STAFF

TRANSFORMING TEACHING & LEARNING

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President & CEO

Robert L. Hamon

Bob Hamon has served as the Chief Executive Officer of CCE since 2011 when he transitioned from being a consultant for the organization to its full-time leader. Hamon uses his extensive background in management and strategy to work effectively with the community, Board of Directors and CCE staff, on finance, development and programming issues. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of CCE, Hamon works to devise long-range strategies to carry out its mission. Hamon has over 30 years of experience in executive positions in healthcare. He served as Senior VP of Group Purchasing Services for the largest health care purchasing group in the US until 2005 and remained as a consultant until 2007. He then opened his own consulting practice, RH Consulting, with a focus on strategic and operation performance.

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Chief Operations Officer

Jerry Crank

Jerry Crank is responsible for overseeing CCE programming involving approximately 13,000 children and 40 Teaching Artists. He coordinates programming, evaluates performance and suggests strategies for improvement. Jerry joined CCE in 2012 and has grown the program, as well as improved its quality. Crank has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Masters of Arts from Marshall University. He taught Pre-K through 8th grade for 7 years and is certified at the Maestro level by Kindermusik International. He joined the faculty of Marshall University, conducting classes in whole-child development.

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Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Robert Southworth

Dr. Southworth has a deep knowledge of educational policy, rigorous research, K-12 school reform, authentic assessment and job-embedded professional development. Dr. Southworth’s school reform strategies such as arts integration depends on the trust established between teaching artists and teachers. Peer-to-peer professional development and gatherings are needed to exchange ideas about instructional excellence and to share the latest research findings. Dr. Southworth has honed his project management skills into professional discussions in a multi-model approach to prepare, support and launch instructional excellence. Dr. Southworth has taught at Teachers College Columbia University, the Bank Street College of Education and Adelphi University. Dr. Southworth received degrees from Dartmouth College, Tufts University, Harvard University and his Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University. He has worked with the United States Department of Education on four AEMDD grants, the New York State Regents to change state testing and assessment, the New York State Council on the Arts as their evaluator, the Rochester City School District to conduct two of those AEMDD grants, and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic on the other two AEMDD grants.

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Chief Financial Officer

John Pescosolido

John has served as the Director of Fiscal Operations since 2007. He manages the preparation and approval of the organization‘s budget, revenue and expenses, monthly financial reports, Accounts Receivables and Payables. He has prior experience in non-profit management where he developed and executed a variety of successful fundraising and development activities. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, John has spent most of his professional career working with Hewlett Packard subsidiary, Electronic Data Systems. He holds Bachelor degrees in Business Administration as well as Health Services.

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Arts Integration Curriculum Specialist

Emily Ankerson

Emily Ankerson is a professional educator with expertise in curriculum writing and arts integration. She has a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and extensive experience writing integrated curriculum at classroom, school-based, and district-wide levels. Additionally, she brings over 15 years experience as a classroom teacher in kindergarten through 6th grade and maintains current teaching certification through the Florida Department of Education. At CCE, Ms. Ankerson works on developing arts-integrated curriculum that aligns with local and national standards, and works closely with CCE’s Teaching Artists to help them develop engaging, meaningful content to help students reach learning goals through the Arts. She helps create and implement impactful professional development opportunities at CCE for educators and Teaching Artists, and other programming that brings the power of arts integration to the education community. Ms. Ankerson also manages CCE’s afterschool outreach program (CADRE).

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Program Coordinator

Ronni Gerstel

Ronni Gerstel had been the site coordinator at Lantana Elementary, and also oversaw the LEAPs in Kindergarten at Barton Elementary. Ronni graduated Ithaca College with a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. However, in her senior year she focused on doing an Independent Study in Art Therapy, changing the course of her career path . Ronni is an original LEAP artist who has been involved in shaping the program since its pilot in 1995. With a focus on puppetry arts and classroom “museums”, she has received numerous awards for “Best Collaboration” over the years. Her LEAPs have been featured in the documentary “Project LEAP : Learning Out Loud” by NY filmmaker Emma Joan Morris, and in several stories by the Education Network, Palm Beach County School District’s television station. Outside of CCE, Ronni is the lead designer for the South Florida Day of the Dead processional for the past nine years. She also tours her original educational puppet production, Tales of Togetherness, which was commissioned by the Holocaust Studies Department of the Palm Beach School District, to teach First graders about tolerance.

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Executive Assistant

Vivianne Hall

Vivianne Hall began working at CCE in 2015 and continues supporting the organization, primarily through helping identify and engage current and potential donors and sponsors. In addition to fundraising, she helps coordinate special events and donor relations to ensure continued and future growth for CCE. She has a B.A. in communications from Washington State University which enabled her to work for more than two decades in electronic and print media, while at the same time, devoting time and energies to local nonprofits. She has a passion for helping at-risk populations, especially young children and their families.

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Director of Research and Program Evaluation

Dr. Elizabeth Hallmark

As Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Hallmark is responsible for designing research and analyzing data that supports and strengthens CCE’s educational impact and cohesiveness. She brings more than 15 years of experience to CCE as an educator with a reputation for creating innovative curricula for students and adults. An expert writer, she is skilled at synthesizing divergent ideas into proposals and programming. She served four years as a board member of the Rochester City School District and helped rewrite the most recent arts standards as a member of New York State’s Arts Learning Standards Review Committee. She has a passion for improving educators’ collaborative skills with art professionals in the practice of high-quality arts integration. Over the last decade, she has taught research, writing, and arts integration at Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, and University of Rochester as an adjunct professor. Dr. Hallmark holds a Bachelor’s in English from Mount Holyoke College, a Master’s in Dance Movement Therapy from Antioch/New England, and a PhD in Education from the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education with a focus on Curriculum and Teaching.

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Director of Grants Management and Research

Alex Hernandez

Alex is responsible for researching grants and funding sources who are a match for the work of CCE. The research portion plays a large and important part of this role in identifying donors and foundations with the greatest capacity to give. Coordinating the collection of all required to complete an LOI, or a full grant proposal. Alex was previously a Program Director for almost three years at a local non-profit. He has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California.

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Director of Schools

Dr. Kevin Kovacs

As Director of Schools at CCE, Kevin Kovacs is responsible for the oversight of our school programs which will include Northwood Academy Afterschool Program, as well as the opening of our pre-kindergarten/VPK and the Foundations Charter School. Dr. Kevin Kovacs started his career in Boston, Massachusetts. From this beginning to joining CCE, his passion as an educator has been driven by the disciplines of music, visual, and performing arts to inform academic achievement. Dr. Kevin Kovacs has been an administrator in the Palm Beach County public schools for several years, including the past seven years as principal at an innovative K-8 public charter school. For the past ten years, he has been an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College, teaching in the Education and Social Science departments. Dr. Kovacs holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts, a Masters’ degree in Education (with concentration in curriculum design and instructional methodologies) from UMASS, Boston, and a Doctorate Degree in Education with a focus on child and family studies, statistical analysis, and school administration.

 
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Media Arts Instructor

Erick Marquez

Erick Marquez serves as a Media Arts Instructor for CCE. Erick Adrian Marquez is a published comic book artist, sculptor, and muralist, with a style that’s bold and unique. He is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. His professional experience began with an internship at Warner Bros./DC Comics in New York City and has created for a wide array of clients, ranging from AT&T/Verizon to Conan O’Brien’s comic book biography. Aside from being a full time freelance artist, Erick teaches visual art and music, locally, in workshops and studios.

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Director, In House Operations

Jonathon Ortiz-Smykla

Jonathon manages the programming within CCE’s facility located in Northwood Village, West Palm Beach. This includes the annual season of exhibitions within the Sallie & Berton Korman Gallery, performance schedule in the Hilton Theater, and the Media Arts, after-school programming. He ensures that all three of these components work together to complement our charitable mission while welcoming the public to experience CCE’s unique offerings and events. He manages CCE’s marketing through multiple social platforms and within the community. With an impressive resume and 15+ year career in the design field, Jonathon has been long dedicated to the arts and CCE’s local Northwood community. In 2012, prior to joining CCE, he became a Northwood gallerist, director and artist-in-residence at OSGS Gallery. Jonathon holds a bachelor of science in environmental design and master’s degree in landscape architecture from Auburn University.

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Facilities Manager

Nelson Pino

Nelson Pino serves as the coordinator of internal operations, while performing a wide range of administrative activities, and front desk security. As the CADRE program assistant he collects reports for Primetime and inputs data. He also coordinates necessary maintenance for the Center and organizes the volunteer program. Nelson is from Cali, Colombia in South America. He holds a degree as an Industrial Engineer from Universidad Autonoma of Occidente in Cali and a master of Total Quality Control and Management from Valley University.

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Program Coordinator

Tracy Rosof-Petersen

Tracy Rosof-Petersen has been the site coordinator for CCE’s Arts for Literacy Program at Barton Elementary for first through third grades. She has worked with CCE as a Teaching Artist in curriculum-based in- and out-of-school programming more than two decades. Using clay as her medium, Tracy is an accomplished public artist who has created site specific architectural and sculptural tile murals throughout Palm Beach County. She is rooted in her community with many collaborative arts partnerships created with other artists, cooperative galleries and nonprofit organizations. Tracy continues to work from her home-based EarthArtists Clay studio, collaborating on public art projects and creating architectural and functional commissions.

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Manager Of Technology Services And Instruction

Dwayne Taylor

Dwayne manages the largest iMac Lab in Palm Beach County and the only educational, digital theater in the state of Florida. Dwayne comes to CCE from the City of West Palm Beach Youth Empowerment Center where he developed and managed the Digital Literacy program that helped to reduce youth crime in the Northwood area by twenty five percent. (25%) He teaches classes in Final Cut Pro, and the entire Adobe Creative Suite. Dwayne is also the Owner of Taylor Productions and the CEO of 3Tentertainment which keep him updated on the fast moving technological advances and industry trends. Dwayne holds a BFA in Film and Television from the University of Southern California (USC).