Board of Directors


Operating Board


Barbara Essenwine - Chairperson

Barbara Essenwine is a long-time resident of Palm City. She and her husband, John, have one son, John and his wife, Lynette, and four grandchildren. Barbara and her family are the owners of several companies under the umbrella of the Above & Beyond Group of Companies. Barbara was recently appointed by Florida Senate President Joe Negron to the Florida Enterprise Board and the Space Florida Board. She developed the Palm City Chamber of Commerce Adopt A Class program that raised over $1,000,000 for public schools in Martin County. She was the first recipient of the Charlene Hoag Award from the Martin County Business Development Board and was the recipient of the Economic Council of Martin County 2014 Leadership Award.


Michael Borlaug - Vice Chairperson

Michael Borlaug is the Managing Partner of CAPSTONE Information Technologies Inc., and co-founder of TreasureCoastTop100.com. He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. Michael has been with CAPSTONE since it began serving businesses in 2003 for their IT needs. Michael has been a leader at Capstone for fifteen years, helping to develop the procedures and processes that result in an empathetic and highly responsive team of engineers. Michael lives in Palm City and is currently serving the community as a member of the Stuart/Martin Chamber of Commerce LEADERship class 29.


Claire Y. Nash, PH.D., CPA - Treasurer

Claire Nash is a Professor of Accounting at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA). Before joining PBA she held academic positions as an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Florida Atlantic University, and as an Associate Professor of Accountancy at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee where she held the Morrie Moss Chair in Accounting and served as Chair of the Accounting, Finance, and Business Law Department. Prior to joining academia, her professional career spanned more than twenty years during which she held positions as Vice President, Tax Director for Union Planters Corporation, (merged with Regions Bank) and, as a Manager for the professional services team of Ernst & Young, LLP (formally Ernst & Whinney), an international professional services firm. Dr. Nash’s primary research interest is U.S. tax Policy affection the taxation of capital and labor as it related to pass-through entities and wealth accumulation by individuals. Her research is published in leading tax and accounting journals. She is the recipient of several academic awards, honors, and grants.

Claire has a long history of giving back to the community and the accounting profession. She serves, and has served on numerous boards and committees: Trustees of the Educational Foundation of the Florida Institute of Public Accounts; Corporate Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County; Board of the United Methodist Foundation of the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences; Board of the United Methodist Church (UMC) Insurance Company; Board of the General Council on Finance and Administration of the UMC; City of Memphis, Division of Housing & Community Development – CDC Grant Evaluation Committee; City of Memphis, Divisi9on of Housing & Community Development – Micro Loan Committee; and Editorial Adviser for The Tax Adviser.

Claire earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Accounting and Master of Accountancy with a tax emphasis from the University of Mississippi, and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the states of Illinois and Tennessee.


Cher Fisher - Secretary

Cher Fisher is retired after 28 years as an account executive with Attorneys' Title Fund Services, a title insurance underwriter. In addition to volunteering her time with Helping People Succeed, Cher is President of Kiwanis Club of Stuart, and Co-Chair of the non-profit organization, Family Promise of Martin County. Additionally, she is a recent graduate of LEADERship Martin County Class 29, and is active with Stuart Martin Chamber of Commerce and Palm City Chamber of Commerce. She is married to Brian with two adult children, Allison and Jason, and one granddaughter, Alden.

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Board Members


Lee Borellis

Retiring from a successful business career, Lee Borellis moved to Palm City with his wife Bonnie in 1995 expecting to spend the remainder of his life on the golf course. After a few years he realized it wasn't all about play. Getting involved in local charities, and living in a community of many retirees, he became aware of a need for quality, compassionate and reliable home health care. Lee and Bonnie started their own business: Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Being supportive of seniors and their needs Lee is involved with the non-profit Treasure Coast Advocates for Seniors. Lee learned of Helping People Succeed and their needs and immediately began to lend a helping hand. Lee serves on the Marketing Committee and has a strong interest in the Autism Program. In Lee’s free time he likes to golf, fish and travel.


Phyllis Gillespie, Esq.

Phyllis Gillespie has been a partner of the law firm of Laws Scott & Gillespie since 2013 and previously with Gary, Williams, Parenti et al, for over 17 years. She handles complex civil litigation. She is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Contract and Entertainment Law and a Dean's Award for copyright. She is licensed in both Florida and Tennessee and is a member of the Florida, Tennessee and National Bar Associations. Additionally, Phyllis is active in the community and civic organizations. Phyllis Gillespie has been a partner of the law firm of Laws Scott & Gillespie since 2013 and previously with Gary, Williams, Parenti et al, for over 17 years. She handles complex civil litigation. She is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Contract and Entertainment Law and a Dean's Award for copyright. She is licensed in both Florida and Tennessee and is a member of the Florida, Tennessee and National Bar Associations. Additionally, Phyllis is active in the community and civic organizations.


Allen Herskowitz

Allen Herskowitz and his wife Susan have been full time residents of Martin County since he retired as an aerospace executive in 2000. He has been an active member of the Sailfish Point community as the long standing chair of the Beaches and Waterways committee. He served two terms as president of the Sailfish Point POA, ten years apart. He was also awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in January, 2019. Allen was just elected to his second two year term as chair of the Florida Oceanographic Board, serves on the Cleveland/Martin Health Systems Foundation Board and previously served on the Artists for a Cause board, Helping People Succeed Foundation board and the Hospice of Northern Virginia Foundation Board. Allen and Susan have two children and four grandchildren, one set in Brooklyn and the other in Austin.


Bonney Johnson

Bonney Johnson is a Senior Trust Officer for U.S. Trust and has been in the banking industry for nearly thirty years. She works with clients on basic trust structures to innovative wealth strategies, and helps meet their individual, family and charitable objectives. Her primary responsibilities are associated with administering trusts and carrying out client’s instructions. Bonney has been a board member of Alzheimer’s Community Care since 2013 and was most recently appointed as Chair of their Development Standing Committee. She is a current member of the Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation Board and serves on several committees. Bonney is also a member of the Martin Health Systems Professional and General Advisory Boards. Bonney has served as Vice Chairman of Safe Space, Inc. Board of Directors, a domestic violence shelter and prevention organization in Indian River and Martin Counties. She has also served on the Board of Dogs and Cats Forever, a no-kill sanctuary located in the Treasure Coast, Kiwanis and has volunteered for the Humane Society, United Way, and Helping People Succeed.


Shaun Kogut

Shaun Kogut is a founding Member and Principle Partner of Green Design Construction & Development a National Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Firm with offices in Okeechobee, Palm City, Boca Raton, and Seattle, Washington. Shaun leads a team of 30+ design and construction professionals working on projects all over the continental United States, Hawaii, Guam, and the Caribbean and specializes projects that require a high level of ecological sensitivity and sustainable design practices. Green Design was recently honored by the University of Florida as a Gator100 company which recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world each year, and was also awarded “Business of the Year” by the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce for 2017-2018. Shaun is proud to be a member of the United States Green Building Council, the Florida Green Building Coalition, and the Go-Green Initiative. He is also very active in the Okeechobee Community supporting many non-profits to include Helping People Succeed, Martha’s House, Our Village, Okeechobee Main Street, End the Hunger, Okeechobee High School, and numerous organizational sponsorships. In 2016 Shaun partnered with Helping People Succeed Okeechobee to create what has become an annual Christmas Bike and Gift Giveaway to program families, providing over 100 Bikes to children at last year’s event.


Candice Abbott

Candice Abbott is the Executive Director for Treasure Coast Integrated Healthcare, LLC a Clinical Integrated Network joint venture with Martin Health System and Martin and St. Lucie County Physician members. Candice has 25 years of Healthcare Finance Leadership experience including fifteen years with Martin Health System. She is a native of Stuart, Florida and enjoys quality time with family and loves the outdoors. Candice holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and actively maintains a RHIT in health information management. Candice has served on the Helping People Succeed Finance Committee for two years and is a former Board Member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) Florida chapter.


Jenny Yingling

Jenny Yingling has been in the retail banking business for more than thirty-five years and with Seacoast Bank for twenty-seven of those years. She currently is the Small Business Banking Manager. Jenny has served in many capacities at Seacoast and was recognized as a top producer earning the Chairman’s Club Award twice. Jenny has served as the immediate Past President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce, a Member of the Citizens Review Panel for the United Way of Martin County, a Board Member of the Martin County Tax Payers Association and Seacoast Bank’s representative to the Martin County Economic Council.


Honorary Board Members


Carolyn Timmann

Carolyn Timmann, a long-time Martin County resident with an extensive background in state public service, has served on the operating board of Helping People Succeed since January of 2012.

Carolyn is also the Martin County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, taking office in January of 2013.

Carolyn started her career in the state court system working for a judge in the old Martin County Courthouse. She then worked in a local law firm before serving as a legislative assistant in the Florida House of Representatives, based in Stuart. Following that role, Carolyn and her family moved to Tallahassee where she served in the Attorney General’s Office as Special Assistant to Florida's Solicitor General.

In 2006, Carolyn transferred to the Office of the Governor as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff overseeing military and veterans’ affairs, gubernatorial councils and commissions, and statewide consumer and technology projects. Included among her responsibilities were the organization and oversight of the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and the Governor's Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorders. In January 2011, the Governor appointed Carolyn as his Division Director managing public records and projects to provide statewide electronic information. She resigned from that role in 2012 to return home to Martin County and seek the Office of Clerk & Comptroller.

Clerk Timmann attended the University of Georgia, Indian River State College and Florida State University earning B.A. and A.A. degrees, as well as Certificates in Public Administration, Legal Assistant Technology, and Public Records Management.

Clerk Timmann has also completed the professional development certification program for Court Clerks, which was developed by the Florida Supreme Court in conjunction with the Florida Association of Court Clerks & Comptrollers. Recently, she was appointed by the Governor to represent the statewide Clerks of Court as a member of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Systems Council for 2014-2016.


Helping People Succeed Foundation Board


Bonney Johnson - Chairperson

Bonney Johnson is a Senior Trust Officer for U.S. Trust and has been in the banking industry for nearly thirty years. She works with clients on basic trust structures to innovative wealth strategies, and helps meet their individual, family and charitable objectives. Her primary responsibilities are associated with administering trusts and carrying out client’s instructions. Bonney has been a board member of Alzheimer’s Community Care since 2013 and was most recently appointed as Chair of their Development Standing Committee. She is a current member of the Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation Board and serves on several committees. Bonney is also a member of the Martin Health Systems Professional and General Advisory Boards. Bonney has served as Vice Chairman of Safe Space, Inc. Board of Directors, a domestic violence shelter and prevention organization in Indian River and Martin Counties. She has also served on the Board of Dogs and Cats Forever, a no-kill sanctuary located in the Treasure Coast, Kiwanis and has volunteered for the Humane Society, United Way, and Helping People Succeed.


Mary Rose Bressman - Vice Chairperson

Mary Rose Bressman is a native of Stuart, FL and has lived here her entire childhood and the majority of her adult life. She and her husband own All Creatures Animal Hospital in Stuart. She enjoys practicing small animal veterinary medicine, raising three wonderful children, planning social events for her neighborhood, boating, and spending time with her dogs and cats.


Steven Shultz - Treasurer

Steven is a native Floridian and has lived here his entire life. He earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University and holds a Series 7, Series 66, and 215 license in life variable, annuity and health insurance. He is a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Stuart. From a young age, Steven worked his way up as part of a family-owned business. His career with Edward Jones began in February 2014. Community involvement has always been a part of Steven’s life. He is a member of the Education Committee for Leaders United, Foundation Board and Finance Committee for Helping People Succeed, St. Lucie River Power Squadron, Martin County Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Stuart Main Street, former member of Martin County Elks Lodge and Fort Pierce Rotary Club. He and his family volunteer for a variety of causes.


Claire Y. Nash, PH.D., CPA - Secretary

Claire Nash is a Professor of Accounting at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA). Before joining PBA she held academic positions as an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Florida Atlantic University, and as an Associate Professor of Accountancy at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee where she held the Morrie Moss Chair in Accounting and served as Chair of the Accounting, Finance, and Business Law Department. Prior to joining academia, her professional career spanned more than twenty years during which she held positions as Vice President, Tax Director for Union Planters Corporation, (merged with Regions Bank) and, as a Manager for the professional services team of Ernst & Young, LLP (formally Ernst & Whinney), an international professional services firm. Dr. Nash’s primary research interest is U.S. tax Policy affection the taxation of capital and labor as it related to pass-through entities and wealth accumulation by individuals. Her research is published in leading tax and accounting journals. She is the recipient of several academic awards, honors, and grants.

Claire has a long history of giving back to the community and the accounting profession. She serves, and has served on numerous boards and committees: Trustees of the Educational Foundation of the Florida Institute of Public Accounts; Corporate Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County; Board of the United Methodist Foundation of the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences; Board of the United Methodist Church (UMC) Insurance Company; Board of the General Council on Finance and Administration of the UMC; City of Memphis, Division of Housing & Community Development – CDC Grant Evaluation Committee; City of Memphis, Divisi9on of Housing & Community Development – Micro Loan Committee; and Editorial Adviser for The Tax Adviser.

Claire earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Accounting and Master of Accountancy with a tax emphasis from the University of Mississippi, and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the states of Illinois and Tennessee.


Beth Prinz Lowy - Past Chairperson

Beth Prinz Lowy, an attorney with Spraker and Prinz, Stuart, Florida has been affiliated with Helping People Succeed for more than 9 years. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from USF and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Stetson University College of Law. Beth’s practice is concentrated in the areas of Estate Planning , Probate and Guardianship law and she is a member of the Florida and Martin County Bar Associations.


Shaun Kogut

Shaun Kogut is a founding Member and Principle Partner of Green Design Construction & Development a National Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Firm with offices in Okeechobee, Palm City, Boca Raton, and Seattle, Washington. Shaun leads a team of 30+ design and construction professionals working on projects all over the continental United States, Hawaii, Guam, and the Caribbean and specializes projects that require a high level of ecological sensitivity and sustainable design practices. Green Design was recently honored by the University of Florida as a Gator100 company which recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world each year, and was also awarded “Business of the Year” by the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce for 2017-2018. Shaun is proud to be a member of the United States Green Building Council, the Florida Green Building Coalition, and the Go-Green Initiative. He is also very active in the Okeechobee Community supporting many non-profits to include Helping People Succeed, Martha’s House, Our Village, Okeechobee Main Street, End the Hunger, Okeechobee High School, and numerous organizational sponsorships. In 2016 Shaun partnered with Helping People Succeed Okeechobee to create what has become an annual Christmas Bike and Gift Giveaway to program families, providing over 100 Bikes to children at last year’s event.

Our Mission

Contact Us


Helping People Succeed transforms lives by realizing potential, creating hope and building futures through education, counseling, training and employment.

Our passion is building successful families and futures–one life at a time!

Helping People Succeed
1601 NE Braille Pl
Jensen Beach, FL 34957

Tel: 772.320.0770
Web: www.hpsfl.org
Email: gparris@hpsfl.org

DIRECTIONS

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities Children's Services Council of St. Lucie County Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network Agency for Persons With Disabilities Children's Services Council of Okeechobee Florida Department of Children & Families Children's Services Council of Martin County Healthy Families Florida United Way of Martin County Division of Vocational Rehabilitation *The Florida Department of Children and Families. Partially funded by the Martin County School District.
 

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