Meet Our Board

Melanie Cabot, Founder and CEO

Ms. Cabot brings her unique expertise and skills as a small business owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist to the foundation. Melanie was raised in a unique family with a long and rich legacy of philanthropy, and that spirit of generosity is evident in all her endeavors. She understands that life isn’t only about creating wealth but also about being of service to others and the importance of leading by example. Melanie is a strong advocate for women’s education. As the foundation’s intellectual and creative author and driving force, she  is committed to the mission to enhance women’s understanding and appreciation for the critical role financial education plays in their over-all well-being. The foundation provides an ideal social forum for women to learn and share empowering financial knowledge, as well as enjoying our community’s rich cultural offerings. Melanie is a board member in leadership positions for several other non-profit organizations.

Melissa Gannon, Advisory Board Member

Melissa Gannon’s career in finance has spanned nearly 25 years. She spent more than 20 of those years analyzing the banking and insurance industry as well as the U.S. equity and mutual fund markets for Weiss Ratings. She directed the design and development of quantitative financial models to assess the financial strength of insurance companies, banks and credit unions and the risk-adjusted performance of equities and mutual funds. She specialized in translating complex financial concepts into consumer-friendly explanations and created educational material on a variety of insurance products including annuities, life insurance, health insurance and Medicare. During her career, she has served as a source for hundreds of national, regional and local media outlets on the many topics of personal finance and the financial industry. Melissa is a financial planner with Castle Wealth Management, a 20-year old, woman-owned investment advisory firm in West Palm Beach. Melissa has a Master of Business Administration (concentration in Finance) and is a Series 65 Fiduciary and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Melissa’s support of the foundation is a natural progression of her desire to use her extensive financial knowledge to help women take control of their financial lives.

Barbara Gilbert, Advisory Board Member

Barbara Gilbert is highly regarded for her executive accomplishments in the areas of national and international finance, individual high net worth wealth management, institutional management and personal and corporate banking with three of the largest wealth banks in the U.S. Additionally, as owner of a capital campaign business, she handled many of the major capital campaigns on the east coast, including the Kimmel Center, Arthur Ashe, private schools and universities.  After many years of providing traditional wealth management services at major Wall Street companies, Barbara is bringing her knowledge of the world of wealthy clients and her extensive professional network to managing independent Family Offices. Throughout her financial career, Barbara has been an outspoken advocate for the distinct and measurable benefit to incorporating values into your financial life, running it like a business by assembling a team of talented experts to serve your best interests and objectives and watching over it at all times. Barbara has an extensive history of speaking on family office panels and advocating its values, knowing herself the heartfelt desire to provide nothing but the best for one’s family and community. Barbara is very active in the Philadelphia and South Florida communities. She currently serves on the Women’s Leadership Board of the University of Pennsylvania and on the Easter Seals Board in West Palm Beach in the area of strategic planning and planned giving. Her philanthropic activities include myriad cultural, education, children and animal related causes. She is passionate about “helping families in my community secure a Legacy for their family and make the world a better place as well.”  In Barbara’s spare time, she enjoys golf, horseback riding, world travel, spending time with her family, and always loves to learn something new.

Shelley Plumb, Advisory Board Member

Dr. Shelley Plumb is a woman on a mission. As a wife, mother, physician, and life coach, she focuses her gifts on uplifting and inspiring others. She believes: “An individual who feels good about themselves feels empowered… and empowered individuals empower society.” Shelley graduated with honors from Pacific University and went on to earn her Doctorate Degree from Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. She served as Chief Podiatry Resident at the prestigious Crozer-Chester Medical Center of Pennsylvania where she completed her podiatric surgical training. In addition to her expertise in the medical world, she is founder and president of Plumb Talk, Inc., a multi-media company which provides individuals worldwide with resources and dialogue that enhances self-esteem. The company creates and produces programs for a flourishing virtual community that hosts the first all-encompassing website providing a clear and inspiring voice for everyone’s empowerment. The Plumb Talk Production Team extends their state-of-the-art production capabilities to those who wish to use their services. Plumb Talk is founded on Shelley’s belief that “when you reach out, you will begin seeing what is within.” Shelley is a dedicated wife and loving mother who enjoys feeding into the lives of her three children. Motherhood is Shelley’s greatest joy and highest achievement.

Lydia Sudick, Advisory Board Member

Lydia Sudick, known as the “polo playing art appraiser”, is an appraiser of fine and decorative art, specializing in fine art advisory services with emphasis on connoisseurship, curatorial expertise and management of collections for an international client base. Lydia’s love of art led her to study Art History in Paris, France which birthed a passion for Old Master paintings. Academically, she holds a Certificate in Appraisal Studies from New York University, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Hartford, in Paris, France and a Bachelors degree in Art History from the American University in Paris. Lydia resided in Europe for 15 years.

Her commitment to social issues and her love of animals was instilled in her from childhood as the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest. She serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including Pegasus Foundation in Hobe Sound, Florida, and via her involvement in polo, the Unwanted Polo Pony Project under the U. S. Polo Association. Lydia learned to ride and play polo twenty years ago and has been a proponent of Women’s polo. She was co-owner of two polo clubs: Buckleigh Farms in New York State and Aiken, South Carolina, and has played polo in the United States, Europe and Argentina. She is Principal of Lydia Sudick Fine Art Limited, Montecito, California and Tuxedo Park, NY and most recently Hobe Sound, Florida. Lydia is also CEO of Professional Art Services Group, Palm Beach, Florida.

Patricia Wakely Wolf, Advisory Board Member

Patricia Wakely Wolf has been passionate about the arts and literature since childhood, attaining success early in life when her poems were published at the age of 16. Writing has been a constant in her life, and after a corporate career in the legal and non-profit world, the lure of the written word caused her to jettison both to immerse herself in creative pursuits. Patricia won an award for her first full-length play and several of her 10-minute plays were produced by Group Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles.  Her short play, Befuddled, was published in City Theatre Anthology 2015 and she participates every year in the fun and lively South Florida One-Minute Play Festival in Miami. She is a Board Member for the South Florida Theatre League and, in 2016, she helped launch the Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida with the mission to cultivate young audiences and students to appreciate and perform the Bard’s words. In addition to her theatrical activities, Patricia is a much sought after model in South and Central Florida.