Our Board is made up of diverse and skilled professionals who are passionate about education and youth. They have dedicated countless hours and efforts to ensure the organization runs smoothly. We are truly grateful for their dedication to our mission.

Meet The Board

Lynne W. Gassant

Founder, Executive Director

Scholar Career Coaching

Virtual HR & Company

Dr. Eddie Ruiz

Board President

Charter School USA

Gillian Ebanks Knowles

 Board Vice-President

Chase Bank

Lisa Rabinsky

VP/Finance Director

Southstate Bank

Laurie B. Myers

Executive Secretary

Director of HR

Roadsafe Traffic

 

Mario F. Guzman

Director of Workforce Readiness

City of Boynton Beach

Jorge Bastos

Director of Business Social Impact

Essentia

Danielle A. Sherriff

General Board Member

Palm Beach County School Board

V. Danielle Williams

Director of Scholarships

Palm Beach County School Board

Shelley Komitor

Director of Events

HR On Demand

Valeska Martins

Director of Corporate Giving & Partnerships

Leadership Career Life Coach

Board of Directors Bios

Lynne W. Gassant, Founder, Executive Director: Born in Haiti and grew up in Delray Beach, Lynne is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to complete a college education. While still in her early 20s and completing her undergraduate studies in 2012, Lynne founded Scholar Career Coaching so that other students, much like her, could excel in their academics too—with the proper support, success strategies, and mentorship. Lynne is passionate about education and aims to bridge the education gap for minority students. 

 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in public management from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree in human resources management from Florida International University. Lynne is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and a former advisory board member for the City of Boynton Beach Education & Youth. As Scholar CC’s founder, she still manages to live a full, well-rounded life as an HR consultant/business owner, a wife, a mother of two, and a big sister. Lynne attributes much of her success to her hard-working parents, who made sacrifices to give her a better life and education in the US.

 

Two fun facts about Lynne, she enjoys Korean TV Drama, and in 2017 she competed in the Mrs. Florida United States Pageant as Mrs. Palm Beach County. She was 4th Runner Up! To read Lynne’s full story, visit: scholarcc.com/our-story

Dr. Eddie Ruiz , Board President: Dr. Ruiz serves as our newly appointed Vice President at Scholar CC and is the current Florida State Director for Charter Schools USA. Prior to his current role, Ruiz served as an Assistant Superintendent of the Division of Student Services, Equity, and Access for the School District of Palm Beach County. He holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

He served 15 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal and has worked passionately to ensure that all students receive a quality education that will equip them with the skills needed for post-secondary education and employment in today’s ever-changing world. Influenced to become an educator as a result of being impacted by caring educators who saw talents in him, Dr. Ruiz’s mission is to inspire and motivate the next generation, one student at a time. He is excited to be part of the Scholar Career Coaching board and to continue serving our students and leading the organization forward strategically.

Gillian Ebanks Knowles, Board Vice President: Gillian serves as our appointed Vice President at Scholar CC. Professionally she works as a Vice President – Branch Manager at JP Morgan Chase Bank & Co. She has over 15 years of experience in the lending and financial services industry.

Gillian has aided our community through past organizations like Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness; The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum; The Florida Bar Association’s Grievance Committee, and Harvard University, where she serves as an Ambassador and Candidate in their Business Analytics Program. She expects to utilize her skills in finance, technology, marketing, and leadership to support the growth and development of Scholar Career Coaching programs.

Lisa Rabinsky, VP/Finance Director: Lisa joined the Scholar Career Coaching Board of Directors in 2014 and took over the role of Finance Director. She is a Florida native who attended Palm Beach State College. She has 30+ years of experience in banking and commercial finance and is a top performer in her industry. She is currently Senior Vice President at SouthState Bank in her role as a Commercial Relationship Manager. She has provided the expertise to help in growing SCC revenues and managing our finances. 

Lisa has been active with many nonprofits for over 30 years; our focus on disadvantaged youth was the primary reason for joining our board.

Laurie Myers, Executive Secretary, Director of HRLaurie Myers is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR/SHRM-CP) with 20+ years of HR experience as a Generalist, Consultant, and Manager. Her HR work history includes supporting wholesale distribution/sales, retail sales, non-profit, governmental organizations, and manufacturing. Laurie is currently an HR Business Partner for RoadSafe Traffic Systems, supporting the Florida Region.

While originally from Chicago, IL, Laurie is a long-time Floridian, having graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. In her spare time, she volunteers with a few non-profits, including Executive Secretary of Scholar Career Coaching, Palm Beach County SHRM, and All-For-One Pet Rescue, where she fosters abandoned puppies. Laurie lives with her daughter, Lily, their two dogs, and three cats.

Mario F. Guzman, Director of Workforce Readiness: Mario has over twenty years of experience in government operations and is currently the director of public works for the City of Boynton Beach. He is a practitioner of servant leadership and is passionate in ensuring the team is working to its best potential. After originally starting in the skilled trades field, he transitioned into executive management to make impactful changes in operations. Mario has presented as keynote speaker and facilitated numerous trainings to various groups on his leadership philosophy and how to engage team members.  He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University and is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County class of 2020. As a board member he is enthusiastic in creating young leaders.

Jorge Bastos, Director of Business Social Impact:  Jorge has been a board member since August 2021. He is a Leadership and Executive Coach, and a partner at Essentia Integrative Solutions, a company dedicated to the professional and personal growth of senior executives. His main focus is to support and coach BIPOC leaders in large corporations to realize their full potential and reach higher levels in their careers. Jorge has had a successful executive career as a C-Suite leader in global corporations. He has lived in the US, the UK, Brazil, and Argentina, and has worked across more than 30 countries. He presently lives in Miami, FL.

Jorge is passionate about reducing inequality and providing everyone with the same opportunities for growth and success. His main objective is to develop partnerships with companies so SCC can expand and provide support to a higher number of students.

Danielle A. Sherriff, General Board Member: Danielle is a Senior Litigation Attorney for the School District of Palm Beach County.  She is an experienced trial attorney, having tried over 100 jury and non-jury trials. Prior to joining the School District, Danielle was a personal injury attorney and an Assistant State Attorney in Palm Beach County for over 13 years. While at the State Attorney’s office, she was chief of the Traffic Homicide Unit where she supervised a team responsible for the prosecution of crimes such as DUI Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide, and Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death in addition to other criminal traffic offenses. Prior to that role, she prosecuted felony cases of all levels, including burglaries, robberies, sexual batteries, and attempted homicides.

Danielle has a strong commitment to the legal community and the community at large. She currently serves as a commissioner for the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics and has served as President of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association. She is also an active member of several committees within the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the Florida Bar.  Danielle is a mentor for both high school and law school students. She regularly speaks at local schools in her efforts to help educate students about the law, ethics, and civics. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of Florida. She is excited to be a part of the Scholar Career Coaching board to help support highly motivated students.

Valeska Martins, Director of Corporate Giving & Partnerships:  Originally from Brazil, Valeska has been living abroad for the past 28 years. Her immersive multicultural experiences include extended occupational residencies in Japan, the UK, and the U.S., as well as in Brazil. She has 26 years of experience as a Psychologist and a licensed psychotherapist in Brazil, Japan and the UK.

Currently she is a leadership, career and life coach, living in Miami, Florida. She was a university lecturer in Brazil, teaching courses in applied psychology, fundamentals of philosophy, and ethics. Along with her educational background in psychology, she also has a Master of Arts degree in Psychoanalytic Approaches from the Tavistock Clinic in London, and Consulting and Coaching Certificates from the NTL Institute in Washington D.C. and the University of Miami, respectively. Combined with her academic endeavors, international exposure has provided her with the invaluable resources and experiences necessary to best serve communities from diverse backgrounds. Passionate about education and with a strong believe that education is the golden path to change lives and changing the world, Valeska joint Scholar Career Coaching in September 2022.

V. Danielle Williams, Director of Scholarships:  V. Danielle is a Senior Attorney with the Office of General Counsel for the School Board of Palm Beach County, where she handles labor and employment litigation claims brought against the School Board.

Previously Williams was the Manager of the Office of Equal Opportunity where lead a team of investigators focused on discrimination in housing, employment, and places of accommodation in Palm Beach County. She was also an Assistant Public Defender with the 15th Judicial Circuit for nearly 8 years. V. Danielle has a strong commitment to her community at large. She was the Chair of the Delta GEMS, a mentor with Take Stock in Children, and a member of the youth choir at Payne Chapel AME. V. Danielle is a member of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Bar Association (Employment Law Section), Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Sheree Davis Cunningham Black Women Lawyers Association, and the Florida Bar. She is a graduate of the Florida Bar Leadership Academy and mentors high school and middle school age students and assists in educating students about the legal field. V. Danielle joined the Scholar Career Coaching board to further assist students in beginning their collegiate careers. 

Shelley Komitor, Director of Events:  Shelley serves as our newly appointed Director of Events at Scholar CC.  She is an HR Professional with certifications as a Senior Human Resources Professional (SPHR) with the Human Resource Certification Institute. Additionally, she is a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) with the Society for Human Resource Professionals.  She has over 30 years’ experience working in the hospitality industry, as a Director of Human Resources at several luxury hotels and private country clubs, including 15 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in New York City and Palm Beach.  She began her career in Human Resources/Operations at high end department stores, including Bloomingdales and Bonwit Teller in New York. 

More recently, Shelley started her own HR company, HR on Demand, specializing in Executive Placement for hospitality companies.  She enjoys matching qualified executives to companies with hiring needs. Shelley loves seeing the development of individuals to grow and flourish and achieve success for both them and the companies they work for. Originally from New York, Shelley graduated from the University of Miami and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.  She lives in Boca Raton with her husband Mitchell and their miniature schnauzer Chloe. She looks forward to assisting with the goals and growth of Scholar CC, specifically in planning and developing special events to raise awareness and revenue to further support Scholar CC.