Meet Our Nominated Leaders - Leadership Excellence Award

April 2, 2013

Leadership Excellence Award Finalists


Vincent Bonvento, Class of 1992

Leadership Excellence Award Finalist

Vince Bonvento joined Palm Beach County administrative staff in 1975 as the Federal Grants Coordinator. He currently oversees the Criminal Justice Commission, the Offices of the Medical Examiner and Public Safety, and also serves as liaison to Court Programs and the Solid Waste Authority.

During his career with Palm Beach County, he has been involved with numerous professional organizations. For more than 30 years, he has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Comprehensive Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs, Inc. (CARP). He was a founding member of The Lord’s Place Board of Directors, a member of the United Way Board of Directors and in 2003-2004 volunteered to serve as the Chairman for the countywide United Way Campaign.

Bonvento authored the County Ordinance that established the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission, and has coordinated the implementation of many other projects during his career, such as the County Fire district consolidation, E-911 telephone system and countywide EMS telemetry system. He is responsible for the oversight and coordination of planning, response and recovery efforts for all disaster events in Palm Beach County, including hurricanes. His current management responsibilities as the Director of the Public Safety Department for Palm Beach County include the supervision of more than 300 employees and the fiscal oversight of an annual operating budget in excess of 40 million dollars.

A native of Palm Beach County, Bonvento attended local schools and is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University. He has been married for 44 years to his High School sweetheart, Danielle, and has two daughters. 


Dari Bowman, Class of 1998

Leadership Excellence Award Finalist

Dari Bowman is a well-known community volunteer in Palm Beach County. In 1987, she co-founded the Law Enforcement Assistance Foundation. LEAF was founded to assist officers injured in the line of duty and their families. Over the years, Dari has given her energy and time to many boards including The Arc from 1990 – 2002 (President 1994-95). The Arc improves the lives of children and adults who have developmental and mental disabilities. Dari played an instrumental role in establishing the Potentials School, a charter school for children with special needs.

Dari's other board leadership includes The South Florida Science Museum from 1998 – 1989 (President 1986), Palm Beach Marine Institute 1994 – 1998 (President 1997), Win for the Kids 1990 – 1996 (Chair 1995), Children’s Services Council 2002 – President, SunFest Board 1989 – 1997 (Chair 1992), Education Partnership of PBC 1989 – 1998 (Chair 1994), and Leadership Florida Regional Chair  - 2004.

Dari also served as President of the Board of Leadership Palm Beach County from 1995-1996 and remains an active member of the Songwriter’s in the Round committee. 


Barbara I. Cheives, Class of 2002

Leadership Excellence Award Finalist

Barbara Cheives is President and CEO of Converge & Associates Consulting, an organization specializing in race and ethnic relations consulting, community engagement and cultural competency training. Her consulting expertise includes law enforcement and public safety, nonprofit organizations, media, education and corporations.

Barbara served as the first Executive Director of Toward A More Perfect Union in Palm Beach County, a non-profit initiative that addresses the critical impact of race and ethnicity in a diverse community.

She has presented at state and national conferences for the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, YWCA and the National Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She has designed and delivered workshops around youth violence prevention, Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) and the portrayal of minorities in the media. Additionally, Barbara is a certified Ethics Trainer providing training for the Palm Beach State College Center for Applied Ethics.

She serves on the National Board of the Institute of Community Peace in Washington, DC. She is Immediate Past President of National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. West Palm Beach Chapter and Co-Chair of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Social Justice Ministry. Her community appointments include Immediate Past Chair of the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission. She was also appointed to the statewide 2007 Blueprint Commission of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Barbara has received numerous honors and awards, most notably the March of Dimes Woman of Distinction Award, United Way of Palm Beach County Volunteer of the Year and the American Cancer Society Lifesaver Award.


Patrick J. McNamara, Class of 2008

Leadership Excellence Award Finalist

Patrick McNamara is the President and CEO of Community Partnership Group, an organization that partners with communities to promote the social and economic well-being of children and families. 
Patrick joined Community Partnership Group in 1999. Originally hired as the Director of Supportive Housing, his roles and responsibilities grew with the organization, and he became the CEO in 2007. He is an experienced social worker, administrator, and developer of resources, both in the housing and social service arenas. Mr. McNamara is licensed in Clinical Social Work with twelve years of management experience and currently leads the Senior Leadership Team.

Patrick is an active advocate on affordable housing and disability issues. He is an alumnus of Leadership Palm Beach County (Class of 2008), current Board Member of National NeighborWorks Association, current Board Member of the Florida Community Loan Fund, and Chair of the Community Stabilization Taskforce for NeighborWorks America.

Patrick holds a Master of Social Work from Tulane University, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Franciscan University, and he attended Georgetown University for three years. Born and raised in New Orleans, he is a Saints fan, avid reader, and proud father of three children.


Joseph B. (Jay) Shearouse, III, Class of 1987

Leadership Excellence Award Finalist

Jay Shearouse, III, is President and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of the Palm Beaches.  Previously, Jay served for two years as President of National City Bank for Southeast Florida, and prior to that, he was Executive Vice President for Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust, where he had worked for more than 28 years.    

A third generation Floridian, Jay is active in the community and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Palm Beach County, the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, and the Board of Directors of Palm Healthcare Foundation.

In the banking industry, Jay has served at the State level on the Board of Directors of the Florida Bankers Association and at the National level on the board of America’s Community Bankers. He was named “Florida Banker of the Year” in 2006 by the Florida Bankers Association.

Jay encourages his employees to give back through community service team projects, and realizes that many people want to volunteer, but may not have the time or resources. He has given hundreds of employees the opportunity to volunteer during their working hours for projects ranging from Habitat for Humanity to assisting the homebound.

Jay is a graduate of Florida State University, and with his wife Michelle, and their children Joseph IV and Eric, resides in Tequesta, FL.



Leadership Excellence Award Nominees


Kathy Adams, Class of 1989

Leadership Excellence Award Nominee

Kathy Adams brings more than 27 years’ experience as the executive leader of a community-focused public relations corporation. She established MediaReach Public Relations in 1984. The firm has represented numerous corporations, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations in Florida and the U.S.

Kathy’s nonprofit experience includes volunteer services to many local and statewide organizations. She has served as chair of the Palm Beach County Early Learning Coalition, State Chairman and Executive Committee Member for Communities in Schools of Florida, and board member for Florida TaxWatch. She was a Gubernatorial Appointee to the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County from 2000-2008. She has also served on the Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability and the board of United Way of Palm Beach County.

Kathy’s service also includes membership on the State Board of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and Leadership Florida State Board of Directors. She has been recognized for her leadership skills and business acumen by numerous awards: Business Person of the Year – E.V.I.E. Award,  Leadership Florida Alumni of the Year award, ATHENA Leadership Award, and Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Women In Leadership Award, Private Sector.

Kathy and husband Eric have resided in Palm Beach for 35 years. Her daughter, Alexandra works for the NRDC, and son Todd is a legislative director in Congress. 



Kristen Calder, Class of 2009 

Leadership Excellence Award Nominee

Kristin Calder’s volunteer commitment to organizations in Palm Beach County spans several decades. 

She has dedicated 15 years of volunteer service to the Junior League of Boca Raton, including service as President and multiple terms on the Endowment Board of Directors. As a volunteer and board member she has helped the organization identify community needs and provide solutions that help women, families and children on issues that range from foster care to combating childhood obesity.

As a member of the Literacy Coalition Board of Directors, Kristin is an advocate for a new national campaign for Grade Level Reading, and is leading volunteer committees as co-chair of fundraising events such as the Great Grown Up Spelling Bee and American Girl Fashion Show. She has helped strategize and guide the Coalition in its efforts to build the Literacy Center for Education, Training and Outreach.

Kristin was an integral part of the 2010 “Read Together” campaign for Palm Beach County, appearing in public service announcements on TV and writing a book review for The Palm Beach Post website. Kristin’s energy and leadership helped connect thousands and raised awareness about literacy in our county. She has also served as a Mentor/Liaison with our AmeriCorps Volunteers.

With the George Snow Scholarship Fund, a county-wide scholarship foundation, Kristin is the leader who proves she can do anything to make a difference, from baking dozens of cookies for college “care packages” to training with a professional partner to dance in a “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser.



Patricia Fitzgerald, Class of 2004

Leadership Excellence Award Nominee

Patricia, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties Real Estate at Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart, was the 2011 president of Florida Realtors, the state’s largest professional association with more than 115,000 members.  Patricia has been active in local, state, and national real estate associations for more than three decades.

She is a former president of the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors and the Regional Multiple Listing Service.  She has chaired a number of committees and task forces at the local, state and national levels including the national communications committee where she oversaw development of a nation-wide TV campaign advertising the Realtor brand.  She is currently a member of the national association’s finance committee, and has been a director of the National Association of Realtors since 1999.

In the community, Patricia is a past president of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, and an active fundraiser for youth organizations, military activities and other civic organizations.  Pat is very dedicated to Renewal Coalition, Inc. (formerly “A Wounded Warriors Second Chance”) bringing wounded war veterans and their families to Jupiter for a dream vacation, and raising funds for wounded service men and women to aid and help one another. Pat became involved with Paws for Patriots which helps provide service dogs for veterans blinded during their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pat is married, a mom to three children and has five grandchildren.



Jack Lansing, Class of 2004

Leadership Excellence Award Nominee

Jack Lansing is a Vice President-Investments at UBS in Palm Beach, Florida. Jack and his team specialize in private client wealth management, family foundations, and institutional not-for-profit organizations.

Jack is a partner in the Lansing Hutcheon Wealth Management Group and has over 26 years of experience in the financial services industry in Palm Beach County.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Jack is active in the community and serves on the board and advisory board of several local organizations. He serves on the advisory council to the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, Quantum House, and AVDA. Jack is also active with Leadership Palm Beach County and helps to coordinate the 2012-2013 Leadership Program.

Jack is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and holds a Master Degree from Indiana University.   His wife Kim Lansing is a member of the staff at Palm Healthcare Foundation based in West Palm Beach, FL. 



Shannon LaRocque, Class of 2009

Leadership Excellence Award Nominee

Shannon is the Assistant County Administrator. She joined the County in 2005 as the Scripps Program Manager. Shannon worked in private consulting as a professional engineer and in Municipal Government prior to joining the County.

Shannon currently manages the Office of Economic Development, Water Utilities, Scripps Program, Max Planck and the Convention Center Hotel project and oversees the Department of Housing and Community Development. She serves as the liaison to the Housing Finance Authority, Workforce Development Board, Business Development Board, Westgate CRA and the Community Land Trust.

In 2012, Shannon received the Professional Engineers in Government Achievement and Service in the United States Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers. This Award recognizes one engineer working in the field of government, for outstanding leadership and service to the engineering profession.

Shannon currently sits on many boards in Palm Beach County including the Florida Engineers Management Corporation, Forum Club, and the Glades Utility Authority.



Beverlee Miller Raymond, Class of 2001

Leadership Excellence Award Nominee

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Beverlee moved to Palm Beach County in 1970 with her family. She is the founder of Royal Manor Estates, a 55+ community in Boynton Beach. Today Beverlee is Chairman/CEO of the business.

One of four children, Beverlee's sister was afflicted with polio & a quadriplegic until her death in 2011. Her brother, Jayme, is 58 and mentally challenged. He resides in a group home constructed by the family as part of Palm Beach Habilitation Center. Because of the assistance afforded her siblings Beverlee and her family have been active with March of Dimes and PBHC.  She has served on the board of directors of PBHC for 12 years. She and her husband are outlining plans to build a new group home to house mentally & physically disabled adults.

An alumni of Leadership Palm Beach County 2001,  she is currently a member of the board of directors of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and 211 Palm Beaches/Treasure Coast.

As a result of her multiple roles with PBHC, March of Dimes, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and 211 she made the business decision to create an organization dedicated to educating Palm Beach County about the existence of numerous lesser known charities that are deserving of public support.  The product of this decision was the creation of Extraordinary Charities.

The creation of Extraordinary Charities was funded by two private foundations in the spring of 2012. Through the efforts of Beverlee and Mary Hammond, Executive Director of EC, they examined information regarding  the 8,800 charities in Palm Beach County. From this massive group approximately 200 were selected as candidates for the inaugural directory. The end result was the selection of 51 charities with annual budgets of less than $3 million (and as low as $50,000) that serve the community in one of 5 categories: Cultural, Education, Human Services, Nature/Environmental & International.  The Directory was mailed to more than 15,000 households in Palm Beach County providing these charities with exposure and recognition that their budgets could not s