About Us

History & Mission

Founded in 1989, the Charlotte Local Education Foundation (CLEF) is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization that brings our community together for the investment of advancing student learning and teacher leading. By increasing public awareness and inspiring community and business support for programs focused on learning, literacy, and leadership, CLEF continues to be a community catalyst and convener around innovation in student learning.
CLEF works in partnership with the community and businesses to bring critical resources that are not funded by normal tax revenues to help students succeed in their academic and personal achievements. These needs are met through student scholarships, mentoring and dropout prevention strategies, free school supplies for low-income students, teacher quality and recognition programs, classroom grants, literacy improvement strategies, technical/career education initiatives, and targeted support for low-performing students and schools.

Discover how YOU can help make a difference!

Board of Directors

Kreg Maheu, President
DMK Associates, Inc.

Thomas Williamson, Vice President
Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management

Alexander Graham, Treasurer
Suncoast Credit Union

Robert Pietrasanta, Secretary
Community Representative

Arlene Chase
Attorney at Law

Rachel Clancy
Achiva Credit Union

James Coalwell
Achieva Credit Union

Shaune Hotchkiss
Allstate Insurance

Jan-Erik Hustrulid
Owen-Ames-Kimball Company

Russell Kirshy
Kirshy Law Firm   

Maura Matzko
Community Representative

Tyler Patak
Parker Mudgett Smith Architects, Inc.

Lynn Pogue
Community Representative

Geri Waksler
McCrory Law Firm

Ex Officio

Steve Dionisio, Superintendent
Charlotte County Public Schools

Ian VincentSchool Board Representative
Charlotte County Public Schools

Sara Wierhake 
Executive Director


  • Board meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except December and July)
  • Executive Committee meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month (except December or July)
  • All meetings are from 4:30-6 p.m.
  • All meetings are open to the public
  • Board meetings are held at the CCPS District Office, unless otherwise noted:
    1445 Education Way, Room #105-106, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
  • Executive Committee meetings are held at Landsberg Bennett, unless otherwise noted: 252 W Marion Ave #200, Punta Gorda, FL 33950 
  • Any disabled individual who needs reasonable accommodations for meetings may contact the Ed Foundation office, 941.255.7500. x294, prior to the meeting date

The Giving Partner

We are registered with The Giving Partner, a collaborative partnership between the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Patterson Foundation. It is your source for knowledge about charitable nonprofits in Southwest Florida. For more information, click here.

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Board Meetings Schedule
Fri., July 29, 2016 (Mini Retreat/Planning Meeting)
Wed., Aug. 24, 2016
Wed., Sep. 28, 2016
Wed., Oct. 26, 2016
Wed., Nov. 30, 2016
Wed., Jan. 25, 2017
Wed., Feb. 22, 2017
Wed., March 22, 2017
Wed., Apr. 26, 2017
Wed., May 24, 2017
Wed., June 28, 2017
NOTE: No meetings set for December or July
Executive Committee/Governance Meetings Schedule 
Wed., Aug. 3, 2016
Wed., Sep. 7, 2016
Wed., Oct. 5, 2016
Wed., Nov. 2, 2016
Wed., Jan. 4, 2017
Wed., Feb. 1, 2017
Wed., March 1, 2017
Wed., Apr. 5, 2017
Wed., May 3, 2017
Wed., June 7, 2017
NOTE: No meetings set for December or July, unless called.