The Executive Roundtable began in the fall of 2011 with a meeting of several Indian River County nonprofit leaders who formed a Roundtable Planning Committee. Indian River had many leaders that cared deeply for children, but the county lacked a structure that would provide a forum for constitutional officers and community leaders to work together. Three of four counties in the Shared Services Alliance of the Treasure Coast, (Okeechobee, Martin & St. Lucie) had successful forums and were operating Executive Roundtables to solve difficult community issues affecting children, an unmet need for Indian River County.
The Roundtable Planning Committee invited the counties to present and discuss their development, function, successes and challenges. Planning Committee leaders surveyed agencies and identified areas needing improvement in Indian River County that could be satisfied by establishing a Roundtable. Areas needing improvement were: a common vision regarding outcomes for children and families, a process to communicate the needs of families in the community to chief decision makers, a system to bring all chief decision makers together to identify common problems and find shared solutions, and sustaining a unified voice for children and families with an infrastructure that is not dependent upon personalities or who holds a position.
In November 2011, Planners met with five founding leaders and introduced the concept of creating a Roundtable; Schools Superintendent, Dr. Fran Adams; Health Department Administrator, Miranda (Swanson) Hawker; County Sheriff, Deryl Loar; County Commissioner, Peter O’Bryan; and United Way CEO, Michael Kint. All championed the concept of an Executive Roundtable and pledged to invite other leaders to an introductory meeting in December 2011.
For two and a half years, the Roundtable and its volunteers provided personal and institutional resources to build the Executive Roundtable into the solid organization it is today. During this time, its leaders were expanding membership, building budgets, developing documents, adopting bylaws, choosing a name, electing officers, incorporating, and applying for 501c3 tax exempt status. By July 2014, the organization had matured sufficiently to hire a part time Executive Director to expand their presence in the community and drive projects. In September 2014, the Roundtable adopted its first project: Kids at Hope and has worked hard to bring this innovative concept to Indian River County.
In addition to Kids at Hope, the Executive Roundtable is the sole sponsor of the Indian River County School District's Superintendent's Art Gallery, Dodgertown Elementary Destination Days, and serves as an oversight committee for the juvenile citation program, in partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
In 2019/2020, the Executive Roundtable formed a Census Complete Count Committee in order to help improve the response rate in Indian River County and ensure that our community receives as much federal funding as possible. Data collected in the census informs the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to states and communities each year for things like infrastructure, health care, and food assistance. The Roundtable members worked hard to identify ways to share Census messaging and encourage a complete and accurate count in IRC.
In 2020, the Executive Roundtable of Indian River County awarded grants totaling $6,012 to nonprofit charitable organizations serving children and families in Indian River County.
The grants were awarded from the 2020 Rail Trail 5K Walk/Run proceeds and included the following organizations:
$2,000 to the Treasure Coast Food Bank to support the “Mobile Pantry Program.”
$1,890 to The Gifford Youth Orchestra for one annual tuition scholarship.
$1622 to the Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast to support their “Teaching Social Skills Using Equine Assisted Activities program.”
$500 to the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative to support their “Family Engagement Initiative.”
In 2021, the results of the 2020 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey became available. Moving forward, the Executive Roundtable will be focusing on ways to help with the battle against substance abuse in our county, in addition to expanding Kids at Hope.
factors and building protective factors.