Who We Are
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Deirdre Conner, the Tributary’s board chair, is the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida’s senior director of strategic initiatives and evaluation. She previously served as advocacy & communications director for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
Prior to her career in nonprofits, she spent nearly a decade as a journalist. At The Florida Times-Union, she covered nonprofits, urban and suburban affairs, education, demographics and race relations. Before moving to Jacksonville in 2007, Deirdre was a reporter for the Naples Daily News. Deirdre is a native of Miami and earned a bachelors degree in sociology and anthropology from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She lives in Jacksonville with her husband, Larry Hannan, and their son, Rowan.
Stephanie Garry Garfunkel
Stephanie Garry Garfunkel is the director of knowledge management and communications for Impact Florida, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working with school districts to advance great teaching.
Stephanie attended public schools in Citrus County, Fla., and graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and English. At UF, she worked as the editor-in-chief of the Independent Florida Alligator. Stephanie then worked as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times before joining the U.S. Peace Corps, supporting teachers and students in the Dominican Republic. She then worked in nonprofit communications in Boston. She relocated to Jacksonville in 2018 as director of marketing & communications at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
Stephanie holds a masters degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University. She serves on the board of The Cathedral School in downtown Jacksonville. Stephanie lives in Jacksonville’s Murray Hill neighborhood with her husband, David, and daughters, Lucia and Eliza.
Al Letson is a playwright, performer, screenwriter and a Peabody Award-winning journalist. Since 2013, he has served as the host of the radio show and podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Before that, he created and hosted the show State of the Re:Union, distributed by National Public Radio and PRX.
He splits his time between Jacksonville and California.
Ashley Smith Juarez
Ashley is a board member of the Emily Balz Smith Foundation and Practice. She previously served as the Clinton Health Matters Initiative Director at the Clinton Foundation overseeing work to improve health and well-being in communities across the US. She also previously served as executive director of the Chartrand Foundation, improving public education. Ashley was also twice elected to the Duval County School Board where she served as both chair and vice chair.
After graduating with honors from Vanderbilt University, Ashley worked in teaching and dropout prevention. She is a three-time recipient of the Jesse Ball DuPont excellence in teaching award, has been named Elected Official of the Year by Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, Public Official of the Year by Children’s Home Society and is a recipient of the Carol Brady Community Leadership Award for efforts in advancing maternal and child health.
While she works remotely with communities across the U.S. and with grantees doing international work, Ashley lives in Jacksonville with her spouse, a restaurant owner/operator, and their dog, Lucy. They spend as much active time outdoors, connecting with nature, as life allows.
Cleve Warren is the chief investment officer for Florida State College at Jacksonville and executive director of its Foundation.
A native of Jacksonville, Cleve currently serves on the board of directors of Baptist Health and Baptist Health Foundation. He formerly served on boards of the First Coast Metropolitan YMCA, Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Florida A&M University, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Tiger Academy Charter School, Valor Academy of Leadership Charter School for Boys, Virtue Academy of Arts, Science and Leadership Charter School for Girls, the Tournament Players Championship, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Eartha M.M. White Legacy Fund.
He has also served in government-appointed positions including as executive director of the Florida Black Business Investment Board, as chief of economic development for the City of Jacksonville and as a commissioner on the 4th Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission.
Cleve was previously a banking executive at Barnett Banks Florida, Wachovia Bank and Trust, and Community First Credit Union. He was also the CEO of Essential Capital Finance Inc., vice president of Captrust Financial Advisors and chief operating officer for The Players Group International LLP.
Cleve is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, having served with distinction in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserve. He is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal for his service to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Command Authority during Operation Nobel Anvil in Kosovo.
Jennifer A. Mansfield
Jennifer Mansfield is a partner at Holland & Knight in Jacksonville, Fla. She practices in the area of commercial litigation, with extensive experience in media law.
Mansfield’s practice includes representing newspapers and television stations in defense of defamation claims, courtroom access, Florida’s Sunshine Law, and for access to public records under the Freedom of Information Act and Florida’s public records laws.
Rhema Bland is the director of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The society seeks to increase the ranks, retention and profile of reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting. They host trainings year-round for journalists of all skill levels, led by media professionals from around the country, and focusing on everything from reporting about racial inequality and schools to COVID-19.
Bland graduated from the University of Connecticut and earned a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She worked for CBS News, New York Daily News, Pensacola News Journal, WJCT Radio and The Florida Times-Union before becoming a professor in the journalism program at the University of North Florida and joining the staff of Florida Gulf Coast University, where she was the adviser for its student media program. There, she started a student radio program and the first student media production studio on campus, as well as the Media Career Prep Workshop, an annual professional development and networking event connecting students with media professionals.
Ronnie King is a certified software engineer and owner of Scratchwerk, LLC, which provides Java development and staffing services, and personalized training for entry-level programmers. Ronnie is an active community volunteer.
As cofounder of the MyVillage Project and the MyVillage Project Community Fund, King helps bring awareness to funding inequality for nonprofits, while coordinating resources to support Black nonprofit organizations in Northeast Florida.
His service on the boards of Mentoring Families and Kids, 100 Black Men of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Jacksonville’s Board of Library Trustees and the National Society of Black Engineers has improved opportunities for students. He is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and served as president of the Jacksonville graduate chapter. King earned an associate degree from the University of Florida where he played basketball for the Gators, and a bachelors degree in computer science from the University of North Florida. He is a husband and father to two beautiful girls, Jada and Bostyn.
NONPROFIT CENTER BOARD SERVICE FELLOWS
Emmanuel Fortune (he/him) is a Senior Talent Consultant at DRG. He partners with mission-driven leaders around the country to develop and implement the best strategies for growing their organizational capacity and to promote a thriving culture.
Emmanuel previously served on the program leadership team at the Flamboyan Foundation in Washington D.C. where he supported entrepreneurs and grantee partners with strategic advising and philanthropic capital and he spent several years at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida investing in community initiatives.
Emmanuel completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and has his graduate degree in Policy, Organizational Behavior and Leadership from Stanford University. He currently trains with the faculty of the Hoffman Institute in Northern California. He is the proud life partner of Rachael Tutwiler Fortune and is a devoted father to their three children.
Lawrence Luksha works in government relations for Catalis Regulatory & Compliance, a real-time technology solutions company that works with regulators to protect consumers and promote healthy markets.
A Jacksonville native, Lawrence attended public schools and graduated cum laude from the University of North Florida with a degree in History and Political Science. He has plans to attend law school in the near future..
Lawrence is active in the Jacksonville community. As founder of the Jacksonville Young Professionals Delegation, a group of young professional groups, Lawrence aims to promote, elevate, and retain young talent in Jacksonville. He resides on the Southside with his wife, Alanna, and their two cats, Ruca and Orca.
In Memory Of
Bryant Rollins was a member of The Tributary’s inaugural board until he died in May 2022. He was a former editor and writer with The New York Times and was a reporter and political columnist with The Boston Globe. He edited two Black newspapers, The New York Amsterdam News and The Bay State Banner in Boston, which he also founded.
His wisdom and advice guided The Tributary, helping the organization to commit itself to focus on investigative reporting that benefits Northeast Florida.