Over the years, we hosted, convened, and advocated for activities that promoted smart growth and civic entrepreneurship. Along the way, we were drawn to projects that promoted an understanding of the environmentally sound built environment as well as regional cooperation. We brought academic, technical and financial resources to Overtown’s organizations and residents. We partnered with as many as shared our interest as we maintained a desire to collaborate with those who sought solutions to the neighborhood’s most pressing problems.
As we look ahead, we have an eye on innovation and entrepreneurship. We are leaning heavily on promoting both. We won’t ignore our academic, philanthropic or geographic roots and will continue to look for those activities that are impactful locally and those which can contribute to the academy of community development.
Who we are?
We were formerly the South Florida Smart Growth Land Trust. Incorporated in March of 2002, we were hosted by the Collins Center for Public Policy under the leadership of Rod Petrey.
- We respect our community and stakeholders.
- We are committed to our mission and residents.
- We conduct our affairs and initiatives with integrity.
- We seek collaboration and partnership in our service.
- We aspire to results for our residents.
Mission & Vision
Urban Philanthropies is committed to preserving, empowering, and transforming distressed urban communities. The mission of Urban Philanthropies is to transform distressed urban communities through economic and community development activities for the enhanced quality of life of the residents.
We are looking to those of you who have similar passions to help us “lift up what works!”
Board of Directors
- John Talmage, Chairman
- Don D. Patterson, Vice Chairman
- Philip Bacon, President
- Dale Landry, Director
- Rick Goldstein, Director
- Kweku A. Darfoor, Director
- Margaret A. Denson, Director
- Karim Bryant, Treasurer
- Andrea Copeland, Secretary
John has spent more than 20 years working in local market economics development both for municipal governments and research organizations. This includes working for New York City, Miami, and New Orleans. He recently retired as CEO/President of Social Compact, a research organization serving the Federal regulatory community, cities around the country and community development organizations. John currently chairs the Board of Directors of Urban Philanthropies – a community foundation funding asset development in low income communities in Miami and is facilitating a Community Real Estate Program for the University of South Florida. John has been recognized for his work in economic development by both the United States Congress and the New York State Assembly and has been awarded over 35 awards for his contributions to economic development around the country. John currently owns three restaurants on Sanibel with his wife Melissa.
Don D. Patterson
Don D. Patterson is an accomplished real estate development professional excelling in a variety of areas to include predevelopment, conceptual planning, preliminary engineering, financing, construction administration, lease up, construction close out. Don describes himself as a Community Developer and Civic Entrepreneur involved in reviving underinvested neighborhoods; providing quality resources in real estate development to facilitate the creation of unique, vibrant and sustainable housing and commercial real estate development. He is currently President of REVA Development Corp, a 501c3 nonprofit organization and partner with MFK|REVA Development, LLC. Mr. Patterson begin real estate development career as Pre-Development Manager for Fairfield Residential, LLC a national developer specializing in high-end multi-family development. Don was in charge of performing due diligence on prospective site, conceptual planning, and preliminary engineering of more than 2,000 units of new multifamily construction ($223 million). He also performed as FL Regional Land Development Manager for Toll Brothers, Inc., responsible for infrastructure and site development of 475 single-family homes and as Project Manager for Extended Stay America Hotels was involved in the development of 125 hotel properties. Prior to real estate development, Don acquired an extensive background in civil engineering, performing as Engineering Project Manager, Construction Project Manager, and ultimately assigned as Miami Regional Area Manager for a nationally recognized full service civil engineering firm. After establishing a strong development background with for profit development firms Mr. Patterson formed REVA Development Corp., a real estate development consulting firm, providing know-how primarily to non-profit groups seeking to develop their housing projects. Don has been involved in revitalizing neighborhoods in Broward and Miami Dade since 2004 and is responsible for nearly 1,000 affordable rental units. Mr. Patterson has a B.S. degree in Business Administration National University with relevant continued education to include Florida Real Estate Sales Associate License course work, Financing Affordable Housing, Smart Growth in Practice, and a variety of other certificate programs related to community development.
Mr. Bacon has over twenty years’ experience in real estate and community development. As a small business consultant with the Minority Business Development Center, he advised and wrote a number of successful businesses plans for some of Broward County’s leading businesses. He worked as an economic development representative at the City of Ft. Lauderdale were he eventually became the department manager. He served as the Northwest Community Redevelopment Agency Manager and Real Estate Project Manager at Ft. Lauderdale before departing to become executive director of the Overtown Civic Partnership at the Collins Center for Public Policy. Prior to leaving the Collins Center, Mr. Bacon was Vice-president of neighborhood and regional initiatives where his responsibilities included designing economic development initiatives for clients statewide. Mr. Bacon currently is the president of Urban Philanthropies which he describes as a “civic entrepreneur.” “Our mission is to help develop entrepreneurship in dis-invested communities.” Mr. Bacon thinks that Urban Philanthropies will be impactful in helping to build civic and economic infrastructure in local communities like Overtown in Miami.
Dale R. Landry is the CEO of Village Architects Inc., a consortium of multi-disciplinary professionals who work with communities to overcome the challenges of community based crime a consultant on Community and Restorative Justice and has worked on several national and state initiatives. Dale’s area of expertise is in developing community capacity and strategies to overcome crime through adoption and implementation of community justice philosophy and practices. Dale has an A.S. degree in Law Enforcement Technology; B.S. degree in Management; and Masters in Social Work. Dale has over 41 years of experience in the criminal justice system, including 21 years in the US Army Military Police Regiment. His military experience includes basic policeman; Investigator; Detachment Commander; District, Senior and General Officer Enlisted Law Enforcement Advisor. He has received specialized training in Restorative Justice, Domestic Violence Intervention, Juvenile Delinquency and Gang Violence, and certification as a Restorative Justice Trainer. His continued service includes international/national, state and local community efforts in building community capacity to overcome crime related problems: Chair, Co-chair and member of the International Victim-Offender Mediation Association (VOMA) Board of Directors (2000-2007); 4th Vice President and Chair of the Criminal/Juvenile Justice and Legislative Affairs Committees, Florida State Conference (FSC) NAACP and President, Tallahassee Branch NAACP; Commissioner on the Florida Blueprint Commission on Juvenile Justice Reform; Member Tallahassee Human Relations Council, and Tallahassee/Leon County Blueprint 2000 Citizen’s Advisory Committee. As FSC NAACP Vice President, he has been the NAACP primary point of contact and liaison with all Federal and Florida governmental entities regarding police misconduct, abuse and death investigations within the Florida Department of Corrections.
Rick Goldstein is informed in his community economic development work by 25 years in small business along with an undergraduate degree in business from Temple University. Growing up in a family business environment, he accumulated extensive management and sales experience in wholesale, retail, and light manufacturing, and later started and grew a flooring and service business which Rick and his wife, Francine, sold to an employee and his family of seven providing financing, mentoring, and other long-term supports. Rick switched gears in the 1990s–while earning an MSW, Rick worked with as a community organizer and advocate with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and Poor Peoples’ Economic Human Rights Campaign, focusing on homelessness and economic justice. After leading a collaboration of national, regional, and local organizations on development of a model for integrated business and workforce development, Rick developed and/or directed programs and services for 5000+ people residing in units managed by a public housing authority in Greater Philadelphia as a Hope VI CSS Coordinator, Neighborhood Networks Coordinator, Section 3 Program Coordinator, having designed and implemented an intensive program in the building trades for fathers with felony convictions and other obstacles to dignified employment and successful business ownership.
Rick is a cofounder of Margination and moved to upstate New York as part of a team to implement the pilot demonstration of Margination’s cooperative model of asset development for economically disadvantaged people and their communities. Rick directs Margination’s programs that develop businesses, entrepreneurs, and housing and commercial space for program participants and their families.
Kweku A. Darfoor
Kweku Darfoor is the founder and managing shareholder of Darfoor Law Firm, P.A. Prior to founding Darfoor Law Firm, P.A., Kweku held positions in a state government agency, a private law firm, an alternative financing company, a specialty finance/factoring company, and a commercial real estate company. He brings over ten years of business experience in those various disciplines to the legal industry. Kweku’s wide array of knowledge honed through his professional experiences prior to founding his own law firm allow him to serve companies ranging from small start-ups to large corporations. After many years of providing solutions to clients in the business world, he now utilizes his business and legal background to assist clients seeking business visas, completing international business transactions, and pursuing personal injury claims.
Immediately preceding the establishment of Darfoor Law Firm, P.A., Kweku founded a legal process outsourcing company and worked in the legal division of the Florida Department of Financial Services, representing the Chief Financial Officer of Florida, first Alex Sink and later Jeff Atwater. Prior to these roles, Kweku worked as an associate purchaser and executive purchaser of annuities and private mortgages, where he was tasked with cultivating relationships with clients and examining important tax consequences while also analyzing discounted cash flow for clients. Kweku’s international experiences culminating from living in the United States and various African countries coupled with his business acumen in understanding client needs are one of the factors that make Darfoor Law Firm, P.A. a trusted Fort Lauderdale business lawyer and legal advisor for businesses and consumers in Florida. Kweku practices in several areas of law, including real estate law, immigration law, personal injury law, corporate law, and international business transactions. Kweku earned a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, a Masters of Business Administration in International Business from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, and a Juris Doctor from Florida State University, College of Law.
Margaret A. Denson
A resident of the Overtown Community since 1979, Ms. Denson is an active volunteer and advocate for many positive community causes. She serves as an executive assistant for a major south Florida health care company and is a board member at the Overtown Youth Center. Ms. Denson is the mother of two children who are pursuing higher education.
Karim, a native of Overtown, has 20 years of professional cooking and butcher experience for 5* multi-million dollar restaurants and a proven track record of impressive ticket timing, attention to detail, impeccable product and procedure knowledge and kitchen maintenance experience.
Fostering communication and diligence through proper management and utilization of important records such as meeting minutes and the organization’s bylaws.