Mr. Gentry was elected to the Duval County School Board in November 2008 and presently serves in that capacity. Previously, he was appointed to the State of Florida Council on Education Policy, Research and Improvement (CEPRI) in 2002 and was Chairman, 2004-06. He is a founding Director and served as Chair, Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership and presently serves on the Board of the Early Learning Coalition of Duval. In December 2007, he was appointed by the Mayor of Jacksonville to Chair the Education Subcommittee of the "Jacksonville Journey" to deal with crime and community issues and presently serves on the Jacksonville Journey Oversight Committee. He has served as an adjunct professor, University of Florida College of Law and is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Florida College of Law (2005-07). He has been a member of the Gator Boosters Board
Peter E. Bower, Treasurer
Peter Bower co-founded Riverplace Capital Management in 1998 along with Charles M. Thompson who has since retired. RCM is a successor to the investment advisory services of the Sears-Thompson Investment Group, which dated from 1976. He provides strategic guidance for all RCM activities with special focus on the investment model and process as well as business development.
Mr. Bower began his career in 1979 with Merrill Lynch. He served there until 1997 as Vice President, Financial Consultant. In 1997 he joined St. Johns Investment Management, a money management firm, as a principal and Sr. Vice President before leaving to found RCM. He earned a BS degree in quantitative systems in1973 and a MBA Finance in 1979. Mr. Bower also serves as Chairman of the board for the Riverplace companies.
Mr. Bower has served and is serving on the boards of many charitable organization. He has served as a trustee, treasurer and past chairman of the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and is currently the Treasurer of Save Duval Schools.
Wayne Hogan is president of the civil justice law firm, Terrell Hogan, the largest trial firm in North Florida representing injury and accident victims only in civil jury cases. Wayne is a past-president of the Florida Justice Association and a Florida and National Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist and was educated at the Florida State University. Founding chair of the Florida Justice Association's Environmental Law Section, Wayne has focused his personal practice in the field of products liability and toxic torts with particular emphasis on representing victims of asbestos diseases and was among the advocates representing the State of Florida in its historic lawsuit against the cigarette industry on behalf of Florida's taxpayers and children resulting in a $17 billion settlement that also resulted in removal of all billboard advertising and retirement of Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man in Florida. The settlement agreement not only helps the children of today, it will go on preventing addiction and disease for decades to come. It also led to the national settlement and significant changes in Florida's tobacco control laws.
Wayne is a member of the Public Justice Foundation (executive committee), the Civil Justice Foundation, American Board of Trial Advocates (national board), founding member of Florida's Children First, and long time supporter of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Recipient of the Florida Justice Association's Masterson Award for Professionalism and Florida Law Related Education Association's Attorney of the Year, Wayne has been recognized by publications such as Best Lawyers in America (Woodward & White) and Leading Florida Personal Injury Attorneys (American Research Corporation) and Florida Trend's Legal Elite.
Wayne graduated from St. Johns County public schools, and he and his wife, Pat, have provided scholarships to Florida universities for St. Johns County public high school graduates and for graduates of St. Johns River Community College. Each year he teaches the Justice Teaching and the credit abuse resistance education curricula to Duval County public school students. His support for the advocacy work of Save Duval Schools comes naturally; public schools prepared him for success in life, and he believes no community can hope to advance toward greatness without providing the support, funding, and respect that public education and those who serve it and benefit from it need and deserve.
W. O. Birchfield
Bill Birchfield was born December 19, 1935 in Mayo, Florida. After graduating from Lafayette County High School, he entered the University of Florida where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture in February, 1958. After graduation, he served as an Officer in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Zellers. After his tour of active duty, he entered the University of Florida College of Law where he was awarded a Bachelor of Law Degree in December, 1963. He has practiced law in Jacksonville, Florida, since January, 1964.
Bill was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1970 and served two terms there. After leaving the legislature, Bill was appointed to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority where he served for 8 years (2 as Chairman) and the Jacksonville Port Authority where he served for 4 years (1 as Chairman). He has served as chairman of the Jacksonville Health Education Program (JHEP) and of the Board of Trustees of University of Florida Health Science Center - Jacksonville, Inc. He has served as Chairman of the University of Florida Law School Foundation, the University of Florida Law Center Council and he is a current member of the University of Florida Foundation Regional Council. He has served as president of Leadership Jacksonville, the Child Guidance Center of Jacksonville, the Meninak Club of Jacksonville, the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair Association, Inc., JCCI and The River Club.
Bill currently serves on the boards of Save Duval Schools and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.
Tanzy James, Ribault Alumna
Tanzy Porter James is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, a graduate of Jean Ribault Senior High School and Jacksonville University. She is the proud mother of three children who all attended public schools in Duval County. As a parent and a Program Manager with The Bridge of Northeast Florida working with at risk youth, Tanzy has spent a great deal of time in Duval County public schools in her community. Over time, Tanzy became extremely frustrated with the lack of services she saw in the schools. She was concerned with the apparent unresponsiveness from some teachers & school officials, and the uphill battle many schools were facing: not enough teachers, oversized classrooms, overworked Guidance Counselors, lack of books and other resources in the classroom.
Not one to complain about problems and not take any action to fix them, Tanzy jumped at the opportunity to be involved with a new, grassroots education advocacy group whose goal to hold Florida legislature accountable for a high quality, adequately funded, universal public education system. That group is Save Duval Schools. Tazny brings to the Board of Directors the unique perspective of being a DCPS graduate, parent and service provider in Duval County.
Crystal Jones is the founding executive director of Teach For America • Jacksonville. During the 2007-08 recruitment season, she served as a senior recruitment director for Florida and Georgia after increasing the number of accepted applicants from Florida State University, the University of Miami, and Clark Atlanta University by more than 100 percent (and on some campuses, by more than 200 percent). She joined Teach For America staff in 2005 as director of special projects for the Atlanta region. A 2003 Atlanta corps member, Crystal was nominated for the Sue Lehman Excellence in Teaching Award after leading her first graders to academic gains of 2.5 years on average. By the end of her second year, 90 percent of her students were reading on or above a third-grade level and none were reading below a second-grade level, though only a few had begun the year recognizing the letters of the alphabet. Crystal earned a B.A. from Clark Atlanta University.
Michael R. Munz
Michael is the Executive Vice President/Partner at the Dalton Agency and brings more than twenty years of experience representing a diverse group of local, regional and national clients in media relations, government affairs and corporate communications. Michael also counsels with a variety of clients developing programs that focus on internal and external communications and traditional public relations and crisis communications management.
Michael's corporate experience includes a variety of business sectors including real estate development and marketing, manufacturing and distribution, travel and tourism, healthcare, insurance and banking, legal, HR/IT, retail and sports marketing as well as government relations and political consulting.
Under his leadership, the agency has developed a wide range of public relations offerings designed to create strategic integrated communications programs combining marketing and traditional public relations. Michael has also developed a highly effective crisis communications practice and has been called upon to proactively manage and develop corporate crisis programs and as well as reactive plans when situations arise that declare a communications threat to a company or individual.
As a business development counselor, Michael has been able to combine his business acumen with his communications skills to ensure that the business of communications is developed and included in the business model in order for success to be achieved.
Michael's political experience includes managing and consulting with candidates on the local, state and federal level. From creating strategic campaign plans to serving as finance committee leadership and a general consultant he has been actively involved helping elect some of Florida and the nations best and brightest.
Michael is active on a number of civic and political organizations as well as corporate boards.