Gifford Youth Orchestra

More violins - Better Tomorrows

Meet Our Board of Directors and Staff

The Gifford Florida Youth Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Corporation
Your donations and gifts are tax-deductible.

Artistic and Executive Director – Rev. Dr. Crystal Bujol

Indian River County, Florida

Phone:  772-778-5118       Email:    

Indian River County Resident.  Past president of the Indian River Community Oriented Police Enforcement and Education Committee (COPE); Recipient of the: 2007 Gifford, Florida’s Dreamer’s Ball Award;  “Good Neighbor Award” from State Farm in 2006, Vero Beach, Florida; Cultural Council’s 2009 Laurel Award for Volunteer Activist Leadership in Vero Beach; Gifford Progressive Civic League Award for Special Services to Gifford, 2013; and  Member Vero Beach Beachside Toastmasters 2009 – 2014.  1st Chairperson Black Lives Matter Committee, Vero Beach, Florida, 2016;  Retired Pastor 22 Years in the pulpit of 2 churches, simultaneously.  PhD in Spiritual Psychology from Inner Circle University, Los Angeles, CA.    

Vice Chairperson – Dr. Elaine Word

Berkeley, California, Alameda County

Phone: 510-333-8265             Email:

Alameda County California Resident.  Adjunct Professor, Patten University, Department of Education, Oakland, California.   Beginning Teacher Support and Administration Provider (BTSA).  Elementary School Teacher completing 42 years in June 2016, currently employed part time for the Oakland Unified School District. Owner- ‘Word Tutoring,’ Oakland/Berkeley, CA from 1985 – 1992. Owner- ‘Aunt Bead Jewelry Designs’ 2012 – present.

Support gyo

Thank you for your donation!

Contact Us

By US Mail:

P O Box 691166
Vero Beach, FL  32969


By Telephone:



Rehearsals and Classes at:

Gifford Community Center
4855 43rd Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32967   

Secretary and Treasurer: James Parks 

Indian River County, Florida


Phone: 772-562-7663

Indian River County Resident.  President Roof Repairs Only, Inc. from 1989 to present.  1983 State Licensed General Contractor.  1989 State Licensed Roofing Contractor. President of Treasure Coast Rotary of Vero Beach, past Treasurer, 1995, 2009 and 2010.


Recording Secretary & Asst. Treasurer: Larrissa Thomas -Pelt

Indian River County, Florida 

Phone: 772-494-9156


Indian River County Resident.  Program Assistant of Indian River State College TRIO Upward Bound Program, Fort Pierce, FL. Bachelors of Science in Organizational & Business Management from Warner Southern in Lake Wales, Florida. 

Member – Attorney Fran Ross

Indian River County, Florida

Phone: (772) 778-6452


Member - Roger T. Sobkowiak

Frederick, MD

Phone:  772-532-5469


Retired corporate executive (GE, ITT, CitiGroup), former board member  and chair of Hope for Families Center and Bridges Early Learning Center. Volunteer consultant with the National Executive Service Corps providing management and organization guidance to non-profits. Former resident of Vero Beach. Grandfather and photographer.

Member – Helen Perry

Indian River County, Florida

Phone:  772-696-1221


Indian River County Resident since 1964.  Retired Kindergarten Teacher. Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with focus on Early Childhood Education.  Employed by IRC School District from 1964 to 2003.  Opened the J. A. Thompson Elementary and retired from there.  Taught kindergarten students at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center for 12 years.  Currently serving as Clerk for Supervisor Of Elections, Indian River County, musician for my church, member of the Martin Luther Birthday Committee, Indian River County Retired Educator's Association,  Special K Aerobics Class, Concerned Citizens Of Gifford, and Oslo Middle School's School Improvement Committee.

Member-Leonard Kaczynski

Indian River County, Florida

Phone:  561-254-0418    


Own and manage several credible commercial service corporations 25+ years, Project manager for industrial construction 5+ years, Personalized service for ultra-high net worth individuals 15+ years, Develop and implement accounting systems for non-standardized industries, Conduct macro-economic research for developing business strategies, Direct and coordinate financial income and budget activities.  Bachelor of Applied Science-Organizational Management/Public Safety Administration. Florida Licensed Community Association Manager 2003-Present, Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker 2005-Present. Youth Educator 2010-Present.


Board Member : Margaret S. Thornton

Indian River County, Florida  

Phone: 772-562-0940        


Indian River County Resident from 1973 to present.  Retired Middle School teacher for 36 years.  Sunday School Superintendent of Northside Agape Ministries, Inc. COG.2013 to present  Vice President of the Women’s Ministries  of Northside2010 to present.  Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 1970 to present.  Recipient of the Soror of the Year Award of AKA. Member and Former treasurer of Pink Rose Foundation, Inc. Board member of Our Father’s Table Soup Kitchen.  Coordinator of the SMILE Dental Program at the Soup Kitchen.  Publisher and editor of Northside Agape Newsletter.  Volunteer at Our Father’s Soup Kitchen and The Human Society


Director of Programs: Iva J. Powell

Indian River County, Florida  

Phone: 772-563-7072


Indian River County Native and reared in Crisp County Georgia. Returned to Indian River County in 2003. Climbed the business ladder at a local call center Downtown Vero from 2004 – 2012: developed the company's training manual as the Operations Supervisor, Managed two offices and Supervised over 20 employees. Enrolled in IRSC in 2012.  Placed on the Dean’s List 2012 – 2013. Inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in 2014. Volunteered for the Gifford Youth Orchestra 2014 - 2015; assisted Dr. Bujol as needed. Hired as GYO Program Manager in 2016. Technical Certificates awarded from IRSC for completing the courses of study in: Business Operations, Business Specialist, Entrepreneurship, Marketing Operations, and Business Management. Received an Associate in Science Degree in Business Management from IRSC in 2015. 


Crystal Bujol, Artistic Director and Music Teacher

Joan Haar, Music Director

Frank Wallace, Music Teacher

Barbara Wallace, Music Teacher

Linda Spiwak, Music Teacher

Zipporah Pelt, Tutor

Marissa Rollins, Tutor

Deborah Pelt, Tutor and Music Teacher

Debbie Avery, Outreach and Development Director

Iva Powell-Perry, Director of Programs – Intern Executive Director

Michelle Ward, Volunteer President Parents Action Committee

Larrissa Pelt, Volunteer Printing and Publications Manager

Vincent Outler, Volunteer Project Administrator Annual Concert

Patti Gibbons, Volunteer Nutrition and Snacks Coordinator

Barbara Lipton, Volunteer Nutrition and Snacks

Jim Parks, Volunteer Nutrition and Snacks

Elaine Word, Volunteer Grant Writing Committee

Jim Parks, Volunteer Grant Writing Committee

Crystal Bujol, Volunteer Grant Writing Committee

Advisory Council:

Volunteer, Susan Grandpierre

Volunteer, Jeryl S. Thompson

Volunteer, Carolyn Norton

Volunteer, Charlotte Terry

Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Corrine Trapp