FORT PIERCE — The Indian River State College (IRSC) Foundation has appointed three new members to the organization’s Board of Directors—Alex Johns, National Resource Director for the Seminole Tribe of Florida; Brian Melear, CEO of HCA Raulerson Hospital; and Brandon D. Tucker, President of the Tucker Group, LLC.
“Okeechobee County has delivered three visionary leaders to join the IRSC Foundation,” said Michael Hageloh, Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for IRSC. “These leaders represent a broad segment of communities that we serve in Okeechobee and we are honored that they have accepted the invitation to join the foundation.”
Alex Johns is a founding member of Florida Cattle Ranchers. In 1995 he inherited First American Ranch in Brighton, Florida, part of the oldest cooperative in the United States. Johns also manages one of 67 family ranches owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Each of the 4,000 members in the tribe holds one share of the cattle company, which provides beef for Florida’s school lunch programs and more than 200 restaurants in southern Florida.
Johns is an active member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, working to assure that all Florida cattle ranchers apply best practices to protect the state’s water supply and other fragile natural resources.
Brian Melear began his career with HCA Florida Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee nearly a quarter century ago as a Registered Nurse. He later advanced to Director of Surgical Services and served as the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer from 2005 to 2016, before his appointment as Chief Executive Officer. He also serves as the hospital’s Ethics and Compliance Officer. No stranger to Indian River State College, Melear earned his Associate Degree in Nursing from IRSC and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. He currently serves on the boards of directors for the Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network and the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County and is a member of the Economic Council of Okeechobee County.
Brandon D. Tucker is president of The Tucker Group, LLC, a real estate brokerage in Okeechobee that serves much of central and south Florida, specializing in farms, ranches, recreational parcels, and development and conservation properties. Since becoming president in 2003, Tucker has sold more than $700 million in farm and ranch real estate.
Tucker earned a business degree at Florida State University and is a life member of FSU’s Alumni Association. He sits on the boards of, among other organizations, the South Florida Water Management District, Indian River Lagoon Council, the Water Resources Advisory Coalition, the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation, Okeechobee Christian Academy, the Economic Council of Okeechobee County, YMCA of the Treasure Coast, the Business Development Board of Okeechobee, and the Palm City Chamber of Commerce.
About IRSC Foundation
Since 1965, the Indian River State College Foundation has enhanced access and quality of education for IRSC students. Its focus is to attract and manage private contributions from individuals, organizations, businesses, and private foundations to support IRSC’s mission. Managed by a voluntary Board of Directors of business and civic leaders from all four counties served by IRSC, the Foundation is a private non-profit entity recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and by the State of Florida as a direct-support organization for the benefit of IRSC. As a partner in building a better community, IRSC Foundation promotes higher education with student scholarships, support of instructional programs, technology grants, and new and improved facilities.