Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

More Than 70 Top Palm Beach County CEOs and Senior Executives Donned Hard Hats To Raise Hammers, Walls and $175,000 In Funds At Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County’s Inaugural CEO Build

CEO Build Begins!  
Future Habitat Homeowner, Gevala Antoine (wearing aqua in middle)

This month, 70 top CEOs and C-Suite business leaders joined together toclimb a success ladder of a different kind” at Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County’s inaugural CEO Build. This time business powerhouses worked together as “Leadership In Action” to help construct a home for a hard-working, low-income family to leave a tremendous impact on the community and break the poverty cycle for Antonine family. The initiative both celebrated and harnessed the unstoppable power of corporate leaders to unite to help transform their community with an inspiring “hand-up, not a hand-out”. No building experience was required as these volunteer CEO Builders worked under the guidance of Habitat construction professionals.

Jerry Fedele, President & CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital served as CEO Build Honorary Chair, CEO Builder, Paul Adkins and Chairman of Florida Peninsula Insurance Company represented his company that was the CEO Build presenting home sponsor.

Charles Deyo, CEO & President, Cendyn; Paul Adkins, CEO Builder and Chairman, Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, CEO Build – Presenting Home Sponsor; CEO Build Chair, Jerry Fedele, President and CEO, Boca Raton Regional Hospital

As stakeholders in the creation of the first Habitat “House That CEOs Built” by raising walls and more than $175,000 in funds for the construction materials, the executives built alongside Gevala Antonine’s family who will live in the home. Those who have dined at Boston’s on the Beach in Delray Beach, have most likely enjoyed a meal cooked by Antonine, a longtime Boston’s employee and the matriarch of the Antonine family who
will earn and purchase the CEO Build home that is being built build.

A dynamic, positive force with a “can do” attitude, Antonine is a former third grade and fourth grade school teacher, who has a strong work ethic and is the hard-working example for her four children after being widowed. After the loss of her husband, she persevered to give her four academically talented children a better life by applying for Habitat’s rigorous home ownership program culminating in earning a zero interest mortgage on the Habitat home that she and CEO Builders are physically helping to build. Demonstrating that Habitat is always a “hand up, never a hand out”, Antoinine is completing Habitat’s required 500 “Sweat Equity” hours to earn a zero-interest mortgage to break her family’s poverty cycle.

CEO Build Chair, Jerry Fedele, President and CEO, Boca Raton Regional Hospital; Kari Oeltjen, Chief Development Officer, Habitat for Humanity South Palm Beach County; Gevala Antoine, Habitat Future Homeowner; Paul Adkins, CEO Builder and Chairman, Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, CEO Build – Presenting Home Sponsor; Randy Nobles, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County; Commissioner Christina Romelus  (District 3) City of Boynton Beach.

Living in their new home will be Antoinine’s daughters Stephane, 18 years old (Nursing Student at FSU) and Stephie, 17 years old (Atlantic High Student focused on business) and sons Richard, 12 years old (Village Academy Student who wants to be a mechanical engineer) and Ricky, 10 years old (Village Academy Student want to be a race car driver).

The CEO Build initiative:

  • Created a safe, decent and affordable home for a local, hard-working, low-income family through both financial sponsorship and hands-on building.
  • Underscored that sustainable community growth begins with a stable home foundation for families and children. The business community in South Palm Beach County that understands the need to build communities from the ground up, just as they build their companies.
  • Resulted in 100% of monies raised from initiatives like the HFHSPBC CEO Build are critical to the Habitat “Fund for Humanity” program that helps hard-working, low income families in the South Palm Beach County community who have been unable to get ahead by qualifying for traditional bank mortgages.

    Tim Snow, Rick Howard, Jesse Flowers, Jon Kaye

  • Helped to break the challenging poverty cycle one family at a time. When Habitat homeowners earn their homes through sweat equity programs and qualifying for interest-free mortgages, it changes the trajectory of entire families for generations because they are the first in their family line to achieve homeownership and be in a position to contribute back to their community.


Rick Howard, Kari Oeltjen, Doug Mosley, Randy Nobles, Doug Paton, Scott Sullivan

Those “leading by example” included:  

    • Randy Nobles, HFHSPBC President & CEO
    • Kari Oeltjen, HFHSPBC Chief Development Officer
    • Rick Howard, CEO, Sklar Furnishings and HFHSPBC Board Chair
    • Scott Sullivan, First Vice President, Merrill Lynch and HFHSPBC Board Member
    • Mitch Feldman, CEO, Boca West Medical Center
    • Troy McLellan, CEO & President, Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
    • Patricia Maczko, Regional Manager and Florida Market President,
      Comerica Bank
    • Robyn Raphael-Dynan, Director of Operations, RCC Associates
    • Ken Lebersfeld, CEO, Capitol Lighting
    • Jesse Flowers, Community President, CenterState Bank

Sal Saldana, General Manager, Town Center of Boca Raton

To learn more about the HFHSPBC, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization and its CEO and WOMEN Builds and related sponsorships, to register as a future builder and/or team leader and/or volunteer to help fundraise and build, contact Kari Oeltjen, HFHSPBC Chief Development Officer at or (561) 819-6070.

Bonnie Kaye, President & Chief Strategist, Kaye Communications; Robin Raphael-Dynan, Director of Operations, RCC Associates; Kari Oeltjen, Chief Development Officer, Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County.

Troy McLellan, President & CEO, Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce

Ken Lebersfeld, CEO, Capitol Lighting

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