homeAboutPartnershipProgramsResearchAdvocacyResourceshome
Florida Philanthropic Network


Mission & History | Board | Staff | Publications

FPN Board of Directors

Mark BrewerMark Brewer, Chair
Mark Brewer is president and chief executive officer of the Central Florida Foundation in Orlando. Brewer's leadership at the foundation has been focused on improving charitable investment strategies for donors and philanthropists and strategic grantmaking to build the capacity of nonprofits in the region. His background includes more than a decade as a management and performance consultant in the nonprofit sector.  Later, as a licensed investment professional, he assisted donors with estate and planned giving strategies. Brewer plays a leadership role in a number of community initiatives and serves on several community boards including the Central Florida Partnership, the Central Florida Homeless Commission and he is Chair of the advisory board of the Donors Forum of Central Florida. He has also served in leadership roles with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Central Florida Planned Giving Council, and is a Past Chair of the Florida Federation of Community Foundations.

Susan TowlerSusan B. Towler, Vice Chair
Susan B. Towler, APR, is vice president of the Florida Blue Foundation, established in 2001 as the philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue. She is also executive director of community affairs for Florida Blue and has responsibility for the company's community investment programming. Towler previously had responsibility for coordinating and implementing Florida Blue's public relations programs and providing strategic communications counsel on critical business issues. Prior to joining Florida Blue in 1996, Towler served as client services manager at Robin Shepherd Public Relations. She's also held public relations roles with Gulf Life Insurance Company, BancBoston Mortgage Corp. and was president of SEB Communications. Towler serves on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. In addition, she serves as the 2012-13 Chair of Leadership Florida and on the Governor's Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

Katie ScanlanKatie Scanlan, Secretary/Treasurer
Katie Scanlan is SVP, metro east markets & centralized operations executive at Bank of America, based in Tampa. A 21-year veteran of Bank of America, Scanlan has held various management positions during her tenure including Florida community relations manager, Florida sponsorship marketing manager and Florida public relations manager. In her current role, she is responsible for all philanthropic, sponsorship and civic activities in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Scanlan serves on the board of directors for Communities in Schools of Florida (CISFL) as well as on the resource development committee for CISFL. She was a member of Leadership Florida's Class of 28. Scanlan is an active member of Leadership Tampa Alumni, Tampa Bay Funders Forum and Florida Philanthropic Network. She graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Public Relations.

Kim BentleyKim Bentley
Kim Bentley is assistant vice president of corporate philanthropy for JM Family Enterprises, Inc., a diversified automotive company headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida. In this position, she is responsible for the implementation of its corporate philanthropy strategy. Bentley's role at JM Family affords her the opportunity to be involved in many worthwhile organizations. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Museum of Discovery and Science. She has received recognition from several nonprofit organizations including Women's Way of the United Way of Broward County Volunteer of the Year Award, Big Brothers Big Sisters Déjà vu Ball Honoree, Leadership Broward Fun Lunch Honoree, and March of Dimes Women of Distinction.

Matt HaggmanMatt Haggman
Matt Haggman is program director, Miami for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami. He joined the staff of Knight Foundation in October 2011. Previously, Haggman worked for The Miami Herald covering Miami-Dade County government and real estate. He has also covered legal affairs for the Daily Business Review. In 2008, he co-authored an award-winning series, Borrowers Betrayed, which detailed lax state oversight of the home loan industry that contributed to Florida's rise in mortgage fraud. The series won numerous awards, including the Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism.

Patty MaddoxPatricia Maddox
Patricia Maddox is president & CEO of the Winter Park Health Foundation in Winter Park, which she has led since its inception in 1994. Maddox has directed all facets of the foundation's mission and program planning. She came to Florida in 1993 leaving Duke University, where she had been executive director of Medical School Alumni Affairs and Development. Currently, Maddox is active in the health and health care community, serving on the University of Central Florida College of Health and Public Affairs Executive Committee and Advisory Board, the Metro YMCA Board, the Orange County Chairman's Healthcare Roundtable, the Heart of Florida United Way Investing in Results Council, the Mayflower Retirement Community Board of Directors and the Florida Hospital Board of Directors.

Steven MarcusSteven E. Marcus Ed.D.
Dr. Marcus is president and CEO of the Health Foundation of South Florida in Miami. The foundation has embarked on transforming its grantmaking by focusing its responsive grant program on four community focus areas: healthy lifestyle promotion, preventative measures, primary care and oral health. Marcus was previously executive vice president of the Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation in Miami Beach, where he served for nearly 13 years. Marcus received his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Georgia in 1988 and is a Certified Fund Raising Professional. He is past president of the Greater Miami Chapter, a member of the Association of Health Care Philanthropy, Grantmakers in Health and the Council on Foundations. Currently, he serves on the boards of Miami-Dade County Alliance for Human Services and The Miami-Dade County Children's Trust and the Center on Nonprofit Effectiveness in Miami.

Miguel MilanesMiguel Milanes
Miguel Milanes is regional vice president, Miami-Dade for Allegany Franciscan Ministries, where he has worked since 2003 directing the organization's activities in Miami-Dade County. He previously served as communications director for the Florida Department of Children and Families and directed the Miami-Dade County Health Department's Office of HIV/AIDS. In recognition of his work, President Clinton appointed him to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Milanes also worked as special assistant in the homeless program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC, and as an administrator for a community-based organization serving Hispanics in Oklahoma.

Ian SmithIan Smith
Ian Smith is senior vice president and chief communications officer for the Helios Education Foundation, where he provides strategic brand, marketing and public relations leadership to the foundation. As the most senior-level representative for Helios in Florida, Smith manages the foundation's Tampa office and is responsible for statewide community relations. He brings more than 13 years of professional television, print media, public relations and corporate communications experience to Helios. A former news producer and an Accredited Public Relations Counselor (APR) and Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC), Smith's professional experience includes serving as communications director for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, director of public affairs for the Florida Home Builders Association, and deputy director of communications for the Florida Department of Community Affairs. He was a member of Leadership Florida's Class of 28. Smith earned his Master of Arts degree in English from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism from Florida A&M University.

Ashley Smith JuarezAshley Smith Juarez
Ashley Smith Juarez is a trustee at The Emily Balz Smith Foundation, her family's foundation based in Jacksonville, and serves as the Clinton Health Matters Initiative regional director for Northeast Florida. Prior to joining the foundation, Smith Juarez served as the executive director of The Chartrand Foundation, a family foundation committed to expanding opportunities and excellence in Early Childhood through grade 12 public education. She has a background in teaching and dropout prevention. She also currently serves as the president of the Family Support Services board of directors, a member of The Women’s Giving Alliance Steering Committee and as a member of the WCJT Board of Trustees, Northeast Florida's local public broadcasting station, and is a member of the Duval County School Board representing District 3. She holds her B.S. in History and Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University.

Javier Alberto SotoJavier Alberto Soto
Javier Alberto Soto currently serves as president and CEO of The Miami Foundation, the community foundation for the Greater Miami area. Previously, Soto served as senior vice president and general counsel of Dutko Worldwide, heading the Miami division of the multi-disciplinary public policy management firm. Prior to joining Dutko in 2005, he held a variety of positions with Miami-Dade County. He was the transition chairman for the Office of Mayor Carlos Alvarez from 2004-2005 and the chief of staff for the Office of Mayor Alex Penelas from 2001-2004, and he served as the director of intergovernmental affairs and as assistant county attorney. He was an associate in the Litigation Department at Holland & Knight before moving into county government. Soto has been involved in a variety of professional and community organizations, serving as chairman of the Community Advisory Committee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He serves on the board of directors of the Council on Foundations in Arlington, VA, and chairs the Council's Public Policy Committee. He was born in Madrid, Spain, is a graduate of Florida State University and has a law degree from Georgetown University.

FPN Staff


David BiemesderferDavid Biemesderfer
, President & CEO
813-983-7396
envelope

David Biemesderfer joined FPN as vice president in January 2009 and was appointed president & CEO of the organization in June 2010. He came to FPN with more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy and association management work. He spent 10 years with the Minnesota Council on Foundations as director of communications and external relations and then as vice president of communications and information services. In addition to managing MCF's strategic communications, he led its research operations, government relations and public policy program, and additional member programs and services. Starting in 2005, Biemesderfer provided consulting services to a number of philanthropic organizations across the country in the areas of strategic communications, public policy, and accountability and ethics. Biemesderfer has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors for the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers in Arlington, Va. He is also a member of board of directors of the Council on Foundations in Arlington, Va. and serves on the Council's public policy committee. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master's degree in business from the University of Minnesota.
  

Chris JohnsonChristopher Johnson, Director of Programs & Learning
813-983-7397
envelope

Christopher Johnson joined FPN in September 2013 as Director of Programs and Learning. In this position he will be responsible for managing the planning and delivery of FPN's programs and other services to meet our members' needs, and will be a key point person for membership recruitment. Christopher was previously Executive Director of the Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida in Gainesville, an organization that he co-founded as the region's first nonprofit resource center. Under his leadership the Center started an annual Nonprofit Summit and Nonprofit Expo and published Alachua County's first State of the Sector report for the nonprofit sector. Prior to this position, Christopher served as Membership Director for the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce. In 2010 he was recognized as a 13 under 30 recipient by North Central Florida's HOME Magazine, and in 2012 he was the national recipient of the Nonprofit Leadership Award by Black Celebrity Giving. A three-time Gator, Christopher received B.S., M.S. and MBA degrees from the University of Florida. He is an active board member with several nonprofits and volunteers frequently.
  

Carla BattsCarla Batts, Office Manager
813-983-7399
envelope

Carla Batts joined the FPN team to serve as Office Manager in July 2012. She has worked directly with youth in nonprofit prevention and intervention programs in the Tampa area for the past nine years, and during that time has partnered with several agencies and schools in the community to ensure successful outcomes and service programming. Carla served as transition services coordinator at PACE Center for Girls from 2003 until February 2010 and, while there, implemented an outreach program serving at-risk teenage girls within a local middle school. Since that time, worked with youth as the lead counselor at the Centre for Girls, a project of The Centre. Carla earned a degree in Social Work from the University of South Florida where she was acknowledged as a Conn Social Work Scholar and Dean's List of Scholars.
  

Geula FergusonGeula Ferguson, Director, South Florida Office
305-371-7944
envelope

Geula Ferguson was appointed Interim Director, South Florida Office for Florida Philanthropic Network in May 2012. She previously served as Interim Executive Director of Donors Forum of South Florida, a regional association of grantmakers serving the South Florida region that merge with FPN in May 2012. Previously the marketing director for a technology company, Geula joined Donors Forum as a special events coordinator in 2006. After spending two years as the Special Projects Coordinator, she left for a position at the Sun Sentinel News in its education program, where she was the development coordinator. During her time at the Sun Sentinel, Geula brought new partnerships together to help deliver educational programs to South Florida students. In early 2011, she returned to Donors Forum as a program manager, and assumed the interim director position in September 2011. Geula is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she earned a degree in art history.
   

Ashley PeroAshley Pero, Communications Coordinator
813-983-7398
envelope

Ashley Pero joined FPN in August 2014 as Communications Coordinator. She came to FPN with over eight years of communications and marketing experience. Prior to joining the FPN staff, Ashley was the Program Manager at Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay during a time of tremendous growth of the organization. She was responsible for the development and coordination of educational opportunities for Tampa Bay nonprofits as well as the marketing and communications for the agency. Before transitioning to the social sector Ashley worked for a boutique marketing firm and a digital media company. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University in Tampa and bachelor’s degrees in Mass Communications and Marketing from the University of South Florida.

 
FPN Consultants

Donnell MersereauDonnell Mersereau, Consultant, Community Foundations
813-321-5770
envelope

As FPN's Consultant, Community Foundations, Donnell Mersereau plays a key role in planning and managing programs and other services for FPN's community foundation members. She previously served as Vice President, Community Foundations for the Council of Michigan Foundations, FPN's colleague organization in Michigan, where her duties included management and implementation of services to 55 community foundations in Michigan with a special focus on National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, regional marketing and visibility initiatives, and private foundation partnerships. She was also Executive Director of Midwest Community Foundations' Ventures (MCFV), a supporting organization of CMF responsible for the design and implementation of innovative products for the U.S. community foundation field. Donnell is a founding board member of the Community Foundation National Standards Board and serves on the Standards Action Team. She earned a Bachelor of Science - Communications (BSC) degree and an MFA degree in media management from Northwestern University.




Quick Links


Our Members
Join FPN
Jobs
Newsletter

Calendar
Top FL Grantmakers
Education Affinity Group
Florida Health Funders
FPN Program Archives
Florida Community Foundations
Family Foundation Services
Charitable Deduction Resource Page


What's New

FPN Sponsorship Opportunities

Oct. 2014 Newsletter
(Public Version)

FPN Webinar Archive: Building the Next Generation of Nurse Leaders

FPN Webinar Archive: Increasing Child Safety and Permanency in Florida

Most Florida House Members Vote for "America Gives More Act"

FPN Webinar Archive: Preventing and Ending Youth Homelesness in Florida

Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan Voices His Support for Philanthropy

Florida Governor and Cabinet Honor Florida Community Foundations


Welcome New FPN Members

Garcia Family Foundation
Tampa, FL

Key Biscayne Community Foundation
Key Biscayne, FL

Unicorn Children's Foundation
Boca Raton, FL

Shop2Care Foundation
Boca Raton, FL

Lumina Foundation
Indianapolis, IN

 
FPN Leadership Circle

FPN is grateful to the followng members for their support of FPN's mission and work, above their annual dues investment, of $5,000 or more over the past year:

Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Inc.

Bank of America

Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

Community Foundation of Broward

Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Florida Blue Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Health Foundation of South Florida

Helios Education Foundation

JPMorgan Chase

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Miami Foundation

Quantum Foundation

Triad Foundation

Wells Fargo

Winter Park Health Foundation

Learn more about Leadership Giving

You cannot do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late.
     -- Chinese Proverb


 
 
1211 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 314 • Tampa, Florida 33607 • 813-983-7399 • Fax: 813-527-9502 | Email