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2022 GCBX Board of Directors

2022 Executive Committee

Russ Bobbitt ~ Purmort & Martin Insurance Agency              



Mark Freeman is the President and one of the shareholders of McIntyre Elwell & Strammer General Contractors, a Sarasota-based commercial construction company founded in 1987. Mark started with ME&S immediately after earning his Master of Building Construction degree from the University of Florida in 1998 and has been a corporate officer since 2008. Mark also holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and has been a licensed Florida contractor since 2000.

Mark has been responsible for providing Construction Management services on hundreds of projects including Skilled Nursing Facilities, Schools, Churches, Retail Buildings, Warehouses, Offices, Grocery Stores, and various other types of Commercial Buildings.

Mark and his wife, Stacy, are the proud parents of three children at UF and they spend much of their free time in Gainesville supporting Gator athletics. Mark is very involved in supporting numerous community and industry organizations including serving as an Executive Board Member for both the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and the Manatee Education Foundation. Mark also serves on the University of Florida M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management Industry Advisory Board.

Immediate Past Chairman


Mr. Bennett took office as Manatee County Supervisor of Elections on January 8, 2013. Prior to that, he served in the Florida Senate from November 2002 until November 2012, Representing District 21, consisting of Manatee and Lee Counties and parts of Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto Counties. Mr. Bennett served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2002. He was involved in chairing and the directing Senate committees responsible for building codes, land regulation and other rules and regulations affecting the construction and development industries. Mr. Bennett was a legislator known to be a champion of business, a community leader, and someone who gets things done. He remains committed to those principles.

Born in Brainerd, Minnesota, Mr. Bennett moved to Bradenton with his family at 10 years old and is a proud graduate of Sarasota High School. Following high school, he joined the Navy and served 4 tours in Vietnam. After graduating with a BA and MBA from Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), Mr. Bennett worked as an Associate Professor in the College of Business at Iowa State University, and subsequently at Drake University. From there he embarked on a business career ultimately founding Aladdin Ward Electric in Bradenton in 1985, and growing it into a thriving enterprise employing 175 people.

Currently, in addition to his duties as Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Bennett is a business development consultant with Bright Future Electric. In his spare time he serves on numerous community boards including the SANCA Foundation, the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, the Florida Maritime Museum, and the Florida Defense Support Task Force. Mr. Bennett is an enthusiastic supporter of Mote Marine Laboratory, The Greater Sarasota Sertoma Club, and Southeastern Guide Dogs among others.

As a military veteran (U.S. Navy 1963 – 1967) Mr. Bennett remains devoted to veterans’ causes. His most treasured accomplishment is the fact that his lovely wife Dee said “yes” when he asked her to marry him. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2016.





Brett Raymaker is a Project Executive and shareholder of Willis Smith Construction, a privately held construction management firm based in Sarasota since 1972. Brett is a graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a degree of Bachelor of Science in Building Construction and has been a Certified General Contractor in the State of Florida since 2007. Brett joined Willis Smith in 2003 and over the years has completed projects that range from educational and healthcare facilities to museums and performing arts venues. 

Brett and his wife Brigette have a daughter named Brynn. When not working or spending time with his family he is typically found enjoying some golf. 

Bill North, Jr. ~ HBK CPAs & Consultants

Bill is a Principal in the Sarasota, Florida office of Hill, Barth & King LLC (HbK). He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1998 and joined HbK in 2009.
Bill has extensive experience in the areas of taxation and business consulting for the construction industry. In 2005, he became a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional. Bill also provides tax and accounting services to various closely-held businesses as well as individuals.
  • B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida
  • Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional
Professional/Civic Associations
  • Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Member, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA)
  • Board Member, FICPA
  • Member, Sarasota and Manatee County Home Builders
  • Member, Gulf Coast Builders Exchange
  • Member, Sertoma Club of Sarasota
  • Member, Construction Financial Management Association
  • Treasurer, Argus Foundation



Burt Whitenight has been in the painting and waterproofing industry for over 30 years. He draws from a broad knowledge base and diversified business background that serves him well in providing clients with a professional and thorough product. After attending the State University of New York, Burt earned his Certification in Concrete Repair through the International Concrete Repair Institute and has received several other industry certifications.

His vast knowledge and experience stem from when he first began his career working at a local, regional paint manufacturer and distributor, Flex Bon Paints. He started as an Assistant Manager and steadily climbed the ladder to become the Regional Sales Manager for Flex Bon Paints; he then stayed with the company for another three and half years during the acquisition/integration by Sherwin Williams Company. After learning the industry's product, technical, and application side, he took his skills and experience to Service Contracting Solutions (SCS). He entered a new role as a Project Manager. He became the Regional Manager for a tri-county area just two years later.

In 2013, he became the Executive Vice President of the company. Burt has experience with numerous project areas, including large-scale municipal, high-rise condominiums, commercial, industrial, etc. As the Executive Vice President of SCS, Burt dedicates most of his time leading the sales team and sharing his knowledge and experience with the Project Managers, Estimators, and Business Development. He values strong leadership, continuously learning and improving, and strives to provide opportunities to those around him.

Burt uplifts the company with his infectious spirit and hardworking demeanor. He currently serves in many capacities for multiple organizations, including as a Board Member for Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and a member of the Sarasota FL-based Argus Foundation. In addition to this, Burt provided leadership as a board member with the local chapters of PDCA, ICRI, and CSI in the past.

Burt and his wife, Kris, are the parents of three wonderful children, Amber, Jacob, and Sienna; and recently grandparents to one very special little boy, Benjamin. When he isn't working or spending time with his family, you can find Burt out on the golf course, shooting sporting clays, or smoking some of his famous BBQ!

Ex Officio Board Member
John Brown ~ Attorney's Title Fund Services, LLC

Mr. Brown is a Florida board certified attorney in real estate and a member of both the Florida and Kentucky Bars. He earned his J.D. from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1981.

Prior to joining the Fund, Mr. Brown has represented national retailers in purchase contract negotiations, leasing, site evaluation, engineering, permitting, land use, environmental evaluation and compliance, survey review, title and closing. He has represented private and public companies negotiating the terms of operational and construction financing. He has represented governmental entities through closing on multiple land parcel exchanges and during the issuance of municipal bonds for utility financing. His practice also included structuring and consummating 1031 exchanges, joint development projects, cellular tower site evaluation and closings, hotel project development and closings and a variety of commercial due diligence efforts.

Mr. Brown is a member of the Real Property Probate and Trust Section of the Florida Bar, NAIOP, CREW Tampa Bay and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

2022 Board of Directors
David Karins ~ Karins Engineering Group
Russ Bobbitt ~ Purmort & Martin Insurance Agency
Mary Forristall ~ Forristall Enterprises, Inc.
Kevin Hicks ~ Gator Grading & Paving

Brian Leaver ~ Tandem Construction

Maurice Opstal ~ Stellar Development, Inc.

Steve Padgett ~ Fawley Bryant Architects, Inc.

Lemuel Sharp III ~ Sharp Properties, Inc.
Paul Stehle ~ Climatic Conditioning Company, Inc.   
Darrell Turner ~ Turner Business Development, LLC
John WisemanJP Wiseman Construction Services LLC

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