2020 - 2021 Leadership & Purpose

Who We Are

The Morikami Park IB Foundation was organized in 2005 by a group of parents in order to amplify their impact through shared resources and common causes.  Since its inception, the Morikami Park IB Foundation has amassed an archive of tangible results contributing over $500,000 towards various projects that have enhanced the educational environment at the school.  The foundation is governed by an eight member Board of Directors which is accountable to donors and sponsors.   Most importantly, the foundation is supported by parents and local businesses.  It is this support that helps the foundation be successful in its mission to support programs that enhance the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) at Morikami Park Elementary School.


PRESIDENT- Mandy Stein Friedlander

After being born and raised in the Chicago area, Mandy moved to South Florida over 11 years ago. She worked as a prosecutor in both Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale for over 6 years and is currently working in Delray Beach. Mandy was very involved in the parent organization for her children’s pre-school and is continuing her involvement at Morikami Park Elementary. She resides in Boynton Beach with her husband David and their children, Elizabeth and Brady, both of whom are Morikami Moonbears. Mandy is starting her 6th year on the IB Foundation Board and her 4th year as President.

VICE PRESIDENT - Andee Holzman

Andee has called South Florida home since moving with her family to Boca Raton from Arkansas when she was in high school. She received degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Miami, where she's worked for the past 18 years. At UM she is the Assistant Director of the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Andee and her husband, Steven, have a daughter in 4th grade and a son in 2nd grade. This is Andee's fourth year on the IB Foundation Board. She loves being a part of the MPES community and working with the awesome IB Board on raising funds for IB initiatives!


SECRETARY Rhyan Dildine


Rhyan grew up in Martin County, Florida before attending Emory University where she met her husband TJ. The Dildines live in Delray Beach and are the proud parents of Flossy, age 7 and Foxworth, age 3. The couple owns and runs their family’s 45-year-old pharmacy, Delray Shores Pharmacy & Soda Fountain, in downtown Delray Beach. Although Rhyan has enjoyed a 12-year career as a family law attorney in Palm Beach County, she lovingly oversees the family’s restaurant as head chef at The Foxworth Fountain. This school year marks Flossy’s second grade adventure, and Rhyan’s third year as Secretary on the IB Foundation Board. 

TREASURER - Robyn Taylor

Robyn was born and raised in South Florida and graduated from UF.  She works as a pharmaceutical representative and currently lives in Boynton Beach with her husband, Chris and daughter, Emily. Emily will be entering 2nd grade at MPES.

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR - Elyse Gottlieb Gastwirth

Elyse has close to 20 years of experience working as a Corporate Event and Meeting Planner. She also works part time as a Personal Trainer while being busy with her son who is in fourth and daughter who is in kindergarten at Morikami. In her spare time, Elyse enjoys spending time at the beach, traveling, snowboarding and spending time with her family.


Jodi was born and raised in South Florida. She has served as an IB Basket Room Mom for the last three years and has a strong passion for philanthropy. Jodi works full time as a pharmaceutical sales representative and has two children at Morikami, Samantha who is in fourth grade and Jake who is in first grade . This is Jodi’s 2nd year on the board.


Antonietta Benavides was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Boca Raton, FL at the young age of 9. She works as an office manager for her families tile and marble company that has been in business for 27 years. She graduated from the Florida College of Natural Health in Paramedical Skincare. She has been working as a makeup artist for 18 years and has worked for skincare companies as a counter manager as well as their traveling makeup artist. She says her greatest achievement of all are her beautiful children who attend Morikami Park Elementary. Luca, who is in first grade, and twins Marco and Giuliana who are in kindergarten. , She is excited to join the IB Foundation Board and hopes to have an amazing first year.


Michelle was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She attended Hofstra Law where she met her husband Ryan. After obtaining her LL.M. from the University of Miami, she decided to permanently call Boca Raton her home.  Currently Michelle practices Estate Planning and Probate, she is licensed in FL, NY and NJ and has an active real estate career in Boca Raton.  Her son is proud to be a 2nd grader at MPES and she is honored to be a 2nd year IB Foundation Board member. 


Amy Mercier is a Florida native and graduated from FAU. She has been working at Morikami Park Elementary School for 21 years. She has taught 3rd grade, 5th grade, and is currently the IB Magnet Coordinator. She loves being a part of the Morikami family! She has also attended the IB Academy to become a PYP workshop leader. This allows her to travel across the country to work with and train other IB teachers and administrators. In her spare time she enjoys time with her husband Dan, their two boys Brian & David, their dog and two cats!


Website Coordinator - Linda Porter

Linda has spent many years as a volunteer with a concentration on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. She first became involved with the program over 26 years ago when her daughter earned the International Baccalaureate Diploma. As President of the IB Boosters for 5 years, Linda's duties included every facet of IB Parent-Administration development. A strong advocate for education, Linda enjoys spending her retirement doting on her granddaughter, a former Morikami Park Elementary graduate and assisting in the local MENSA chapter. She has served as the MPIBF website coordinator since 2015.


The Morikami Park IB Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds that support, strengthen and enrich the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) at Morikami Park Elementary school.