Museum Leadership

Lori Howard, Executive Director

Marilyn Smith-Mooney, President

Marilyn Smith-MooneyPresident Marilyn Smith-Mooney moved to Punta Gorda in 1993 from Long Island, NY, where she attended St. Joseph’s College School of Business Administration and earned her Certificate in Leadership & Human Resources Development. The first half of her 30-year private-sector career focused primarily on the field of architecture and construction, with the latter half focusing on executive management team positions in human resources, corporate development and materials management.

While on Long Island, Marilyn added flight training as an additional pursuit and operated a flight training and aircraft rental business after receiving her FAA Commercial Pilot certificate and being certified as an FAA “Gold Seal” Flight Instructor/Ground School Instructor.

Marilyn held the Punta Gorda City Council’s District #2 Seat from November 1996 through October 2008, serving twice as Mayor in 2001 and 2002 – the city’s first female mayor since its founding in 1887. She is a graduate of the Advanced Institute for Elected Municipal Officials, Leadership Charlotte and Local Government Leadership Florida.


More About Marilyn Smith-Mooney

Marilyn joined the Museum board and became its President in 2007, a position she held for more than five years. In 2008, Marilyn also became the Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Tetrault Family Foundation – the private nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation providing the $30M funding and carrying out the development of the 27-acre Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens as a gift to the people of Charlotte County. Currently, she is employed as the executive administrator of the PRB&SG, Inc., the nonprofit that will manage, operate and maintain the Gardens.

In 2011, Marilyn pursued training for and obtained her Florida Supreme Court Certification as a County Mediator and serves as a volunteer mediator for the 20th Judicial Circuit, as well as for the court’s Citizen Dispute Resolution program – a program in which local residents and businesses voluntarily agree to have their dispute mediated in lieu of a judge deciding the outcome.

Marilyn has been recognized in past Charlotte SUN annual lists as one of “the county’s most influential, involved, charitable, powerful and important people.” She is widowed and between her and her late husband, Jack, she has three sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.

Frank Campagne, Vice President

Jim Mallonee, Secretary

Jim Mallonee

Jim Mallonee of James W. Mallonee, P.A., holds a B.A. from the University of South Florida and an M.S. from Rollins College. He obtained his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California. Prior to returning to Florida to practice law, he was employed by Intel Corporation for 22 years in locations including New Jersey, Florida and California.


More About Jim Mallonee

Jim has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2003. He serves on the Charlotte Community Foundation Committee for Asset Allocation. He also teaches business law at State College of Flordia and courses at the Life Long Learning Institute.

Jim’s law firm has offices in Port Charlotte and Venice, and the firm’s legal services include business law, estate planning, probate administration, real estate and related matters.

Robert M. Dickinson, Treasurer

Robert M. DickinsonRobert M. Dickinson, COL, US Army, Retired, is the Museum’s fifth inductee to the Museum’s “Wall of Warriors.” He and his first wife Gayle moved to Charlotte County in 1991. Bob retired from the Exxon Corporation in 1982 as a senior executive, responsible for evaluating and advising Exxon Corporation and its world wide affiliates on the introduction of the new “Office of the Future” technology that was sweeping the world. Eventually Bob became a financial advisor with what is now Ameriprise Financial Services.


More About Robert M. Dickinson

Over time he acquired the prestigious designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). He became licensed in many states and acquired his Series 24 Registered Principal license from the SEC. Most importantly, he earned the trust and confidence of a large number of satisfied clients.

Bob had a third career, in the military. It started in 1954, when he graduated from college and was commissioned an Army second lieutenant in the Artillery branch. Bob spent four years on active duty, which included attending flight school and becoming an Army aviator. After that, Bob spent the next 27 years in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. He retired from the National Guard in 1985 as a Colonel assigned to the Aviation branch and as a Master Army Aviator.

Bob is a graduate of Harvard College (AB Magna cum Laude) and Harvard Business School (MBA with High Distinction). He is a past president of the Arts and Humanities Council of Charlotte County and currently serves on several of that organization’s committees. He is vice president, secretary, and newsletter editor of the Reserve Officers Association Chapter 6. He is on the board of the Military Officers Association Charlotte Harbor Chapter and is personal affairs chairperson. He is president of the Sun Coast Council of the Navy League, which covers Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties. He is also a board member and treasurer of the Fred Lang Foundation, which helps fund mental health services. He and his wife Sharyn live happily in Deep Creek.

Larry Brown, Director

Gene Geronime, Director

Gene GernomineGene Geronime, Captain, U.S. Navy, Retired, is the Museum’s second inductee to the Museum’s “Wall of Warriors.” Gene was in carrier aviation during a military career that spanned almost thirty years, beginning with graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1954, followed with advanced degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School and Stanford University.

More About Gene Gernomine

He operationally flew planes that included the F9F-6 Cougar, the FJ3/3M Fury, the F8 (series) Crusader and the F4J Phantom II. During two combat tours to Southeast Asia on the USS Oriskany he flew the F8E Crusader. Other carriers upon which he deployed were the USS Hornet, the USS Ranger, USS Saratoga, USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Constellation. He had 850 carrier landings and 4000 jet hours during his career. Gene also managed three major programs during his Washington tours, including the F/RF-4 Joint Program Office, the Harpoon Project Office and the Tomahawk Project Office. In addition, he was a test pilot in Carrier Suitability at the Naval Air Test Center.

Gene was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, seven Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals – with device for combat valor, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, four Republic of Vietnam Service Medals, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Medal.

After retiring from the Navy, Gene spent 15 years with McDonnell Douglas in various executive positions. In 1998, he and his wife Jane moved to Punta Gorda, where he became actively involved with the Florida International Air Show. Gene is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and he is a trustee emeritus of the Athletic and Scholastic Division of the United States Naval Academy Foundation.

Gene and Jane have been married for more than 56 years and have three children, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Chuck Kersch, Director

Kelly Surprise, Administrative Assistant

Laurie Vullo, Artifact Administrator

Tom Galvin, Curator


Military Heritage Museum
Fishermen’s Village
1200 West Retta Esplanade, Unit 48
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
Tel: (941) 575-9002 (Admin)

Admission is free.
The experience is priceless

Mon – Sat: 10 AM to 6 PM
Sun: noon to 6 PM
Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas

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