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Our Team

Our team of dynamic individuals are passionate about community change.

Leadership Team

Robin Abbott

Vice President of Finance

Robin is an experienced CFO with demonstrated success in both for-profit and non-profit organizations across varying industries. Driven by her desire for excellence, she takes pride in understanding the organization to position finance as an integral strategic partner in achieving both financial and operational goals. Robin is a member of CFLOC, NABA, a Disruptive Leadership Advisory Board Member at Stetson University and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. While finance is her primary job function by day, Robin also enjoys movies, reading, music and spending time with her family and friends.

Michelle Braun

President and CEO

Michelle Braun is passionate about serving her community. Prior to becoming President and CEO of United Way in 2014, she served in many capacities, including serving as a member of United Way’s board of directors, community chair for RealSense and as the vice president of Resource Development where she led a record-setting campaign. Michelle is a member of Leadership Jacksonville’s class of 2017 and United Way Worldwide’s Network Partnership Group. She is married to Paul, an artist, and has two children, Quinn and Shea.

Melissa Dykes

Head of Strategy, Business Integration and Planning

Melissa Dykes is an senior executive with extensive experience leading both operations and finance for a large utility. After most recently leading 2,000 employees in providing reliable, affordable, and safe utility services to more than one million people across four counties in Northeast Florida, she brings that same community commitment to her work at United Way. Melissa is the Head of Strategy, Business Integration, and Planning for United Way of Northeast Florida, focused on executing strategies that ensure maximum impact with the people who need is most, today and long into the future. Outside the office, Melissa enjoys her family (husband, two boys, and a pup), the beach, and tennis.

Rosimar Melendez

Head of Community Impact and Strategic Investments

Rosi brings extensive experience with developing and leading community impact initiatives as well as cross-functional experience in resource development, volunteer management and marketing. Most recently, Rosi was the program director at the Horizon Foundation in Columbia, Maryland responsible for grant making for the $90 million foundation. In her previous roles, Rosi successfully led many initiatives including a funding priority realignment that led to improved community health outcomes and a race and equity initiative focused on reducing health disparities. She is passionate about community work and the important roles United Way plays in building a community of opportunity. She and her husband, LTC (Ret) Jose E. Melendez, are both from Puerto Rico. Together they have a daughter, Lyanne, who attends the University of Florida.

Maureen Mercho

Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communication and Corporate Engagement

Maureen Mercho has experience leading not for profits in fundraising, communication and marketing. Driven by the desire to connect people’s passion to community needs, she takes pride in providing the best donor journey possible. Her goals at United Way include creating change through building greater connections and awareness to solutions. Outside of the office, Maureen enjoys her family, dog ZsaZsa and the beach.

Lori Smith

Vice President Human Resources & Organizational Development

Lori is an experienced HR leader with demonstrated success in positioning HR as a trusted business partner to achieve and exceed operational goals and objectives. She has spent the majority of her career in the HR industry, gaining experiences in areas such as Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition/Succession, FMLA/ADA and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Lori is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a degree in Communications. She is a member of SHRM, CPCU Society, Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2017 and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Outside of the office, Lori enjoys reading, decorating and spending time with her family.

Board of Directors

JIM STEPNOSKI, Chair
KPMG

MICHAEL HERMAN, Vice-Chair
Regency Centers


BRIAN EVANS
Fifth Third Bank

ROBERT HILL
Acosta Sales and Marketing

RUDY F. JAMISON JR., Ed.D
University of North Florida

JAVON KNIGHT
JTA

KIRK LARSEN
Black Knight

SARA LEY
PriceWaterhouseCooper

GREG MONTANA
FIS

LISA PALMER
Regency Centers

NED PEVERLEY
Vestcom

ELIZABETH RANSOM, MD
Baptist Health

SABEEN PERWAIZ SYED
Florida Nonprofit Alliance

DARNELL SMITH
Florida Blue

MAX STAPLIN
Brightway Insurance

RUSS THOMAS
Availity

DELORES BARR WEAVER, Emeritus

UNITED WAY STAFF

MICHELLE BRAUN, President and CEO
United Way of Northeast Florida