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FGCU Announces New Officers, Members of Foundation Board; Pezeshkan is Elected Chairman
6/11/2001

FORT MYERS, FL - F. Fred Pezeshkan, owner of Kraft Construction Inc. in Naples, has been named the new chairman of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Inc. Other officers and members were also recently elected to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for the year 2001-02.

In his position as Foundation chairman, Pezeshkan will serve as chair of the executive committee, representative of the Foundation at public and social functions, a financial officer, and preside over all Foundation meetings. In the past year, he chaired the highly successful President’s Renaissance Celebration fundraising gala and chaired the finance committee. He is also past chair of the development committee.

“Mr. Pezeshkan is taking on this responsibility at a critical time in the history of Florida Gulf Coast University and I couldn't be more pleased to have his leadership for our University Foundation,” FGCU President William C. Merwin said.

Pezeshkan was among the first Collier County businesses to partner with FGCU both actively and through endowments. Through his company, he established a scholarship fund at FGCU to benefit the company’s employees and their children.

Pezeshkan attended boarding school in England before earning a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Ohio State University. He settled in Naples more than 20 years ago and serves as president and CEO of Kraft, one of the largest construction companies in Southwest Florida. Pezeshkan has served on a myriad of boards in the Southwest Florida community, including the Collier County Economic Development Council, Collier County Education Foundation and Village Bank Board of Directors.

Charles K. Idelson is vice chairman of the Foundation Board for 2001-02. Previously he held the position of Foundation Board treasurer, chaired the Finance Committee, and served on the Executive and Development Committees. As vice chairman of the Foundation, Idelson will now serve as chairman of the Development Committee.

Professionally, he is the chairman and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Southwest Florida. Before beginning his career with SunTrust in 1984, he was President of Flagship Bank of Fort Myers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from the University of Georgia, and completed his post-graduate studies at the Louisiana State University School of Banking.

A native of Sarasota, Idelson serves on numerous boards in Southwest Florida, including Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Lee County and the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools.

Joseph Catti has been elected as treasurer. In the past, he has served in the position of Foundation Board secretary and on the Executive and Finance Committees. As treasurer of the Foundation, Catti will now serve as chairman of the Finance Committee.

Catti is the president of Northern Trust Bank in Fort Myers and became a member of the FGCU Foundation in 1999. A native of Miami, he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida International University in 1983. He joined Northern Trust Bank in Dade County in 1989 and moved to Lee County in 1992.

He has been very active with the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Edison-Ford Winter Estates Foundation, St. Michael Lutheran School Education Board and other community associations.

Gerri Moll will serve as Foundation secretary. She previously served on the Finance Committee.

Moll, president of Bank of America Lee/Collier Counties, joined the FGCU Foundation in 1999. She earned an associate’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida, Gainesville; a bachelor’s degree in business administration (Finance) at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; and is a graduate of the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking.

Moll serves on the Board for the Economic Development Council of Collier County. She is also a graduate of Leadership Collier, Class of 1998; Leadership Florida, Class of 1999; Leadership Florida Board of Regents; Boys and Girls Club Capital Campaign; and International College President’s Council.

In addition to new officers, the Foundation Board also elected five new members who encompass several areas of Southwest Florida and various businesses and industries. They are:

Fay R. Biles of Marco Island is President of FAVA Associates Consulting and Co-President of Stress-Free Inc. She is a graduate of Duke University, Kent State University and holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in communications. She worked in education for 35 years with 30 of them spent in higher education, including the position of Vice President for Public Affairs and Development at Kent State. Biles is currently a member of the board of directors for Bancorp Trust Co., FirstMerit Bank of Clearwater and the Vision Planning Committees on Marco Island, and is an active member in the Florida American Association of University Women.

Brad Clark of Naples is Associate Vice President of McDonald/Key Investments. He is a cum laude graduate of Bowling Green State University, and earned a master’s degree from Ohio State University in student personnel work (university administration) and a membership in Phi Kappa Phi honor society. A 16-year veteran of the finance business, Clark is also a member of the Scott/Clark/Gursoy Personal Wealth Management Team. He is a member of the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce, past president of Rotary International, chair of the Bonita Springs YMCA and a graduate of Leadership Bonita.

Adria Parsons of Naples is Gulfcoast Regional President of First Union National Bank. She is a graduate of the University of Florida in business administration and holds four professional licenses. She is a board member with the Economic Development Council, Collier County Education Foundation and the Community School of Naples, and a founding board member of Girls Inc. Parsons is a member of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, Golden Rule Award Panel, Southwest Chamber of Commerce, Naples Area Chamber of Commerce and a committee member of Junior Achievement.

Brian Presley of Punta Gorda is President of The Presley Advisory Inc., a registered investment advisor, and editor and publisher of the bimonthly The Presley Advisory Letter. He is a graduate of the University of Evansville, the Securities Institute of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA +20 doctoral hours in finance from Michigan State University. He also holds three professional licenses. Presley has served as a financial consultant to RKO television in Memphis and ABC television affiliate in Southwest Florida. He is president of the Charlotte County Economic Development Council, a member of the Charlotte County Estate and Tax Planning Council and a graduate of Leadership Charlotte.

Edward L. Wotitzky of Punta Gorda is an attorney with Wotitzky, Wotitzky, Ross and Goldman, P.A.

The purpose of the FGCU Foundation is to support the educational mission of the University. The Foundation encourages, solicits, receives and administers gifts for scientific, educational and charitable purposes, all for the advancement of the University.

FGCU is an accredited comprehensive public university created to address the higher educational needs of Southwest Florida and is dedicated to providing a learning-centered environment that offers high quality educational opportunities.

For more information, contact John Crowley, Vice President for Advancement, at (941) 590-1064 or jcrowley@fgcu.edu or the Foundation website at www.fgcu.edu/foundation2/index.html.

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