Volunteer and Community Partner Profiles

davidbDavid Blacker | Volunteer

Since moving to Tampa with his family in 2014, David Blacker has been an enthusiastic and committed TampaBay-Job-Links volunteer. David has shared his professional expertise in social media and recruiting with TBJL candidates, staff, and other volunteers.

He is a natural connector and has opened doors of opportunity for TBJL. In addition, he has led hands-on LinkedIn workshops and interacted directly with TBJL candidates.

David is the managing principal of Venerate Media Group, a national and globally recognized digital agency that strives to drive clients’ results through innovative, specialized, and tailor-made strategies and tactics. As a one-stop digital marketing agency, Venerate helps companies and brands increase sales and engagement, drive traffic and maximize their return on investment.


Connect with David


Learn more about the Venerate Media Group

DeniseFederer-107 107Dr. Denise Federer | Volunteer

TBJL volunteer and Performance Coach & Performance Enhancement Expert Dr. Denise Federer has more than 20 years experience as a clinician, researcher, speaker, author, and consultant. Over the past 4 years, Denise has been a valuable asset to the TBJL team, and her input has enriched the services that TBJL offers our candidates.

As the founder and principal of Federer Performance Management Group, LLC, she provides individual and team coaching and consultation related to personal relationships and their impact on family, wealth, and business. Denise and her team apply time-tested methods used in the science of behavioral psychology and deliver them in a personal, professional, customized manner. This skill-set and intense focus are what make her unique in peak performance coaching for family-owned businesses.

We thank Denise for enhancing our job-search preparation programs by sharing her professional expertise in workplace dynamics, stress management techniques, intergenerational behaviors, emotional intelligence, and communication styles.


Connect with Denise


Learn more about FPMG

steve-freedman-96x107Steve Freedman | Volunteer

TBJL volunteer Steve Freedman is the founder & CEO of Freedman’s Office Furniture & Supplies. For the past 35 years, Freedman’s Office Furniture has become a staple in the Tampa Bay business community and voted the best place to buy office furniture 3 years in a row.

Steve and his team have grown the retail establishment into 2 showrooms in Tampa (Cypress St. and Hillsborough Ave), with additional showrooms in Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Orlando. They also feature a robust online selection of office products is available through Freedman’s Office Supplies.

In addition to his successful and thriving businesses, he is an integral part of Tampa’s professional community, belonging to organizations such as the USF College of Business Advisory Board. Steve is also very active with non-profit organizations such as Metropolitan Ministries and the Boys & Girls Club.

Since 2011 Freedman Office Furniture has donated office supplies to TampaBay-Job-Links. Steve’s generosity and contributions have allowed us to continue providing the support, services, and resources to help people find jobs.


Connect with Steve


Learn more about Freedman’s Office Furniture & Supplies

Paula ZielonkaDr. Paula Zielonka | Volunteer

TBJL volunteer grant writer, Dr. Paula Zielonka, a former professor at the University of South Florida (USF) and University of Tampa (UT), quietly uses her philanthropic gifts and the power of language to create positive social change for individuals and families so they can put their lives back together.

An astute observer of human nature and a dedicated volunteer, Paula is passionate about repairing the world, building community, and making a difference in people’s lives. She embraces the wise saying of Jack Roth z’l, her friend and a founder of TampaBay-Job-Links, “When you save one life, you save the world.”

Paula’s impressive community honors and recognition include the 2016 Tikuun Olam award, the Tampa Jewish Federation’s award to “an outstanding lay leader… [who has] demonstrated commitment and leadership to making our community and our world a better place”; the Federation’s 2009 and 2012 Bobbe Karpay Women of Distinction award; plus awards from Weinberg Village; Israel Bonds; United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Cabinet; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; and Tampa Jewish Family Service. At USF, she was President of the Library Council, member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and Chair of the Young Author’s Conference on the Sarasota campus.

In addition, Paula is an accomplished writer, presenter, and facilitator with a focus on education. Not only is she an exceptional volunteer at TBJL, but she also has been actively involved in a variety capacities on the boards of Tampa Bay Jewish organizations, including Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood, Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Village, Tampa Jewish Family Service, Congregation Schaarai Zedek, and Tampa Jewish Federation Women’s Division and Lion of Judah. She has also served on the national boards of the Women of Reform Judaism, the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies, and United Jewish Appeal Young Women’s Leadership Cabinet and the state boards of the Florida Reading Association and the Florida Organization of Teacher Educators in Reading.

TBJL is honored to be the beneficiaries of Paula’s wisdom and her grant writing expertise and talent.

Deborah Barnes_EditedDeborah Barnes | Community Partner

Financial Advisor and CPA Deborah Barnes, who recently joined Baird’s Private Wealth Management team, chose her career path because of her passion and determination to help people attain their financial goals and help them achieve the things they desire for themselves and the people they care most about.

Prior to joining the Baird family, Deborah was president of her own accounting, financial, and wealth management services firm, DMB Consulting. She built long-standing relationships with her clients whose combined net assets exceeded $250 million. Deborah started her CPA career in the tax department of Arthur Andersen in 1997.

Throughout her 18-year career, Deborah skillfully developed trusting relationships with her clients and partners, assisting with their unique needs and addressing their distinct concerns. Deborah is a master at tailoring her services to each client’s financial goals and providing peace of mind by combining her knowledge of tax, accounting, and management of the wealth creation, preservation, and transfer process.

Since 2010, Deborah has been a valuable community partner, demonstrating her commitment to TBJL in many ways. Deborah has provided the organization with professional expertise and accounting services. As a natural connector, Deborah has also helped TBJL grow by introducing the staff and services to employer partners, community leaders, and job-seeking candidates. Her enthusiasm for the mission of TBJL is palpable, and the board and staff of TBJL are incredibly grateful to Deborah for her partnership.


Connect with Deborah


Learn more about Baird Private Wealth Management

Allie-Serrano-2017_2-225x300Allie Serrano | Volunteer

Tampa Bay portrait photographer Allie Serrano is the owner of Allie Seranno Portraits in Citrus Park, Florida.

Allie was born in the Czech Republic. Situated in the heart of Europe, the country is known for its ornate castles, rich history, and robust culture. It’s no wonder her distinctive photographic style is influenced by the beauty and tradition of this part of the world.

In 2016, Allie’s best friend passed unexpectedly. This gave Allie the courage and conviction to devote her career and life to capturing moments in time with legacy portraits for her clients as well as their loved ones.

Each of Allie’s museum-quality portraits is designed by hand from start to finish. By using strategic light techniques, she captures on film the unique personality of a child, a beloved pet, or a family. Each photographic piece is then painted and enlivened by her team of exceptional artists and placed in a hand-crafted frame, ensuring the portrait lives on for future generations. Also, Allie can give life to a portrait of someone who has already passed, by restoring an older image.

Allie’s mission and approach to her profession are to provide a high-quality legacy product while bringing to life her subjects’ journeys in a candid, creative, and meaningful way. She believes, “There is nothing better in life than to be surrounded by love, be happy while you are fulfilling your dreams and living the life that you were meant to live.”

As a TBJL volunteer, Allie uses her photographic-talent to take TBJL candidate headshots for LinkedIn profiles and self-marketing materials. Her images empower individual job seekers, because each photo effectively and confidently reveals to potential employers a candidate’s professional demeanor and authentic personality.


Connect with Allie


Learn more about Allie Seranno Portraits

1211 N. West Shore Boulevard Suite 300 Tampa, Florida 33607 Phone: 813.344.0200