Ms. Jaime-Lee Bradshaw
Chief Strategy Officer, Community Partners of South Florida
Jaime-Lee Bradshaw serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at Community Partners of South Florida (CPSFL) in Palm Beach County, Florida. She first joined CPSFL as director at a neighborhood resource center, called BRIDGES. Jaime previously worked to support youth engaged in the criminal justice system, as an emergency housing case manager, an after-school director, and as a consultant for a local early childhood funder.
Through community building, stabilization, and engagement, Jaime has cultivated strong relationships with several local, regional, state, and national partners including NeighborWorks America, where she serves on the Community Initiatives Advisory Council and Everyday Democracy, where she manages CPSFL's anchor relationship designed to help build capacity and engage communities in creating positive change. In her current role, she oversees the implementation of the organizations' strategic plan, applying a strategy and equity lens to each of the organization's major lines of business, health, housing, and community. In her role as liaison for NeighborWorks America, she also supports the NeighborWorks Florida Collaborative as Coordinator. Jaime also supports various local and national efforts engaged in community engagement, collective impact, and comprehensive community development to create actionable outcomes.
Originally from Barbados, Jaime moved to Palm Beach County in 1987. An outspoken advocate of CPSFL's mission, she seeks to engage resident voice in all aspects of programs and projects that impact their community. Jaime received her degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of North Florida. She is an alumnus of the Nonprofits First Rising Leaders program and Leadership Palm Beach County. Jaime enjoys spending time with her family and friends both locally and abroad.
Mr. Orie Bullard
Director, Reentry Center, City of Riviera Beach
Orie Bullard is currently the director of The Reentry Center in Riviera Beach and has been on a mission for more than a decade to engage and empower his local community by diminishing the barriers for its most underserved population: returning citizens. Throughout his tenure at The Reentry Center, Orie has helped to impact the lives of more than 1500 criminal justice-involved men and women. Orie's goal is to provide a sustainable system of care that educates and supports returning citizens and their families throughout the arduous reentry journey. With 15 years of executive level leadership in the Reentry field, Orie has been consistently effective in merging his transformational leadership style and passion for innovative community engagement to create impactful opportunities for returning citizens.
Dr. Camille Busette
Director - Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative, Brookings Institute
Camille M. Busette, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies with affiliated appointments in Economic Studies and the Metropolitan Policy programs.
She is the Director of the Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative, Brookings's cross-program initiative focused on issues of equity, racial justice
and economic mobility for low-income communities and communities of color. At Brookings, her work has focused on systemic racism, the economic advancement
of Black and Native American boys, the importance of social relationships to economic mobility, and equity in healthcare and in local and state government
policy priorities and builds on her work for low-income populations at EARN (now SaverLife) and the Center for American Progress.
Prior to joining Brookings, Busette was an executive at the World Bank where she led the World Bank's financial inclusion innovation arm, working globally with technology and financial service executives and with central bank governors on product, regulatory, data and cybersecurity issues. Before joining the World Bank, Busette was the inaugural CEO of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Financial Education, where she initiated research on financial well-being, and was a member of the Policy and Executive Management teams there. Busette has held executive positions at PayPal, Intuit, and NextCard and is a Public Governor of FINRA, the self-regulatory agency for the broker-dealer industry.
Mrs. Kemberly Bush
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pathways to Prosperity
Kemberly is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pathways to Prosperity, Inc., (P2P) a non-profit organization committed to strengthening communities by improving the lives of children and families in Palm Beach County through education and social services. She has more than 30 years of experience working with children, families, individuals and communities and holds a Bachelor of Social Work. She began her career in addiction disorders and crisis management becoming one of the first Relapse Prevention Specialist in the state of Florida. At P2P, Kemberly has focused on partnership development, family strengthening and community improvement.
Reverend Pam Cahoone
Chairperson, Hunger Relief Advisory Council
For more nearly four decades, Rev. Pamela Cahoon has been a faithful member of the health and human services community in Palm Beach County. She led
Christians Reaching Out to Society (or CROS Ministries) as executive director for 35 years. Through Rev. Cahoon's leadership the organization was built
to help families and individuals from falling into the downward spiral of poverty, food insecurity and, in some cases, homelessness. Over the years,
CROS' programs have grown to include seven community food pantries, a robust gleaning program, The Caring Kitchen, a hot meal program, and a summer camp
Rev. Cahoon was the first president of Palm Beach County's Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, which established the Children's Place, a temporary shelter for potentially abused and neglected children. She brought Habitat for Humanity, a self-help housing program, to the county and served on its first Board of Directors. She is also a founding Board member of Teen Musical Theater, a program for teenagers who cannot afford private lessons. Additionally, she chaired the Human Services Coalition for three years, and participated as one of seven citizens in the county's first comprehensive planning process. She is a past Board member of Hope House, home for AIDS patients, the Center for Children in Crisis, and the Needs Committee of the Health Care District. She was a part of the Community Food Alliance and was instrumental in creating the Palm Beach County Food Bank, where she served as its first Board President. She currently serves as Chair for the Hunger Relief Advisory Council, a group of community leaders that oversees the implementation of the 10-goal Palm Beach County Hunger Relief Plan, created by the Food Research and Action Center, University of South Carolina, and more than 60 community partners, leaders, and residents. United Way and Palm Beach County administration led the creation of the plan, and it is a major collaborative partnership with more than 60 agencies in our community. Rev. Cahoon also serves on the Board of Directors at United Way of Palm Beach County.
Her church service has included chairing the Conference Outreach and Refugee committee and participating as a member of Work Area on Mission, Health and Welfare, and Church Development and Strategic Planning. She is also the past chair of District Committee on Ministry and the District Superintendence Committee as well as past President of Southeastern Jurisdiction Urban Workers Network. She served on the Board of Church Extension, Committee on Ministry, served one quadrennium on the General Commission on the Status and the Role of Women, and has been a Jurisdictional Conference delegate five times.
Rev. Cahoon holds a B.A. in sociology from Jacksonville University and a Master of Divinity from Emory University, and is a proud graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County's Class of 1989. She has three grown children, three granddaughters, and a grandson.
Dr. Raj Chetty
Professor of Public Economics at Harvard University and Director of Opportunity Insights
Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights, which uses "big data" to
understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding. Chetty's research combines empirical evidence and economic
theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on topics ranging from tax policy and unemployment insurance to education and affordable
housing has been widely cited in academia, media outlets, and Congressional testimony.
Chetty received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003 and is one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, he was a professor at UC-Berkeley and Stanford University. Chetty has received numerous awards for his research, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field.
Regional Program Manager, Department of Children and Families
Sue-Jay Collins is a Program Manager in the Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency for the Florida Department of Children and Families' Southeast Region. During more than 10 years of service with DCF, Sue-Jay has served in multiple roles, from determining eligibility for applicants seeking public benefits (Medicaid, Temporary Cash Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), to supervising Economic Self-Sufficiency Specialists, leading the Case Maintenance and Special Programs units, managing Operations, and managing Planning and Performance. As Program Manager, Sue-Jay is responsible for ensuring staff are trained and policy is disseminated and implemented appropriately throughout the region (Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee, and Broward counties). Sue-Jay earned a bachelor's degree in health education from the University of Florida and a master's degree in public health from Florida International University.
Mr. Matthew Constantine
Chief Executive Officer, Adopt-a-Family
Matthew Constantine has worked with Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc. for 21 years and currently serves as the agency's Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Constantine has a wealth of experience managing HUD-financed activities including Homeless Prevention/Rapid Re-Housing, Neighborhood Stabilization
Program 2, and Supportive Housing Programs for families experiencing homelessness. During his tenure, he has assisted the agency in significantly expanding
its affordable housing portfolio while at the same time enhancing social service programs.
Mr. Constantine is a 2017 graduate from Leadership Palm Beach County and currently serves on the board of the Nonprofit Chamber of Palm Beach County. He has served as the Vice Chairman of the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency and also as an executive member of Palm Beach County's Continuum of Care. He is a licensed clinical social worker and earned his Master's Degree in Social Work from Barry University.
Mr. Michael Corbit
Vice President of Business Development, CareerSource Palm Beach County
Michael Corbit is Vice President of Business Development for CareerSource Palm Beach County, our regional workforce board. Through CareerSource Michael
collaborates with regional businesses, government, education & industry leaders to spur job growth and economic development. He represents CareerSource
on a variety of boards and committees across South Florida including Palm Beach County League of Cities, City of West Palm Beach Mayor's Village Initiative,
Miami Dade College Science and Biotechnology Advisory Board, Florida Makes, City of West Palm Beach Center for Arts & Technology, Business Development Board
of PBC Business & Financial Services Committee, South Florida Tech Hub, Marine Industry Association of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Transportation Planning
Authority Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board, South Florida Manufacturers Association, South Florida Business Council Tourism Embassy, City of Boynton
Beach Affordable Housing Advisory Council and numerous Hospitality & Tourism Task Forces.
Michael holds a BS Degree from Milligan College, TN and Executive Development Certificate from Nova Southeastern University, Davie FL
Ms. Sarah Couture
Florida State Director, Fines and Fees Justice Center
Sarah Couture is the Florida State Director, previously the Deputy Director, at the Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC). Sarah works with community organizations,
legislators, and justice system stakeholders to advocate for and advance state and local campaigns for fines and fees reforms; and educates the public on fines
and fees reform issues.
Before joining FFJC, Sarah was the Community Outreach Manager for Feeding Tampa Bay where she managed the SNAP Outreach Team that assisted clients with applying for SNAP benefits. Prior to joining Feeding Tampa Bay, Sarah was an employee of the State of Florida Courts System for over six years.
She began her career as a case manager for family law self-represented litigants in the 13th Judicial Circuit. She next served as the paralegal to the Legal Department of the 13th Judicial Circuit where she worked with and assisted staff attorneys, general counsel and judges. In her last position with the Florida Courts System, Sarah was a Court Operations Manager with the 5th Judicial Circuit assigned specifically to Hernando County.
Sarah was an active member of the National Association for Court Management and previously served as a Director on the Board of Directors until leaving the court system.
Sarah holds a Master's in Judicial Administration from Michigan State University, an Advanced Technical Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Hillsborough Community College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Southern Nazarene University.
Mr. Warren Eldridge
Chief Executive Officer, Early Learning Coalition
Warren Eldridge has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County since 2003. Overseeing one of the largest Early Learning
Coalitions in the state, Mr. Eldridge and his team serve more than 30,000 children and their families, advancing quality care and education for Palm Beach County's
Mr. Eldridge has dedicated his career to improving the lives of Florida's children and families for more than two decades. Before his position at The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, he was Chief Operating Officer for the Miami-Dade School Readiness Coalition, Deputy Director for the Florida Partnership for School Readiness in Tallahassee, Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations at the Children's Forum, and Director of Community Affairs for the Child Care Resource Network.
Mr. Eldridge is also involved in numerous community and statewide partnerships and initiatives. He currently serves on the board for Association of Early Learning Coalitions. He has previously chaired the Board of Prime Time Palm Beach County, served as Regional Co-Chair for the Children's Movement of Florida, served as Vice- Chair at Healthy Start Volusia County and previously served as Chair of the legislative committee.
Mr. Eldridge received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida and post-graduate training in Education and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida.
Florence French Fagan
Southeast Senior State Organizer, Bread for the World
Florence French Fagan is the Senior Southeast Organizer with Bread for the World, a faith based advocacy organization advocating for federal policies that address the root causes of hunger. Florence is always searching for ways to connect people to one another to build community and hope, especially where challenges exist.
Mr. Mighty Fine
Director of the Center for Public Health Practice and Professional Development, American Public Health Association (APHA)
Mighty Fine is the Director of the Center for Public Health Practice and Professional Development at the American Public Health Association (APHA). His portfolio
focuses on enhancing health science, policy, public health practice and public health leadership. He designs, develops, and evaluates public health programs and
provides programmatic technical assistance, consultation and research translation support to local, state and national partners.
His efforts aim to not only prevent disease and infirmity but to also bolster opportunities for growth, development and self-actualization for individuals and communities. Trained as a Social Epidemiologist, his work has stemmed across various aspects of public health, including injury and violence prevention, maternal and family health, HIV/AIDS, HCV, social policy and chronic disease prevention.
Having lived and worked in rural and urban environments, Mighty credits this empirical insight with anchoring his understanding of systematic levers of oppression. Thus, a core part of his work has focused on addressing the structures that serve as pillars of disadvantage. He has built expertise in the social determinants of health and brings a social justice perspective to the assessment and prevention of public health issues. Mighty earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Rutgers University and a Master of Public Health from Yale University, with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences/Chronic Disease Epidemiology. He is also certified by the National Commission for Health Education as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
In his free time, Mighty enjoys both domestic and international travel, reading science fiction and spending time with family and friends.
Mr. Scott Hansel
Chief Executive Officer, Community Partners of South Florida
Scott Hansel, CEO of Community Partners of South Florida (CPSFL), utilizes his expansive business and entrepreneurial experience to lead the vision, design and implementation of a comprehensive community development model that focuses on housing, financial coaching, community building and engagement and community mental health so that families and neighborhoods will thrive.
Scott serves on the Executive Committee of the Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County. Scott is Vice-Chair of the NeighborWorks Florida Collaborative, working to foster sustainable homeownership, develop affordable housing and provide needed capital to build strong, thriving communities. Most recently, he graduated from the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program, in collaboration with Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Scott holds an MBA from Bellarmine University and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky.
Ms. Regenia Herring
Executive Director, Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission
Regenia Herring serves as the Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission, a 32-member board of public/private sector members created by
County Ordinance to study all aspects of the criminal justice and crime prevention systems within the federal, state, county, municipal and private agencies.
Ms. Herring holds a Master's degree in Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology. She has over 20 years of senior management experience leading human services and criminal justice initiatives, working with municipal and county government leadership, developing, coordinating, managing and evaluating programs and systems, and building successful alliances and collaboratives with community stakeholders (elected officials, judiciary, public defender, state attorney, government leaders, and community leaders and organizations). She brings a diverse public service background in law enforcement, corrections, court administration, community development and human services administration.
She has successfully developed, implemented, revamped and coordinated many multi-level jurisdictional criminal justice and human services initiatives that reduces the system's overreliance on the mass incarceration of low-level juvenile and adult offenders; saving millions in front-end processing costs. She is also an experienced and successful grant writer of federal and state grant awards for criminal justice, human services and community improvement programs.
She has many years of training and experience working within the criminal justice system, analyzing and evaluating programs, policies and systems for efficacy and effectiveness. She is a subject matter expert on systems and process design/redesign to improve outcomes and impact, community engagement, racial equity, and smart justice legislation.
Ms. Jessica Hildago
Program Manager, Reentry Center, Palm Beach County Public Safety
Jessica joined Palm Beach County Public Safety in July 2018 as a Reentry Program Coordinator, and now serves as the Manager of Criminal Justice Programs with over
15 years of experience. In this role she builds and manages the reentry continuum, supports the Full Reentry Task Force, create initiatives to provide innovative
programming to people returning from incarceration and work collaboratively towards systemic change. In 2018, she implemented a BJA grant enhancing current reentry
efforts with transitional job opportunities coupled with cognitive behavior intervention. The initiative showed promising outcomes and has since been sustained
through other funding sources.
Prior to the joining PBC Public Safety in 2018 her experience included facilitating classes inside institutions, HIV testing and counseling, providing intensive services to individuals returning to their community from incarceration, advocacy, and developing and overseeing adult and juvenile criminal justice programs.
Jessica was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Boston University and immediately relocated to sunny south Florida. It is here that she put down roots; meeting and marrying her husband, raising two amazing kids and the sweetest pup.
Senior Policy Analyst - Post Secondary Education, National Governors Association
Rachel Hirsch serves as a senior policy analyst for the Economic Opportunity Division of the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices, where she works to assist states in scaling and strengthening best practices in postsecondary education and workforce development. Her areas of focus include work-based learning and apprenticeship, sector partnerships and industry engagement, supportive services for those with barriers to employment, and reskilling and upskilling for adults.
Before working at NGA, Rachel was state network manager at National Skills Coalition. There, she led the organization's first-ever policy academy on work-based learning. She organized multiple statewide coalitions towards achieving policy impacts in expanding access to and success in education and training programs. Earlier in her career, Rachel ran a research project based out of Northwestern University focused on helping underserved high school youth improve their performance in job interviews. During graduate school, Rachel also held an internship on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Rachel received her Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University and her Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from Northwestern University. Rachel originally hails from Illinois.
Deputy Director, Palm Beach County Department of Housing and Economic Development
Since 2012, Sherry Howard has served as the Deputy Director of Palm Beach County's Department of Housing & Economic Development. Sherry has been involved in managing the county's efforts to promote business and affordable housing development opportunities through Federal, State and local funding and through public-private partnerships.
With over 27 years in county government service, Sherry served previously as the County's Economic Development Director prior to merging with the Housing Department, the County's Legislative Coordinator, advocating legislation with Federal, State and local officials, and as Assistant Scripps Program Manager, serving as a liaison between the Board of County Commissioners, the Governor's Office, Scripps personnel and the public. Her problem-solving and cost-cutting skills, used in collaboration with county departments, have earned her two Golden Palm awards, which represents the County Administrator's highest level of recognition for employee achievement.
Sherry is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is an alumna of Leadership Palm Beach County and serves on numerous Federal, State and local housing and economic development committees.
Executive Director, Circles USA
Kamatara has served the CUSA community of practice, which includes 80+ chapters across the United States and into Canada, for the last four years as the Chief Learning Officer and now as ED. With a master's degree in organizational leadership, almost 25 years of experience in secondary education, and a personal experience of poverty, Kamatara brings her skills, passion, and experience to deepen the expression of the Circles model which is building community to end poverty. Kamatara holds the space for national collaboration, local innovation, and personal empowerment for all the people in the Circles family and beyond. Kamatara is also a licensed minister with the Centers for Spiritual Living and resides in Albuquerque, NM.
Mr. Eric Kelly
Chief Executive Officer, Quantum Foundation
Eric Kelly has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Florida State University and a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University.
He is the President of Quantum Foundation-a West Palm Beach-based health corporation that manages a $170 million investment portfolio. As President Eric is responsible for formulating strategy to deploy $7.5 million annually to qualified organizations in Palm Beach County to improve community and health outcomes. He is a corporate officer of the foundation and manages the governing affairs of the corporation with the Board of Directors; and oversees all administrative duties. Eric is a community leader who works across the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors to ensure community improvement initiatives are sustainable and offer systemic solutions. Eric often challenges the historical philanthropic assumption of "doing charity" in an effort to create effective drivers for equitable change.
Eric is a member of the Board of Directors of Florida Philanthropic Network, a statewide association of private, corporate and family foundations, community foundations and public charities who hold $6.5 billion in assets and collectively invest over $430 million annually to communities around the state of Florida. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Council of Foundations, a regional association of 340 grant-making foundations that represent 11 states in the American South and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also serves on the Board of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, a non-partisan business organization that supports collaboration between the public and private sectors in the County as well as the board of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.
Eric Kelly lives in West Palm Beach with his wife, Kirra. They have four children: Madison, Mason, Miles, Malachi and two family dogs, Meadow and Madden.
Ms. Jamie Kendall
Chief Executive Officer, Palm Beach County Food Bank
A new resident of Boynton Beach, Jamie Kendall moved to Palm Beach County after serving for 12 years as chief operating officer for America's Second Harvest of Coastal
Georgia - a nonprofit focused on ending hunger in a 21-county area of Ga. In her last fiscal year there, her leadership allowed the food bank to more than double the
amount of food they distributed, compared to years prior.
"I am extremely passionate about the mission of ending hunger," said Kendall. "I am an outside-the-box kind of leader and know that problems can be solved by being creative with our solutions. The Palm Beach County Food Bank has a great staff and an amazing board of directors who are each very involved with our mission to end hunger in our community. The need for our services is greater than ever and we must help our neighbors in need of assistance."
Prior to her most recent food bank experience, Kendall spent more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector, working for social service humanitarian organizations, as well as land conservation groups across the state of Ga. She is an Ohio native and attended Bowling Green State University.
The Palm Beach County Food Bank procures food from grocery stores, farmers, food distributors, wholesalers and other sources and provides it to almost 200 local community partners, including food pantries, soup kitchens and residential housing programs. Palm Beach County Food Bank programs reach families, children and seniors, and connect those in need to available benefits and resources. Partner agencies distribute the products received, including culturally appropriate food and necessities. This process ensures families have access to food when they need it most.
Jamie has two grown daughters that reside in Atlanta and New York. She enjoys art, music and traveling. She can often be found gardening or spending time with her two big dogs who keep her very busy!
Mr. Jon Katov
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Open Table
Jon is a social enterprise builder and former senior advertising and marketing executive with thirty years experience developing and expanding community service
and commercial innovations. As the founder and CEO of Open Table, Jon has spoken to thousands of people in the United States and from countries around the world
about the Open Table story and how we can invest our relational and social capital in each other to help us all live the better lives we envision for ourselves.
Through the Open Table model, Jon has partnered with faith communities and agencies of the state and federal governments, as well as business, education, and healthcare to lead the development of a national shared purpose movement to grow the common good in communities. Jon recently founded the Center for Community Convening™, an organization of Open Table, that convenes multiple community sectors in shared purpose initiatives. Through the Community Convening model, business, faith communities, foundations, government, healthcare, media, service clubs, universities and other sectors co-invest their relational and social capital assets to expand Tables and develop innovative models to help solve social challenges.
Jon has a B.A. from the University of Illinois - Chicago where his studies focused on Latin American literature and advertising. His most important gift on the Open Table journey is his relationship with Ernie, through which he discovered the human purpose: to be for each other. Jon and his wife of thirty years live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mr. Josh Kirschenbaum
Chief Operating Officer, PolicyLink
Josh Kirschenbaum enjoys building projects, initiatives, and organizations. As one of the original PolicyLink staff members, Josh has worked across the
programmatic, communications, and operations teams, which allows him to bring comprehensive organizational knowledge to bear on supporting diverse alliances
of internal and external teams to deliver on the promise of equity. His broad understanding of PolicyLink programs, funding, and partners enables him to
design and launch new initiatives, drive organizational strategy, and chart the future of PolicyLink. Josh accomplishes this by being in steadfast service
to the organization's mission, leadership, staff, and partners. When not immersed in the future of PolicyLink, he loves building alternative communities,
dreaming of utopian societies, and chasing after his wild three-year-old, Sammy Rose.
Prior to joining PolicyLink, Josh was the director of special projects at the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development, where he managed a defense conversion research program and fostered partnerships between the university and the City of Oakland to strengthen and revitalize low-income neighborhoods. He holds a BA from Brown University and an MS in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Philip Lewin
Professor of Sociology, Florida Atlantic University
I joined FAU's Sociology Department in 2014 after earning my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia. My last major research project examined how energy market changes, mining-related pollution, population loss, government malfeasance, opioid addiction, and cultural stigmatization were affecting communities in Central Appalachia. The purpose of the research was to document how mountain communities were responding to these social problems, produce knowledge that could be used to address them more effectively, and debunk cultural stereotypes about the region.
I recently a began a new research project that examines how commercial real estate speculation, government housing policy, and public and private development initiatives have affected South Floridians' ability to access affordable housing; how various institutions and stakeholders within the region are responding to the rising cost of, and ability to profit from, housing; and the role that housing and the real estate market play in the production and reproduction of inequality in the United States.
In the past, I have also studied how young people use subcultures to bring attention to their unmet needs, adapt to blocked opportunities, and critique the deficiencies they perceive in mainstream society.
Ms. Taruna Malhotra
Deputy Director, Palm Beach County Community Services Department
Taruna Malhotra currently serve as Deputy Director, Community Services, Palm Beach County where she oversees and responsible for various Health and Human Services programs that includes Homeless, Seniors, Veterans, Community Action HIV elimination, Non Profit funding and other programs. Her department oversee budget of more than 225 million that includes pandemic dollars and is responsible for assessment of need, planning, implementation and evaluation of system of care under various programs and grants.
She is a dynamic professional who has demonstrated the ability to operate program serving vulnerable populations while utilizing creative operational efficiencies to provide high quality service. Her areas of focus are access to social services for the underserved, community welfare and capacity building for the nonprofit agencies. In her role, she leads the Department grant making activities, building effective, impactful health-human related programs for Palm Beach County.
Taruna is an advocate, bridge builder and voice of the community, serves on various committees and works with various advisory boards to build the expression and extension of commitment to leading and serving others. Her work is to improve health and human services through data analytics and system driven collaborations to build stronger and efficient social services network. She is instrumental in creating multiple technology and data infrastructure innovations that has led to improving service delivery and various new programs and policy changes in Palm Beach County especially under Covid-19 crisis. Her innovative skills has earned her four Golden Palm awards, which represents the County Administrator's highest level of recognition for employee achievement and five national awards for Community Services department for pandemic programming. Taruna has a Black belt six sigma certification.
Ms. Malhotra holds a Master Degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She has lived in Palm Beach County for last 21 years with her husband and two children, Inayat & Ruhaan and family dog Chuski.
Mr. Levi McCollum
Director of Transit Planning, Palm Tran
J. Levi McCollum is the planning director at Palm Tran, Palm Beach County's public transit system. Recognized as an emerging leader in the public transit industry, Levi has experience leading transit planning departments in implementing equitable and adaptive mobility solutions. He has graduate-level academic training in urban geography, sustainable transportation, and international development. Levi's singular professional pursuit is to build a more sustainable urban future.
Mr. Keith Oswald
Chief of Equity and Wellness, School District of Palm Beach County
As the Chief of Equity and Wellness of Palm Beach County Schools, the nation's tenth-largest district, Keith Oswald takes great pride in ensuring
excellence and equity in education for all children.
Mr. Oswald is a veteran educator who began his career in Palm Beach County as a teacher at Barton Elementary School. His passion to make a difference in the lives of students brought him from the classroom to numerous administrative posts including Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent before being appointed Chief of Equity and Wellness in 2021.
In his current role, Mr. Oswald works closely with the Superintendent as a strategic partner in the District's commitment to addressing equity in the school system and increasing academic achievement at the 179-District operated schools.
In addition to this executive-level position in the A-rated School District of Palm Beach County, Mr. Oswald enjoys active participation in numerous non-profit agencies.
Mr. Randy Palo
Director of Programs, Children's Services Council
Randy Palo is Director of Community Planning and Partnerships for Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County. The Council, an independent district established by county voters in 1986, provides a dedicated source of funding so more children are born healthy, grow up safe from abuse and neglect, enter school ready to learn, and have access to quality afterschool and summer programming. Randy leads the Council's efforts in collaborating with local, state and national partners in the health, human service and education fields to plan and fund programs for children and families. He has worked in local government, mostly at the Council, for more than 30 years and has a long history of building strong partnerships with public, non-profit and philanthropic organizations.
President Ava Parker
President, Palm Beach State College
PBSC President Ava L. Parker leads with a strategic approach emphasizing innovation, student success, and business and community collaboration. Parker is
the first female president in the history of the institution, which opened in 1933 as Florida's first public community college. Growing with the county,
the College now offers more than 130 programs of study, including bachelor's and associate degrees, professional certificates and career training. Palm
Beach State has earned national distinction as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College.
Under President Parker's stewardship, the college opened its 5th campus in Loxahatchee Groves in 2016 and reached its highest enrollment in the institution's history.
Before joining Palm Beach State in 2015, President Parker was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Florida Polytechnic University, the state's first public university focused on applied research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
She also served for more than a decade on the Florida Board of Governors of the State University System and served on the University of Central Florida's Board of Trustees.
She was a partner in the Jacksonville law firm of Lawrence & Parker, general counsel at Edward Waters College, general counsel for the 11th Episcopal District of the AME Church, assistant general counsel for the state Department of Transportation, and assistant public defender in Miami-Dade County. She currently serves on the board of directors of Orchid Island Capital, a publicly-traded specialty finance company; the Advisory Board of the Community College Research Center; and member of the Orange Bowl Committee.
President Parker earned her B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Florida.
She is married to Joe Gibbons They have two children and enjoy spending their time in the wonderful backdrop of Palm Beach County.
Mr. Joshua Pedersen
Interim Senior Director, 211, United Way Worldwide
Joshua has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit industry for more than 25 years. He led the implementation of the 211 service throughout Utah, has served as Director of Services for the Utah Food Bank, as Vice President of United Way of Northern Utah, CEO of United Way of Frederick County, Maryland and as President & CEO of 211 Maryland. Today Joshua works as the Director of 211 at United Way Worldwide.
Joshua has served on multiple boards including the Frederick County Healthcare Coalition, Catholic Community Services, West Valley City's Cultural Arts Foundation, Murray City Arts Council, the Utah State Commission on Volunteers, Salt Lake Community College Thayne Center for Service & Learning, and as board president for both the Utah Nonprofits Association and Maryland Nonprofits Association.
Today he is chair of the Maryland Governor's Commission on Service & Volunteerism and is a Trustee for the Ausherman Family Foundation. Joshua has a bachelor's degree in Communication from Weber State University.
Rev. Cahoon holds a B.A. in sociology from Jacksonville University and a Master of Divinity from Emory University, and is a proud graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County's Class of 1989. She has three grown children, three granddaughters, and a grandson.
Mr. Peter Pignataro
Manager of Performance Analysis, CareerSource Palm Beach County
Peter Pignataro is the Manager of Performance Analysis with CareerSource Palm Beach County, a non-profit organization chartered by the state of Florida to lead workforce development here in Palm Beach County. As a business Analyst, Peter monitors and reports on trends in our local labor markets and economic conditions, providing information on industry and occupation growth to government officials, public and private individuals, and organizations.
Before joining CareerSource in 2007, Peter worked in electronics manufacturing, product development, planning, logistics and distribution here in South Florida and California over 30 years for a diverse range of successful companies.
Peter is a state certified workforce professional and qualified records management professional certified by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library Management, and a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Peter's goal is to learn something new each day and believes learning should be a lifelong endeavor for everyone. Whether pursuing personal interests and passions or chasing professional ambitions, lifelong learning can help us to achieve personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
Ms. Upendo Shabazz
Regional Vice President, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
Upendo Shabazz joined Allegany Franciscan Ministries in 2010. She oversees the organization's ministry in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties.
A native Floridian, Upendo has served the Palm Beach County community for many years. She was vice president of Community Impact with United Way of
Palm Beach County and spent six years with the Department of Safe Schools for the Palm Beach County School District.
Upendo has served on United Way of America's Minority Roundtable Advisory Committee. In 2009, she became a United Way of America Global Resident Fellow. Upendo was featured in the Success South Florida Magazine "40 Under 40 Most Influential Black Professionals of 2006", "Who's Who in Black South Florida" for 2007 and 2008 and named one of South Florida's "25 Most Influential & Prominent Black Women in Business" for 2011. She was a finalist for the 2019 & 2022 St. Lucie County Economic Development Council Pete Hegener Leadership award.
Upendo earned both a bachelor and master's degrees in social work from Florida State University and is certified in Leadership and Management from University of Miami. She is a current board member for West Palm Beach Arts and Entertainment District, Association for Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and Florida Nonprofit Alliance. Upendo is member of Leadership Palm Beach County and the Blue Ridge Leadership Institute.
Mrs. Andrea Stephenson Royster
Chief Executive Officer, Health Council of Southeast Florida
Andrea Stephenson Royster is the CEO of the Health Council of Southeast Florida (HCSEF), one of 11 local health planning councils established by the Florida
state legislature. In this role, she directs a team of dedicated professionals committed to providing an array of services, including health planning, community
health, and population health management; program development and evaluation; chronic disease management and the promotion of healthy lifestyles for residents
of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties.
Ms. Royster also serves as the CEO of the Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network (LORHN), which is one of the nine rural health networks in the state, also established by Florida Statute to focus on specific health-related issues and challenges facing residents living in Glades, Hendry, Martin, Okeechobee, and rural Palm Beach County.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Medical Sociology as well as a Master's in Health Science and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Florida, Ms. Royster has nearly three decades of experience in health care and human services. She has devoted her career to efforts to: increase access to health care, reduce disparities in health status, promote health equity, and advocate for vulnerable populations. Efforts on cross-sector collaboration, the integration of data in sound decision-making, and effective and meaningful community engagement strategies has been a focus for Ms. Royster.
Ms. Royster is also a skilled facilitator and trainer and has taught as an adjunct professor, instructing undergraduate students in the various facets of health administration.
Ms. Royster is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County (Class of 2005), received the Palm Beach County Medical Society's Heroes in Medicine Award for Community Involvement (2005), was recognized by Success South Florida as one of the "Top 40 Black Professionals Under 40" (2006), and selected as a member of Who's Who in Black South Florida (2007). She has also been recognized by Legacy Magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential Women in Business" (2011), one of the "25 Most Powerful Black Professionals" (2012), one of the "Top Black Healthcare Professionals" (2018), and one of the "50 Most Powerful Black Leaders in Business & Industry" (2019).
Ms. Royster currently serves on the Board of Trustees with Palm Health Foundation, the Board of Directors with both Everglades Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and the Florida Rural Health Association (FRHA).
Ms. Wendy Tippett
Director of Human Services and Community Action: Palm Beach County Community Services Department
Wendy Tippett has been involved in with nonprofits and government organizations for 30 years. She holds her bachelor's degree in Sociology with a
specialization in Community Services and her master's degree in Nonprofit Management. Ms. Tippett is also a Nationally Certified Grant Writer and
holds her Fund Development Certification from Florida Atlantic University as well as her Green Belt Certification in Six Sigma.
Wendy began her career working with abused and neglected teens before moving into providing services, programs and housing for homeless families and their children. She is familiar with local, state and federal funding sources and has been recognized as an expert in collaborations and cross-system teams. After spending 25 years in the non-profit sector, she moved into her current position, Director of Human and Veteran Services, with Palm Beach County and has been instrumental in the implementation of coordinated entry, initiatives to end youth and veteran homelessness, innovative street to work programs, and cross systems collaborations.
Ms. Tippett has served on several boards, including the State Homeless Coalition, the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Health and Human Services of Palm Beach County, Friends of Foster Children, The Community Back to School Bash's Executive Committee, the Homeless and Housing Alliance Executive Committee and chairs the Palm Beach County Cross-Departmental Team for Housing and Homelessness.
Ms. Tippett has been awarded the Women Chamber of Commerce "Sticking Your Neck Out" award for going above and beyond in her field, the Palm Beach County Soroptimist award for work in the nonprofit sector and the Chamber of Health and Human Services Community Spirit award for service to the homeless in Palm Beach County.
Ms. Tippett is a native of Palm Beach County and resides in Lantana with her partner and two children.
Mr. Andrew Uhlir
Deputy Director of Programs, Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Agency
Andrew Uhlir has 7+ years of Metropolitan Planning Organization transportation planning experience and currently serves as the Deputy Director of Programs
for the Palm Beach TPA. The team oversees the Long Range Transportation Plan, Transportation Improvement Program, data, and Performance Measures. The Palm
Beach TPA annually approves over $650M to projects and services that advance the vision of a safe, efficient, and connected multimodal transportation system
for the 1.5 million people of Palm Beach County.