Officers & Directors Bios

CCJS officers and directors come from varied backgrounds.
A brief introduction to our leadership and staff.

Lynda Platt

Lynda Platt

Lynda Platt

A native of Kentucky, Lynda and her husband relocated to Florida in 2015 after living in South Carolina for 12 years. She is a graduate of Bethany College (WV) with a degree in Elementary Education. In addition to teaching, her professional career includes experience in business administration, commercial banking, retail, events production, jewelry design, health care, art gallery supervision and radio broadcast. While residing in Cleveland, Ohio, she served as Executive Director of Kidsacks, which made and distributed over 6,000 sleeping bags to homeless children. Other non-profit associations include board positions with The Lydia Project, Relay for Life, Aiken Women’s Heart Board, and founding member of the Aiken Jazz Soceity (Aiken, SC). Since taking up residence in Florida, Lynda has served on the Lung Cancer Research Council and the Hope Academy of Music (now under the umbrella of the Punta Gorda Symphony). She is a volunteer at the Peace River Wildlife Center, where she serves as an owl handler, tour guide and member of the education outreach team. Lynda is proud to have been elected as the first woman president in the 32-year history of CCJS.

Aaron Lucas

Aaron Lucas

Aaron Lucas

Aaron Lucas is a native of Louisville, Ky., where he was educated in the public schools and the University of Louisville. He practiced general, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in the Louisville area for 30 years. He played trombone in elementary school, high school, college and medical school in orchestras, concert bands and various jazz ensembles. During his years of medical practice, Aaron also performed in and managed a big band consisting mostly of doctors. After his retirement, he expanded his interest in musicology and instrumental performance involving early traditional jazz and Big Band Swing. Aaron lives in Punta Gorda, and performs with the Charlotte County Big Band and Tamiami Brass Quintet.

Dan Cobb

Dan Cobb

Dan Cobb

Dan grew up near Detroit Michigan. He joined the U.S. Navy where he served, after two years of schooling, aboard a Polaris Missile Nuclear Submarine. Dan then worked at a civilian Nuclear Power Station until gaining employment at Marion Power Shovel which provided large mining equipment to the surface mining industry. There he served in several management positions. Later he served as Safety Service Director for the City of Marion, Ohio. In between times Dan obtained a series six securities license as well as licenses for Life and Health insurance. Dan currently serves as Board Treasurer.

Pam Koontz

Pam Koontz

Pam Koontz

Pam Koontz is a native of Newark, New Jersey. She performed extensively in the New Jersey/New York area with the likes of Chico Mendoza (piano/vibes) and Freddie Roach (musician/playwright) before moving to Florida. Since then she has teamed up with such musicians as Nathan Page, Kenny Soderblom, Jack Petersen, Marcus Hampton, Richard Drexler and John Lambert. She has also enjoyed a career as a stage and TV actress, appearing at Lincoln Center and other noteworthy venues. Pam joined the CCJS Board of Directors in 2014 and currently serves as Secretary.

Dave Nims

Dave Nims

Dave Nims

Dave Nims, past president of CCJS, also serves on the Community Partners and Concert Series committees. Originally from New Hampshire, Dave earned Bachelor’s and Masters degrees from Keene State, with additional study at Oberlin and Trinity Colleges, University of Illinois at Urbana, University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University. He was a teacher of English, grades 9-12 for 40 years, and department chairman in New Hampshire and Massachusetts public high schools. A largely self-taught pianist, Dave has performed with several small jazz and dance groups over many years beginning in high school. A member of CCJS since 2000, Dave joined the board in 2008 and recently completed an 8-year stint as president. Dave was awarded a Lifetime Membership in recognition of his many years of supporting CCJS with a mission to promote quality jazz in Charlotte County.

Buz Terry Ennis Bisbano, PhD

Buz Terry (Ennis Bisbano, PhD)

Buz Terry (Ennis Bisbano, PhD)

Ennis Bisbano, Ph.D., retired as a superintendent of education in Rhode Island before permanently settling in Florida. A trumpet player since age 9, he performed under the stage name of Buz Terry with artists such as Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Della Reese, Al Martino, Johnny Nash, Jerry Vale, Frankie Laine, the Four Lads, Gerry Mulligan, Buddy Rich, George Shearing, Carmen McRae and Sammy Davis Jr. He serves as Chair of Education and Scholarship Programs and co-chairs Jazz Jams.

Herb Bruce

Herb Bruce

Herb Bruce

Herb Bruce is a former member of the U.S. Army Band and recently retired after serving 28 years as a reserve Army officer. He continues to be involved in U.S. Army musical groups. A world-class trombonist, he has toured and recorded with many leading pop and jazz groups. He traveled with Boots Randolph, Denny Davis, and the Nashville Brass, and is in demand at leading jazz festivals in the U.S. and Europe. Herb is a part of the Salvation Army International band program and tours on their behalf. He has released several albums under his Herbicide label. Herb also plays with the Venice Florida Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trombonist. He joined the CCJS board in 2021 as a consultant and concert coordinator.

Fred Capitelli

Fred Capitelli

Fred Capitelli

Fred Capitelli is a native of the “Little Italy” section of New York City. After high school he studied at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Art. Fred served with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea from 1952 to 1954. After the Korean War he became the musical director for a GI variety show touring Okinawa, Japan and Korea. Major Venues: NY, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Las Vegas, Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and The Bob Newhart Show. He serves as co-chair of the Jazz Jam Committee.

Ken Franckling

Ken Franckling

Ken Franckling

Ken Franckling, of North Port, is a veteran arts writer and freelance photographer specializing in jazz journalism, music photography and occasional portraiture. For over 20 years he wrote a regular column, The Jazz Condition, for United Press International, and is a contributing writer/photographer for Jazz Times, Jazziz, Hot House, AllAboutJazz.com, CCJS InTune, and other publications. In June 2003, Ken was named Jazz Photographer of the Year by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and was presented the Lona Foote-Bob Parent Award.  CCJS is proud and honored to have Ken as its photographer

Chris (Brown) Fitzgerald

Chris (Brown) Fitzgerald

Chris (Brown) Fitzgerald

Chris (Brown) Fitzgerald has been a member of CCJS for 21 years and served as Treasurer for 14 years. Educated in Canada, she taught high school and middle school music while performing in supper clubs, lounges, jazz festivals, radio and television. She did international club dates in North and South America and USO tours with Billy Eckstine. Chris is a frequent vocalist at Jazz Jams and concerts. Chris was awarded a Lifetime Membership in recognition of her contributions to CCJS.

Connie Gean

Connie Gean

Connie Gean

Connie Gean works part-time for CCJS as administrator preparing financial reports, advertising, e-mail communications and is editor of CCJS InTune Newsletter. Born in West Virginia she moved to Ohio, worked 26 years in first-line management at Alcatel-Lucent from which she retired in 2000.

Jim Howarth

Jim Howarth

Jim Howarth

Born in Rochester, N.Y., Jim graduated from West High School in 1956. At the age of 17 he joined the U.S Army reserves and served for 10 years. Jim worked for his father’s Building Company as equipment operator and office assistant until the Company opened a party house and Golf course west of Rochester N.Y. He managed the party house for 8 years. Jim was appointed building inspector and tax assessor at 29 years old, and served the town of Ogden, N.Y. for 10 years. During that time he was elected President and appointed Executive Secretary for the N.Y. State Assessors Association, serving 10 years. He was hired as General Manager for Earthborn Builders, eventually owning the company along with Howarth Builders, a sister company. Jim developed lots and built homes for 20 years. Small commercial construction and Condo projects were part of the companies’ activities. Jim has lived in Punta Gorda since 2002, and joined the CCJS board in 2016.

Shawn Marren

Shawn Marren

Shawn Marren

Shawn Marren hails from Philadelphia, PA, where he began studying music at an early age. After moving to Englewood, he graduated from Lemon Bay High School, where he was Drum Major in the marching band, participated in the jazz and concert bands, and was a CCJS scholarship recipient upon graduation. Shawn attended the University of South Florida (Tampa), where he studied music performance. In college he was the music director for several local churches and performed extensively through southwest Florida in a variety of symphonies, musical theaters and jazz bands. After collete, he toured extensively as a keyboardist with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and then went on to become Music Director of several other historic circuses. After his many years in the circus, Shawn moved to Las Vegas and began composing music and sound effects for Konami, one of the world leaders in the gaming industry. During the COVID pandemic, Shawn and his wife, along with their three sons, returned to Englewood to be closer to family. He currently works from home as a freelance composer and sound designer.

James Mashburn

James Mashburn

James Mashburn

James is a native Floridian dating back 6 generations. He played trombone extensively throughout Florida for many years, beginning at Charlotte High School. While studying for his MBA at Palm Beach Atlantic University, James was one of the founding trombonists for Salsa La Playa — the music with the front beat! He also served on committees to hire music professors which included sitting in with the audition band.

Professionally, James has held positions in manufacturing, including plant manager and chief operating officer in the furniture and yacht industries. He is currently a Series 7 & 66 licenses Financial Advisor in Punta Gorda. James serves on the Stewardship Committee at his church in Punta Gorda. He joined the CCJS board in in 2021, becoming the second scholarship recipient to do so.

Robert W. Murray

Robert W. Murray

Robert W. Murray

Robert W. Murray was born in England and graduated from Bishop Challoner RC School. He then entered as an apprentice chef at the Grand Hotel Birmingham under the direction of Henry Denut, ‘chef du cuisine.’ He also studied at Garretts Green College of Food and Domestic Art.

Beginning in 1965, he worked with a private capital investment company in London, specializing in night clubs and restaurants in London and surrounding counties. In 1977, Robert acquired control of a trucking company operating in western Europe, prior to selling the company in 1999. From 1999, he acted as an independent advisor to various trucking companies in the U/K, Holland, Spain and Portugal. During this period until retiring in 2011, Robert travelled extensively across Europe, the Far East and Middle East.

In 2011 Robert and wife Caroline retired to the USA and on August 4, 2017, in Ft. Myers each took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and proudly became US citizens.

Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne, raised and educated in upstate New York, owned and operated an insurance company before moving to Port Charlotte. For over 50 years he has played drums with jazz combos and big bands in New York state and New England and now in Florida. He joined CCJS in 2010 and has served on the Board since then.

Mike Parmelee

Mike Parmelee

Mike Parmelee

CCJS has announced that it will dedicate the first jazz jam of the season, and the 2021-22 concert season to Mike in recognition of his love and promotion of jazz in all its forms. Mike was a founding member of the Charlotte County Jazz Society and served on the Board of Directors for over 30 years.

Ron Wallis

Ron Wallis

Ron Wallis

Ron was born and raised in Michigan and educated as an electronic technician. He owned a television and electronics service business until 1983 when he moved to Florida and became a full time resident of Port Charlotte. He belongs to the Charlotte County Computer Group and does some computer repairs in his spare time. He has belonged to CCJS for about 6 years and is pleased to serve on the board.

Charlotte County Jazz Society ...