" "
Need help? Dial 2-1-1 to contact a United Way call center specialist or click here to find resources.


United Way announces 2019 Up Close and Personal Honorees

May 2, 2019

United Way of Northeast Florida is thrilled to recognize some of our outstanding honorees for 2019’s Up Close and Personal, May 16, 2019.


Dawn Lopez, Anchor, Action News


Lakesha Burton, Assistant Chief, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

Katie Ensign, Senior Program Officer, Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Iris Ivana Grant, CEO and Founder, Genesi Group, Inc.

Dr. Diana Greene, Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools

Dawn Lopez, Anchor, Action News

Vicki Miller, President, National Provider Network – UnitedHealthcare Networks for UnitedHealthCare

Lisa Palmer, President and Chief Financial Officer and Director, Regency Centers Corporation

Jane Scofield, Chief Financial Officer, 121 Financial Credit Union

Xiao-Yu Song, Global Head of Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson Vision

Sol Wynter, Chief Business Partner, Stream of Services


Lakesha Burton

Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton is a 20-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. She holds the distinction of being the 4th African-American woman to obtain the rank of police sergeant and the 2nd African-American woman to earn the rank of police lieutenant in the 190-year history of Jacksonville Law Enforcement agencies. She is currently serving as the first female Executive Director of the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville in over 47 years of its existence. PAL is 501(c) (3) youth serving organization. She also currently serves as the Assistant Chief of the Community Engagement Section of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Burton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s in Criminology from Florida Metropolitan University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement award from the Jacksonville City Council. She also appeared on a national talk show after being nominated as the “Leading Lady” by the Harry Connick Jr. show. She is married to Assistant Chief Gregory Burton and they have five children, ranging from ages 9-30.




Katie Ensign

Katie Ensign serves as Senior Program Officer for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a national private foundation located in Jacksonville, Florida, with assets of $300 million and an annual grants budget of approximately $12 million. She oversees the Fund’s grantmaking in Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia, along with its capacity building strategy.

Prior to joining the Fund in 2010, Ensign served as President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network and Vice President of Programs for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. She is a graduate of Executive Leadership Florida. In 2009, she was appointed to the Advisory Council for Economic Security by then-Secretary George Sheldon of the Florida Department of Children and Families.  In 2015, she was appointed co-chair of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s Nonprofit/Government Interface Sub-Committee.

Ensign serves as co-chair of the Wilson Foundation, a private family foundation; board member of the Nonprofit Center for Northeast Florida; member of the program committee of LISC Jacksonville and member of the steering committee for Strategic Partnerships for the City of Jacksonville. She holds a BA in Psychology from Denison University.




Iris Ivana Grant

Iris Ivana Grant is the CEO and founder of the Genési Group, Inc.  The Genési Group is a strategic philanthropy consultancy known for its innovative methodologies that expose areas of benefit, not readily identified through traditional fundraising models and corporate partnerships.

Grant is a TEDx speaker and award winner, who has facilitated transformative professional workshops, trainings and panel discussions that have inspired thousands.  Her trademark Right Foot Left Foot Principle© Training Series brings to light significant benefits that add overwhelming value to the bottom line in for-profit and nonprofit sectors.  She and the Genési team are changing the way nonprofits do business, through perspectives in social entrepreneurial enterprise, fund campaigns, corporate social responsibility, impact investing and strategic corporate partnerships to bridge the divide for communities in need.





Dr. Diana Greene

Dr. Diana L. Greene became Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), the 20th largest school district in the nation on July 1, 2018 and serves 130,000 students within 200 schools and manages a $1.7 billion dollar budget. Prior to her work in Duval, she was the Superintendent of the School District of Manatee County, where she made significant strides forward academically, financially and in terms of its public perception.

Known for her positive nature and engaging personality, Dr. Greene initiated her time as Superintendent in Manatee County by putting forward a leadership plan that consisted of what she named the Five C’s: Calmness, Consistency, Civility, Confidence and Community. Leading by example, Dr. Greene has overseen a district that has improved academically to the point that it received a B grade from the state two of the last three years (2015, 2017), after receiving a C grade the previous three years, even in the face of more rigorous standards. In addition, the Manatee District’s graduation rate rose 5.6% during the 2015-2016 school year, and was 2.8% higher than the statewide graduation rate.

Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Greene served as Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services in Manatee County. During her 33-year career as an educator, she has spent time as a teacher, assistant principal, principal as well as in curriculum development, staff development and in senior executive leadership. On a personal note, Dr. Greene is the daughter of a father who served in the Air Force, and she grew up living in locations all over the United States and abroad. She is married to James Greene, an independent financial advisor, and they have two sons, Aldon and Joshua.



Dawn Lopez

Dawn Lopez co-anchors Action News This Morning and Action News Jax at Noon.

There’s no place like home! I am happy to call Jacksonville and the surrounding counties home, because I was born and raised here. I have lived all over Jacksonville. I went to school all over town, from kindergarten to college.

I talk to teens when visiting our local schools to think about landing their first job, not just their dream job for later. Their ears perk up when I tell them my first was at a cookie shop in Regency Square Mall when I was 15! I could add professional tastes tester to my resume.

After High School, I decided to stay home, enjoy campus life at the University of North Florida while taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity to work in radio and television right here. I didn’t get much sleep and that era of my life is blur, but I just knew it would give me a jump in my career.

After graduation, I moved to Columbus, Georgia, to work for the ABC affiliate WTVM-9. Then it was on to WGHP-TV, a FOX-owned and operated station in High Point, North Carolina. In North Carolina, I anchored the investigative and consumer team at FOX-8 News.

I love traveling and exploring but again, there’s no place like home. I moved back to Jacksonville to bring news to the community I care most about and love. I now anchor CBS47 Action News Jax This Morning and Action News Jax at Noon, with another long-timer in television news, Phil Amato. We have the best discussions about our favorite small businesses and restaurants we find around town.

Over the years, I’ve brought you exclusive interviews on big stories and helped to get hundreds of children adopted with a special project I worked on for years with the help of Family Support Services. I’ve had the unbelievable honor to receive awards for my work with children, simply doing what I was led in my heart to do. I use my work to help children who need a voice to speak up for them.

When I’m not on the set, chances are I’m preparing to chair, host, speak or help organize events from the many nonprofits, schools or civic groups to which I remained tied. It’s how I stay connected and in touch with you, my neighbor and our viewer.  I don’t take it lightly that you invite us into your home and make us a part of your day or daily routine. I take every opportunity to say “Thank you.”

My twins and I, along with our puppy Mozart, love being your neighbor. See you at the beach, at the park, or our favorite — the public library. We’re usually out and about enjoying home — Jacksonville — along with you.


Vicki Miller

Vicki Miller is President, National Provider Network – UnitedHealthcare Networks for UnitedHealthcare, a global organization serving key markets and geographic regions with a broad range of health benefit products and services for both consumers and benefits sponsors. She is responsible for the strategic vision, relationship, contract development and operational execution for national health systems in addition to the UnitedHealthcare ancillary and laboratory networks.

Miller joined UnitedHealthcare in 2001 as part of the Network Management organization. Prior to her current role, she was responsible for providing leadership to the UnitedHealthcare Networks in the Southeast Region. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, she held positions of increasing leadership with Prudential Health Care and Aetna U.S. Healthcare.

In addition to her career at UnitedHealthcare, Miller serves on the American Lung Association North Florida Advisory Board and was prior President of the Board. She has been a board member with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce as well as the YMCA of Clay County. Additional volunteer activities include supporting Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House. She and her husband, Matt, live in Fleming Island, FL and have two adult children.



Lisa Palmer

Lisa Palmer is the President and Chief Financial Officer and a Director of Regency Centers Corporation. She has served in a variety of positions with Regency Centers Corporation since 1996. Prior to joining Regency, she worked with Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting Strategic Services, as a consultant and financial analyst for General Electric.

Palmer is a director, chairperson of the compensation committee and member of the audit committee of ESH Hospitality, Inc., an owner/operator of hotels and the subsidiary of Extended Stay America, Inc., and a director of Brooks Rehabilitation, a private healthcare organization. She is also a director for the Jax Chamber, the United Way of Northeast Florida, an advisory board member for the Florida Institute of CFOs, an executive board member of NAREIT, a member of ULI, and a member of the ICSC. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and also holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.




Jane Scofield serves as the Chief Financial Officer for 121 Financial Credit Union. She brings more than 15 years of experience and leadership to the organization. Since joining the team in 2016, Scofield has been responsible for both the finance and human resources teams. She is responsible for the onboarding and offboarding process, training, and everything finance. Prior to joining the Credit Union, she was the Principal and Director of Business Advisory Services at Ennis, Pellum & Associates, CPAs. In addition, Scofield has held other roles such as CFO, Controller, and Consultant for more than 20 years.

 Scofield graduated from the University of New Mexico with an MBA in Accounting. She also attended University of Tennessee-Knoxville earning her BA in Health Issues Casework. Scofield has volunteered her services for several years and sat on many boards. Currently, she is serving on the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority as a board member and also instructing for JAX Bridges.

 Scofield received the “Woman of Influence” award from the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2018. Along with this, she has also previously been awarded the “Ultimate CFO” award. She is a chartered global managerial accountant and a certified fraud examiner. She has lived in Jacksonville, FL since 2005.




Xiao-Yu Song

Xiao-Yu is the Global Head of Research & Development at Johnson & Johnson Vision.  She has overall responsibility of Johnson & Johnson Vision’s (JJV) R&D including new product development and life cycle management support as well as portfolio management and innovation governance across all platforms.

Prior to her current role, Song was the head of R&D for the contact lens platform at JJV. She joined JJV in 2016 from the Ethicon franchise in Johnson & Johnson’s medical device sector where she served as Vice President, Research & Development for Ethicon Biosurgery since July 2012 and co-led the biosurgery business with GSM leader since May 2014.  Prior to joining Ethicon in 2006, Song successfully built the biomarker discovery research group at Centocor in J&J’s pharmaceutical sector and led a number of new product discovery and development efforts in the therapeutic immunology area.

Song earned her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her M.S. in Biochemistry and Medical Degree at China Medical University, and completed postdoctoral training in autoimmunity and immunology at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. She has close to 40 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and a number of granted patents, and has been invited to speak at national and international scientific conferences.



Sol Wynter

In 1998, Sol Angel Wynter emigrated from her home in Panama to the United States and in 2004 relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. After exploring careers abroad in import and export, she obtained her first position in the health and human services field and discovered her passion for serving the under-privileged, vulnerable residents of Northeast Florida through state and private organizations. By combining her love for the community with her passion for embracing diversity and collaboration, she became a representative for the people she serves.

For over 7 years, Sol was the first bilingual Community Development and Engagement Outreach Coordinator for UnitedHealth Group for the Florida Community Plan for regions 3 and 4. During those years she connected over $650,000 of the company’s funding to organizations supporting vital community programs in Northeast and Central Florida.

She is the owner of Stream Of Services Multilingual Consulting Group and is currently pursuing her CompTIA+ certification. As she continues to seek personal development to redefine the concept of aging, education, and employability she is of the belief that individuals with diverse and expanding skill sets will always be an asset to employers that take the time to look beyond a resume or an interview performance; if given an opportunity they can become the needed added value to their growth and of their community. Sol volunteers with several organizations including United Way of Northeast Florida, the Clara White Mission, the Salvation Army, Feeding Northeast Florida, Farm Share, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry and more.


Join us at Up Close and Personal 2019

Register today to join us at Up Close And Personal, May 16 at 6 p.m.