Lynne W. Gassant, Founder, Executive Director: Grew up in Haiti, Lynne is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to complete a college education. While still in her early 20s and completing her undergraduate studies, Lynne founded Scholar Career Coaching in December of 2012 so that other students, much like her, could excel in their academics too—with the right support, success strategies, and mentorship. Her mission for Scholar CC is to coach, motivate, and support first-generation college-bound students, focusing on English as a Second Language.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in public management from FAU and a master’s degree in human resources management from FIU. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and a former advisory board member for the City of Boynton Beach Education & Youth.
As Scholar CC’s founder, and executive director, she still manages to live a full, well-rounded life as an HR consultant, a wife, mother of two, and a big sister. Two fun facts about Lynne, she enjoys Korean TV Drama, and in 2017 she competed in the Mrs. Florida United States Pageant as Mrs. Palm Beach County. She was 4th Runner Up! To read Lynne’s full story, visit: scholarcc.com/our-story
Dr. Eddie Ruiz , Board President: Eddie is the Florida State Director for Charter Schools USA. Prior to joining Charter Schools USA, Ruiz served as Assistant Superintendent of the Division of Student Services, Equity, and Access for the School District of Palm Beach County. Dr. Ruiz holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. Ruiz served 15 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal and has worked passionately to ensure that all students receive a quality education that will equip them with the skills needed for post-secondary education and employment in today’s ever-changing world. He is excited to be part of the Scholar Career Coaching board. Influenced to become an educator as a result of being impacted by caring educators who saw talents in him, Dr. Ruiz’s mission is to inspire and motivate the next generation, one student at a time.
Gillian Ebanks Knowles, Board Vice President: Gillian serves as our newest general board member at Scholar CC. Professionally she works as a Senior Mortgage Advisor for Waterstone Mortgage Corporation in Jupiter, Florida. She has over 15 years of experience in the lending and financial services industry. Gillian has aided our community through past organizations like Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness; The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum for Summer Camp; and Harvard University, where she serves as an Ambassador and Candidate in their Business Analytics Program. She expects to utilize her skills in finance, technology, marketing, and leadership to support the growth and development of Scholar Career Coaching programs.
Lisa Rabinsky, VP/Finance Director: Lisa joined the Scholar Career Coaching Board of Directors in 2014 and took over the role of Finance Director. She is a Florida native who attended Palm Beach State College. She has 30+ year experience in banking and commercial finance and is a top performer in her industry. She is currently Senior Vice President at CenterState Bank in her role as a Commercial Relationship Manager. She has provided the expertise to help in growing revenues and managing our finances. Lisa has been active with many nonprofits for over 30 years; our focus on disadvantaged youth was a primary driver for her.
Laurie Myers, Executive Secretary: Laurie serves on the Board of Directors as the Executive Secretary for Scholar Career Coaching since 2016 where she facilitated new SCC by-laws and has helped the organization with various projects. Laurie graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education. She is a certified Senior Human Resources Professional with 20+ years of HR experience currently working at Zimmer Biomet. Her HR work history includes supporting wholesale distribution/sales, retail sales, manufacturing, and non-profit / governmental organizations. Laurie also volunteers with Human Resources of Palm Beach County and All-For-One Pet Rescue.
Mario F. Guzman, Director of Workforce Readiness: Mario has over twenty years of experience in government operations and is currently the director of support services for the City of West Palm Beach. He is a practitioner of servant leadership and is passionate in ensuring the team is working to its best potential. After originally starting in the skilled trades field, he transitioned into executive management to make impactful changes in operations. Mario has presented as keynote speaker and facilitated numerous trainings to various groups on his leadership philosophy and how to engage team members. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University and is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County class of 2020. As a board member he is enthusiastic in creating young leaders.