Mote Welcomes New Trustees from Sarasota and Siesta Key

Mote Marine Laboratory is pleased to welcome four new members to its Board of Trustees: Scott Collins, John Dart, Trudo Letschert and Rande Ridenour.

Mote's Board of Trustees supports the Lab in its mission of advancing marine science, education and outreach. In 2011, Mote implemented its guiding blueprint, the 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan, which is endorsed by the Board of Trustees. (Read the plan:

Scott Collins, a Certified Financial Planner® who lives in Sarasota, brings extensive expertise in finance and trusts as Founder and current President of Fiduciary Wealth Advisors. He graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1993 and received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida College of Law in 1996 and ’98, respectively. He practiced law for more than nine years before advancing in the field of wealth management and founding Fiduciary Wealth Advisors in 2014. His current professional affiliations include board memberships with Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Southeastern Guide Dogs and Asolo Repertory Theatre. As a Mote Trustee, Collins serves on the  Board’s Research and Campaign Leadership Committees. Collins believes that the Sarasota community is fortunate to have Mote, a world-class marine research institution, in its own backyard. “I am inspired by the tireless efforts of Dr. Michael Crosby (Mote’s President and CEO) and his team,” Collins said. “I look forward to joining the outstanding group of Mote Trustees as we strive to support those efforts and lead Mote into the future.”

John Dart is a senior partner with the law firm of Adams and Reese LLP.  A lifelong Sarasota resident, Dart began his practice in 1972 after earning his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida. He is a Board Certified Real Estate lawyer with significant experience in the negotiation and drafting of commercial leases, contracts and purchase and sale agreements, as well as in title insurance and closings, in the representation of financial institutions and in the purchase and sale of going businesses. While maintaining a full law practice, Dart actively volunteers in the Sarasota community.  He has extensive service on commerce and economic development, human service, and government advisory committees and professional boards. He has served as Chairman of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota County Bar Association, United Way, the Van Wezel Foundation, the Institute for the Ages and SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence).  He received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Sarasota County Bar Association and the Chairmen’s Cup Award from The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. “Because I care deeply about supporting and stewarding our great community, I am naturally drawn to the missions of Mote — an internationally renowned science and education institution that considers Southwest Florida its true home and works to benefit our local environment and society," Dart said.

Trudo Letschert, a Sarasota resident, was born and raised in a small fishing village outside of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He attended Medical School at the University of Amsterdam and transferred to the Business School at Neyenrode University in Breukelen, Netherlands. Then he earned his bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing in 1975 from the University of Oregon, where he later earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance and International Business in 1977. While returning to the Netherlands in 1977, he visited Sarasota, fell in love with the area and has resided there ever since. Letschert started his career with Vroom Developments Florida and Vroom International, and he advanced to General Manager and Vice President for Florida. In 1983, Letschert and partners founded Galleon Investment, Ltd., and developed various parcels in Key West, Fla., including the Galleon Resort and Marina. Over the years, Letschert has expanded the business to different regions and entrepreneurial fields. At Mote, Letschert serves on the Board’s Finance Committee as well as the Florida Keys Advisory Board. “My wish is to have my grandchildren enjoy the seas and their thriving coral reefs as I was able to as a child,” Letschert said. “Mote scientists are restoring depleted coral reefs and studying many things that will benefit our future generations, such as sustainable seafood, possible sources of cancer treatments and ways to mitigate the impacts of red tides. By working to support these important projects at Mote, I am working to support a brighter future.”

Rande Ridenour, a resident of Siesta Key, has served on Mote’s Advisory Council since 2008, including a term as Chair. He remained on the Council until being elected to the Board this year. Previously he served in the U.S. Air Force, graduated from the University of Tampa and worked in sales for Proctor & Gamble in Jacksonville, Fla., and Albany, N.Y., In Sarasota, Ridenour has worked for 35 years as a financial planner, including positions at Smith Barney, Prudential Securities and UBS Wealth Management. He is currently Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley in Sarasota. Ridenour’s interests at Mote include red tide, sea turtles and aquaculture, along with coral reefs of the Florida Keys — home to Mote’s Tropical Research Laboratory and its Florida Keys Advisory Board, which includes Ridenour. He also serves on the Board’s Investment and Research Committees. He is dedicated to applying his background in finance to help Mote, a nonprofit, carry out its missions for the benefit of oceans. “I'll apply my experience as a financial advisor to continue supporting Mote's important research and education efforts, which are key for protecting marine life in Sarasota Bay and beyond," Ridenour said.

“We enthusiastically welcome these outstanding new members to our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote. “Scott, John, Trudo and Rande bring to Mote their considerable talents, extensive business backgrounds and love of marine science. They and their fellow Trustees play a vital role in Mote’s mission to study, sustain and share knowledge about the oceans to benefit future generations.”

John Dart
Scott Collins
Rande Ridenour
Trudo Letschert