Board of Directors

Operating Board

Barbara Essenwine
Barbara EssenwineChairperson

Barbara Essenwine is a long-time resident of Palm City. She and her husband, John, have one son, John and his wife, Lynette, and four grandchildren. Barbara and her family are the owners of several companies under the umbrella of the Above & Beyond Group of Companies. Barbara was recently appointed by Florida Senate President Joe Negron to the Florida Enterprise Board and the Space Florida Board. She developed the Palm City Chamber of Commerce Adopt A Class program that raised over $1,000,000 for public schools in Martin County. She was the first recipient of the Charlene Hoag Award from the Martin County Business Development Board and was the recipient of the Economic Council of Martin County 2014 Leadership Award.

Michael Borlaug
Michael BorlaugVice Chairperson

Michael Borlaug is the Managing Partner of CAPSTONE Information Technologies Inc., and co-founder of TreasureCoastTop100.com. He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. Michael has been with CAPSTONE since it began serving businesses in 2003 for their IT needs. Michael has been a leader at Capstone for fifteen years, helping to develop the procedures and processes that result in an empathetic and highly responsive team of engineers. Michael lives in Palm City and is currently serving the community as a member of the Stuart/Martin Chamber of Commerce LEADERship class 29.

Jenny Yingling
Jenny YinglingTreasurer

Jenny Yingling has been in the retail banking business for more than thirty-five years and with Seacoast Bank for twenty-seven of those years. She currently is the Small Business Banking Manager. Jenny has served in many capacities at Seacoast and was recognized as a top producer earning the Chairman’s Club Award twice. Jenny has served as the immediate Past President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce, a Member of the Citizens Review Panel for the United Way of Martin County, a Board Member of the Martin County Tax Payers Association and Seacoast Bank’s representative to the Martin County Economic Council.

Cher Fisher
Cher FisherSecretary

Cher Fisher is retired after 28 years as an account executive with Attorneys' Title Fund Services, a title insurance underwriter. In addition to volunteering her time with Helping People Succeed, Cher is President of Kiwanis Club of Stuart, and Co-Chair of the non-profit organization, Family Promise of Martin County. Additionally, she is a recent graduate of LEADERship Martin County Class 29, and is active with Stuart Martin Chamber of Commerce and Palm City Chamber of Commerce. She has two adult children, Allison and Jason, and one granddaughter, Alden.

Board Members

Heidi Bosley
Heidi Bosley

Heidi Bosley is a native of Wisconsin and has lived in in many states including California, Virginia and Tennessee as well as 3 years in London, England. She brings Helping People Succeed over 40 years’ experience in marketing and public relations for clients such as McDonald’s and Nissan Motor Corporation. She has degrees in Economics and Speech Communications from Wake Forest University. She is also married and a mother of 2 sons aged 21 and 24.

Allen Herskowitz
Allen Herskowitz

Allen Herskowitz and his wife Susan have been full time residents of Martin County since he retired as an aerospace executive in 2000. He has been an active member of the Sailfish Point community as the long standing chair of the Beaches and Waterways committee. He served two terms as president of the Sailfish Point POA, ten years apart. He was also awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in January, 2019. Allen was just elected to his second two year term as chair of the Florida Oceanographic Board, serves on the Cleveland/Martin Health Systems Foundation Board and previously served on the Artists for a Cause board, Helping People Succeed Foundation board and the Hospice of Northern Virginia Foundation Board. Allen and Susan have two children and four grandchildren, one set in Brooklyn and the other in Austin.

Bonney Johnson
Bonney Johnson

Bonney Johnson is a Senior Trust Officer for Bank of America Private Bank and has been in the banking industry for over thirty three years. She works with clients on basic trust structures to innovative wealth strategies, and helps meet their individual, family and charitable objectives. Her primary responsibilities are associated with administering trusts and carrying out client’s instructions. Bonney has been a board member of Alzheimer’s Community Care since 2013 and was most recently appointed as Chair of their Development Standing Committee. She is a current member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Bonney is also a member of the Martin Health System’s Professional and General Advisory Boards. Bonney has served on many other nonprofit boards throughout the Treasure Coast. She was named as Outstanding Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2019 for National Philanthropy Day. Bonney lives in St Lucie County and enjoys spending time with her animals, RV traveling, biking and gardening.

Shaun Kogut
Shaun Kogut

Shaun Kogut is a founding Member and Principle Partner of Green Design Construction & Development a National Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Firm with offices in Okeechobee, Palm City, Boca Raton, and Seattle, Washington. Shaun leads a team of 30+ design and construction professionals working on projects all over the continental United States, Hawaii, Guam, and the Caribbean and specializes projects that require a high level of ecological sensitivity and sustainable design practices. Green Design was recently honored by the University of Florida as a Gator100 company which recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world each year, and was also awarded “Business of the Year” by the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce for 2017-2018. Shaun is proud to be a member of the United States Green Building Council, the Florida Green Building Coalition, and the Go-Green Initiative. He is also very active in the Okeechobee Community supporting many non-profits to include Helping People Succeed, Martha’s House, Our Village, Okeechobee Main Street, End the Hunger, Okeechobee High School, and numerous organizational sponsorships. In 2016 Shaun partnered with Helping People Succeed Okeechobee to create what has become an annual Christmas Bike and Gift Giveaway to program families, providing over 100 Bikes to children at last year’s event.

Sherry Plymale
Sherry Plymale

Sherry Plymale, of Palm City, is a self-declared community activist. Enriching the place where we live, work and play both locally and statewide has always been her purpose. Sherry teamed with Frank Brogan as his campaign manager for his successful 1994 election as Florida's Commissioner of Education. Sherry then served as his chief of staff at the Department of Education and helped develop many innovative programs that are still in effect today. Sherry is a past chair of the State Board of Community Colleges, and in 2001 she was appointed by the Governor as a charter member of the Board of Trustees of Florida Atlantic University. Having served as an FAU Trustee for over 12 years, and as its past chair, she has been instrumental in the growth of this University. Sherry has served on a myriad of boards and committees both local and statewide all dedicated to children, education and or economic development. Most recently she served on the Constitutional Revision Commission, a group that meets every 20 years to review and suggest amendments to the Florida Constitution. Sherry received her bachelor's degree from St. Leo University and later served as a member of its Board of Trustees. As a 47-year resident of Martin County, Sherry and her husband, Dr. Tom Plymale have two children, Dr. Shannon Galinis and Shaun Plymale, and 6 grandchildren, all living in Martin County.

Rosie Portera
Rosie Portera

Rosie Portera is currently a Clinical Support Specialist for Florida Atlantic University. She provides autism resources and consultations for families who have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Rosie served as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Martin County School District and prior to that was the Director of Children and Family Services for the Arc of Palm Beach County. She has held several positions and has many accomplishments in her field. Of note was her position of School Principal for Potentials Charter School – the first conferred Charter School in Palm Beach County in 1998 and was named a “Florida Model Charter School of Excellence” by The Florida Department of Education in 2003. Rosie has both a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language from Florida State University. Rosie and her husband of 30 years, Doug, are the proud parents of two daughters.

Lorenzo Williams
Lorenzo Williams

Lorenzo is a Senior Partner in the Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C. Lorenzo attended Shaw University where he majored in political science and graduated with honors. In 1977, Lorenzo earned his law degree from Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon, and was admitted to practice law in Florida in 1978. For over 30 years, he has specialized in civil litigation including personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability and commercial cases. In 2017, Lorenzo was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America. During his 38 years of practice, Lorenzo has successfully litigated more than 100 cases with verdicts and/or settlements exceeding $1 million. Lorenzo’s commitment to excellence is reflected not only in his many professional accomplishments but also in his commitment to the community and social change. He serves on several boards and has received numerous awards. Lorenzo and his wife of over 36 years, Jovita, are the proud parents of four children.

Honorary Board Members

Carolyn Timmann
Carolyn Timmann

Carolyn Timmann, a long-time Martin County resident with an extensive background in state public service, has served on the operating board of Helping People Succeed since January of 2012.

Carolyn is also the Martin County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, taking office in January of 2013.

Carolyn started her career in the state court system working for a judge in the old Martin County Courthouse. She then worked in a local law firm before serving as a legislative assistant in the Florida House of Representatives, based in Stuart. Following that role, Carolyn and her family moved to Tallahassee where she served in the Attorney General’s Office as Special Assistant to Florida's Solicitor General.

In 2006, Carolyn transferred to the Office of the Governor as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff overseeing military and veterans’ affairs, gubernatorial councils and commissions, and statewide consumer and technology projects. Included among her responsibilities were the organization and oversight of the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and the Governor's Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorders. In January 2011, the Governor appointed Carolyn as his Division Director managing public records and projects to provide statewide electronic information. She resigned from that role in 2012 to return home to Martin County and seek the Office of Clerk & Comptroller.

Clerk Timmann attended the University of Georgia, Indian River State College and Florida State University earning B.A. and A.A. degrees, as well as Certificates in Public Administration, Legal Assistant Technology, and Public Records Management.

Clerk Timmann has also completed the professional development certification program for Court Clerks, which was developed by the Florida Supreme Court in conjunction with the Florida Association of Court Clerks & Comptrollers. Recently, she was appointed by the Governor to represent the statewide Clerks of Court as a member of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Systems Council for 2014-2016.

Helping People Succeed Foundation Board

Bonney Johnson
Bonney JohnsonChairperson

Bonney Johnson is a Senior Trust Officer for Bank of America Private Bank and has been in the banking industry for over thirty three years. She works with clients on basic trust structures to innovative wealth strategies, and helps meet their individual, family and charitable objectives. Her primary responsibilities are associated with administering trusts and carrying out client’s instructions. Bonney has been a board member of Alzheimer’s Community Care since 2013 and was most recently appointed as Chair of their Development Standing Committee. She is a current member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Bonney is also a member of the Martin Health System’s Professional and General Advisory Boards. Bonney has served on many other nonprofit boards throughout the Treasure Coast. She was named as Outstanding Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2019 for National Philanthropy Day. Bonney lives in St Lucie County and enjoys spending time with her animals, RV traveling, biking and gardening.

Mary Rose Bressman
Mary Rose BressmanVice Chairperson

Mary Rose Bressman is a native of Stuart, FL and has lived here her entire childhood and the majority of her adult life. She and her husband own All Creatures Animal Hospital in Stuart. She enjoys practicing small animal veterinary medicine, raising three wonderful children, planning social events for her neighborhood, boating, and spending time with her dogs and cats.

Claire Y. Nash, PH.D., CPA
Claire Y. Nash, PH.D., CPATreasurer

Claire Nash is a Professor of Accounting at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA). Before joining PBA she held academic positions as an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Florida Atlantic University, and as an Associate Professor of Accountancy at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee where she held the Morrie Moss Chair in Accounting and served as Chair of the Accounting, Finance, and Business Law Department. Prior to joining academia, her professional career spanned more than twenty years during which she held positions as Vice President, Tax Director for Union Planters Corporation, (merged with Regions Bank) and, as a Manager for the professional services team of Ernst & Young, LLP (formally Ernst & Whinney), an international professional services firm. Dr. Nash’s primary research interest is U.S. tax Policy affection the taxation of capital and labor as it related to pass-through entities and wealth accumulation by individuals. Her research is published in leading tax and accounting journals. She is the recipient of several academic awards, honors, and grants.

Claire has a long history of giving back to the community and the accounting profession. She serves, and has served on numerous boards and committees: Trustees of the Educational Foundation of the Florida Institute of Public Accounts; Corporate Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County; Board of the United Methodist Foundation of the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences; Board of the United Methodist Church (UMC) Insurance Company; Board of the General Council on Finance and Administration of the UMC; City of Memphis, Division of Housing & Community Development – CDC Grant Evaluation Committee; City of Memphis, Divisi9on of Housing & Community Development – Micro Loan Committee; and Editorial Adviser for The Tax Adviser.

Claire earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Accounting and Master of Accountancy with a tax emphasis from the University of Mississippi, and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the states of Illinois and Tennessee.

Dale Forbes
Dale ForbesSecretary

Dale Forbes worked for Liberty Mutual (Boston Home Office) for almost 38 years and is now retired. He served in a variety of mostly operational accounting managerial positions. The last 10 years were spent as a manager focused on enhancing Liberty Mutual’s global reinsurance credit risk management, which was a significant part of the Company’s overall enterprise risk management (ERM) effort. This role included: financial analysis, working with management in multiple internal disciplines (finance, legal, actuarial), and consultation with numerous external partners (brokers, reinsurance companies). Dale and his wife moved to Jensen Beach in mid-2014. He currently serves as Treasurer of Trinity United Methodist Church (Jensen Beach), and President of the Art Associates of Martin County. He enjoys investing, abstract acrylic painting, and the atmosphere of our local community.

Lee Borellis
Lee Borellis

Retiring from a successful business career, Lee Borellis moved to Palm City with his wife Bonnie in 1995 expecting to spend the remainder of his life on the golf course. After a few years he realized it wasn't all about play. Getting involved in local charities, and living in a community of many retirees, he became aware of a need for quality, compassionate and reliable home health care. Lee and Bonnie started their own business: Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Being supportive of seniors and their needs Lee is involved with the non-profit Treasure Coast Advocates for Seniors. Lee learned of Helping People Succeed and their needs and immediately began to lend a helping hand. Lee serves on the Marketing Committee and has a strong interest in the Autism Program. In Lee’s free time he likes to golf, fish and travel.

John Creswell
John Creswell

John is a native Floridian, born and raised in Hollywood, now residing in Martin County for the past 25 years. He graduated from Miramar High School and has attended the University of Florida, University of Connecticut and Florida Atlantic University. He has a degree in Mathematics and two degrees in Mechanical Engineering. He is a founder and owner of GDC Architects and Engineers, now in their tenth year of business. GDC A-E is primarily focused on providing services in the light commercial sector and also designs custom residential homes. He is a member of the Martin County Construction Industry Licensing Board having been appointed by the BOCC in 1999 and President of Peace Presbyterian Church of Stuart, Inc. He is married to Kathleen and blessed with three children. He enjoys travelling, fishing, hunting, golfing and attending Gator sports events.

Beth Prinz Lowy
Beth Prinz Lowy

Beth Prinz Lowy, an attorney with Spraker and Prinz, Stuart, Florida has been affiliated with Helping People Succeed for more than 9 years. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from USF and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Stetson University College of Law. Beth’s practice is concentrated in the areas of Estate Planning , Probate and Guardianship law and she is a member of the Florida and Martin County Bar Associations.