PETERSBURG — Carl R. Lavender, Jr., is joining the staff of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg as senior director of programs, bringing more than 40 years of experience as an accomplished nonprofit executive, effective capacity-building consultant and engaged community leader.
In his role as senior director of programs, Lavender will guide community investments including grants, partnerships and programs design, in alignment with the Foundation’s mission of health equity. He will also play a key role in the community engagement work leading up to the opening of A Center for Social Change, a 23,250 square-foot renovated space in south St. Petersburg.
The Center will serve as a new resource for people and organizations in Pinellas County to pursue opportunities for positive social change and address pressing local problems that impact community health and wellbeing.
Lavender has made a notable career leading non-profit organizations and initiatives. During the 33 years he spent with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he raised millions of dollars and served thousands of youth and adults in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago and here in St. Pete.
His accomplishments include working with basketball legend Michael Jordan to open the James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago and opening the first Boys & Girls Club focused on the arts, the Royal Theatre Arts Academy Boys & Girls Club in Midtown.
Prior to the Foundation, Lavender served as managing officer for Workforce Innovation & Community Strategy at Pinellas Technical College. He has also worked as a consultant to several nonprofits and government organizations and has been active on local task forces and boards of directors.
Lavender holds a bachelor’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from The Ohio State University and a master’s in Human Services – Non-Profit Organizational Management (cum laude) from Springfield College in Massachusetts.
“We are delighted to welcome Carl to the Foundation team,” said President and CEO Randall H. Russell. “He is strongly connected to, and passionate about, this community. His exceptional record as an innovator, along with his years of experience helping nonprofits build capacity and think and plan strategically, will enhance the Foundation’s work at a critical moment in our young organization’s history.”
“The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg is a unique philanthropic asset that can advance strategic solutions for those real challenges facing our communities,” said Lavender. “For a nonprofit career professional like myself, joining the Foundation team and the opportunity to serve its health equity mission is a professional and personal dream come true.”
About the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg is a private foundation formed in 2013 following the sale of the nonprofit Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. It is the steward of community assets dedicated to supporting health equity in Pinellas County.
The Foundation inspires and empowers people, ideas, information exchange, organizations and relationships to end differences in health due to social or structural disadvantages and improve population health.