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Board of Directors


John Venezia

Executive Director

I am a two-time kidney transplant recipient. I was transplanted the first time on March 19, 1986 which lasted 28 years. I was transplanted the second time on December 12, 2016 and will be celebrating my fourth transplant anniversary this year. I ran a satellite clinic for the University of Miami located in Pompano Beach, Florida for 25 years. I was president of the Broward chapter of the Transplant Foundation of South Florida from 1989 – 2000 and am now Executive Director of Florida Organ Transplant Association, a not-for-profit organization that is run by volunteers dedicated to raising awareness for the need for organ donation and helping transplant and donor families in need.


To contact John, please email:

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Betty Ann Ruotolo


I have been a volunteer with Florida Organ Transplant Association for almost 6 years as a member of the Board of Directors.  I was invited to join because of my personal involvement with organ donation. 


In 1998, my younger brother, Adam, suffered a cardiac event in a swimming pool.  The first responders were able to revive him and transport him to Delray Hospital where he was placed on a ventilator. Adam was removed from life support on May 12, 1998 and on May 13th, his kidneys, skin, tissue, and bone marrow were used to save 27 lives. 


Our family has supported FOTA since 1998 by creating the annual Adam Straub Memorial Golf Tournament and to date has raised $800,000 dollars for the transplant community. 


I am a retired Editorial Assistant for a publishing company with two grown daughters and two granddaughters.  I am also proud and delighted to be a member of this organization and I love the passion and commitment from our board members, who are like family.


To contact Betty Ann, please email:

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Since the summer of 2002, when my father was first told he needed a kidney transplant, the mission to learn and educate others about organ donation became my passion.  We were very blessed when my father received his kidney transplant, December 15, 2002.  Not only did the donor family's selfless act give us another 16 years with my dad, but the support of the transplant community was invaluable.  As a result, I hold the cause of education and registration for organ donation to be the top priority in my life and have supported organ transplant community activities at every opportunity.


To contact Lissette, please email:

Lissette Linares

Vice President


Elizabeth Harris


I became invloved with the transplant community in 2004 after my husband Greg had a kidney transplant. I began attending support groups shortly after Greg was transplanted where I met John Venezia. John got Greg and myself involved with the Transplant Games of America where Greg compted as an athlete. After attending several transplant events I became involved with Florida Organ Transplant Association and sit on the executive board as Treasurer.

To contact Elizabeth, please email:

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James M. Cohen


I have been involved with the transplant community since 1990 after attending a Transplant Foundation event with John Venezia. I volunteered my time with Transplant Foundation helping at events, as well as donating my talents as a graphic designer. I was on the planning committee for Team Florida at the U.S. Transplant Games from 1998 – 2010 and for Team Florida at the Transplant Games of America from 2012 to present. I currently sit on the Executive Board of Florida Organ Transplant Association (FOTA) as Secretary.


To contact James, please email:

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Bio coming soon

Scott Shamis


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