Community Advisory Board
Phoenix Adams graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a major in Human Resources. He has held various human resources positions for local corporations, and most recently held a position as manager of a corporate foundation before returning full time to the Masters of Social Work program at FAU. He is currently working as a Medical Case Manager at Broward House, a social service agency in Fort Lauderdale. Phoenix is currently in his last semester of his concentration year of the MSW program, and will graduate the program in May 2011. As the President of SOWSA, the School of Social Work Student Association, Phoenix actively supports the social work student body through social events and peer support initiatives, and works to have a positive impact on our local community by leading the organization's "Adopt an Agency" initiative and organizing Habitat for Humanity build events. After graduating, he will remain actively involved with the FAU social work community as President of the School of Social Work Alumni Society.
Karen S. Benrubi earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and her MSW from Barry University in 1992. Karen received her MSW training at Delray Medical Center. Karen later earned her LCSW while working as a Care Manager/MSW at Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital in Delray Beach, Florida. Throughout the past 20 years, Karen has worked in the South Palm Beach medical community as an LCSW. Her experience includes working as a private Care Manager and for the past 8 years she has been the Director of Social Services for the Parkinson's disease and Movement Disorder Center of Boca Raton. She is also a private consultant and provides outreach for patients, families, physicians and attorneys focusing on all aspects of elder care. Karen was raised in Hollywood, Florida and currently lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband Richard, a civil trial attorney, and their two children, Joshua (16) and Michael (14). She has served on the Board of Directors for the Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center, as the Chairman of the Financial Assistance Committee and as a member of the Adult Day Care Committee. Karen is a member of the NASW and is currently Present-Elect of the Spanish River Community High School Foundation.
Lori Berman has been a life-long resident of Florida and is a graduate of Florida's public schools. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Tufts University and attended the National Law Center at George Washington University. Economics. After law school, she practiced commercial litigation in Philadelphia and regulatory and real estate law in Washington, D.C. Lori returned to Florida in 1989, moving to Boca Raton, and practiced law as in-house counsel to a federal savings bank. She became actively involved in politics during Robert Wexler's first campaign for Congress and joined his team as a legislative aid during his first term. She returned to the University of Miami Law School and earned a LLM in Estate Planning, then joined the local law firm of Belson and Lewis to practice estate-planning law. Lori has a long record of community service. She has held many leadership positions within Jewish Federation, and has been involved in public and private educational support, raising funds and volunteering at Pine Crest School, Donna Klein Jewish Academy and Spanish River Community High School. Lori is a graduate of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Boca program, a former blogger for the Sun Sentinel, and a member of the Florida Bar Association, a director at South Tech Academy, and an active participant of B'nai Torah Congregation. Lori was elected to be the State Representative for District 86 in August 2010 and begin serving her term in November 2010.
Dr. Robert Colton graduated Summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 with a BA in biochemistry. He graduated number 2 in his class from University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. His residencies include Jackson Memorial Hospital; Internal Medicine and Neurology. He was also Chief Resident of Internal Medicine and completed a fellowship in Nephrology. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He practiced internal medicine/nephrology in Boca Raton since 1984. Rob was Chief of Medicine @ Boca Raton Regional Hospital from 1991-1993. He conceptualized and co-founded MDVIP, the largest concierge medicine company in the United States and opened the first MDVIP practice in March of 2001. In September, Rob and his wife Dr. Andrea Colton will begin their newest endeavor as they open an extended hours, easy access, retail dermatology office.
Jill Deutch worked for three years at UJA Federation of Greater Washington (1990 - 1993) and for five years at the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland (1993 - 1998). In 1998 Jill moved with her family to Boca Raton, Florida. She has been married to Ted Deutch for 19 years and has three children; Gabrielle, Serena and Cole. Since relocating to Florida she has been an active volunteer with the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County (where she currently serves as a Vice-President), with her children's schools and with other local Jewish organizations. Jill has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and graduate degrees from Baltimore Hebrew University (MA in Jewish Studies) and University of Maryland (MSW in Community Organization). She also received a certificate in Jewish Communal Studies from the Baltimore Institute for Jewish Communal Service. In addition to the Wexner Fellowship, she was a recipient of the FEREP award. Jill completed the Boca Raton Wexner Heritage program in 2009, making her the first double Wexner recipient. Jill recently returned to the professional world three years ago and serves as the Director of Development for Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach.
Shawn Friedkin is CEO of Stand Among Friends (SAF), which he founded in 1997. Mr. Friedkin holds degrees in Finance and Marketing. He has worked in executive positions in Real Estate Development, Manufacturing, Tele-communications and Finance. Mr. Friedkin has been quoted in publications including "The New York Times", "TheStreet.com" and "CBSMarketwatch." In 1992, Mr. Friedkin was involved in an auto accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. His life experiences of dealing with a spinal cord injury led him to found SAF, which opened The Disability Center at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton in 2006. Mr. Friedkin is a frequent speaker on the topic of accessibility, hosts the disability TV show "Life Without Limits" and is the Past-Chairman of the City of Boca Raton Advisory Board for People with Disabilities. Mr. Friedkin was a founding member of END (End Neurological Disorders). He conducted high-level meetings at the White House and organized hearings before the US Senate on the topic of neurological research funding. He also served as an officer of the National Council for Spinal Cord Injury (NCSCI) from 1993 until 1999. Mr. Friedkin is a member of the United Spinal Association, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). In 2010, he received the Tiffany Outstanding Service Award for his dedication and service to the community.
Marla Weiss Egers, Executive Vice President, Financial Resource Development has been working in the Jewish world for over twenty five years, having worked in New York at the United Jewish Appeal/United Jewish Communities and CLAL – National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Since moving to South Florida in 2001, Marla has worked in the South Palm Beach County federation in several capacities including Director of Board Development and Special Projects, Vice President of the Women’s Division, Senior Vice President of Campaign and Community Development and most recently as Executive Vice President, Financial Resource Development where she oversees Annual Campaign, Foundation and Marketing. In 2008 Marla was awarded the Nobil Award for Professional Achievement at the JFSPBC. In her private life Marla has been involved with the Association of Jewish Communal Professionals, is a member of B’nai Torah and was involved in Multiple Myeloma Foundation. She is married to Stephen and is the mother of two sons, Teddy and Max.
Wesley Hawkins earned his MSW from Catholic University, Washington, D.C. His Ph.D. is in Community Health Education from Southern Illinois University. Prior to FAU, he has held faculty and research positions at The Johns Hopkins University, the Clinical Trials Division at the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the University of Oregon. His research areas include adolescent depression, substance use disorders, and the collegiate recovery movement. Dr. Hawkins has also served as an Assistant and Associate Provost for Promotion and Tenure at FAU.
Kenneth Keechl, a partner at Kopelowitz, Ostrow, Ferguson, Weiselberg, Keechl, is a senior trial attorney with the firm's litigation department. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Keechl is the immediate past Mayor of Broward County. He also served on the Broward County Commission from 2006-2010. He has been practicing law for over 20 years and has a reputation as one of South Florida's finest commercial and land use trial attorneys. Prior to joining the firm, he was a partner with the prestigious Florida firm, Brinkley Morgan; helping build the firm's commercial litigation and land use litigation practices. He received both his BS and law degree, cum laude, from Florida State University where he served as Editor of the Law Review. He is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest rating in both legal ability and ethics. He previously served on the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the Florida Bar, which focused on civil rights issues, including those facing minorities, the elderly, and the disabled. He also was a volunteer attorney for Broward Lawyers Care, representing pro bono clients who could not afford legal counsel.
Elyssa Kupferberg is a senior sales director and senior vice president for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. In this role, she is responsible for new business development in southwest Florida, and works with individuals and families to identify how BNY Mellon Wealth Management's investment and wealth management capabilities can help them reach their overall financial goals. Having opened BNY Mellon's office in Boca Raton 12 years ago, Ms. Kupferberg has been instrumental in developing a strong base of wealth management clients and assisting them with their financial and estate planning needs. Ms. Kupferberg has more than 25 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry. Prior to her current role, she was vice president at Chase Manhattan Private Bank serving as the South Palm Beach County market manager for Florida. Before that, she held positions in management in the Commercial/Middle Market Lending Divisions at Chase in New York City. Ms. Kupferberg received a dual bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds her bachelor of science in Economics from the Wharton School with a concentration in Marketing and a bachelor of arts in Communications from The Annenberg School of Communications. She also has a master of business administration in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University. She holds Series 7 and 63 licenses. Elyssa is actively involved in the community. She is a professional advisory committee member of Boca Regional Hospital Foundation, ADL, and JAFCO. She serves as a board member of Florence Fuller, JARC, AJC, ICA, Greater Boca Raton Estate Planning Council, and the Federation of South Palm Beach County where she is also vice chair of the Foundation. She currently co-chairs the annual campaign for Spanish River High School's Foundation. Additionally she is the recipient of the 2010 ADL Community Service Award and was named JAFCO 2009 Woman of the Year.
Elizabeth L. Lugo currently serves as the President/CEO of the Volen Center in Boca Raton. Ms. Lugo has served in this capacity for twelve years and has been with the Center for a total of sixteen years. During her tenure at the Volen Center, Ms. Lugo has served in a variety of positions including, but not limited to, Case Manager, Director of Managed Care and Vice President. She serves on the Executive Committees of several statewide senior advocacy organizations and has a special interest in advocacy and legislative activities. She is a member of the Florida Council on Aging, Florida Association of Aging Services Providers, National Council on Aging, Florida Association of Senior Centers, Palm Beach County Partnership for Aging and the Florida Adult Day Care Association. She is a member of the Leadership Boca Class of 2003. Ms. Lugo is a proud graduate of Florida Atlantic University and possesses a bachelor's degree in social work.
Stephen Mendelsohn graduated Colgate University in 1980 with a BA in Economics. He attended Hofstra University School of Law, and graduated in 1983 JD. He is a member of the New York and Florida Bars. Stephen is a shareholder in the Law Firm of Greenberg Traurig, PA in Boca Raton since 2003. His practice includes commercial litigation and corporate law. He is an active volunteer in the community and serves as Vice Chair Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Florida and Vice President of the B'nai Torah Congregation.
Amy Ross earned her BSW from FAU. As part of her BSW degree training, she worked at Bethesda Memorial Hospital as a Case Manager responsible for post-surgical patient advocacy and care. Amy has also served as a volunteer teacher at B'nai Israel Congregation and Whispering Pines Elementary School. She is an avid and active volunteer for the greater Boca Raton and South Florida philanthropic communities. She serves on the boards of the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center, South Palm Beach County Jewish Federation, Florence Fuller Child Development Centers and Morgan & Friends Fight Cancer Charity Tournament. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Adolph & Rose Levis JCC Annual Golf Tournament, the Go-Pink Challenge in support of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and the South Palm Beach County Federation Major Gifts Event.
Robin Rubin earned her MSW and BSW from FAU. She is also a graduate of the highly selective Wexner Heritage Foundation Leadership Program. She is an avid volunteer and very active and well respected in the greater Boca Raton philanthropic community. As part of her MSW degree training, she worked at the Lynn Cancer Institute of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital primarily in the multi-modality oncology center. Active in her effort to foster and support the local community, she serves as Vice President on the board of the Spanish River High School Foundation and the boards of the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center, the South Palm Beach Jewish Federation, Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach and Family Promise of South Palm Beach. She also serves on Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation Board, the hospital's Go-Pink challenge committee and on the Women's Advisory Council for the Christine E. Lynn Women's Health & Wellness Institute. Ms. Rubin serves as Field Faculty for the School of Social Work.
Jan Savarick is president of Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation and has played an integral role in the success of the Foundation and the Hospital since she joined the organization in 2001. She oversees all fundraising activities, including capital, annual and planned giving campaigns, corporate giving, donor relations, community awareness, major gifts, special events, strategic planning and new program development. She is a key member of the Hospital administrative team, helping to determine the organization's policies and future direction. Jan has more than thirty years of marketing, advertising, fundraising, public relations, media relations, strategic planning, organizational development, operational excellence and P&L management experience. Her experience in motivational speaking, business management and operations has resulted in the design, implementation and execution of numerous and successful fundraising campaigns. In addition to her role at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Jan has been extremely active in the community, and has played a significant role on a number of not-for-profit boards. She served as president of Donna Klein Jewish Academy and is active in Hillel, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Levis Jewish Community Center, Jewish Education Committee, JAFCO and B'nai Israel Congregation. Prior to moving to Boca Raton in 1988, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Imprint Products, Inc., Rockville Center, NY and director of marketing for Berkey Photo, Inc., New York, NY, a Fortune 500 company.
Randi Winter graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Psychology and a teaching license for elementary education. Randi and her husband David have 3 sons and 1 daughter, Lewis, Maxx, Gabriel and Lily. She moved to Boca Raton with her family 15 years ago. Randi currently serves as the President of the Foundation Board of Spanish River High School and the past Vice-Chairperson and Secretary of the (CAAB) Community Academy Advisory Board. She is the secretary of the Board of Trustees for JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options) Respite Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities as well as the volunteer chairperson for the JAFCO DD Advisory Council and the co-chair for the center’s annual “In My Shoes” luncheon. At Pine Crest Preparatory School she serves on the annual fund committee and is a board member of the Nadel Center for Early Childhood Learning Center at B’nai Israel. She has been on the Chris Evert Charities gala committee for the past 7 years to help raise money for Chris Evert Charities. Randi has served on the Boards of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, The Adolph and Rose Levis JCC, Donna Klein Jewish Academy PTO and was the Chairperson on the Betty and Marvin Zale Early Childhood Learning Center as well as a member of the Junior League of Boca Raton. Additionally, she is the recipient of the JCCA Young Leadership Award and along with her mother was the co- recipient of the mother and daughter of the year award by JAFCO. Her passion for helping children and families has driven her to the Master of Social Work Program at FAU where she currently pursuing her master’s degree.
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