Board & Leadership

Boat docked.
Image courtesy of Alan Youngblood
Jo Salyers Layman

Jo Salyers Layman

Jo Salyers Layman is a recognized leader in tourism, marketing and hospitality. For the past 18 years, Layman has been with On Top of the World Communities, LLC in positions including corporate director of marketing and general manager of Circle Square Commons. She currently oversees Circle Square Commons and the Circle Square Cultural Center, one of the largest performing arts venues in Marion County.

Formerly director of marketing for Silver Springs attraction, Layman served as founding member of the Tourist Development Council, serving for seven years. In 2005, she was instrumental in passing the Tourist Development Tax which now raises $8.9 million annually to support tourism in Marion County.

Layman was a founding member of the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP), helping with the merger of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce and Ocala/Marion County Economic Development Council. She served on the CEP Board of Directors and Executive Committee for eight years.

Her marketing and leadership talent has been put to work on many community boards, such as the Ocala Culinary Festival and Marion Cultural Alliance.

Sam Carr

Sam Carr

Sam Carr was born and raised in Headland, AL and moved to San Mateo, FL in 1964. He lives on the river one mile downstream from Dunns Creek in the home he helped his father build. He graduated from Palatka South High School in 1970 and Florida Institute of Technology in 1974. 

He had a 32-year career with Ford Motor Company becoming a District Manager for Ford Customer Division in their Orlando Regional Office. He was the president of the Bartram Trai Society of Florida and is the past-president and director of the Bartram Trail Conference. Currently he serves on the boards of the Putnam Blueways and Trails Citizen Support Organization, and the Palatka Water Works Environmental Education Center and is the Friends of Dunns Creek State Park CSO. He was a governor’s appointee to the Florida Greenways and Trails Council.  He serves as co-chair of the Putnam County Waterways and Trails Committee for the Putnam County Commission. 

Sam worked for the establishment of the Bartram National Recreation Trail in Putnam County by chairing the committee that is part of the Putnam County Waterways & Trails Committee. A paddling adventure down the entire St. Johns River started his interest in Bartram’s travels in the area. He is working with the Bartram Trail Conference to establish similar Bartram Trails in seven states and over 2,000 miles across the southeast including Florida. 

He enjoys kayaking, golf and fishing and has been married to his wife Lorraine for 40 years. He has two children – Sam and Kelly Carr and two grandchildren.

Todd Rudnianyn

Todd Rudnianyn

Todd Rudnianyn was born and raised in Ocala, FL, graduated from Vanguard High School in 2000, and subsequently spent several years in Philadelphia, Seoul, Boston, and New York pursuing higher education and gaining professional experience at Lehman Brothers Global Real Estate Group – Large Loan Underwriting and at Alvarez and Marsal in the Revenue Enhancement Group.

In 2014, he returned to Ocala to serve as President of Neighborhood Storage Center Co., a regional commercial property management company. During his tenure, he helped grow the company from 5 to 27 properties with over 1 million square feet of rentable space and recently sold the bulk of the company’s self-storage portfolio to Public Storage.

Todd holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an Executive Masters in Urban Planning from the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

JAck Meeks

Jack Meeks is a Florida Native having grown up in North Florida and learning how to swim and enjoying our marvelous springs.  Jack and his wife JoAnn Tredennick live in Jacksonville.

Jack is a 1973 graduate of the University of Florida and has had a CPA career which included being an expert witness in financial disputes and a court-appointed receiver. 

Jack has served on numerous charitable and City of Jacksonville boards and commissions.  He is currently a member of the Jacksonville Planning Commission and a liaison to the Jacksonville Waterways Commission.  

Margaret Spontak

Margaret Hankinson Spontak, President

Margaret Spontak has a passion for helping make organizations stronger. Her past career experiences include philanthropy manager for Duke Energy Foundation in Florida, managing five grant cycles annually awarding $3 million in grants to worthy non-profits. At Master the Possibilities at On Top of the World, a not-for-profit lifelong learning center, she grew faculty, volunteers, and students and doubled course revenues in her first year. Margaret also helped transition Audubon Florida to a more donor-centered organization, allowing their team to increase donations by 28.5% over four years – even in the midst of a recession. By developing more customized corporate proposals at UF Leadership Development Institute, she helped drive revenues from $350,000 to $1.32 million in just three years.

In 2019, Margaret retired early to fulfill a promise she made to her brother, John Hankinson, to continue his work to reunite the Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha and St. Johns River for a better economic and environmental future for northeast Florida.

She helped found and chaired Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition, involving more than sixty national, state, and local organizations representing millions of members. Spontak has a long history of protecting land and water resources in north central Florida and beyond. Her conservation career includes director of development for Audubon Florida, director of policy and planning for St. Johns River Water Management District, sales and promotions manager for Silver Springs and Weeki Wachee Springs, and co-author of Protecting Paradise. In the spring of 2024, Spontak left the Coalition to form The Great Florida Riverway Trust.

Science Advisors

The Great Florida Riverway Trust is dedicated to delivering scientifically accurate information and viable restoration, recreation and economic development solutions. A diverse and experienced group of consultants with backgrounds in economics, water resources, fisheries, wildlife, springs, manatee habitat conservation, springs protection, and outdoor recreation are utilized to review all communication materials, policy documents and plans.