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Cesar R. Hernandez Extended Bio
He represented the United States at the Education Without Borders (EWB) global summit and the Festival of Thinkers (FOT) summit in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, where he held deliberations with world leaders and Nobel Laureates on current global challenges. Cesar even had the #1 ranked policy presentation, on his research and examination of American immigration and its contemporary challenges, among 3,000 participants represent ing 130 countries, at the summit.
Professionally, Cesar has experience in legislative community engagement efforts for the Tampa City Council’s district 7 office. His prior posts include Director of Community Engagement & Community Organizing for the University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC) and Ambassador of Community Governance for the Haiti Recovery and Development Company (HR&DC) where he aided resettlement camp transition and the creation of five novel Haitian cities. He also has extensive experience in project management, marketing, non-profit management, social campaign management, issue advocacy, socioeconomic development & field organizing.
As a college student, he was also a former Student Body President and Trustee for the University of South Florida (USF) where he studied Bio-Medical Science, Political Science and Economics. Cesar also holds a certificate in Disruptive Strategies through Harvard Business School (HBX). and is currently an Executive MBA candidate and the class president at Brown University, where his concentration is in innovation strategies. He was also recently declared as the Entrepreneur of the Week by the prestigious Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship at Brown University.
Jennifer Webb Extended Bio
Jennifer previously served in USF’s Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. Jennifer specialized in pulling together multi-sector stakeholders to solve pressing community problems and in teaching faculty from across the campus how to most effectively engage the community. During her tenure as Director of Community Partnerships, USF was awarded the Most Engaged Campus in Florida.
Mark Sharpe Extended Bio
In fewer than three years Mark and his staff of three grew Alliance membership from the four anchors (USF, Florida Hospital, Busch Gardens and Moffitt Cancer Center) to over 250 business and community members.
In 2015, Mark successfully negotiated $2 million from Hillsborough County to be designated for the development of an innovation district. His team was awarded $1.25 million from the State of Florida for transportation, community engagement, and branding. He led a multifaceted collaborative effort to win a $3.8 million TechHire Grant and designation by the White House as a TechHire Community in 2016.
Ned Pope Extended Bio
Pope previously served as the vice president of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Project Management for the Collins Center for Public Policy, where he directed and administered six court-ordered mediation programs and a statewide mediation program sponsored by Fannie Mae.
Pope also served under Alex Sink as director of external affairs during her administration as chief financial officer of Florida. Before taking that position he served as the Department of Financial Services’ primary certified contract negotiator, representing the state as lead negotiator in the 2008 Worker’s Compensation Medical Case Management Project. In 2007, Pope co-managed and developed the nationally recognized searchable contract transparency website, currently known as “FACTS”. Before going to work directly for DFS he served as the operations manager for the agency’s Hurricane Insurance Mediation Program, administered by the Collins Center from 2004-07.
Ned Pope is a 2001 graduate of Georgia Southern University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Print Management/Publishing, and 2004 graduate of Florida State University, with a Master of Science degree in Communications, New and Interactive Technology.
Christian Leon, J.D. Extended Bio
Alexandra Esparza Extended Bio
Most recently, Ms Esparza was an investment analyst and trader at Pearl Brook Capital, a globally focused long/short hedge fund located in Tampa. Prior to her time in asset management, Ms. Esparza spent 6 years on the US equities desk at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. in sales in trading. Before that, Ms. Esparza held positions in private equity and investment banking. Additionally, she acts as part-time CFO for FleetWit, an emerging tech startup. She holds a BA in Humanities from Stanford University, and an MBA with a focus on Asset Management from the Yale School of Management. She was a finalist in the 2016 Ira Sohn Conference stock picking competition and serves as the chairman of the advisory board for the Kupona Foundation. Additionally, she was a member of the New Leaders Council fellowship class of 2017.
Scarlett Haynes Extended Bio
Scarlett Haynes is a native Floridian and Tampa resident and is an alumnus of the University of South Florida’s school of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, with a degree in Political Science. She has extensive knowledge in organizational development, grassroots organizing and political campaigns. She has led initiatives in the internal relations space and specializes in promoting diversity and building cohesive communities within organizations. She has led projects in community engagement, management and has been a part of the digital media team for a national presidential campaign. Scarlett has been featured in various Political Science syndications for her efforts and is a member of the Zeta Pi Political Science Honors Society.
Erin Fernandez Extended Bio
Erin Fernandez is originally from Tampa, Florida. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Public Advocacy and a minor in Psychology, Erin moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in political advocacy.
For the last five years, Erin has been working for a top three political action committee (PAC) in the automotive industry for a national trade association. In her current role, she built and manages legislative and political advocacy programs targeting, the next generation of young business leaders. Erin’s background as a fundraiser, communications, grassroots advocacy, and issues management professional has been the root of her tireless work to inspire her generation to become more politically active. Erin is an industry expert in millennial political engagement. She travels across the country to help state associations develop their own “NextGen Programs”.
Erin lends her spare time to local advocacy groups in the Washington, D.C. area where she helps with communications and political strategy. Erin is most proud to have been a part of the historic Women’s March on Washington, where she was responsible for creating, maintaining, and managing the Facebook and Twitter pages for the DC Chapter, WMWDC Local prior to the march. Erin served two years as the President for the DC Chapter of The University of South Florida Alumni Association, where she developed strategic initiatives to grow the USF brand in Washington. She also has served as the Vice-Chair for All Florida Alumni Network of Washington, D.C. (AFLA-DC) for the last four years.
Erin is currently a graduate student at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), where her concentration is in issues advocacy and digital strategy. She was recently selected to be a Senator for the GSPM Student Associ
Melissa Baldwin Extended Bio
Melissa is the founder of Chase Media Services, and a veteran of the recycling industry, having begun her career at Hill & Knowlton where she worked for the Aluminum Association and the Curbside Value Partnership from 2004 -2006. Serving as the Account Executive for the Curbside Value Partnership, Melissa produced recycling education materials and worked closely with municipality recycling educators in Florida and across the country. Melissa has relationships with the recycling educators for several municipalities, including the City of Tampa, Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Indian River County, Brevard County, Pinellas County, and many others in the recycling industry. Since 2014, Melissa has served as the Recycling Education and Outreach Coordinator for Waste Management, serving as their primary community relations consultant at the Tampa MRF, WM Recycle Tampa. Melissa has significant recycling industry experience including hundreds of hours spent educating citizens of all ages on the importance of Recycling Right. 8/18/17 11 Melissa has spent hundreds of hours inside the Tampa MRF, talking with the Operations Director, and the Facility Manager to get a deep understanding of the most common contaminants and how contamination impacts facility operations. Additionally, Melissa is an experienced public relations executive with over a decade of experience in media relations, message development, and public education. While working with the Curbside Value Partnership (which is now known as The Recycling Partnership) at Hill & Knowlton, Melissa Baldwin worked with Lena Davie and Heather MacNamara to develop a Public Service Announcement to help promote curbside recycling for multiple communities across the country. In addition to her recycling education work, Melissa has experience working for many other nonprofit environmental clients and companies, such as the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Environmental PR Group. Melissa’s passion for protecting the environment shines through in her work, and her tact for delivering important recycling messages is well developed. Melissa holds a Bachelors of Science in Communications with a focus in Environmental Science from Boston University.
James P. Chan Extended Bio
James Chan began his political engagement career as an intern with United Faculty of Florida in Florida’s state capital of Tallahassee and then as Research Director for former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink at the Florida Next Foundation. He worked on the state and local government affairs team at Target Corporation’s headquarters in Minneapolis while he earned his Masters of Public Policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. James then served as Deputy Campaign Director for Florida State Senator Geraldine Thompson and later went to work at C1 Bank in Tampa Bay. He is currently the Client Relations Manager for Lee Law Group, a law firm based in Tampa. In 2016, he was selected for the National Leadership Academy by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, a program aimed at training more AAPI’s to run for public office. He was also part of the 2016 class of Victory Empowerment Fellows, Victory Institute’s program to train more LGBT people of color to run for public office. In the past year, he’s served as the Deputy Chapter Director of New Leaders Council Orlando and is now serving as the Chapter Co-Director for New Leaders Council Tampa Bay. He’s an alum of College Leadership Florida Class XIII and Connect Florida Class VII, both programs within the Leadership Florida organization. James is a proud alum of the University of Florida and UF Hall of Fame inductee. He is also a proud graduate of the Humphrey School and serves on the Humphrey Alumni Board.