bradenton since 1958. He and his wife, Paula, have made their home in Bradenton for nearly 40 years. Jack is a partner in the law firm of Grimes Goebel Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano, P.L. He has been active in many Manatee County charitable and non-profit organizations over the years.


David Schrott – Treasurer

Dave was the CEO of the Manatee County YMCA for eighteen years of a thirty nine year career with the YMCA. He is a member of the ‘Insiders’ and is also an active member and volunteer with the Bradenton Kiwanis. He graduated from Springfield College. He is married to Shirley.

Susan Romine

Susan Romine – Secretary

Susan has been a patron of The Manatee Players for over 20 years. In addition to supporting the Manatee Performing Arts Center, she has served as an officer on the boards of the Asolo Angels, Powel Crosley Foundation, Sarasota Ballet Association, Theatre Odyssey, Palm-Aire Women’s Club, and the Palm Aire Communities Council. Susan and her husband, Terry, respect and support the artists who appear in our venues.

Ron Allen – Member

President; NDC Construction Company, President; NDC Development Company, Executive Vice President; National Development Corporation, Broker of Record; NDC Realty of Florida, Inc. Ron attended the University of Pittsburgh; Business Administration and Allegheny College; Meadville, Pennsylvania. Ron lives in Palmetto with his wife Dawn.


Dr. Ron Lennon – Member

Dr. Ron Lennon is a retired Marketing Professor, having taught at the university level for over 37 years. He most recently taught at USF Sarasota-Manatee. He has served on many nonprofit boards of directors in both Broward and Manatee Counties and is honored and thrilled to be serving on the Board of Manatee Performing Arts Center. Theatre is a major passion for him. Currently, he serves as the chair of the Marketing committee and Governance committees, as well as being on the Executive committee.


Eileen Hoffner – Member

Eileen believes that live theater brings together a community. It involves so many of the arts and makes us think. There has been a Hoffner involved with the Manatee Players since the early 1950’s so it was really an honor to be invited to serve on the Board of Directors.


Patricia Pickelsimer – Member

Pat and her husband Ron moved to Florida from Ohio in 1977 and established Manatee Printers. She previously worked 14 years as executive secretary and advertising for an Akron, Ohio lumber company. Pat has been active in Entre Nous, Service Club of Manatee County and has supported several other clubs. She has been on the Board of Directors for The Manatee Players, Inc. since 2009.

Vernon DeSear

Vernon DeSear – Member

Vernon DeSear served as president of the Florida West Coast Symphony on the President’s Council of the University of South Florida, and as a member of the board of directors for United Way of Florida. He is the Executive Producer of the Florida Heritage Festival and producer of numerous television commercials. Vernon is Vice President of Marketing for Manatee Memorial Hospital, which is affiliated with Universal Health Services, Inc., the nation’s third largest health-care organization.

Steve Bayard

Steve Bayard – Member

Steve Bayard is a retired GMC Truck Dealer. My wife Sara and I are happy to have played a part in the completion of the Manatee Performing Arts Center. We urge your continuing support of the Manatee Players. This is our community and what we each make it.

John C. Diem – Member

John grew up in Bradenton and is a graduate of the University of Florida. He is part owner of Southern Ag, a wholesale supplier of growth and control products to the turf and horticultural industries. Generations of his family have been active with the Manatee Players since it’s inception and it has always been a part of his life that he likes to share with others. He lives in Bradenton with his wife Kim and has two adult children Johnny and Courtney. He especially enjoys time on the water and is active with other professional horticultural association boards.

Honorary Board Members

Dr. Anthony Pizzo, Arline Spino, Patrick Daugherty, Nina Richardson, Linda Diem, Dr. Steve Tinsworth, Mrs. Bill (Allene) Koehn, Mary E. Parker, Jim Reynolds, L. Hal West, Pat Whitesel

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