Board of Directors
Samantha Vance, Board President
Bold. Passionate. Dedicated. Samantha Vance, migrated from a first-generation college graduate to a social entrepreneur, business owner, author, and Commissioner on the Status of Women and Girls for the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. She started her businesses while working full-time, exuding perseverance and resilience. Samantha’s focus is in small business and nonprofit development, and her greatest passion is developing young women into future leaders. She believes in spreading LOVE, and light, and standing on the principles of GOD.
As the Founder and Executive Director of Ladies Learning to Lead (L3), an organization that prepares young ladies in middle and high school for college, careers, and life, Ms. Sam as the youth call her, provides mentorship, professional development training, and life plans for young ladies.
Samantha was selected as one of Tallahassee’s top professional African American’s of the year for 2019 to be featured in the African American History Calendar created by Tallahassee Community College. Samantha is the President of the Leon County Alliance for Girls, Fundraising Chair for Tallahassee Healing Prayer Ministries and functions as a board member for AMI Kids Tallahassee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, and Whole Child Leon. Samantha is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science, minor in Public Administration and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Management from the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship.
Chicarla Williams-Pye, Interim Vice President
Chicarla Williams Pye was born and raised in Havana, Florida. She received her early education in the public schools of Gadsden County where she graduated as Valedictorian with honors from Havana Northside High School in 1993. Upon graduation, Chicarla attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where she obtained a B.S. degree in Social Work, with Honors; she continues to pursue a Master of Applied Social Sciences.
Currently, Chicarla is the Legislative Aide to State Representative Ramon Alexander, of District 8. She formally served as an Aide to former State Representatives Alan Williams, and Curtis Richardson. In addition she is a managing partner of Community Innovative Solutions, LLC a consultant management & grant development firm. She serves as the Chief Financial Officer for several non-profits, such as the Alpha Educational and Leadership Foundation, Inc., Council of Church Based Health Programs, Inc. and Health Promotion Program Initiatives, Inc. Chicarla lives by the motto, “Faith without work is dead”. To that end, she offers her time to many community charities and organizations. Her dedication to her church, family and community is evident by her involvement of servant leadership; she sings praises to God in the gospel group Compassion. Chicarla enjoys event planning, reading God’s Word, and mentoring young women. She received several awards for her service to the State and has elected membership in several civic associations. Chicarla is married to Thaddeus Pye who has made it a life mission to serve and inspire youth.
Glenda Thornton, Secretary
Glenda Thornton is a Vice President for Accretive Health. Previously, she was General Counsel for the Florida Lottery after practicing law for over 20 years, including many years as a partner at the International law firm, Foley & Lardner. Very involved in her community, Glenda has served as chairman of the boards for Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, the Greater Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Big Bend, Workforce Plus, Leadership Tallahassee, the American Heart Association and Capital City Bank’s Leon Community Advisory Board. She has also served on the following boards: Community Foundation of North Florida, Tallahassee Memorial Foundation, Seminole Boosters, Southeastern Community Blood Center, Downtown Redevelopment Commission and the Southern Shakespeare Festival.
A graduate of Florida State University College of Law and the 2005 recipient of the law school’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Glenda is also a graduate of Leadership Florida and Leadership Tallahassee and was the 2001 Recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Awards’ Pacesetter Award. Among her honors, her hometown, Mobile, Alabama and her current home, Tallahassee, Florida have both proclaimed Glenda Thornton Day. Also, the Leon County Career Resource Center was renamed the Glenda L. Thornton Career Resource Center.
Bob Asztalos has lobbied on health care issues at both the state and Federal levels since 1985. Currently, Chief Lobbyist for the Florida Health Care Association and owner of the lobbying firm of Asztalos & Associates. In addition to lobbying, Bob works with FHCA staff at the long term health care desk in the State Emergency Operations Center during hurricanes and disasters. Bob is the former Director of Legislative Affairs for the Florida Health Care Association in Tallahassee and the Senior Congressional Affairs Representative for the American Health Care Association in Washington DC. He previously served as Associate Director of Government Affairs with the American Physical Therapy Association and a Legislative Specialist with the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Bob has a Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from George Washington University. He completed twenty-nine years active and reserve service as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and currently serves in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Pat Smith was raised in Kingsland, Georgia as one of seven children. After graduating high school, she attended Florida A&M University where she studied Journalism Broadcast.
In July 2019, she was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet under the leadership of Florida’s First Lady, Casey DeSantis.
Prior to her recent appointment, she worked at the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) for nearly two decades within the office of communications where she coordinated the department’s community and faith-based outreach initiatives and routinely represented the department at various stakeholder events.
She is known for her commitment to supporting and mentoring youth. A true Public Servant who she wants to motivate others with her passion for service and believes that through community engagement her fellow Floridians will be driven to serve their neighbors in need.
She is a Certified Public Manager (CPM), and no stranger to Northwest Florida. Community recognitions include being named by the Tallahassee Democrat as one of Tallahassee’s “Top 25 Women You Need to Know” and served on the inaugural Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. She currently serves on the Governor’s Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council as well as the Renaissance Charter School Board. She is deeply grateful for the privilege to inspire others to be the change they wish to see in the world.
Johnitta Wells is the Conference and Communications Manager at the Florida Housing Coalition. Her primary responsibilities include coordinating the logistics for the Coalition’s annual conference, assisting affordable housing advocates with the tools needed to advocate for affordable housing through the Sadowski Affiliates, and handles the Coalition’s communications, including messaging to internal and external audiences, and the Coalition’s website. Prior to joining the Coalition, Wells served as communications coordinator with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and editor at Florida A&M University. She brings a wealth of experience in public relations, marketing and publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Florida A&M University.
Stormy Milton, Board Member
Stormy Milton has had a successful career in business development for the past 16 years in the telecommunications industry with Verizon Wireless and Comcast Cable. Despite becoming a mother at the young age of 17 she educated herself, advanced in her career, and became one of the most successful Senior Account Executives in the Florida Region with Comcast. Her accolades include winner of the Comcast Innovator Award, multiple Comcast Elite Awards, Nominee for Ambassador of the Year for Internet Essentials and winner of the Go for Gold award in the Central Division.
Stormy Milton is also a wife to Jimmy, mother to 2 Lincoln High School athletes, Skyla (daughter) 17 and Merek (son) 15, and has resided in Tallahassee, FL since 2004. Stormy was born in Raleigh, NC. She came from a unique upbringing, living in multiple youth shelters and girls’ homes. This fostered her passion for philanthropy. She is dedicated to helping other young women and girls to succeed in life. Stormy brings a diverse background with a deep understanding of the L3 Mission. She is passionate, driven, motivated and brings a sense of relatability to our Board. Her goal is to help raise awareness, bring knowledge and connections through her business development experience, and volunteer her time to help L3. She feels privileged and honored to be a part of our organization and looks forward to working with everyone.
Kendalyn Gordon, Board Member
Kendalyn Staten Gordon is a native of Wakulla County and currently a resident of Tallahassee, Leon County.
Upon graduation from Wakulla High School, she attended Tallahassee Community College and ultimately graduated from Florida State University where she obtained her B.S. from the College of Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management.
While completing her educational experiences, she met the love of her life, Russell Gordon. They were married in 2015. Kendalyn has been described as bold, a natural leader, and ambitious. These are just a few qualities that have aided in her success.
Kendalyn has 18 years of banking experience and is currently a Service Center Manager at Campus USA Credit Union. She began her employment at Campus in 2012 and has truly enjoyed being an integral part of the growth and expansion of the credit union in the area. She enjoys interacting with her members, teaching financial literacy to K-12 student through volunteer organization like Junior Achievements as well as with anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of their finances. Also, she is a member of Business Networking International (BNI) and the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
When she isn’t at Campus, she enjoys time with her husband, their cat Buster and they are also small business owners here in the Tallahassee community.