Staff

Jonathan Leslie | Executive Director/CEO
jleslie@projectyouthbuild.org
Jonathan has been our fearless leader since 2007. Hailing from the Hoosier state he earned his BA in Psychology from Indiana University. Jonathan is a cycling enthusiast, enjoys sports, playing organic farmer, and spending time with his family. He is inspired through helping others and one of his heroes is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Most people are surprised to learn that Jonathan views life as a musical and sings constantly while at home and is known to compose his own rap lyrics.

Carrie Tam | Chief Operating Officer
ctam@projectyouthbuild.org
As Chief Operating Officer, Carrie manages the overall operations of PYB. A native Floridian and Gator alumni, Carrie earned her BA in Environmental Policy with a minor in Theology from the University of Florida. Carrie launched PYB alongside Jonathan in 2008. She is an obsessive reader and also enjoys cooking, Pilates, yoga and the outdoors. Her biggest heroes are those that close to her that have modeled character and grace in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Jamie Patanjo | Fiscal Analyst
jpatanjo@projectyouthbuild.org
Jamie has been with PYB since the beginning and is our financial analyst keeping track of every penny in accordance with Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles. A New Yorker by birth, Jamie earned his BA in Music Education at Pacific University in Oregon. He later earned his MBA from the University of West Florida and is 6 credit hours shy of earning his Master’s degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. Jamie is a food and movie critic in his spare time. He is stroke survivor and inspired by members of his Aphasia book club. Jamie’s hero is his Grandma. A little piece of trivia on Jamie–he hates going to the beach! Who lives in Florida and hates the beach??? Maybe it’s the sand…

Rachel Gillis | Director of Youth Services
rgillis@projectyouthbuild.org
As Director of Youth Services, Rachel manages the day to day activities of PYB. Originally from Princeton, MN, she holds an AA degree from Nova Southeastern; Rachel joined our team in 2013. When not at work you’ll find Rachel spending time with her family and friends, at the beach or traveling. She draws inspiration from her two children and strives to be better every day. Rachel’s hero is her Grandfather. Little known fact (for those who don’t work with her), Rachel is very sarcastic—no really…

Gwen Galloway | Youth Advocate
ggalloway@projectyouthbuild.org
As Youth Advocate, Gwen works side by side with students to help them reach their goals. Gwen was born and raised in Gainesville and bleeds orange and blue—she is a die-hard University of Florida Gator fan. Gwen joined the PYB family in 2013 and has been a strong voice for our students. Gwen enjoys the opportunity to travel and read when she has the chance. Her mom is someone that inspires her and her hero is her oldest son. One can always count on Gwen to have dinner for breakfast—who knew that was a thing?

Shay Bellamy | Academic Instructor
sbellamy@projectyouthbuild.org
Shay is a transplant from Miami, Florida but originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, where she attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Shay has a BFA in Theatre with a minor in Speech Communications. Before joining PYB in 2017, Shay was an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) at Barry University in Miami, Florida. She has been an educator for the past 5 years in subjects ranging from life skills and leadership to drama. Previously, Shay toured the world as a flight attendant—she is always surprising us with stories about her travels.

Construction Instructor
More information to come.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lynn Janoski, Board President
Pure Energy Solar

Duncan Kabinu, Vice-President
Gainesville Dev Academy

Kim Tesch-Vaught, Treasurer

Public Consulting Group

Will Halvosa, Secretary
Gainesville Police Department

Gigi Simmons, Director
City of Gainesville Commissioner

Andrew Barker, Director
Barr & Barr