Donna Sines is the Executive Director of Community Vision in Kissimmee. This unique organization has grown from a grass-roots effort to a national model of community involvement. Before leading Community Vision, she was the Executive Vice President, of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce where she instituted the Leadership Osceola County program in 1989. Donna’s passion for community betterment led her to spearhead a myriad of volunteer projects. These projects included a historic train-station renovation project, Downtown Kissimmee revitalization, (creation of the Community Redevelopment Agency), Great Outdoor Days and other popular community events. During her nine year tenure Donna twice received Governor Chiles Community Investment Award for a student mentorship program, as well as a “Business Against Drugs” workplace initiative. In 1995, with community support, she was hired to shepherd Community Vision, an independent 501c3 organization.
From a part-time venture, out of her living room, to a major force for positive change, Community Vision now employs a staff of seven professionals. Donna and her small but mighty team oversees collaborative efforts focused on creating a leader-full community, poverty elimination, and health enhancement efforts for the uninsured. Community Vision oversees outreach efforts garnering feedback from 10’s of thousands of residents, over the years, helping the organization always to keep a finger on the community pulse.
Under Donna’s leadership, Community Vision joined forces with all municipalities (both Cities and the County) the Orlando Magic, Florida Hospital, Nathan’s Hotdogs, the American Orthopedic Surgeons, Walt Disney World and CarMax to build amazing KaBOOM! playgrounds throughout the County. This volunteer one-day builds are valued over $600K and further KaBOOM!’s mission of having a playground within walking distance of any child in America.
Through collaboration, Donna believes all things are possible. She firmly believes education and employment represent keys to breaking the cycle of poverty. So she put together (E2E) Empowerment2Employment. E2E takes persons thought unemployable and with the help of a soft skills employability program puts them to work based on their interests and abilities. Employers willing to give second chances work with the E2E staff. Most positions pay more than the living wage.
Donna also put a partnership together to create Project OPEN (Osceola Poverty Elimination Network). This program provides career educational offerings… gathering together cohorts that include homeless, precariously housed and underemployed individuals. CNAs, (Certified Nursing Assistants), Electronic Board Assembly, and Avionics are the focus areas working with O-Tech, Valencia and for the first time a private enterprise. Today hundreds of individuals are supporting their families and traveling a career path instead of trying to survive in a dead-end job.
For the past 23 years, Sines has worked with dedicated volunteers to both organize and sustain Community Vision efforts aimed at civic participation in achieving a preferred future. Donna was named a National Distinguished Leader by the by Association of Community Leadership. She is listed in the Who’s Who of America’s non-profits. Sines is a talented, natural facilitator and worked with a number of communities across the country in launching similar visioning ventures. This on-going effort initially involved 3,000+ residents in shaping a vision for a preferred future, as well as, determining shared goals, strategies and developing action plans crafted at the grass-roots level to help Osceola County reach its full potential. Community Vision continues to engage the community encouraging shared hopes, dreams and aspirations in charting a course to a better tomorrow providing a voice to over 20,000+ individuals who continue to complete a community inquiry survey.
Community Vision is credited with uniting citizens around common goals, supporting investment in social capital and helping maintain a sense of community in spite of escalating growth and diversity. Community Vision garnered a National Sustainable Community Award from the Joint Center for Sustainable Communities (National Conference of Mayors and Association of Counties). Community Vision leadership, together with the mayors of the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud and Chairperson of Osceola County Commission were recognized in Washington as one of only seven communities receiving this distinction for demonstrated results in partnering to achieve a more sustainable future. Community Vision was named the Legacy Champion of Sustainability by the Healthy Community Initiative of Central Florida, numerous Walt Disney Community Service Awards, a Florida Hospital Endowment and the list goes on.
Donna was named a National Distinguished Leader by the National Association of Community Leadership; the recipient of a Central Florida Summit Award, and has been twice honored for her work by the Late Governor Chiles. Also…Woman of Outstanding Leadership, International Women’s Leadership Association, and Osceola County Woman Warrior.
Sue Ring has worked in the non-profit industry for more than 25 years for indirect and direct service providers. She has extensive experience in program development, volunteer management, special events coordination and community outreach. However, philanthropy was not her chosen career. Sue graduated many moons ago with a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV Communications from Butler University but found herself unemployed in that field. After a brief stint in retail, she joined the Meals on Wheels program in Indianapolis, IN as the volunteer coordinator and hasn’t looked back since. After 13 years at MOW, she relocated with her family to Central Florida. She served as the Downtown Kissimmee/Small Business Area Council Coordinator of the Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce (fit that on a business card) where she was introduced to Community Vision. She joined the Community Vision team in January 2002. She wears many hats which can include a strategic planner, program manager, event coordinator, communications specialist, grants administrator, meeting planner and bookkeeper. Sue and her husband Matt have been married for 25 years and have a daughter Megan.
Emily joined the Community Vision team in 2013. This Osceola native returned home after a productive career in Health & HR Management in Georgia. Her retirement plans were short-lived after she reconnected with fellow Osceola High School grad Donna Sines at a class reunion. Emily started as a part time Special Projects Manager offering staff support for CV initiatives and programs. She helped launch the Project OPEN program where her passion, enthusiasm and dedication have made it a wild success. With firm guidance and warm heart, the program continues to grow and thrive. In Emily’s private time, she enjoys spending time with her 2 adult daughters, 5 grandchildren, her dear mother and precious Yorkie and resident stinker Bentley.
Isaac began at Community Vision in February of 2016 as an Intern from Valencia College. He was officially welcomed aboard as our Bi-Lingual Part Time Operations Associate. Isaac graduated with his Associate in Arts degree from Valencia College, May of 2016 and will be starting at UCF fall term 2016.
Driven by a passion to help those in need and by a powerful desire to positively impact the community, he naturally merged with the Community Vision team.
Isaac was born in Quito, Ecuador. In a desperate attempt to rescue his family from a crippling economy and country-wide corruption, Isaac’s father decided to offer his family a new beginning in the United States in 2006. As someone who has endured the hardships of immigration, Isaac offers a unique perspective on community and cultural issues.
Isaac’s contributions at Community Vision include clerical organization, writing, public speaking, and technological operations. Isaac is the videographer behind CV TV; part of Community Vision’s Social Media marketing initiative.
Isaac’s goal is to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida by 2018.
Shane Townsend joined Community Vision’s Empowerment to Employment team June 2017. Shane serves as our Employment Manager ensuring accurate and efficient assistance to all E2E participants. He is our pre-employment specialist ensuring participants are screened and prepared for boot camp. He also assists in job placement, retention and tracking of participants’ progress.
Shane obtained his Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Hospitality Management from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his youth, Shane had a strong passion in becoming a professional basketball player and was a member of the university’s varsity basketball team. Prior to his relocation to Central Florida, he helped coach and develop young athletes from his hometown Columbia, South Carolina. Shane is excited to help guide program participants on their journey to employment and self-sufficiency.