Phil Hissom – Founder & President | Polis Institute | Orlando, FL
An asset-based approach to community development; doing things with the community not for them.
Phil spent his early career designing solutions to complex social problems around environmental issues. He also hails from a ministry family that has been laboring with the poor for four generations in Charleston, West Virginia. Using his back ground in research and design along with a healthy understanding of poverty he decided to turn his attention to addressing concentrated poverty, homelessness, and other affronts to human dignity.
After receiving a Master of Divinity degree in 2008 he founded the POLIS Institute in order to improve the quality of life within Orlando’s 100 most distressed neighborhoods. Working both with leaders outside the neighborhood who want to make a difference as well as those in the neighborhood he is able to add a valuable perspective and champion the importance of human dignity through an inclusive process. In past and present projects Polis Institute proudly partners with world-class organizations like: Winter Park Health Foundation, Florida Hospital, the University of Virginia, Bags Inc., LIFT Orlando, and the Heart of Florida United Way to identify core problems, discover solutions, and create sustainable programs that work. Click here to learn more about Polis Institute
Lynette Fields – Executive Director of Missions | St Luke’s United Methodist Church | Orlando, FL
Suburban churches working with urban communities to create lasting change one neighborhood at a time!
For 20 years Lynette has served as Executive Director of Missions for St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando, Florida. Over the course of her career she has worked across a wide range of ages and needs from youth ministry to elder care, from disaster relief to service to the immigrant community. She received her B.A. in theology from the University of Evansville and Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan.
For the past 5 years Lynette has led St Luke’s (a 4,600-member church) through a fundamental shift in the way they do missions. As a church they are walking alongside the residents of East Winter Garden helping them remove obstacles of poverty in order to create a thriving community together. The focus of the work is a combination of asset-based community development, family stabilization, economic development, and improving educational opportunities. It is a model of community development built on long-term commitments, the dignity of reciprocal relationships and the art of working together. Her and her son, Jonathan, live in Winter Garden where you can often find them riding their bikes and simply being an everyday part of the community they seek to serve. Click here to learn more about St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Missions