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 for 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!”
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 Counsel 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 Counsel 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, CMP has established a notable career in the public and private sectors, on a local, statewide and national level. Recently, Cecka served as the Communications Director for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation—the State of Florida’s housing finance agency—where she oversaw media and public relations efforts, communications strategies, and business continuity activities. In 2004, she 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. 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. Born in Okinawa, Japan, and raised in Tallahassee, Cecka attended Florida A&M University, majoring in English. She is a Life Member of the FAMU National Alumni Association (FAMU NAA), a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Jack & Jill of America, Inc.; the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA); and a former member of the Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA). In addition, Cecka has served for eight years as a volunteer reviewer on the Citizens Human Services Partnership (CHSP) team, and is Chair of the City’s Community Improvement Advisory Council (CIAC). She serves as co-chair of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication’s (SJGC) Board of Visitors (BOV), and enjoys volunteering with FAMU students in the public relations sequence. Cecka is married to Marvin E. Green, Jr. and the couple has three children.
Ann Howard, owner of Ann Howard Media, lives in Tallahassee with her son, Vincent. She was appointed to the board by the City of Tallahassee Commission, via Commissioner Scott Maddox. With her father’s career, as a child, she and her family moved all over the world from Asia, the United States and Europe. When her father retired, they settled in the northern Virginia area, right outside of Washington D.C. As a Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University graduate and a very proud Hokie, it thrills her to see another vehicle with a Virginia Tech sticker or emblem of some sort here in Tallahassee. After graduating, Ann went on to several television stations before landing a job here in Tallahassee as a news reporter and anchor. Ann spends much of her free time with her son Vincent, which is her favorite thing to do. She also loves being with friends and family, playing tennis and reading.
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.
C. Sha`Ron James serves as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate under the leadership of State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. As the State’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, Ms. James is responsible for finding solutions to insurance issues facing Floridians, calling attention to questionable insurance practices, promoting a viable insurance market responsive to the needs of Florida’s diverse population and assuring that rates are fair and justified. Ms. James received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Florida A&M University, a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Her past and present community involvement includes serving on the Board of Governors of Leadership Tallahassee and the Board of Directors of both Refuge House and the PACE Center for Girls. Ms. James was recognized by Florida A&M University as one of its top 40 alumni under the age of 40 and in 2011 she was awarded the Leadership Pacesetter Award by Leadership Tallahassee. She is the proud mother of an extraordinary little girl, Chase Corrine. Sha’Ron served as the 2015-2016 Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Chair.
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 build 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.
Sharon Ofuani is currently the Executive Director of Big Bend Crime Stoppers, Inc. (BBCS) as of August 2011. BBCS is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization whose mission is to help communities solve and prevent crime through citizen participation in seven counties while work with law enforcement. As Executive Director, she is responsible for the day to day operation of the organization and implementing short and long-range strategies to achieve its mission. Sharon serves as the spokesperson for the organization. Sharon retired from the City of Tallahassee as the Director of Equity and Workforce Development after 33 years of service (June 1978- July 21, 2011). She has over 38 years of equal opportunity experience, also having served as Affirmative Action Officer with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, Kentucky, respectively. Sharon is also the former regional director of the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) and has served on boards of numerous other organizations. In 1994 she served on the National Conference Roundtable of the AAAA. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she received a B.A. She also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received a certificate in Building Better Communities and is a graduate of Florida State University’s Certified Manager’s Program.
Dr. Jeanne O’Kon is a psychologist and college professor at Flagler College-TCC. She has instructed Women’s Studies, Psychology, and Teacher Education courses at TCC, FSU, and Flagler College for many years. She serves on the Foundation Board of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. She was selected as a Girl Scout “Woman of Distinction” and was elected to the Girl Scout Hall of Fame. She was honored as one of the Tallahassee Democrat’s “25 Women You Need to Know.” She also served as the 2015-2016 Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Vice-Chair.
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.
Kori Pruett is originally from Rockledge, Florida. Kori currently works at Florida State University as the Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator. She works to educate the FSU community on the dynamics of sexual violence, ways to obtain and define consent, and empowers individuals to be active bystanders in their daily lives. Kori previously worked as a Victim Advocate at FSU. As an Advocate, she provided resources and support to victims of crime. During her time at FSU Kori has led committees focused on curriculum development, prevention, and survivor support. Kori currently serves on the board of Big Bend Cares, Tallahassee Southern Model United Nations, and is the immediate past-past president of Tallahassee Rotaract. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and a M.S. in International Affairs from Florida State University.
Darby Kerrigan Scott serves as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation in Tallahassee. Darby previously served as Program Director with 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.
Erin VanSickle, 2016-2017 Vice-Chair, serves as Director of External Affairs for Volunteer Florida. With over a decade of experience in public affairs and communications, she previously served as Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Florida Medical Association. Prior to that she founded a full-service Florida communications firm advising local and statewide clients, including legislative, political, issue advocacy, energy, and trade associations. She has served as Communications Director for the Republican Party of Florida and as Press Secretary for the Florida Senate Majority Office. She is a proud member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, serving as a member of the 2014 U.S. delegation to Vietnam and Myanmar to work with young political, elected, and entrepreneurial leaders. VanSickle is a member of the Board of Directors for The Village Square, a Trustee for the Awesome Foundation in Tallahassee and is also active in animal rescue organizations.
Marcia Warfel has recently worked as a Program and Project Management Consultant in both public and private sectors. Mrs. Warfel has worked in the private sector as a Homeland Security Analyst in Washington, DC. She has served the State of Florida, working within the Division of Emergency Management for twelve years, culminating as the Acting Bureau Chief for Recovery and Mitigation and as Deputy Incident Commander for multiple Florida disaster events. During her tenure, Mrs. Warfel developed and led a Presidential initiative for Homeland Security efforts. Marcia holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations from Florida State University.