Abdul’Haq Muhammed, Executive Director (ext. 107)
Muhammed has more than 30 years’ experience designing and providing positive programs for youth and families. He founded a nonprofit in the Bronx, New York whose services included a halfway house for ex-offenders, an afterschool program, a preschool and several businesses. He has run businesses and has traveled extensively, meeting with leaders concerning business and educational opportunities. Muhammed has incorporated programming to enhance character development, combat violence and drug abuse, reverse the “victim” mentality and tackle the negative self-image often found in the black culture. Children in the program learn manners and self-respect. Through his leadership and example, he has generated a sense of community and hope. He is the founder of the organization, and has been the Executive Director since its inception.
Keith Szyperski, Chief Financial Officer (ext. 114)
Keith is a CPA who received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University. He has been an accountant for over 30 years, 20 in a controller role. He worked as a consultant, traveling around the United States teaching business owners to grow and better manage their businesses. Keith joined the Q in March, 2012. He oversees the organization’s finances, including developing annual budgets, preparing profit and loss statements, monitoring center finances, creating budgets for grants, and working with the Board Finance Committee, oversees the independent audit process.
Margarita Gonzalez, Human Resources Manager (ext.104)
Margarita’s children were among the center’s very first students. She started lending a hand back in 1990, and has been the backbone of the organization ever since. She recruits staff, conducts new employee orientation, monitors staff development, handles payroll and a myriad of other duties.
Keesha Allen, Chief Operating Officer/Performing Arts Director (ext. 105)
Keesha joined Quality Life Center in 2002, after relocating from her native New York. She came with a degree in early childhood education. Her work experience revolves around youth education and performing arts, both performing and teaching children. At the Q, she has served as a teacher, summer camp coordinator, program manager, executive assistant and performing arts director. Keesha’s acquisition of director credentials allowed the organization to start an early learning program. In addition to her administrative skills, for many years she has successfully planned and staged elaborate performances each year utilizing 100+ children in up to a dozen dances which she also choreographs and teaches. She now runs the day-to-day operation of youth programs as Chief Operating Officer.
Jan Sommer, Research and Development Analyst (ext. 110)
Jan has been with Quality Life Center since 2010. After 15 years as a criminal defense attorney, she changed careers in order to address societal issues proactively, rather than reactively. She compiles research on community statistics and needs, as well as research on program models and other issues concerning the target population, and writes grant proposals. She drafts press releases, donor solicitations and other marketing materials. Jan has a bachelor’s and JD degrees.
Rafiq Mujahid, IT Specialist/Data (ext. 104)
Rafiq is a former Marine who lived abroad for several years where he taught English. He is a certified electronics technician, and has produced and hosted radio shows. Prior to moving overseas, Rafiq worked at the center from 1995 to 1998; since his return in 2011, he has been part of the Quality Life Center team.
Katrina Shanks, Teen Program Coordinator (ext. 111)
Katrina Shanks is from Fort Myers and has deep roots in the community. As a founder of a community service support group and a poetry and arts showcase established in 2007, Katrina is determined not only to be the change, but to bring others with her. She is an artist, a mother and an activist, and has been working in youth services since 2010. She became a part of the Q family in 2015 as Teen Coordinator. Her degree is in Business Management.
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Angela Pena, Family/Volunteer Coordinator (ext. 102)
Angela is a graduate of Quality Life Center’s Believe to Achieve program. She caught the Q spirit, and continued coming in to volunteer. She was hired full-time in 2010. Angela is a real estate broker with business and property management experience. Her organizational and problem-solving skills serve her well as she conducts outreach, recruits volunteers, and deals with a wide variety of issues that arise daily.