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Jose Balasquide, Consultant, BEACON SOLUTIONS
Jose R. Balasquide has led significant political and very important non-partisan educational campaigns to help increase civic engagement in Latino communities and build a new influential community of voters. Born in Puerto Rico, Mr. Balasquide currently serves as the director of the Latino Civic Engagement Working Group. Formerly served as the Florida State Director for Mi Familia Vota Education Fund (MFV EF), where he directed and oversaw the Latino civic engagement efforts and mobilized over 75,000 Latinos in Florida trough the election cycle of 2012.
He has contributed to economic development efforts and served as a Governmental Affairs Director for the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and has worked as Legislative Assistant at the Florida State Senate. Jose has been battling for the fair redistricting of the state of Florida as a Member at Large for the Executive Board of the Central Florida Re-districting Council. He is also owner-partner of (BEA), BUSINESS ENTITIES ADVISORS LLC., a consulting company. Jose studied at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico College of Business Administration. He has lived in Central Florida since 1993.
Matthew Blood, Manager of Community Participation, Heart of Florida United Way
Matt earned his BS in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management and Marketing from Florida State University in 2007 and an MPA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 2011 with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship.
He is currently the Manager of Community Participation at the Heart of Florida United Way in Orlando where he recruits and manages internal volunteers and interns, organizes various large-scale community-wide volunteer engagement events including an annual Day of Action each June aimed at improving reading and literacy skills of youth in Central Florida, as well as coordinates regular service projects with student and faith-based groups.
Additionally, Matthew is the 2014 President of the Council of Volunteer Management of Central Florida, a membership organization with the mission to enhance the effectiveness of people who are responsible for the recruitment, education, and retention of volunteers by providing educational training, workshops, and a forum for networking of local nonprofit volunteer managers. He is also a member of the local chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
Laura Blundy, Attorney at Law, Blundy Law, P.A.
Mrs. Laura J. Blundy, Esq. is a licensed Attorney, Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, & Realtor. A solo practitioner since 2012, her legal practice includes foreclosure defense, criminal defense, real estate, family law, and civil litigation. Active within her community, Mrs. Blundy served on the Legislative Committee for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, was elected President of the Orange County Young Democrats, and represented the State of Florida as an official delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. An Orlando native, she was awarded an International Baccalaureate degree from Winter Park High School, and graduated cum laude from the University of Florida on a Bright Futures Scholarship, with a B.A. in Political Science, Minor in Mass Communication, and Certificate in International Relations. Mrs. Blundy earned her J.D. as well as a Certificate in International Law from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, where she participated in Moot Court and was awarded the Gillis Long Poverty Law Scholarship. The daughter of a Palestinian Muslim Father and an American Christian Mother, Mrs. Blundy reflects a diverse perspective that honors the American Dream, cherishes progressive values, and promotes public policy through bootstrap enterprise. She resides in Orlando with her husband, Dan, and her black cat, Mona.
Joseph Coury, Vice President Business Banking, PNC Bank
Joseph Coury is currently a Vice President Business Banker at PNC Bank. Born and raised in Cleveland, Joseph received his Bachelor Degree with magna cum laude distinction at Miami University of Ohio. While at Miami University, Joseph, received the PresidentÍs Distinguished Service Award for his work in community service and outreach as a Brother of Sigma Lambda Beta. Joseph moved from New York City to Florida in 2007 and began to work for PNC Bank. While working at PNC Bank, Joseph has had the privilege of serving the Fort Pierce, Melbourne, and Orlando markets in different capacities for the bank. As a Business Banker, Joseph works with his clients to streamline the cash flow of their unique business cycle, create operational efficiencies, and provide industry leading tools and a personal client experience in order for them to achieve their business aspirations. Joseph is an avid Cleveland and Orlando sports fan, has a fond passion for travel, and an affection for astrophysics as well. He also has a strong belief in community service, and when he is not working you can find him volunteering at such organizations as Ronald McDonald House, Enzian, Habitat for Humanity, and Florida Hospital. Joseph currently resides in Downtown Orlando and is a supporter of the arts as well.
Marc D’Antin, Lead Behavior Specialist, Orange County Public Schools
I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst working for Orange County Public Schools. I have worked with individuals with disabilities since graduating from college in 2006, and have worked in behavior analysis since 2008. I received my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2011 where I focused on addictions counseling. In my current job I work with elementary aged students in Orange County’s most restrictive setting for children labeled with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities. I am the lead Behavior Specialist in charge of the 12 person behavior team and in charge of each student’s behavioral plan. After my first year in the position I was voted my school’s teacher of the year.
Outside of work I meet regularly with a group of young behavior analysts from around the country. We share a passion for disseminating behavior analysis, and together we create free tools for the wider behavior analytic community to use as well as conduct workshops and presentations at national conferences. We generally challenge each other to be better at our craft and serve as a motivation to always keep learning.
I’ve spent most of my life in Florida but also lived in the North Eastern United States as well as Germany and Spain. My mother and siblings live in Spain, and most of my extended family lives throughout Europe. Having grown up in various countries and having an international family I was lucky enough to learn to speak four languages (English, Spanish, Catalan, and German).
My ultimate aim in life is to disseminate behavior analytic services to those in need in the most efficient and practical way possible. I see many avenues for this depending on where life takes me. My current work in the public school system has taught me that like any system there are flaws, and that helping to fix the system from the inside would benefit huge numbers of people whether it be through policy change or by becoming a School Board Member. I would also find reward in heading a non-profit organization with the aim of disseminating behavior analysis to those in need. Additionally excelling in academia and becoming a source for research and general expertise has always been a goal of mine.
Whichever direction life takes me my goal remains helping as many people as possible using any expertise I may gain.
Tricia D’Antin, Architect (Information Architect; User Experience Designer), Purple, Rock, Scissors!
I’m the firstborn of two Oregonian slalom waterskiers. We moved to Florida for the weather. I was ten.
I wanted to be a scientist, but I was terrible at math.
My parents wanted me to be an artist, so I quit art school at the pretentious age of twelve. Since no one in my family had ever made any money, I wanted to pursue something without a “starving-artist” image.
Ironically, I chose filmmaking. I stuck with it through most of college, but due to a general lack of maturity at the time, I was a terrible director. I rationalized that freelance would have been unstable anyway. Wanting to be a film director was like wanting to be a rock star.
I was going to focus on my writing. Unfortunately, UCF’s creative writing program taught me more self-indulgent introspection than practical skill.
After Junior-year, I stashed a year’s worth of Smokey Bones tips and back-packed Europe for six weeks. Lindsay, my best friend and fellow backpacker, knew a couple recent UCF alumna who were living in Spain. Marc and Scott, best friends since middle school, showed us around Barcelona for two of those weeks.
Madly in love with Marc, I returned home to get my act together. Frustrated with the fact that I was now a Senior and had little ammo for my future novels, I figured I wanted to “learn.” I picked up concentrations in psychology, sociology, and religious studies. I graduated with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Qualified for nothing, I became a teacher.
I taught high school intensive reading. In other words, I spent two years forcing teenage “struggling readers” to read.
I loved the kids. I made it fun. I just wasn’t meant to commit my whole being to the FCAT.
Meanwhile, I began a masters program in Library and Information Science. I became obsessed with information architecture, user experience design, and usability. I quit teaching for an unpaid internship at a little digital agency in downtown Orlando. After three months, I was hired. PRPL has since grown into an exciting and potentially great company.
Lindsay and I married Scott and Marc, respectively. We now frequent bars, restaurants, the dog park, and farmers markets when we aren’t trying to conquer the world through our respective careers. We plan vacations, play board games, argue about issues, and put off parenthood as long as possible.
Corey Douglas, Business Development Analyst, 2014 Juris Doctorate Candidate, Elijah Limited
Corey Douglas is the Business Development Analyst for Elijah Limited, a Top 20 rated electronic discovery and computer forensics firm that provides litigation support services to law firms and Fortune 500 corporations worldwide. Previously, Corey worked as a Litigation Document Specialist for Holland & Knight, LLP an American Lawyer 100 firm where he managed litigation document preparation, filing and indexing. He has also held positions with Morgan & Morgan, the nation’s largest personal injury and consumer protection law firm, and at GrayRobinson, in the firm’s top rated eminent domain department. Corey is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he majored in Legal Studies, minored in Criminal Justice and received a certificate of specialization in Transactional and Commercial Law. Corey plans to continue his education and is currently in the process of applying for law school for admission in the fall of 2014. Corey has worked to advance progressive values since 2000 when he served as a field organizer for the Gore Presidential campaign in Florida. In 2004, he worked for America Coming Together as a voter registration team coordinator and for the John Kerry campaign as a college campus liaison. Since 2006, Corey has worked with the Florida Democrats, Orange County Democrats and in some capacity for the campaigns of several central Florida candidates. In 2008 and 2012, Corey worked for the Obama Presidential campaigns focusing on registering first-time millennial voters. In the coming months before he enters law school, Corey will be pursuing certification in eDiscovery from the Association of eDiscovery Specialists, learning Spanish and continuing to work for Orlando community organizations.
Sarah Elbadri, Consultant, CycleHop
Sarah works as a bike share consultant with CycleHop, LLC. She focuses on building relationships with municipalities and universities seeking to integrate bike share programs into their local transit systems. Sarah is graduate of the Master of Planning in Civic Urbanism program at Rollins College and holds a BS from the University of Florida, where she majored in integrative biology and minored in sustainability studies. She is passionate about the intersection of community, design, and innovation. Sarah is involved with multiple community efforts in the City Beautiful, including launching a talk show on WPRK called ReThinking the City, planning OrlandoÍs National Day of Civic Hacking, and co-organizing Startup Weekend Orlando.
Joel Goldstein, Speaker, Author & Consultant, Self
Joel Goldstein is a Harvard educated professional speaker, best-selling author and consultant. As a speaker, he helps train, entertain and inspire leaders to reach their potential through keynote presentations, engaging workshops and interactive seminar lectures.
As a Millennial Leadership Consultant, Joel’s clients have spanned from leading medical research teams to government agencies. He has been featured as an expert on Millennials behavior on television, newspapers and magazines.
Robyn Lorfink, Operations Director, City Year
Robyn Lorfink is the Operations Director at City Year Greater Orlando, an education based non-profit that focuses on keeping students in school and on track. She is responsible for the budget, office operations, marketing/communications and staff hiring for City Year Orlando. Previously, Robyn worked as the Recruitment Director for City Year Orlando, where she was responsible for the recruitment and selection of AmeriCorps members. In January of 2012, Robyn moved to Orlando to help launch the site alongside five staff members and nine senior corps members.
Robyn also served as the Events and Marketing Director at City Year Greater Philadelphia (CYGP) where she developed an integrated marketing strategy, including new and existing Radio, TV, Outdoor Advertising partners and social media. Each year, she helped to raise brand recognition in Philadelphia and consistently secured over $200,000 worth of donated advertising space. Robyn took on the additional responsibility of planning and managing all CYGP fundraising events. Robyn’s tenacity is a key factor in her ability to meet goals, while continuously taking leadership roles in site wide events and initiatives. Previously, Robyn was an AmeriCorps member for two years. Aside from her City Year experience, Robyn has over seven years of supervisory experience in the Hospitality Management Field, including such companies as Eurest, Restaurant Associates and ARAMARK.
Robyn earned her BS in Hospitality Management and her BA in Spanish from Widener University in 2004, graduating Summa cum laude. Robyn continues to stay involved in campus through the East Florida Chapter of Widener Alumni, and has helped to secure additional scholarships for City Year AmeriCorps members from her alma mater. In addition, she is a member of the Young Non-profit Professionals Network of Orlando, Central Florida Employers Council and the Public Relations Society of America.
Kelly Quintero, Administrative Assistant, Orange County Tax Collector
Kelly Quintero is the Administrative Assistant to the Orange County Tax Collector, Scott Randolph. The Tax Collector's office deals with DMV services, property and business taxes. She is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations in the Administrative office, maintaining Mr. Randolph schedule and helping the Director of Communications with marketing/communications.
Previously, Kelly was a 2013 UCF Legislative Scholar and served as a Legislative Intern for State Senator Geraldine Thompson in Tallahassee during the 2013 legislative session. While interning in Tallahassee, she was responsible for providing legislative bill updates, assisted with budget inputs and worked directly with the Legislative Aides to accomplish their tasks.
A recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, Kelly was an active participant in student organizations and maintained leadership roles throughout her time at UCF. Continuing her deep interest in politics, she plans to use the skills and connections NLC provides to become a fixture in Florida politics, especially as a voice for her generation.
Kelly earned her BA in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in 2013. Currently, she is the President of the Young Democrats of Orange County and working to build membership and interest before the November 2014 elections. She also serves as the Secretary of the Democratic Women's Club of Greater Orlando.
Chiquita Raines, Chief Executive Officer, Living Southern Style of Brevard, LLC
Chiquita Raines, Chief Executive Officer, Living Southern Style of Brevard, LLC. Chiquita Raines is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of two small businesses, Living Southern Style of Brevard LLC., and Grande Starr Enterprises, LLC. She also serves as a middle management administrator with Orange County Government in Orlando, Florida. As a healthcare innovator, Chiquita oversees and manages an emerging and growing business in the elder care market of assisted living facilities at Living Southern Style of Brevard, LLC. She continuously focuses on new ideas to benefit the community and its seniors by using a unique model to help her clientele feel like a home away from home. Chiquita also works as an educator at a local state college where she teaches courses related to the criminal justice system and government, and has a passion for professional development.
Chiquita is noted for developing an executive-level succession planning model for the mentoring future leaders within her department at Orange County Government. Chiquita is an active member of Toastmasters International, Orange County Club, and currently serves as the Vice-President of Membership for her chapter. She has strong personal values in her faith, family, and dedication to hard work. In her leisure time, Chiquita enjoys running, traveling, and reading. Chiquita has a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies in Political Science and holds a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in Public Management from Troy University.
Dylan Shepherd, State Immigration Coordinator, Organizing for Action
I started in politics as a volunteer for the Barack Obama presidential election campaign in 2008—Phone-banking, canvassing door to door, etc. It wasn’t until the 2012 President Barack Obama re-election campaign that I established my official start in politics, working as a deputy field organizer under Ms. Alexis Ruiz. I joined the Organizing for Action team on July 15th as an issue organizer for comprehensive immigration reform. Additionally, I spend most of my free time volunteering with many human rights organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida with my wonderful spouse of 4 years.
I feel very close to immigration reform as the facts are irrefutable; we are a nation of immigrants. Furthermore, my spouse, Nicholas, comes from a family who immigrated to the United States of America from Spain, and the opportunity I have had to immerse myself into the Spanish culture makes me that much more passionate to do right by his heritage and, with his full support, fight for immigration reform.
Joshua Walker, Marketing Coordinator , HRsoft
Joshua Walker is an Honorably Discharged Veteran turned Marketing/Entertainment Professional. After a successful tour in Baghdad Joshua returned home and left Active Duty to pursue his ambitious dreams. He now holds two degrees: Bachelors in Recording Arts and a Masters in Entertainment Business. During this journey Joshua has gained a vast amount of experience in numerous areas. This includes doing Marketing for World Wrestling Entertainment, Teaming with Non-Profit Organizations to help get a homeless family a new place to live, and working with Charting Recording Artist to put out music heard around the world. Joshua is extremely excited about teaming with the nations brightest in the New Leaders Council by being apart of Orlando’s first class.