The Charitable Foundation of the Islands is honored to be guided by a dedicated, passionate Board of Directors who love our islands and wish to make life better for all who live and work here. We thank them for their giving spirit and their efforts.

CFI Board of Directors:

Cindy Brown

Ralph Clark

Melissa Congress (Secretary)

Brenda Harrity

Chris Heidrick

Mike Kelly

Non Voting Board Members:

Al Hanser (Chairman Emeritus)

Steve Greenstein (San Cap Trust Co. Liaison)

Tony Lapi

Tim O'Neill (Treasurer)

Mary Ellen Pfeifer

Chip Roach (Chair)

Virginia Stringer (Vice Chair)


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Al Hanser

Al Hanser founded The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company in 2001. His 50+ years of experience in the investment and banking industries has helped to guide our firm’s vision and growth for the benefit of our clients, shareholders, employees and communities. Al has previously served as Chairman and CEO of Resource Bank and Trust Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was also Senior Executive at Dain Rausher, an investment banking firm (now RBC Wealth Management). He was Chairman, CEO, and board member of USB Merchant Bank as well as Chairman of Hanrow Financial Group, Ltd. Other business interests include his family’s ownership interest in the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team for over 50 years. In addition to years of civic and philanthropic service, he is the current Chairman of the Charitable Foundation of the Islands, member of LHMS Planning Committee and Director of Lee Memorial’s Children’s Hospital. He is a former director of The Schoolhouse Theater, Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis, Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, and past Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Florida.


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Mary Ellen Pfeifer

Mary Ellen Pfeifer is a Florida native and grew up in Orlando, vacationing on Sanibel every year since she was five years old. Her love of shells and the ocean inspired her to obtain a degree in Biology and a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Central Florida (her shell collection is still on display there). In 2001 her dream of living on Sanibel came true when she and her husband Eric moved to the island with their 2 young children. She served as the Chair of Fundraising for the Children’s Education Center of the Islands and has supported the Sanibel Sea School’s fundraising efforts, served on the Pastoral Search Committee for the Sanibel Congregational UCC, and worked on Canterbury School’s Development Committee and is also a Board of Trustee for the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). Mary Ellen works full time with her husband as the Co-owner and Marketing Director at Pfeifer Realty Group. In 2014 Mary Ellen partnered with 7-time Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker David E. Carter to create and fund the production of 5 documentaries designed to preserve the rich history of Sanibel & Captiva for future generations to enjoy. To date, the Pfeifer Documentary Series has generated over $36,000 in non-profit support and their films remain available to all island organizations to build stewardship. Pfeifer joined the Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) Board of Directors in 2016.