Board of Directors

Mike Thackrey is a serial entrepreneur with a big heart
and a commitment to building service-oriented cultures. He currently leads and owns Vine IT & Cybersecurity, an ongoing IT support company based in St. Petersburg, that serves growth-oriented clients with 30 or more employees. Prior to Vine, Mike co-founded and grew Fieldstone Landscape Services from 2 to 100 employees.

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Mike has a son, a daughter, and has been married to his best friend Agnieszka for 18 years. Their family’s commitment to, and Mike’s service on the board at PAL St Pete is driven by their firm passion and faith in Jesus. They are energized for the opportunity to serve such a deeply valuable need in our community through PAL, in his name.

In his spare time, he continues to chase that elusive “hole in one”.

Banner is an Investment Advisor at Capital Investment Advisors. He holds his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ designation and works to provide holistic financial solutions for individuals, families, and business owners. Banner’s primary efforts are focused on building meaningful relationships and partnering with clients to develop customized solutions around retirement planning, income generation, and risk management.

Banner began his career at Fidelity Investments as a Financial Consultant serving clients in the area of financial planning and investment management services. He earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State University, double majoring in Economics and Criminology. While in college, Banner spent time interning for the Florida House of Representatives. He holds his Series 66, Life and Health Insurance, and Real Estate Licenses. Banner is an active member in his community, including being a member of the board for the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg and Leia’s Kids non-profit charity.

Banner is a native Floridian and currently resides in St. Petersburg, FL where he hopes to start a family with his wife, Haley, and oversized golden retriever, Cliff. In his free time, Banner enjoys playing golf, traveling, and spending time with family and friends on the water.

Brian Ceras earned a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University, is a graduate of the Florida Bankers Association Graduate Trust School, Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School and holds the designation of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA). Brian has over fifteen years of experience in trust administration and investment management.

He is a graduate of Leadership St. Pete and committed to serving the St. Petersburg community. As a Past President and member of the Northeast Exchange Club, he is actively involved in improving the lives of children and in the prevention of child abuse. Brian is also a member of the Suncoast Estate Planning Council.

Jeff Rettig is a senior manager with PwC and has been with the professional services firm for over 20 years.  He has spent the last five years in information security and technology governance, risk, and compliance functions.  Previously, Jeff led PwC teams in the IT operations and IT service management areas.  Jeff has numerous information security and IT governance certifications including CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, PMP, and ITIL Expert.

Jeff was introduced to St. Pete PAL through fellow PwC employee and prior board member Gregg Agard-Jones.  The PwC Tampa office’s history of support of PAL includes both monetary grants and programs such as skills for society, hour of code, and youth financial literacy education.

Prior to joining PwC, Jeff worked for GEBO Corporation in Sarasota, FL, deploying robotic automation systems in the US, Europe, and Canada.  Jeff holds an MS in engineering from the University of South Florida and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati.  Jeff and wife Amy have lived in St. Petersburg for the last 25 years and love the Sunshine City.  They have one daughter, Nellie, who will be a 2021 graduate of St. Pete High School.

Leah is a Florida native who relocated to St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2006. She immediately fell in love with St. Pete, and quickly looked for ways to give back to the community. Leah is a graduate of the Leadership St. Pete (LSP) Class of 2008, and was Chair of the LSP Class of 2016. She has been a member of several boards including the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association, Suncoasters of St. Petersburg, and the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg (since August 2020).

The bulk of Leah’s career has been in the Power Generation and rotating equipment industries and focused on executive, internal and marketing communications; corporate foundations, contributions and volunteerism; public and community relations; special events and sports marketing; and reputation and brand management. She has worked for Duke Energy, Progress Energy, Mitsubishi Power Systems, and Teleflex Aerospace.

Leah earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS!). She is a recipient of the Silver Congressional Award and the Bronze Congressional Award. Leah resides in South St. Petersburg with her husband. She enjoys anything outdoors – boating, sailing, golfing, flying.

Joe Fullerton is a Senior Tax Manager with over 12 years of experience in public accounting. He began his career with four years at PwC in Charlotte, NC then nearly six years at CBIZ MHM, here in Tampa Bay. He provides tax compliance and consulting solutions for a broad range of private clients with an emphasis in flow through and tiered entities, state and local tax, tax provisions (ASC 740) for corporate clients, and high net worth individuals.

While serving a broad range of industries, Joe has experience in real estate, professional services, family office, and manufacturing/distribution. He has also instructed national level tax technical and professional development classes to new staff and senior associates. Joe is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).

Born and raised in Miami, FL, Joe attended the University of Florida where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Taxation and now lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children. In his free time, Joe enjoys fishing, hunting, and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the St. Petersburg Police Athletic League.

Since relocating from Wisconsin in 1997, Brian has lived and worked in St. Petersburg, FL. For the last 25 years he has held various careers within the Financial Services Industry which include Business and Retail Banking, Insurance and Securities Investments. While lending has become his passion this diverse background enables Brian to truly follow his consultative sales mindset and to think outside of the box for solutions tailored to each member. He realizes that making a mutually beneficial relationship does not always mean making the sale. Currently, Brian is a Commercial Loan Officer with Grow Financial Federal Credit Union.

Brian is a graduate of the Florida School of Banking and has volunteered with organizations teaching financial literacy such as The Salvation Army, Resurrection House and The United Way. He is a past president of the Sunshine City Jaycees, which is where he met his wife. In his free time Brian enjoys travelling and spending time with his wife and son. They especially like cruising and theme parks.

Julie joined Spoor Bunch Franz CPA in 2016 and has eleven years of experience in Tax and Advisory services.  She has experience in both public accounting and private industry specializing in tax compliance, tax planning, and financial accounting services. She’s passionate about and skilled at developing strong client relationships with the goal of streamlining their accounting function. Her experience also includes multi-state tax compliance and purchase accounting consulting.

Prior to her current position, Julie was employed by Grant Thornton, LLP where she focused on large publicly traded companies working closely with CFO’s to maximize efficiencies in their internal tax departments through software innovation and technology. In addition to tax compliance and consulting, Julie oversees the operations for our Tax and Advisory Services departments.

Julie joined the Board of Directors for the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg. She graduated from Appalachian State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Taxation. Julie and her husband currently reside in Tampa and outside of the office you can find them enjoying all the culinary delights the bay area has to offer.

Major Nathaly Patterson oversees the Investigative Support Division at the St. Petersburg Police Department including the following units:

Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit (HEAT)
Police Anti-Crime Team (PACT)
Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF)
School Resource Officers
Police Athletic League (PAL)
Police Explorers
School Crossing Guards

Jeff Rathmell is a native of Pinellas County, Florida and veteran of the Tampa Bay area banking industry, bringing 29+ years of experience and connections to his professional and philanthropic commitments. Specializing in commercial banking, Jeff covers a footprint throughout the Tampa Bay market as he seeks to support the growth of local businesses while connecting them to the community. He is honored to join the board of the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg and support their vision of providing safe, affordable place school aftercare for children that encourages their development towards academic, personal, and professional success.

Jeff has a long history of community involvement in the greater Tampa Bay area, and currently holds a board seat with Directions for Living. DFL acts as a welcoming and compassionate provider, advocate, and partner to children, adults, and families in need of integrated healthcare, social support, safety, and hope for the future. Jeff is also a member of the Rotary Club of Clearwater, whose mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Jeff is honored to be called a Copperhead, which is a community of business leaders with a two-fold reason for existing, the first being to provide the golf fans of the area with a first-class professional golf tournament and the second being to raise funds for area charities. Jeff is an alumni of the Leadership Pinellas class of 2013 and Leadership St. Pete class of 2017. These programs seek to develop community rich leaders who are well informed, committed, and passionately engaged. Jeff resides in Dunedin with his wife, Cicely, his two young children, Brodie and Violet, and their dog Halo.

Amy St. Hart is a Senior Vice-President in Commercial Lending with Waterfall Bank. She has more than a decade of retail and business banking experience in St. Petersburg. She has worked for locally-owned and corporate banks to help borrowers at all levels understand their credit needs. Currently, she focuses on investment and owner-occupied commercial real estate for the bank.

Amy is active in several community service organizations. She is an alumni of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2014 and continues her involvement in the program. Amy has been a St. Petersburg resident for more than 15 years moving from Pennsylvania to finish her degree in International Business at St. Petersburg College. Amy and her husband Chris currently reside in downtown St. Petersburg.

Mike Thackrey, Chair of the Board

CEO
Vine IT & Cybersecurity

Mike Thackrey is a serial entrepreneur with a big heart
and a commitment to building service-oriented cultures. He currently leads and owns Vine IT & Cybersecurity, an ongoing IT support company based in St. Petersburg, that serves growth-oriented clients with 30 or more employees. Prior to Vine, Mike co-founded and grew Fieldstone Landscape Services from 2 to 100 employees.

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Mike has a son, a daughter, and has been married to his best friend Agnieszka for 18 years. Their family’s commitment to, and Mike’s service on the board at PAL St Pete is driven by their firm passion and faith in Jesus. They are energized for the opportunity to serve such a deeply valuable need in our community through PAL, in his name.

In his spare time, he continues to chase that elusive “hole in one”.

Banner Clark, CFP, Vice Chair

Investment Advisor
Capital Investment Advisors

Banner is an Investment Advisor at Capital Investment Advisors. He holds his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ designation and works to provide holistic financial solutions for individuals, families, and business owners. Banner’s primary efforts are focused on building meaningful relationships and partnering with clients to develop customized solutions around retirement planning, income generation, and risk management.

Banner began his career at Fidelity Investments as a Financial Consultant serving clients in the area of financial planning and investment management services. He earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State University, double majoring in Economics and Criminology. While in college, Banner spent time interning for the Florida House of Representatives. He holds his Series 66, Life and Health Insurance, and Real Estate Licenses. Banner is an active member in his community, including being a member of the board for the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg and Leia’s Kids non-profit charity.

Banner is a native Floridian and currently resides in St. Petersburg, FL where he hopes to start a family with his wife, Haley, and oversized golden retriever, Cliff. In his free time, Banner enjoys playing golf, traveling, and spending time with family and friends on the water.

Brian Ceras, CTFA, CISP, Treasurer

Principal
Sabal Trust

Brian Ceras earned a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University, is a graduate of the Florida Bankers Association Graduate Trust School, Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School and holds the designation of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA). Brian has over fifteen years of experience in trust administration and investment management.

He is a graduate of Leadership St. Pete and committed to serving the St. Petersburg community. As a Past President and member of the Northeast Exchange Club, he is actively involved in improving the lives of children and in the prevention of child abuse. Brian is also a member of the Suncoast Estate Planning Council.

Jeff Rettig, Secretary

Sr. Manager | Network Information Security
PwC

Jeff Rettig is a senior manager with PwC and has been with the professional services firm for over 20 years.  He has spent the last five years in information security and technology governance, risk, and compliance functions.  Previously, Jeff led PwC teams in the IT operations and IT service management areas.  Jeff has numerous information security and IT governance certifications including CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, PMP, and ITIL Expert.

Jeff was introduced to St. Pete PAL through fellow PwC employee and prior board member Gregg Agard-Jones.  The PwC Tampa office’s history of support of PAL includes both monetary grants and programs such as skills for society, hour of code, and youth financial literacy education.

Prior to joining PwC, Jeff worked for GEBO Corporation in Sarasota, FL, deploying robotic automation systems in the US, Europe, and Canada.  Jeff holds an MS in engineering from the University of South Florida and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati.  Jeff and wife Amy have lived in St. Petersburg for the last 25 years and love the Sunshine City.  They have one daughter, Nellie, who will be a 2021 graduate of St. Pete High School.

Leah Bickley

Marketing
Sulzer

Leah is a Florida native who relocated to St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2006. She immediately fell in love with St. Pete, and quickly looked for ways to give back to the community. Leah is a graduate of the Leadership St. Pete (LSP) Class of 2008, and was Chair of the LSP Class of 2016. She has been a member of several boards including the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association, Suncoasters of St. Petersburg, and the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg (since August 2020).

The bulk of Leah’s career has been in the Power Generation and rotating equipment industries and focused on executive, internal and marketing communications; corporate foundations, contributions and volunteerism; public and community relations; special events and sports marketing; and reputation and brand management. She has worked for Duke Energy, Progress Energy, Mitsubishi Power Systems, and Teleflex Aerospace.

Leah earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS!). She is a recipient of the Silver Congressional Award and the Bronze Congressional Award. Leah resides in South St. Petersburg with her husband. She enjoys anything outdoors – boating, sailing, golfing, flying.

Joseph Fullerton, CPA

Senior Tax Manager
Spoor Bunch Franz CPA

Joe Fullerton is a Senior Tax Manager with over 12 years of experience in public accounting. He began his career with four years at PwC in Charlotte, NC then nearly six years at CBIZ MHM, here in Tampa Bay. He provides tax compliance and consulting solutions for a broad range of private clients with an emphasis in flow through and tiered entities, state and local tax, tax provisions (ASC 740) for corporate clients, and high net worth individuals.

While serving a broad range of industries, Joe has experience in real estate, professional services, family office, and manufacturing/distribution. He has also instructed national level tax technical and professional development classes to new staff and senior associates. Joe is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).

Born and raised in Miami, FL, Joe attended the University of Florida where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Taxation and now lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children. In his free time, Joe enjoys fishing, hunting, and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the St. Petersburg Police Athletic League.

Brian Kruse

Commercial Loan Officer
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union

Since relocating from Wisconsin in 1997, Brian has lived and worked in St. Petersburg, FL. For the last 25 years he has held various careers within the Financial Services Industry which include Business and Retail Banking, Insurance and Securities Investments. While lending has become his passion this diverse background enables Brian to truly follow his consultative sales mindset and to think outside of the box for solutions tailored to each member. He realizes that making a mutually beneficial relationship does not always mean making the sale. Currently, Brian is a Commercial Loan Officer with Grow Financial Federal Credit Union.

Brian is a graduate of the Florida School of Banking and has volunteered with organizations teaching financial literacy such as The Salvation Army, Resurrection House and The United Way. He is a past president of the Sunshine City Jaycees, which is where he met his wife. In his free time Brian enjoys travelling and spending time with his wife and son. They especially like cruising and theme parks.

Julie S. Moore

Partner
Spoor Bunch Franz CPA

Julie joined Spoor Bunch Franz CPA in 2016 and has eleven years of experience in Tax and Advisory services.  She has experience in both public accounting and private industry specializing in tax compliance, tax planning, and financial accounting services. She’s passionate about and skilled at developing strong client relationships with the goal of streamlining their accounting function. Her experience also includes multi-state tax compliance and purchase accounting consulting.

Prior to her current position, Julie was employed by Grant Thornton, LLP where she focused on large publicly traded companies working closely with CFO’s to maximize efficiencies in their internal tax departments through software innovation and technology. In addition to tax compliance and consulting, Julie oversees the operations for our Tax and Advisory Services departments.

Julie joined the Board of Directors for the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg. She graduated from Appalachian State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Taxation. Julie and her husband currently reside in Tampa and outside of the office you can find them enjoying all the culinary delights the bay area has to offer.

Major Nathaly M Patterson

St. Petersburg Police Department

Major Nathaly Patterson oversees the Investigative Support Division at the St. Petersburg Police Department including the following units:

Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit (HEAT)
Police Anti-Crime Team (PACT)
Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF)
School Resource Officers
Police Athletic League (PAL)
Police Explorers
School Crossing Guards

Jeff Rathmell

VP, Commercial Banker
Hancock Whitney

Jeff Rathmell is a native of Pinellas County, Florida and veteran of the Tampa Bay area banking industry, bringing 29+ years of experience and connections to his professional and philanthropic commitments. Specializing in commercial banking, Jeff covers a footprint throughout the Tampa Bay market as he seeks to support the growth of local businesses while connecting them to the community. He is honored to join the board of the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg and support their vision of providing safe, affordable place school aftercare for children that encourages their development towards academic, personal, and professional success.

Jeff has a long history of community involvement in the greater Tampa Bay area, and currently holds a board seat with Directions for Living. DFL acts as a welcoming and compassionate provider, advocate, and partner to children, adults, and families in need of integrated healthcare, social support, safety, and hope for the future. Jeff is also a member of the Rotary Club of Clearwater, whose mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Jeff is honored to be called a Copperhead, which is a community of business leaders with a two-fold reason for existing, the first being to provide the golf fans of the area with a first-class professional golf tournament and the second being to raise funds for area charities. Jeff is an alumni of the Leadership Pinellas class of 2013 and Leadership St. Pete class of 2017. These programs seek to develop community rich leaders who are well informed, committed, and passionately engaged. Jeff resides in Dunedin with his wife, Cicely, his two young children, Brodie and Violet, and their dog Halo.

Amy St. Hart

SVP Commercial Lending
Waterfall Bank

Amy St. Hart is a Senior Vice-President in Commercial Lending with Waterfall Bank. She has more than a decade of retail and business banking experience in St. Petersburg. She has worked for locally-owned and corporate banks to help borrowers at all levels understand their credit needs. Currently, she focuses on investment and owner-occupied commercial real estate for the bank.

Amy is active in several community service organizations. She is an alumni of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2014 and continues her involvement in the program. Amy has been a St. Petersburg resident for more than 15 years moving from Pennsylvania to finish her degree in International Business at St. Petersburg College. Amy and her husband Chris currently reside in downtown St. Petersburg.