2016 - 2017 Citizens Advisory Committee Biographies and Photos
Lorna Brown-Burton, chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee, is also a member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors from the 17th Circuit. She is co-managing partner of Brown-Burton & DeMicco in Deerfield Beach, practicing in the areas of workers’ compensation defense, bankruptcy and family law. Brown-Burton was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and is proud to be a naturalized U.S. citizen. She is licensed to practice law since 1987 in Florida and the Southern District since 1990. Brown-Burton previously served as an elected member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors Young Lawyers Division. She also served as president of the Young Lawyers Section of the Broward County Bar Association and chaired a Florida Bar Grievance Committee serving the 17th Circuit. She is a member of the Broward County Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, and the Florida chapter of the National Bar Association.
Judy Doyle, vice chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee, 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.
Petula Celeste Burks, a public relations and communications executive with more than 15 years of experience impacting organizations’ presence and performance nationally, is the public affairs director for the city of Miami Gardens. Previously, she was a public affairs officer for the city of Fort Lauderdale for almost nine years, with responsibility for pitching ideas to the media, planning, coordinating and marketing events, researching and gathering information, facilitating public meetings, creating/writing policies and procedures and speaking on behalf of the city. Burks also has been a sixth-grade language arts instructor at Haymon-Morris Middle School in Winder, Ga.; a public relations information specialist for the Georgia Department of Transportation; the public affairs manager for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss; the campaign office manager for gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride; and a public relations information specialist for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. She has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism/communication from Brenau University. She is a member of PRSA, GAE and NEA, and the National Association of Professional Women. She was selected as one of Broward County’s 40 Under 40 Most Influential African Americans by Legacy Magazine and most recently was named a Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.
Sylvia Fernandez Carra-Hahn retired in 2015 after 42 years in private practice as a self-employed clinical psychologist in Tampa. She devoted her career to the psychological evaluation and treatment of individuals and families. She also performed court-appointed psychological evaluations and acted as a consultant and expert witness to the court and to attorneys. Carra-Hahn has conducted seminars for The Florida Bar’s Family Law Section, the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Family Law Section, the Hillsborough County public schools and the Bay-Care health system. She also was a contributor to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s “Guidelines for Time-Sharing.” Carra-Hahn earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Mississippi. She was first in her class and was a NDEA Fellow. She was a U.S. Public Health Service Fellow at the University of Alabama Medical School. She received her B.A. from the University of South Florida. Both the University of South Florida and its Psychology Department have named her an outstanding alumnus. Carra-Hahn has served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Psychological Association and has been President of Bay Chapter of FPA. She is currently on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Sciences at USF and has recently been appointed to the Grievance Committee of the Florida Bar in Hillsborough County. She is married to William E. Hahn, a lawyer. Her hobbies include running, scuba diving and bicycling, which she has enjoyed in many foreign locales.
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.
Jan Jung has served as executive director of the 900-member Sarasota County Bar Association since 1989. She has been instrumental in initiating projects to further public awareness about the law, including Citizen’s Law School, Ask a Lawyer, Wills for Helping Hands and Law at the Library. Jung provides staff support for the association’s diversity efforts, which have included multiple community events such as “We are Sarasota,” a night of entertainment and education created to show the journey of a segregated Sarasota to a multicultural community. Under Jung’s direction SCBA supports a summer intern scholarship program, which encourages law school graduates to consider Sarasota as a place to live and practice law. Twenty-four students selected from Florida law schools have completed the 10-week internship by working at a local law firm or government entity. Jung, along with her family, owned and operated the Café Barrister, a breakfast and lunch restaurant in downtown Sarasota for eight years. She is a current member of The Florida Bar’s Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee. Recently appointed to the State College of Florida Paralegal Studies Advisory Board, Jung is also a member of the Sarasota County Civic League.
Dennis G. Kainen is a partner with Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL in Miami. Before joining the firm, he was an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Florida from 1982 to 1985. Kainen is A-V rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 2007. He also has been listed in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite since 2013, the South Florida Legal Guide’s Top Lawyers in South Florida since 2008 and Florida Super Lawyers Magazine’s Super Lawyers since 2008. In addition to maintaining an active law practice in the areas of tax controversies and criminal defense, Kainen has been involved in professional, civic and charitable activities on the local, state and national levels. This year, he won re-election to The Florida Bar Board of Governors, on which he has served since 2006. He is a member of the Bar’s Tax Section and Criminal Law Section. His community activities include being a current national commissioner to the Anti-Defamation League, member of the Founders Club and Young Presidents Club of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and board member of the La Gorce Island Association.
Louis Kalivoda is the recently retired Academic Program Adviser for Criminal Justice, EMS & Aviation Programs in the Institute of Public Safety at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. He has extensive experience as an administrator and lobbyist in local and state government. Kalivoda is the only person to receive both the prestigious Gainesville Sun Annual Community Service Award (1990) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission of Florida Inc. Hall of Fame Award (2013). Kalivoda was vice chair of the Governor’s Statewide Task Force on Emergency Medical Services and has served as assistant to the president of Santa Fe College. He has been chair of the Alachua County School Board’s Academy of Criminal Justice Magnet Program at Newberry High School and was on the Academy of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board for the magnet program at Lofton High School. Kalivoda, an Eagle Scout, graduated from St. Johns River Community College. He received his B.A. from the University of Florida.
Ruth Lynch is owner and president of R&R Business and Political Consulting. She is dedicated to the betterment of children and members of underserved communities. Her consulting firm specializes in business, education and political consulting. Lynch has worked for a number of organizations during her 30-plus years such as National and Alamo car rentals, Northwest Airlines, Monsanto/Exxon, Baxter Healthcare Corp., MGM Studios, and The Seven-Up/Philip Morris companies. Lynch has a master’s certificate in Business Management & Executive Leadership from St. Thomas University. She currently is a board member of the Broward Education Foundation and the Broward County Education Facilities Committee. She served three years on the board of Leadership Broward Foundation. She has also served as 1st vice chair of the Broward Democratic Party as well as 1st vice chair of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida.
Paul Martinez was born in Spanish Harlem, New York, and later moved to Jacksonville. He graduated from Florida Junior College and Jacksonville University with a BS degree in Marketing and Management. Martinez founded The Car Channel and Martinez Advertising. He has been recognized as a community leader by The Jaguars and The NFL with The Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and by the Hispanic Chamber as Business Leader of the Year. Martinez is a graduate of Lifework Leadership, Leadership Jacksonville (2013), and has served on The Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board and Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed by Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown in 2013 as director of Intra-Governmental Services, with responsibilities including fleet, procurement, information technology and grants. Martinez and his wife, Tracey, have three children.
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.
Kristin A. Norse is a partner with Kynes Markman & Felman in Tampa, practicing exclusively in the areas of appellate practice and civil litigation support. She has more than 20 years of legal experience, including 10 years as a staff attorney for the Hon. Chris W. Altenbernd at the Second District Court of Appeal and more than 10 years representing clients in trial and appellate courts. She has successfully represented individuals and businesses in a number of appeals varying in scope from complex commercial cases to serious personal injury cases to family law appeals. Norse is the 2016-2017 Chair of The Florida Bar's Appellate Court Rules Committee and Chair-Elect of the Bar’s Appellate Practice Section. She is a past president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (2015-2016), and of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (2008-2009). She recently received the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyer’s Achievement Award. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Hillsborough County Bar Association (2010-2016). She is listed in 2016 “The Best Lawyers in America” for appellate practice, and “2015 Florida Super Lawyers” has named her one of the top 50 women lawyers in Florida for appellate practice. She also was named by Florida Trend to the 2015 Florida Legal Elite for appellate practice.
Herbert E. Polson enjoyed a 31-year career with the city of St. Petersburg, first with the police department, then for more than 20 years as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations working in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., and finally as a member of the City Council from 2006-2012. Since 2012, he has been an adjunct instructor at St. Petersburg College, teaching courses in State and Local Government and in American National Government. Polson also has 31 years of military experience. He served in the Navy in the early 1970s and then was in the Navy Reserve until 2003. He attained the rank of commander and twice earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, once while serving in the U.S. Special Operations Command and once while serving in the U.S. Central Command, during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His civic activities include St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral and the West St. Petersburg Friends of the Library, and he is a public member of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee. Polson earned an M.S. in public administration from the Florida Institute of Technology, B.S. degrees in Criminology and Political Science from Florida State University, and an A.S. from St. Petersburg Junior College. He is married to Marilyn M. Polson, a lawyer, and they have two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
Richard A. Sarner, M.D., 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. 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 and has a son and daughter, both of whom attend Duke.
Victor Treutel is president of Maracas Technology, which specializes in automating the operation of large corporate data centers. He has consulted for Hartford Insurance, the Walt Disney Co., Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Sandia National Laboratories, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Florida Hospital, Wells Fargo Bank and State Farm Insurance. Treutel has been called on by numerous attorneys to provide consulting services in litigation cases. His ability to advise attorneys on technology in layman's terms has proven invaluable in cases ranging from simple contract disputes to class actions. Treutel is the author of four published novels, and has co-authored a self-help book on relationships with his wife Gayle titled Soulmates My Ass. Treutel is the former president of Stoneybrook West homeowners association in Winter Garden, which has 1,225 homes and an annual budget of more than $2 million. Treutel currently resides atop a mountain in western North Carolina.