Megan Doherty, 2017-2018 Chair: As a Principal Planner with the Tallahassee- Leon County Planning Department, Megan Doherty is an experienced project manager with specializations in active transportation planning and people-first design. Previously, Megan was the Transportation Planner for the Planning Department where she developed and implemented projects to improve Tallahassee’s active transportation network including the City Bike Rack & Corral Program, BikeTallahassee.com, and the establishment of the Joint City-County Bicycle Workgroup. Before embarking on a professional career in urban planning, Megan interned with the Scottish National Party at the British Parliament and worked at Florida State University in London, England. Megan holds a Master’s of Planning, Master’s of International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Florida State University. Both professionally and personally enjoys engaging with the public and discussing ideas for improving our community. In addition to the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Megan also participates with several local civic organizations including Access Tallahassee and the GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Midtown Tallahassee.
Andrea Jones, 2017-2018 Vice Chair: Andrea is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and is retired from the Tallahassee Fire Department as the Division Chief of Operations. She works as a consultant in the areas of management and structural disaster preparedness. She is also a freelance videographer and photographer. Her community involvement includes serving on the board for the Oasis Center for Women and Girls, of which she is a Founding Member, the Tallahassee Rowing Club and serving as an executive member of the board for the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.
Paula DeBoles-Johnson, MPA, CCM, Immediate-past Chair 2016-2017: A graduate of Florida A&M University, where she earned both her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She joined Volunteer Florida as a Program Consultant in 2006 where she currently serves as a Program Manager. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Capital City Youth Development Corporation, a small nonprofit in Tallahassee that provides life skills training and coaching for youth. She has held several leadership positions within state government and the nonprofit sector. Paula is a national trainer, motivational speaker and volunteers her time with several community organizations, including the Tallahassee Human Relations Council, the Timothy Training & Development Center, Leadership Tallahassee’s Class #33 and CEPRA. Mrs. Johnson is a member of Celebrate New Life Tabernacle. She and her husband, David Johnson, have two beautiful and talented daughters, Zenani and Zemoria who are emerging leaders in their own rights. She is passionate about community service and lives by the philosophy that “nothing that you will ever do for children is wasted!
Dr. Cicely Brantley is a full-time faculty member in the Behavioral, Social Sciences and Education Division at Tallahassee Community College. She is also a Therapist and Family Educator currently serving the Oasis Center for Women and Girls – where she started as a volunteer and transitioned to contractor - as Counselor and Group Facilitator. Cicely is a graduate of both Florida A & M University and Florida State University, having earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from FAMU, and her Masters’ (in both Music Therapy and Counseling), Educational Specialist’s (in School Counseling) and Doctorate (in Marriage and Family Therapy) degrees from FSU. Previous to joining the TCC faculty, Cicely worked in the public school system for almost ten years as an elementary Music Teacher and a Guidance Counselor, and she has been a Family Therapist and Mental Health Counselor, contracting with different community-based agencies for several years. Cicely serves on several committees and councils at TCC, and is a Charter Member of the Greater Tallahassee Section of National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), where she has served on the E-Board for several years. Cicely is also a member of the Florida Chapter of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and is currently helping to activate the Tallahassee area branch of this historical organization. Cicely and her husband Robert have five awesome children, and they love music, reading, traveling, and being active in the community. Cicely’s passion is for empowering marginalized groups through service and education, and she is excited to be able to get to work with the Commission serving the women and girls of Leon County.
Wendi Cannon received her bachelor's degree in information studies from Florida State University. She began her career at the newly created FSU College of Medicine as the web technology coordinator. As the college grew, she transitioned to various positions within the IT office, and currently, she is the director of information technology. She provides leadership and direction for the 25 person IT office which includes mission-critical services such as application development, database administration, server management, and statewide video conferencing. She is a member of several committees, such as the Medical Library and Learning Resources Committee and Alumni Strategic Plan Committee, to help facilitate the role of information technology College-wide. Wendi is chair of the TalTech Alliance, a local non-profit technology group, member of the City of Tallahassee Family First Employers Task Force, and Leadership Tallahassee Class 35 participant. She is also a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Fight to Tackle Alzheimer’s committee, Kate Sullivan Parent Teacher Association and a volunteer for FSU Opening Nights.
Viletta Coombs Esq. is a member of the Florida Bar and is licensed to practice in all state courts in Florida, the United States District Court Middle District of Florida, and the United States District Court Southern District of Florida. Ms. Coombs obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College (Atlanta, Georgia) and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law (Boston, Massachusetts). She graduated law school with a full year of practical legal experience via full-time internships through the ‘cooperative education program.’ Ms. Coombs interned with the Dade County Public Defender (Miami, Florida); Law Department of Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri); Cofer, Beauchamp (Atlanta, Georgia); Jackson County Legislature (Kansas City, Missouri); and County Counselor (Kansas City, Missouri). Thereafter, Ms. Coombs completed judicial clerkships for the Jackson County Circuit Court of Kansas City, Missouri and the Missouri Court of Appeals-Western District where she drafted numerous legal memoranda that became the basis for publication in both civil and criminal cases. Ms. Coombs has over fifteen years of practical legal experience that includes administrative, legislative, litigation advocacy ranging from serving as: a Leadership Development Trainer for the National League of Cities (Washington, D.C.); Legal Course Trainer (webinar series Florida and New York); Presenter at the National Energy Utility Affordability Conference (Florida); Florida Leadership Development Institute Fellow of The Florida Bar Foundation; Legislative and Executive Registered Lobbyist testifying before Legislative Committee of the Florida Legislature (Florida); and consultant to businesses and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Coombs is a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary (Kansas). Ms. Coombs has served as a volunteer for Teen Court, the American Cancer Society, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, and The Alzheimer’s Project for Project Lifesaver in Tallahassee, Florida.
Gina Giacomo: Gina has been a Tallahassean for 23 years, and in the field of criminal justice for twenty-seven years. She is currently serving as the Director of Administration for the Commission on Offender Review. Gina earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from FAMU, she also holds certifications from the National Institute of Corrections, the Center for Public Policy Probation and Parole Executives and a Six Sigma Yellow Belt. She has received numerous recognitions including the Superior Accomplishment Awards from both FCOR and DCF, the Criminal Justice Distinguish Service Award, and the Louie L. Wainwright Distinguish Service Award from the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Chapter Two. She is dedicated to serving her community and improving the lives of women and girls. Gina is a PACE Leon Center for Girls board member, Zonta Club of Tallahassee President, Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Statewide Past President, Keiser University Advisory board member, Capital American Italian Organization Past President, The Rotary Club of Tallahassee member, and a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 33.
Dr. Saralyn Grass is the Help Me Grow State Director with the Children’s Forum, Inc., where she works to promote healthy development for every child in Florida. Saralyn came to Tallahassee in 2006 to take a position at the Forum and has stayed involved with the agency for the last 10 years. Over the last year, Saralyn took a break from her work with children to help her husband, Gabe, grow their business, Grasslands Brewing Co., where she still serves as Co-Founder and Community Ambassador. Saralyn earned her Bachelor’s from the University of North Florida, her Master’s from Virginia Tech, and her Doctorate from Florida State. She and her husband are proud new parents – of a 16-year-old daughter, who Saralyn met through her work as a volunteer with Guardian Ad Litem. Growing seems to be a recurrent theme for Saralyn these days (growing Grasslands, Help Me Grow Florida and her own growing family)! Saralyn recently won a Golden A.C.E. (Authentic Community Engagement) award from the Network of Young Professionals and a Pinnacle Award from 850 Magazine. She serves on the boards of Keep Tallahassee Beautiful, Guardian ad Litem, Kid’s Incorporated, Inc. and is actively involved with The Village Square. Dr. Grass was appointed to the Commission by Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and looks forward to serving the women and girls in this great city.
Cecka Rose Green, CPM has established a notable career in the public and private sectors, on a local, statewide, and national level. Currently, Cecka serves as the Director of Communications at LeadingAge Florida. LeadingAge Florida is a not-for-profit corporation with a mission of “Expanding Possibilities for Aging.” For instance, LeadingAge Florida advocates, educates and serves its member communities, all of which share a common bond of providing high-quality care and services to the elderly in Florida.
Prior to taking on the role as the Director of Communications at LeadingAge, Cecka served as the Communications Director for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. As the Communications Directors for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Cecka oversaw the media and public relations efforts, communications strategies, and business continuity activities.
In 2004, Cecka founded MarChae Enterprises, LLC, where she served as president. The company offered consultation services in the areas of executive management, media and public relations, conference and event planning, and strategic communications training. Prior to that, Cecka served as Director of Communications for Voices for Florida’s Children and as Vice-President/Director of Communications for P&P Communications, Inc., a Tallahassee-based public affairs group specializing in public and community relations, communications, political strategies and event management. She also was Deputy Communications Director for the Florida Department of Children and Families statewide headquarters, where she co-directed the department’s communications, public relations and crisis management efforts. She has been quoted and published in several national and statewide publications, including The New York Times, USA Today, the Miami Herald, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.
Among other honors, Cecka received the Distinguish Alumni Award from the FAMU NAA; is a member of the FAMU SJGC’s Hall of Fame; received the Carrie P. Meek Servant-Leader Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., State of Florida and the Bahamas; and was selected as Alumna of the Year by HBCU Digest for her work as the creator of the FAMU 10 for $10 Giving Challenge social media fundraising campaign. Cecka is married to Marvin E. Green, Jr. and the couple has three children.
Dr. Elizabeth Jakubowski is a faculty member in the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University. Her focus is on mathematics education and teacher education. Her current work is focusing on issues of access to and equity in mathematics for females and students with disabilities. She has assisted Florida colleges and universities in their development of quality teacher preparation programs and currently serves in leadership roles the Florida Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and Florida Association of Teacher Education. She has worked with girls at the middle and high school levels in building self-efficacy for success in mathematics and science.
Jane Johnson is the Chief of Staff for the Department of Children and Families.Prior to assuming that position, Ms. Johnson was the Health and Human Services Policy Coordinator for Florida Governor Scott. She has also served as Executive Director of Children’s Home Society’s North Central Florida division, Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology. An avid runner and cyclist, she also volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem and is a mentor for the FSU women’s soccer team.
Patricia McCray has served as the Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Tallahassee. In her role, she served as the City Manager’s liaison with the City Commission to ensure the successful response to City Commissioner inquiries and assignments, either personally or through coordination of available resources. She is a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Trainer, and Inspirational Speaker. Patricia’s love of butterflies and the transformation they represent led her to create Butterfly Life Journeys, Inc, which is a faith-based organization that provides coaching, training and mentoring. She compares her life experiences of domestic violence, incarceration, homelessness, financial and health crises to the four stages of metamorphosis experienced by the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Patricia is a teacher and mentor at the Federal Correctional Institution-Tallahassee, where she was formerly incarcerated. She serves on the board of the Big Bend After Reentry Coalition (BBARC). Patricia believes reducing the state's recidivism rate will mean safer communities, stronger families and fewer taxpayer dollars spent on prisons. She is one of a select few comprising the 2017 Cohort of Just Leadership USA Leading with Conviction and is an alumnus of Leadership Tallahassee Class 33. In addition to serving on the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Patricia serves on the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) Board, Chelsea House Women of Worth Tea Ministry, and the Federal Correctional Institution-Tallahassee Community Relations Board. Patricia is a passionate advocate for community reentry and criminal justice reform, and she is devoted to serving vulnerable populations in her community and seeks to mentor and inspire others to pursue their vision and achieve their dreams.
Ericka McKibbin serves as the Executive Director for Girls on the Run (GOTR) of the Big Bend. As a woman and mother of two young girls (17 and 10), she believes that it is critical to building strong girls who believe in themselves, value friendship, and understand the importance of giving back to their community. GOTR has developed a program that captures these values in a strategic approach. 'To build strong girls through fitness, self-esteem, leadership, and service, I can’t imagine anything better.' Ericka has over 20 years of experience in community development work that has ranged from volunteer to trainer to director to consultant. Supporting others to finding their personal potential to make real change in their lives and communities is her passion. On a personal level, the program inspires her with its focus on ‘girl power’ and the positive role that fitness/running can play in bringing confidence, joy, and strength.
Dr. Michelle A. Mitcham, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, CFM, is a native of Detroit, Michigan, graduate of the University of Central Florida for both her Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees, and has been a Counselor Educator since 2005. Michelle completed doctoral coursework in Organizational Leadership and has also earned her Master’s degree at Webster University in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. This led her to working as a high school counselor, a therapist, and later with a juvenile justice grant program called Just for Girls, where she mentored young ladies in grades 6-12 and helped them get back on track and be successful. She regularly presents women’s Secrets to Success empowerment and Dream Vision workshops and mentors women within her circle of influence. Dr. Mitcham, a psychotherapist, and life coach, is the founder of Courageous Conversations, a private practice, helping people discover courageous solutions to lead their best quality lives one conversation at a time. Michelle is a Real Life contributor to the Tallahassee Woman Magazine and Women Who Mean Business Magazine and was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Women Who Mean Business Fall 2016 luncheon. Michelle was once a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey show and has contributed articles on divorce and relationships for several newspapers and has appeared on radio and television discussing children caught in the middle of divorce and strategies to assist parents. Through Courageous Conversations, Dr. Mitcham provides consultation, success coaching and counseling for empowerment, self-esteem, success, high-conflict divorce, career and personal issues. Dr. Mitcham’s most important role in life is being a mother to her three children Briana, Tavia, and Adonis.
Kelly Otte is the Executive Director of the PACE Center for Girls in Leon County. She is the Founder and former Executive Director of The Oasis Center for Women & Girls and was the organizer and first Chairwoman of the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women & Girls. For 9 years Kelly was the Executive Director of Refuge House and she has worked in domestic violence centers, rape crisis programs, and women’s centers in Carson City, Nevada, Norfolk, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida & Tallahassee. She was a founding board member of the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and Faculty Advisor to the Women’s Center at Florida State University. In addition to her work with women and girls, Kelly has a passion for the nonprofit sector. She co-writes a column “Notes on Nonprofits” for The Tallahassee Democrat and was the first Executive Director of United Partners for Human Services, a coalition serving 90 human service organizations in Tallahassee. Kelly has been an Adjunct Professor at FSU in both the Askew School of Public Administration and the College of Social Work and formerly at the University of North Florida. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Florida.
Michelle Personette is the Executive Director of the Challenger Learning Center, the K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) outreach facility of the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering. In this role, Michelle oversees all aspects of the Center’s operation, including the operation of the facility, fiscal management, fundraising, as well as marketing and public relations. Michelle previously served as the Center’s Marketing, Sales and Communications Manager and in that role planned the pre-opening promotions, marketing, group sales and fundraising efforts of the center. Michelle began her career working on promotions and marketing in the entertainment & tourism industries, developing campaigns for The Florida Everblades (an ECHL hockey team), Florida Gulf Coast University Office of Recreation and Leisure Services, Universal Orlando, Holiday Inn Family Suites and others. She received much of her fiscal experience while working for the University of Central Florida College of Arts and Sciences in the Budget Office.
Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida Gulf Coast University and a master’s degree in mass communication with a concentration in advertising and public relations from the University of Central Florida. Michelle is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee, Class of 25 and volunteers her time writing and reviewing grant applications for the Community Human Service Partnership, Community Redevelopment Agency, and Visit Tallahassee. Michelle is also a current or former board member of the Tallahassee-Leon County Tourist Development Council, Council on the Status of Women and Girls, The Village Square, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Tallahassee Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kleman Plaza Design & Review Board and others.
Jacqueline "Jack" Porter is a recent graduate of Florida State University, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy & Religion. Jack was appointed to the Commission by Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier. She is an appellate legal assistant to the First District Court of Appeals at the Office of Criminal Conflict & Civil Regional Counsel, First Region. Jack also serves as a Leon County Literacy Volunteer at Refuge House and as a member of The Village Square's Community Engagement Committee.
Antoneia Roe- Tallahassee has always been home for Antoneia. She graduated from Florida High School and continued her education at Florida A&M University, obtaining a B.S. in Political Science. Thinking she wanted a change, Ms. Roe moved to Miami and obtained her J.D. from the University of Miami. Realizing there is no place like home, she returned to Tallahassee and began her legal career in the Office of the General Counsel at Florida A&M University. She then began advocating on behalf of abused, abandoned and neglected children at the Department of Children and Families and subsequently became Supervising Attorney for the Second Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program. When the opportunity presented itself, Ms. Roe eagerly returned to her beloved alma mater, Florida A&M University, during a challenging time for the University and currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. She continues to advocate on behalf of abused, abandoned and neglected children as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, primarily working with teens. She also serves as a Youth Advisor at Mt. Zion P.B. Church at Dawkins Pond where she works with the Praise Dance Team and Youth Choir. Ms. Roe is a member of the Junior League of Tallahassee where she has worked with the Teen Board and serves as the 2017-2018 Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair.
Darby Kerrigan Scott serves as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation in Tallahassee. Darby previously served as Program Director of the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, concentrating primarily on immigration and human trafficking matters; as an Associate with Hopping Green & Sams, P.A., focusing in the areas of appeals and special taxing districts; and as a Senior Law Clerk to The Honorable Robert T. Benton, II, of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. She graduated from FSU College of Law in 2007 with High Honors, earning a Certificate in International Law with High Honors and admission into Order of the Coif. Darby currently serves on the Board of Directors of PACE Center for Girls (Leon County) as Secretary, on the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Section of the Tallahassee Bar Association as Past President, and on the Board of Directors of the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC).
Leslie Smith moved to Tallahassee in 1998 with her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Education. In her 11 years as marketing/PR director at Envision Credit Union Leslie was able to make a difference in the financial lives of her members and, her favorite part, teach high school students financial literacy. Her passion for teaching, children, and giving back the community did not stop there. As a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee (Class 24), and KCCI she focused on ways she could not only improve Tallahassee but how to instill the same servant heart in her son. Both Leslie and her son can be seen volunteering at Ronald MacDonald House, Christmas Connection, The Shelter, Second Harvest and others on any given weekend. As Marketing Director for the Tallahassee Democrat Leslie is able to reach out to even more people to offer assistance and on a larger scale with a greater voice. Leslie has been a member of the Parkinson’s Foundation, Foundation for Leon County Schools, the TDC, and Tallahassee Sports Council, YLT, Habitat for Humanity and Best & Brightest, American Heart Association and Joanna Francis Living Well. Leslie will lend her time and talent to organizations that make a positive impact on this community and will go out of her way to help those in need. She is looking forward to this new role and hopes to improve the lives of women and girls in Tallahassee and Leon County which will, in turn, help all of us.
Marcia Warfel currently serves as an Emergency Management Specialist for the Florida Commission on Community Service. She has led the integration of National, State and Community Partnerships during more than 90 state emergencies, including 35 major Presidentially Declared disasters. Prior to moving to Tallahassee, she worked in the private sector as a Homeland Security Specialist in Washington, DC conducting Homeland Security training efforts for the State of Virginia and various federal agencies to include the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Serving the State of Florida, Marcia held numerous positions within the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) for twelve years, culminating as the Bureau Chief for Recovery and Mitigation where she oversaw a budget of more than two billion dollars and a staff in excess of one hundred. Other positions within FDEM included: Deputy Incident Commander and Deputy State Coordinating Officer during the 2004-2005 State of Florida disaster responses and recovery operations. During her tenure, the Recovery unit received the Davis Productivity award in 2006-2008 for updating for increasing efficiencies. Ms. Warfel also held the position of Florida Citizen Corps Program Manager, post 9-11. In this capacity, she developed and led a Presidential initiative sustaining Florida as a leader in these activities. During this time, she conducted numerous training courses, presentations, and workshops nationally and internationally aimed at developing volunteer resources and volunteer management. During this time Ms. Warfel also served as a delegate to the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, serving as a volunteer resource manager in Honduras
Ms. Warfel also held the position of Florida Citizen Corps Program Manager, post 9-11. In this capacity, she developed and led a Presidential initiative sustaining Florida as a leader in these activities. During this time, she conducted numerous training courses, presentations, and workshops nationally and internationally aimed at developing volunteer resources and volunteer management. During this time Ms. Warfel also served as a delegate to the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, serving as a volunteer resource manager in Honduras post Hurricane Mitch. Ms. Warfel is an active community advocate for women and girls, and humanitarian relief. Currently, she serves as a Commissioner and Community Liaison for the City of Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. As one of the Chairs for the Membership Council, she serves as a mentor with the Junior League of Tallahassee and as a Task Force member for the City of Tallahassee –
Ms. Warfel is an active community advocate for women and girls, and humanitarian relief. Currently, she serves as a Commissioner and Community Liaison for the City of Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. As one of the Chairs for the Membership Council, she serves as a mentor with the Junior League of Tallahassee and as a Task Force member for the City of Tallahassee – Family Friendly Employers Task Force, member of Lean-in Tallahassee, and United Way fundraiser. She is an active member of multiple associations, including the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, Minority Chamber of Commerce -Tallahassee, Business and Professional Women of Tallahassee – past Legislative Chair. Her prior service includes – the Florida International Affairs Commission, Florida Election Reform Committee, Florida International Affairs Council, Florida Citizen Diplomat, Junior League of Tallahassee – Leadership Development Training and State Public Affairs Committee, League of Women Voters – Local Government Co-Chair and Lobby Corps Committee, and Cultural Resource Commission, American Translation and Interpreter Association and Florida Emergency Preparedness Association – Corporate member.
Marcia holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations from Florida State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Florida State University.