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FORT MYERSFLA. – November 24, 2020 – Valerie’s House, the only non-profit organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve, has added five new members to its Board of Directors.
Elected to the Board for two-year terms are:

  • David Fry (Fort Myers) – owner of Dwell Florida, and owner/developer of The Marriott AC Hotel, a 132-room hotel being developed in downtown Fort Myers. He also is a board member of Harry Chapin Food Bank, The Children’s Advocacy Center, and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties.
  • Jaime L. Layne (Cape Coral) – owner/dealer operator of Victory Layne Chevrolet.  She has served on the boards of the YMCA of Lee County and the Red Knight Foundation of North Fort Myers High School.
  • Lisa O’Neil (Naples) – Lee Health System Director of Marketing and Brand Management.  She also serves on the Florida Gulf Coast University Marketing Advisory Committee and is a Big Sister in the Collier County Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
  • Scott Shotwell (Fort Myers) – Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager of The Northern Trust Corporation in Fort Myers.  He previously served on the boards of the YMCA of Lee County and the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Research Center.
  • Jaime Suanez (Lehigh Acres) –Executive Assistant to the owner of Storm Smart and the Executive Director of The Rist Family Foundation.  She has previously served on the board of the Lehigh Acres Little League.

“We are pleased to have these business leaders join us in our mission of helping children grieve after tragically losing their parent or sibling,” said Valerie’s House Founder and CEO Angela Melvin.  “We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2021 as we face the mental health crisis in our community.”
Other members of the Board of Directors are Gary Copie of Businessolver, Inc.; Donna Caruso of New York Life Insurance Co.; Victoria Loyola of Markham, Norton, Mostellar and Wright; Lana Hollier of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank; Kristalyn Loson of The Nature Conservancy and Mike McMurray of Royal Shell Real Estate.
About Valerie’s House
As the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with the sole mission of helping children grieve, Valerie’s House has helped more than 1,000 children and their families since opening its doors in 2016.  Valerie’s House provides a safe, comfortable place to heal together following the death of someone they love. Valerie’s House offers support groups and other activities at a home on 1762 Fowler Street in Fort Myers and a home in Naples at 819 Myrtle Terrace. Valerie’s House also holds group meetings at First United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda. Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency and is fully supported by community donations that can be made online at or by mail to Valerie’s House, Inc., P.O. Box 1955, Fort Myers, FL 33902.

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