The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg recently announced its slate of new members to its Board of Trustees. The Foundation, which is focused on health equity, seeks to improve population health in South Pinellas County by eliminating social and structural disadvantages stemming from factors like race, gender or income.
The list is comprised of well-known community members from a cross-section of the St. Petersburg business and nonprofit community. New members include Marianne Edmonds: Senior Managing Director of Public Resources Advisory Group (PRAG); Michael C. Funsch, CFA: partner and financial advisor with RBC Wealth Management in St. Petersburg; Sharon L. Gardner; Rev. Kenneth F. Irby: Director of Community Intervention and Juvenile Outreach for the St. Petersburg Police Department; Kelly Kirschner: Vice President and Dean of Executive and Continuing Education at Eckerd College; Lorna Taylor: President and CEO of Premier Eye Care.
In 2018, the Foundation invested in a 10-year lease of a 23,250 square-foot retail space at 2333 34th Street South in an effort to create both a gathering place to accelerate social change and a new home for the Foundation staff. Local architecture firm Wannemacher Jensen completed renovations in 2019.
The Center for Health Equity is a new approach to solving deeply-rooted community problems, which the Foundation’s board envisioned as a dedicated space to catalyze social change, create community, foster creativity and solve issues on neutral ground with the resources and tools necessary for success.
The Foundation believes a physical gathering space will help normalize interracial dialogue, increase collaboration and form cross-sector relationships with unexpected partners.
“The next chapter in the Foundation’s history in launching the Center for Health Equity requires individuals with an interest in race and health equity, demonstrated leadership, and an investment in ending differences in health due to social and systemic racism,” Randall H. Russell, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, said in a release.
“Our Board of Trustees has selected six new Trustees whose range of knowledge, skills and experience will advance and accelerate the mission of the Foundation.”
The new trustees bring experience from the financial sector, higher education, the faith community and more.
They join an already heavy-hitting board that includes Board Chair Dr. Katurah Jenkins Hall, a licensed psychologist and Executive Pastor at New Dawn Restoration Center, Tampa; Vice Chair Dr. Donna Petersen, Dean of the College of Public Health and Senior Associate Vice President, USF Health, at the University of South Florida; Secretary and Treasurer Emery Ivery, Tampa Bay Area President of the United Way Suncoast; Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil, longtime activist and community builder; Charles Harris, shareholder at Trenam Law; and Karen Wolchuck-Sher, an independent management consultant.