Engaging the Underserved Community

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Bayshore 1

Working in traditionally underserved communities is often articulated as a priority for local governments. However, projects can bring real-life benefits only when you directly reach out to the community. Our panel will discuss how to effectively engage the underserved community to get direction and productive results. We will explore ways to deal with negativity, achieve support, implement effective methods and programs, and learn from experience. Participants will walk away with a “real talk” understanding of how to include and engage the underserved communities.

Discussion Leaders: Jeremy Earle, PhD, AICP, FRARA, Assistant City Manager, City of Hallandale Beach; Renée A. Jadusingh, Esq., FRA-RA, Executive Director, City of Delray Beach CRA, and Board Member, Florida Redevelopment Association; Toni Shamplain, FRA-RA, City of Panama City, Manager, CRA North; Gerald Snell, Avon Park Southside CRA and Ken Thomas, MPA, Director of Housing & Redevelopment, City of Leesburg

CM I 1.0

Jeremy Earle Mr. Earle is the Assistant City Manager and the Executive Director of the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Hallandale Beach. In addition to managing several departments in the city, he has managed overall several redevelopment projects, redevelopment programs and revitalization activities in the city. He is an award winning urban planner. Under his leadership, the CRAs that he managed won numerous awards for programs relating to sustainability, economic development and marketing. Mr. Earle is considered by many to be an expert in the fields of redevelopment and revitalization, and he has considerable experience working in both the public and private sectors.

Renée A. Jadusingh Ms. Jadusingh is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, recently promoted from Assistant Director. Alongside her work with the Delray Beach CRA, Renée serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Redevelopment Association. Prior to working with the Delray Beach CRA, Renée was Staff Counsel for the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency where she oversaw all legal matters and was responsible for drafting grant agreements, leases, board resolutions, and other legal documents. She has extensive experience in the public and private sector working with redevelopment and management in the South Florida area. She is dedicated to working for the public interest and revitalizing communities in the areas in which she serves. Ms. Jadusingh received her Juris Doctorate and LL.M. in Intercultural Human Rights – Cum Laude from St. Thomas University School of Law and serves on the Board of Directors for Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.

Toni Shamplain is the Downtown North CRA Manager with the City of Panama City CRA. She is also the President Elect of the Florida Redevelopment Association and holds the designation of Florida Redevelopment Administrator through the FRA Academy.

Prior to her current position Ms. Shamplain was the Main Street Manager with the Downtown Improvement Board where she not only served as Main Street Manager but also was responsible for 3 of the 4 CRAs administered by the DIB. Additionally, she was the first Director for the Panama City CRA as a stand-alone agency that later merged with the City of Panama City. Ms. Shamplain holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethune Cookman University and has earned various Certifications in Management, Outcome Evaluations, Human Resources, as well as a Certificate of Appreciation from the Executive Office of the United States President, Washington D.C.

Toni’s areas of expertise include not only community revitalization and redevelopment, but design and implementation of substance abuse treatment programs, designing group homes for children as well as the elderly; primary health care; criminal justice and corrections; information officer for a computer software design corporation, and working in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Ms. Shamplain also has expertise in System Analysis, Budgets, Public Policy, Faith Based Organizations and Not for Profits, etc.

Ms. Shamplain has worked effectively within various levels of government to include city, state and federal government. She is also a former Instructor with the Georgia Schools of Substance Abuse Studies, a Visiting Professor for Historical Black Colleges, adjunct professor Daytona Beach State College, Guest Lecturer at Georgetown University, and a National Motivational Speaker. Ms. Shamplain has been featured on National TV (CBS) for her advocacy and program success in Miami Florida while also being a contributing author with the Child Welfare League of America. Shamplain recently graduated from Rowlett Real Estate School and is preparing to take the state examination.

Gerald Snell Mr. Snell is a current member of the Avon Park CRA, and Chairman of the Southside CRA in Avon Park, Florida. He has been active with the Florida Redevelopment Association as the chairperson of the diversity session at the annual conference for several years. His involvement with numerous community projects over the years have earned him local accolades, most notably the post Hurricane Irma effort. He received an award from the Board of County Commissioners as well as the local newspaper.

He is currently the CEO and Founder of Optimum Outreach, as well as Sheppard-Snell Funeral Consultants. He was formerly employed as Assistant Administrator for the COMSIS Corp/Transportation for the Disadvantaged. He is a graduate of Avon Park Sr. High School, and South Florida State College.

Ken Thomas Mr. Thomas is the Director of Housing & Redevelopment for the City of Leesburg. He has served local governments for over 30 years; most of his work experience has involved redevelopment of neighborhoods. He is currently the Director of Housing & Redevelopment for the City of Leesburg; Ken has been employed with the City of Leesburg for 17 years. Prior to Leesburg, Ken worked at the City of Delray Beach and Orange County Government; he holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Historic Bethune Cookman University.

Ken has dedicated his professional life to redeveloping neighborhoods; providing affordable housing, small business development and job creation. Ken created the first Business Incubator in Lake County (known as the Leesburg Business Incubator). He has been responsible for local governments receiving millions of dollars in grant funds for housing and redevelopment efforts. Ken was responsible for renovating an apartment complex utilizing grant funding, which resulted in the first housing incubation program focused on providing temporary housing to individuals who desired to become first time homebuyers. Most recently, Mr. Thomas has been responsible for the first Resource Center in Lake County. Ken is a Board Member of the Florida Redevelopment Association, Central Florida Health Foundation Board Chairman, and the Leesburg High School Power Academy Advisory Board and Lake County Housing Advisory Board. Ken has been married to his wife (Maria) for 29 years and they have four children.