Born, Raised and Educated in Chicago Illinois she attended the Chicago Art Institute on scholarship and Berkeley University in California. Employed for over 25 years in the HIV/AIDS arena encompassing both community based AIDS service organizations, and public health entities.
Recently retiring from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County she held the position of the Transgender Program Coordinator working “hands on” within the transgender community, educating medical/health providers, community based organizations and AIDS service organizations on how to create a culturally sensitive and competent environment for transgender individuals. To increase the capacity of medical providers to deliver competent medical care for FTM and MTF at all stages of their transition and life afterwards she created the Annual Transgender Medical Symposium a 2 day intense education series of workshops geared towards educating licensed medical/mental health providers, as well as students and support staff on state of the art information to ensure that there is familiarity with the important needs of the transgender individual. The symposium featured and continues to feature the Nation’s leading subject matter experts.
Jodi has a myriad experience including program development, public relations, social marketing tools, logistical planning for events such as White Party & AIDS walk Miami, Art for AIDS, Tanqueray Ride, and Dining Out for Life for various local agencies including. Center One, aka Community Healthcare Center One , Care Resource and Shadowood 11, a homeless and /or indigent housing facility serving those dually diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and / or substance abuse, mental illness.
She has served on the Executive Management boards of local nonprofits assisting in recognizing and solving problems in areas of newly implemented systems and programs and has also served as Director of Marketing and Development, Director of volunteer services, including HIV/AIDS program trainer both agency and hospital based.
Jodi has previously served as an active member of Safe to Be Me Coalition, addressing the needs of the GLBTQ youth and their families in the school system,Children’s Services Council for Cultural Diversity, which strives to create culturally competent services in equal access paramount to appropriate services and equitable outcomes for all children in Broward County and the Joint Client/Community Relations board of the HIV Planning Council advocating fair and increased access to health treatment for all communities and cultures.
She presently serves as a member of State of Florida Department of Health Transgender advisory workgroup committee and NASTAD, the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors, and has presented at many conferences and webinars.
Jodi also serves as Chairperson/President NAMES Project South Florida chapter of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Founded in 1987, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is dedicated to memorializing the lives of loved ones who have lost their battle to AIDS.
Jodi left the corporate accounting field where she \was mentored by Arthur Anderson in both mergers and acquisitions and recognized cost accounting for local Florida corporations to begin her career in nonprofit. She has never regretted it !
Mitch Bloom is a Fort Lauderdale Banker from South Florida (Miami Killian High School) who after living in southern California for 21 years, moved back in 2001 to be closer to family. He’s worked at Wells Fargo in Wilton Manors since 2005. He was recently named Volunteer of the year by Wells Fargo, Florida, garnering the center thousands of dollars for his efforts.
Dr. Lopes AP, Dipl. OM (NCCAOM) is an Acupuncture Physician from Cape Cod, MA. She has spent 20 years working in public health, development and fundraising including working in the HIV/AIDS community. Owner of Dragonfly Wellness, she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the Barnard College of Columbia University in New York. She received her Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Aoma Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas. Her community and volunteer experience is extensive including Crew Director/Logistic Coordinator for the Smart Ride, Director of Special Events for Broward House, Inc. and Kids in Distress, Inc. Regional Marketing Director for Bally Total Fitness in Fort Lauderdale and Managing Director for Pallotta Teeamwork, Inc. in New York. She currently serves as the executive committee’s vice chair for Broward County’s HIV Planning Council as well as sitting on the PSRA committee. A member of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, she is a board member for the GLBX Council. While on this board, she also worked in the Artopia committee.
“While in college, I started by being a buddy to those living with HIV/AIDS. I saw first hand what HIV/AIDS was doing. Because of it, I became an active with ACT-UP and Black AIDS Mobilization (BAM) in New York. What I saw during this time changed my life. It started me on my path to help people who most need care. I continue this by working in fundraising and empowerment with the Pallotta Teamworks’ AIDS Rides, The SMART Ride, M.O.V.E.R.S in Miami’s Overtown area, Kids In Distress and Broward House in the Fort Lauderdale area.”
Clark Wycoff is a Partner in KPMG’s Audit practice, with more than 17 years experience planning and performing financial statement audits and quarterly reviews for publicly and privately held companies across a variety of industries. He received his MAc and BS degrees from the University of Florida, and has experience as a people management leader and delivering national trainings to other KPMG professionals. As a native South Floridian, Clark has supported KPMG’s citizenship efforts centered on lifelong learning within the Broward and Palm Beach county communities including volunteering experience with Junior Achievement, and KPMG’s Family for Literacy.
When Professor Precious Skinner-Osei brought 17 students from one of her Social Work classes to Poverello for the first time, she didn’t realize how impactful the experience would be for everyone involved. A firm believer in combining the study of social work in the classroom with work in the field, Professor Skinner-Osei now exposes her students to the work and mission of Poverello as part of their social work curriculum each semester.
A native of Pompano Beach and currently a Coral Springs resident, Skinner-Osei is an Adjunct Professor at the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University. She did her undergraduate work at Florida State University, her post-graduate work at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and received her Ph.D from Barry University. Her focus at FAU is in the areas of Community Organizing, Policy and Research.
For about a half day each semester, Poverello become a working classroom for Professor Skinner-Osei’s students. Through observation, questioning and participation, they learn about the vital services that Poverello provides to its participants, and how this important social services organization works with the community. “I keep bringing my students back and keep myself involved as well,” she commented, “because of Poverello’s strict adherence to its mission and goals. This is not always the case with social service agencies,” she continued. Professor Skinner-Osei, as well as her students, is also impressed by the dedication and hard work of Poverello volunteers. “If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were all employees, as they demonstrate such a high level of commitment to what they are doing,” she remarked.
In addition to using Poverello as a teaching “lab” for her students, Professor Skinner-Osei also gets them involved in some of Poverello’s fund-raising events and activities. For example, this past year 12 of her students participated in the annual Associated Grocers’ event at the Miami Merchandise Mart, joining Poverello volunteers and staff in collecting three truck-loads of food, diapers and household goods for those in need in various south Florida communities. Her students also joined Poverello volunteers this past summer in packing food bags for youths in Palm Beach County.
Precious Skinner-Osei’s husband is also an academic who is doing research in health. They have two children, a nine-year-old daughter (who she brought into Poverello this past summer to help pack food
bags, “an experience she loved,” she related), and a five-year-old son who keeps them on their toes. And as if she wasn’t busy enough, Profession Skinner-Osei is also doing research on incarcerated fathers.
The relationship between the Professor and Poverello is yet another example of how the forces of good join together to benefit the community.
Alisha D. Hurwood, Esq., M.S. is the Chief Program Officer at Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida. Her primary responsibilities include programmatic oversight for grants to ensure compliance with funding requirements, drafting organizational policies, supervising staff, representing clients on various civil legal issues, and organizing and conducting training. Prior to this, Ms. Hurwood was the supervising attorney for the Housing Rights Project at Legal Aid Service of Broward County, and spent 6 years representing low-income tenants. During that time she led a team of 10 attorneys and paralegals and represented low-income tenants facing eviction, termination of subsidized housing benefits, residing in homes with uninhabitable living conditions, and other civil legal issues affecting housing instability.
Ms. Hurwood has initiated and supervised multiple grants representing persons living with HIV under a “housing is healthcare model,” and has managed projects assisting veterans facing imminent homelessness. In addition to providing legal representation, Ms. Hurwood also has coordinated outreach clinics at local AIDS Service Organizations, Veteran’s organizations, and LGBTQ agencies regarding tenant’s rights and responsibilities.
Ms. Hurwood has worked at the state and federal level to advocate for funding for HIV-related services and implementation of new laws benefitting Veterans. She has been appointed to and serves on several local and national advisory boards and frequently is invited to speak at national conferences and webinars. Most recently, she presented at the US Conference in AIDS 2019 regarding the stigma for persons living and aging with HIV. She was a panelist on the Housing Practice Workshop at the 2018 ABA Conference on HIV Law & Practice and was part of the Community Dialogue Series at the World AIDS Museum in Fort Lauderdale on Knowing Your Rights: From Stonewall to Now. In addition, Ms. Hurwood has been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board at Temple University on a research grant studying best practices for MLP’s for the HIV+ population. She also was appointed to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee in Coral Springs, Florida, addressing the shortage of affordable housing and expenditure of grant funds.
Ms. Hurwood has devoted her career to the area of public interest law and social justice. She represented death row inmates in capital post-conviction appeals in Florida, which involved extensive research and writing, as well as evidentiary hearings, and co-counsel at oral argument before the Florida Supreme. She also worked on a short term grant project as the researching and writing attorney for a non-profit assisting children in foster care.
Ms. Hurwood earned a Juris Doctorate degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2006; earned a Master’s of Science in Sociology from Mississippi State University in 2002; and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Mississippi State University in 1999.
Meet our dedicated volunteers who make up our Board of Directors. We’re proud and grateful to have this caliber of professional leadership overseeing our operation.