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 !
Twin Marketing, South Florida Gay News, Sales Manager
Justin Wyse is from the Memphis, TN area and moved to Florida in 1999. He moved to the Naples area where he quickly began his work in customer relations for CallTech Communications and Waterway Homes. Through the years of living in SW Florida Justin gave countless hours of dedication and hard work to help the LGBT community thrive from supporting fundraisers for local establishments, to those suffering with HIV/AIDS and volunteering for Pride Day each year in Ft. Myers.
In 2007 Justin moved to the Ft. Lauderdale area as a corporate trainer for Carrabba’s Italian Grille where he used his personal experience to train new employees to be the best at their jobs. Since then Justin has dedicated time to organizations like Jack and Jill Children’s Center, AIDS Walk of Florida, Smart Ride, No More Meth Task Force, Primary Purpose and many others through his work at South Florida Gay News. Since 2012 Justin has worked with South Florida Gay News as the sales manager working in a capacity to help bring awareness for non-profit companies through promotions, donations and marketing. Justin has actively worked on the Poverello Bowl-A-Thon committee to help make this staple event a success.
Justin feels that being part of something larger than himself not only helps the community but shows young professionals they can be involved too. With an upbringing of giving it has only become second nature to be part of something so wonderful.
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.
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.”
Jo Anne McCann was born in Chicago and moved to Louisville Kentucky (age 1) and attended University of Louisville Business School. After school, she enjoyed a successful career in Sales Management and Human Resources Management for 10 years before moving to Sarasota Florida in 1997. In Sarasota, she owned and operated a small Yacht Management Company before returning to the corporate world and transferring to South Florida in 2001. In the Professional Employers’ Organization (P.E.O.) industry, she is able to combine her acutely honed business skills with her passion for Sales and H.R.. Since 2009, she has been an Independent (P.E.O.) Business Consultant, helping Businesses lower their employee expenses, increase benefit package offerings and workers’ compensation insurance. Her primary goal is to help her clients with Employee Training and Human Resource programs that create a safe and compliant work place. Jo Anne has been involved with Poverello’s Bowling to Fight Hunger for 6 years, and through her commitment to fundraising has helped many in our community who experience food insecurity.
Ericha Lichter hails from Arizona and became a Floridian in 1992. She is an independent business owner and a licensed Real Estate Agent with a focus on Residential Real Estate. Being bilingual she was able to achieve success in high ranking positions across a broad range of industries: Retail, Hospitality, Beauty, Telecommunication, Real Estate.
She has studied at PCC, FIDM and AIFTL with an emphasis on Business Management and Merchandising.
She currently resides in Wilton Manors, Florida.
Karl is a designer and cost estimator for lawn and landscaping services at Landscape Solutions in Oakland Park. He has extensive knowledge in subtropical exotics through native plants. He works with different clients daily to plan, design and budget projects and ongoing maintenance. Regardless of the property size or condition, there is always a solution to any landscaping project. In addition to his years in the horticulture field, he also has a degree in Legal Assisting and Business Administration. He is a active member of the City of Wilton Manors. Current President of the Wilton Manors Business Association and Chair of The City’s Leisure Services Advisory Board. Karl volunteers his time “not to be recognized but to be remembered”. In his free time, Karl can be found working on his Wilton Manors house and yard.
Jay has been a resident of Wilton Manors since 2007, when he moved with his husband John from Washington, DC. Their goal…escape winter! Born in the Bronx, he moved with his parents to a Chicago suburb for high school. He received his degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois, which started a career that eventually brought him to Washington, where he lived for 33 years.
He most recently served as an Asset Manager/Sales Representative at Fannie Mae dealing with the nation’s foreclosure crisis until he retired in 2016. Prior to that, he worked as a Realtor and then Managing Broker for three large national real estate companies, both here and in Washington. Positions with the National Association of Home Builders, the Urban Land Institute and the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association taught him the importance of public/private cooperation.
As a caregiver for his late partner in the mid-‘90s and most recently as a care-receiver for his own health crisis, Jay knows first-hand of the critical need for Poverello’s services for those coping with HIV and other debilitating illnesses. He learned of a similar organization in DC, called Food & Friends, and became a frequent donor and event participant. Upon learning of Poverello’s mission, Jay sought ways to provide needed support. To that end, Jay and husband John started holding annual Thanksgiving morning “foodraiser” brunches for Poverello, now in its seventh year. An event and concept they’d like to see expanded community-wide, their 2016 brunch resulted in food and cash donations of $4500, and with matching funds, close to a total of $11,000.