Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Welcomes Seven New Leaders


PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL – Seven leading businesswomen have been invited to join the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, based upon their stellar business accomplishments, charitable involvements and community impact. Karis Engle has served as the President & CEO of Glades Initiative for more than seven years and is one of the Initiative’s founding members. Glades Initiative serves more than 12,000 residents with language, illiteracy or computer/internet access barriers. She initiated the Glades Area Food Bank in 2011, which distributes more than $85,000 worth of food to nine food pantries and two soup kitchens. Engle’s compassion and concern for others drove her volunteerism; working in Haiti, building schools and providing education and medical services to rural residents; studying international development; volunteering with refugees from the United Nations High Council on Refugees and working with refugees from all over the world who relocated to Canada. She is marking her 22nd anniversary, serving residents in the Glades. Engle is the 2015 Women in Leadership Award (WILA) recipient in the Public Sector. Salesia Smith-Gordon is an attorney and president of the Law Offices of Salesia Smith-Gordon. She manages the law firm and represents victims of injuries or wrongful death. Smith-Gordon is also a registered pharmacist who integrates her pharmacy background with her legal skills. Since 1984, she has been a sister of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Zeta Tau Omega Chapter, focusing on education and scholarships. She is the former Chair of the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics and belongs to the West Palm Beach Chapter of the Links, Inc. and the Cunningham Bar Association. Smith-Gordon is the 2015 WILA recipient in the Private Sector. I Jennifer Martinez has been the president of JLM Communications, for the past four years, managing all accounts, including the planning, implementation and reporting on all public relations initiatives. She has more than a decade of experience in marketing and communications and has been an integral part of the growth of nonprofit organizations and small to mid sized business across Florida. Martinez is involved in community, volunteering her time and expertise to Palm Beach Habilitation Center, Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County and the American Cancer Society Making Strides. Dr. Emma Banks has served as the Founder and Principal of Inlet Grove Community High School since July 2004. She has a B.S. from Delaware State College, a M.S. in Curriculum from Nova University, as well as Educational Specialist in Administration & Supervision and Educational degrees in Organization & Leadership, both from Nova University. Dr. Banks has served in various positions as an educator since 1978 and has participated in several professional organizations, community affiliations and on Boards. Dr. Banks is active in Eta Phi Beta and has volunteered with 100 Black Women and the Urban League. Dr. Banks was the WILA recipient of the 1997 Volunteer Sector Award. Liv E. Vesely, MA, MPH has been president of the Jupiter Medical Center Foundation since 2015, and has worked in development at major health system foundations since 2008. Vesely has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from Syracuse University and a M.A. in International Relations from the University of Kent, London Center of International Relations. She also has a Masters degree in Latin American Studies from New York University and an Executive MPH, Health Management & Administration from Columbia University. Vesely has served in professional memberships, on boards and has donated many volunteer hours. She has served on the Dominican Foundation Board of Directors since 2005 and joined the MyClinic Board of Directors in 2015. Kae Jonsons has worked as the Chief Executive Officer of the Hanley Center Foundation since 2015 and has held leadership positions in the nonprofit industry since 2010. She was Vice President of the Foundation Development and Donor Relations for the Boys & Girls Club. She is a graduate of the Leadership West Palm Beach Class of 2015 and also the Leadership Palm Beach County Focus Program 2015. Jonsons is active in the community, serving as board member of the Boys & Girls Club, a member of the Young Friends of the Historical Society, and a member of the Delray Beach Drug Task Force. Portia Culley has been the Vice President of J.P. Morgan Securities since 2013. Culley provides investment advice for high net worth individuals and families. She specializes in comprehensive wealth management, assisting clients with investment strategy, asset allocation and portfolio construction. Culley is involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she mentors teenagers and youth. For more information on the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County’s women-led organization dedicated to empowering women to succeed and lead, or to learn how you can get involved, please visit www.ewpb.org or call (561) 868-7070.