LIFT Orlando Board Update

August 15, 2017

community quarterback update

1. Fiscal Growth Snapshot - As part of our recent update to Dr. Phillips Charities, Bill Dymond, as Chair of our Governance Committee, provided the following report to demonstrate the progress we've made since the last time we sat before that board. I thought it would be good to share these with you, just as a reminder that we've come a long way from our little brainstorming meetings. Enjoy!

  • We've leveraged that initial $4 million dollar investment from Dr. Phillips into a transformational $40,000,000 development. 
  • We've raised another $4 million dollars in contributions from our board and other donors over the last 4 years
  • We've grown our budget from less than $200k to $1.2MM and we now have 2 years of clean, audited financials (2015 & 2016) 
  • We now have a team experienced in non-profit and real estate, finance, compliance, acquisitions, and development. 
  • We've launched a $20 million Impact Investment Fund to accelerate our ability to raise capital and buy land. 
  • We've raised over $12 million dollars in investor commitments and invested over $5 million into the footprint 

MVP Families 

2. MVP Families Progress Update - This video, featuring Shawn Welcome of Polis, who manages family engagement, showcases the progress made through the success of this year-long partnership with Florida Citrus Sports (FCS) and the parents living in the neighborhoods near the stadium. This initiatives has been designed by parents for parents to help children and their families succeed. 

MVP Families Logo with Tagline.jpg

MVP Families Results to date:

  • Total Participants: 196 (Families 64/Children 126)
  • Children above 2.0 GPA: 93%
  • Children with additional academic goals: 46%
  • Families with Health & Wellness Goals: 38%
  • Families making progress on H&W Goals: 26%
  • Families with Financial Stability Goals: 36%
  • Families making progress on FS Goals: 48%

mixed income housing 

3. Pendana at West Lakes - Construction is moving forward on schedule at Pendana at West Lakes. This development represents the largest investment in housing in the area in decades.

Last Saturday, we hosted a Career Fair for Columbia Residential to start meeting candidates looking to work at Pendana as one of the following positions: Community Manager, Assistant Community Manager, Community Leasing Specialist, Community Service Manager and Community Grounds Managers and Porters.

There is a lot of interest building from people anxious to apply. Applications won't be going live until later this Fall. Move-ins are scheduled to occur in January 2018 with all buildings scheduled for completion by the Spring of 2018.

The best site for most folks to get updates is still See this slideshow to observe the great progress being made thus far. 


Cradle to Career Education

4. LIFT Orlando Roundtables Go Live - Two of our LIFT Orlando Roundtables have launched as planned. Soon we will be hosting our kickoff Health and Wellness and Economic Viability Roundtables but the Housing and Education Roundtables have taken off with great turnout and fantastic momentum. These have been very engaging exchanges with significant stakeholders providing resources, solutions and ideas for the advancement of LIFT Orlando's strategic objectives.  

The Education Roundtable, for example, was facilitated by Natalie Lovero and Byron Traynor with an ideal list of participants, including our Education Chair Scott Boyd, Valencia College's West Campus President, Dr. Falecia Williams, Dr. Jennifer Porter Smith, the new Jones High School Principal, Alison Kirby, and representatives from Orange Center Elementary, UCF College of Education and Human Performance, Elevate Orlando, Teach for America, the UCF College of Health and Public Affairs and others. Participants enjoyed a productive conversation introducing the innovative concept of operating under LIFT Orlando’s “Collective Impact” framework as a single school pipeline with he goal of being in the top 20% of school pipelines in the State of Florida. 



5. The West Lakes Community School Layout - Anchoring LIFT Orlando’s developments in the neighborhood, there will be a new Community School Campus for health and wellness. A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the schools and vital community resources with an integrated focus on academics, health and community development. This approach is proven to improve student learning, build stronger families and create healthier communities. Our Community School Campus will incorporate a state of the art early childhood education facility, a world-class Boys and Girls club and the new and innovative Health and Wellness Center housed within the building we now refer to as “The HUB at West Lakes”. 

  • The consultants hired by the Bainum Family Foundation have formally recommended moving forward. 
  • The Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors has officially voted to work  with LIFT to make this club a reality by 2019.
  • The Health and Wellness Center or "The HUB at West Lakes" is currently being packaged for New Market Tax Credits.
 This conceptual rendering was originally created by Baker Barrios for our partners at Orange Blossom Family Health to depict the Health & Wellness Center at a scale large enough to house the additional elements we are now describing as part of the "HUB at West Lakes".

This conceptual rendering was originally created by Baker Barrios for our partners at Orange Blossom Family Health to depict the Health & Wellness Center at a scale large enough to house the additional elements we are now describing as part of the "HUB at West Lakes".

6. The HUB at West Lakes, sitting at the heart of the new West Lakes Community School Campus, at the site of the old Planned Parenthood building, will be a community gathering place for neighbors to come together and for people to connect, grow and thrive. It will be designed to holistically embrace the neighborhood families with the resources necessary for preserving their health and wellness, advancing their financial mobility as well fueling a thriving community life. The West Lakes HUB is a community health and wellness center that will prioritize strengthening the community and increasing the capacity of residents to succeed. Here is a conceptual rendering though it will change over time. Key programmatic components inside the “HUB” include all the components articulated as part of Health and Wellness. 
1. Medical Healthcare Services
2. The MVP Family Fitness and Wellness Center
3. Community Cafe and Teaching Kitchen
4. Financial Wellbeing & Learning Centre
5. The Offices of LIFT and Community Partners


economic viability


7. The Economic Impact of Pendana at West Lakes - Pendana at West Lakes contractors have been active in the community looking to hire residents to work on Pendana as well as other projects across Central Florida. Ella Reid-Drummer has lived in or near The Communities of West Lakes, all her life. A 1981 graduate of Jones High School, Reid-Drummer began her business, EAC Cleaning Services in 2012 after many years of experience in the industry. The business has grown from its early roots in residential cleaning and now specializes in all sizes of construction project cleaning. Her business has employed nearly a dozen residents in the last six months and this past July she hired a resident for a management position. Her personal and business philosophy are focused on helping the communities she is working in, having a positive impact on her employees and hiring from within the community. 

“I love my community,” said EAC’s Reid-Drummer. “[I] learned about Pendana at West Lakes through an entrepreneurship program my pastor, Bishop Wiggins hosted at Hope Church,” she continued. “I was persistent, attended any meeting I could and called the general contractor constantly to compete for the contract at this development which I’m thrilled to have won. I’m looking to hire more employees including residents from my community.” 


8. Project Catalyst Reboot - As we recalibrate the path forward with Project Catalyst the team has been actively reengaging the broader strategy of the business park and the other employers in our pipeline with the help of Steve Hogan and the helpful input from Alan Kolar. In the meantime, we are managing our exposure with the newly acquired properties by pursuing a 3 year lease (with termination rights) for one property, which would stabilize the rent at a little more than $4,000 per month for at least the next 12 months.  We are reviewing a listing agreement for the Sunny Beauty building to lease the space on a short term basis through Foundry Commercial.  The Leberge Printers tenant rejected a lease proposal for $2k per month on a short 12 month term, countering with $1,500 per month.  We have not accepted their counter and therefore the space would be vacated by the end of the year.  The Hydraulic House property has environmental conditions and the building is in need of repairs.  The team is in the process of evaluating these cost impacts and will soon present a cost-benefit analysis that will look at a tear-down versus lease-up scenario for consideration by the Board. 


ncf Orlando partnership report

9. NCF Orlando $100,000,000 Milestone  - Over the last few years LIFT Orlandos partnership with NCF Orlando has produced over $1.3 million in contributions to LIFT Orlando and investment into the Impact Investment fund. In January of 2013, the NCF Orlando Executive Board created a seemingly unreachable 5-year goal of facilitating $100 million of cumulative grants from local givers by the end of 2017. The video below marks their celebration of having reached this goal in August. Among the organizations featured are First Academy, Elevate Orlando, CRU and LIFT Orlando. 

Fun Fact: The gift that took them over the final stretch was a $250,000 investment by one of their donor families into the LIFT Orlando Impact Investment Fund. 


thank you for your leadership, support and extraordinary commitment to making the impossible possible for generations of our neighbors to come.