Foundation Staff

Five staff members enhance The Patterson Foundation’s work. Led by President and CEO Debra Jacobs, an agile staff complements our collaborative approach to philanthropy as our independent consultants provide strategic and tactical expertise through our initiatives.

Debra M. Jacobs

Debra M. Jacobs

President and CEO
Nancy Henry

Nancy Henry

Office Manager
Stacy Sternberg

Stacy Sternberg

Communications Coordinator
Stacey Gadeken

Stacey Gadeken

Administrative Support
Kiarra Louis

Kiarra Louis

Initiative Support Coordinator
Avery Crews Prado de Lima

Avery Crews Prado de Lima

TPF Fellow 2023/24
Alexa Carr

Alexa Carr

TPF Fellow 2023/24
Andrew Spector

Andrew Spector

TPF Fellow 2023/24

Debra M. Jacobs

President and CEO

In January 2009, Debra Jacobs became the President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation (TPF) based in Sarasota, Florida. TPF works with partners to accelerate positive change by sharing fresh perspectives on strategy, contributing new ideas, and providing resources. TPF believes the act of creative collaboration produces results and knowledge that can be applied more broadly to transcend any single act of philanthropy.

Before transitioning to TPF, Debra was President of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, based in Sarasota, Florida. In addition to the Selby Foundation, she was responsible for the administration of eight other independent foundations.

Prior to joining the Selby Foundation in May 1998, Debra was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement for Ringling College of Art and Design. Debra came to this position after 11 years as Executive Vice President for SunTrust Bank, Gulf Coast. Before joining SunTrust in December 1985, she was Senior Vice President and Retail Division Administrator of Central Trust Company in Rochester, New York.

Debra received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1971 and earned her MBA in 1981 from the University of Rochester.

Join Debra on Twitter: @DebraMJacobs

To contact Debra: djacobs@thepattersonfoundation.org

Nancy Henry

Office Manager

Nancy Henry joined The Patterson Foundation (TPF) in July 2010 as Office Manager, handling each and every aspect of TPF's office management as well as the President/CEO's calendar.

After moving to Sarasota, Florida, in January 2008, her love of animals and interest in animal welfare brought her communication and customer service skills to Animal Rescue Coalition as a Community Outreach Assistant for their spay/neuter program. This role soon led to her promotion to Office Manager.

Nancy's diverse 27-year administrative career began in Vancouver, British Columbia, working primarily in the lumber exporting industry in various senior administrative assistant roles, sales, customer service, and event planning.

With Florida now her home, her leisure time is spent with her husband, Dave, and all their fur babies.

Join Nancy on Twitter: @NancyJHenry

To contact Nancy: nhenry@thepattersonfoundation.org

Beth Duda

Director,

Since May 2015, Beth Duda has been one of the driving forces of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR). SCGLR is a four-county effort in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to help children from birth through 3rd grade, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in life. SCGLR efforts center around school readiness (ages 0-5), summer learning, strengthening attendance, and affirming that learning happens everywhere through strong community, family, and parent engagement opportunities.

As the director of SCGLR, Beth works closely with local lead partners—Community Foundation of Sarasota County, United Way Suncoast, and United Way of Charlotte County—to drive progress in the region. To embed lasting change, the future-focused partners strive to collaborate with every sector: people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media.

Multiple Pacesetter Honors from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (annually since 2014) affirm the success of SCGLR's collaborative effort and its work. Pacesetter Honors highlight communities that make measurable progress on key indicators of early school success, including early literacy and school readiness, chronic absenteeism and its effects on reading progress, and mitigating summer learning loss by connecting children with quality educational opportunities and programs.

Beth is the host of THIS BOOK IS COOL!, a web series designed to help foster a love of reading and learning for children in Pre-K through third grade. THIS BOOK IS COOL! webisodes, activity guides, and featured books provide numerous opportunities for children, parents, and families to engage in reading and learning.

An award-winning playwright and educator, Beth spent more than twenty years working with students and educators in elementary schools throughout Florida. In 2020, she used her playwriting skills to write Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, A Walk To Respect which The Patterson Foundation (TPF) produced in partnership with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe as part of TPF's 10th-anniversary celebration. Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass was presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in February 2023.

In her twenty-plus years of arts education, Beth's sensitive and visionary education and learning approach continues to inspire students, parents, and educators.

Beth is a proud member of Leadership Florida's Education Class IV, a statewide community of leaders working for a better Florida.

She was raised in Central New York and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY-Oswego.

Join Beth on Twitter: @duda_beth or @suncoastcglr

To contact Beth: bduda@thepattersonfoundation.org

Stacy Sternberg

Communications Coordinator

Stacy Sternberg believes that life experience forms a person, and her path to The Patterson Foundation (TPF) is anything but linear. She also believes that things happen for a reason, so when she decided to move back to Sarasota, the timing for TPF's call for a communications coordinator was serendipitous.

Stacy is responsible for optimizing communication strategies that maximize opportunities for TPF, including website management, social media efforts, and support for other public-focusing activities.

She holds a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Curious about diverse artistic experiences, she traveled to New Delhi, India, for a three-month art residency at Global Arts Village after completing her studies. Expanding her horizons further, she ventured to Mustique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she contributed her talents as a sculptor, fabricator, and liaison for William Massie Architecture and Sutherland Studios. Driven by an ever-growing curiosity for technology, Stacy's journey led her back to the U.S., where she immersed herself in studying digital programs. Shortly after, she was introduced to the nonprofit world and learned to bridge her creativity with social good.

Stacy is interested in many things, but currently, she spends her free time pursuing an M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy through TPF's Tuition Reimbursement Program, drawing, and enjoying quality time with her dog Elsie and her loved ones.

Join Stacy on Twitter: @TPFCommunicator

To contact Stacy: ssternberg@thepattersonfoundation.org

Stacey Gadeken

Administrative Support

Stacey Gadeken joined The Patterson Foundation in July 2017 as Administrative Support. She manages the schedule, coordinates lunches, and aids in other administrative duties as they arise.

Stacey has moved around her entire life, first as an Air Force brat and then as a coach’s wife. She lived in 11 states but, since 2012, Stacey is proud to call Bradenton her home.

In a past life, she was Mrs. Gadeken, a high school anatomy, biology, and chemistry teacher. In this life, when she is not changing the world at The Patterson Foundation, she volunteers at her sons’ schools, at church, and as a leader with the Boy Scouts. Stacey enjoys traveling, sewing, reading, and practicing martial arts.

Join Stacey on Twitter: @smwksu

To contact Stacey: sgadeken@thepattersonfoundation.org

Kiarra Louis

Initiative Support Coordinator
Kiarra Louis began working with The Patterson Foundation in fall 2020 while she was a senior at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus. In May 2021, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional and Technical Communication. Her educational background and passion for reading and writing have shaped her into an individual capable of creatively expressing ideas to diverse audiences using digital media and evolving applications to solve real-world problems critically.

As a first-generation college graduate, she is thankful for the support of her family, local foundations, organizations, and individuals throughout her academic journey. Thriving from the kindness and generosity of others, she is inspired to take a similar path of benevolence using her gifts, skills, and education.

She looks forward to learning, evolving, and strengthening herself and others through her work professionally and personally.

Join Kiarra on Twitter: @KlouisTPF

To contact Kiarra: klouis@thepattersonfoundation.org

Avery Crews Prado de Lima

TPF Fellow 2023/24

Avery Crews Prado de Lima joined The Patterson Foundation as its eighth fellow in June 2023. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Avery brings a willingness to learn and an undimmable sense of optimism.

Avery has a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies from Lindsey Wilson College. After graduating a year early in May 2020, she participated in an AmeriCorps VISTA Year of Service with Age-Friendly Louisville as the Leadership Director. This position and her undergraduate work with the Bonner Scholars Program pushed her toward a career in the nonprofit sector. Avery completed her Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in May 2023. She served as the graduate assistant for the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving and worked on projects at the intersection of faith and philanthropy. While completing her degree, Avery also earned her Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising from the Lake Institute and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fundraising School.

Avery is excited to learn from others through diverse experiences at The Patterson Foundation. She cares deeply for her community and hopes to bring compassion and willingness to all she does. Avery knows TPF will help her strengthen her skills and create the connective tissue she seeks.

Avery currently resides in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband, José Victor, and their frog, Mirtilo. Avery enjoys reading, art, and small creatures and is learning Portuguese.

Join Avery on Twitter: @AveryCPdL

To contact Avery: ACrewsPradodeLima@thepattersonfoundation.org

View Avery's Blog Library

Alexa Carr

TPF Fellow 2023/24

Alexa Carr joined The Patterson Foundation as its ninth fellow in July 2023.

Alexa graduated in May 2023 with her Philanthropic Studies MA from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Carr also completed her undergraduate years at IUPUI— majoring in Biology and Philanthropic Studies. Additionally, she completed her Certificate in Fund Raising Management through The Fund Raising School in 2023.

Prior to starting at TPF, Alexa held development, fundraising, and research roles at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, PATTERN, IU Health Foundation, and the IU Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics.

Alexa is excited to work alongside people who are passionate about making an equitable and intentional philanthropic impact in the community. She looks forward to learning from the team and developing as an innovative leader in the nonprofit sector.

Alexa is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, but she currently resides in Sarasota, Florida. She enjoys concerts, rock climbing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Join Alexa on Twitter: @ac_philanthropy

To contact Alexa: acarr@thepattersonfoundation.org

View Alexa's Blog Library

Andrew Spector

TPF Fellow 2023/24

Andrew Spector joined The Patterson Foundation as its tenth fellow in August 2023.

Prior to The Patterson Foundation, Andrew co-founded and directed Tulsa Changemakers, a K-12 youth leadership development and action organization working towards a future where Tulsa is a model city for youth-driven impact. Andrew started Tulsa Changemakers as a 6th-grade teacher and Teach For America corps member and incubated it under the nonprofit umbrella of Leadership Tulsa, working there as a Program Manager.

Andrew employs a values-based approach to leadership that is rooted in training from URJ Eisner Camp, Interfaith America, the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. In 2018, Andrew was honored with Oklahoma’s NextGen Under 30 Award.

Andrew is originally from Bedford, Massachusetts. He holds a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Honors College at College of Charleston.

Join Andrew on Twitter: @AndrewLSpector

To contact Andrew: ASpector@thepattersonfoundation.org

View Andrew's Blog Library


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