Senior Advisory Board

Operation Open Arms is proud of, and grateful for, the depth of experience reflected in our Senior Advisory Board. Please click each board member’s name for his or her full biography.

Elaine McLaughlinElaine McLaughlin

Currently: Executive Director for the Friends of Florida State Parks. Affiliated with the University of Florida department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management.

Past: Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Visitor & Convention Bureau. White House Conference on Tourism. Florida Commission on Tourism. Visit Florida Inc. Florida Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Read more…

Gerald Butters

Currently: Board member and technical advisor to public and private entities, international speaker, Fellow of the International Engineering Consortium

Past: President Nortel US, Chairman AGCS, President of AT&T’s Network Systems Global Public Networks Development and Manufacturing divisions, President of Lucent Technologies North American marketing, sales and services units, President Lucent Optical Networking Group, Board of Trustees-Fisk University, Board of Directors of many academic institutions and outreach services. Read more…

Kathy New

Currently: Is the Past President and Board Member of The Rotary Club of Cape Coral North; is a Florida Licensed Real Estate Agent; holds her Kathy New’s Marketing & More Consulting Business; while working as a Supervisor for the CVS/Pharmacy Company located in Cape Coral, Florida.

Past: Board Advisory Member with Vail Associates in Colorado; Women’s Network (Treasurer); Board Member with Southwest Boating Association in Florida. Administrator/ Marketing Director for Personnel Services and Olsten Employment Agencies; Beverly/Alterra Healthcare and Gulfcoast Village. Read more…

Lisa Benton

Currently: Executive Director, Pine Island Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Benton, as Executive Director of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, aids Operation Open Arms by being the “distribution center” for gift cards for our military personnel on leave in the Pine Island/Ft. Myers area. Anyone who wishes to contribute gift cards can drop them off at the Pine Island Chamber; when inquiries are received requesting a gift card, Lisa handles the distribution. In addition to her chamber affiliation, she is an active member of the Matlacha Hookers, a volunteer organization on Pine Island whose mission is to “make a positive difference in our community.”

Lisa is a full-time resident of Pine Island, having relocated from Alabama 10 years ago. An active person, she enjoys traveling to north Georgia, fishing, boating, cooking, and considers her time on the water as “liquid Prozac.”

Al Sheridan

Currently: Trustee of the Henry L and Geraldine D Metzger Charitable Trust and has served as a volunteer in numerous charitable organizations.

Past: Graduate of Aquinas High School in Columbus Ohio. Served 6 years in USAR after receiving a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration at Ohio Dominican University. Retiree of Aetna where he served as VP in Operations.