Category Archive: Board Members

Winter Park Holiday Parade 2018

On Saturday, December 8, 2018, JFS Orlando participated for the first time in the 66th Annual Winter Park Holiday Parade, the oldest continuous holiday parade in Central Florida. JFS was one of more than 80 organizations that participated. 34th in line, the JFS Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry van rolled down the parade along with shopping carts filled with food to represent the vital role the pantry plays in feeding the hungry in the Winter Park community. 29 volunteers, staff, and Board members accompanied the van waving and handing out cards describing the mission of JFS and encouraging onlookers to visit and volunteer.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the word out there about JFS and the good work that we do,” said Interim Executive Director, Mike McKee. “Although we’ve been a part of the community for over 40 years, many people still don’t know about JFS. We’re still ‘the best kept secret’ in the neighborhood. We hope participating in the parade will introduce us to some new folks and remind others that we’re still here, whether you need our help or are looking to help.”

November 2018 Board Corner: Dick Appelbaum

Dick and Dottie Appelbaum, JFS Orlando Pantry to Plate 2014

Dick Appelbaum has been a member of the JFS Board since 2012. He grew up in the Bronx, NY and attended Hunter College. He moved to Orlando, FL in 1962 to work for Tupperware as a buyer of motivational and incentive gifts and awards. Soon after, he married his wife Dottie and had three daughters, Ali, Jill, and Julie.

After ten years with Tupperware, Dick decided to start his own business, The Dick Appelbaum Company. It soon became a family business, including Dottie, her mom Rose, and daughter Ali. They were even honored with the first Partnership Award presented by the Direct Selling Association. After 35 years, Dick retired from the family business and passed on the specialty division, Richard’s Incentives, to his daughter Ali.

Dick and Dottie Appelbaum and friends, JFS Spring Brunch 2016

Since a young age, community service was important to Dick, a member of the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and later the National Guard. He and his friends even started a chapter of APO, a scouting based service fraternity, at Hunter. Here in Orlando, Dick has served as President of the JCC twice, was chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, and currently sits on the board of Kinneret, JFS Orlando, the Jewish Pavilion, and other local agencies and associations.

Dick and Dottie Appelbaum, JFS Orlando Spring Brunch 2015

Besides his many awards and accolades, however, Dick says his greatest rewards have been his daughters, son-in-laws, and grandchildren. “My grandparents are the most loving people I’ve ever met,” says granddaughter Carly. “They taught me to think of others first and to give back to my community.”*

And JFS Orlando has surely felt this love and generosity and could not be more grateful to have Dick as one of its leaders.

*Orlando’s Jewish Lifestyle Magazine, Spring 2018 Vol. 2 Issue 1, pg 28-29

Interested in helping families in crisis right here in Central Florida? Apply to join our Board of Directors by completing an application and emailing it to Executive Director, Eric Geboff at

Remembering Madeline Wolly

Madeline Wolly, 1996-1998 JFS Orlando Board President

Madeline Wolly, 1996-1998 JFS Orlando Board President

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of Madeline Wolly, one of the longest serving JFS Orlando Board members who recently passed away on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Sometimes affectionately called “Mrs. JFS,” Madeline was a long-time supporter and a great friend of the Agency. As a founder and past President of JFS, Madeline, along with her husband George, worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the less fortunate. So much so that our very building was named in honor of her late husband, George Wolly.

Madeline and George Wolly attending a JFS Orlando event.

Madeline and George Wolly attending a JFS Orlando event.

Madeline began her Jewish communal work in 1985 when she and George first joined the JFS Board of Directors. For many years, she raised funds and awareness for her beloved JFS so that the most vulnerable in our community could be helped. After joining the Board, she chaired mostly every committee and event and served as President from 1996 – 1998. She was most recently serving as Board Member Emeritus and continued to be a very active member, still attending meetings and events.

Madeline was an integral part of a team of volunteers, donors, and professional staff which help our neighbors in the greatest of need, regardless of their race, religion, or place in life. For her hard work and dedication to JFS, she was honored with the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at the 2015 Spring Brunch.

Madeline Wolly and family. Madeline received the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at the 2015 JFS Orlando Spring Brunch.

Madeline Wolly and family. Madeline received the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at the 2015 JFS Orlando Spring Brunch.

An amazing and caring woman, and the epitome of what JFS Orlando stands for, Madeline Wolly will be sorely missed by all. Please join us in sending our heartfelt condolences and prayers for Madeline and her family and friends.

A Tribute to Paul A. Grossman

Husband, father, grandfather, and philanthropist, Paul A. Grossman passed away on July 29, 2018. Paul grew up in Jersey City, learning moral values as a young Eagle Scout. He graduated with a Business degree from Washington University in St. Louis and went on to work in retail for several years. As a furniture buyer for Macy’s New York, Paul gained the experience and knowledge required to begin a career as a manufacturer’s representative in 1967.In 1986, he joined Natuzzi Upholstery where he was recognized as a top salesperson worldwide before he retired in 1997.

Paul was known and loved by his grandchildren as “Poppie.” In their words, he was “truly the epitome of good.” He knew the importance of kindness and compassion. Paul and his wife, Barbara Grossman, have been long-time supporters of JFS Orlando. Not only did Paul serve on the JFS Board, but he regularly volunteered in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry and enjoyed interacting with clients. In honor of their commitment to JFS, the Grossmans were awarded the JFS Orlando Community Leadership Award at the JFS 35th Anniversary Fine Art Fiesta in 2013.

Board member, Tayler Gold, awarding Barbara and Paul Grossman at the Fine Art Fiesta in 2013 for their contributions and accomplishments, both as long-term JFS contributors and as community patrons.

We will miss Paul and are forever grateful for his support. His contributions and accomplishments have truly made a lasting impression in the Central Florida community. Join us and keep Paul, his wife Barbara, and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Barbara and Paul Grossman at the JFS Orlando Spring Brunch in 2015.

A Tribute to Harriett Lake

JFS Orlando leadership team with honoree, Harriett Lake, at the 2011 Spring Fiesta.

An incredible woman and philanthropist, we take a moment to remember Harriett Lake who passed away in July. Harriett was a generous and devoted supporter of many organizations in Central Florida, including JFS Orlando. In 2011, our Spring Fiesta, “Harriett’s CanCan”, honored Harriett for her many years of support to JFS Orlando. We are so grateful for Harriett’s past support! Please join us in keeping Harriett, her children – Shelley and Michael – and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

Harriett Lake and Community Leadership Award
Long time JFS supporter and Board Member Craig Pearlman presenting the JFS Orlando Community Leadership Award at the 2011 JFS Spring Fiesta.

Harriett Lake and "Fiesta friends"
Harriett and “friends” at the JFS Orlando 2011 Spring Fiesta.

July 2018 Board Corner: Marty Sherman

Marty Sherman, Regional Vice President for Landry’s Inc., has been a member of the JFS Orlando Board of Directors for 16 years and served as President for four years. His company, Landry’s is also an ardent supporter of JFS, both financially and with in-kind donations. Marty has lived in Dr. Phillips, Florida for 21 years after relocating to Central Florida from Maui. His wife, Hope works for Walt Disney World, his daughter is a sophomore at UF and his son is a senior at Dr. Philips High School.

Marty serves on the JFS board and the Community Kitchen Advisory Board at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida because he is passionate about all efforts focused on solving the problem of hunger in Central Florida. By supporting the mission of JFS he hopes to “help those in our community who cannot help themselves, and to teach those in our community the skills they need to eventually help themselves.” If this mission is successful, in the next 40 years, he hopes the community will no longer need help from organizations like JFS.

Interested in helping families in crisis right here in Central Florida? Apply to join our Board of Directors by completing an application and emailing it to

June 2018 Board Corner: Mike McKee

Mike has served as JFS Orlando’s Board President since 2013 and as a Board Member since 2009. He holds both a degree in economics and an MBA from Rollins College. He lives in Maitland, Florida, with his wife and two sons. Mike is the President of Inspire Capital Management, LLC. and holds a CFP® designation. In 2017, he authored BIG INCOME – Creating Wealth with Covered Calls, available on Amazon. He also coaches Little League Baseball.

When asked why he serves on the Board for JFS Orlando, Mike replied, “JFS provides a unique opportunity to provide a hand up to families in crisis. We hear so many awful stories on the local news. People are suffering right here in Central Florida. JFS gives me an opportunity to do something about it. I love that I’m able to help out with such a worthy cause.”

Interested in helping families in crisis right here in Central Florida? Apply to join our Board of Directors by completing an application and emailing it to

May 2018 Board Corner: Lynn Minkow

As JFS Orlando celebrates 40 years of serving the community, we take a moment and highlight one of our board members. Lynn Minkow is the daughter of Audrey and David Pearlman, who were avid supporters of JFS Orlando, and provided the funding that endowed the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry. 

Lynn is a graduate of Tulane University and holds an MBA in Marketing from New York University. She has 2 children and one grandson. She has been a fashion stylist with the Etcetera Collection for 18 years, and works nationally with the company. Her hobbies are oil painting, yoga and Pilates and worldwide travel.  

When asked why she serves on the board for JFS Orlando, Lynn replied, “I serve to continue the vision and work of my parents. The work of JFS impacts so many of the less fortunate in our community and it is a way that I am able to help make a positive difference in their lives.” Lynn hopes that JFS will still be helping the Central Florida community in the next 40 years.

Interested in making a positive impact in the community? Apply to join our Board of Directors by completing an application and emailing it to

Hurricane Irma

hurricane-irma-satellite-noaa-ht-jc-170905_12x5_992Hurricane Irma Update: Irma has left many Central Floridians without the most basic of needs: food, water and shelter. JFS Orlando has addressed those exact needs for nearly 40 years and we continue to open our doors and outstretch our hands to lift up those in need. After a natural disaster, it is amazing to see a community band together and help neighbors in need. Now that we have begun to pick up the pieces, many of you are asking how you can help. We have listed our most urgent Agency needs below and appreciate your support!

1. DONATE NON-PERISHABLE FOOD. Our Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry is expecting numbers to continue to rise as power is restored and citizens are able to replenish their food that spoiled. Donations can be dropped off at our building located at The George Wolly Center 2100 Lee Rd., Winter Park, FL 32789.
2. MONETARY DONATIONS. Much of the food we give out through the pantry is purchased from a local food bank. Every dollar donated turns into $6 worth of purchasing power to supplement what we do not get donated from the community. Donations can be made online at or by calling Amanda Benedit at 407-644-7593 ext. 227
3. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME. Our food pantry is staffed by a wonderful core group of volunteers, however, with increased numbers of clients we will likely extend our pantry hours and need your help to distribute food to those in need. You can apply to become a volunteer by calling Amanda Benedit 407-644-7593 ext. 227.

For additional information on how you can help with Hurricane Irma Relief, please visit or call 407-644-7593.

JFS Orlando receives $50,000 for FSP!

Check presentationJFS Orlando recently received a $50,000 grant from the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund. The grant will support JFS Orlando’s Family Stabilization Program.

The Family Stabilization Program is designed to help family’s improve overall stability and self-sufficiency. This program assists clients with budgeting, individual financial counseling, mental health counseling and providing case management to help improve their educational and/or employment status. 

“We are more than grateful for the generous support that the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund has provided JFS Orlando over the past 15 years,” says JFS Orlando Executive Director Eric Geboff. “The Family Stabilization Program continues to grow every year, and the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund has helped expand our services to assist more families in need.”

In 2016, JFS Orlando assisted 101 families through the Family Stabilization Program and had a 96% success rate. The success rate is determined by the completion of the 6-month program and improvement to their overall stability and self-sufficiency.

$585,000 was distributed to 13 nonprofit organizations in Central Florida through the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund in this grant cycle.