Steve Zuckerman – Founder
A few years ago I realized that success is much more about helping other people enrich their lives, than being singularly focused on enriching mine. This led to a concerted effort to use my talents and resources to help others improve their lives. Having grown up in a subsidized housing complex in Queens, NY, I’ve always been particularly interested in the crime, violence and incarceration that disproportionately impacts inner cities. My life has been touched by this epidemic in many ways – my dad was murdered when I was an infant and my brother died in his early 20s. My childhood best friend used his entrepreneurial talents to become a drug king pin after being stabbed many times in an altercation in high school, which ultimately led to him serving a lengthy prison sentence. I had an epiphany that I can meld my diverse skills as an entrepreneur, investment banker, and attorney with my passion for mindfulness and personal growth, along with my desire to make a difference in my community and the world. That led to the formation of RiseUp.
John Kozyak is a founding partner of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton and has been recognized as one of the best corporate restructuring lawyers in America. John is much more than a prominent attorney. He is the founder of the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation (www.kmmfoundation.org). Its annual Minority Mentoring Picnic attracts several thousand minority law students from all over Florida as well as lawyers and judges. It’s a place where the students can find mentors and network with prominent members of Florida’s legal community. John has won numerous awards for his steadfast focus on improving diversity in his community and the legal profession, including the Justice Thurgood Marshall Award for Civil Rights and the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award. John is also the National Chair of the Parkinson Foundation.
Captain Rose Green
In his early 20s, Mike transformed his life and began an amazing journey centered around personal and professional growth. He was a budding entrepreneur as early as high school. Mike worked on the Global Wealth Management team for Merrill Lynch and then served as VP of International of Groupon, spearheading its expansion efforts throughout the Middle East and Asia. He is a co-founder and Managing Partner at 1Apeiron and co-founder of a healthcare tech startup called Sensie,. Mike is also a certified yoga teacher and avid meditator. Mike recognized that his success was only possible through the help of community. He is passionate about helping less fortunate individuals and giving back what was freely given to him.
Walter B. Gonzalez Jr.
Walter Gonzalez is a founder and President of GOJA, an online e-commerce company that ships thousands of orders each day to customers all over the world. Prior to GOJA, Mr. Gonzalez was a practicing attorney focused on commercial litigation.
While working as an attorney Mr. Gonzalez dedicated much of his free time to helping children in foster care. His work made an impact, and in 2002, he received the Dade County Bar Association’s Child Advocacy Award for pro-bono representation of children in the foster-care system. In 2003, he also received The John Edward Smith Child Advocacy Award from Lawyers for Children America. Mr. Gonzalez served on the Board of Directors of CHARLEE Homes for Children for four years and also served as Chair-Elect. He founded and was President of the Young Executive Society for CHARLEE. Mr. Gonzalez graduated from the FIU Honors College and The George Washington University Law School.
Scott L. Rogers
Scott Rogers is a Lecturer in Law and Founder and Director of the Mindfulness and Law Program at the University of Miami School of Law. He is the author of Mindfulness for Law Students: Applying the Power of Mindful Awareness to Achieve Balance and Success in Law School which is being used in law schools across the country. Scott is a national leader in the areas of mindfulness and law, and has spoken to thousands of legal professionals, including lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students, appeared on television, National Public Radio, and been interviewed for magazines and newspapers across the country. His mindfulness programs have also been adapted and taught to educators, parents, children, therapists, negotiators, and physicians. Professor Rogers collaborates with University of Miami cognitive neuroscientist, Amishi Jha, exploring the enduring brain and behavior changes that may accompany mindfulness-training programs.