Our Directors and Advisory Committee, comprised of private citizens and educators, bring diverse backgrounds and expertise to the Board, and all share in the mission and vision of TeamWork USA.
Kenneth Stein, President and Founder
Ken received a New Jersey public school education, following which he graduated from Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Ken is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law. Following a ten year career in the private practice of law in New Jersey, he entered the business world. Ken was the founder and President of his own company, Stein Hotel Corporation, involved in the ownership and management of various hotel facilities. Ken was Rutgers University chapter President of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity, and of the Wayne, New Jersey chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was also President of the Community Arts Center, Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and of the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, Loveladies, New Jersey. Following his retirement and the establishment of residency in Florida, Ken founded the TeamWork USA Foundation, as a way to give back to the public education system that provided him with many of the basic tools and values that enabled him to achieve his successes in life.
Redgy Coucke, Vice President
Redgy obtained his degree of Bio-Engineering from the University of Ghent in Belgium. He started his career in he pharmaceutical industry as a Bacteriological Lab Supervisor at the Belgian Manufacturing Plant of the Upjohn Company. After rising through the ranks as a manager in the Belgian facility, he was appointed as Plant Director for the newly acquired facility of the company in Madrid Spain, where he stayed for 10 years. Subsequently, he occupied Manufacturing Director positions at Upjohn’s headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. Later in his career, he was appointed Vice President for the Americas and ultimately Vice President for European Manufacturing. After his retirement, he moved to the Mirasol Community in Palm Beach Gardens, where he served on the Board of Directors for four years. Time permitting, Redgy has always been an avid music lover and keen to play his favorite pieces on the piano. With Teamwork, he is Chairperson for the Instrumental Music program.
Sandra Strine, Secretary
Sandy received a public school education in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Randolph Macon Woman’s College and then taught 1st grade in public school in Pennsylvania on a Title 1 grant for disadvantaged kindergarteners who were going to be held back. (100% went on to second grade). Sandy later received a Masters of Family Therapy degree (MFT) from Hahneman Medical College and then a PhD from Walden University while pursuing a long career in individual, marriage and family therapy.
Harold Oertell, Treasurer
Harold graduated from Queens College, New York City, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting, and is a New York State Certified Public Accountant. He worked for a private accounting firm before becoming associated with Milberg Factors Inc., a New York City commercial factor, which assists apparel and textile companies with their cash flow needs and acquisitions. Harold has served as Partner, Secretary, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of the firm. Currently, he serves in a consulting capacity to Millberg. Harold has been a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and Board of Education of Franklin Township, New Jersey, and the Treasurer and President of the Rutgers Preparatory School Board of Trustees. He was the Treasurer and President of the Board of Managers of the Horizon Apartment Building in New York City. Harold was a member of the American Management Association Mediation Board.
Sue received a public school education in Connecticut and Florida. She attended Palm Beach State College and is the retired owner of Chafin Musicenter, a 64 year old music business that provided a full suite of offerings ranging from band instruments and concert pianos to music lessons. She currently resides in Palm Beach County, Florida and gives her time volunteering in various community organizations. She is specifically focused on supporting causes that leverage the benefits of music and musical education to improve lives.
Diana has worked for the School District of Palm Beach County for twenty-four years and currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in English, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, and a certificate in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. As a product of the Palm Beach County school system, Diana has dedicated her career to giving back to the community as a previous member of the Kiwanis organization, a sponsor of Builders clubs, supporting food and toy drives, participating in charity races, etc. Becoming part of TeamWork USA to provide students with additional opportunities is a natural next step in this process.
Gareth received his bachelors and master degrees from the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton. He has won numerous international competitions as a solo violinist. Gareth has performed as a soloist and held residencies with many of America’s finest symphony orchestras and has performed with the renowned string players of the world. He has performed on several occasions in Carnegie Hall and in many cities in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. Gareth is a composer and arranger of a wide variety of music genres. As a performer and master teacher, Gareth is now making the art of violin popular for youth around the world by bridging the gap between pop music and the classics. Gareth has been referred to as “The Tiger Woods of The Violin”.
John S. Kapelewski
John received his undergraduate degree from Saint Francis University and his graduate degree in business from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He began his career as an administrator at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center and The Albert Einstein College of Medicine Hospital in New York City. John was active in the early development of the freestanding ambulatory surgery concept. After a consulting career in the ambulatory surgery field he and his wife Ginny founded Vision Corner Optical Corporation which they operated for 23 years. John retired after the business was sold to a strategic buyer.
Howard was born and raised in Chicago Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University. He was a retailer, designer and manufacturer of men’s and women’s clothing. He spent 30 years as a commodities trader at The Chicago Board of Trade and The Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During his time as a trader, Howard was instrumental in founding The Negril Coral Reef Society in Jamaica. Howard and his wife Annie were also very active in the St. Vincent DePaul Charities in Chicago. This charity ran a day care center, a Santa Mike program in which every child at the daycare center received a Christmas present from Santa; an annual senior non-denominational Christmas dinner for 150 to 200 nursing home residents; and twice yearly homeless days where every homeless person received a shower, hot meal, a haircut, clothing, and foot care by a podiatrist. For this work with St. Vincent DePaul, Annie and Howard were honored with The Couple of The Year award.
Following the receipt of her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University, Patti worked in the area of adult rehabilitation. Following time to raise her six children, Patti returned to her profession, while at the same time earning a Master’s Degree in early childhood development from Montclair State University. Patti finished her professional career serving young children who experienced a wide variety of physical and emotional challenges. She is now retired residing in Palm Beach County Florida. Patti is currently involved as a volunteer, supporter and Board member of several local charitable organizations serving those who suffer from food insufficiencies and other socio-economic and educational needs.
Michele Lerer received a public school education in Connecticut. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University. After working in the banking and brokerage fields for several years, Michele became a full time mom. Volunteering for the public school system became a passion for her, both in the classroom and writing center, coordinating programs, and serving as PTO President . Since moving to Florida, Michele has volunteered for ten years as a reading tutor at Allamanda Elementary School. She also works with the West Palm Beach Jewish Federation’s Volunteer Center, as chairperson of their Literary Program which serves Palm Beach County elementary schools.
Andrea B.R. Peppers is a retired school district administrator from the School District of Palm Beach County. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Science degree in Administration and Supervision from Nova University. Andrea worked for thirty-six years in elementary, middle and high schools. She currently resides in Palm Beach County, Florida and gives of her time volunteering in various community organizations. She advocates for today’s learners who are destined to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Laura Rounds, Ph. D.
Laura, the mother of three children, was born in Hawaii and raised in Virginia. She graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Then she served in the US Coast Guard Reserves. Laura received her Master of Science in both Counseling Psychology and Mental Health from PBA. Laura became a School Counselor at Palm Beach Gardens High School, then Guidance Director of Palm Pointe Educational Research School. She served students in Orange County Florida as a SAFE Schools Specialist, AVID District Director and School Counselor. Laura earned her second Master’s Degree, in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and is finishing her Ph.D. dissertation. Laura is currently a Palm Beach County School District AVID Program Planner, a staff developer and consultant for the AVID Center, and an Associate Professor at the University of Phoenix.
Bob received a public school education in Nebraska and South Dakota. He then graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration. Bob worked in a number of increasingly responsible financial leadership positions for General Electric Company, Praxair Inc., and Crane Co. He was a member of the Board of Directors of NuCO2 Inc. and then became the financial leader of NuCO2 Inc. after the sale to a private equity firm. Bob retired following the subsequent sale of NuCO2 Inc. to a strategic partner.
Kathleen Perry, Executive Director
Kathleen has over 40 years of experience in secondary education. Beginning as an English teacher and assistant principal, she served as a high school principal and district administrator in the School District of Palm Beach County. Kathleen is a graduate of the School District of Palm Beach County’s former Carver High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Prairie View A.&M. University, Texas and Nova Southeastern University respectively. She has administered a U.S. Department of Education Small Learning Community grant and reviews U.S. Community Development Block Grant applications for the City of Boynton Beach. Kathleen also serves as a professional development consultant for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Center, a non-profit organization with an emphasis on student college and career readiness. She believes that when students have access to rigorous instruction, rigorous curriculum, and the arts, they experience improvement in their academic achievements.
Chanda is one of the North Region Instructional Support Team Leaders of the Palm Beach County School District. Chanda began her career with the School District in 1998. She has worked in various capacities on many levels within the district as a high school Math Teacher, Assistant Principal at a Middle School, Site Administrator at Elementary schools for summer school, and Team Leader. Serving in these positions has allowed Chanda to work with children with special needs, academic challenges, and mental as well as emotional scars. Chanda has received a Bachelor degree in Math Education from Florida A&M University, a Maters degree in Math from University of Central Florida, and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Education is very important to Chanda and her belief is that all students can learn given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student’s confidence.
Claudia L. Mejias, Ed.S is a current school district administrator from the School District of Palm Beach County. She is currently an Advisory Board Member of Teamwork. Mrs. Mejias received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Education from Queens College City University of New York, Master of Arts degree in Teaching and Learning with a specialization in Mathematics and Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Claudia has worked for over 13 years as an elementary school teacher, mathematics instructional coach, instructional specialist, and district administrator. Claudia has also worked at Palm Beach State College transitioning and supporting Hispanic educators. She currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida, and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Dr. Kisa L. Permenter
Kisa L. Permenter, Ed.D. serves as assistant principal of Plumosa School of Arts. Prior to this assignment, she served the School District of Palm Beach County as the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program Planner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Pre-Medicine from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (Tallahassee, FL), a Master’s of Science in Guidance & Counseling and Doctor of Education degree from Saint Thomas University in Educational Leadership (all levels). Kisa has ben an educator for 17 years and is an active member of the State of Florida’s AdvancED SACS CASI accreditation review team. Kisa is an AVID National Staff Developer for AVID Center (San Diego, CA). On a daily basis, Kisa aspires to serve students, teachers and administrators with her experience and expertise.
Dominick is an Instructional Support Team Leader for the South Region of the Palm Beach County School District. Dominick began his career with the School District in 1998. He has worked in various capacities within the district to include: ESE Teacher, Assistant Principal at both middle and high school levels and currently holds the position of an Instructional Team Leader. Dominick sees his role as a servant to the students, teachers, parents, and stakeholders of communities he supports. Dominick received his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Long Island University. In addition, he earned a Master Degree in Educational Leadership and Master Degree in Varying Exceptionalities, both from Lynn University. Dominick has a strong belief in a growth mindset. He believes that building and creating a culture of support is crucial in the development of the students’ academic success.
Kevin Wright, a proud resident of Belle Glade, is an Administrative Assistant in the Glades Region with the School District of Palm Beach County. He is a graduate of Glades Central Community High School. Mr. Wright attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Palm Beach State College (formerly PBCC) & Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has worked for Belle Glade Elementary and Glades Central High School in various capacities. He is also active in the Glades communities serving on multiple committees for the betterment of the whole community.