Board of Directors
Dr. Tim Steigenga is a professor of political science and Associate Dean for campus and community engagement at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1996 and has held positions at the University of Massachusetts, Colby College, and Davidson College prior to moving to Jupiter to help found the Wilkes Honors College in 1999. He is the author/editor of six books and numerous other publications issues related to religion, migration and immigrant integration including: Against the Tide: Immigrants, Day Laborers, and Community in Jupiter, Florida. Tim has served as a co-principle investigator on major research grants from the Ford Foundation focused on the lives of Latin American immigrants in Florida and Georgia, was awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Guatemala. He was among those who helped to found El Sol in 2004 and lives in Jupiter with his wife and three children.
Journalist Roger Buckwalter spent 28 years at The Jupiter Courier, where he was editorial page editor, before retiring in 2001. He has served on numerous local boards, including as past president of the American Cancer Society and past chairman of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society. Currently, he is chairman of the Northern Palm Beaches Cultural Alliance and chairs the community relations committee of the Advisory Board of Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. Roger grew up in Juno Beach and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida. He is a Vietnam War veteran.
Sheila Hirsch is an 18-year resident of Jupiter. Her professional career has been dedicated to providing accounting services in a variety of challenging fields, including medicine and television. For the past 10 years, she has been in the financial services industry and is Series 7 Securities licensed. Sheila spent several years on the production crew for the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon on WPEC-TV and was an original organizer of Project Thanksgiving. Shelia is currently serving on the Owner’s Board a The Barristers Building in West Palm Beach. An active member at Jupiter FIRST Church, Shelia works with the Web Ministry and has served as treasurer of the Church.
Monica Maldonado is the Associate Director of Student Activities at Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
As a doctoral student in neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin, she worked in a laboratory studying Ischemic stroke and how the brain changes after damage.
At FAU, Monica works as a director for various programs, but she is also a classroom instructor and mentor in the sciences. She helps aspiring medical professionals advance in their careers through internships and other professional development opportunities.
She lives with her husband and three children in Jupiter Farms.
Dalila Jara is the current President of El Sol Workers’ Council. El Sol’s Workers’ Council is an active and critical partner in our decision-making process; elected by the workers, council members are instrumental in identifying community needs that El Sol can address, especially regarding those of the migrant population, and in determining and implementing the Center’s policies and procedures, events, and programs.
Lee McCarthy has a long career in travel planning and charity work. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Lee has worked as an international flight attendant, flight interpreter, travel planner and certified travel counselor. In addition to her volunteer work at El Sol, where she is secretary of the executive board, Lee volunteers at the Quantum House at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Ed Ricci is a practicing civil trial attorney with the law firm of Edward M. Ricci, P.A. in West Palm Beach. In addition to serving as vice president of El Sol, Ed has been voluntary counsel to Hope Rural School in Indiantown for 29 years. He and his wife founded the Ricci-Lupo Charitable Trust, which funds public interest programs and scholarships. Ed is active in development for Palm Beach Dramaworks and Kidsanctuary Campus in West Palm Beach. He also provides financial support to The Public Citizen Foundation in Washington, D.C, the Saint Dismas Society Prison Ministry and Mothers Against Brain Injury Foundation in Florida. He is involved in many other charitable works in the U.S., Haiti, Bangladesh, and India.
Gerald A. Rosenthal
Since opening the firm now known as Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Ryles more than 30 years ago, Gerald A. Rosenthal has been a dedicated champion of the everyday hero – police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses, construction workers, farm workers, and more. Passionate about preserving the civil rights of laborers, he has fought tirelessly against giant insurance companies who deny the injured workers their benefits. Before Gerald A. Rosenthal became known as one of the best Palm Beach lawyers, he had his beginnings as a student at the University of Florida College of Law. His studies were interrupted by the draft. He served in the United States Army in Vietnam and with the Florida National Guard before returning to UF to earn his Juris Doctor in 1973. A member of the Florida Bar, he is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court (Southern District), the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Patricio Silvestre is the president of Corn Maya, Inc., a non-profit organization and El Sol’s sister organization. He is also a superintendent for Total Maintenance, a landscaping company. Corn Maya sponsors the annual Fiesta Maya in Jupiter, as well as a soccer league of more than 14 teams, and provides other services to immigrants in Jupiter.
Philip (P.J.) Willis
Philip (P.J.) Willis is a Senior Trust Portfolio Manager for Synovus Private Wealth in South Florida. P.J. has over 20 years of experience managing over $700 million in client assets. Most recently, P.J. was Senior Vice Presidents and Investment strategist for a Florida financial Institution. P.J. customize investment strategies for individuals, families, and trusts helping them achieve long term financial success.
P.J. graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors degree in Finance. He has also earned the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). P.J. is a native of South Florida and believes in helping his local community.
He resides in Jupiter with his wife Greta and is the proud father of two girls, Ellie and Eva.
Daniel A. Zuniga
Dan was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is a graduate of Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon his graduation from Hofstra School of Law in New York, Daniel worked as a Certified Legal Intern at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office before taking a position with a civil defense firm, where he represented corporate entities. In 2014, Daniel became one of the founding partners of Personal Injury of Florida. Dan Concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, traumatic brain injuries, vehicular accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, and products liability.