EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

THOMASA SANCHEZ
Chair, McCormick Research Institute

THOMASA SANCHEZ

Chair, McCormick Research Institute

Thomasa is the founder of Heavenly Hooves, now known as McCormick Research Institute, and has served as the organization’s full-time pro-bono CEO since 2002.  McCormick is a not-for-profit organization that empowers individuals with disabilities and Veterans with PSTD to thrive with horses, hope, health, and purpose.  McCormick has earned worldwide acclaim as a trusted leader in psychotherapy incorporating equines and has published research in partnership with the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.  The organization has served over 25,000 veterans and special needs individuals.

Sanchez also currently serves as the Chair of the Central Florida Foundation, the region’s community foundation.  The Foundation stewards philanthropic dollars on behalf of individuals, families and nonprofits. Knowing that true change demands more than dollars and cents, the Foundation fosters collaboration, fuels ideas and spearheads the innovation that will transform the region for good.

Thomasa earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College, a master’s degree in Communications from UCF, studied organizational psychology in the Master’s program at Florida Tech, and will be graduating with a doctorate degree from Rollins College Crummer School of Business in 2021.  Throughout her career, Thomasa has taught at Valencia College and been regularly featured as a keynote speaker at various events.

Thomasa has lived in Osceola County her entire life.  Following the example set by her parents Tom and Marcia Tompkins, Thomasa began serving the community in 1991 when she was crowned Miss Silver Spurs.   She is married to Domingo Sanchez and has two children, Devin and Skylar.  She enjoys being a homeschool mom, wife, daughter, sister, and advocate for suicide prevention.  And on weekends, she likes to break away to play the piano or spend time competing in jumping competitions with her horse Mickey.

Waymon Artmstrong headshot

WAYMON ARMSTRONG
Vice Chair, Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc. (ECS)

WAYMON ARMSTRONG

Vice Chair, Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc. (ECS)

Waymon Armstrong is Co-Founder and President of Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc. (ECS). Since its inception in 1997, the firm is dedicated to utilizing PC-based game technology in an advanced distributed learning environment. Before starting ECS, Waymon directed computer-modeling activities at a multimillion-dollar Program Management and Engineering Firm, and served as a project manager for large-scale crisis response teams.

Waymon attended the University of Central Florida. He serves on the Metro Orlando Military Affairs Advisory Committee, Digital Media Alliance of Florida, Valencia Community College’s Digital Media Technology Advisory Committee, Otronicon Advisory Board, Executive Committee Sunshine Chapter of AUSA, Missionary Ventures International, The College of Elders at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, and the Orlando Chamber of Commerce E Team. Waymon was named as a 2007 and 2009 finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young for the State of Florida. In 2010 he was awarded the SBA Region, State and National Small Business Person of the year.

JEFFERY JONASEN
Immediate Past Chair, Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A.

JEFFERY JONASEN

Immediate Past Chair, Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A.

Jeffery Jonasen is an attorney and a shareholder at Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A. He has more than 20 years of business law experience, handling acquisitions, joint ventures, securities offerings, financings, and other domestic and international business transactions, and representing start-ups, non-profits, medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies. He is a graduate of Leadership Florida Class 24, Board member of the Orlando Economic Development Commission, former Chairman and current Board member of the Central Florida Partnership, former President and current member of the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America Central Florida Council, former President of the University of Florida Alumni Association and former Chairman of BusinessForce. Jeff received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida.

 

ASHLEY HILL, CPA
Treasurer, Ravago Americas LLC

ASHLEY HILL, CPA

Treasurer, Ravago Americas LLC

Ashley N. Hill has more than ten years of accounting and auditing experience. She joined Ravago Americas LLC as the Director of Accounting in June 2021. Ravago is the number one service provider in the global market for polymers, rubbers and chemicals.

Previously she served as a Senior Manager with KPMG LLP, where she worked with clients in the restaurant and real estate industries, helping them navigate SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley reporting issues. During her time with KPMG, she served as the Senior Manager in charge of recruiting for the Orlando audit practice, co-chair of KPMG Network of Women (Orlando), and co-chair of the KPMG African-American Network (Orlando).

She has also previously served as past Treasurer and current member of the Greater Orlando Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and as a volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Currently she serves on the finance committee of LIFT Orlando and is a member of the Certified Public Accounting Education Minority Assistance Advisory Council with the Florida Board of Accountancy. Ashley earned an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Florida A&M University.

SHARI DINGLE COSTANTINI
Secretary, Ascendancy Partners, LLC

SHARI DINGLE COSTANTINI

Secretary, Ascendancy Partners, LLC

Shari Dingle Costantini is an entrepreneur, with 30 years of experience in strategic leadership, building teams, raising capital, and strategic acquisitions. Before exiting the company she founded, Avant Healthcare Professionals, it grew an average of 38 percent annually from inception in 2003 through 2021 and is recognized as an industry leader in international healthcare staffing. With revenues in excess of $160 M Avant achieved scale obtained by only 1% of staffing companies. Costantini and Avant have been recognized by Inc. 500/5000 seven times, 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in North America three times, E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Winner 2017, 100 Most Influential People in Staffing, SMART Award Winner 2017 and Florida Companies to Watch 2012.

Costantini mentors companies that are scaling, building infrastructure and raising capital. She is active in the community and serves on numerous boards. Her non-profit board service includes the Entrepreneurs Alliance of Orlando, Junior Achievement, the Orlando Economic Partnership; the Rollins College Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship. Shari was a founding board member and served as the chair of regulatory affairs for the American Association of International Recruitment for nine years.

MARK BREWER
President/CEO

MARK BREWER

President/CEO

Mark joined the Foundation in 2000 and has earned respect for building community partnerships that meet issues head-on and produce measurable results. He has worked with hundreds of individuals, families, and corporations to establish philanthropy plans, endowments, funding strategies, and planned gifts. More than 150 regional nonprofit boards have enlisted Mark’s assistance through the Foundation with strategic and scenario planning initiatives that included the use of endowed investments to sustain their organizations. He is a well-known national speaker on the independent sector, philanthropy’s role in America, venture philanthropy strategies, and the independent sector’s public policy role. In his leadership role at the Central Florida Foundation, Mark frequently advises private and corporate foundation grantmakers across the region and plays a public policy advisory role on strategy and advisory boards around the state of Florida.

Mark began his career in the media as a reporter, anchor, and journalist. His background includes more than a decade as a management consultant in the private and independent sectors, leading merger, and acquisition strategies for cross-sector initiatives. Later, as a licensed investment professional, he assisted clients with estate and planned giving strategies. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in Business, a master’s degree in Public Administration with a specialty in Nonprofit Management and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy ®. His graduate studies include work in policy and law at Walden University.

Mark has played a leadership role in national and community initiatives. His service focus is on organizations that grow philanthropy or play strategic grant-making and public policy roles. At the national level, Mark has chaired strategy initiatives and think tanks. At the state level, Mark is a past Chair of the Florida Philanthropic Network, a statewide association of grantmakers working to strengthen philanthropy through research, education, and public policy, and is a past Chair of the Community Foundations of Florida, the statewide association of community foundations. In the Central Florida region, Mark serves on the Orlando Economic Partnership board, a public-private partnership, working to create quality jobs, economic growth, broad-based prosperity, and a sustainable quality of life for the region. He is also a Foundation for Orlando’s Future board member.

Most recently, Mark was named one of Orlando Business Journal’s CEOs of the year for 2021 and identified as one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2021 Power Players. The program identifies 50 Central Florida business leaders who are helping grow and innovate the way business is done throughout Metro Orlando.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ACHAL AGGARWAL, ESQ.
Park Square Homes

ACHAL AGGARWAL, ESQ.

Park Square Homes

Achal Aggarwal is an attorney who grew up in Orlando. He attended the University of Miami School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) and attended the University of Miami School of Business Administration where he received a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree.

As someone who grew up in Orlando, Achal is excited and eager to give back to the community that raised him. His family has been engaged in philanthropic work in Orlando for many years and Achal is thrilled to continue the legacy of philanthropy.

BRIAN BUTLER
JCB Construction

BRIAN BUTLER

JCB Construction

Life-long resident of Central Florida with a varied business background in sales, marketing, and operations.  President/CEO of JCB Construction, Inc. a thirty-four year family-owned company that specializes in total site development and construction management.  He is responsible for the executive overview of the activities of an organization with 50 employees.  JCB has been involved in numerous notable projects in and around Orlando such as South Terminal Expansion, Camping World Stadium Reconstruction, Orlando City Soccer Stadium, and UCF Valencia Downtown Campus at Creative Village Redevelopment.

Received Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from Brown University, Providence, RI and Masters in Business Administration degree from Duke University, Durham, NC.

Prior to joining the family business, worked in sales, training, and management for Ortho Biotech Oncology, a division of Johnson & Johnson in Tampa and Orlando.  Recognized for being the Top Sales producer in the country, and later as manager led his district to Top Three results in the country.

Professional organization current involvement includes Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Past Chair; National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC), Past Chair; Orlando Economic Partnership; Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Past Chair.

Over the years, actively involved in the community as a volunteer or board member for African American Chamber of Commerce (Past Chair); American Cancer Society; Central Florida Foundation; City of Orlando Mayor’s Parramore Task Force (Chair); Leadership Florida, Leadership Orlando, Orange County Charter Review Board; O.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment, O.C. Citizen’s Review Board; Parramore Kidz Zone; Ronald McDonald House of Charities (Past Chair); Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; Stetson University Board of Advisors, Trinity Prep School Trustee; UCF Foundation and Valencia College Foundation.

Recognition received from the 2020 FL Trend Magazine and Orlando Business Journal as “Most Influential Businessman”; OBJ “Top 10 Businessman to Watch”; MWBE Alliance Outstanding Volunteer.  Company recognized by OBJ “Golden 100 for Privately Held Companies.”

Married to Cathy Brown-Butler, and they have two sons in college, Michael James “M.J.” and Andrew.

 

Carlos Carbonell

CARLOS CARBONELL
Echo Interaction Group

CARLOS CARBONELL

Echo Interaction Group

Carlos Carbonell is a widely recognized leader in Central Florida’s business, nonprofit, political, and civic landscape. A successful technology entrepreneur, Carlos harnesses years of entrepreneurship, tech, nonprofit, civic, and political engagement in the region on behalf of the community and his clients.

Carlos founded Echo Interaction Group, a tech company that has worked on hundreds of mobile app projects and currently offers a software platform to rapidly deploy Augmented Reality-enabled apps. Echo was awarded a Don Quijote Award for Hispanic Business of the Year; named Top App Developer Company in Orlando by Clutch and named a Gator100 company (as one of the fastest growing University of Florida alumni-led companies).

In 2020, Carlos was named one of Florida’s 500 most influential business executives by Florida Trend magazine. He was twice named one of Orlando’s 50 Most Powerful People by Orlando Magazine, awarded Business Leader of the Year by the Metropolitan Business Association, a finalist for Central Floridian of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel and one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 by Orlando Business Journal.

Carlos is an esteemed national speaker on the topics of technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. He is a regular contributor to the Orlando Sentinel, and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, Orlando Business Journal, as well as Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC Univision, and Telemundo affiliates. He has spoken at numerous conferences including SXSW, one of the top interactive conferences in the world.

He is currently active in the following organizations:

  • Orlando Economic Partnership – Board of Directors, Executive Committee
  • Orlando City Foundation – Board of Directors
  • VR/AR Association – Orlando Chapter Advisory Board

After the Pulse tragedy, Carlos was appointed by Mayor Buddy Dyer to serve on the One Orlando Fund, which distributed over $30M to victims’ families and survivors. He also co-convened the One Orlando Alliance, a coalition of over 30 LGBTQ+ organizations still active as a non-profit today.

His past board commitments have included:

  • StarterStudio/Canvs – Former Board Member
  • One Orlando Alliance – Founding Board Member and former chair
  • Firespring Fund – Former Board Member
  • Valencia College – Former Advisory Board Member
  • Full Sail University’s Mobile App Development Program – Former Advisory Board Member

JAY CHAUDHARI
1858 Capital Partners

JAY CHAUDHARI

1858 Capital Partners

Jay is an experienced professional with more than 18 years of experience working in the real estate and private equity industry. Jay works directly with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to develop successful projects that serve the community’s needs.

Jay is the Founding Manager and Executive Director of 1858 Capital Partners, a boutique investment banking group that specializes in merger and acquisition advisory work, in particular, Sell-Side, Buy-Side, and Principal Investing. Driven by a passion for corporate responsibility, Jay co-founded, advised, and implemented capital strategies for two early-stage social enterprises, Bolder Industries and JobPath. Bolder Industries solves challenging environmental issues for the industrial waste industry and JobPath is an online employment platform for military veterans. Jay is also a co-founder and advisor for Chatelet Manufacturing, a 3D printing and Additive manufacturing company based in Orlando. Jay recently advised and implemented a capital raising strategy for the Gringos Locos restaurant group for two of their locations located in the SODO district of Orlando and on campus at UCF.

Jay currently serves on the board of ACG Orlando and was also the Chair for the 2022 Wishmaker’s Ball raising over $1m benefiting the Central and Northern Florida Make-A-Wish Foundation Chapter. Jay is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.

SEAN DEMARTINO
Coastal Construction

SEAN DEMARTINO

Coastal Construction

As President of Coastal Constructions’s Central and North Florida Division, Sean DeMartino leads business operations including acquisition, administration and execution.

 

A construction industry veteran, Sean offers more than 30 years as a builder and construction leader, heading a variety of mid and large-scale projects spanning hospitality, entertainment, corporate office, large public assembly, mixed use, multi-family, aviation, upper level education, and governmental sectors including clients such as Walt Disney, Universal Orlando, LYNX, the Orlando Magic, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt Hotels. Sean’s efforts and expertise can be seen in some of the most significant and iconic structures in the region, including the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Peabody Hotel (now the Hyatt Regency Orlando), the Harris Corporate Headquarters and High Technology Center in Palm Bay, JW Marriott Water Street in Tampa and over 20,000 guestrooms and vacation club units at Disney and Universal. Sean has led the construction of projects in Hawaii and throughout the Caribbean in the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad & Tobago.

Active in civic circles, Sean is involved in a variety of professional and philanthropic organizations including Heart of Florida United Way, Junior Achievement Academy and Junior Achievement of Central Florida and is past chair of the Orlando Economic Partnership. He is wholly committed to Central Florida’s continued development socially, economically and culturally as a best region to work, play and live.

AVANI DESAI
Audit Committee Chair, Schellman & Company

AVANI DESAI

Audit Committee Chair, Schellman & Company

Avani Desai is a Partner and President at Schellman & Company, the largest niche CPA firm in the world that focuses on technology and security assessments. She is also CEO and co-founder of MyCryptoAlert, a push notification and portfolio app for cryptocurrency that she founded in 2017. 

Avani started her career working at a Big 4 accounting firm for over 10 years, where she led a team and oversaw IT Risk Management and Privacy across national service lines. Now at Schellman & Company, she focuses on growth strategies, strategic client and market development, industry analysis, and new services. She has been featured in Forbes, CIO.com, and the Wall Street Journal, and is a sought after speaker as a voice on a variety of emerging topics, including security, privacy, information security, future technology trends, and the expansion of young women involved in technology.

A passionate proponent of strategic philanthropy, Avani sits on the board of Arnold Palmer Medical Center, Central Florida Foundation, and is the co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a female-only venture capitalist based giving circle that focuses on solving community-based problems specific to women and children by using data analytics and big data. Of all her accomplishments, she considers her greatest to be personal rather than professional—she is the proud mother to her 7-year-old son, Sahil, and her 4-year-old daughter, Sareena.

Tanya Easterling Headshot

TANYA EASTERLING
Florida Blue

TANYA EASTERLING

Florida Blue

Tanya Easterling is Florida Blue’s Market Leader for Central Florida. In this role, Tanya is instrumental in developing, leading, and executing a hyper-local strategy to meet the diverse needs of members and businesses in each of Central Florida’s coastal communities including Volusia, Flagler, and Brevard counties. She harnesses the company’s strengths and mission-driven approach to develop relevant tools, capabilities, products, and partnerships to make healthcare more impactful and personalized.

Prior to Florida Blue, Tanya was the Area Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A, one of the most beloved fast-food chains in America. Throughout Tanya’s more than 20-year career, she has worked with reputable brands like Target Corporation, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and Walt Disney World to drive key business results while enhancing the position of the brand in local communities through strategic partnerships.

Tanya is passionate about investing time and talent into the community and has been involved with numerous community and civic organizations. She currently serves as Board Chair for the Seminole County Public Schools Foundation and is a member of the Peace and Justice Institute Advisory Council. Tanya is a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 80, as well as Leadership Seminole Class 25. She was honored in 2011 as a finalist in the Up and Comer category for the Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business awards as well as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Vision Magazine “Gem in Our Community” in 2014.

Tanya holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and advertising from the University of Central Florida.

Roi Ewell headshot

ROI EWELL
Ewell & Associates

ROI EWELL

Ewell & Associates

Roi Ewell is the Founder and Principal of Ewell & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in business strategy, organizational effectiveness, reputation management, and social progress solutions. Roi and his firm offer decades of experience and expertise in senior management roles encompassing public affairs, organizational development, and human resources.

Known as a key advisor to executive teams, Roi has demonstrated his ability to successfully drive high-impact results for a diverse client base and complex operating environments. Before founding his own consulting firm, Ewell & Associates, in 2015, Roi held several senior leadership positions with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Inc., and Anheuser-Busch Companies. Most recently, he served as Corporate Vice President of Industry Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility for SeaWorld. Previously, Roi served as Corporate Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs and as Vice President of Human Resources for SeaWorld San Diego.

Roi has also served as the Senior Group Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Anheuser-Busch Companies. For nearly 9 years, Roi has taught business management courses at the University of California-San Diego and media-related courses at Hampton University.

Roi earned a master’s degree in Personnel Administration from Golden Gate University and a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Norfolk State University.

Mr. Ewell is affiliated with several community and industry organizations including Rally, the Social Enterprise Accelerator, Orlando Science Center, Jobs Partnership Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Public Affairs Council, Golden Gate University Trustee, US Travel Association National Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Labor and Employee Benefits Committees

 

MICHAEL JOHNSON
J&A Group

MICHAEL JOHNSON

J&A Group

Michael Johnson is President and CEO of the J&A Group, an executive coaching and business consulting firm. He retired in 2008 as the Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Williams, a publicly held natural gas production, processing, and pipeline company. He was responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s shared services units, which included Information Technology, Human Resources, Corporate Real Estate and Facilities, Enterprise Sourcing, Security, Aviation and Community Relations. Johnson was also Chairman of the Board for the Williams Foundation.

Prior to joining Williams, Johnson held officer-level positions with Amoco Corporation in Human Resources. He also held executive positions with Martin Marietta Corporation, now Lockheed Martin. Johnson started his career as a Human Resources Trainee with the RCA Corporation in 1969.

Johnson graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business’ Advanced Executive Program.

Johnson is currently a director on the board of QuikTrip Corporation where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Executive Compensation Committee. Previously, Johnson served in director roles for CenterPoint Energy Corporation, Buffalo Wild Wings Corporation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma. He also currently serves as a Trustee for North Carolina Central University.

Johnson previously served the community in numerous positions including as a member of the Board of Trustees for Bethune Cookman University and chairman for the Board of Trustees for Oklahoma State University-Tulsa; board chairman of the Foundation for Tulsa Schools; board member of the Tulsa Community College Foundation, the Tulsa Community Foundation, and the Amoco Foundation. He also has served as chairman for the Metropolitan Orlando Urban League Board and as a board member for the Orange County Branch of the NAACP. He was appointed by Florida’s Governor Bob Graham to serve on the Orlando Aviation Authority. His numerous awards include the Oklahoma State University Inclusion Leadership Award; the Tulsa Board of Education’s Light Keeper’s Award; the Tulsa Community College Vision Award; the Foundation for Tulsa Schools’ Excellence in Education Award; 100 Black Men of Tulsa Community Service Award; the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s Community Excellence Award; the Oklahoma State University Community ICON Award; the Boy Scouts of America Whitney M. Young Award; and the Martin Luther King Commemorative Society’s Keeping the Dream Alive Award – to name a few. He has been a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity since 1982 and served as Sire Archon of Epsilon Iota Boule in Tulsa, Okla. He is also a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

In 2009, Johnson was inducted into the Tulsa Historical Society’s Hall of Fame. He was recognized by Bethune Cookman University with the naming of the Michael and Elizabeth Johnson Center for Civic Engagement along with being awarded an honorary doctoral degree. In 2016 and 2017 he was named by Savoy Magazine as one the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors. Also, in 2016, he received the North Carolina Central University Distinguished Alumni Recognition Award, and in 2019 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

Michael and his wife, Libby, live in Windemere, Fla. They have two sons, Michael and Paul, executives with Abbott Laboratories and Bank of Oklahoma, respectively.

GITI KHALSA
Pace Wealth Advisors

GITI KHALSA

Pace Wealth Advisors

Formerly the drummer of Seven Mary Three, a platinum recording artist that produced six albums, Giti Khalsa is the atypical drummer who developed a passion for business and entrepreneurship early in his musical career. He left the group in 2006 to become a financial advisor, where he applies firsthand knowledge in the areas of wealth accumulation and preservation. Personally and professionally, he prides himself on being a good listener and collaborator, melding creative thinking with the ability to execute.

Giti currently serves on the board of Urban Think Foundation/Page 15 and the finance committee of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida. He served three terms on Enzian Theatre’s advisory committee, and was formerly on the Board of Governors for the Florida chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

He lives in College Park with his wife Virginia, and their four children.

JOHN M. MARTINEZ
J.P. Morgan Private Bank

JOHN M. MARTINEZ

J.P. Morgan Private Bank

John Martinez is an Executive Director in the Orlando office of J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In this role, he helps high net worth individuals and their families build, preserve, and manage their wealth for themselves and future generations.

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, John served as a Director in the Public Finance Group at PNC Capital Markets and established the firm’s Florida office. He was responsible for transacting all facets of municipal bond issuance. Previously, he co-founded Benchmark Securities, a municipal trading and underwriting broker-dealer, and was a Vice President of Gardnyr Michael Capital. During this time, he was appointed by the Governor of Florida to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, where he fulfilled the remainder of the term and represented District 3. Before working in financial services, John practiced law with Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. in Orlando. He earned a B.A. degree from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law. He is a member of the Florida Bar and holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses.

A native of Orlando, John is involved with a variety of community organizations, sitting on the Board of Directors for the Central Florida YMCA, the Leroy Collins Institute, Prospera, and the Orlando Museum of Art. Additionally, he serves as the Chairman for both the Orange County Sustainability Advisory Board and the Central Florida Fair. He and his wife, Helen, live in Orlando with their two daughters.

Jorge Martinez headshot

JORGE MARTINEZ, CPA
Martinez & Associates

JORGE MARTINEZ, CPA

Martinez & Associates

Jorge Martinez is a Certified Public Accountant and Managing Partner of Martinez & Associates. He has been in public accounting for over thirty years, devoting most of his time concentrating on tax and business consulting services, with an emphasis on growth strategies for mid-market companies. Most of Jorge’s experience derives from helping clients develop business growth, expansion and profit maximization strategies, as well as assisting corporate leaders to recognize business opportunities and utilize those opportunities to grow and expand their businesses to their fullest potentials.

Jorge holds a B.S.B.A in Accounting and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Public Accountants and is affiliated with several civic organizations including the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce, St. James Catholic Cathedral Finance Committee, Giver Kids the Work Foundation, Rio Pinar Country Club Board of Governors, Lake Nona Estates – HOA Vice President, Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association, National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, National Center for Simulation and Training and National Defense Industrial Association.

His concentrations include corporations, business and international taxation, financial accounting and business consulting, business succession planning, high technology, modeling simulation, automotive and construction industries.

LOURDES MOLA
Lourdes Mola Solutions

LOURDES MOLA

Lourdes Mola Solutions

Named one of the “Women Who Means Business” by the Orlando Business Journal in 2020, lifelong learner Lourdes Mola opened her boutique consultancy firm, Lourdes Mola Solutions in 2015. With 25 years of professional experience in corporate America, including two decades with The Walt Disney Company, Mola has excelled in a wide array of roles: Sales, Business Development, Marketing, Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship. Propelled by a desire to fuel business growth in our community, Mola now puts her skills to use empowering others.

A respected influencer in the Central Florida business community, Mola has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Central Florida Economic Development Commission, Prospera, Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. Mola is actively involved with the Hispanic American Professional Business Women’s Association, Girl Scouts of America, United Arts and The National Association of Women Business Owners. Mola currently serves on the board of the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, appointed by now Senator Rick Scott and Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis.

A first-generation Cuban-American, Mola has a deep understanding and respect for the influences that ethnicity, race, language, and culture have on society. She takes pride in her community and understands the great responsibility that comes with inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, business developers and innovators. When she’s not working with businesses to help them succeed, Mola enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage children, traveling the world and exploring other cultures.

ROB PANEPINTO
Florentine Strategies

ROB PANEPINTO

Florentine Strategies

Rob Panepinto is an innovator who has always challenged the status quo of “good enough”. Rob has helped Orange County become a hub for technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity. He is passionate about the positive impact businesses and business leaders drive for their communities and is an active “civic entrepreneur” serving on multiple civic and nonprofit boards. Rob is President of Florentine Strategies, which provides board support, strategic consulting, and investment capital for healthcare, social enterprise and technology companies. Rob is also the CEO of Entrepreneurs in Action, who manage a social venture fund that invests in local social enterprises, helping them create successful businesses and jobs while addressing community and global social needs.

Rob is a Founder and Board Chair of Orlando’s Social Enterprise Accelerator, Rally, a partnership between Central Florida Foundation, Rollins College, the City of Orlando, and other community partners. Rob is former board chair and current board member CFF, immediate past chair of Orlando, Inc. and is a Board Member member for the Orlando Economic Partnership. He also serves on the Board of Starter Studio, Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business Board of Overseers and its Rollins Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship. He has served on the Operations Committee of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

KAY RAWLINS
Orlando City Soccer Club

KAY RAWLINS

Orlando City Soccer Club

Kay Rawlins is a founder of Orlando City and Orlando Pride, SVP of Community Relations for the Club, and President of Orlando City Foundation. Originally from the UK, Kay has lived in the US for over 10 years. She owned and ran children’s pre-schools in the UK, served as an educational assessor, lectured on signs and symptoms of child abuse to pre-school educators and also taught parenting classes. The last six years has seen the rise of Orlando City, playing their first season in Major League Soccer in 2015, adding a women’s team, Orlando Pride in 2016 and a new downtown stadium which opened in 2017.

Kay’s role includes speaking engagements on behalf of the Club, most of the community outreach, sending players to schools and youth groups to talk about exercise and healthy choices and encouraging staff and fans to join community projects. She is a board member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Cannonball Kids cancer, Central Florida Foundation, 4Rivers Foundation, Florida Sports Foundation, WISE Greater Orlando, All Women Empowered  and is on the Advisory Committee of the US Global Leadership Coalition.  Kay gave a talk at TEDx Orlando 2017 and was awarded 2016 Businesswoman of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal, Corporate Ally of the Year 2019 by the Pride Chamber and included in Florida Trend 500 Most Influential Business Leaders in 2020.

DAVID TORRE
Pathstone Family Office

DAVID TORRE

Pathstone Family Office

David Torre serves as Director of Wealth Planning and Family Philanthropy with Pathstone Family Office. He works with ultra-high-net-worth families to craft strategies around estate and philanthropic planning.  David also currently serves as an adjunct instructor at the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College where he teaches courses on planned giving.

Previously, David was a wealth strategist with GenSpring and practiced law with a boutique firm focused exclusively in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust administration, and charitable gift planning. David also previously served as director of gift planning at Rollins College, where he was responsible for working with donors to develop philanthropic strategies with complex tax, financial, and legal implications including gifts of fine artwork and endowments.

In addition to being a member of the Florida Bar, David holds the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®), the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®), and the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designations. David earned his bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Rollins College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.

REBECCA TRUE
True Capital Advisors

REBECCA TRUE

True Capital Advisors

Rebecca True is a financial advisor and President of True Capital Advisors which she founded 10 years ago after eight years as an advisor with Bank of America / Merrill Lynch. Her experience includes asset management, retirement and estate planning, and implementing asset protection and tax mitigation strategies. She advises families, business owners and executives on all aspects of their financial planning and wealth management. Prior to her career as a financial advisor, Rebecca spent 5 years managing technology initiatives for large corporations. During her time as a New York City resident in the wake of September 11th, 2001, she felt the calling to assist families and women by prioritizing their financial concerns and devising strategies to help them feel more secure about their future.

 

Rebecca has been previously honored as a nominee for Orlando Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business – Businesswoman of the Year (2012)” award. She’s also been consistently recognized annually as a Five Star Wealth Manager by Orlando Magazine for overall client satisfaction. She is regularly asked by industry leaders and the media to speak

about investments and diversity initiatives within the financial services industry. Rebecca was a contributing author for “Organizational Survival: Profitable Strategies for a Sustainable Future”, a book commissioned by the International Institute for Learning published by McGraw-Hill where she explored the merits of corporate sustainability creating measurable value for shareholders.

For the past 15 years, Rebecca has been actively involved in the leadership of the Central Florida Women’s League Foundation previously serving as President and on the board of directors for many years. CFWL provides charitable grants and volunteer service to local charities and college scholarships to students. She has also served on the investment committee for Central Florida Foundation for the past 5 years and currently serves as the chair of the Investment Committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics from the University of South Florida.

OUR STAFF

MARK BREWER
President/CEO
mbrewer@cffound.org

MARK BREWER

President/CEO
mbrewer@cffound.org

Mark Brewer joined Central Florida Foundation in 2000 and has earned respect for his ability to build community partnerships that meet issues head-on and produce measurable results. He has worked with hundreds of individuals, families, and corporations to establish philanthropy plans, endowments, funding strategies, and planned gifts. More than 100 regional nonprofit boards have enlisted Mark’s assistance through CFF with strategic and scenario planning initiatives that include the use of endowed investments to sustain their organizations. He is a well-known speaker and thought leader on philanthropy’s role in America, venture philanthropy strategies, and the role of the independent sector in public policy. In his leadership role at CFF, Mark advises private and corporate foundation grant makers across the region, and plays a public policy advisory role on strategy and advisory boards around the state of Florida.

Mark began his career in the media as a reporter, anchor, and journalist. His background includes more than a decade as a management consultant in the private and independent sectors, leading merger and acquisition strategies for cross-sector initiatives. Later, as a licensed investment professional, he assisted clients with estate and planned giving strategies. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a specialty in Nonprofit Management, is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, and is ABD for a PhD in Public Administration with a specialty in Policy and Law from Walden University.

Mark has played a leadership role in a number of national and community initiatives, with a focus on serving organizations that grow philanthropy and play roles in strategic grant making and public policy. At the national level, Mark chaired the Community Foundation Services Corporation, which oversaw the Merrill Lynch Community Charitable Fund, a national donor advised fund partnership. At the state level, Mark is a past Chair of the Florida Philanthropic Network, a statewide association of grant-makers working to strengthen philanthropy through research, education, and public policy, and is a past Chair of the Community Foundations of Florida, the statewide association of community foundations. In the Central Florida region, Mark serves as Vice Chair of Community Development of the Orlando Economic Partnership, a public-private partnership, working to create quality jobs, economic growth, broad-based prosperity, and a sustainable quality of life for the region.

MEGHAN WARRICK
Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer
mwarrick@cffound.org

MEGHAN WARRICK

Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer
mwarrick@cffound.org

Meghan Warrick is the Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of the Central Florida Foundation. She has been with the Foundation since 2004 and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant with more than 20 years of experience in accounting, auditing and financial administration in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining the Foundation, Meghan was an audit manager in KPMG LLP’s public services practice and served numerous governmental and not-for-profit clients. She is a member of the American and Florida Institutes of Certified Public Accountants.

Meghan holds both a Master of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stetson University. She is a former Trustee of the First Congregational Church of Winter Park, is a graduate of Leadership Orlando’s Class 79 and is involved with the School Advisory Councils at her sons’ public schools.

Nicole Donelson Headshot

NICOLE DONELSON
Vice President of Philanthropic Strategies and Partnerships
ndonelson@cffound.org

NICOLE DONELSON

Vice President of Philanthropic Strategies and Partnerships
ndonelson@cffound.org

As our Vice President of Philanthropic Strategies and Partnerships, Nicole leads and manages the annual plan for business revenue, growth of assets and fund holder satisfaction. She also works collaboratively with families and individuals in creating impactful legacies and guides professional advisors in offering comprehensive philanthropic strategies to community-minded clients.

Originally from California, Nicole holds a degree in Psychology from University of California, Davis and has almost two decades of nonprofit experience with a focus on business development and relationship building. Prior to her role at the Foundation, Nicole served as Executive Director for the American Diabetes Association with responsibility for four markets across the state of Florida.

Nicole serves on the board of the Central Florida Estate Planning Council, is a member of Florida Executive Women (FEW) and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy ®.

Outside of work, Nicole enjoys spending time with her friends and family – which includes her husband and two children. She has a passion for health and fitness and any opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
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Sandi Vidal

SANDI VIDAL
Vice President of Community Strategies and Initiatives
svidal@cffound.org

SANDI VIDAL

Vice President of Community Strategies and Initiatives
svidal@cffound.org

Sandi Vidal is just a girl trying to change the world one day at a time. She serves as the Vice President of Community Strategies and Initiatives for the Central Florida Foundation. Within her role at the Foundation, Sandi works on a variety of initiatives including Sustainable Development Goals (Thrive), Homelessness, Disaster Response, Social Justice, and is the Staff Liaison for the 100 Women Strong Giving Circle.

Sandi is the immediate past chair of the League of Women Voters of Orange County. She has volunteered since she was 16 starting at the VA Hospital in Miami in her father’s clinic helping to record information for research trials, and has served on several boards. Sandi currently serves on Mayor Dyer’s Multicultural Advisory Board and is a Fellow for GEEO at the University of Central Florida focused on sustainability.

A graduate of the University of Miami School of Business, Sandi has a degree in Business Administration and she is a die-hard Cane in a house full of Noles. She has over 14 years of nonprofit leadership and over 20 years of Business Management experience. Sandi has a passion for public speaking, advocating for solutions to hunger, poverty, and social justice. She occasionally writes about issues that interest her and has a blog called Upstream Swimmer.

She has been married 31 years to her wonderful husband Eddie and has 3 amazing grown kids, and 2 cats, 3 grand cats, and a grand dog.

When she is not working, you will find her at the beach, traveling, or planning her next adventure.

BEVERLY GRANT
Executive Assistant
bgrant@cffound.org

BEVERLY GRANT

Executive Assistant
bgrant@cffound.org

Beverly Grant provides administrative support for our President/CEO and Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. Her areas of expertise include community engagement, organizational development, event planning, and program development. Born and raised in Orlando, Beverly is a proud graduate of Jones High School and graduated with honors from Belhaven University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She has more than 20 years of experience in executive level support to C-suite leaders in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She is also a graduate of Leadership Orlando, Class ‘89. 

Outside of work Beverly enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and playing miniature golf and board games with her only grandchild, Nicklus. She is mom to her two grown children, Antwann and Arsha and wonderful son-in-law Michael.

ELIZABETH GORDON
Controller
egordon@cffound.org

ELIZABETH GORDON

Controller
egordon@cffound.org

Elizabeth Gordon assists the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with the accounting and financial management of CFF, oversees the day-to-day fiscal and accounting operations, and prepares financial reports. Her areas of expertise include managing accounting operations, analytical problem resolution, regulatory compliance, internal controls, process improvement and GAAP accounting principles.

Elizabeth is an island girl at heart having been raised in Puerto Rico and St. Croix. She later moved to Orlando in 2000. She earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and a minor in accounting from Catholic University of Puerto Rico and is currently studying for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Her past experience includes working as an accounting manager at a local law firm.

Elizabeth is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and its Not-for-Profit Section. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, running and spending time with family and friends.

Donor Services Neil Rios Photo

Neil Rios Laverde
Philanthropic Relationship Manager
nrios@cffound.org
Linkedin

Neil Rios Laverde

Philanthropic Relationship Manager
nrios@cffound.org
Linkedin

Neil Rios Laverde is a part of the Philanthropy team and works closely with the Foundation’s Vice President of Philanthropy on donor services and stewarding relationships with fund holders and nonprofits.

Neil has lived in the city of Orlando since 2005 when he migrated with his family from Colombia. He pursued his higher education at the University of Central Florida and graduated in 2020 with a degree in communications with a focus on nonprofits. Throughout college, Neil worked with nonprofits serving the LGBT+ community in Orlando such as Equality Florida, the Zebra Coalition, and The Dru Project. His work with the community developed his passion for the nonprofit industry and has allowed him to grasp a strong understanding of the industry.

Neil serves on the board of the Contigo Fund, a nonprofit that works on supporting minority-led and focused nonprofits in Florida. When he is not at work, Neil spends his time playing volleyball with Orlando’s OUT sports league, an LGBT+ friendly sports league. He enjoys reading, going to the beach, and dancing to Latin music!

Alissa Mahadeo
Community Investment Manager
amahadeo@cffound.org
Linkedin

Alissa Mahadeo

Community Investment Manager
amahadeo@cffound.org
Linkedin

Alissa supports the Foundation’s strategic initiatives, giving circles, grant and scholarship processes, and the upkeep of Nonprofit Search.

As a native Floridian, Alissa was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2019 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science and Human Services. Her previous experience includes roles with Public Allies, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and UCF.

In her spare time, you can find Alissa reading, exploring, and finding the best iced coffee in town. She’s passionate about civic engagement, social justice, and the arts.

ELIZABETH GUERRA
Administrative Assistant
eguerra@cffound.org

ELIZABETH GUERRA

Administrative Assistant
eguerra@cffound.org

Elizabeth Guerra is responsible for hospitality and general administrative functions of CFF.

She earned an associate degree in data entry and completed three years of industrial psychology study in Puerto Rico. Her past experience includes more than 20 years in executive level support to C-suite leaders in both the corporate and non-profit sectors.

Outside of work Elizabeth enjoys traveling, reading and visiting her daughter in California.

LAURIE CROCKER
Director of Marketing and Communications
lcrocker@cffound.org

LAURIE CROCKER

Director of Marketing and Communications
lcrocker@cffound.org

With a strong love for language, Laurie ensures the Foundation’s message is clear, impactful and effective. From visual design to telling the stories of our community members, she works to connect our mission to our words.

Originally from New England, Laurie’s called Central Florida home for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History & Native and Indigenous Studies from the University of Connecticut. Beginning her career as a teacher and horse trainer, she, over time, was drawn to marketing and communications as she embraced her love of language and storytelling.

In her spare time, Laurie enjoys reading thrillers and historical fiction, spending time with her family and pets, rooting for the Patriots and Red Sox, and engaging in creative writing.