Our Board is made up of diverse and skilled professionals who are passionate about education and youth. They have dedicated countless hours and efforts to ensure the organization runs smoothly. We are truly grateful for their dedication to our mission.
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: Dr. Ruiz serves as our newly appointed Vice President at Scholar CC and is the current Florida State Director for Charter Schools USA. Prior to his current role, Ruiz served as an Assistant Superintendent of the Division of Student Services, Equity, and Access for the School District of Palm Beach County. He 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.
He 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. 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. He is excited to be part of the Scholar Career Coaching board and to continue serving our students and leading the organization forward strategically.
Gillian Ebanks Knowles, Board Vice President: Gillian serves as our newly appointed Vice President 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; The Florida Bar Association’s Grievance Committee, 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 SouthState 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 Myers is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR/SHRM-CP) with 20+ years of HR experience as a Generalist, Consultant, and Manager. Her HR work history includes supporting wholesale distribution/sales, retail sales, non-profit, governmental organizations, and manufacturing. Laurie is currently and happily a Human Resources Generalist with Zimmer Biomet Dental since 2017, supporting both the commercial and operations teams.
While originally from Chicago, IL, Laurie is a long-time Floridian, having graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. In her spare time, she volunteers with a few non-profits, including Executive Secretary of Scholar Career Coaching, Palm Beach County SHRM, and All-For-One Pet Rescue, where she fosters abandoned puppies. Laurie lives with her daughter, Lily, their two dogs, and three cats.
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.
Jorge Bastos, Director of Business Social Impact: Jorge has been a board member since August 2021. He is a Leadership Coach and a partner at Essentia Integrative Solutions, a company dedicated to the professional and personal growth of senior executives. Jorge is passionate about reducing inequality and providing everyone with the same opportunities for growth and success. His main objective is to develop partnerships with companies so SCC can expand and provide support to a higher number of students.
Danielle A. Sherriff, General Board Member: Danielle is an attorney with the law firm of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith PLLC, where represents victims in all areas of personal injury, including catastrophic injuries, trucking, auto accidents, and premises liability, nursing home neglect, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.
Prior to joining Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith PLLC, she was an Assistant State Attorney in Palm Beach County for over ten years. Danielle has a strong commitment to the legal community and community at large. She is a Past-President of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association. She is also an active member of several committees within the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the Florida Bar. Danielle is a mentor for both high school and law school students. She regularly speaks at local schools in her efforts to help educate students about the law, ethics, and civics. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of Florida. Danielle is excited to be a part of the Scholar Career Coaching board to help support college-bound students.