Keynotes and Breakout Speakers




Manisha Paudel
City of Des Moines- Inequity Eliminator

Mike Olbel is a native of Pompano Beach, Florida and the youngest of five sons whose parents migrated from Haiti to the United States in search of opportunities and a better quality of life. Mike spent his childhood watching his parents work several low-paying jobs to make ends meet. He became inspired by their work ethic and optimism in the face of financial hardships. Motivated by his parents’ strength, Mike sought to break the cycle of poverty and crime that plagued his family, committing to the promise of education as the surest path to a life of success and purpose. A proud graduate of Pompano Beach High School, Mike attended the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa, where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Sociology & Criminal Justice, becoming the first person to graduate from college in his family. Driven by four years of stellar academic performance, Mike pursued graduate work at Iowa State University, receiving top honors in Business Administration and Public Administration & Psychology. Upon completion of his studies, Mike immediately began pursuing his life’s purpose: youth development. He passionately served as a youth worker and mentor until boldly stepping out on his own to explore entrepreneurship, using his expertise to focus on the social and emotional development of at risk youth in South Florida.

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After many years of social services efforts, Mike founded Team Saving Our Youth Incorporated (Team SOY), a nonprofit organization aimed at early childhood education, eradicating juvenile delinquency through the development of positive decision making and life skills in youth ages 5-22. Under Mike’s leadership, Team SOY has transformed the lives of over 600 youth and equipped them with the confidence to take ownership over their lives. Mike’s work at Community Based Connections, Inc (CBCI) as the Executive Director continues to foster nurturing relationships between youth, parents, and the community, ensuring a supportive environment for children to thrive and while also creating a lasting impact for future generations. Mike’s success with CBCI has afforded him opportunities to serve the South Florida community as a member of several influential committees and advisory boards, such as: the Juvenile Justice Circuit Advisory Board for Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit (Broward County); Educational Committees; Community Fatherhood Initiative; and Project Bridge for Eckerd. A recipient of several community awards and recognitions, Mike has proven to be a dedicated and tireless leader who has poured over a million dollars into education and juvenile prevention. As a CEO, Education advocate and Entrepreneur, Mike has grabbed the attention of leaders across the Florida and the United States. He is highly sought after to assist communities in reaching early education, intervention, and crime prevention goals. As a result, Mike has been celebrated in the media as an innovative and passionate community leader, committed to the transformation of South Florida’s most forgotten communities. Despite such success, Mike continues to maintain close ties to his community, volunteering for great local and international causes, participating in holiday and back-to-school give-a-ways, and maintaining active involvement in his local church. Mike is the loving husband of police officer Kristen Olbel and proud father of Mikelange Olbel II. A true family of service.