President’s Letter

Elizabeth Spahn, ‘72

May 5, 2021

Having thrived during the tumultuous year of pandemic under the steady hand of outgoing President Rick Lannamann,’69, the Yale Club of the Suncoast begins our new 2021 – 2022 season by thanking retiring Board members and bluELInes editors Jay Rixse, ’63, and Sherry Dominick, ’78, ’81 JD, for their stellar contributions producing our newsletter with wit and elan. They will both be missed.

Please join in welcoming our new Board members; Craig Wright, Yale’s Henry L & Lucy G Moses Professor Emeritus of Music, and Hedi Katz, ’93 MPPM. Craig will co-edit the bluELInes with Trudy Mulvey, ’91 MSN. Hedi will take over the Director of Communications position and as YCS delegate to the Young Ivy Network. You will be receiving email notifications about YCS events from Hedi’s account at, so please adjust your contacts list if needed. We are delighted they have joined our Board and we expect great things, possibly set to music.

Dr. Bruce Ballard, ’60, our long serving Secretary, has accept the position of Vice President and Luncheon Coordinator in addition to his other duties for which we are most grateful. Past President Ken Schneier, ’74, will supplement his day job as Mayor of Longboat Key to serve as our Yale Alumni Association representative. Other officer positions remain unchanged with a crew of dedicated and mostly witty veterans. The Club is in excellent hands.

Re-entering the world of physical gatherings with due caution, our first in person event will be outside on Tuesday, May 11th  at noon, on the patio of Marina Jack restaurant. Summer drop in lunches are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month at Marina Jack at noon. If you are in town, please join us for lively conversation in a beautiful waterfront setting with your fellow Yalies.

Our Welcome Back Party date is Sunday evening, October 17th, 5 – 7 pm, outdoors on the lower deck of the Sarasota Yacht Club with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and our favorite classical guitarist. Thank you to Past President Elaine Gustafson, ’86 MSN, for organizing our most popular event. We hope our snowbirds will be able to return in time for the Welcome Back Party which kicks off a great season.

The Program Committee, again under the steady hand of Rick Lannamann, ’69, has great plans for us. We will resume in- person luncheons on the second Tuesday of each month (assuming there are no further disasters) at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

Our website, ably administered by Past President Elaine Gustafson, ’86 MSN, will keep you up to date on all our events.

Our Facebook page is also a great place to keep up with activities, Please join the Facebook page. Thank you to Clarissa Moore, ‘ 82, our Facebook administrator and Membership Director.

November 9th brings us representatives from the Sarasota Opera for our luncheon at noon. Thank you to Rick Lannamann, ’69, for arranging this event.

“The Game” is November 20th!

The December 14th luncheon features Rick Piccolo, President & CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Thank you to Nick Gladding, ’67, for booking this speaker.

January 11th  will feature one of Yale’s star professors (TBA).

February 11th is the Yale/Harvard/Princeton annual luncheon at Michael’s On East – we’ll see what Princeton can offer up this year. They do have an excellent track record, so save that date.

February 22nd  also brings one of our most popular events, the annual docent tour at Ringling Art Museum followed by an outdoor luncheon on the patio at the new Grill Room at the Museum. Thank you to Past President Frank Samponaro,’62, for organizing this.

For the young at heart, don’t miss the annual Feb Club Emeritus gathering, organized by Nurit Sonnenshein, ’87, and Hedi Katz, ’93 MPPM, at a date and location TBA. If you have not yet experienced Feb Club Emeritus events, you owe yourself a new treat and a cocktail.

March 9th brings us our second star Yale Professor (TBA).

The evening of Sunday, April 10th  is another of our most popular events, the Marina Jack Dinner Cruise, organized by Past President and Captain Extraordinaire Brian Kelly, ’61.

Stay tuned for announcements regarding our April 12th  and May 10th  luncheon speakers.

I am honored to serve as our President for the next two years. Our major priority will be reaching out to members of our Yale community to ensure that everyone finds a warm welcome here. We will begin in the fall by organizing smaller welcoming events for Yale folks who have recently moved to the area. Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering to host a smaller gathering of 3 – 4 newcomers for a cup of coffee at a local coffeeshop to welcome them to our Club. We will also need some volunteers in the fall to telephone our current members and contacts to re-connect and inform them of our upcoming calendar of events.

We have an exciting year ahead of us. I look forward to greeting each of you, finally in person! I promised you music so here’s a little ditty.

Boola Boola!