Visible Men Academy (VMA), founded in 2012 to provide boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment, recently welcomed three new board directors to the fold during its quarterly meeting on July 14, 2021. VMA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the additions of Betsy Noel Friedman, Janet Taylor MD, MPH, and Roberto Villanueva to its ranks.
“As we continue to build the VMA Board of Directors, we’re delighted to add two new members and welcome back an old friend who each bring a variety of skills and a shared passion for our mission,” said Mark Smith, VMA Board Chair. “Each of these new directors will strengthen our ability to provide a top-flight educational experience to our students.”
Friedman joins the board as a founding member and current Nonprofits Director of Impact100 SRQ, a philanthropic organization that provides grants to Suncoast charities, including the Children’s Cancer Center and The Haven. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Friedman is also a founding member of Sarasota Strong. She joins the board with a professional and volunteer history focused on helping indigent populations by providing them the tools they need to succeed.
“I’m excited to the join the Board of Directors of Visible Men Academy,” Friedman said. “I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise in nonprofit performance and philanthropy to this new role. VMA has a strong history and a bright future – a future we can build together.”
Taylor is a psychiatrist, culture shift expert, and national speaker on health and wellness. As a psychiatrist with practices in both Sarasota and Bradenton, she has earned a Women Who DARE Award from the National Medical Association and serves on a number of national boards, including the Pepsico Health and Wellness Board, and serves as an editor for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. A graduate of both the University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Taylor is a widely sought-after guest for national media, having appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and The View among many others.
“Visible Men Academy is doing amazing work in the community, transforming the lives of young boys and lifting entire families in the process,” said Taylor. “I’m honored to join the Board of a school that is making this kind of impact in the community and look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the work being done here.”
Information Technology expert Villanueva returns to the board, bringing back to the board a wealth of technological expertise and a passion for helping young people succeed. He is currently the Senior Systems Administrator for Great Bay Distributors, Inc. of St. Petersburg. An MBA graduate of Babson College, Villanueva has more than 30 years of experience running IT for large businesses up and down the east coast. This will be his second stint on the VMA Board, having served as its Chair in 2019.
“I am honored to have been asked to return to the Board of Directors of the Visible Men Academy,” said Villanueva. “A lot has changed in the world over the past two years, and I am looking forward to working with CEO Louis Parker and the team at VMA to achieve what we all believe is possible.”