The Upper Keys Future Fund supports grants to local nonprofits based in or specifically serving Key Largo, Islamorada, and Tavernier. The Fund expands CFFK’s impact, increases its resources, and provides grants to benefit Upper Keys residents.
Bonus: All gifts to the Upper Keys Future Fund will be matched 1:1 by CFFK, up to $25,000. That means a gift of $1,000 will provide $2,000 in grant monies available to Upper Keys nonprofits. This is indeed the power of collective giving in action. You may make a donation to the Upper Keys Future Fund by clicking on the button below.
The Upper Keys Advisory Council will play an integral role in helping identify potential applicants and advising the CFFK Grants Committee on grant recommendations.
“If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to make a difference, here is your opportunity,” said Laura Lietaert, CFFK Board Member and Chair of the Upper Keys Advisory Council for CFFK. “All our generous donors who support the fund will double the impact of their gifts, help as many people as possible, and positively enhance the future for our Upper Keys residents and community.”
Keys residents Jon and Julie Landau created the Landau Family Fund for the Upper Keys to assist residents of the Upper Keys in dire need. The fund has supported families suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Jon, filmmaker and producer of films including Avatar and Titanic, and his wife, Julie, have lived in the Keys since 2010. “What makes the Keys so special is the community of people that call this island chain their home,” says Jon. “Grants from the fund will be distributed to those who are suffering the most, thus providing critical help to our struggling community.”
CFFK will allocate monies from the fund to charitable organizations providing direct assistance to Upper Keys residents.
Ten Upper Keys civic and business leaders are the charter members of the new Upper Keys Advisory Council, part of a series of initiatives to continue broadening CFFK’s mission, grantmaking, philanthropic donor base, and public awareness in Key Largo, Islamorada, and Tavernier.
Advisory Council members, who meet quarterly throughout the year, specifically help build philanthropy in the Upper Keys, raise awareness and advocate for the Community Foundation, advise CFFK on local needs and initiatives, identify potential nonprofits as grant applicants, and advise the CFFK Grants Committee on funding recommendations.
Laura Lietaert, Chair
Laura Lietaert is Principal of Key Largo School and CFFK’s first board member from Key Largo. She was named Monroe County School District “Principal of the Year” in 2018. Laura currently serves as Board President of the Rotary Club of Key Largo and she is active in The Upper Keys Business and Professional Women, Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, and the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce.
Tim Ervin is a consultant to nonprofits, governments and businesses, splitting time between residences in the Florida Keys and Michigan. He served in State Government and was a Congressional Liaison. Tim is now more involved in philanthropy, nonprofits and higher education. He served as Trustee, President and Chair of the Manistee County Community Foundation, among others. Since May 2020, he has partnered with a nonprofit financial institution to raise funding for grants to small businesses that have urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billy Hart is a real estate professional with Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty. Born and raised in the Florida Keys, Billy is a 31-year native to Islamorada. Leaving the islands for his post-secondary education, Billy is a proud alumni of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Since then, he has returned home to serve his community in the real estate sector and through local philanthropy. His hobbies include fishing, sailing, real estate development, and volunteering for local organizations.
Joe Molinaro is a licensed certified public accountant and entrepreneur. He owns several businesses and practices as a CPA. He held numerous senior positions in finance working for Deloitte and AIG for over 20 years in New York, Tampa and Tokyo. A Coral Shores High School graduate, Joe and his family moved back to the Keys in 2018 when they purchased Kitchens & Bath Specialists in Tavernier. Joe is a board member for the Islamorada Rotary and the Coral Shores head baseball coach. When he is not working, he enjoys cooking, boating and fishing with his family and friends.
Elizabeth Moscynski is president of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce. Previously, she worked in hospitality management, working as a civilian for many branches of the United States Military. After her husband’s retirement in 2004, the family moved to South Florida. Elizabeth has been a member of several chambers of commerce, including the Greater San Diego Chamber and the Eastern Connecticut Chamber. She also served on the Board of Directors of the South Dade Chamber, where she was Chairman in 2012. Elizabeth has spent countless hours volunteering for organizations throughout her career.
Roberto “Pasta” Pantaleo is an artist and owner of Pasta’s Gallery in Islamorada. He spent most of his childhood in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. To Pasta, the sea represented an escape from what he saw was a dismal way of urban life, and in 1970, as a young teenager, Pasta was instrumental in convincing his family to migrate to South Florida. By the late seventies, Pasta had become a world-class airbrush artist. In 2001, he was commissioned to create a painting on canvas as a commemorative poster and t-shirt design for a fishing tournament. That request became a catalyst for a life-changing career move and Pasta’s phone began to ring with requests to learn about the yet-to-be-recognized marine artist who created it.
Wil Peña is a financial planning consultant who has worked in the financial service industry for the past 16 years helping local families and businesses with retirement, protection, and investment planning. Prior to transitioning to the financial services industry, he worked with AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Wil is a 31-year resident of Key Largo. He is a charter member of the Sunset Key Largo Rotary Club, a member of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, and a graduate of Class XXVIII (“Trail Blazers”) of Leadership Monroe County. He and his wife, Barbara, enjoy the local restaurants, down time by the water, and quiet time with their two Jack Russell Terriers, Tobias and Hershel.
Dr. Aimee Stough
Dr. Aimee Stough, DNP, is a dual-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in Pediatric Primary and Acute Care. She works at the Florida Keys Pediatric & Adolescent Center in Tavernier. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and quickly found her passion for pediatrics and wanting to help more children. She continued at UAMS and completed her Masters in Nursing Science and Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). Dr. Aimee also goes on medical mission trips to Honduras to help children in economically deprived areas. Dr. Aimee and her husband, Stuart, live in Tavernier, with their youngest son, Morgan.
Isis Wright is a brand developer and digital marketing executive. She recently launched two new brands based out of the Keys, B. Ready, a travel and leisure wellness online marketplace, and Italian Food Company, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria with their first location in Key Largo. Isis has over 20 years professional experience in business development and marketing. Her past volunteer work includes Rotary, Rotary Interact clubs, Leadership Miami, and Junior Achievement. Isis has an MBA degree from the University of Miami and is a proud mom to an eight-year-old, which she considers her most significant contribution to creating a better world.
Suzi Youngberg currently serves as President of Upper Keys Business and Professional Women and represents Keys Life Magazine as a Sales Executive. She is a 23-year resident of the Florida Keys, who worked for many years in corporate financial insurance. When her husband when through cancer treatment, they began volunteering for the American Cancer Society, serving as event chairs for Relay for Life in 2016 and 2017. Suzi later served as the Florida Keys Development Manager for the American Cancer Society organizing events, volunteers, and donors. Today, she still volunteers for ACS and other charities and community events.
Learn more about the role of Regional Advisors and how the Advisory Councils are helping CFFK here.