Adela Ghadimi is a doctoral candidate in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. The proud daughter of immigrants, Adela is the first in her family to be born in the US and has always taken great pride in wanting to serve others in any way she can. Above all, equity and inclusion encompass everything she does, whether performing diversity trainings for nonprofits and union leaders, or within her doctoral research. Adela’s research interests span the impacts of representative bureaucracy on undocumented individuals, veterans, people living with disabilities, first-generation individuals, in addition to voter suppression and access issues across the nation, as well as the role of public sector unions in the policy process. She currently serves as the volunteer Chapter Director of New Leaders Council Tallahassee and serves on the National Program Committee of New Leaders Council as the national Advancement Chair. Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Adela lived in Washington, DC and worked in education policy and government relations and has prior professional experience in nonprofits, grassroots organizing and political campaigns. Adela is passionate about labor union activism, having served three terms as President of her union local, UFF-FSU-GAU, Graduate Assistants United, and is actively engaged in union work within UFF, FEA, NEA, and AFT. She currently is a lead fellow for the UFF Fellows Program, working to advance union engagement and leadership across the state of Florida. Adela has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics in International Relations and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami, where she triple majored in International Studies, Political Science, and Geography. In her spare time, Adela has taken up an affinity for gardening, loves to cook and try out new recipes, and (when the world is fully functional) is an avid international traveler.
Andrea M. Jones has been in the field of emergency service, structural disaster preparedness and disaster grant management for over 30 years. Currently she consults for Emergency Management Disaster Solutions in grant management. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and she retired from the Tallahassee Fire Department as the Division Chief of Operations. Her community involvement includes membership in Leadership Tallahassee Class 27, founding and board member for Oasis Center for Women and Girls and past board president of the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.
Antoneia Roe received her B.S. in Political Science from Florida A&M University and obtained her J.D. from the University of Miami. She returned to Tallahassee and began her legal career in the Office of the General Counsel at Florida A&M University. Antoneia later advocated 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 an opportunity presented itself, she excitedly returned to Florida A&M University, where she currently serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. Antoneia 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 in her church and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Bernice McMillan, MBA is the co-founder of Divine Revelations Ministries, Inc., a 501c3 organization that partners youth and seniors learning technology; and provides anger management and substance abuse classes at local correctional facilities and for Leon County/Tallahassee court-ordered clients. Bernice serves on the Board of NAMI Tallahassee, is a council member of the TPD Citizens Advisory Council, a certified CompTia Project Manager, and is the Training & Research Manager for the Bureau of One-Stop and Program Support at DEO. Bernice has over 20 year of experience in training/curriculum development, community development, mentoring, coaching, child/youth development, parenting education, volunteerism, prison ministry and customer service. She has received several recognitions for her community development and volunteerism, including the Outstanding Woman of the Year-Racial Justice (Utica YWCA), Accent on Excellence Award (Northland Communications/Utica Observer Dispatch), Mother Lavender Award, Person of the Year (Cornhill Community for Change), Extra Mile Award (Cornell Cooperative Extension), and Family of the Year (Capital Outlook/Tallahassee). Bernice is also a licensed minister.
Carrie Boyd, 2020-2021 CSWG Vice Chair, previously served as Chair of the Violence & Safety Committee, and brings almost two decades of policy, law, nonprofit, and criminal justice experience to the CSWG. Carrie has learned the most about life and love from her children, Andrew and Anabel. Above all else, Carrie wishes to assist other women and girls in reaching their fullest potential by smashing economic and workforce barriers, promoting parity in educational and leadership opportunities, eliminating racial and legal inequities, and helping advance a true policy shift in Leon County wherein businesses and nonprofits intentionally collaborate to make the community a place where all citizens can thrive.
Dr. Cicely Brantley is an Associate Professor in Behavioral Sciences 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 Single Moms 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. Prior 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. Cicely is a Charter Member of the Greater Tallahassee Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). Cicely serves as the 2020-2021 chair of the CSWG Girls Committee. While her passion for serving and empowering others – especially those in historically oppressed and underrepresented groups – is undeniable, Cicely’s most important roles are as wife to her husband Robert, and mother to their five awesome children. Cicely’s dedication to the work of the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is fueled, in part, by a quote from one of her (s)heroes, educator Mary McLeod Bethune: “The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.”
Courtney Atkins is the Executive Director of Whole Child Leon, where she fosters professional relationships among early childhood stakeholders and community leaders. Atkins consistently leads collaborative efforts and initiatives, urging open communication and the sharing of resources between agencies to improve outcomes for all children. Courtney has been instrumental in South City earning the designation of a “Purpose Built Community.” In 2011, she received the Joseph Cullen Award from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors for the 95210-The Whole Picture of Health Initiative. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the 25 Women You Need to Know by the Tallahassee Democrat and as Tallahassee Community College’s Women’s History Valiant Women of the Vote honoree. Prior to her role with Whole Child Leon, Courtney served as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Arlington, VA, performing crisis intervention to the first responders during the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon. She received her B.A. in Communication from the University of Kentucky and a M.A. in Psychology at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She is a native Floridian, having spent most of her life in Tallahassee. Courtney has two children, Chambers and Atticus, who attend Leon High School.
Darby Kerrigan Scott is a Clinical Professor at Florida State University College of Law, where she directs the Immigration and Farmworker Project and the COVID-19 Veterans Legal Clinic within the Public Interest Law Center. She serves as Co-Chair of Leadership Tallahassee 2.0 Journey to Racial Justice. She served as the 2019-2020 Chair of the Tallahassee-Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. She previously served as Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee; as Program Director of the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights; as an associate with Hopping Green & Sams, P.A.; and as a Senior Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert T. Benton, II, of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. Darby 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. She previously served 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 President, and on the Board of Directors of the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC). She is the recipient of the 2016 Thomas M. Ervin, Jr. Distinguished Young Lawyer Award, the 2016 Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Chapter 2 Judicial Distinguished Service Award, and she was selected as an Honoree of TCC’s 2020 Women’s History Month Celebration. Darby was recognized on the Florida Trend Legal Elite list in the area of Government/Non-Profit attorneys in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. She is a proud member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 33 – the most social class ever!
Gina Giacomo has been in the field of criminal justice for twenty-nine years and has vast leadership experience gained through holding a variety of key positions. 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 SIU and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from FAMU. She has received 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, Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award, Tallahassee Community College Women’s Trailblazer Award and has received ten Davis Productivity Awards for increasing productivity and improving services while reducing cost. She is dedicated to serving her community and improving the lives of women and girls. Gina is a PACE Leon Center for Girls Board of Directors Treasurer, Zona Club of Tallahassee Past President and current Board member, Florida Counsel on Crime and Delinquency Statewide Past President and currently the Executive Director, Capital American Italian Organization Past President, member of Keiser University Advisory board, Capital Tiger Bay Club , Women Who Mean Business, Association Fundraising Professional, Village Square and a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 33. A perpetual optimist, whose license plate reads “Carpe Diem” Gina sees herself as a servant-leader getting out of bed each day looking forward to serving others.
Dr. Gwendolyn Singleton is Chairperson and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida A&M University (FAMU). Dr. Singleton received her Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from Howard University. In August 2011, she was elected as the Chairperson of the Department of Psychology at FAMU, becoming the first FAMU alumnus elected to this position. She is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor; She serves as the institutional representative for the ACE Women’s Network of Florida at FAMU. Dr. Singleton serves on a host of other university committees, as the faculty advisor and mentor for several student organizations, and in community services initiatives. She is also a group facilitator and workshop presenter for the Institute for Academic Leadership, hosted by Florida State University, for department chairpersons, deans, and academic administrators of the State University System of Florida. She serves as the 2020-2021 chair of the CSWG Health and Development Committee.
Dr. Jazmyne Simmons is a proud native of Tallahassee. She is a faculty member in the School of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Health Science at Florida A&M University (FAMU). Simmons earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Communication with a specialty in Health Communication from the University of Miami. She holds a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education from FAMU’s, Institute of Public Health. Jazmyne also possesses Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Criminology from the University of South Florida. Simmons has conducted research at Moffitt Cancer Research Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is committed to using evidence-based research to improve the lives of disproportionately impacted populations. Her research interests lie at the intersection of sexual and racial minority health and interpersonal and mass communication. To date, her research has been awarded nearly $50,000 in federal and institutional funding. Most recently, Simmons, served as Co-Principal Investigator for a clinical trial (NCT03898063) funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. This funding was awarded via the University of Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute to investigate effective interventions for HIV prevention and care. Beyond her academic pursuits, Jazmyne enjoys developing meaningful mass-mediated content. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she produced and hosted a local television talk show entitled, The Jazmyne Show. When Jazmyne is not working, she can be found watching black and white television, coloring, and spending time with family. She is the daughter of Mr. Craig Simmons and Dr. Mary Simmons. Jazmyne is engaged to her high school sweetheart, Tevin “T.J.” Bryant. They have a chocolate-tri English bulldog named, Time. Simmons is also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Dr. Jeanne O’Kon is a psychologist and college professor at Flagler College-Tallahassee. She served previously as the Program Chair of the Tallahassee Community College Behavioral Sciences department. Jeanne is a graduate of Florida State University, receiving her B.S. and M.S. in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. She has instructed classes in Psychology of Women, General Psychology, and Teacher Education at TCC, Flagler College, and Florida State University. She chaired the TCC Women’s History Month Committee for many years and still serves as an active committee member. She directed the Taiwan Sister School Program and traveled to Kaohsiung many times to teach English with TCC and Flagler College students in the summer. She gives annual presentations at the University of Florida Women’s Leadership Conference and at other professional meetings. Jeanne has served as the race director for the Girl Scout Council fundraiser, the “Run for the Cookies,” for the past 25 years. Because of her volunteer work with the Girl Scout Council, she was selected as a “Woman of Distinction” in 2003 and was elected to the Girl Scout “Hall of Fame” in 2008. She is an active member of Gulf Winds Track Club, volunteering countless hours with local road races which raise funds for charitable organizations such as Refuge House, the Girl Scouts, and the Kearney Center. In 2009, she was selected by the Tallahassee Democrat as one of “25 Women You Need to Know.” In 2018, she was selected for the Tallahassee Community College “TCC Alumni and Friends Hall of Fame.” Jeanne was appointed by Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge to serve on the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls in 2011, and served on the CSWG for six years. She was previously appointed to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, and currently serves on the FCSW Foundation Board.
Jessica McGrew earned her B.A. in English Literature and International Affairs from Florida State University in 1998, and her M.A. in English from Boston College. She taught literature and writing at Boston College, in the New York City public schools, and in the Dallas County Community College District before resolving to pursue a career in law. She graduated Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in 2007, where she was a member of a law journal, vice-president of the National Lawyers’ Guild, on the National Environmental Law Moot Court Team, and a clerk for Dallas County Probate Judge Nikki DeShazo. She completed her 3L year at Northwestern University Law School, and clerked for the City of Chicago Law Department’s Appeals Division. Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2007, she practiced with a legal aid organization in Chicago before becoming a member of the Florida Bar in 2009 and subsequently joining a Tallahassee firm. In 2014, she opened her own law firm, and since then has practiced in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning, construction, and business law. She serves on the Finance Committee (past chair) and the Executive Committee of the School Advisory Council for Trinity Catholic School; volunteers with FLREA and LSNF; is a member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 35; and has been the Pronouncer for the Regional Scripps-Qualifying Spelling Bee for the last five years. Past community involvement includes Bradfordville Kiwanis Club, Justice Teaching, and Girl Scouts of America.
Dr. Judy Mandrell is married to Dr. Gerald Mandrell. They have been married for thirty-nine years, and are the Pastors of Life Changers Church of God in Christ. She is the Host of her own radio show “REAL TALK WITH JUDY LIVE RADIO SHOW”. The Founder of “REAL TALK SISTER GIRLS NETWORK,” designed to bring women from different ages, ethnicities, political affiliation, and economic statuses together. She is the Executive Director of Dream Builders Greatness Center, Inc, a NONPROFIT 501C(3), which encompass the Dream Builders Greatness Youth Leadership Summer Camp, Afterschool Program, Leaders and Navigators Academy and the Family Affairs Program designed to strengthen the family system and to help families to make “HOME SWEET HOME” again. She is Chief Executive Officer of Dream Builders Greatness Child Development Center. All the programs are designed to empower, motivate, inspire, and help the individual and the family to bring forth the greatness and gifts they possess and to help them dream and work the process of making their dream a reality. She’s in partnership, with the Tallahassee Peacemakers, South City Foundation, The Life Center, The Tallahassee Police Department, The Leon Sheriff Department, Life Changers Church of God in Christ, and other organizations for the betterment of Tallahassee and the awesome people in the community. She is a renowned speaker in both the religious and social community. For 20 years she worked for the Florida Department of Children and Families. She graduated from Florida A & M University, with a Bachelor of Social Work, received a Master of Executive Leadership and Doctorate of Christian Leadership from Clarity International Christian University. She’s a certified John C. Maxwell, Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Speaker; a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 36 and a 2019 Tallahassee Democrat’s 25 Women You Need to Know. She’s a member of Tallahassee Branch of NAACP serving on the Executive Board of Directors, and Women in the NAACP Committee Chair; the Big Bend Homeless Coalition Board of Directors; Spiritual Advisory Committee for the Tallahassee Healing Prayer Ministries; and Tallahassee-Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Dr. Mandrell has received many honors and accolades for her leadership and service.
Dr. Mandrell motto: “If, I can help somebody, then my living will not be in vain.”
Katie Britt Williams is a 7th generation Floridian from Winter Haven, Florida, where she grew up fishing and paddling on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes and Peace River. She received an undergraduate degree from the Florida State University in Environmental Science in 2014 and a Master’s of Science in Forestry and Natural Resource Conservation from the University of Florida in 2017. She has experience working for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Transportation. Katie currently does environmental permitting work for Cummins Cederberg, a statewide Marine and Coastal Engineering Firm. She spends much of her free time with the Junior League of Tallahassee, recently nominated to be President Elect, as well as attending Access Tallahassee events and other local initiatives! Katie loves traveling and doing anything outdoors with friends and family!
Lashawn Gordon, 2020-2021 CSWG Chair, is the Director of Membership and Engagement at United Partners of Human Services. She brings extensive experience in nonprofit management, community engagement, leadership and program development. She has worked in the human services sector for the last 17 years. Prior to working at UPHS, she worked at PACE Center for Girls for 15 years. Lashawn combines excellence and integrity with innovation to meet the needs of our community. She is a member of Leadership Tallahassee (Class 34) and currently on the Board Directors for The Alzheimer’s Project, Inc., and PACE Center for Girls Leon. She is married and has one son. In her free time she enjoys thrift store shopping and reading.
Linda Bond Edwards, a partner in the Tallahassee office of Rumberger Kirk, has represented public and private employers in labor and employment matters in State and Federal Court for more than 20 years; has more than 10 years of corporate human resources experience; is a Florida Supreme Court certified county and circuit mediator, and an arbitrator who received her law degree from Florida State University and B.S. Degree in Business from the University of Tennessee.
Marie Rattigan received her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Florida A&M University and is currently working on her Masters in African American History at Florida A&M University. A first generation college student, Marie aspires to be a Civil Rights Attorney to advocate on behalf of people who are taken advantage of because they do not have power. Marie serves as the third Vice President for the Tallahassee Branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the lead organizer for Dream Defenders. Marie has over 6 years of community organizing experience and hosts her own podcast “ Just Breathe ” designed to discuss race, class and injustices and how they are interwoven. Born in Miami, Florida and currently living in Tallahassee Marie enjoys walks with her dog, painting and yoga.
Sarika Griffin is the Assistant Director of the Victim Advocate Program at Florida State University. For over six years, she has been working with women and girls who have experienced some form of trauma—providing emotional support, advocacy, educational presentations, safety planning, and resources to survivors of powerbase violence and other crimes. Throughout her career, Sarika has focused on building knowledge to provide inclusive and trauma-informed advocacy and mental health services. Sarika has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Florida and a Master of Social Work from Florida State University. She is the chair-elect for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the Junior League of Tallahassee. Sarika serves on the Division of Student Affairs’ Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Sarika is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. In her free time, she likes to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends.
Tonnette Graham is the Associate Director of Public Policy for the Florida Association of Counties. As a lead healthcare, public safety, and economic development lobbyist, Graham provides thorough context of legislative issues to Florida’s 67 counties. With years of experience as a Florida A&M University trustee, student body president, State University System of Florida Board of Governors member, and chairman of the Florida Student Association, Graham is no stranger to leadership and service. Since graduating from FAMU with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management (2015) and master’s degree in public administration (2016), she went on to serve in the Office of the President as Special Assistant to the Director of Governmental Relations—a role that ignited her passion for legislative activism and education. She is currently a member of Leadership Tallahassee (Class 38), the FAMU Division of Healthcare Management Advisory Board, the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Florida Association for Intergovernmental Relations, and the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Graham is committed to advancing her local community and taking thoughtful action for change. She is just scratching the surface of a promising political career and is eager to implement innovative ways to inform, interest, and mobilize American millennials.
Trasetta Alexander is Assistant Director of Outreach at Florida State University College of Medicine. She is also the owner of Trasetta Alexander Enterprises, a strategic consulting firm that serves solopreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits and ministries. Trasetta believes entrepreneurship is the best way to build wealth and find fulfillment in life. She is on a mission to help individuals, businesses and organizations build, grow and scale to increase their impact, income and influence. Trasetta has over 20 years of experience working in business operations management creating systems and processes, and increasing individual productivity. She is an engaging and empowering speaker and trainer, as well as, author of Positioning Yourself to Prosper: How to create a life of abundance through purpose. In 2019, Trasetta received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Thomas University, from which she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Trasetta lives in Tallahassee, FL with her husband, William, and is the proud parent of her adult daughter, Alexia. A breast cancer survivor, mentor to girls and respected Christian leader, Trasetta is committed to showing others how to overcome the challenges of life to achieve their greatest dreams.