First Coast Chapter

The First Coast Chapter provides weekend nutrition to over 5,500 children through 46 School Partners in three counties: Clay, Duval and St. Johns. To maximize impact and fiscal efficiency, we partner directly with local schools to identify the students they know firsthand to be undernourished and food insecure. Blessings also partners directly with each county school administration, establishing a data-driven approach to our strategic nutrition plan, based on identified student needs. Working together, we create a full week of healthy meals for our most vulnerable students. This year we provided 200,000 Hunger Free Weekends. Next year our Goal is 220,000.

Who will feed the kids this weekend?

Together, we will!

Meet Our Board

Executive Committee
Wyatt

Wyatt Haynes
Board Chair
United Parcel Service

Christine Reitz

Christine Reitz
Finance Chair
Regions Bank

Alex Williams
Events Chair
CAA Sports

Sean Stenson

Sean Stenson
Business Development Chair
Route4Me

Board Members
Rohan Bhargava​

Rohan Bhargava​
​Content Chair
University of Florida

Myrna Brannon

Myrna Brannon
Member at Large
Berkshire Hathaway Home Service Florida

Martin Buckley
​Member
Owner/CEO, Palm Beach Autographs

Charmaine Crockett

Charmaine Crockett
​Member

Brandon Mack

Brandon L. Mack, M.P.A.
​Member
Duval County Public Schools

Paris Owens

Paris Owens
Member
Nemours Children’s Health

Tom Ponder

Thomas Ponder
​Member
CEO, Kingmade Jerky, Inc.

Shivam Shah

Shivam Shah
Member
The Wharton School

Mark Slater

Mark Slater​
​Member
Owner, JOMO Pool Services

Steve Topp

Steve Topp
Member
Retired, JP Morgan

Jamaal Williams
Member
Florida Blue/Guidewell

Susan Evans

Susan Evans   
Managing Director
​(904) 237-9340

New Members
Charmaine Crockett, CSX Transportation

Charmaine was introduced to First Coast Blessings through a PSA by Vice President Kamala Harris.  When she and two other CSX fellows were selected to join the National African American Women’s Leadership Institute (NAAWLI), they choose Blessings as their community outreach project where she received firsthand knowledge of the needs in our community and how Blessings worked to address them.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Blessings advisory board at this critical juncture. I’ve long admired their commitment to addressing the needs of vulnerable children in our community and that’s especially been the case during the extraordinary disruptions of the pandemic.” Charmaine Crockett continues, “There’s so much important work to be done on addressing the nutritional needs of children that depend on their schools for food and I’m thrilled to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

 

Paris Owens, Nemours Children’s Health

Paris Owens is the Assistant Vice President, Northeast Florida Practice Administrator for Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville. He has been in the hospital operations field for over 18 years and has a strong understanding of what it takes to ensure that the highest quality of care is maintained in all aspects of hospital operations. Paris has a master’s degree in business administration and has worked at several hospitals and medical offices throughout his career. He is well-versed in hospital and ambulatory clinics day to day operations.

Paris is a leader and mentor, with a commitment to ensuring his team succeeds. He is passionate about developing and implementing new strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hospital. Paris is passionate about providing the best patient care experience and works tirelessly to ensure that all patients are receiving the best care possible. Paris is also deeply committed to ensuring that all hospital staff work in a safe and efficient environment. He is always looking for ways to improve operations and is a strong advocate for patient safety. He is a highly organized and detail-oriented individual, with a passion for providing excellent patient care.

 

Shivam Shah, The Wharton School of Business

Shivam is currently a student at the Wharton School studying urban education and finance. His unique journey to Blessings began at Nease High School where he volunteered with the Blessings Souper Bowl event team. Since coming to Wharton, he has researched a scalable solution for food inequity with Professor Greg Goldman in the Urban Studies Department and has interned at a food inequity nonprofit. Additionally, he serves in leadership capacities across many clubs and serves as the Wharton Class Chair.

“I volunteer with Blessings because I know this mission can and does make a genuine impact on children’s lives.  I have seen it happen. My commitment as an Advisory Board member is  to use my professional skills and personal experience to improve and expand operations with the goal of providing additional Blessings weekend meals for children struggling with hunger.”