The Florida Bar
2014 - 2015 Citizens Advisory Committee Biographies and Photos
Bill Conrad is the elected mayor of Newberry and owner and president of Conrad Construction Company. The retired Air Force officer went from flying C-130s in Southeast Asia and Europe, to serving as a navigator on the VC-137 presidential aircraft in Washington, D.C., during the Reagan administration. Conrad was later deployed during Desert Storm and retired in 2000 as a lieutenant colonel. Under his leadership as mayor, two national sports venues have been established in Newberry — the Easton-Newberry Archery Center and the Newberry Nations Baseball Facility. Conrad sits on the boards of the Florida Municipal Power Association, the city’s wholesale power provider, and the American Public Power Association.
Valdez “Val” B. Demings served with the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, the last three and a half years as police chief before retiring in 2011. She was the first woman selected to serve as Orlando police chief. During her tenure, she launched an initiative that resulted in a 40 percent reduction in violent crime. Before enrolling in the Orlando Police Academy, she had been a social worker. Demings is active in her church and community. She chairs the Committee on Global Housing and Homelessness, is on the board of directors of the Heart of Florida United Way and is president of the Women's Missionary Society. She holds several leadership positions at her church, Saint Mark A.M.E. Demings received her B.S. in criminology from Florida State University and her M.A. in public administration from Webster University. She is a graduate of both the FBI’s National Academy and National Executive Institute.
Steven D. Deneke recently retired as Firm Administrator for the Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon law firm in Pensacola. His duties focused on managing the business aspects of the 75-person firm. His goal was to relieve the lawyers of as much of the “non-legal” issues as possible so they could concentrate on delivering legal services to their clients. He held a similar position with a law firm in Dayton, OH. He has also been Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of a travel agency network following several years practicing as a Certified Public Accountant. He received a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Dayton, where he won the Raymond Roesch Award as the Outstanding MBA Graduate of 1984. Steve relocated to the Gulf Coast from his native Ohio to be able to spend time year-round enjoying his outdoor hobbies of golf, running and fishing.
Judy Doyle is an emeritus non-lawyer member of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. She also has served three years on the Orange County Bar Grievance Committee. A retired newspaper journalist, she was a reporter with the "Orlando Sentinel" in the 1970s; worked for a marketing firm in Tallahassee for four years; spent 17 years at the "Tallahassee Democrat," first as a reporter in the Capital Bureau covering the Legislature, followed by several years as an editor on the news desk, the business desk and the features department. Now living in Orlando, she has been a volunteer with hospice, the Orange County Adult Literacy program, and Shepherd's Hope, which provides free health care to people without health insurance. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism degree from the University of Missouri.
Susanna F. Grady, president of Grady Consulting Group Inc. in Tampa, offers services to independent schools and other not-for-profit organizations including long-range and strategic planning; staff retreats/workshops; and campaign management and implementation. Formerly she was the vice president of development for Florida West Coast Public Broadcasting Inc., and the head of Tampa Preparatory School. Grady is a Hillsborough Bar Grievance Committee member. She is also a member of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay Board of Directors.
Linda Goldstein is director of communications for the Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts office and the president of Linda Goldstein Communications, specializing in video production for business and government, strategic planning and community relations. The award-winning writer and producer of documentary, training and marketing videos, has also worked as a political journalist and feature writer for daily newspapers and magazines. Goldstein served for three years on a Florida Bar grievance committee. She is a past president of the Athena Society, an organization of Tampa Bay professionals who have both demonstrated leadership in the community and committed themselves to promoting equality and opportunity for women.
Anthony Holloway has recently been appointed chief of police for the St. Petersburg Police Department. He began his career in law enforcement with the Clearwater Police Department in 1985, rising to the rank of patrol commander. In 2007, he left to direct the Police Department of Somerville, Mass., before returning in 2010 to Clearwater as police chief. Twice the Clearwater Bar Association has awarded Holloway with its Allen G. Moore Gold Badge, which honors law enforcement officials who uphold the ideals and objectives of the legal system. In 2011, he participated in the Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also has served on a Sixth Circuit Bar Grievance Committee. Holloway's B.A. is from Eckerd College and his M.B.A. is from the University of Phoenix.
Rafael "Ralph" MacNamara is director of advisory services at Kaufman, Rossin & Co., an independent accounting firm based in Miami. He specializes in financial planning, profit center accounting, trend analysis, forecasting and strategic planning. He regularly assists attorneys with forensic accounting, calculating economic damages, valuation and e-discovery. For more than 20 years he has worked as a finance and business development professional. MacNamara currently chairs the Florida District Export Council, an organization comprised of 30 international business leaders throughout Florida who are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to provide advocacy, education and business leadership. Born in Cuba, MacNamara received his B.A. in business administration from Florida International University and his M.B.A. from the University of Miami.
Ralph Merritt Jr. is president and CEO of Commercial Property Group in Fort Lauderdale. He is one of the founding partners of CPG, a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm managing more than 3.5 million square feet of warehouse, office and retail space. Merritt learned all aspects of the construction industry at the Ralph Merritt Construction Co., beginning as a laborer and carpenter. He worked at several commercial, industrial, retail and property management companies developing an expertise in sales, marketing, leasing, development and management. Merritt is a non attorney member of a Florida Bar grievance committee serving the 11th Circuit. He recently was appointed as a public member of one of Dade County's grievance committees regulating the professional conduct of attorneys. He is the immediate past chair of the Coral Springs Economic Development Foundation. Merritt attended both the University of South Florida and Miami Dade College.
Sharon B. Middleton is a registered nurse and certified health educator specializing in patient advocacy, healthcare coordination, and employee wellness. After working as a nurse and health educator in a variety of settings, she served the Dade County Chapter of the American Cancer Society as President Elect and Chairman of the Public Education Committee focusing on youth lung and skin cancer prevention and founded the Tobacco Free Dade Coalition. Upon moving back to her home town of Jacksonville, she served for 12 years as an education advocate for the St. Johns County Public School System concentrating on curriculum design and leadership development. Most recently she worked for Health Designs, Inc. as a wellness educator providing health assessments, biometric screenings and individual health coaching to companies in Northeast Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s in health education. She is currently a public member of The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Unlicensed Practice of Law.
Mary Ann Morgan, a member of the Board of Governors since 2009, is a managing partner at Billings, Morgan & Boatwright in Orlando. She focuses her practice on personal injury, products liability, malpractice, construction, environmental, employment/ insurance and business litigation. In 2000, she was asked to join the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group that includes the less than 1 percent of U.S. attorneys who have won million- and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. Morgan works with the Orange County Legal Aid Society as a guardianship attorney for abandoned or orphaned children. She has helped more than 50 children in this role. She also conducts programs for The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau and has been featured in several articles for The Florida Bar News, most recently in one about using Twitter. She received her B.S. from Florida State University and her J.D. from the FSU College of Law.
David Rothman is a board certified Criminal Trial Lawyer in Miami. His areas of practice are federal and state criminal defense of serious and complex matters including RICO violations, Internet crimes, homicide, drug offenses, alien immigration/smuggling, criminal fraud, financial crimes and criminal tax cases. He is also board certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rothman received a bachelor’s degree from University of Florida and a law degree from University of Florida College of Law. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1977 and served on the Board of Governors from 1999 through 2011.
Richard A. Sarner, M.D. Dr. Sarner is a board certified Radiologist and has practiced clinical radiology in South Florida since 1989. He has served as Chief of the Department of Radiology at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He was a Founding Partner and Chief Medical Officer of Florida Open Imaging Centers, which operated outpatient diagnostic centers from Miami Beach to Jupiter. Presently, Dr. Sarner is a partner and Chief Medical Officer of The Imaging Centers, an outpatient center specializing in MRI. He graduated from Duke University and Duke University School of Medicine. He did his post-graduate residency and fellowship at The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, with affiliated training at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is an active Duke University Alumnus, having served as President of the Davison Club of the School of Medicine and as member of the Medical Alumni Council. Dr. Sarner is married, resides in Jupiter, FL and has a son and daughter, both of whom attend Duke.
Paulette Hatchett Simms of Tallahassee is a retiree, who began her career as a pre-K/Kindergarten teacher and ended it at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where she developed an online training course, “Elder Abuse,” for law enforcement officers statewide. Simms also drafted the FDLE’s first policy, procedure and implementation plan for using Automated External Defibrillator devices. While at FDLE, Simms' research paper entitled “An Overview of Electronic Control Devices and Their Use in Florida” was published. She was the recipient of four Davis Productivity Awards. The prize rewards Florida’s state government employees whose work significantly and measurably increases productivity, and promotes innovation to improve the delivery of state services and/or saves money for Florida taxpayers and businesses.
Lawrence W. Tyree of Sarasota worked for many years in Florida higher education, in particular Florida's community college system. From May 2010 to June 2012, he served as president of Florida Keys Community College in Key West, after serving as interim president for a year. He held interim presidency posts at several community colleges after serving for four years as professor and director of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida. Before that, he served 11 years as president of Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville. He also held positions in higher education in Panama City and New Port Richey. In 2008, Tyree received the Outstanding Service to the Community Colleges Award from the National Council of Instructional Administrators, American Association of Community Colleges. He received his B.A. at the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Indiana University.