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TLA Directors
Letter from our Founders
Letter from our Chairman
Letter from the Superintendent of the School District of Indian River County, FL
TLA Directors
News Releases

The Learning Alliance's Board of Directors make all strategic short- and long-term decisions for the organization.


Raymond J. Oglethorpe is currently President of Oglethorpe Investments LP, a private investment company, and has served on the Board of Trustees of The George Washington University, the Board of Governors of the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute, and the boards of other educational, religious and corporate institutions Mr. Oglethorpe served as President of American Online, Inc. from 1992 until his retirement in 2002.   Prior to that time, Mr. Oglethorpe held senior executive positions in engineering, sales and marketing at IBM and Harris Corporation. He currently resides in Vero Beach, Florida, and Cordillera, Colorado and holds a B.S.E.E. from the University of Arizona and an M.B.A. from The George Washington University.

Donald B. Riefler is a retired banker who lives in Vero Beach, Florida.  Educated in the public school system of Princeton, New Jersey, he is a graduate of Amherst College.   After two years in the United States Army, he worked at J. P. Morgan from 1952 until 1991 where he retired as Chairman of the Market Risk committee. He has served on the board of directors of numerous corporations, including the Bank of Tokyo Trust Company, Liberty Brokers and the Niagara Mohawk Power Cp.

Barbara Hammond is one of the three original founders of the Learning Alliance.  She has a B.A. in Economics from Williams College and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale University.  Barbara was a former consultant with Bain and Company in Boston and The Director of Strategic Planning for Shawmut Corporation in Boston.  She now resides in Vero Beach, Florida and is the mother of two boys, ages 14 and 15, who have struggled with some learning challenges.  She recently resigned as Chairman of the Board of the Mental Health Association in Vero Beach where she spent 10 years helping the organization develop their strategic planning and fundraising activities. 

Elizabeth Woody is one of the three original founders of the Learning Alliance.  She has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Delaware and Masters in Special Ed-Learning Disabilities from American University.  She is a learning specialist who has her own practice called Bridges to Learning and works individually and in small groups with children who are struggling with learning differences.  She lives in Vero Beach, Florida, and is the mother of two boys, ages 14 and 16, both of whom struggle with LD issues.

Jayne Becker graduated from Drew University with the B.A. in Psychology.   For many years she was an active community volunteer in Summit, NJ, where she and her husband raised their two sons.  While in New Jersey she served as President of the Junior League of Summit, was involved with the Summit Speech School, volunteered with Hospice, and served on the Board of Drew University.    After moving to Vero Beach she has served on the John’s Island Foundation as Secretary, and is currently active on the Philanthropy Committee of the John’s Island Community Service League.  

Kjestine Bijur earned her Law Degree from The University of Denver in 1978. She worked for Texaco from 1980-2000 in various positions of increasing responsibility, including Head of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Latin America/West Africa Division from 1994-1996 and later, Vice President of Communications from 1996-2000 in White Plains, NY.  She lives in Vero Beach Florida and is on the Board of Trustees of The Vero Beach Museum of Art and serves on the Finance and Governance and Capital Campaign committees. She was inducted as an Overseer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in September 2012.

Dr. David W. Griffin, MD was born on March 19, 1947 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He was awarded his medical degree in 1973. He began his surgical Internship at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco.  After internship he served as a Flight Surgeon in the Army at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii for two years.  He finished his general surgical residency at the City of Memphis Hospital and completed his orthopedic training at the Orthopedic Training Program-Campbell Clinic Memphis. He moved to Vero Beach in 1980 with his family.  Dr. Griffin was instrumental in developing the Joint Implant Center of the Treasure Coast at Indian River Memorial Hospital and served as director for more than ten years.  He retired from his clinical orthopedic practice March 1, 2012. He is currently president of G&G Research, Inc, a clinical drug research firm.  Dr. Griffin is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.  His professional affiliations also include the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the Florida Orthopedic Society.

Lilliane Sandra Hammonds graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education.  She taught special education for two years before moving to Sanford School, a private pre K through 12 school.  There Sandra taught second and third grade and became Head of Lower School.  As Head she was responsible for teachers and students in pre K through grade 3.  After her retirement she was named to the Board of Trustees.  Sandra have served on many school boards and educational committees as well as the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware.  She is married with two sons, a daughter in law and two grandsons.

Dr. Anthony J. Iacono is the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Indian River State College. He is a nationally recognized speaker, has won numerous teaching and leadership awards and has published on a variety of topics ranging from Civil Rights, the American Civil War, contemporary leadership, and career pathways. Dr. Iacono has both chaired and co-chaired numerous Florida Department of Education committees and has served on several USDOE committees and national think-tank advisory boards that focus on professional development, educational standards, career pathways and innovation. He holds an A.A. degree from Indian River State College, B.A. and M.A. degrees in American History from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in American History from Mississippi State University. He resides in Vero Beach, Florida with his wife and four children.

Mary Rae Kelly grew up in Whiting, Indiana and graduated from Michigan State University in 1963, with a dual degree in elementary and special education. Her specialty was the blind. After one year teaching the partially-sighted in a Chicago suburb, her husband was transferred to New York and they settled in Chatham, New Jersey. She kept busy raising her three children and became involved with the Junior League in a program dealing with child abuse, called CAPE. For several years, she visited high schools and gave talks defining child abuse and parenting skills. When her children were settled in school, she began teaching regular classes in the Chatham Schools. Since her husband retired in 2000, they have become winter residents in John's Island. For a number of years, Rae has volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, in a reading program in the Vero Schools. In 2009, she was introduced to The Learning Alliance and became very active in fund raising and volunteering in the after-school tutoring program in the Vero Schools.

Carol Price has a BA from Hollins University, and an MED, specializing in LD and Reading from the University of Richmond. She has been a K-12 teacher and a private Educational Consultant doing diagnostic assessments and designing intervention plans to help struggling students of all ages. Carol's expertise in diagnosing student challenges and helping teachers develop strategies to build the reading, studying and critical thinking skills of their struggling students makes her an important addition to the TLA Board. 

Mr. Arthur F. Ryan is the retired CEO and Chairman of Prudential Financial. He and his wife, Pat, have made charity and education a top priority. During Art's tenure as CEO, Prudential donated millions of dollars to support the arts and education in its home state of New Jersey. The Ryans personally donated scholarships and helped lead an initiative to improve public education by supporting a standards-based educational approach to public schools. He has been involved with the National Governors' Conference in developing the nation's common-core curriculum. In an old press interview, Art mentioned that if he had not become a CEO of a major corporation, he claimed he would have become a teacher.

Arthur M. Scutro, Jr. is a retired financial executive whose career began as a CPA at Arthur Young prior to serving in executive positions at First Boston and PaineWebber.  A graduate of the Pingry School, he holds an AB from Georgetown and MBA from Rutgers and was US Army Armored Cavalry Officer in the late 60’s. A lifelong community volunteer, he has been directly involved in education through directorship positions for over 45 years, including Board President of The Forum School for Autistic Children. Currently, he is Board Vice Chairman of the First Investors Mutual Funds and resides in Vero Beach, Florida and Manchester Village, Vermont.

Don Tribus was born and raised on Staten Island, N.Y.  He and his three children are all products of the public education system from grade school through high school.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1959, and entered the insurance business in 1964 with Connecticut General, now known as Cigna.  On April 30, 1967, he left Connecticut General to start The Tribus Companies as a Life Insurance and Employee Benefits company.  It developed into a benefits and property casualty business servicing the metropolitan area of New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania.  The Tribus Financial group was sold to First Union Bank, now known as Wells Fargo. He served on numerous charity boards in New Jersey.  Neighborhood House, similar to The Boys and Girls Club, was one of them.  He was president of The Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, a charity-owned club whose sole purpose was to fund various charities.  He and his wife, Janet, moved to Vero Beach in 2001, while still maintaining their NJ residence in New Vernon.  As of October 2012, they are now full time residents here in Johns Island.  In Vero Beach, he has served on the VNA and IRMH Foundation Boards.




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