Meet Our Board Members

Monica Seles became the youngest player to take over the world's No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis in 1991. By the age of 13, Seles was the No. 1 junior tennis player in the world. At 16, she beat Steffi Graf in the French Open, becoming the youngest person to win the tournament. The following year, the 17-year-old made history again as the youngest player to take over the world's No. 1 ranking.  She dominated the sport until 1993.  

At the time, Seles was virtually unbeatable. From January 1991 through February 1993, she won 33 of the 34 tournaments she entered, including six Grand Slam singles titles.

By the time she retired, Seles had claimed nine Grand Slam championships among her 53 career singles titles. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.

Since retiring, Monica has spent time teaching at tennis clinics and speaking about the difficulties she faced with an eating disorder. She wrote a book in 2009, "Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self." She soon launched herself into the world of young-adult fiction, penning the first two books of a series about a tennis boarding school entitled The Academy.

In 2008, Seles competed on ABC's hit dance-competition show, "Dancing with the Stars," but was eliminated in the first round. She had never danced before beginning rehearsals for the show.

Aside from her love of tennis, Monica loves to help animals in any way she can.  Monica currently has 3 animal rescues of her own:  Charlie, a Yorkie; Lilly, a Miniature Pincher; and, Timmy a Chihuahua.  Her beloved Astro, Ariel, Blossom, Spunky, and Peace are waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge.

Monica became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1994,  and is a resident of Sarasota, FL. 

Monica Seles

  • Retired Professional Tennis Former #1
  • Board of Directors Member
  • Nicolina A. Stewart, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CLU, ChFC
  • President, Treasurer
  • Chairman of the Board

Nicolina A. Stewart, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CLU, ChFC has been advising clients internationally for over 30 years in estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning and financial planning issues.  She has been a frequent speaker on financial topics, has testified before the Senate Small Business Committee on tax topics and is published in various magazines, newspapers and trade publications.  She was President of CMA Solutions, LLC, headquartered in Bradenton, FL.  Nikki’s true calling in life was to be a zoo veterinarian, and her biggest regret is not following her heart when it came to her real profession.  However, Nikki has now found her second chance....by founding Sugar's Gift™, Inc.

In 2016, Nikki suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury and has gone through, and continues to go through, intense rehabilitation in order to "be back to myself", in her words.  Because of her injury, Sugar's Gift™ has been the greatest source of rehab she has.  It has given her a reason to continue to get better over time and has now become her mission in life.  Unfortunately, she suffered a second fall in 2018, causing her to need to start at the beginning with her therapy.  That set-back has been difficult for her.  But Sugar's Gift™ has helped more than anyone will ever know. 

We wanted to honor Sugar's memory by founding Sugar's Gift™ and, in fact, it has become Sugar's gift to Nikki, as well, in more than one way:  Sugar's first gift to Nikki was to help her make her way back into the animal world since circumstances prevented her from her dream of being a vet; and, Sugar's second gift to her is to help her come back from an almost impossible feat - recovering from her TBI.  Sugar's Gift™ is Nikki's identity....it gives her a reason to get better.

Monica and 2 of her Angels, Ariel and Spunky

Monica with Sugar

Kenneth Stewart is a retired business owner and animal advocate.  Just after graduating from school, he started his first company and has been involved with various types of successful companies throughout the years.  He has a number of patents in various fields, and continues his research and development of more ideas with his current company. 

In addition, Kenneth has devoted a great deal of time to help underprivileged children by mentoring, tutoring and working with non-profit organizations in various areas of the country.  As part of his mentoring, in his earlier years, Kenneth was a Big Brother to young men who needed guidance.  He has always been interested in dedicating his extra time to consulting with other small business owners, and helping them become successful by teaching them basic business principles and working with them throughout the various stages of their growth. 

Kenneth has always loved animals – his own pets, as well as being an advocate for all animals who need a voice.  He and his wife, Nikki, have owned a variety of animals over their 30 years of marriage.  His beloved Champ, a Yorkie that Kenneth rescued in 2006 from death at Animal Control after Champ was hit by a car, was Kenneth’s pride and joy.  And, conversely, Kenneth was Champ’s hero – from the first day they were together. 

After rescuing Champ, Kenneth had several veterinary surgeons in the area perform procedures to restore his back leg with compound fractures, the other back leg that was dislocated, his internal organs (Champ had to have his insides rebuilt completely), his throat that was crushed, and many other health problems that would haunt him through the remainder of his life. 

In 2013, Champ was tragically attacked and killed by several large dogs that belonged to a neighbor.  The large dogs were charging toward Kenneth to attack him, when Champ ran to intercede.  Champ saved Kenneth’s life that night…..Champ will forever be Kenneth’s hero. 

Later that same year, in 2013, Kenneth and Nikki lost their Sugar to pancreatic cancer.  That was when Sugar’s Gift™️ was born.  Coming soon, Champ’s Corner Store will be added to Sugar’s Gift™️’s website, in memory of Champ.

Kenneth G. Stewart III

  • Vice-President
  • Board of Directors Member

Kenneth and Sugar, his Little Girl

Kenneth and Champ, his Little Boy

Nikki and Sugar

Nikki and Sugar

Monica, being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame

Gayle Waldron

  • Director of Governance
  • Board of Directors Member 

Gayle founded The Management Edge® in 1986. Gayle has always combined consulting with managing and growing the business. The company has grown from one consultant to a cadre of 12, many of whom have been with the company for over 10 years.

Gayle has talked about the company as a “not for profit only” business, meaning that the work is always about more than making a living---it is about making a living in an ethical way that genuinely improves the work situation for the clients, therefore, contributes to the client, the larger “community” and the company.

Recognized as an excellent trainer and teacher, she has held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Florida, the University of Southern Maine, and St. Petersburg College. She has developed the curriculum for a multitude of courses and provided “train the trainer” courses, as well. She is a recognized speaker at conferences in the states and abroad on issues related to the workplace issues, personality, conflict resolution, and women and leadership.

Gayle is widely regarded as an OD innovator and pioneer. She was a major force behind the highly successful Environmental Restoration Facilitated Partnering Initiative, that to date has saved hundreds of millions of dollars and countless years of effort for the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Certifications:

·       Organization Development Professional (RODP)

·       Organization Development (NTL Institute) 

·       Effectiveness Training®

·       Stress Mapping®

·       Empowerment

·       Situational Leadership II®

·       Personal Directions® 

·       DiSC® 

·       MBTI Master Practitioner
 

Gayle Waldron, President

       The Management Edge, Inc.

RIP:  Bandit, one of the most beautiful babies at the Rainbow Bridge

Dr. Lynn R Fassy MD is a retired Pain Management Specialist residing on Siesta Key in Sarasota, FL.  As the preeminent pain management doctor in the area, Dr. Fassy specializd in caring for patients who were dealing with chronic pain, whether resulting from injury, disease, or otherwise. Dr. Fassy created customized pain management plans for patients that may include therapy, medication management, or minimally invasive procedures. When he created a customized pain management plan for his patients, Dr. Fassy carefully evaluated the patient and his or her medical history, in addition to performing tests to arrive at a precise diagnosis.  He was very thorough with each patient and ensured their treatment was what they really needed – not what was best for him.

Dr. Fassy graduated with honors from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1989, where he earned his LA medical license.  Next was his internship at UT Houston in anesthesiology until 1993, after which he spent 6 months at Baylor University in TX for his pain management internship and earned his TX medical license.  He then moved to Sarasota, FL and earned his FL medical license in 1993, when he began to practice medicine.  He still holds medical licenses in all 3 states.

Dr. Fassy Retired from practice in April 2015 after almost 25 years of helping others with their pain.  He lost his beloved Sheba shortly before retiring and is still searching for another Little Angel to take her place permanently.  Living on Siesta Key, it follows that he vastly enjoys taking his boat out on the Bay and in the Gulf, as well as traveling to the BVIs any chance he gets.  He is interested in soccer, reading, computers, walking, traveling and firearms competition.

His love for animals and his desire to give back to the community that has been so good to him, are both reasons why he is a Member of the Board of Directors for Sugar’s Gift™.

 

Dr. Lynn Fassy

  • Director of Fundraising
  • Board of Directors Member

Dr. Fassy and Little Boy

Dr. Fassy and Pita, his Girl

Andi Brown, the author of The Whole Pet Diet is known internationally as the Pioneer of the Holistic Pet Care Industry. In 1989, she raised the bar for pet food makers by manufacturing the first line of natural pet foods made in a USDA facility. Her “human-grade food” –food for pets that was actually fit for human consumption – was featured on “20/20” and Good Morning America and gained her a national audience. She developed several unique product lines and is the original founder of Halo, Purely for Pets.

Andi believes that Food is the foundation of all life. Over the years, she has worked with thousands of pets and their owners to show them the direct correlation between unhealthy “pet grade” foods (containing fillers, chemicals and by-products), and the myriad of health problems including allergies, skin problems, digestive disorders, eye and ear issues and even obesity that many pets experience.

It took some time, but Andi’s common sense philosophy slowly became mainstream as more and more people realized they could alleviate many of their pets’ health problems through a better diet. The demand for high quality, natural food and health care products took off – BIG TIME.

In 2006, after over 20 years of teaching people how to have healthier pets, and providing them with the best products ever created, Andi sold Halo and retired to spend more time with family and friends. But she soon discovered that even with the development of the new, seemingly “healthy” products like Raw Food Diets, Holistic Foods, Natural Brands, Chubs, Organic, Gluten Free, Breed Specific, Indoor-Outdoor, Prescription Diets, Low Carb, No-Carb, Canned, Kibbled, Baked, Freeze-Dried, and even Grain Free Foods, people were still writing to her on a way too regular basis to see if she could help their sick pets. She realized that many manufacturers had changed their advertising but had not improved their products. No one was producing food in a high quality USDA kitchen right here in the USA.

Andi encourages everyone to cook for their pets. Companies change, ingredients get sourced from other countries and no one is minding the store. If your pets are not glowing with great, vibrant health right now, then it’s time to stop trusting the food makers and become one yourself. Andi believes that there is nothing about the body that cannot be changed or improved when you give it the right nutritional support.

Roll up your sleeves today and become the Holistic Pet Healer you were meant to be. The Whole Pet Diet book will show you how to have the healthiest dog or cat imaginable and vet bills become a thing of the past. It’s easy and makes a “whole” lot of sense!

Make Everyday a Holiday and Celebrate your own Pet’s Great Health!

Feel free to contact Andi with any questions you may have and be sure to sign up for her Newsletter and Holistic Pet Care Guide; filled with useful information for all your pet’s needs.

Media Contacts and Appearances

Andi Brown,

Advisor to the Board

Kelly Egloff

  • Director of West Coast Operations
  • Board of Directors Member

Kelly Egloff was born in Napa, CA. Coming from a family of four, growing up, her family always had pets. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, pollywogs, rabbits & more; her Mom always joked that their house was a small petting zoo. Kelly grew up an animal lover and knew all the dogs on the block – she used to go visit lonely neighbors, just so she could pet their dogs.  Kelly always knew she could never be a vet; however, she also knew that animals would always be a major part of her life.

Kelly graduated from CSU Sacramento (Sac State) and received her Bachelor’s in Business with a double concentration in Insurance & Finance.  When she was 19, she met the love of her life, Steve Egloff, now known as Husband. The Egloffs have four young children: 2 boys, ages 7 & 4, and identical twin girls, age 2. Kelly’s early life influenced the Egloffs now to have their own small petting zoo!  Currently, they have one dog, two cats, a guinea pig, two lizards & 9 chickens…..and who knows what special pet will be next!

Kelly’s search for Sugar’s Gift began after losing their beloved Grizz Bear in September 2018. Grizz was a 9yr old Berner and the family’s fur baby, their first born.  Kelly and Steve worried about her as a pup more than they worried about their own human babies.   In Grizz’ later years she developed severe hip dysplasia & suffered slowly for 6 months.  Once it became too much for her to bare, the Egloffs said good-bye with lots of tears….Grizz is still missed every single day.  During that experience Kelly’s vet, Pawsh Place, and Dr. Hatt’s techs were so wonderful.  They raised money from their own pockets to cover half of Grizz’ end of life expenses. That gesture truly touched the Egloff hearts and they decided they wanted to pay it forward.  Finally, Kelly decided she was ready:  she hit the internet searching for her answer and found Sugar’s Gift!  After a week of thinking about it, and after much prayer, Kelly decided that it was time to make the phone call to Nikki at Sugar’s Gift, where she was met with open arms.  It was Kelly’s wish to help Sugar’s Gift expand from Florida to California, going about doing good in Grizzley’s name.   

Now, all the Little Angels in Vacaville, CA and the surrounding areas will benefit from Grizzley’s Gift to them with a special partnership between Sugar’s Gift and Pawsh Place Veterinary Center and Boutique.

 Kelly, Steve and Grizz Bear

 Kelly Egloff, Owner of

Damsel in Defense

  The Egloff Family

Dr. Ellis was born in Louisville, KY and grew up near Marietta, GA. She has lived in the Lakewood Ranch/Sarasota area for the last 17 years. Dr. Ellis earned her B.S. at the University of Georgia in 1996 , and graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Since she was a little girl, she has had all kinds of animals – including dogs, iguanas, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and fish. She has a true passion for her profession and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Dr. Ellis has a special interest in all types of surgery, including c-sections, pyometras, splenectomies, GDV’s, gastrointestinal surgeries, and extensive wounds. She owned an Emergency and Specialty Hospital for 10 years in south Sarasota, and has worked in emergency medicine for 17 years. She has also worked in general veterinary practices, vaccine clinics, and spay/neuter clinics. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge to treat all types of diseases and injuries. In her free time she enjoys Orange Theory, running, gardening, and going places with her son and 2 dogs.

Dr. Wendy Ellis

  • Primary Veterinarian, Veterinary Advisor
  • Board of Directors Member

Deborah Shuck

  • Director of Community Relations
  • Board of Directors Member 

Understanding from an early age, she was meant be an advocate, Deb garnered community support for a trip to Washington DC. Her mission was to have a central clearinghouse for those seeking help to be directed to specific organizations. To that end, she tirelessly pursued politicians at the federal level, knocking on one congressional door at a time.

A generous Congressman arranged a meeting with the Chairwoman of the National Council on the Handicapped. Deb then transitioned her advocacy to the Native Alaskan and Native American issues in addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Deb later settled in London, England where she was introduced to the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR) by a Member of Parliament. As in Washington DC, Deb continued to advocate for the betterment of her community.

Some of the highlights of her professional life in London include publishing of a twenty page newsletter to raise awareness of RADAR and developing the Scuba Trust, whose goal was to teach scuba diving to people with disabilities. An avid skier, Deb skied for the British Disabled Ski Team representing the UK in international competitions as well as the Winter Park, Colorado Disabled Ski Team skiing throughout the US.

Upon returning to the US, Deb took her extensive knowledge and purchased a Structural Steel Fabrication company, focusing on commercial buildings. As owner of the company she recognized the need for an organization focusing on women in business. Deb created and became the founder and president of Women Owners of Florida, Inc. (WOoF),  a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission was giving back to the community.

Deb Shuck,
Woman of Steel

Deb and Abbie

Deb and Rupert Horatio Nelson