Jan 23

Margaret Word Burnside & Aaron R. Fodiman – April 23rd 2015

Aaron Fodiman & Margaret Word Burnside

Aaron Fodiman & Margaret Word Burnside

Margaret, a Clearwater native, attended Stevens College and then the University of Florida graduate school of journalism. She has played the piano and organ professionally, been the director of marketing for two international manufacturing companies, a professional model, plus fashion show and special events coordinator. She is an alumnae of Leadership Pinellas and a sustainer of the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin. She was on the founding advisory boards of the Clearwater Long Center and Ruth Eckerd Hall and on the founding committee of Dunedin U.S.A. and Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Besides the Dunedin Fine Art Center and its Trident Society, she has served on the boards of Stevens College Alumnae, UPARC Foundation, Dunedin Junior Service League, Mahaffey Theater, Chaines des Rotisseurs, Dunedin Historical Society, Florida West Ballet and the Dunedin Council of Organizations, where she was the first female president. She is currently a member of the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin’s and The Florida Orchestra’s advisory boards. She has received Dunedin Chamber of Commerce’s “Delightful Dunedin,” Dunedin Historical Society’s “History-Maker,” and Hilton’s “Ray of Sunshine” awards and has been recognized as a Melitta Bentz “Woman of Achievement,” a YWCA “Woman in Business” and St. Petersburg College’s “Woman on the Way.”

Aaron, a native of Stamford, Connecticut, received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University, his law degree from New York Law School, and master’s in business from New York University. He practiced law for 18 years in the Washington, D.C. area, where he served as White House Counsel and U.S. Envoy to Senegal, Poland and Russia before becoming president of Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken. He moved to Clearwater after purchasing the Kapok Tree Restaurant chain in 1983. Besides serving as president of the Dunedin Fine Art Center, Bay Ballet Theater and the Pinellas County Restaurant Association, Aaron has chaired the Pinellas County Arts Council and the Clearwater Arts Foundation. He has also been on the boards of the Florida Restaurant Association, Mahaffey Theater and Tampa Museum of Art and was a founder of Leadership Tampa Bay. He currently serves on The Florida Orchestra’s advisory board. He has written books entitled Life is Not An Illusion, It Just Looks That Way and Happy Thoughts for a Happy Life. Aaron, who is listed in several editions of Who’s Who, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Restaurant and Hospitality Rating Bureau and the Individual Business Volunteer Award from the Tampa Bay Business Committee for the Arts.

Margaret and Aaron are founding members of Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Armed Forces Military Museum, have been inducted into the Krewe of Venus’ Hall of Honor, and received awards from The National Society of Arts and Letters, St. Petersburg Museum of History Guild, PARC and the USF Area Civic Community Association and the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Sterling Society. They were also presented with Opera Tampa’s Corporate Partner of the Year Award. They have served as honorary chairs, emcees, auctioneers, speakers and even King and Queen for numerous events and have hosted many charity functions in their history Dunedin home. They have taught cotillion and etiquette classes, enjoy the arts, dancing, traveling, being with their family and friends, and helping charitable and other organizations through their publication.