• Give us a brief summary of your background, where you are originally from, your career, and why you relocated to Naples.
Linda (right) and her sister Debbie golfing for charity

Linda (right) and her sister Debbie golfing for charity

I was born and raised in Kennet, MO and graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Missouri.  I was with Arthur Andersen in Kansas City for 12 years before joining the Sunflower Group (a national promotional advertising company) where I served as Chief Financial Officer for 13 years.

I retired with my husband, Curtis, to Naples in 2004 and we became year round residents in 2006.  Curtis has two children, a son and daughter, and we have five grandchildren.

I enjoy playing golf, mah jongg and attend power yoga classes at Green Monkey and beach fitness aerobic classes at Pelican Beach.  We are members of Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club and enjoy boating on the Gulf.

  • How were you introduced to GNL?  When?

I heard about GNL briefly from participants in my aerobics class in Pelican Bay in 2007.  I remember thinking that it was similar to a program I had participated in Kansas City, The Centurions.  However, GNL’s participants are community leaders who had retired and moved to Naples and the Centruions participants were up and coming middle-management employees with their companies.  The Centurions program is a Chamber of Commerce sponsored organization, similar to how GNL got its start.

I heard there was a “long book list that was required reading” and that caused some hesitation about applying for membership.  I hadn’t wanted “required” anything after I retired.

Fortunately, I met Jeanne Bolds, who had been assigned to be my mentor in the League Club.  When Jeanne and I met to attend my first League Club membership luncheon, she encouraged me to apply.  Joanne Fowler, whom I knew from the aerobics class, sponsored me for the GNL program.

  • How has GNL helped you become involved in the community?

I’ve always enjoyed giving back to the community and was involved in several boards in the Kansas City area and wanted to continue being involved in Naples.

Before joining GNL, I was involved with the League Club and was a member of the Shelter for Abused Women and Children Guild, but GNL became my springboard for other opportunities.

  • What boards or activities are you involved with now?

Through friendships that I have made in GNL, I joined the Fresh Start for Abused Women Grant Fund Committee and I am currently the Chair of this Committee.

I am also the 1st Vice President of the Shelter for Abused Women Guild and am in succession to be President in 2017.

  • What would you like to see GNL do in the future?

I would like to see GNL continue to diversify its membership and continue its focus on accepting participants who have shown leadership and community involvement before coming to Naples.

I think screening applicants is very important so the program continues to have high quality participants who work hard to improve our community through individual contributions on Boards and committees; this should be without feeling pressure to do so, but because it is the right thing to do and they feel rewarded in giving back to those less fortunate.

I also have made incredible friendships through GNL.  I served on the social committee and co-chaired the Holiday Party a few years ago.  I hope GNL never gives up the “social” activities, which are very important.


Linda and her husband Curtis

Linda and her husband Curtis

Linda (center) and her sisters

Linda (center) and her sisters