Lunch & Learn Series


We hold about six Lunch & Learns throughout the year, on the last Tuesday of various months. We bring in expert panelists who speak on timely topics that affect our community. 

This series is a great way for alumni to continue their education after graduating, or for those not involved in LPBC to see what our organization is all about. 

We invite you to join us for the next Lunch & Learn!

Last Year's Lunch & Learn Events:

Re-entry for Ex-Offenders

If you are familiar with our Breakthroughs Summit, then you know one of our three key issues is re-entry for ex-offenders. 

Each year, close to 3,000 inmates return to Palm Beach County from years in jail or prison. Without a connection to the community, as many as two-thirds of them will get into trouble again and end up behind bars within three years. They need jobs as they reintegrate back to society. The challenge is, most employers aren’t aware of many ex-offenders’ hard worth ethic and dedication to their jobs. 

This Lunch & Learn was focused on this issue, with panelists knowledgeable on the subject and eager to make a change. 

Panelists were:

Julia Dattolo

Vice President, Business Services

CareerSource Palm Beach County

Mayor Jeri Muoio (Class of 2008)

Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach

Craig Spatara

Manager, Criminal Justice Programs

Palm Beach County Public Safety Department

See photos from the event.

Home Rule

Home rule is defined as is the power of a local city or county to set up its own system of self-government without receiving a charter from the state. Home rule is allowed under some state constitutions. The authority to act in local affairs is transferred from state law to a local charter, adopted and, as need be amended, by the voters through referendum. Home rule shifts much of the responsibility for local government from the state legislature to the local community. A county that adopts a home rule charter has the ability to amend its governmental organization and powers to suit its needs. A home rule charter is, in essence, a local constitution.

Panelists were:

Wellington Mayor Ann Gerwig, representing League of Cities and a municipality perspective

Senator Bobby Powell, representing a state-level perspective

Brian LaMotte, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at WGI, representing the business/planning perspective, 

See photos from the event. 

The disconnect between affordable housing and economic development

Economically, our county is on an incline. According to the BDB, Forbes ranks Palm Beach County among the top nationwide in growth, with Palm Beach County's metropolitan areas as number 12 among the fastest-growing cities in the US. Forbes ranks West Palm Beach among the best places for business and careers, and Bloomberg News reported that Palm Beach County contains the third-richest ZIP code in the country. 

As more companies set their sights on Palm Beach County, our own community continues to struggle with affordable housing options. Palm Beach County’s median home price of $327,000 is unaffordable to 75% of households, and Palm Beach County’s median gross rent of $1,900 is out of the reach of 80% of renters. 

What’s with the disconnect? How can Palm Beach County continue to flourish economically, if residents struggle to live where they work? 

Panelists were: 

Raphael Clemente, Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority

Faye Johnson, Assistant County Administrator of Palm Beach County

Nader Salour, Principal of Cypress Realty Florida

Matt Constantine, CEO of Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches. 

See photos from the event.

Sources: 1 2 3

Cyber Security

Sponsored by I.T. Solutions. 

If you are a business leader, and cybersecurity is not on your radar, you are doing something wrong. Privacy and cybersecurity risks continue to arise for organizations large and small. What do experts foresee for 2019? 

Panelists were:

  • Deana Pizzo, CEO, I.T. Solutions of South Florida
  • Gareth Marchant: Principle Cybersecurity Advisor, Litehaus Academy
  • Paul Jones: Chief Information Officer, Clerk & Comptroller of PBC

See photos from the event.

WOmen at the Helm

Women face a unique set of challenges in the workplace, and come across many obstacles on the path to leadership. This month's Lunch & Learn includes a panel of four incredible female leaders in our community, and will also be moderated by a strong female leader - Rita Craig, President of Top Tier Leadership. We heard their stories from their rise to leadership, any obstacles they had to overcome, and their experiences as strong, female leaders.   

Panelists were: 

Lisa Johnson, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida and LPBC President

Ruth Mageria, Executive Director of CROS Ministries

Chief Sarah Mooney, West Palm Beach Police Department

Geri Emmett, Chairwomen of Duffy's Foundation

Click here to see photos from the event.

Innovations in brain health

The topic of discussion was about cutting-edge research, new community collaborations and how PBC is addressing the mental health crisis. Event included an exclusive tour of the South Florida Science Center's NEW exhibit: Journey Through the Human Brain. In honor of May being Mental Health Month, we encouraged attendees to wear green to the event in support of mental health awareness. 

Panelists were: 

Pat McNamara, Palm Health Foundation 

Renee Layman, Center for Child Counseling 

Scott Hansel, Community Partners 

Nicole L. Baganz, Ph.D., FAU Brain Institute 


Seth Bernstein, United Way of Palm Beach County 

Click here to see photos from the event.