Board of Directors
Yildirim (Alex) Sivar, Board President
President of Global Business and Educational Consulting Group.Yildirim Sivar is a business owner and President of Global Business and Educational Consulting Group. He is quite active in the community and serves on the Boards of the Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville, ONEJAX Institute of UNF and Baptist Hospital Foundation. Before coming to Jacksonville, Yildirim served as chief of staff for the Secretary of Culture and Tourism in the Republic of Turkey. He earned his graduate degree at NYIT in New York. Yildirim is a SHI Fellow and lives in Mandarin Florida.
Sukhbir Singh is married with two sons raised in our Jacksonville community. He is a small business entrepreneur with a bachelor’s degree in Statistics and master’s in Computer Science.
Sukhbir and his wife Sargum are the founders of the Sikh Society of North East Florida and practice Sikhism as a path to humanity and salvation. He has been an architect in creating awareness and educating the Jacksonville community about Sikhism and Turbans through lectures, presentations in schools, colleges, universities, temples, churches, hospitals and more. The Singh family is a strong believer of “There is One Father and we are all his children.”
A relative newcomer to Jacksonville, Susan Ticker has over 35 years of experience working with non-profit organizations, including schools, synagogues, community centers, and summer camps. She is an accomplished change agent, creative strategist, and keen observer of people and processes. Susan has held leadership roles in organizations in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Illinois, bringing her optimism and expertise to spur experimentation, assess outcomes, and support growth.
Susan has been involved in interfaith community work for many years and believes it is essential to achieve mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration. She began her professional career in financial analysis and investment banking, and applies a business lens to her vocational and volunteer work. She earned an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from Brown University where she majored in Judaism and Early Christianity, and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Rutgers Graduate School of Management. Susan moved from NYC to Mandarin in November 2021 with her husband, Cantor Henry Rosenblum, to be near their three grandchildren and two of their three children. In addition to travel and musical theatre, Susan enjoys staying active by practicing yoga, brisk walking, and water sports..
Dr. Parvez Ahmed, Treasurer
Professor of Finance at University of North Florida
Parvez Ahmed is a former Fulbright Scholar and currently Professor of Finance at the Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida. His research work has appeared in several major finance journals. In addition he writes articles about Islam and the American Muslim experience. His articles have been published in several leading newspapers at home and abroad.Currently he is a member of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Commission. He also serves on the boards of Museum of Science and History, and the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. In 2010 Folio Weekly named him “Person of the Year.” In 2014 he was awarded the Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award by OneJax. In 2015 he was named Arthur Vining Davis Fellow to the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Pastor Regina Jackson
Pastor Regina Jackson is a native of Jacksonville Florida. She serves as a bi-vocational Pastor that is currently working in the mortgage and real estate industry with over 23 years’ experience.
She has been involved in ministry for over 20 years with experience in nursing home ministry, traveling gospel ministry, pastoral ministry and street evangelism ministry. She was ordained as a Pastor October 2012 and founded Restoration of Truth Ministries in Jacksonville, currently serving as the Senior Pastor. She also founded of Inspiritus Empowerment Center for Excellence that provides resources to the community which includes food, clothing, furniture, workshops, and education.
Regina has played an active part in the LGBTQIA community and believes that as faith leaders we must become a voice for any group who has been marginalize, disenfranchised, or oppressed.
Joey McKinnon, P.G.
Founder, Local 2 Global
McKinnon has a portfolio career as both a political campaign professional with several cycles of campaign and consulting experience as well as a licensed Professional Geologist with several years of experience in the environmental consulting industry. With a foundation in the sciences, he applies his technical approach and passion for advocacy to mission-driven community organizing. He also serves on the U.S. Green Building Council – Northeast Florida Board of Directors and as the Public Relations Chair for City of Jacksonville’s Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Commission. After growing up on a farm in South Carolina, he went on to get a degree in Geology from Clemson University and a masters degree in Geology from University of Georgia. Recently, he welcomed his daughter, Mara, into the world and hopes that the work he does makes the future a little more just and sustainable for her generation.
Rev. Bill Hoff
Born in Detroit, Michigan, with sojourns in Toledo, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and Miami, Bill has called Jacksonville home for most of his life. A product of the public schools here, Bill attended Vanderbilt University and earned three masters’ degrees in ministry, theology and mental health counseling. Bill was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1984 and, after 16 years in non-profit leadership, has served six churches in the Jacksonville area. He recently retired but still serves as a consultant for community outreach and youth ministry. Bill and his wife of 47 years, Peggy, have four sons and seven grandchildren.
Rev. Rebekah McLeod Hutto, Executive Director
Rev. Hutto is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), having previously served Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. In NYC, she was active in organizing Interfaith programs, including children’s programming at the 92nd St. Y, Muslim Sunday School development with the Cordoba House, and Interfaith Bible studies with Park Avenue Synagogue. After moving to Jacksonville in 2020, Rev. Hutto has been active with the local Daughters of Abraham Book Club.
Rev. Hutto is also an accomplished author, having written several children’s books, “The Day God Made Church” and “Paul and His Friends”, as well as contributing to various curricula. Rev. Hutto is a Master of Divinity graduate from Duke University Divinity School and received an undergraduate degree from Wofford College. Her husband, Rev. Dr. B.J. Hutto, is the senior minister at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church. They have two children, Hannah Ruth and Elijah.
Director of Alumni Strategy for Teach For America Jacksonville and Central Florida.
Non-profit leader by day, roller derby skater by night, Leah Palestrant currently serves as the new Director of Alumni Strategy for Teach For America Jacksonville and Central Florida. When she’s not strategizing on how to build a powerful alumni network, Leah spends her time volunteering for local organizations such as coaching basketball with Special Olympics and rescuing manatees with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. As a member of Congregation Ahavath Chesed, the Jacksonville Jewish Federation Young Professionals and Families Board, and the Daughters of Abraham book club, Leah is passionate about Judaism and interfaith dialogue. Last year, Leah was also accepted into the 2020 Class of Leadership Jacksonville and also recently started a local chapter of Bend The Arc here in northeast Florida. Leah’s vision is for all students in her beloved community to have equitable access to education and lifelong learning.
Milesh Patel is a graduate student in the UNF History Program where he is involved with the UNF Interfaith Center. He serves as a student leader and a part of the Better Together team for them. Milesh has stayed involved for 3 years creating fresh event ideas that aimed to connect to a broader audience in UNF. He also works with the Better Together student leadership team encouraging their development through sharing ideas and encouraging others to facilitate conversations as well. Milesh grew up in a Hindu household but did not practice the religion himself, instead becoming agnostic. His interest in Christianity has led to him being the president of the Jacksonville Campus Ministry, which serves a Christian and Interfaith community. He has been trained at Interfaith America’s Leadership Summit.