One Orlando Alliance Board of Directors
Sherri Absher is a financial services representative with New York Life Insurance Company, where she has been serving for the past 3 years, focusing on the LGBTQ+ and women’s markets. Prior to entering the financial services arena, Sherri served for 12 years as a police officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, rising to the rank of Detective Sergeant in the Intelligence Division. Sherri is also a proud veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps and has always volunteered to give back to her communities. While in St. Louis she helped as a Board Member to grow Responder Rescue Inc., a non-profit assisting sick and injured first responders in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
After returning to Florida and financial services to be closer to family, Sherri wanted to join efforts for equality and inclusion and joined the Metropolitan Business Association of Orlando, Central Florida’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, where she later was elected to the Board of Directors as a General Board Member and Programming Chair. As a board member, she strives for equality through economics in the Central Florida region and assists in developing and managing programs to reach those goals.
Sherri also currently serves on the Leadership Council of Out and Equal of Greater Orlando as Co-chair, where she works for greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Upon formation of One Orlando Alliance, Sherri began volunteering and coordinating member meetings. She was later elected to the Board of Directors by the membership where she continues to serve today as a Membership Representative and as head of the Membership Committee.
Paul F. Bryan
Paul F. Bryan is a lifelong Orlando resident and eighth generation Floridian. Today, he is active in varied business enterprises: real estate development, technology and cell tower operations. His career has included the practice of law, founding the Orlando Magic, CEO of a national real estate company and various entrepreneurial ventures. He was a partner in developing the notable Bank of America Tower in downtown Orlando and is still an ardent supporter of the evolution of Orlando’s downtown into a national destination.
Throughout his years in Central Florida, participating in community organizations, in particular arts and social services, has been a top personal priority. Growing up, he watched his parents volunteer service in and lead many organizations that supported Orlando; his commitment to service is a heritage. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Aspire Health Partners, a non-profit organization and Central Florida’s largest provider of behavioral health services. He serves on the board of Cultural Fusion, a theater company focused on African-American and Latino theater. He was a founder and is on the board of The Zebra Coalition, a nationally recognized charity serving LGBT+ young people. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Creative City Project, a nationally recognized weekend event for performing arts held annually in Orlando, Florida. He was appointed to and served on the One Orlando Fund Board of Directors, which directed the distribution of over $30,000,000.00 to survivors and families, after the Pulse Tragedy of June 12, 2016.
Mr. Bryan is a graduate of the University of Florida, with an undergraduate degree (B.S. in Political Science and English) and Juris Doctor degree from the Levin College of Law.
Rick Claggett (Membership Representative)*
As a long time resident of Orlando and graduate of Winter Park High School, Rick considers Central Florida to be his home. After receiving his B.A. in Theater Arts, Rick worked in the New York entertainment field with Ricki Lake, Joan Rivers and Regis Philbin. In 2002 Rick joined Watermark as the Administrative Assistant until he was promoted to Business Manager in 2005. In 2015, Rick became Publisher of Watermark and purchased the paper from founder Tom Dyer in 2016. Rick has held a seat on the boards of the Metropolitan Business Association and Come Out With Pride, and currently is on the board of One Orlando Alliance. Rick was named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2013 and won the MBA’s Pride Gala award for Business Man of the Year in 2016.
Carlos Carbonell is the founder and CEO of Echo Interaction Group, a successful tech strategy and mobile app development firm with hundreds of apps and tech feasibility consulting projects under its belt. A leader in the local tech, business, Latino and LGBT communities he is part of several boards including Orlando Economic Partnership, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, Creative City Project, Orlando City Soccer Foundation, Contigo Fund and the OneOrlando Fund. Carlos is a passionate community organizer and leader in the tech scene, was one of the founders and current President of the Board of the Orlando Tech Association and also serves on the boards of the tech co-working space Canvs, and the only evergreen seed fund in the Southeast, FireSpring Fund for which he has helped raise over a million dollars to help fund startups.
Carlos is the recipient of the prestigious Don Quijote Award for Hispanic Business of the Year awarded in 2013 by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. He was named one of the finalists for the Orlando Sentinel’s 2015 Central Floridian of the Year and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Community Champion award.
Carlos was named one of Orlando Business Journal’s 40 under 40, one of Orlando Sentinel’s local “Power Brokers” and included in Orlando Magazine’s “Most Powerful List’s 15 to Watch in 2016.” Watermark Magazine’s named him one of the “Most Remarkable People of 2016.” In 2014, Governor Rick Scott’s office awarded hs company Echo with the Business Excellence. That same year, Congressman Alan Grayson entered Carlos into the Congressional Record for outstanding contributions to the LGBT, Business and Latino communities in Central Florida. Carlos has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Sentinel, El Sentinel, Fox News, Univision, and Telemundo and is a regular contributor to the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida 100 Opinion Section.
Jennifer Foster (Chair)
Jennifer Foster is the Owner of Foster Productions, Inc. Over the past 25 years, she has written, produced, and directed projects for many of the most prestigious corporations in the world. Her portfolio includes a wide range of content including Commercial, Documentary, Interactive, Learning Development, Marketing, Animation, and Broadcast media.
Jennifer has also been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights for over two decades. She is one of the co-founders of the Human Rights Campaign community in Central Florida, serving on the local board for 10 years and national board for 8. Jennifer also served on the statewide board of the Florida Red and Blue campaign in 2004 to oppose Florida’s marriage amendment. She has been the recipient of numerous local and national awards for her LGBTQ+ activism, her bio was also included in the U.S. Congressional Record in 2014.
Jennifer was appointed, by Mayor Dyer, to serve on the OneOrlando Fund board to help provide oversight of the funds donated to assist those directly affected by the Pulse tragedy. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC), a collaboration between The City of Orlando, Orange County Government, and Heart of Florida United Way to connect those affected by the Pulse tragedy to community resources and support long-term recovery in the Orlando community.
She is also the co-convener and founding Board Member of the One Orlando Alliance. Since June of 2016, Jennifer has contributed, solely in a volunteer capacity, to envision and build One Orlando Alliance to the point of sustainability with a pathway to long term success. This has been a consistent 20-30+ hour time commitment, per week. Once funding has been secured and a full-time Executive Director is in place, her time commitment as a member of the Board of Directors is expected to lessen to 5-10 hours, per week.
Robin Maynard has served the citizens of Orange County as a Paramedic and Crime Scene Investigator since 1995. After the loss of her Mom Libby to breast cancer in 2006, Robin knew saving lives would take on a whole new path and with that, Libby’s Legacy was formed in 2007. Robin worked full time as a CSI while running the foundation until 2009 when she cashed in her 401K and left her career to dedicate herself to this foundation in her Mother’s honor and memory. Robin has gone on to receive certification in Patient Navigation from the George Washington University and has received numerous awards including Hometown Hero, Non-Profit Leadership award from the Women’s Executive Council, Congressional recognition during women’s history month, Public Citizen of the Year from National Association of Social Workers and Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2016. Robin is a passionate advocate who is committed to ensuring every woman gets the breast health care and treatment they need to live a long and full life.
Rizwan Zaman is a native of India, however he has called Orlando home for over 40 years. From an early age, he has always had been involved in community programs and development; whether it was feeding the homeless, organizing interfaith events, or developing a youth program. As a devout Muslim, his family were the original founders of the Islamic community and continue to support social, educational and outreach programs with Greater Orlando. He recently came out as a proud gay Muslim and has been involved with organizations which support other Queer Muslims struggling with their identity within their homes and community. Professionally, he received his MBA in Healthcare Management from University of Miami and has owned a consulting firm in the same field for over 20 years. Although his work requires him to travel across the United States, his personal support of his local Orlando roots has remained constant. He currently serves on the United Arts Board for the past 2 years. Additionally, he serves on the Board of the Holocaust Center for the last 5 years and Snap! Gallery Board for the last 3 years. He has been an avid supporter and patron of many community organizations including Zebra Coalition, Orlando Ballet and The Holocaust Center’s Anti-bullying Initiative, for the last 5 years and continuously promotes their important work throughout the community. Rizwan’s personal passions also extend to fashion, which led him to attend Parsons School of Design in New York to learn Fashion Design at which he is currently enrolled.
*Membership Representatives are elected by a vote of the organizations that are members of the Alliance.