The St. Petersburg Free Clinic has added five new board members to its Board of Directors. Board members offer oversight and input on strategy for the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, which provides food, shelter and healthcare services to low-income uninsured adults in Pinellas County.   

New board members Lisa L. Brody, Bonnie Hechtkopf, Gary Hess, Judy Mitchell and Erica Smith will use their professional insight and local knowledge of the St. Petersburg community to help advance the Free Clinic’s mission of changing lives with help and hope.

“Our board members generously provide their time and talents to create a positive impact that changes the lives of our community members,” said Michael Bice, CEO of St. Petersburg Free Clinic. 

Board members are elected for a three-year term and take an active role in fundraising and strategic planning. During their tenure, they’re responsible for monitoring the implementation of plans, overseeing policy and fiscal matters, serving on organizational committees, and helping to build connections to raise awareness about the Free Clinic’s eight programs. 

The new board members include: 

– Brody is managing attorney for the Bay Area Legal Services’ West Division, which includes Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties. She is a longtime advocate of providing justice to underserved populations in the Tampa Bay area, and she’s dedicated to developing medical and legal partnerships that provide positive health outcomes to vulnerable populations. In 2008 and 2012, Brody earned the St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s Community Partner Award for her service and commitment to protecting the rights of citizens in housing programs. 

– Hechtkopf is founder of Kobie Marketing, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing companies headquartered in downtown St. Petersburg. In 2016, she provided a gift in honor of her late husband Jared S. Hechtkopf to underwrite the purchase and renovation of a warehouse that houses fresh food for the Free Clinic’s food bank and its partner programs. In addition to the Free Clinic, Hechtkopf supports Gulfcoast Jewish Family and Community Services.

– Hess is a licensed real estate agent with Smith & Associates, a Tampa Bay-based real estate agency, and private real estate investor. He’s volunteered for many local organizations, including the Equality Florida, Habitat for Humanity Global Village Program, Wellesley Food Pantry, Project Angel Food, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. 

– Mitchell is a retired construction executive, who most recently owned and led Clearwater-based Peter R. Brown Construction Inc. She currently serves on the Bank of Tampa’s Board of Directors its Pinellas Advisory Board, and the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg Board of Directors. She is also chair of the Morton Plant Mease’s Facilities Committee, and serves on various committees for the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is the Honorary Chair of Hammers and Heels Committee for Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties. 

– Smith is a partner at Fisher & Sauls and chair of its Wills, Trusts, and Estates practice group. She is active in many local organizations such as the Community Law Program Elder Law and Probate Clinics where she provides legal advice and services to low-income Pinellas residents. Smith also serves as a board member for the Pinellas County Community Foundation, and previously served on the Suncoast Hospice Professional Partners Council for five years.