NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

vanessa carroll

INDEPENDENT LIVING TRANSITIONAL SPECIALIST

THE president

Janaya rehman

LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT & COO

WILLIAM GONZALEZ, SR

MINISTRY MISSIONS & OUTREACH DIRECTOR

THE Founder

BOARD MEMBER

Winfred Porter is an advocate for youth of all ages, from all walks of life. He is currently an Assistant Principal, and has served in this capacity over the course of the past 5 years. Prior to working as a school-based administrator Winfred was an integral member of the launching team for two brand new magnet programs in Broward County (Hollywood Hills Leadership and Entrepreneurship Academy and an Aeronautical STEM Magnet Program). Altogether, he has more than 10 years of experience in the educational field.

 Winfred is a graduate of Lehigh University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While at Lehigh he started at wide receiver for 3 of his 4 years. Upon completion of undergrad, he pursued his dream of becoming an administrator by completing his Master’s in Education from Florida Atlantic University. Although time was limited due to academic pursuits and family demands, Winfred still found time to coach football at Rickards High School in Tallahassee, FL and later Chaminade-Madonna in Hollywood, FL. His passion for education and sports led to a focused approach to cultivating a growth mindset in the young men that he encountered on and off the football field.

 In his spare time he enjoys reading, fishing, and spending time with his wife Samantha and his three children: Winfred (15), Jada (12), and Kayla (9).

Winfred also serves on the Board of Kidz Count, Inc. An organization that focuses on teaching youth the importance of banking, business, and entrepreneurship.

Brittany Marion believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live a fulfilling and happy life. She commits her life to providing an environment of compassion and support to help individuals and families overcome obstacles to move forward and thrive.

Brittany is a proud graduate of Florida Atlantic University. She currently works as a Case Worker, whereas, she advocates for youth from all walks of life. Prior to working as a Case Worker, Brittany worked for Broward County Schools as a 1st grade Interim Teacher. She also has an extensive background of volunteering with different organizations within the Social Services field.

It was at an early age, working in the youth department her at her church, that Brittany discovered her passion for making a great impact in the lives of the youth. It is her desire to utilize her educational background and hands on experience to assist TUFF Start in implementing programs that will assist the youth on their journey to becoming successful.

Jon Paul Cirelli

CO-FOUNDER

FORTITUDE INVESTMENT GROUP, LLC


TUFF START, INC’s board of directors help manage, discuss, implement and maintain our mission and goals. The standard we use to determine whether a board member acts in due diligence are ​The Duty of Care, The Duty of Loyalty and ​The Duty of Obedience.

TUFF START, INC

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

THE BOARD

BOARD MEMBER

WINFRED PORTER

BROWARD COUNTY SCHOOLS,

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL

Coach Zack Rehman began his football career at the tender age of 7 years old, beginning his love for the sport on little league teams in the inner cities of Miami, FL. He played varsity football his freshman year of High School until he graduated in 2003. From there he went on to play for Bakersfield College, in Bakersfield California. 


Working in the sports industry, Coach Zack has realized the difference with the kids who are successful academically have had opportunities to partake in extracurricular activities in and out of school.   TUFF was founded in 2012,  under the ideals of giving young children an opportunity to excel both in their athletic techniques and academic advancement in school, giving students opportunities that were not available to him as a youngster.. Since my football days, I spent four years as a South East Regional Scout, helping countless athletes get into college and continue their dreams of playing football at a higher level. I then spent three years as a varsity wide receivers coach, and had the privilege of seeing my athletes win a National Championship, with an undefeated season! 


Coach Zack has been formally trained through the National Council on Strength and Fitness and works diligently with young men on their technique and fundamentals. 

​Jon Paul Cirelli is the Co-Founder and Southeast Director of the Fortitude Investment Group, LLC. With offices in Port Jefferson, New York and Juno Beach, Florida, Mr. Cirelli leads Florida operations. His 15 years of professional experience in the financial services industry has enabled him to elevate his organization to the highest standard in the space of wealth management. Delivering high quality, institutional grade real estate solutions to the retail investor, his areas of expertise also include estate and retirement planning. His vast spectrum of knowledge of non-market correlated alternative investments has been a key component to client diversification and surpassing client expectations. Mr. Cirelli’s vision and his dedication to recruiting the right talent to build a strong team of professionals has resulted in exponential growth for the organization.


Mr. Cirelli has extended his passion for connecting with people to include top tier Major League Athletes. As a result, he has most recently purchased a leading sports marketing agency, Vibrancy 21, located Baltimore, MD. Utilizing their in-house branding department, they assist athletes in developing and growing one of their most important attributes, their personal brand. Players are in the spotlight on and off the field and having the right management will be vital in obtaining endorsements, appearances, sponsorships and partnerships. 


Throughout his career Mr. Cirelli has been involved with numerous community organizations, including the Loggerhead Marine Life Center and the KidSancutary Campus. He is a graduate of Nazareth College of Rochester. Mr. Cirelli holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Dual Major in Business Administration and Spanish, and a Minor in International Business. An awardwinning Lacrosse athlete, he is a recipient of the Block N Award, an honor bestowed upon top performing athletes that exhibit toughness, dedication, and resilience. Mr. Cirelli enjoys golf, deep sea fishing, and participating in charitable events to support his community of Jupiter, Florida. Jon Paul maintains his Series 7, Series 63 registrations as well as his Life, Accident, Health and Real Estate licenses.

BRITTANY MARION

 MBA, SOCIAL SERVICES

[ MAKING A DIFFERENCE by enRICHING  THE  LIVES  OF  OUR  YOUTH! ]

Grace Szambelan is a “natural people person" who loves to make a difference in organizations using her distinguished qualities. As a strategic planner and consultant, Grace is dedicated to assisting Small to Mid-Size Businesses in implementing appropriate key programs, policies and service operations to develop infrastructures and best practices. She is a graduate and alumnus of FIU Business School, majored in Business Management and International Business, and the University of Central Florida as a Financial Planner.  Certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBBC) ™, Kaizen Training (RP), Six Sigma Lean (RP), Management Training, Social Media Manager and Emotional Intelligence.

Grace is currently an Entrepreneur, Six Sigma Black Belt, Published Author and CEO of Business Infrastructure Resource Group, going on three years. Before "re-purposing" her career, Grace held several executive leadership positions within five financial institutions.

Grace is valued for her change leadership expertise, leading complex initiatives, designing and managing sales, service operations, and turning around under-performing markets across several states. Proven track record of exceeding sales and service initiative, leading a highly motivated top performing team while inspiring the will to win, which makes an impact and valuing speed to market without sacrificing quality. She has received many recognitions, including Corporate Woman of the year. Grace sits on several non-Profit boards dealing with children and the poor and is a published author of the book " Perception is Reality For Lazy People."


Vanessa Carroll holds a Masters Degree in Human Services- with a concetration in Child Protection, a Bachelors in Psychology with a concetration in Early Childhood Development and a Certification in Psychological Foundations in Child Advocacy. Vanessa worked as a Case Manager for the Center for Family and Child Enrichment, Inc. before transitioning into her current role as an Independent Living Transitional Specialist for the lead agency contracted by the Department of Children and Family Services in Miami-Dade/Monroe.


Vanessa’s journey of serving at risk youth began at a young age as she aided in the Youth Development Group at her church at the young age of 17. She quickly realized this passion would fuel her journey through social services. As a College Intern, she had the opportunity towork in the Special Victims Unit with the Broward Sherriff’s office. This allowed Vanessa to gain a new perspective on the need for the community to be an active force against victimization and crime prevention, specifically with our vulnerable youth. Thus far, this journey has consisted of serving in the classroom and administratively to at risk youth, working with  special needs children to include emotionally disturbed children and children on the Autism spectrum. Most recently, Vanessa has been affecting change in the area of child welfare where she has worked as a dependency case manager for children adjudicated dependent by way of abuse. She continues her work in prevention and restoration as a transitional specialist for young adults who have aged out of foster care. 


Vanessa uses her educational background and experience as a Case Manager to help TUFF Start implement programs that will better our students, families and our community at large. She offers training and support to our Board Members, Volunteers, Employees and Directors so that each can properly advocate for our students, in a way that is effective and productive. ​​

Lou shares a passion for people and numbers. Helping individuals and business owners with more than traditional compliance needs and works to provide them a value-added portfolio of accounting and advisory services that truly makes a difference. He understands that one size does not fit all. By gaining an understanding of clients’ unique needs and expectations he can help them plan ahead and prepare for growth and the achievement of their goals.  Understanding that the needs of clients in an ever changing economic landscape demand a 360 degree financial approach, Lou launched TFG, allowing Fuoco Group to bring greater value to its clients and stakeholders by promoting The New Financial DialogueTM.

The Fuoco Group (TFG), is a multi-state, professional and financial services organization offering accounting and tax service offerings, but also financial planning, wealth management, exit planning, income and estate tax planning, retirement planning, risk management and commercial lending – all under one umbrella.

 A long time licensed CPA in both New York and Florida, Lou was honored to be a Who’s Who in Accounting by the Long Island Business News. His articles have been published over the years in Accounting Today, CPA Practice Advisor, “Ask the Expert,” Palm Beach Post, and On Call, the PBCMS magazine. Lou has participated in panels, and spoken at various lectures and seminars on tax, accounting and business advisory topics. A proponent of “lifetime learning” he is currently pursuing his certification in Exit Planning with the Business Enterprise Institute.


BOARD MEMBER

THE TREASURER

To know William Gonzalez is to love him.  As an ex-military man devoted father and husband, Will, spent most of his career as an entrepreneur, Mortgage Broker and Realtor.

If you ask anyone what is his greatest passion? You will hear in a collective voice “ providing hope, instilling a vision and crating a value for 
the underprivileged youth in our community”. His compassion for the youth is like non-other.  You would think raising three daughters and a son would be enough for him to father, Will, goes out of his way to build relationships with the youth of his church and he and his wife volunteer endless time with (their favorite people) the youth of Bell Glades, Florida. 


When not supporting the youth in our community, Will also serves as a mentor to other business owners and use is many years of being a business owner to help them avoid the pitfalls of doing business in South Florida.


Currently Will, is a business man, realtor, and mortgage broker, focusing his efforts on helping those accomplishing their goal of owning their piece of the American Dream.  

THE vice-president

LOU J FUOCO

CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT/CEO

zack rehman

GRACE SZAMBELAN

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

BUSINESS INFRASTRUCTURE RESOURCE GROUP

ENRICHING THE LIVES OF OUR YOUTH!

THE SECRETARY

BOARD MEMBER

Janaya Rehman, has worked alongside her husband Zack Rehman for the past 5 plus years. As the Chief Operating Officer of his athletic training and mentorship company, TUFF Training, and has handled the day to day functions and maintained sole responsiblity for the financial records, marketing and licensing. 


A third generation Real Estate Agent, Janaya grew up in the business and management industry, and has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience working with people, leading teams and adapting to fast paced situations. As a young girl, Janaya volunteered with numerous organizations working with disadvantaged youth, and has always had a love and passion for children and families. She was privileged to work for nine years as Director of a large non-profit working with families and serving the community.


Janaya oversees the administrative, programs and strategic plan of TUFF Start. She also spearheads the marketing, fundraising  Her dedication to seeing that every student in her reach has an opportunity to effectively change the course of their life is her driving force.