While our world has undoubtedly changed, our commitment to the community has remained the same. We are proud to continue to provide uninterrupted program offerings at our UP Center locations. Please note that face coverings are required at all times. Now more than ever, we are deeply grateful for your support.
Community Board Chair
Barbara Lowry serves on the local Board of Directors for Indian River County and the Regional Board of Directors of United Against Poverty. She graduated from American University with a BS in Business Administration in Industrial Relations and Manpower Management. Her professional career included running a subsidiary company for a large Washington, DC metropolitan construction company and was responsible for the management and leasing of commercial and residential properties. Barbara enjoys boating, golf, bridge, and, of course, her wonderful family and friends.
After the birth of her daughter Katie, she decided to pay the community that had provided such a good life for her family. Barbara knew the best way to become part of a community was through service. When Barbara learned of United Against Poverty she decided to join their efforts. Barbara embraces UP’s mission of lifting people out of poverty.
“I believe in providing individuals with the tools they need to become economically self-sufficient. I see my role as a cheerleader, fundraiser and advocate for the organization.”
Community Board Co-Chair
Peter Bijur serves as Vice Chairman of the United Against Poverty Corporate Board and as a director of the United Against Poverty of Indian River County Community Board. He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texaco Inc. until his retirement in 2001, following a 36 year career. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Peter and his wife Kjestine live most of the year in Vero Beach and spend the summers in Greenwich CT.
"UP’s mission 'to give a hand up not a handout' resonates with me. Our Success Training Employment Program does so much for people in our communities who need direction. We are blessed to have dedicated leaders, staff and volunteers."
Don Drinkard was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He received bachelors and masters degrees in engineering from Auburn University. After serving in Korea as an officer in the U.S. Army, he completed an MBA from the University of Alabama. He then began a career in the oil and gas industry, spanning 27 years, during which he managed drilling, production and construction projects in Louisiana, Texas, Alaska and California in the U.S, and overseas in the Republic of Yemen, Colombia, Malaysia and Africa. Since retiring to Vero Beach, Florida in 2004, Don has enjoyed precious time with his wife, three children and five grandchildren. He loves First United Methodist of Vero Beach where he is involved in education and outreach. He is a committed supporter of United Against Poverty where he serves on the Board of Directors. He also enjoys golf, art and reading.
"It is indeed a genuine privilege to be associated with an organization served by a caring, compassionate staff who help our clients and their families find their true selves and achieve their potential by reaching for the stars."
Cindy Galant is a community volunteer and philanthropist. She and her husband Mark have been residents of Vero Beach for over a decade, spending the summers in NJ and NYC where their 2 children reside. Cindy holds a BA from the University of Virginia. She is a former board member of the UVA Curry School of Education Foundation, and currently serves on the Curry School Advisory board. In addition to the UP board, locally Cindy serves on the boards of Impact 100 of IRC and the UVA Club of the Treasure Coast.
“Mark and I support UP because of the impact their programs have on the lives of our neighbors in need. From crisis intervention to education to workforce placement, UP offers hope and a helping hand to anyone struggling to the lift their family out of poverty.“
Michael Hofmann serves as Senior Manager at Florida Blue and Center Director of the Port St. Lucie Retail Center for the past 7 years. He attended St. John’s University in Queens, New York. Michael has been married to his wife Tracy for 26 years and together they have three sons, Dylan, Ryan and Logan.
“I am fortunate enough to be entrusted with recommending worthy organizations on the Treasure Coast for Florida Blue Foundational Grant donations and through this initiative have firsthand come to witness the terrific work that United Against Poverty is doing in our community. I have witnessed how your mission in Indian River County has evolved over the years to it’s current level of excellence. Upon touring the facility with Phillip a few months back, I was so moved that I just felt that I had to inquire about the process of how to join the board so I could personally contribute to this noble mission.”
Alexandra is an attorney at a local firm Vocelle and Berg. She brings her skills from a prior career as an actress to serve the community in a dramatically effective way. Alexandra was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA before becoming tired of the snow and relocating to Vero Beach, FL.
“United Against Poverty is an organization where you can actually see the programs and resources change people’s lives. To be a part of something like that, to actually see the resources reach your community, was a calling I couldn’t ignore and all I want to do is help it grow!”
Lynn Miller was formerly Corporate Events Manager for Mellon Bank, Pittsburgh, PA. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of Rhode Island. Lynn has a history of helping those in need sometimes feeling like a ‘life coach.’ She has travelled extensively and loves experiencing different cultures.
"All you have to do is walk into the new UP Center and our mission statement unfolds before your very eyes. It is our mission statement in action. One can’t help but believe and be in awe!"
Amy C. Patterson has served on the UP IRC Board since the fall of 2013. She has previously chaired its IRC Development Committee and has been active with the UP Gala Committee since its inception. She served as a past Gala co-chair and has served as the business sponsorship chair for the last four years. After retiring as Executive Director of the (WCBA) Westchester County Bar Association and Foundation (Westchester County, NY), Amy and her husband moved down to Vero in 2008. As Executive Director of the WCBA, Amy had a successful track record of leadership, staff and board relations, effective budgeting, program development and policy implementation. During her tenure with the WCBA, Amy received the New York State Senate Liberty Award for special achievement working on behalf of New York family members who were 9/11 victims. This medal was awarded by Senator Nick Spano on May 9, 2002. Since settling in Vero, Amy has focused on volunteer non-profit work and in addition to her UP service, she has served on the Hibiscus Children’s Center Regional and Corporate Boards and the Youth Sailing Foundation of IRC until 2016. Amy met her husband Don Reeser while racing at a sailing regatta in NY. They share a passion for sailing, their family and their two black labs.
"I appreciate UP’s holistic, "Hand-Up” approach to its programs and services that focus on attacking the root causes of poverty rather than temporarily treating its symptoms. UP provides the tools, programs and consistent support that have allowed clients and their families to move toward self-sufficiency and financial security. I am pleased and proud to work with the amazing staff, volunteers and board members who play a part in UP’s measurable success."
Faye Potts brings over twenty-five years of national health plan and hospital consulting experience to her current participation in area not-for-profit organizations in Indian River County. Her consulting clients included strategic planning and program development for numerous Medicaid programs and a consortium of Federally Qualified Clinics in San Francisco. Faye has a degree in Education from the University of Toledo. When Faye retired to Vero Beach in 2017, she identified local not-for-profit organizations with missions that supported her values and interest to support the underserved. She is delighted to serve on the Board of United Against Poverty of Indian River County.
Isabelle Richard serves on the Local Board of Director for United Against Poverty. She holds a BA in Marketing and a BA in French Writing and Communication for Sherbrooke University, Quebec. Isabelle owns an online marketing agency and works for Lowes Canada and Botanix Garden Centres. Her husband and 4 children moved to Vero Beach almost 15 years ago. She enjoys a quiet life, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.
Trude See came to UP after a successful career as a Corporate Executive with Neiman Marcus. We were fortunate to take advantage of her gift for flare as she stepped up to the plate for our Gala Committee. Trude believes in the “hand-up” approach to lifting lives from poverty and is committed to UP’s claim that the “Sky’s the limit.”
To learn more about the dedicated individuals who make up our board, click their image below.