Board of Directors
Chicky Desmarais, President
Chicky has been a board member of the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund since 1998. She is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner who works with survivors of combat and sexual trauma. She has been a strong advocate for women’s health for the past two decades, including serving as president of the Pensacola Chapter of the National Organization for Women prior to her move to the Tampa Bay Area in 1995.
Mary Smith, Administrator
Mary brings to the board 30 plus years in health care as a retired Nurse and Massage Therapist. Mary also is a Reiki Master, and volunteers for Hospice doing Reiki and companion care. She is active in her condo community by serving on the Recreation Board for 5 years. She is enthusiastic in assisting women with their health care needs.
Lisa Cercek, Treasurer
Lisa has been a board member for seven years. She has served as Fund Administrator and Treasurer for the organization. Her business expertise has helped the Fund form relationships with health care providers in the Tampa Bay area. Lisa also raises money for the Fund and other charities through her “Roasts” throughout the year.
Amanda M. David, Secretary(President elect)
Originally from Southwest Louisiana, she is a Sign Language Interpreter who has been active in her National organizations, and will use those experiences to inform her work on the Board. Amanda is passionate about women’s health and especially interested in Healthcare Disparities within communities of women.
Marla Spruill, Director & Social Media
Marla has been a volunteer for the SPHF for 7 years and on the Board since 2010. She created and maintains its social media network (Twitter. Facebook) Maintains and updates the SPHF.org web pages. and creates all SPHF newsletters/advertising campaigns/posters and is the official event photographer at all SPHF events. Obtaining raffle items for the raffle baskets she lovingly created for the past 3 years for the SPHF dances was a labor of love!
Alice I. Hamp, Director (Administrator elect)
Alice was born and raised in Michigan and spent many years living in northern Ohio. She is the proud mother of two children and grandmother to four grandsons. She recently retired from a position as a RN Case Manager Trainer for an insurance company working with Worker’s Compensation. After moving to Florida in 1980 she volunteered for the community by serving on the Board of Directors for MCC Tampa and Christ the Cornerstone for several years.
Lauren Penny, Director (Treasurer elect)
Lauren Penny has lived in Pinellas County since 1963. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1977 with a BS degree. Lauren has owned and operated L. R. Penny and Associates, a land surveying company since 1991. She and Sandi Weeks have been married since 1991, and (o…m…g…) are still together.
Phyllis Plotnick, Director (Secretary elect)
Born in Philadelphia, Phyllis moved to Gulfport in 1983. She worked for many years as a physical therapist as well as a counselor in crisis intervention, rape crisis and family planning centers. She is particularly grateful to have has the opportunity to teach ballroom dancing in the Tampa Bay area to the LGBT community. From these classes, the Lady in Red and other dances had their beginnings. Phyllis is excited to now be on the board of an organization that has benefitted hundreds of women and that carries her mother’s name.
Jodie Hanrahan, Director
Jodie Hanrahan is presently semi retired working with FEMA when national disasters occur and is one of those extreme couponers! Past experiences include commercial real-estate, and 28 years of owning/operating retail party stores. She has been actively involved in many volunteer projects Including Southerntier Pride, Juneteenth celebration, Safe Zone for schools, St Petersburg Pride and over 5 years with Hospice patients. She has two children and 8 grand children with the 9th on the way! Originally from upstate NY but presently calls Clearwater her home where she resides with her wonderful partner of 5 years and their faithful dog Sandi!
Susanne Abrahams, Director
Susanne is a oncology social worker and has logged more than 25 years working for hospice. She is a strong feminist and advocate for universal healthcare. She is dedicated to promoting outreach activities with members of racial ethnic lifestyle communities in our area.
Catherine Wieczorek, Director
As a 3 time cancer survivor, Catherine looks forward to serving on the Board as an opportunity to give back to the community. She also brings extensive experience for fund raising for non-profits.
Ruth Velazquez, Director
Ruth graduated from nursing school in 1986 and worked in the critical care areas of various Pinellas county hospitals for 17 years. She went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Nursing in 1999 and worked as a nurse practitioner in adult heath for 2 years in various geriatric facilities also in this community. She has worked as a nursing instructor for St. Petersburg College for the last 11 years and gets much enjoyment from helping to influence the future of healthcare. Ruth has led organized bicycle rides for lesbians in the community for the last 5 years. Ruth is excited to be a new board member and hopes to use her traits of compassion and respect to benefit the organization. She lives with her partner of 4 years in Palm Harbor and their faithful cat, Keekers 2nd!
The all volunteer Board reviews all applications monthly and provides funding based on need and available funds. Additional meetings are held on an as needed basis for the planning and execution of fund raisers such as: ‘SPHF ‘Lady in Red’ Sweetheart Dance, SPHF Fall Costume Party and Dance and other fundraising activities in the community. Do you have 3-5 hours each week to devote the business of the Board? A background in the medical field or business is always welcome but not required. A sincere desire to help others is a must!
To apply to be one of the all volunteer board members of the SPHF and help other women in the Greater Tampa Bay area by assisting them with grants for their medical needs and to help with the planning and execution of our fund raising events, please email us: SoniaPlotnick@Yahoo Subject line : Board Member. All board member applicants will undergo a background check at the expense of the SPHF. Due to the confidential nature medical information and anonymity of applicants, SPHF board meetings are not open to the public.
Officers of the Board of the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund duties are as follows:
The President sets meetings, agendas, appoints committees and ensures that all books, records and certificates are kept and filed with the State and Federal Government as required by law. Ensures that all funds are handled and dispersed correctly. Ensures the Fund is being represented by the members of Board in an appropriate manner. Appoints additional duties to the members of the Board as needed for event planning and execution, to ensure community interaction and the reputation of the Fund is being maintained.
Is responsible for screening and presenting grant applications to the Board. Is the sole contact for all grant applicants and associated health care providers to better determine the applicants needs and eligibility to receive funding.
Oversees the maintenance of all corporate funds and provides monthly financial reports to the Board and ensures that the financial records are audited annually. Dispenses funds as directed by the President of the Fund.
Takes minutes at all meetings and keeps records as directed. Conducts correspondence and files certificates required by law.
All other members of the Board of the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund are titled Director. Other duties such as Social Media, Volunteer Coordinator, Event Planning etc, are assigned and agreed upon by the President and members of the Board
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The Sonia Plotnick Health Fund (SPHF) is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Your donations are fully tax deductible.♥