About Us

Board of Directors

Dr. Marcella Torres, Board President

Dr. Marcella Torres is an author, educator, motivational speaker, expositor, trainer, workshop facilitator, esteem lecturer, life coach and an advocate for children and families. She is a well sought after speaker who has graced many platforms and changed many lives. Marcella holds a ministerial license and has been in ministry for over 30 years. Her motto is, “Life is not defined by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that have been breath taking.”

Having conducted many life changing workshops such as, Leadership 2000, Unmasking Sexually Con- Games, Understanding My Child, Parenting 101, Creating a Safe Environment, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Diversity, Understanding the People I Work With and Money Management and Goal Setting, she considers herself to be on the cutting edge; using old fashion principles and simple practices to make positive change.

As the Founder and CEO of Let’s TALK Training and Consulting Group, she has over 30 years of experience in working with families and at-risk youth. She is currently employed as Principal and Director of Symphony Seven School of Arts and Technology.

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.

Lisa Brown, Treasurer

Lisa Brown has a Masters in Business Administration, along with the following designations: Certified Credit Union Executive, Credit Union Development Educator, African Development Educator, Development Educator European Union, International Credit Union Development Educator. She started her credit union career in 1993 and has held various roles. She has taught Credit Union Marketing at Florida Community College at Jacksonville. She founded branches of a temporary staffing agency for credit unions across the state of Florida, and she has been the CEO of Tallahassee-Leon Federal Credit Union since 2010.


Over the last 5 years, Lisa has been recognized as a CU Times Woman to Watch, and her CU was named the 2013 CU of the Year by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. Her CU has won two national CUNA Desjardins awards for Financial Literacy for Youth. She has testified in the US Treasury building in Washington on a CFPB Small Business Regulatory Enforcement - A panel to assure the voice of a small business owner is heard. She also sits on a task force for the National Credit Union Foundation with the CFPB designed to bring Financial Education to young people across America. She was inspired to take her credit union to the next level during her travels to work with Credit Unions in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Philippines. That inspiration recently led her credit union to be awarded $1.768 million from the U.S. Treasury to help empower low income populations in Tallahassee.

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.

Christic Henry, Immediate Past President

Christic Henry is a former AmeriCorp volunteer at Bond Elementary School, Christic’s love for Tallahassee blossomed under the care and support she received from Southside neighbors during her term of service. A 2003 graduate of FSU, for 11 years Christic and her husband Karlus have owned and operated Kingdom First Realty, an independent full service real estate brokerage where she serves as President/Managing Broker. Christic is a certified foreclosure and (mortgage) default intervention specialist, certified residential specialist, and a 2006 certified leadership graduate of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors. She also has served the City of Tallahassee as a Program Facilitator/Mentor for the Smith Williams Service Center Girls Mentoring program- also known as DIVAS- where she has mentored over 350 young women during her six week summer program over the past seventeen years in Southside Tallahassee. Christic’s community involvement includes being the first African-American woman to serve as president of CONA, appointee and past chair of Blueprint 2000 Citizens Advisory Committee, appointee of the Leon County Sales Tax Committee and the City of Tallahassee Utilities Citizens Advisory Committee, past vice- president of the Smith Williams Service Center Foundation, Inc., past president of Ladies Learning to Lead and an advocate for youth and neighborhoods throughout Tallahassee/Leon County in various contributive capacities.


For the past 7 years, Christic has served as programs and events chair for CONA and has coordinated the Annual Neighborhood Recognition Cycle and Awards- a joint effort of CONA, Leon County, and the City of Tallahassee- to recognize the efforts and contributions of active neighborhoods, neighbors, public servants, and business neighbors. Christic is currently working with staff at Tallahassee Lenders Consortium (TLC) on an Urban Neighborhood Leadership Initiative where, most recently, three Southside neighborhoods have been selected to attend a national Neighborworks Community Leadership Institute (CLI) in Louisville, KY to receive intensive training on neighborhood leadership and grassroots community advocacy. This group will also have the opportunity to develop a joint project of impact and submit for national grant funding. Kingdom First Realty was recently recognized by CONA as 2014-2015 Business Neighbor of the Year and nominated in 2014 as Small Business of the Year by the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce (BBMC).


Christic has been honored by the Tallahassee Board of Realtors as the 2013 Presidential Spirit Award recipient and the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals 2014 Golden A.C.E. in Real Estate. She was also recognized in 2011 by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper as one of “25  Women  you  Need  to Know”.

Bob Asztalos

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.

Byron Greene

With a career spanning more than 15 years in higher education, Byron Greene utilizes keen business insights to successfully build relationships and collaborative partnerships; a skill developed during career in corporate and partnership tax at Coopers & Lybrand, L.L.P. During his 15 years in higher education Byron has served as senior level personnel responsible for securing more than $20,000,000 to support STEM programming in higher education. 

Using the power of partnership to create value for organizations is at the forefront of Byron’s work. Through excellent communication skills Byron has the unique ability as a consensus builder to bring people from diverse backgrounds and interests together for collaboration. This provides a platform to create stakeholder value and assess outcome potential through strategic alliances. Also effective utilization of leverage as a means to achieve greater outcomes is one of the hallmarks of Byron’s success.

Currently, Byron serves as Associate Director for a National Science Foundation grant alliance of 14 institutions of higher education. Additionally, he consults and advises on independent projects that focus upon human capital development in STEM and university research and commercialization initiatives. 

Building collaborative alliances through community leadership and civic engagement reflect Byron’s commitment to the power of partnership. His community activities include:
· Tallahassee Downtown Redevelopment Committee – Committee Member
· Knight Creative Communities Institute (2014 class) 
· Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra - Board Member
· Ladies Learning to Lead (L3) - Board Member
· Path2d1 [a youth sports and education program – Orlando, Florida] (board member)
· Grace Mission Episcopal Outreach Ministry ( past board member)
· The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science (past board member)

Renard Head

Renard Head is a Retail Center Manager, Sales Consultant and AVP for the Tallahassee Market of Florida Blue. He has been with Florida Blue for 4 years. He is also responsible for identifying new prospective clients and developing them into long term clients through business development, networking, and relationships. He offers various health products & services. He has been in the health insurance industry for over 10 years. Prior to Florida Blue, he was a Quality Engineer for Defense Contractor (General Dynamics). He served in the United States Navy for 12 years.

Renard is an active leader in the Tallahassee community: Board member of Big Bend Junior Achievement, member of 100 Black Men of Tallahassee, a member of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and member of BNI (Business Networking International).

Pamela Ridley

Pam is married 43 years to Professor Dr. Dennis Ridley, has two grown sons Andrew & Jon one grandson, Patrick(4 1/2) & a grand daughter Alicia (1 1/2)

Pam was born on 9/11 in Trinidad & was an avid sports woman representing both Trinidad & Jamaica national field hockey teams at the International level  and the University of the West Indies tennis team.

Upon marriage, Pam moved to Jamaica in 1975 and graduated in applied chemistry minor in Math (BSc) from The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Taught Chemistry, math and science at St. Andrews Girls High school in Jamaica before relocating to Clemson SC. In 1979 where she once again was in the classroom at TriCounty Tech teaching Chemistry.

Pam has lived in other countries and states and relocated to Tallahassee some 31 years ago. She taught Chemistry at TCC before becoming an entrepreneur & business owner of Sentry Self Service Storage since 1992(25+years now).

Pam's daily life focuses on service & paying it forward to her Golden Eagle neighborhood, Good Shepherd Catholic Church and the wider Tallahassee community.

Board member past: Club 25, Refuge House  PACE Center, Riley House, Zonta Club of Tallahassee, Golden Eagle Ladies Tennis,  Good Shepherd Council 

Present: Golden Eagle Ladies Club, Capital Area Community Action,  2nd Harvest of the Big Bend, Caribbean American Heritage Council, Capital City Chamber of Commerce 

Among her many accolades she is most proud of:

-Named in 2008 a "25 Woman you need to know" by the Tallahassee Democrat

-A 2009 runner up for "Volunteer of the Year" 
-2013 small business of the year receiving the Parks and Crump community service award 

-2015 TCC woman of distinction & a Girls Scout "Distinguished Leader  of the Year"

to mention a few

Lorne Simmons

Bio pending...

Karen Sorrell

Karen Sorrell holds a B.A. in French and Linguistics from The Ohio State University, an M.A. in Linguistics from Syracuse University and a post graduate degree in If-The-Boys-Can-Do-It-So-Can-I from The-School-of-Real-Life, which resulted in a 21+ year career in Information Technology. Her daughter is Katherine Sorrell, who was named one of 2017's Five Young Women To Watch by the Tallahassee Democrat.

Stephanie Eller Vaughn

Stephanie Eller Vaughn is a nonprofit executive with more than 20 years of professional experience working with arts organizations and institutions of higher education. A native of Asheville, NC, Stephanie moved to Tallahassee in 1996 to work on a PhD in Arts Management at Florida State University. Ms. Eller-Vaughn then returned to her employer of 13 years, the Brevard Music Center and Festival, where she served as Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Corporate Sponsorships as well as Development Manager and Manager of Admissions. She later relocated to Tallahassee working as Director of Development at Florida State University where she was presented with the “Outstanding Service Award for Fundraising Excellence” from the Marching Chiefs Alumni Organization.

After getting married and having her son, Connor, Stephanie taught graduate arts administration students as an adjunct professor in her department. Choosing to put her career on hold to be a stay-at- home mom, Stephanie has served as a volunteer with several Tallahassee organizations including the Guardian ad Litem program, the Women4FSU, Cornerstone Learning Community, Voces Angelorum, and the FSU Autism Institute Advisory Council.

Prior to relocating to Tallahassee permanently, Stephanie served as an elected board member of the Brevard, NC, Chamber of Commerce and a public relations committee member with both the Asheville, NC, and Hendersonville, NC, Chambers of Commerce. She has volunteered extensively with both SC and NC public radio stations during fundraising drives and served as a mentor with the Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville, NC.


Stephanie has sung professionally with the Asheville Lyric Opera, various universities, and numerous churches.

Stephanie graduated from Furman University with a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and earned a master’s degree in performing arts management from The American University in Washington, DC.

Johnitta Wells

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.

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Samantha Vance

Executive Director

Alex Dreyer

Event Planning Director

Carelys Trujillo

Event Planning Coordinator

Alex Zeidel


Event Planning Assistant

India Young

Special Assistant to Executive Director

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