Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), a non-profit ocean conservation organization, held its annual meeting on Monday, January 28, 2013. LMC Board of Directors Chairman, Brian Waxman, announced the center’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year, Karl Kolb, and thanked the many donors, volunteers and staff members that help advance LMC’s mission to promote conservation of Florida’s coastal ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The meeting featured presentations from LMC Director of Research & Rehabilitation, Dr. Charles Manire and LMC Biologist, Kelly Martin, highlighting the center’s recent influx of sea turtles due to the cold-stun in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and record breaking nesting season. The meeting included Waxman’s announcement of new board members including former Palm Beach County Commissioner, Karen Marcus as well as Carrie Hanna, Joel Paige and Morgan Poncy, M.D. Nancy DiMarco, D.V.M. was designated as an honorary member; attributed to her many years of involvement with the center. DiMarco served as a volunteer veterinarian from her start at LMC and continued to help out during times of need. She received a plaque in recognition of her service.
Karen Marcus is a former Palm Beach County Commissioner for District 1. She was elected to the commission in 1984 and left the board in November 2012 due to the county’s term limit rules. During her time on the commissions, Ms. Marcus led numerous key initiatives for the north county, including (1) the creation of public parks at beach properties such as Ocean Cay, Coral Cove and Diamondhead/Radnor, (2) the acquisition of thousands of acres of natural areas the county acquired as part of a 1991 bond issue, including Juno Dunes, the Loxahatchee Slough, Cypress Creek and Prosperity Oaks, (3) the construction of the Juno Beach pier, (4) the expansion of Loggerhead Marinelife Center, (5) the creation of Abacoa and Roger Dean Stadium, and (6) the recruitment of Scripps to Florida Atlantic University’s Abacoa campus which directly led to Max Planck at the same location and seeded a biotech cluster that will benefit the region. Ms. Marcus has been a strong supporter of Loggerhead Marinelife Center for many years. Ms. Marcus is a life-long resident of Palm Beach County. She resides in North Palm Beach with her husband Dennis.
Carrie Hanna is the Chief Strategy Officer for Gunster Law Firm. She has worked as a consultant to the law firm since 1991 providing strategic marketing direction for a number of practice areas including the Leisure and Resorts group, Private Wealth Services, Real Estate, Corporate and Litigation. She has advised the firm on branding and corporate identity and has counseled attorneys in the areas of business development, sales training and professional development. Currently, she guides the firm in the areas of strategic planning and advancement, communications, market positioning and business development. Prior to her work with Gunster, she was the President of her own advertising and marketing firm in West Palm Beach and is a published author. Carrie lives on Jupiter Island with her husband Paul and their children, Mark, Cameron and Zan.
Joel Paige is the Vice President and Managing Director of PGA National Resort and Spa by Walton Street Capital, Century Golf Partners and SCS Hotels, Inc. Paige oversees and directs all aspects of the day to day operations of the resort. The PGA National resort is home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and several other major golf and tennis events. Joel Paige joined PGA National with more than 25 years experience in the hospitality management industry. Paige resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and is an active member as a government appointed position on the Palm Beach Country Tourism Development Council and a member and Officer of the Palm Beach County Hotel and lodging Association. He has served on the Orange Bowl Committee and the Economic Development Council for Miami Dade County.
Morgan Poncy is the Founder, Principal and Chief Medical Officer of Sunrise Detox Centers, with locations in Lake Worth, Fort Lauderdale and Stirling. He also has an active internal medicine practice in Jupiter. A Benjamin School graduate, Morgan completed his medical training at the University of Miami, conducting his residency in internal medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. Along with other professional affiliations and responsibilities, Morgan is also Medical Advisor to Congressman Tom Rooney. He resides in Jupiter, FL with his wife Susan Brown Poncy, M.D. and their four children Jack, Nadia, Holland and Calvin.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center biologists documented 28,941 sea turtle crawls on Juno, Jupiter and Tequesta beaches during the 2012 season, making this year the most crawls that have ever been seen on LMC’s monitored beaches. Loggerhead sea turtles laid 11,525 nests within the survey area, a 51% increase since 2011. LMC biologists also have seen dramatic increases in green and leatherback nesting numbers over the past several years, with this year being no exception. Green sea turtle nest totals continue to be steady in 2012 with 1,361 nests, while leatherback totals increased with 287 nests, making for a total of 13,173 sea turtle nests along the area’s beaches. Additionally, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s rehabilitation team treated 75 green, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley and loggerhead sea turtles this year as well as 796 hatchlings at its on-campus Gordon & Patricia Gray Veterinary Hospital.