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Board of Trustees

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John R. Kaddis, Chairman

John joined Raymond James & Associates’ downtown St. Petersburg office in 2011. Previously John worked at UBS and its predecessor, PaineWebber, since 1991. He holds the title of Senior Vice President – Investments. John is very active in his community. He is a member of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, a founding member of the University of Rochester George Eastman Circle and is a life member of the University of South Florida Alumni Association. He has served on several local boards and committees, including the St. Petersburg College Business and Technology Advisory Board and the American Stage Planned Giving Committee. In his spare time, John enjoys quality time with his wife and children.

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David S. Hood, Past Chairman

David is the Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual in downtown St. Petersburg. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and puts on an occasional Financial Literacy class for the business students at USF. He is very active in the community and is a Past President of the Exchange Club of Northeast St. Petersburg. David currently serves on the Executive Committee of that organization’s Ribfest event as well. He has served on the Help-A-Child board and is involved in fundraising for various charities in Pinellas County. He is married to Lisa Hood and they have two grown children, Ashley and Matthew.

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Dan Leeper, Vice Chairman

Dan attended Stetson University College of Law where he graduated cum laude in 1990. During his career, Dan has worked with Beltz and Ruth, a St. Petersburg firm handling various civil personal injury claims, as well as Abrahamson & Kennedy, a Clearwater firm specializing in personal injury claims. In 1999, he opened Leeper & Leeper with his partner and wife, Silvia Jimenez Leeper. Dan and Silvia reside in St. Petersburg and have two grown children.

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Melissa Curtiss, Treasurer

Melissa graduated from the University of South Florida with her BS in Accounting and is currently a licensed CPA in the state of Florida. Melissa worked previously as an external auditor at CBIZ, Mayer Hoffman McCann, where she worked on the Financial Statement Audit of Great Explorations, as well as several other non-profit organizations in Pinellas County. Melissa now works as an Internal Auditor at Masonite, a Global Manufacturer headquartered in Tampa.

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Stacy Sher Conroy, Secretary

A real estate transactional attorney, currently serving as Of Counsel to Greg W. Dworzanowski, P.A. Growing up in St. Petersburg, Stacy attended Yale University and University of Pennsylvania Law School before returning to the Tampa Bay area in 2008. Stacy currently lives on St. Pete Beach with her husband Will, their children and two English bulldogs.

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Andrea Biderman-Silverman

Andrea relocated to St. Petersburg from Chicago and continues to work remotely as an Account Supervisor for Digital Kitchen in Chicago and New York. Andrea has been in the production field for 11 years, working her way up the ranks from Producer, Senior Producer, and now Account Supervisor. She has a broad skill set which includes all aspects of TV production as well as sales, management and leadership. Andrea has put her BA from Washington University to use in her professional career as well as in a volunteer capacity for numerous organizations. Andrea has been a volunteer at organizations including All Children’s Hospital in Austin and Chicago, Deborah’s Place, Chicago’s largest provider of supportive housing for women, Washington University and local school districts. Andrea loves fantasy football leagues and has been waiting 7 years to finish in first place. She is an avid sports fan and loves the Dallas Cowboys and the Longhorns.

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Anysia McDowall

Anysia is a community advocate and supporter of creating opportunities for children from all areas of our community. In addition to being a parent representative from our preschool, she has been instrumental in assisting us creating an effective Diversity Plan as a Trustee. Anysia has been a fundraising and marketing professional for 11 years, and has worked with a number of community health, affordable housing, and interfaith organizations. She is the Corporate and Foundations Development Officer for All Children’s Hospital Foundation and is a fellow in the All Children’s Hospital Foundation Major Gift fellowship program. Anysia lives in Saint Petersburg with her husband and their daughter and enjoys photographing nature and international architecture.

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Carey Kleinmetz

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, entrepreneur and socially-conscious mom Carey Kleinmetz is the founder of The Littlest Trunk, a fun and fresh resale boutique for kids and moms. Carey spent ten years as a early childhood educator in some of the highest rated preschools in the area, working primarily with three year olds. She volunteers her time with various local organizations such as the Junior League of St. Petersburg as Chair of the annual Fashion Show event committee, the Mr. Strong Foundation and BabyCycle Diaper Bank. She cares deeply about St. Petersburg and is committed to growing her business in her hometown while giving back. She works incredibly hard to utilize the platform of The Littlest Trunk to support various community activities and events related to the improvement of the lives of women and children in our Sunshine City. Carey lives in Treasure Island with her husband, Charlie, and their four children – Andrew, Cameron, Alexis and Jessica.

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Eric Walley

Eric Steven Walley was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, son to Steven and Nancy, and brother to Ryan. Eric grew up taking an active role in leadership positions at an early age, participating in State D.E.C.A. Championships and becoming a manager at the age of 16. He took a direction in banking while attending The University of New Mexico, where he obtained a Marketing Degree. Eric has always had a passion for winning and leading people. He served as the President of the Professional Business Fraternity Delta Sigma Pi while in college, and has had over 15 years of management in retail and banking. Today, he works for USAmeribank as a Relationship Manager, Serving the Small Business Community in Pinellas County. Eric is very enthusiastic about photography and has also owned his own small business. He has also donated his time and services to a variety of organizations including American Cancer Society, Rock Camp (for children with cancer),Muscular Dystrophy and Junior Achievement.

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Jason Elliot Green

A long-time resident of St. Petersburg. He attended Boca Ciega High School prior to receiving a BS from FSU in Elementary Education and an MS in Educational Leadership. Jason then received an M.A. in Architecture from UF and an MBA from USF. Until recently, Jason worked at St. Petersburg College as the Environmental Sustainability Coordinator. He is currently starting his own architectural design firm. Jason has served on numerous boards including CASA, Freefall Theater, and All Children’s Hospital Foundation. Jason has won numerous architectural and community service awards for his outstanding work and activism. Jason currently lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and 2 little boys.

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Jason Miller

As manager of culinary development for The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., Chef Miller is responsible for the successful development, testing and implementation of new menu items, products and product improvements for The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. franchise system of more than 130 restaurants in North America from the company’s Restaurant Support Center in Tampa, Fla. This includes planning and organizing unit-level testing for new and enhanced product concepts, new equipment and redesigned restaurant workflow processes. Chef Miller joined The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., in 2014 with more than 22 years of experience in the restaurant industry. He previously served as executive chef and partner at The Capital Grille’s largest restaurant with 450 seats on Wall Street in New York City. He also worked alongside celebrity chef David Burke for more than 10 years collaborating on culinary development and operations for a variety of restaurant concepts with the David Burke Group and Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. A New York City native, Chef Miller started working in restaurants at age 13. He graduated at the top of his class from the French Culinary Institute in New York City and also studied industrial design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Chef Miller and his wife, Hillary, have identical twin daughters, Charlotte and Beatrice. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, painting, sculpting, cooking and eating.

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Jenna Bullard

As a Tampa native, at the age of 18 Jenna moved to the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. The goal was to pick back up a real estate company that her stepdad owned. This was her introduction into the marketing world. She lived on the island for a year and then also contributed greatly while she was abroad living in Rhode Island and also Oxford, England. After graduating college, Jenna moved to South Korea as an opportunity presented itself that allowed her to experience more of the world. Upon herreturn, she began working in the creative field, which ultimately, supplied her with a lot of knowledge in marketing, SEO, graphic design, photography, etc. Now, she currently holds a position with a pharmaceutical company in Clearwater, FL and with great pride, she loves to say that St. Petersburg is her home. Being the sole employee in the marketing department creates challenges, however it has lead Jenna to have a deeper understanding of market strategy and each segment of a successful campaign. In addition, her role at CoreRx has also led her to a subtitle of event planner/coordinator (which she loves)!

Jenna is excited at the opportunity to be a member of a team that collaborates to achieve a common goal. She believes in the mission and knows that together we can unite the community and provide a fun and safe learning community.

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Jerilyn Rush

Jerilyn has been a Florida resident since 1997 when she moved here with her family from the Kansas City area. Having been self-employed since the age of 22, she is very aware of the challenges and excitement of being self-motivated and loves giving back to the community. She currently resides in Tampa and is a top producing real estate agent with RE/MAX Metro located in downtown St Petersburg. She is in the Remax Hall of Fame as well as a Platinum Level Producer with RE/MAX serving Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. She has served on the board for the Children’s Advocacy Group in Tampa and has been a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) New Tampa Junior’s for the past 9 years, serving on the board for several of those years including Chairperson of their annual fundraiser, The Night of 5000, in 2010. She has two grown daughters, the oldest of which works alongside her in the real estate industry and the youngest is an English teacher currently residing in Indonesia.

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Lisa Negrini

Ms. Negrini has a BA in Science and a MSW in Social Work from Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. She has been working with children and families in the non-profit, social service field for over 20 years. Recently joining Great Explorations, she brings her knowledge of non-profit administration, early childhood education, child development, and community advocacy for children to the St. Petersburg Great Explorations community. Ms. Negrini’s experience includes non-profit leadership, work with children and families in the clinical setting, providing parenting education and support as well as parent-child relationship enhancement therapies. Ms. Negrini comes to Great Explorations from Suncoast Center, Inc where she was the Clinical Director. Prior to Suncoast Center, Ms. Negrini was the Interim Executive Director of Help A Child, Inc. Ms. Negrini has been in non-profit management for over 10 years.

 

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Logan DeVicente, CFP®, CRPC®

Logan is a Branch Manager with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC who has an MBA in Information Systems with a strong background in Computer Science and IT. Logan and his wife are natives of St. Petersburg who decided to move back to where they grew up since they cherished the unique character and community focus of the city. They have a daughter and are excited to share the city with her (specifically the children’s museum which is walking distance from their house). Logan grew up going to Great Explorations and has many fond memories of field trips, the static globes, measuring his jump and his favorite, the junk dinosaur. He has seen the museum transform into an amazing hands-on children’s facility, which is now an integral part of our community.

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Michael Harris

Michael Harris is the Managing Director of CREModels, bringing over 25 years of real estate and technology experience and a lifetime of entrepreneurship to the team. Mr. Harris has held numerous roles within CREModels including Vice President of Emerging Technologies and Director of Marketing. In his current capacity as Managing Director, Mike oversees the marketing and general operations of the firm. Additionally, he is in charge of both client-facing and internal technology solutions while spearheading the CREModels Ventures and CREModels Labs divisions. He successfully ran a Network Consulting company in the 1990’s which handled both systems rollouts and training across the country. In the real estate world, Mr. Harris is known as an expert in distressed debt and REO transactions. He helped form the Special Assets Services division of a large commercial real estate brokerage firm and later served as Director of the Loan Sales division. Mr. Harris also launched a Private Equity fund which acquires distressed commercial real estate assets in secondary markets of the US. To date they have over $25,000,000 in equity capital deployed. Mr. Harris has been involved in over $1 billion in transactions as a private investor, syndicator, broker, and lender. Mike received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Florida, his MBA from the University of Florida and is a proud member of Mensa. Mr. Harris has also attended the Real Estate Executive Seminar at Harvard Business School.

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Michael McKenny

In 2010 Michael co-founded Ashtay Productions, LLC which is a locally owned and operated multimedia production company. In addition Michael currently serves as the Minister of Music of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Saint Petersburg. Michael L. McKenny was born in Saint Petersburg into a multiracial family. With a Columbian mother and African American / Caucasian father he was exposed to a multi –cultural environment right from the start. He studied at Gibbs High School in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts program and then later at Florida Southern College as a Music Management major. Michael also obtained extensive experience in the arts while serving as a director at Suncoast Children’s Theatre and Bravo Centre for the Arts. With a passion for community work, Michael’s commitment to his community is reflected in his dedicated involvement with the local church community and active support for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and Feeding Children Everywhere, Inc. As a proud father, Michael hopes that through his passion and work he will share the importance of community and the arts with his two daughters Taylor and Ashli.

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Natalie Gebicke

Natalie Gebicke is a Vice President and Sales Support Specialist for Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Variable Annuity Distribution Team. Natalie has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry including over nine years focused on the Variable Annuity marketplace. In her current role, Natalie is responsible for developing and strengthening relationships with GSAM’s variable insurance partners and their clients across the United States by providing investment knowledge, thought leadership, practice management solutions and other value-added resources. Prior to joining GSAM, Natalie was a field wholesaler for Invesco and held various roles at Franklin Templeton Investments including a subadvisory wholesaler, financial analyst and futures associate. Natalie holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and was the graduation speaker for John Muir College. She resides with her husband and sons, Steele (3) and Cole (1), in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

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Rachel Wein

Rachel founded WeinPlus, a retail and real estate strategy and management consultancy, in 2008. As CEO, she grew WeinPlus to a top-tier organization, delivering a 12-fold return on investment for the C-suite of large and small public and private companies. Rachel is an innovator, combining research and strategic creativity for unprecedented results, including increased profits and the infrastructure for sustainable and solvent futures. Her concentration in the retail REIT industry translates to intimate knowledge of both corporate needs [laser focus on reducing cost of capital] as well as the needs of the retailer and customer [impacts of changing demographics and the consumer-centric future of omni-channel product delivery]. 80% of WeinPlus’ business is from repeat clients, and the public companies that regularly consult with Ms. Wein have a combined market capitalization of over $35 billion. Rachel has a proven track record of measurable successes on micro and macro issues. Rachel serves on the board of directors for both the University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies and the Real Estate Investment Council of Tampa Bay. She is the Construction and Real Estate chairperson for the Pinellas Education Foundation’s savings for the Classroom Initiative and was previously a Trustee for Camp Judaea in Hendersonville, NC. The University of Florida named Rachel to their Hall of Fame in 2003 and as an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2012. Rachel and her husband David were recognized by The State of Israel Bonds for outstanding service with its Young Leadership Award this year. They reside in St. Petersburg, FL with their two children, Aaron and Noah.

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Dr. Thomas Silver

Dr. Silver is compassionate towards providing comprehensive dental care and establishing a positive precedent for a lifetime of dental care to his population of children and young adults. Dr. Silver is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist with a private practice office in the Tampa/ St Petersburg Area. He received his B.S. from the University of Florida and his DMD from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Silver attended a specialty residency program at the Baylor University College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. There he received his specialty certificate in Pediatric Dentistry as well as a M.S. degree in his specialty. He currently is the CEO of Shinyhappysmiles.com which is a successful Pediatric and Orthodontic office in Saint Petersburg. Dr. Silver is a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentists and the Florida Dental Association. He has been published in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Journal and was awarded the highest research award while a resident. Dr. Silver recently attended the University of North Carolina where he received his MBA in international business. He is an avid triathlete and enjoys oil painting and exploring international cultures. Dr. Silver currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Scott K. Wagman, Chair Emeritus

Scott is a successful, socially responsible business executive who led his family’s mom-and-pop business (Scott Paint) from a one-store operation to a $19 million, 140-employee multi-store success story (sold in 1998 as a division of Bruning Paint). Thirteen years ago Scott created the first leftover paint-recycling program in Florida at Scott Paint. Today, the program is now recycling paint for thirteen counties in Florida and is run at a profit. Scott and his wife, Beth Houghton, have called St. Petersburg home for over 25 years, raising their three children here. Both Scott and Beth are very active members of the community supporting organizations such as Great Explorations – The Houghton Wagman Children’s Museum, Lawyers for Literacy, American Stage Theater and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.