The Florida Bar
2015 - 2016 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 and was re-elected to another two-year term without opposition. She is co-managing partner of Brown-Burton & DeMicco in Deerfield Beach, practicing in the areas of workers' compensation defense as well as consumer bankruptcy, family law and immigration 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.
Manuel L. Crespo Jr. is a partner at Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez & Machado LLP in Coral Gables. He concentrates his practice in the areas of residential and commercial real estate transactions, and real property dispute litigation. Crespo received his J.D. in 1991 from Boston College Law School. He received his B.A with honors from Duquesne University in 1988. Crespo is admitted to practice in Florida. He is currently serving his third term on the board of directors of the Cuban American Bar Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc. and the Dade County Bar 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.
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.
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.
Rafael "Ralph" MacNamara, vice chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee, 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.
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.
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.
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. 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, with a fifth due out in the fall of 2015. He has also co-authored a self-help book on relationships with his wife, Gayle. Treutel is the president of Stoneybrook West homeowners association in Winter Garden, which has 1,225 homes and an annual budget of more than $2 million.
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. He received his B.A. at the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Indiana University. In 2015, he was appointed by the Florida Supreme Court for a two-year term as a non-lawyer member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors.