Newsmakers: People on the move in Palm Beach County business


The Florida Institute of Performance has named Mike Weild director of sales and marketing. Prior to this position, Weild worked at Palm Beach Atlantic University as the head athletic trainer. He has been a certified athletic trainer for 30 years.


The Economic Council of Palm Beach County has named Michael DeBock president and CEO. He is executive director of gas infrastructure at NextEra Energy. DeBocke develops infrastructure projects throughout Florida and the nation. He has over 13 years of experience in corporate positions at NextEra, and has worked on projects throughout the nation, Canada and Europe. In addition, DeBock served eight years as a U.S. Army officer, where he piloted Apache helicopters. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree in business administration from Florida Atlantic University. Debock resides in Jupiter.

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties has appointed a new chair and two board members. Sherry Barrat was appointed the foundation’s chair of the board of directors. She is the lead non-executive director for NextEra Energy. Barrat also serves as a non-executive director of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. She retired in 2012 as vice chairman of The Northern Trust Company.

Julie Fisher Cummings was appointed board member. She is managing trustee of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. Fisher is a member of numerous boards, most recently the board of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. She received a graduate degree in social policy from Colombia University, and teaches a graduate course on child policy at the University of Miami.

Tim Burke was appointed board member. He is publisher of “The Palm Beach Post.” Burke has worked for the Post for 16 years, and worked as a sports editor and deputy managing editor before becoming publisher. Prior to the Post, he worked as a sports editor and reporter for the “Dallas Times-Herald” and “Springfield News-Leader.”

Philip M. Reagan has been named chair of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County’s Building for a Lifetime Capital Campaign committee. Prior to this position, Reagan served on the organization’s board and development committee. He is the co-lead for J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s business group in South Florida. He previously worked in the firm’s West Palm Beach office as an analyst manager and senior analyst. Reagan has been involved in various community positions with the Palm Beach Symphony and Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches, in addition to other organizations.

The Coalition for Independent Living Options has named Joseph R. Fields, Jr. president of the board. He is a partner at Kaplan & Sconzo, and has been on the coalition’s board for over 20 years.


WGI has added five associates in the company’s West Palm Beach office. Sharon Liebowitz has been hired as a talent acquisition specialist in WGI’s human resources division. She has been working in human resources for over 25 years. Liebowitz earned a master’s degree in human resources from the University of Central Florida.

Brian Kinninger has been hired as a designer in the firm’s landscape architecture division. He earned a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Ohio State University. Kinninger is a member of the Florida chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Andre Smith has been hired as an engineer intern in the firm’s structural systems division. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Ottawa. Smith is a member of the Florida Structural Engineers Association.

Ameer Mufleh has been hired as an engineer intern in the firm’s transportation division. He has expertise in building forensics and accident reconstruction. Mufleh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Florida Atlantic University.

Nicole Miller has been hired as a designer for the firm’s transportation division. She has experience in draining and sewer systems, in addition to Autocad design and plan set preparation. Miller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Florida Atlantic University.


Alzheimer’s Community Care has hired Mike Valdes as vice president of finance. He is responsible for managing the organization’s financial and information technology sectors. Valdes previously served as the vice president of finance and administration for Discover Palm Beach County and business manager at The King’s Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida.


Davis, Giardino & Hrivnak has launched a new website. The business is a boutique law firm in West Palm Beach.

Two partners at Cole, Scott, & Kissane have become board certified in construction law as recognized by The Florida Bar. John A. Chiocca handles defense construction litigation for the firm’s West Palm Beach office. He is a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Chiocca is admitted to practice in all Florida state and federal Courts, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Daniel E. Levin handles defense construction litigation for the firm’s West Palm Beach office. He is graduate of the University of Maryland and St. Thomas University School of Law. Levin is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts, including the Supreme Court of Florida, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.

Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell have added two partners. Elisha D. Roy is a board certified specialist in family and marital law. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Jonathan B. Butler has over 20 years of experience in in complex business and security litigation, arbitration and regulation matters. He is an AV Preeminent rated trial attorney.


Child Rescue Coalition has added three to its team. Scott Smith has been hired as vice president of business development. Smith will be responsible for strategy and planning related to the organization’s sponsorship, business and community relations programs. He previously worked as director of sales for TransUnion, and served in senior management capacities in the data fusion industry.

Blake Brockway has been hired as director of events. He will be responsible for producing events and programs for the organization, as well as community outreach and volunteer programs. Brockway previously produced successful events for nonprofit organizations, private companies and award shows such as the CMA Awards and Grammys. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music business from Middle Tennessee State University.

Elisa Pisana has been hired as office manager. She will support all staff and programming activities. Pisana earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lynn University and is pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in cyber crimes investigations from Boston University.

Susan G. Komen South Florida announced Jill G. Weiss 2018 Race for the Cure chair. She serves as board president for the Komen South Florida affiliate and was honored a “Warrior in Pink” in 2017. She leads a team of four staff and over 40 volunteers and oversees the largest breast cancer fundraising event in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Leadership Palm Beach County has added two employees. Melissa Gaynor will oversee the organization’s core programs. She previously has experience in recreation programming, special event planning and client management.

Marlee Brannock will manage the organization’s special events, in additio to overseeing development and implementation of the organization’s marketing and communication strategies.

Nonprofits First announced Deana Pizzo has been named board chair. She has over 10 years of experience working in technology solutions. Pizzo previously served as the organization’s vice chair.


Speak Up for Kids of Palm Beach County has hired Coleen LaCosta as executive director. She has more than 25 years of experience working in child welfare. Prior to this position, LaCosta was director of development at Friends of Foster Children. She is on the board of the Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association and chair of Palm Beach County Unites for Children.

The Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County has announced Linda Adelson, Sonja Stevens and Karen Swanson chairs for the organization’s 2018 Old Bags Luncheon.


Errand Bunnies has opened in Jupiter. The business, founded by Eugenia Gonzalez and Lexi Stuart, runs errands for individuals and companies in Jupiter and Tequesta.


Maureen Mann has received the 2017 George National Award from the American Cancer Society. Mann is the executive director at Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute. She has been associated with the American Cancer Society for over 15 years, and has been a Florida division board member since 2006. Mann serves as secretary to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network’s national board of directors.

Templeton & Company has been named a Top 300 Accounting Firm in the nation by INSIDE Public Accounting for the third consecutive year. The firm has offices in West Palm Beach and Wellington.

Holland & Knight announced three West Palm Beach-based partners Richard C.Hutchison, Scott B. Newman and William N. Shepherd have been selected for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” 2018 peer review publication.

Kreusler-Walsh, Compiani & Vargas announced Jane Kreusler-Walsh has been selected for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” 2018 peer review publication. She focuses on civil appeals and litigation support.

Ward Damon announced Philip H. Ward, III, I. Jeffrey Pheterson and Eddie E. Stephens, III have been selected for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” 2018 peer review publication.

Good Samaritan Medical Center’s Midtown Imaging has received a Breast Imaging of Excellence designation by the American College of Radiology.

Jon Hennemyre has been awarded a Life Care divisional President’s Award. He is senior executive director at The Gardens Court in Palm Beach Gardens. Hennemyre is responsible for a customer service called “The Gardens Courtesy” and has been instrumental in restructuring nurse schedules to make them more functional.

Joanna Bennett has received the Certified Risk Adjustment Coder designation by the American Academy of Professional Coders. Bennett is an associate consultant for Acevedo Consulting Incorporated, located in Delray Beach.

Linda Murphy has been selected as a DAISY Award winner. She is a wound care and ICU nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Murphy was awarded for her exceptional care for patients and their families.


Gunster has hired T. Robert Zochowski for the firm’s wealth services practice. He worked in the private sector for 24 years in New Jersey.

To submit an announcement for Local Business People to Watch, please email a short description of the new hire, promotion or award, along with the location of the business and a high-resolution photo of the person to

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Palm Beach County home prices hit post-crash high
Palm Beach County home prices hit post-crash high

Palm Beach County home prices hit a post-crash high in March. The median price of a single-family house sold last month was $348,000, the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale said Monday. That’s up slightly from February’s median of $345,000, and a 7 percent increase from March 2017. Sales were down slightly, and the...
Gas prices hit three-year high
Gas prices hit three-year high

Brace your wallets. Prices have popped to three-year highs at the gas pump. Florida’s statewide average of $2.74 per gallon marked the highest since December 2014, according to motorist organization AAA The Auto  Club Group. It costs $5 more to fill the average Florida tank than it did a year ago. Palm Beach County holds the...
Boca Raton’s Telsey: “The only disability is a bad attitude”
Boca Raton’s Telsey: “The only disability is a bad attitude”

Debbie Telsey is a former special education teacher and executive recruiter who blended both careers into a business. Two years ago, Telsey co-founded I Can Living and Learning Center, a Boca Raton-based company that helps find jobs for adults with disabilities. “It’s the perfect job for me,” Telsey said. “I love being a recruiter...
Tourism leaders look to expand Palm Beach County Convention Center
Tourism leaders look to expand Palm Beach County Convention Center

On the heels of a record-breaking year for the once-fledgling Palm Beach County Convention Center, local tourism leaders are weighing expansion of the 365,000-square-foot building to accommodate larger conventions and meetings. The county’s Tourist Development Council voted this month to spend up to $50,000 to study expanding the...
Association can amend declaration to shift maintenance responsibility

Question: We have recently taken over as new board members in an HOA community. We have been collecting a reserve for roof replacement for over 15 years, but neither our bylaws nor any other community documents stated that the HOA would replace roofs. We have over $700,000 in reserve. My question is whether we can vote to make a one-time exception...
More Stories