About Us

Front Row: Juanita Ings, Iris Owens, Felicia Bass
Back Row: Esther Poitier, Ulysses Owens, Gwendolyn Owens

“If I can help at least one child break the cycle of poverty, I know I have made a difference in someone’s life and my community. I have finally found my place – a place of purpose.”

Nia Bradberry, DMAB Board Member

Don’t Miss a Beat was founded in 2008 by Ulysses Owens, Jr. and his family. Growing up in the Crystal Springs area of Jacksonville’s Westside, Ulysses was introduced to music early on. He started playing drums at just two years old and his mother, Gwendolyn, soon enrolled him in classical piano lessons. In high school, Ulysses attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where he became part of the school’s inaugural jazz program and graduated with a full scholarship to the Juilliard School.

After graduating from Juilliard in 2006, Ulysses traveled the world as a jazz drummer, but his thoughts often turned to Jacksonville. Upon reading about Jacksonville’s high dropout rate and other youth problems. Ulysses and his family decided to act. “In other cultures, I saw so many arts programs for kids,” Ulysses says. “I thought we really needed something like this back home.”

The program began with the singular objective of helping suspended youths stay in school so they wouldn’t “miss a beat.” Since then, DMAB programming has evolved to include the performing arts, academic enrichment and civic engagement as well as job skills training for parents.

In 2010, with help from City Councilman Warren Jones, DMAB was selected by the City of Jacksonville and JaxParks to be “in residence” at the J.S. Johnson Community Center’s Youth Room in Jacksonville. This great honor allowed DMAB to provide programming for underserved youth all year long and enhanced the organization’s sustainability by providing it with a permanent home.

Don’t Miss a Beat Executive Staff

Esther L. Poitier
Director of Programs

Juanita Ings
Director of Quality and Compliance

Gwendolyn Owens
Director of Development

Ulysses Owens Jr.
Artistic Director

Iris Owens
Director of Finance

Felicia Bass
Director of Operations

Dorothy Sibley
Educational Consultant

Don’t Miss a Beat Technical Staff

Ulysses Owens, Sr.
Gotrel Poitier, Sr.
James Ings

Don’t Miss A Beat Board Members

Nia Bradberry
Board President
Senior Project Manager, United Health Care

Jennifer Ryan
Secretary
Vice President, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Chikezie Ohayia
Director
Assistant Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Dr. Leo C. Davis DDS
Director
SouthPoint Dental Care

Nicole Dana Nusraty
Director
Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Angela Vallencourt
Director
Vallencourt, Inc.

Mrs. Suzanne Spencer
Director
Riverside Dental

Dr. Michael Spencer, DDS
Board Advisor
Riverside Dental

Our Sponsors

OnIdeas
The Jacksonville Journey
Culture Builds Florida
Buffet Group