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A Volunteer Board and paid management team of officers and program directors provide leadership for carrying out the work of the American Red Cross South Florida Region. The Regional Chief Executive Officer (CEO) guides and directs the entire region, which consists of five chapters: Broward County, Greater Miami & The Keys, Palm Beach & Martin County, Florida’s Coast to Heartland and Florida’s Southern Gulf chapters.

Leadership Joanne Nowlin

Joanne Nowlin, Regional Chief Executive Officer

Joanne Nowlin is a fund raising and non-profit executive with 20 years of experience leading non-profit organizations with extensive knowledge of the South Florida region. She has senior-level experience in fund raising, board development, volunteer engagement, staff development, advocacy, service delivery and community relations.

Most recently, Joanne was with Florida Atlantic University where she served as Director of Development, Northern Campuses, overseeing all fundraising for FAU Northern Campuses from West Palm Beach to Vero Beach. She also served as Interim Vice President for FAU Division of Institutional Advancement and Interim CEO of FAU Foundation. Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of Southern Florida and Puerto Rico Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society overseeing Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Florida Keys, Naples and Fort Myers, and Puerto Rico. She has also served as President and CEO of Gilda’s Club South Florida, and Director of Annual Giving for Kids In Distress in Fort Lauderdale.

She is currently an officer of the board of directors of 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast and a Trustee of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Florida State University. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). A Florida native, Nowlin lives in West Palm Beach.

Leadership Grace Meinhofer

Grace Meinhofer, Regional Communications & Marketing Director

Grace Meinhofer is a proven communications leader, bringing more than a decade of demonstrated success to the Red Cross. Most recently she led the marketing communications efforts, at Wax Communications working closely with Sales and other teams to develop and execute branding and communications strategies. She also served as Marketing and Advertising Chief for the U.S. Army at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico, where she launched numerous successful campaigns through both digital and traditional channels and gained extensive experience in media relations, project management, crisis communications and fundraising.

A Puerto Rico native, Grace have been committed with community service, some of her past and present involvement with the community includes volunteering at Fundacion Bendecidos para Bendecir in PR, The Humane Society, The Miami Dade Children’s Courthouse and the American Red Cross. In addition, she has worked closely with the Red Cross during her tenure at the US Army and has an understanding of the Red Cross mission.

She holds a bachelor's in communications, a master’s degree in public relations, a postgraduate certificate in European communications from the University of Business Navarra, Spain and it’s currently a board member at the Public Relations Society of America Miami Chapter.

Ryan Logan, Interim Regional Disaster Officer

Ryan Logan, Interim Regional Disaster Officer

Ryan Logan is currently the Interim Regional Disaster Officer for the South Florida Region. Prior to this role he has served as the Interim Chief Development Officer for the South Florida Region and the Interim Executive Director of the Palm Beach & Martin County Chapter. When Ryan is not serving as an interim in South Florida, he is the State Relations Director for the American Red Cross Southeast and Caribbean Division where he is accountable for managing the relationships with government and community partners. Ryan returned to work for the American Red Cross in 2013 after spending close to three years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) where he served as the Mass Care and Voluntary Agency Liaison at the FEMA Regional Office in Atlanta. He is a seasoned disaster response and recovery leader and has a successful record of building and supporting partnerships with various emergency management and government entities.

Prior to joining FEMA, Ryan served with the American Red Cross in various capacities at both the local and National Headquarters level. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Ryan worked for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Athens-Clarke County Government.

Ryan, a native of Anderson, S.C., is a graduate of the University of Georgia and currently resides in Atlanta.

Romeo Muniz

Romeo Muniz, Chief Administrative Officer

Romeo Muniz is responsible for directing, administering and coordinating the region’s organizational and business activities to ensure goals and priorities as established by the Chief Executive Officer are met.

Mr. Muniz works with the Regional Executive and the Chapter Executive Directors in the region to ensure that efficiencies, cost-saving measures, and shared services are implemented. His duties include personnel management of program and support services staff. He serves as coach and mentor to management, staff and volunteers throughout the region.

He brings to the organization vast experience in sheltering during hurricane season. He is the point of contact for all necessary financial matters including the region’s process of acquiring land for new Chapter buildings and the sale of existing buildings.

He’s been with the South Florida Region Red Cross for nearly two decades. He’s served the organization as Controller, Chief Financial Officer, and currently he fills the role of Chief Administrative Officer. He maintains the region’s expenses by operating under budget and analyzing yearly expenditures for potential cost savings.


Sylvia Taylor, Regional Volunteer Services Officer

Sylvia Taylor leads our region’s effort to recruit and engage volunteers. With over 3,000 active volunteers, her goal is to focus on making our volunteers a high performing team and leaders in the Red Cross. She brings a multitude of experience and a strong team spirit to her role every day, having developed and implemented many initiatives to engage volunteers and promote high quality service delivery to clients. Her passion is working with volunteers.

Mrs. Taylor joined the Miami & The Keys Chapter as a volunteer in 2008. Two years later, she was offered a paid position with Disaster Services in the Broward County Chapter. With Disaster Services, she deployed to Alabama and responded to many local and national disasters in South Florida. She’s also worked as the COO of the Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina she has lived in South Florida since 2005 with her husband and three children. She speaks three languages including Spanish, English, and French. She earned a Masters in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University and her undergraduate degree is from Argentina. She has traveled the world extensively and worked in England, Scotland, Australia, and Canada.

Chanda Fuller, Chief Development Officer

Chanda Fuller, Chief Development Officer

Fuller joins the Red Cross as a fundraising professional with over 15 years’ experience in Board development, fundraising, strategic planning, major gifts and business development. For the last six years she served as the executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where she almost tripled the revenue, and as the development director prior to that where she was able to double the revenue in two years. Previously she has also worked with the Peace Corps in Belize helping to train volunteers and communities on business and board development, HIV/AIDS counseling and training for health education. While living in Belize, she was involved with the Red Cross and helped with Board retreats and health education centered around HIV/AIDS.

Fuller currently serves on the Sustainability Committee for the City of West Palm Beach, Day Chair for Leadership West Palm Beach and serves on the Board for the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches as Vice President of Programs and Education.

In her spare time, Fuller is passionate about international travel and finding “off the beaten path” experiences along the way.

Jennifer Durrant, Executive Director

Jennifer Durrant, Executive Director, Palm Beach and Martin County Chapter

Jennifer Durrant is a non-profit professional bringing 20 years of experience in fundraising, volunteer management and program delivery to the Red Cross. Most recently, Jennifer was with Martin Health System where she served as Manager of Annual Giving, overseeing the foundation’s direct mail, special events, corporate philanthropy, grateful patient and employee giving programs. Prior to that, she served as Events Director for American Red Cross of South Florida Region. Jennifer started her Red Cross career as Financial Development Manager for American Red Cross of Central New Jersey.

As Executive Director of the Palm Beach and Martin County Chapter, Jennifer leads a team of Red Cross staff and volunteers who proudly serve more than 1.4 million residents. She works closely with community stakeholders and guides the chapter to ensure the American Red Cross goals and mission are achieved.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in history from University of Colorado. A New Jersey native, she currently lives in Hobe Sound.


Sarah Ruwe, Executive Director, Florida’s Coast to Heartland Chapter

Sarah Tippet Ruwe is the Executive Director for Florida’s Coast to Heartland Chapter of American Red Cross South Florida Region. Ruwe earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Purdue University as well as a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

She began her career at United Technologies Research Center as a Systems Analyst. After relocating to Maine she spent several years as a full-time mother and part-time office manager, as well as a professional volunteer with the local schools, local public broadcasting station and on the Board of Trustees of the local library. She relocated to Vero Beach in 2002. She began her career with the Red Cross at that time, and became the Chief Executive Officer in 2003. In 2011, she became the Regional Director of Volunteers, a position she held until assuming her current role as Executive Director for Florida’s Coast to Heartland Chapter in April 2014. She is the mother of three grown children and a grandmother of six.

Florida’s Coast to Heartland Chapter serves Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Highlands Counties, with a population of more than 573,150. As the Executive Director, she represents the organization throughout these counties, including strengthening relationships with partners, businesses, donors and volunteers.


Paula Prendergast, Executive Director, Broward County Chapter

Paula Prendergast joined the American Red Cross Broward County Chapter as Executive Director in 2014. Since being appointed to lead the chapter, she has inspired and empowered a renewal of the Red Cross mission. She’s no stranger to Broward County; Mrs. Prendergast has been in non-profit management for over 15 years. She’s a proven leader and true proponent of the non-profit sector. Paula has directed major fundraising events for community health organizations and was instrumental in bringing back to the Broward County Chapter the American Red Cross Humanitarian Dinner CEOs. Champions. Connections. Community. This outstanding signature event generates awareness and helps raise funds for the American Red Cross mission. Paula was the Area Director of the American Lung Association in Florida and served as Executive Director for the Florida Chapter Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Paula is from York, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Towson University. She is a member of the Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club and enjoys fishing.

Jill Palmer, Chapter Executive Director

Jill Palmer, Executive Director, Florida’s Southern Gulf Chapter

Jill Palmer has worked in volunteer and community service for more than 15 years. Prior to joining the Red Cross, she was employed as the Director of Volunteer Services, Auxiliary Development and Arts in Healthcare at Lee Health (formerly Lee Memorial Health System).

Palmer had been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for almost three years, serving as a member of the Board of Directors. In this capacity, she served as chair of the Volunteer Engagement & Mission Capacity Committee. Additionally, is a volunteer with several organizations including, serving as corresponding secretary for the Florida Association of Directors of Volunteers Board of Directors, the American Heart Association, and on the Lee Health Campaign Committee for the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades & Okeechobee.

Palmer received a Master of Science in Health Science (MSHS), Health Services Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida.

In this new professional role, Palmer will lead a team of Red Cross staff and volunteers who proudly serve more than 1 million residents in Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties. She will be responsible for guiding the chapter in ensuring the mission and goals of the American Red Cross are effectively delivered.


Emily Borababy, Executive Director, Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter

Emily Borababy is a nine-year non-profit professional with a track record of successfully managing volunteers, developing strategies, and working alongside individuals and corporations to strategically conceive of and achieve their philanthropic goals. She has worked in fundraising positions at such institutions as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Celebrity Series of Boston, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and now the American Red Cross, where she oversees the growth, cultivation, and stewardship the Red Cross’ Tiffany Circle of South Florida, society of women leaders. Over the past year, the Circle has enjoyed 33% growth into the largest chapter in the nation while under her oversight. Borababy is humbled to have worked alongside generous philanthropic partners on several impactful donor-funded endeavors, including the establishment of the music therapy program at Nickalus Children’s Hospital.

Borababy believes strongly in giving back in her free time as well by serving on several boards and steering committees throughout Miami, including Young Patronesses of the Opera, Ellevate, and Nu-Deco ensemble. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a degree in vocal performance where she participated in the elite Trustee Scholar program, a full, four-year merit-based scholarship. She currently resides with her dog Lincoln and cat Rosie in Miami Shores.