In July of 2017, James accepted the position of President/C.E.O. of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. He brings nearly 25 years of non-profit experience to his new role. Serving the needs of nearly 200,000 students in the nation’s 11th largest school district, the Education Foundation raises funds and awards grants to teachers to support classroom excellence and innovation.
Born and raised in Hammond, Indiana, James S. Gavrilos graduated as Valedictorian from Hellenic College where he received his B.A. in Pre-Theology in 1986. In 1989, James received his Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, where he again graduated as Valedictorian. After nearly 17 years in Parish Ministry, James transitioned to the Non-Profit world serving as Director of Development for The Haven, a foster home for boys in Boca Raton. During his three years as C.E.O. of Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches, James oversaw the agency’s first accreditation, and oversaw the creation of the world’s only “mobile” Biz-Town. In 2010, James accepted the position of Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands. In the next seven years, he oversaw that agency’s explosive growth, during which time BHH added a medical and dental clinic and built a job training center, all while earning seven consecutive Four Star Ratings from Charity Navigator, along with two consecutive years with a perfect score of 100, on Charity Navigators new rating scale.
Knighted by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 2011, “Sir” James Gavrilos was also selected to attend the prestigious Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management at Harvard Business School in 2015. The proud father of four children, James is an avid golfer and enjoys all sports. But his two passions (outside of work and family) are opera and Arsenal Soccer (of the English Premier League). He is hoping to combine his interests by writing an opera about Arsenal Soccer. Regrettably, with Arsenal’s recent history…it will be a tragedy.
Jennifer is an educational leader with over 15 years experience serving students in the private and public sectors as a school administrator, non-profit leader, education consultant, and educator. Jennifer has devoted her career to serving at-risk students, who despite their potential, struggle academically because of their life circumstances.
Jennifer Ethridge, M.Ed. eagerly joined the team at the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County in September 2017 as the Director of Programs and Grants. Jennifer's role will allow her the opportunity to serve the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County's mission by supporting the schools, teachers, and children of Palm Beach County through ensuring innovative programs that align with School District of Palm Beach County's Strategic Initiatives get funded.
Jennifer graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in education and obtained her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. When not working, Jennifer loves to spend time with her family which include; her husband Jason, and their two children, James and Ryan.
Catherine Blomeke serves at the Community Engagement Manager for the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. Her role is to partner with the community businesses, organizations and volunteers to raise awareness and valuable funds to support the initiatives of the Foundation through special events. Events include the 5K Heroes for Education, The Dwyer Awards, Leadership Awards, Shop & Share, and The Great Give.
Prior to joining the team, Catherine served the disabilities community at The Arc of Palm Beach County through volunteer and community relations as well as provided support within the conference arena at The Breakers Hotel for more than a decade. Her dedication and commitment to take action and make a difference inspire her to share a non-profit's mission so everyone can be part of the solution.
Catherine completed her MBA from Sacred Heart University and is married to Mark. They have two children who attend public schools in Palm Beach County. She is active with her children's sports as well as dog rescue volunteer work.
Lloyd is the Store Manager of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County’s service program Red Apple Supplies. He has 20 plus years of managerial experience in the retail industry with corporations such as Limited Brands Inc., Levi’s and Cash America International, overseeing storefront operations for Structure, Express, Victoria’s Secret’s, The Levi’s Store and Cash America Pawn.
His career has been focused on enhancing the customer shopping experience thru engagement and relationship building. Cash America Pawn is where he developed a real passion to help those in need. The chance to help the teachers and students of Palm Beach County was an opportunity of a lifetime.
Born in Lima, Peru, Laila moved to New York City to study and pursue her professional dreams. After working in the hospitality industry, she worked at Nike Headquarters for nearly six years. Laila is not only a dedicated member of The Education Foundation staff, she is a certified personal trainer who enjoys helping others reach their fitness goals. With her passion for orchids and the beach, a move to Florida was inevitable.
While working in the banking industry, Laila earned her degree in Business Administration from PBSC. It was there she discovered her love for helping children in need, which led her to The Education Foundation and its Red Apple Supplies Store.
She has one daughter, Myla, who enjoys gymnastics, swimming and ballet which keeps Laila busy and on her toes even when she’s not at work!
Lisandra Rivera has over 14 years of Office Management and Administrative experience. She spent 11 years serving as an Executive Assistant to the Minister Counselor for Management Affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York. She moved to Florida in December 2013 and joined Families First at Palm Beach County working for the Healthy Families Program for over four years, where she learned about their amazing cause and about the non-profit world. Lisandra graduated from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico with a BA in Business Administration. With joy and excitement, she joined the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County as an Office Manager and Social Media Coordinator. On her free time, she loves spending time with her two kids, family and friends. She enjoys biking, traveling and doing volunteer work. Lisandra is also an active leader in her local church.
Tony Peterson, has more than 35 years of widely varied corporate and entrepreneurial experience in accounting, finance and operations. For the past nine years, Tony has operated a financial and accounting consulting practice, focused on small and medium sized business operations as well as early-stage development and turnaround situations. Tony has assisted a variety of client companies in a broad range of activities, including managing the accounting function and establishing accounting and administrative systems.
Tony holds a MA degree in International Business from Webster University, St. Louis plus an MBA and a BS in Accounting from the University of Colorado, Denver.