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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since May of 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 by ensuring they read on grade level.
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, business, 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 a proud member of Leadership Florida's Education Class IV, a statewide community of leaders working for a better Florida.
She has written, co-written, and created several one-act plays performed for thousands of school-aged children. Recently, she used her playwriting skills to write Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass, A Walk to Respect, which The Patterson Foundation produced in partnership with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe as part of TPF's 10th-anniversary celebration, Honoring & Onward.
An award-winning playwright and educator, Beth spent more than twenty years working with students and educators in elementary schools as part of the Education Department of Florida Studio Theatre. These experiences fueled her commitment to deepening community connections to improve reading proficiency in our region and beyond. 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 was raised in Central New York and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY-Oswego.
To contact Beth: email@example.com
Stacy Sternberg believes that life experience forms a person, and her path to becoming the Communications Coordinator for 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 executing strategies that maximize communications opportunities for TPF, including website updates, newsletters, support for social media efforts, and support for other public-focusing activities.
Stacy holds a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Upon graduation, she traveled to New Delhi, India, for a three-month art residency at Global Arts Village. After completion, she spent a brief time in the United States working for William Massie Architecture before traveling to Mustique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In Mustique, she worked as a sculptor, fabricator, and liaison for both William Massie Architecture and Sutherland Studios. As she evolved, her passions grew to include the digital world as a creative outlet. Eventually, Stacy returned to the United States where she studied digital programs. Shortly after, Stacy was introduced to the nonprofit world at Home of New Vision in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she learned to bridge her creativity with social good.
Stacy is interested in many things, but most currently, she is developing her growth mindset, continuing her work in drawing, experimenting with creative baking, and embarking on her newest hobby, topiaries!
Join Stacy on Twitter: @TPFCommunicator
To contact Stacy: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Hannah Saeger Karnei
Inaugural TPF Fellow
Hannah works with the CEO and president of The Patterson Foundation (TPF) on high-value strategic projects to continue innovation across community engagement, research and evaluation, and system networks. As a special projects manager, Hannah focuses on creating and managing multidimensional projects across all of TPF's initiatives.
Hannah received her master's degree in philanthropic studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world's first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy.
Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Hannah worked in marketing and communication before pursuing her passion in philanthropy. She is inspired to propel the aspirations of individuals, organizations, and communities through the innovative use of philanthropy to create brighter futures.
During her fellowship, Hannah has authored more than 40 blogs, which you can view here.
Along with her husband Kyle, Hannah enjoys traveling, good food, books, organizing, and spending time with family and friends.
Join Hannah on Twitter: @therealhsk1
To contact Hannah: firstname.lastname@example.org
TPF Fellow 2020/21
John Ferguson joined The Patterson Foundation as a fellow in April 2020. His fellowship consists of collaborating within and managing multiple special projects across different initiatives to provide strategic value and further innovation. His primary roles include managing the Digital Access for All initiative and extensive involvement with Advancing Mission Thrivability and Patriot Plaza.
John received his degree from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world's first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy. He was named Chancellor's Scholar for his graduating class and proudly serves on the Alumni Board for the school.
Before joining TPF, he spent three years with Indiana United Ways in various roles dedicated to supporting all local United Ways throughout Indiana. Prior to that, John was in hospitality for more than 18 years in a myriad of roles, including trainer and manager. He is passionate about helping people and organizations thrive.
John is a huge Chicago Cubs fan and avid concert-goer (pre-COVID). He enjoys connecting with friends and family, fantasy football, and discovering new music in his free time.
Join John on Twitter: @TheRealJohnFerg
To contact John: jFerguson@thepattersonfoundation.org
TPF Fellow 2020/21
Abby Rolland joined The Patterson Foundation as a fellow in June 2020. She will work across and manage different, innovative initiatives that help create change in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.
Abby graduated from Gettysburg College with a bachelor’s degree in history and the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy with a master’s degree in philanthropic studies. She also holds a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Previously, she worked in marketing and communications for the Indianapolis-based nonprofit Second Helpings and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with The Patterson Foundation to spark innovative change and collaborate across sectors to enhance philanthropy and community.
In her free time, Abby enjoys spending time with her husband Cory, friends and family, reading, traveling, running, and scrapbooking.
Join Abby on Twitter: @AbbyRolland4
To contact Abby: aRolland@thepattersonfoundation.org