SEM Team

Donald R. Jowdy
President and Chief Investment Officer

Prior to founding Suncoast Equity Management, LLC in 1997, Donald Jowdy was a Portfolio Manager with Polen Capital Management. During his tenure, Polen Capital consistently performed in the top 10% of its peer group for three, five and ten year periods, as measured by several industry consultants including Effron/PSN and Nelson’s Investment Manager Database. Mr. Jowdy played a key role in the company’s growth from $20 million in assets to approximately $250 million. Don then served in an advisory capacity to Polen Capital Management during its growth to over $1 billion in client assets. Previously, Mr. Jowdy was an equity analyst with 13D Research, Inc., advising institutional clients through an independent investment research organization. He provided an in-depth analysis of domestic as well as global investment opportunities in areas such as Latin America, Southeast Asia and the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Jowdy was also a Senior Associate with Price Waterhouse Coopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand).

Mr. Jowdy is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He is on the board of Quantum Leap Farm, a nonprofit Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding Program Serving Veterans, Civilian Adults, and Kids.

Amy A. Lord, CFA
Senior Vice President/Co-Portfolio Manager

Amy Lord joined Suncoast Equity Management “SEM” in September 2008. She was previously Vice President/Portfolio Manager with Intrepid Capital where she was sole manager of the company’s Large Cap Equity and Investment Grade Fixed Income portfolios. Prior to joining Intrepid in 2001, Ms. Lord was Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager of The Investment Counsel Company. During her nine years with the firm, her responsibilities included equity and fixed income portfolio management and analysis; marketing and client servicing; and overseeing GIPS performance compliance.

Ms. Lord earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising, with a minor in Mathematics, from the University of Florida. She is a CFA charterholder and past President of the CFA Society of Orlando, as well as a member of the CFA Institute. Ms. Lord is also active in her church as well as Circles USA, a non-profit organization which inspires and equips individuals and families to permanently move out of poverty and thrive.

Cheeroke Townsend
Investment Associate

Cheeroke Townsend is a graduate from the University of South Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. She is involved with the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy program at USF. Prior to joining SEM, Ms. Townsend completed a summer internship at Franklin Templeton Investments. She is also a candidate in the CFA program.

Elliott Sharp
Director of Operations and Trading

Elliott joined Suncoast Equity Management (“SEM”) in March 2014. Prior to joining SEM, Elliott spent six years working as Client Services Associate at Private Capital Management (“PCM”); an all-cap value registered investment advisor (“RIA”) located in Naples, FL.  In his role with PCM, Elliott directly assisted senior executives with a variety of client service related tasks including account maintenance requests, portfolio analysis, and customized client reporting.  He also became well-versed in the firm’s portfolio accounting software and developed a strong working knowledge of the RIA world.

Before he began his career in finance, Elliott graduated magna cum laude from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2007 with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Economics.  Elliott currently holds his Series 65 license.

Beth Dopking Neal
Senior Relationship Manager

Beth joined Suncoast Equity Management (“SEM”) in February 2016. She has more than 11 years of experience in the financial industry. She spent 10 of those years working at Smith Barney/Morgan Stanley. Her roles as a Client Service Associate and Financial Advisor gave her a broad base of knowledge and experience working with high-net-worth individuals and institutions. She and her two partners managed approximately $250 million in assets.

Beth is a graduate from the University of Tampa with a B.S. in Marketing. Beth is a member of the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin and enjoys volunteering for Quantum Leap Farm, a nonprofit Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding Program Serving Veterans, Civilian Adults, and Kids.

Bert T. Martin, III
Senior Relationship Manager

Bert was previously Vice President /Wealth Advisor with The Tampa Bay Trust Company, a boutique trust firm which operates a branch of the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company.  At Tampa Bay Trust Bert worked closely with the parent CEO and market President in the growth of its local client base.  He was also a member of the Asset Management Committee which oversees more than $1.4 billion in assets.  Prior to joining Tampa Bay Trust, Bert was a partner at Caerus Ventures, a venture capital firm based in West Palm Beach.  At Caerus Bert was responsible for new deal flow, raising capital, and was part of the investment committee.  Bert began his career as a credit analyst at Colonial Bank before working on business development with several companies in healthcare insurance and information technology.

Bert is a graduate of Rollins College where he earned a B.S. in Economics and played for the Varsity Men’s Tennis Team.  He was a member of the 2001 Division II National Championship team.  Bert is a board member and past president of the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a conservation and communication non-profit with the goal of connecting, protecting, and restoring critical land and water linkages throughout Florida.  He is also on the board of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, which provides transitional healthcare, food, and shelter for those in need.