BUSINESS PEOPLE: Community Foundation empowers employees through growth


New staffing initiatives at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County demonstrate the nonprofit’s commitment to excellence through its people. Through the appointment of a new vice president, as well as the promotions of three team members, these recent developments underscore the foundation’s priority of creating a work environment that provides opportunities for employees to achieve to their full potential.

Nicole Coudal has been appointed vice president of human resources, returning to the foundation after serving as its first chief of staff from 2011 to 2013.

Coudal worked for RISCORP (now Zenith Insurance) and Arthur Andersen before joining the foundation in 2011. Throughout her career in human resources, both on staff and as a consultant, Coudal has woven in other pursuits in visual and culinary arts, including creating a blog of farm-to-fork (or hook-to-fork) recipes and more.

The foundation has also promoted three employees to new positions.

Rina Alvarez has been promoted to director of donor and advisor engagement, a position created to empower donors and advisors by fostering meaningful connections to diverse communities and causes. Alvarez joined the foundation as a philanthropic advisor in 2021.

After earning a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Alvarez went on to become a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy and a 21/64 Certified Advisor.

The other two promotions were made in the Finance Department.

Julie Avins was promoted to controller. She will lead work to maintain security of assets and oversee internal controls. Avins has worked for the foundation for more than eight years, most recently as director of accounting.

Casey Grisanti has been named accounting manager, with responsibilities in financial statement preparation, control systems implementation and budget review. Grisanti has been a staff accountant at the foundation since December 2019. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Central Florida.

Along with promotions, the foundation empowers its team members through professional development opportunities.

Sarah Firstenberger, manager of events, has been selected for the 2024 class of Leadership Sarasota, a program of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce designed to engage and develop strong local leaders. She is a Sarasota native who earned a bachelor’s in marketing and finance from the University of South Florida. She joined the foundation in January 2022.

Christie Mucha, left, Nikki Williams.

New board members at CPC

The Child Protection Center, Inc. has appointed Nikki Williams and Christie Mucha to its board of directors.

Nikki Williams has served the center for over a decade as a volunteer, donor and event attendee. She has been a co-chair of CPC’s Blue Ties and Butterflies signature fundraiser, among other event support.

Williams was the nonprofit’s 2023 Volunteer of the Year.

Mucha joins the board as a volunteer, advocate and donor. She has a master’s in education and has worked in early childhood and elementary education. Mucha has served on the Blue Ties and Butterflies committee for the past two years.

Other CPC board members include Tina Grantown, chair; Jennifer Steube, vice chair; and Alina Cecities, Charlie Brooks, Tony Dempsey, Jennifer Douglas, Jennifer Fox, Edward Griese, Tammy Karp, Donna Koffman, Graci McGillicuddy, Tom McLaughlin, Freya Robbins and Dan Starostecki.

The center’s mission is the prevention of child abuse, along with intervention and treatment.

Agent named to ’40 Under 40′

Brie Tulp, sales associate at Ian Black Real Estate in Sarasota, has been named a 2023 Business Observer 40 Under 40 honoree. Tulp, 34, joined the boutique commercial real estate firm in 2021 and since then has been involved in more than 80 transactions totaling over $81 million.

Each year, the Business Observer honors and celebrates up and comers through its 40 Under 40 Awards. The awards recognize the brightest minds, boldest executives and best entrepreneurs in the region, spanning from Pasco County south to Lee and Collier counties.

Before joining Ian Black Real Estate, Tulp worked for SL Green Realty Corp., the largest office landlord and fully integrated REIT in Manhattan.

Tulp holds a Real Property Administrator designation and is a founding board member of the Commercial Real Estate Women Network in Sarasota/Manatee and is a member associate of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. She specializes in office and industrial properties.

Tulp and the other honorees were recognized during an awards reception Oct. 12 at the Grove Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch.


Food Bank fills new position

With a five-year strategic plan in its first year of rollout, All Faiths Food Bank has created a new, senior-level communications position to help ensure the continued growth and success of the area’s only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties.

In early October, Nina Harrelson began her work as All Faiths’ director of strategic communications.In this role, she will be a thought leader and change agent for AFFB, identifying and evaluating opportunities to support its long-term success and enhancing its position as a leading voice in ending hunger and its root causes.

Harrelson comes to AFFB from HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital/HCA Florida Twin Cities Hospital, where she was the director of communications & community engagement.


JFCS expands its board

Four new board members have recently joined JFCS of the Suncoast, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the organization. They are Adam Gersh, Ellen Goldner, Dan Dannheisser and Sasha Rosin.

Gersh is talent acquisition leader with Arcadis North America. With an MBA from the University of Michigan, he is passionate about improving the lives of the less fortunate in the Sarasota-Manatee area. He is a member and volunteer with Temple Sinai.

Goldner was director of admissions for Alexander Muss High School in Israel and director of development for the Y Camps in New Jersey. She holds a master’s in guidance and counseling from Kean College and a bachelor’s in elementary education from American University,

Dannheisser, P.A., is a founding partner at Dannheisser Injury Law, in Sarasota, and member of the bar associations for Florida, District of Columbia and Colorado, the American Bar and the Florida Justice Association. He has served on the boards of the Sarasota Rotary Club, Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, Safe Children Coalition and Temple Sinai.

He holds a Doctorate of Law from the University of Florida College of Law.

Rosin is a Horizon Realty agent with a background in volunteer work. She holds a master’s in school counseling from Georgia State University and has served on committees for the Jewish Federation and Community Day School.

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