Board Members

Mission Statement

The mission of Oak Hammock at the University of Florida is to support the well-being of its members and create an active, caring community by providing a continuum of quality lifestyle and healthcare programs, and outstanding enrichment opportunities in conjunction with the University of Florida.


Donna BrownBrown Donna
Board Chair

University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.), 1994

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), 1990

State of Florida Certified Public Accountant, 1992
State of Georgia Certified Public Accountant, 2004

Accomplishments:   Donna Brown has had the opportunity, throughout her professional career, to work extensively with nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, for-profit corporations, partnerships and sole-proprietors.  As a Partner with James Moore & Co., P.L., she holds final responsibility for completion of multiple client services, including financial statement audits, reviews, compilations, and various income tax returns.  In addition, she is the acting finance director for several nonprofit organizations where she is responsible for maintaining accounting and finance functions.  Donna has also been instrumental in developing continuing professional education courses for the firm.

Other Activities:  She presently holds an appointed Board position, which she has held for the past several years, with the Columbia County Industrial Development Authority and was a Board Member with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for 3 years.  Donna is currently an active member in several professional organizations including: AGN International, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Government Finance Officers’ Association, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Petroleum Marketer’s and Convenience Store Association, and the Florida Schools Finance Office Association.  She is also an alumna of Leadership Lake City.


Judith "Judy" RussellRussell Judith
Board Co-Chair

Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross, BA
Catholic University of America, MBA (Library Science)

Accomplishments:   Judith Russell is the current Dean of University Libraries at the University of Florida.  She is the first Dean of the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries, with the position elevated to the Dean rank from a directorship to reflect the increased importance of the libraries and information for the University of Florida.  She has held this position since May 2007.

Recent Award: On January 5, 2017, in Annapolis, MD, the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS), a global nonprofit membership organization serving the information services community, awarded Judith Russell the NFAIS 2017 Miles Conrad Award.

NFAIS’s Miles Conrad Award, long considered the information community’s premier annual honor for achievement in fostering the growth of information services, was given to Ms. Russell in recognition of her significant achievements in librarianship and for her leadership in information services throughout a career spanning academia, government, the non-profit and private sectors.

Involvement: She currently serves as a member of the board of LLMC-Digital.  She also is a former board member and president of NFAIS.  Former board member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).  She is active in the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Accomplishments:   Prior to her position at the University of Florida

Russell served as the 22nd Superintendent of Documents at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) no the Government Publishing Office, from 2003-2007. It was her responsibility to provide public access to Government information published by the U.S. Congress, Federal agencies and the Federal courts.  As the Superintendent of Documents, she was responsible for a staff of 220 employees with an annual budget of $70 million.

From 1998-2003 she served as the Deputy Director for the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS).
She served as Director of the Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services and the Federal Depository Library Program at GPO from 1991-1997.
Russell also worked for over ten years in the information industry, doing marketing and product development as well as serving as a government-industry liaison. Her corporate experience includes Information Handling Services (IHS) and its parent company, the Information Technology Group; Disclosure Information Group; Lexis-Nexis, and IDD Digital Alliances, a subsidiary of Investment Dealers Digest.  She also worked for over 10 years in special libraries.

Publication: Meeting the Information Needs of the American People: Past Actions and Future Initiatives


Donald A. Padgettpadgett don

University of Florida, BS, 1980

Accomplishments:   Don has his own CPA firm in Jacksonville, Florida (Donald A. Padgett, P.A.), which was originally Padgett, Maige & Mathews, P.A. Has been associated with Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Board of Trustees for Community Presbyterian Church; Board of Trustees for City of Neptune Beach Police and Fire Pension; past President of Leadership Jacksonville; Safari Club International North Florida Chapter; past President St. Johns River City Band; Youth Leadership Jacksonville Founding Director and Treasurer; Fundraising Committee for United Way; Junior Achievement; Robert E. Lee High School Restoration Committee; Funding Chairman of Beaches Fine Art Series.


Gerald (Jerry) T. O'Neil, DPAgeraldoneilweb
Immediate Past Chair

Nova-Southeastern University DPA, 1980
Nova-Southeastern University MPA, 1976
Florida Atlantic University MPA, 1972
University of Miami BA, 1961

Accomplishments:  Gubernatorial Appointee to the North Central Florida Planning Council; Past: Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Health Services Administration Graduate School; 14 years in Executive positions with AvMed-Santa Fe Healthcare Systems

Other Activities: Chair, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; Beacon Council Trustee; American Hospital Association; Past President and Chairman of the Board of the Florida Association of Health Maintenance Organization; American Society for Public Administration.


Peter F. GearenGearen Peter, M.D. 
Board Member

Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Fellowship Hospital, 1983
Shands Hospital at the University Of Florida, Residency Hospital, 1982
University Of Chicago, Internship Hospital, 1976
Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, 1975

Dr. Gearen, originally from Chicago, graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile Alabama and Stritch-Loyola Medical School. His Orthopedic Surgery training was at the Universities of Chicago and Florida with a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.

He started as a UF faculty member in 1982, became The Chief Of Staff of Shands, and rose to become Chair of Orthopedics. He taught hundreds of students, residents, and fellows and performed thousands of operations helping his patients recover their freedom.

Dr. Gearen retired in 2012.

Other Activities: 2018 Board Appointment, Oak Hammock at the University of FL


John D. Jopling, PAJopling John
Board Member

University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, 1982, J.D., With Honors
Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, 1979, Bachelor of Arts; Major: Political Science
Honors: Magna Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa

Background: John was born and raised in Lake City, Florida, and has practiced in North Central Florida his entire career. After graduating from the University of Florida College of Law in 1982, he served a year as a research aide to Justice Parker Lee McDonald of the Florida Supreme Court. John joined Dell Graham as an associate in 1983. He has concentrated his practice in the areas of medical malpractice defense and governmental tort liability. His clients include hospitals, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers. He also represents school boards, community colleges, and police departments, as well as individuals and businesses. John and his wife, Yolanda, live in Gainesville. They have three children.

Professional Admissions:
United States Supreme Court, 2003
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1994
U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1985
U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1982, 1984

Other Professional Activities:
• The Florida Bar: Committee on Professional Responsibility, 1991-1994; Committee on Judicial Evaluation, 1994-1997; Grievance Committee, 1997-2001
• Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association; Defense Research Institute; Federal Bar Association; American Bar Association; Florida Defense Lawyers Association; International Association of Defense Counsel; American Board of Trial Advocates; Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, inducted 2002

Awards & Honors:
James C. Adkins American Inns of Court, Master

Accomplishments: Dell Graham Attorneys Defeat Plaintiffs’ Attempt at Attorney’s Fees and Costs After Appraisal Award
Attorneys Susan Seigle and Lisa Debroux defeated Plaintiffs’ claim for attorney’s fees, costs, and pre-judgment interest after an appraisal award was issued for a homeowner’s property insurance claim. In July 2012, an insurer issued payment for fire damage totaling approximately $15,000.00. In January 2013, Plaintiffs’ counsel sent a demand package for additional monies. Two weeks […]

Four Dell Graham Partners Selected as Super Lawyers
Dell Graham attorneys have once again been recognized for excellence in the practice of law. John Jopling, Carl Schwait, Ellen Gershow, and David Delaney were all selected by the Super Lawyers rating service for 2014. Only 5% of the total lawyers in each state are selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers list. “We are pleased […]

John Jopling Testifies at Administrative Law Hearing
In a change of roles from attorney to litigant/witness, firm president John Jopling testified at an administrative law hearing in Tallahassee, Florida recently on behalf of the Ichetucknee Alliance, a not-for-profit advocacy group Jopling leads. Jopling’s testimony on behalf of the Ichetucknee Alliance was in support of a challenge brought by the Alliance to the […]


Anna McDanielMcDaniel Anna 2018
Board Member

Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, Post-Doctoral Fellowship Medical Informatics, 2000
Indiana University, PhD, 1991
Ball State University, MA (Nursing), 1981
Ball State University, BSN, 1974

Accomplishments: Anna M. McDaniel assumed the role of fifth dean of the University of Florida College of Nursing in July 2013. Dean McDaniel has had an accomplished career devoted to advancing nursing science and educating new nursing scholars and clinicians. McDaniel received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Ball State University in Indiana and her PhD in Nursing Science from Indiana University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in medical informatics from Regenstrief Institute for Health Care in Indianapolis. Dean McDaniel has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $34 million in research and training grants and has contributed to more than 120 scientific publications and presentations. Elected a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Dean McDaniel serves on the academy’s expert panels on informatics and technology and health behavior. She is currently serving as Chair of the Florida Association of Colleges of Nursing (FACN). In 2016 she received the honor of being named the Linda Harman Aiken Professor at the University of Florida. Under her leadership, the college has experienced growth in research funding, is nationally recognized for its nurse-managed, federally designated rural health clinic, and continues to provide leadership in innovative academic programs.


Michael "Mike" McKeeMcKee MIke
Board Member

University of Florida, BA, CPA

Accomplishments:   Michael McKee has been the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the University of Florida since 2014.  He was previously the Controller at UF from 2003-2014. Mr. McKee also served nineteen years on the staff of the State Auditor General and was Director for the Administrative Services Department for the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Other Activities:  He is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Business Administration and, as a CPA, is a member in the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants.  He also serves on the Research and Doctoral Committee for the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers and is an active member of the Inter-institutional Committee on Finance and Accounting for the Florida Universities.


Emily S. Pugh, MA, OTR/L, LHRMpughemily1
Board Member

Rollins College, MA, 1991
University of Florida, BS, 1985

Accomplishments:   Licensed Occupational Therapist and Health Care Risk Manager with over 25 years of experience. She is currently the Program Director and Associate in the Department of Occupational Therapy of the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. Chair, of the Faculty Council and represents the college as a UF Faculty Senator. She serves on the Executive Board of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association and as the Florida representative to the Representative Assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Has served as the Director of OT for Shands Hospital at UF; Associate Director of Rehabilitation Services for Shands Health Care system; Director of Quality Management for Shands Rehab Hospital and Vista Behavioral Health Hospital. 1990, Associate Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Florida Hospital Medical Center, Orlando, FL and Manager of OT services and the neurorehabilitation program for the health care system.

Other Activities: American OT Association 1983-present,current FL Representative, Representative Assembly; 2000-present, Administrative Site Surveyor for State of Florida, Department of Health, Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program; 2003-present, Member, Research, Data Collection and Evaluation Committee; AOTA Chair, Student Affairs Subcommittee; AOTA National Conference Committee 1997; was a Member of the Commission on Education 4 years; Florida OT Association 1983-present; FLOTA Chair, Lela Llorens Research Fund Ad Hoc Committee; 2008 Chair, Local OT Annual Conference Committee; Chair, Physical Disabilities Special Interest Section 1991-1995.


Ester S. TibbsTibbs Ester 4384
Board Member

Atlanta University, MSW
Alabama A&M University, BA

Retired Circuit Administrator, Department of Children and Families, District Administrator, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services, Unit Director, North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center

Community Engagement:
Community Foundation of North Central Florida, Board Member, Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, Board Member, Partnership for Strong Families, Board Member, Children’s Services Advisory Board, Board Member, United Way Community Investment Council, Member, Altrusa International, Member , Women’s Giving Circle; Member

Interests: Reading, spectator sports, spoiling my grandchildren


Cynthia TothToth Cindy 5x7 2047 1
Board Member

Ohio State University, School of Applied Medical Professions, BS, 1976
   Physical Therapy
University of Florida, MBA, MHS, 1988
   Healthcare Administrator

Accomplishments:   Has served as an Independent Health Care Consultant, University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions, January 2009-Present. Previous experience as V-Pres., Southeastern Integrated Medical, Gainesville, FL 2005-2008. She was a part of the Shands Health Care System, Gainesville, FL, 1984-2004 (Administrator/Shands at AGH-2000-2004; Administrator/Shands Rehab Hospital and Shands at Vista, 1996-2000; Director of Operations/Shands at UF, 1989-1996; part of the Administrative Team in Operations 1987-1988; Sr. Physical Therapist 1984-1986); Sharp Health Care, San Diego, CA 1976-1984/Director & Clinician.

Other Activities:  United Way Allocations Panel, Alachua County; Board Member, Community Sponsored Rural Health Clinic, Alachua County; North Central Florida Boy Scout Council; Church & Family. She loves gardening, honey bees, fitness, cooking, sewing and artistic crafts.


Douglas "Doug" MerryDoug Merrey 2018
Board Member, Oak Hammock Residents' Council President 

Tufts University, BA, History, Magna cum Laude, 1967
Peace Corps Volunteer in India, 1968-1970
University of Pennsylvania, MA in South Asian Studies, 1972; and PhD in Anthropology, 1983 (NDF Title IV Fellowship, 4 years)

Accomplishments: Currently, Doug Merrey works as an independent consultant on water management for agriculture in Asia and Africa. As he completed 18 months of field research in a small village in Pakistan in 1979, he was hired by an American university implementing an applied water management research program in Pakistan. This launched him on his career in applied interdisciplinary water management research. He and his wife have lived for much of their adult lives in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt and South Africa. He worked for over 20 years at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), where he held several senior positions, including Deputy Director General of Programs and the founding Director for Africa. Since 2008, he has worked as an independent consultant for many international institutions and consulting firms.

Other Activities: He was appointed by the Minister in charge of water affairs as a member of the Board of Directors of the South African Water Research Council for three terms (2003-2010). He was also elected as a member of the Steering Committee of Waternet, a Southern Africa regional network of universities promoting capacity building in Integrated Water Resources Management (2003-2006). Since coming to Oak Hammock in 2016, he has been mentoring a high school student enrolled in the “Take Stock in Children” Program; and among others, he is a member of the Curriculum Committee, Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR).


Jeffrey Hagen, BS, NHA Hagen Jeff
Oak Hammock at the University of Florida (5/2016 to Present)

Central Michigan University, BS, Accounting, 1976

Accomplishments:   Over 30 years experience in Health Care Administration and Senior Living including Executive Director of life plan communities in and central and southwest Michigan, management positions with traditional and managed care insurance organizations and leadership positions in physician management and consulting. His operational experience includes major campus repositioning, financial management, strategic planning and policy development primarily in the non-profit arena.

Other Activities: Leading Age Florida. Gainesville Rotary. Community Foundation of North Central Florida. Alliance Board (Chair), Sage Grove Senior Community Board (Chair), Community Inclusive Recreation (Vice Chair and Finance Committee), Rotary International of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, Michigan.

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