Highland Beach Commissioners

Rhoda Zelniker
(561) 278-4548 (561) 265-3582 rzelniker@highlandbeach.us

Rhoda Zelniker was appointed by Town Commission on January 8, 2019, to fill the office of Mayor-Commissioner for an unexpired term ending March of 2020. 

She has lived with her husband Marvin in Highland Beach since 2001. They are the parents of two grown children and the proud grandparents of five.

Originally from Roslyn Heights, New York; Mayor Zelniker attended Hofstra University, going on to work 25 years in the corporate furniture industry. Her managerial experience included: Budgeting and Finance, Operations Management, Showroom Design, Personnel and Public Relations. Mayor Zelniker has served on the Town Commission since 2014. President of the Regency Highland Condo Association, Mayor Zelniker has been an elected member of the Condo Board since 2005. A dedicated environmentalist, she served on our Town Beaches and Shores advisory Board. 

A lifetime volunteer, both here and in New York, Mayor Zelniker has contributed her time to the Beach Condominium Association of Boca Raton and Highland Beach, to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, to Boca Helping Hands to CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and to the Pet Enrichment Program at local hospitals. Mayor Zelniker is active in many community activities and has been a major organizer of several civic events.

Term: January 8, 2019 to March 10, 2020

Vice Mayor
Alysen A. Nila
(561) 278-4548 (561) 265-3582 anila@highlandbeach.us

Vice Mayor Nila was elected to the office of Vice Mayor-Commissioner in March of 2018. 

She and her husband Chuck has been a resident of Highland Beach for over five years.  They have two children. 

Vice Mayor Nila graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dowling College, Vanderbilt campus, in New York, on a full Presidential Academic scholarship. Her career background includes 15 years of corporate banking and finance experience in New York City, including the position of Vice President of New York Lending Operations.  Additionally, she has 15 years education and teaching experience in both New York and Florida.  She is a very active participant in the Highland Beach community and also currently the Chairperson of the Architectural/Design Committee, and a member of the Finance Committee for Ambassadors East Condominium, a neighborhood of 350 residents.

Term: March 13, 2018 to March 9, 2021


Elyse Riesa
(561) 278-4548   (561) 265-3582   eriesa@highlandbeach.us

Commissioner Elyse Riesa was elected to the office of Commissioner  for an unexpired term ending March of 2017. 

She was born and raised in Queens, New York , Elyse is a 20 year resident of Florida and a 10 year resident of Highland Beach. She is happily married to Marty with two wonderful adult sons.  

She has a BA Degree from Queens College in New York and a Masters Degree in Government programs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  

As a professional, she has been a Managing Director/Global Vice-President for one of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and most recently a small Business Owner/CEO. Her work experience and knowledge includes executive management level expertise in major government contracting, program management, global customer service, corporate negotiations, telecommunications and engineering. Elyse has been responsible for secure communication installations in the White House during the Bush and Clinton Administrations along with Army, Navy, Air Force Programs Worldwide and even the restoration of communications at the World Trade Center when it was bombed the first time in 1993. She has negotiated millions of dollars in sales with some of the largest commercial companies in the world. Winning awards for customer service, sales and promoting small business growth, Elyse has always been an advocate for her customers, large and small. She has that same commitment to serving all our residents.  Since moving to Highland Beach, Elyse has been the voluntary team leader for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) of Highland Beach. It is a team of individuals, certified, trained and dedicated to assisting our residents along with first responders in the event of any disaster including hurricanes. She has been a Member and Chair of the Beaches and Shores Advisory Board and a Member of the Planning Board.  Elyse is dedicated to promoting transparency, open communications, and advancing the quality of life in Highland Beach.

Term: March 14, 2017 to March 12, 2019

Peggy Gossett-Seidman
(561) 278-4548   (561) 265-3582    pseidman@highlandbeach.us

Commissioner Gossett-Seidman was elected to the office of Commissioner in March of 2018. 

She and her husband Barry has been residents of Highland Beach since 1991.  They have three children: Tyler, Austin and Dallas; and they are currently attending college. 

Commissioner Gosett-Seidman was born on a U.S. Air Force Base and raised in Michigan.  She attended Michigan State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, studying Writing, Journalism and History while working as a State News reporter. After graduation, she became the first woman sportswriter for The Palm Beach Post, covering tennis, auto racing, baseball and football. She then worked as a Professional Journalist, Writer and Media Director for many companies including the Women’s Tennis Association Pro Tour in 18 countries, Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre and TV series, Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity, local schools, businesses and charitable events. At the National and State levels, Peggy worked with Points of Light, Florida’s Ounce of Prevention Fund, Special Olympics, Best Buddies and March of Dimes, among others. She has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and other news affiliations. Her byline stories and media releases earned many honors and were published widely throughout the U.S. and Internationally. She is certified as a Red Cross lifeguard and swim instructor, in scuba diving and parachuting. She has advocated for community improvement for many years, is a member of St. Lucy Council of Catholic Women, and Secretary of Bel Lido Property Owners’ Board. She holds strong beliefs that solid communication skills and the inherent goodness of all people are vital to society at all levels.

Term: March 13, 2018 to March 9, 2021


Barry Donaldson 

Barry Donaldson
(561) 278-4548 (561) 265-3582 bdonaldson@highlandbeach.us

Commissioner Barry Donaldson was appointed by Town Commission on January 8, 2019, to fill the office of Commissioner for an unexpired term ending March of 2020.

He and his wife Marlynn have been residents of Toscana in Highland Beach since 2002. 

Barry is a 1973 graduate of the College of Architecture at the University of Kentucky and is a practicing architect.  Following graduation, he worked for a non-profit agency in Lexington, Kentucky on low-income tenant housing issues.  He was then retained to assist the first Commissioner for Parks, Housing and Community Development in the newly formed Lexington Fayette Urban County Government to establish Section 8 housing programs and assist displaced residents during construction of a large scale civic project.  He also researched and prioritized funding for improvement projects in rural areas and assisted in organizing a Growth Management symposium to guide future development of the new urban-county.  Long active in public service in Highland Beach, Barry served as an active volunteer for the Friends of the Library, served four years as Chairman of the Board of Adjustment and Appeals, served on the Planning Board and was a member of the Special Committee to evaluate Solid Waste Proposals.  He is an active triathlete and former marathon runner, logging many miles along the A1A walkway in Highland Beach.  He and Marlynn are the proud grandparents of four girls and three boys.

Term: January 8, 2019 to March 10, 2020