Planned Giving Council

The Planned Giving Council is responsible for advising Gulfshore Playhouse on its planned giving initiatives for the purposes of cultivating and soliciting current and legacy gifts to secure the future of the organization. We are grateful to this local industry professionals who volunteer their time to support the Planned Giving efforts of Gulfshore Playhouse.

Ashley Smith (Dewji)

Planned Giving Council Co-Chair, Board of Directors

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Ashley Smith (Dewji) moved with her family in the early 1990s to Scottsdale, Arizona. Ultimately, Ashley’s family moved from Scottsdale, Arizona to New York City and eventually Sharon, Massachusetts, where Ashley grew up. Ashley developed a love for music and theater at a young age, traveling with her family every Labor Day long weekend to New York City, where they would see a show or two. Ashley went onto act in her high school version of Footloose and has a love for both on and off-Broadway shows.

Ashley has devoted herself to the growth of not-for-profits close to her heart in every community where she has lived and worked. Some of those organization include Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement, Feed America, and the Women’s Foundation of Collier County. Ashley serves as a Board Member for the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County, the Women Lifting Women Campaign, and is an Advisory Board member with Naples Illustrated magazine.

After a decade long career with J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Naples, Ashley joined Aurora Investment Managers, LLC (AIM) as a Partner and Portfolio Manager in 2024. In this position, Ashley works to help clients build their investment portfolios to sustain current and future generations. In her role at AIM, Ashley is most passionate about the advancement and education of women as a means to break the cycle of abdication as it pertains to financial literacy.

Ashley received her accounting degree with Honors from York University in Toronto, Canada and is a candidate for the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation.

Ashley chairs the Planned Giving Council for Gulfshore Playhouse with fellow Board Member, David Wilson. Ashley also serves as a member of the Finance Committee.

Ashley resides in Naples with her husband, Tyler, and their Bernedoodle, Comet.

Dave Wilson

Planned Giving Council Co-Chair, Board of Directors

Dr. David A. Wilson has had a broad and distinguished career in both the academic and corporate worlds.  He holds a B. Com. from Queen’s University in Canada, an MBA in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in Accounting, and Finance from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.  He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (Ontario, Canada) and a Certified Public Accountant (Texas).

He was a tenured member of the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and a Visiting Professor at the Harvard Business School.  He is the author, or co-author, of four books in accounting and corporate financial reporting and dozens of cases and articles.

Dave later joined Arthur Young & Company, now Ernst & Young, as an audit partner and subsequently as managing partner, national director of professional development and chair of the firm’s international committee for professional development and a member of the board of directors of the Ernst & Young Foundation.  After his first retirement, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Graduate Management Admission Council.

He has had more than 50 years of executive and board level experience having served in the past on the corporate boards of Sylvan Learning Systems, Laureate Education, Inc., Terra Industries, Barnes & Noble, Barnes & Noble Education and as the Lead Director for CoreSite Realty, Inc.

Dave currently serves on the board of trustees of Johnson & Wales University.  He has served, in prior years, on the board of directors of Junior Achievement Worldwide, The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and The Atlantic Council. He was the Bailli Délégué of the Confrérerie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs des Etats-Unis and a member of its international governing board Le Conseil d’Administration (Paris).  He has served as a Trustee of the National Symphony in Washington.  In 2015, Dr. Wilson was named by the National Association of Corporate Directors to the NACD Directorship 100 as one on the most influential people in the boardroom community.

Dave and his wife Jane have been long-time supporters of Gulfshore Playhouse. Their support and passion for the arts has helped make the dream of a new building come to life.

He proudly serves on the Board of Directors as chair of the Finance Committee, and co-chair of the Planned Giving Council for Gulfshore Playhouse.

Erika Aron

Board of Directors

As a resident of Long Island, NY and Naples, FL, Erika Aron has devoted herself to philanthropy and leadership roles at a broad range of non-profit, arts, and educational institutions for over fifty years. Erika and her husband Peter are long-time supporters of Gulfshore Playhouse, members of Playhouse Partners, and generous contributors to the capital campaign. Erika serves as a member of the Education Committee.

Erika was educated at Douglass College of Rutgers University and the New York School of Interior Design. In New York City, she has been involved with schools (Marymount, Brearley, Episcopal School); museums and galleries (South Street Seaport, the Asia Society, Japan House Gallery); hospitals (Lenox Hill Hospital, NYU Downtown Hospital, United Hospital Fund) and other institutions. The Arons dedicated a gallery in their names at the Asia Society, and Lenox Hill Hospital awarded Erika with their “42 Year Service Award”. 

In Naples, Erika has served on the boards of the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, the Community Foundation, Books for Collier Kids, and Christ Child Society, among many other volunteer activities.

In addition to her interest in opera, classical music, and theater, Erika is a collector of Asian Art.

Scott Blackburn

Scott is a Principal at Benson Blackburn, and is responsible for working with Benson Blackburn’s clients to understand their unique goals and to coordinate the design and implementation of solutions to help meet their financial and estate needs.  Scott joined Benson Blackburn in 2010, and became a Principal of the firm in 2015.

Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in financial planning from Bowling Green State University. While at Bowling Green he was a member of the golf team as a 4-year letterman and advisor to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Scott is a Certified Financial Planner® and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). He also holds his Series 7 license and Life and Health Insurance License.

Scott and his wife Lauren moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Naples, Florida in 2012. He is an active member of the Naples Estate Planning Council, and also serves on the Naples Botanical Garden Planned Giving Committee.

Mary Beth Crawford

Mary Beth Crawford is a Principal in Cummings & Lockwood’s Private Clients Group and is based in the Bonita Springs office. She focuses her practice on estate planning, tax planning and probate and trust administration. Mary Beth brings a caring and comprehensive approach to estate planning and provides her clients and their families with both the technical and personal guidance they need in developing the proper plan.


  • Private Clients Group
  • Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
  • Probate and Estate Administration
  • Fiduciary and Trustee Services
  • Wealth Protection Planning
  • Philanthropic Giving
  • International Estate and Tax Planning
  • Business Succession Planning


  • University of Florida, Levin College of Law (LL.M. in Taxation, 1998)
  • University of Florida, Levin College of Law (J.D., with honors, 1997)
  • University of Florida (B.A., 1992)


  • Florida, 1997


  • Florida Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Member
  • Collier County Bar Association, Trusts and Estate Section, Member
  • Collier County Women’s Bar Association, Member


  • Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts and Estates – 2004-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-Present
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
  • Gulfshore Business, “40 Under 40” Award, 2004
  • Distinctive Women, 2011
  • 2017 Women of Initiative Honoree, Women’s Foundation
  • Naples Illustrated Top Lawyers, 2019-2020
  • Florida Legal Elite, 2020


  • Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Board of Trustees
  • Gulfshore Playhouse, Planned Giving Council
  • Angels Undercover of Collier County, Inc., Board of Directors
  • David Lawrence Center & Foundation, Board of Directors, Past President; Planned Giving Committee
  • Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, Board of Directors, Past President
  • American Red Cross, Planned Giving Committee, Past Chair
  • Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida, Membership Committee
  • Leadership Bonita, Class of 2004
  • Junior League of Fort Myers, Past Member


  • Probate: Florida, Practical Law Guide, co-author, Thomson Reuters

Kelly R. Dee

Kelly is the President of Naples-based CPA firm Dee & Associates CPAs.  The firm was founded in Naples in 1976.  Kelly graduated with honors from the University of Florida with dual degrees: a Masters Degree in Accounting (Tax Specialty) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Kelly is a licensed CPA and a Certified Financial Planner professional. Kelly’s primary professional focus is designing sophisticated tax strategies and solutions for individual and business clients.

David Legus

David Legus is the Managing Director for the Naples office of Meristem Family Wealth, a multi-family office providing comprehensive advisory and trust services to private families.  Prior to joining Meristem, spent time with Alliance Bernstein and the Private Client Reserve with U.S. Bank.

Before entering financial services, he got his start in management consulting where he not only had the opportunity to work internationally with world-class organizations, but also with the executives and visionaries running them.  During that time he took a keen interest in getting to know their personal stories and what drove them to be successful. This same curiosity, along with a history of genuinely wanting to help, has proven to be an excellent foundation for working with generational families.

David received his BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA in Finance & Marketing.

He also currently serves on the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, and Investment Committee with The Immokalee Foundation.  In addition, he serves on the Professional Advisor Council of the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Michael J. Mongin

A veteran of the financial services sector, Michael Mongin is Senior Vice President – Investments at Moran Wealth Management. With educational credentials including a BA from Hartwick College in political science and business management as well as a JD from Albany Law School (NY), Mike has accumulated over 25 years’ experience in the Private Wealth and Financial Planning industry. Mike’s lifelong ambition has been to serve as an executive leader in a profession that provides valuable assistance helping people better their own lives. Motivated by an instinct to help people solve their unique financial problems, Mike has delivered the most important financial advisory element – high quality information and integrated planning – across multiple wealth disciplines including investments, retirement, wealth & estate succession, philanthropy, and many other financial issues. Mike began his Financial Advisory career in NY where he became a partner in The Ayco Company, the financial planning and family office division of Goldman Sachs. After 15 years, Mike seized the opportunity to move to Florida in 2010, first joining the Wells Fargo Private Bank as a Sr. Wealth Planning Strategist, and then becoming the Senior Wealth Advisor for GenSpring Family Offices, leading the Orlando office’s comprehensive wealth and financial planning advice for ultra-high net worth families.

Mike and his wife, Jodi, have four children and reside in Naples. They are music and theater lovers, as well as avid sports fans, participating in volleyball, basketball, football, tennis, and golf. Mike’s community involvement includes serving the Gulfshore Playhouse Board of Directors as a member of its Planned Giving Committee, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and has served as a Board Member and Officer for regional American Red Cross affiliates. Mike has also been a member of the American Bar Association, National Association of Basketball Coaches, and had been a USA Basketball youth coach.

Susan Nesbet-Sikuta

Susan Sikuta is a Shareholder at Dentons Cohen & Grigsby P.C. in its Estates and Trusts Practice Group and is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts & Estates Law.  Her practice focuses on domestic and international estate and tax planning and estate administration. Susan’s knowledge of the German language complements her legal work with international clients on issues specific to resident and non-resident alien U.S. estate tax and succession planning.   She is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), an international association of professional advisers specializing in estate and succession planning. 

Susan completed studies of German literature at Harvard University (BA magna cum laude) and a fellowship year at Indiana University, Bloomington (I.U. Fellow) prior to receiving her JD degree summa cum laude from Nova Southeastern University.  Between BA and JD, Susan received a violin performance degree from the Conservatory of Music in Freiburg, Germany, and performed as a violinist with the State Opera Orchestra in Darmstadt and the German Chamber Orchestra.  She remains an active participant in and supporter of the arts in Southwest Florida, having served on the Board of the United Arts Council (past Secretary) and performing with Opera Naples, the Gulfshore Opera and the Southwest Florida Symphony, among others.

Cherry W. Smith

Executive Vice President, Wealth Services Advisor
The Naples Trust Company

Cherry Smith joined the company with over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. She was Vice President and Wealth Strategist for 13 years with Northern Trust and spent 20 years working in the Wealth Management division of Bank of America. As an active community volunteer, she has served as a director with Champions for Learning, the Naples Concert Band, the Naples Art Association, the Naples Historical Society, St. Matthews House, the Senior Friendship Health Clinic and is currently serving with AVOW. She is a graduate of Greater Naples Leadership, Class XIV. Cherry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and graduated with honors from the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University.

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