Houston L. Tate,
Mr. Tate was appointed as the OCR Director in April of 2007. In this capacity, Mr. Tate is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the County’s neighborhood revitalization program and community outreach initiatives. Before joining the OCR team, Mr. Tate was a City Manager with the City of Belle Glade.
Houston plays a critical role in educating neighborhood residents and organizations through workshops, seminars and individualized training and meetings, and is often called to attend community meetings and make presentations to different community groups and organizations regarding County government and OCR programs and initiatives. He coordinates speakers from different departments and/or outside organizations to speak to different community groups, upon request, on subjects related to community organizing and revitalization. Houston also serves as a conduit for citizen complaints about neighborhood issues, and coordinates with other County departments and outside organizations to better serve the public.
Houston has been, and continues to be, instrumental in providing information on available resources to OCR staff for distribution, and makes sure that important community resources and information are shared with all community groups on an ongoing basis. In addition, Houston markets the OCR website, Neighborhood Link sites, and e-mail publications. He uses these and other marketing tools as a means to offer communities with both access to information and a broader network base to share their successes, communicate with each other, and build a closer link to the local government.
Houston has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and Associate of Arts Degree in Industrial Engineering, from Harbor Jr. College.
Ruth, a native from Argentina, has served Palm Beach County since 1990, and has been with the Office of Community Revitalization (OCR) since its creation in 2003. Ruth’s experience in the planning field covers more than twenty five years, with a particular expertise in community revitalization obtained during the last 20 years.
As the Principal Planner for OCR, Ruth is the backbone of the organization, offering support to the Director in the overall management and operation of the department, responding to County Administration and Board of County Commissioners' directives, writing grants, helping residents access the appropriate services, facilitating problem-solving for neighborhood-identified issues, and developing as well as implementing new programs and initiatives. Under her leadership, the Countywide Community Revitalization Team (CCRT) was created to coordinate stabilization/revitalization activities for designated residential neighborhoods throughout unincorporated Palm Beach County.
Ruth is passionate about community building and engagement, and provides an energy and focus that inspires others. She is recognized for her extensive knowledge and experience in community revitalization and comprehensive planning, and for her "we can do it attitude," as she always strives for finding creative ways to serve the greater community. Ruth has volunteered for the last 15 years to lend a helping hand to seniors with disabilities, local veterans, families in need, and community groups with exterior painting, home repairs, landscaping improvements, neighborhood cleanups, and other community projects, along with Paint Your Heart Out Palm Beach County and Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches.
Ruth has received over the years several national and local awards for her accomplishments, dedication and service to others. She has a six year professional degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Buenos Aires, as well as a Masters Degree in Community Planning with an area of concentration in international development, from the University of Cincinnati. Ruth is one the founding members of the Asset Based Neighborhood Organizing Network formed by neighborhood builders across the United States and Canada working to develop a national model for community engagement. Ruth serves on both, the Women's Foundation of Palm Beach County Giving Circle, which provides local micro-grants to empower women and girls in Palm Beach County, and the Hispanic Education Coalition of Palm Beach County. She also serves on her HOA's Board of Directors.
Chrystal joined the County in January of 2002 and has been with the OCR since its creation. She currently serves as the administrator of our successful America’s Next Top Neighborhood (ANTN) grant, under the Office of Community Revitalization’s Resident Education to Action Program (REAP), which offers thousands of dollars in funding to residents and community groups for neighborhood improvement projects. Chrystal’s responsibilities include: management and marketing of the program, contract and budget development and monitoring, technical assistance through the implementation process and program and project evaluations. Chrystal also procures grant funding for community initiatives and, as a result of her expertise, serves as a project manager for many special OCR projects and initiatives.
Chrystal provides ongoing technical assistance to residents and nonprofits, and has been instrumental in empowering residents to get together to reach common goals. She is passionate about community-building and engagement, and plays a critical role in educating neighborhood residents and organizations through individual meetings and training, workshops, and seminars. Whether facilitating a workshop, providing training to fellow workers, providing specialized training to the public, or assisting with different small and large scale projects, Chrystal is always ready and willing to help, takes great pride in her work, and serves the public and the OCR with dedication and enthusiasm. Chrystal has also received several national and local awards for her accomplishments, dedication and service to others. Chrystal has a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, in Tallassee, Florida.
Audley, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, has been with the County since March of 2003, and joined the OCR team in May of 2006. He is responsible for the planning and implementation of community visioning processes; research of socio-economic and demographic data on CCRT areas for presentation and discussion; preparation of community profiles; and assisting community groups with the development of neighborhood action plans. In addition, Audley is responsible for reviewing annexations and development proposals for consistency with community goals, and is called upon to assist with special OCR projects and initiatives.
Audley also develops the monthly Community Connect Grants information newsletter. Major responsibilities include: researching and disseminating grant opportunities to local neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations; providing grant information during relevant community events, tools and information that can be used to assist in community revitalization efforts; preparing the publication; and distributing it via e-mail to over 1,500 individuals and organizations on a monthly basis. Audley also assists in grant writing for procuring funds that supplement departmental programs and initiatives.
Audley holds a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, from York University in Toronto, Canada, and both a Masters and a Doctorate Degree in Political Science specializing in American Government and Politics, Urban Politics, and Afro-American Politics from the University of Florida, in Gainsville.
William, a native of Seminole County, Florida, has been with the County since July of 2002, and joined the OCR Team in 2004. William is responsible for the overall management and coordination of the
Neighborhood Street Lighting Program, which provides funding assistance for the installation of streetlights to help discourage criminal activity and enhance pedestrian and vehicular safety on busy neighborhood roadways. In addition, William is responsible for the management and coordination of the
Neighborhood Home Beautification Program (NHBP). Since the program's inception, he has successfully completed exterior improvements throughout Countywide Community Revitalization Team (CCRT) neighborhoods. William is many times called to attend community meetings to provide guidance to community groups interested in submitting applications through any of these programs.
William also serves as the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Operations Area 4 (EOA 4) for disaster preparedness, and is a member of the Palm Beach County Disaster Recovery Coalition team. William is motivated and constantly working to gain more experience and exposure in his endeavors. He also enjoys the diversity and the nature of his work.
William holds a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and Sociology from Tuskegee University, in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Vivian Ryland, Senior Planner
Vivian, a native of South Florida, has been with the OCR since March of 2018. Vivian works with County neighborhoods to implement the Abundant Community Initiative and provides technical assistance to neighborhood groups regarding grants, neighborhood leadership and project management.
Vivian has worked in the field of community development for over twenty years. She has a broad range of experience in housing, community outreach, neighborhood planning and capital projects. Vivian holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, Florida.
George Schott, Planning Technician
George, a native of Broward County, Florida, has been with the County since March of 2009, and joined the OCR Team in 2019 as its newest member. George is responsible for implementation and management of OCR’s databases. Although George’s background with the County includes 10 years at Water Utilities, he has quickly transitioned to meet OCR’s technical needs, which include the organization of our electronic files, and assisting with the coordination of the Back To School PBC!. He also is assisting with the contact information and skill set databases for our Abundant Community Initiative (ACI) program.
George holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science from Broward Community College, in Davie, Florida.
Address: 2300 North Jog Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
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