Eugene Jones II is the Chairman of the Board at the Polis Institute. He is also the executive dean for Valencia College’s downtown campus. Prior to joining Valencia, Jones served as associate vice president for baccalaureate and workforce programs at Lake-Sumter State College. He has also served as dean of the engineering and information technology programs at Broward College in South Florida and as director of information technology education at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Jones also served as executive director of My Brother’s Keeper, a mentoring program for young African-American men at Santa Fe College. He also served as chairman of the East Gainesville Initiative, where he worked with government officials and business partners to provide computer access and education programs to the residents of East Gainesville.
Phil currently serves as the Missions Pastor at Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida, a position he accepted after nearly twelve years of running the Polis Institute. Phil founded the institute in 2009 to champion human dignity and further place-based philanthropy in Central Florida. Prior to that, Phil worked in the environmental information field. His immediate family includes his wife Jennie and three grown children. Phil holds degrees in Divinity and Cultural Geography.
“I am excited to see Polis mature into a nationally known research institute as we share important insights that we learn working with under-resourced communities.”
Inder Majumdar has served on the board of the Polis Institute since the Fall of 2018 and is a member of the board’s governance committee. As first as a consultant at Deloitte and most recently as the Head of Analytics at WayCool Foods, Inder has supported efforts to evaluate the impact of companies that provide renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, and high-quality produce to economically underserved communities. Inder’s professional experience has given him the opportunity to understand how private enterprises identify and evaluate socially beneficial revenue-generation opportunities in highly regulated industries, and how the activities of private enterprises impact the lives of communities across the US and India. Passionate about the intersection of social enterprise and local communities, Inder is eager to work with the board as Polis strives to create a more equitable, inclusive, and community-driven future.
“Working in India has given me first-hand exposure to the economic and social value of community-driven, asset-based community development programs. The tenacity that Bahiyyah and the rest of the team brings to their work is truly an inspiration for the rest of the board (myself included), and makes me excited to work with the rest of the board in support of the Institute’s mission.”
Ryan is an experienced business leader and lifelong resident of Orlando along with his wife Susan and two children. Prior to his current role as the VP of Artificial Intelligence and Strategy at Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Ryan worked in a number of finance and leadership roles in the hospitality, construction and aerospace and defense industries.
“What first drew me to Polis was the passion that the organization had for improving the lives and wellbeing of the community. While there are a number of nonprofits that are strong at community engagement, Polis is the only organization I have found that excels at serving and engaging directly with the people that need support while also having a strong, data driven model that measures impact, drives the organizational strategy and provides invaluable data for other organizations and local governments working in the same neighborhoods.”
Jacinta Mathis is the Vice-Chair of the Board at Polis Institute. She is also an attorney and counselor at law with the Mathis Law Group. She received her B.A. from Clark College and received her J.D. from Florida State University College of Law. She has had over thirty years of experience practicing personal injury and general practice law. Jacinta is dedicated to helping Polis Institute make positive impacts in Orlando communities.
Julie Zaiback-Aldinger serves as AdventHealth’s Executive Director for Community Advocacy and Health Equity. In this role she leads the organization’s community health improvement efforts, development of AdventHealth public policy positions and health equity strategies. Julie received her bachelor’s in anthropology from University College London and master’s in public health from the University of South Florida.
“I’m passionate about being a board member because I believe in the work that Polis does–co-creating solutions to social problems with communities. This is what can lead to sustainable change.”
Leah Shepherd serves as Chief Operating Officer of onePULSE Foundation, whose mission is to create and support a memorial that opens hearts, a museum that opens minds, educational programs that open eyes and legacy scholarships that open doors. In this role she oversees the foundation’s day-to-day operations, strategic business plan, and capital campaign to design and build a national memorial and museum honoring the PULSE tragedy.
Shepherd served as Vice President of Philanthropy for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and was part of the venue’s grand opening team in 2014. Her career also includes extensive sports marketing experience with management roles at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Orlando Magic. She launched her career in the hospitality industry, spending five years with Marriott Hotels, where she was honored as Director of Sales of the Year.
A graduate of Florida State University, Shepherd is a lifelong resident of Central Florida. She currently serves on the board of POLIS Institute, and is a member of the City of Orlando’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.
“I’m passionate about the work we do at Polis Institute because of the focus on collaboration. There’s such an effective strategy with aligning investors, community partners and residents that results in equipping residents to strengthen their communities. The impact Polis has is measurable and sustainable.”
Adrienne received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. She spent 10 years in public accounting before shifting to the not-for-profit sector where she spent 10 years with large churches. Adrienne is currently the Director of Finance at Lift Orlando where she is responsible for accounting, financing, investing, budgeting, compliance, human resources and risk management. Adrienne is a Lifework Leadership alum. She has three children: Jordan (19), Owen (17) and John (14).
“Serving on the Polis Board provides me an opportunity to use my experience with non-profit Finance, HR, operations, compliance and governance to support Polis as it increases the effectiveness of nonprofits working in our most vulnerable communities and dismantling unjust systems.”