Leon Works Fall Preview

Leon Works Fall Preview

September 23 for 7th and 8th graders and September 30 for 11th and 12th graders


The Leon Works Fall Preview offers motivated middle and high school students the opportunity to engage with 50+ local businesses and allows them to explore Tallahassee-Leon County's amazing range of career opportunities, along with the skills and education needed to align with their future career goals. In keeping with public health safety measures, this year’s expo will be held virtually through TalentHub, an online platform launched by the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce which allows businesses to post current job openings and visitors to view jobs available in the area, explore careers, build a resume, and learn about local companies. The official Leon Works Fall Preview will go “live” over two days – September 23, 2021, for 7th and 8th graders and September 30, 2021, for 11th and 12th graders – with career speakers, hosted exhibitor booths, and resume building opportunities. The Fall Preview is a collaborative effort between Leon County Government, the Office of Economic Vitality, the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, and myriad community, education, business partners.


Launch TalentHub

Leon Works Fall Preview Speakers

  • Aaron L. Boyette, BoyetteZettle


    Aaron L. Boyette is a State of Florida Licensed General Contractor since 2014, Building Contractor since 2001, and Roofing Contractor since 2009; and a State of Georgia Licensed General Contractor since 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction Management from the University of North Florida. Boyette has held the positions of Project Superintendent, Project Manager, Vice-President of Business Development and Estimating and President of a commercial construction company. His experience includes delivering federal, commercial, educational, institutional and religious facilities utilizing multiple project delivery methods including design-bid-build, design-build and construction management at risk.

    In 2012, he was appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida to the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) whose primary focus is to regulate (including discipline) licensed contractors in the State of Florida. He is currently serving as an active board member and past- chair of the CILB. He is a voting member of four American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) committees.

  • Aaron Milner, Johnson + Milner, Inc.


    Aaron Milner is the President of Johnson + Milner, Inc. (J+M) a Structural Engineering Firm established in Tallahassee in 2013. Aaron founded the firm with George Johnson, Jr and Primus Mtenga. Aaron and George met each other working together at another local Engineering Firm. Primus was Aaron’s Professor and Mentor. After working together for several years, the three shared a desire to create a practice to produce high-quality, functionally efficient, budget-conscious engineering that gratifies and inspires the end user.

    Though J+M is young, their team has had numerous years of experience previously taking the role of design leaders in some of the most technically challenging and rigorous building types, for example: healthcare, higher education, commercial, residential, and specialty engineering. They take pride in cultivating long-term client relationships by focusing on forming lasting associations with clients based on genuine interest in each client’s unique goals, strengths, strategies, and direction. The J+M team has tried, since its inception, to be frequent contributors to various community groups both monetarily and by giving time. With their work ethic they pride themselves on treating every client with care no matter the magnitude of the project.

    In 2019, J+M was honored to be acknowledged as the 2019 Minority Enterprise of the Year by the Office of Economic Vitality and Big Bend Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Committee which recognizes the diligent efforts and contributions of minority owned firms in Tallahassee and its surrounding areas.

    Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Aaron came to Tallahassee in 2000 to receive his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Florida A&M University, College of Civil Engineering. He served in the US Army Reserve (2000-2014) and completed two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is also a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Excellence Program (EEP) (2014) and the Jim Moran Institute Small Business Executive Program (2016).

    He currently serves as a Board of Directors member for the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Aaron is grateful for the opportunity to advocate for Construction and Development in the city that adopted him and became his home.

  • Akiah Singfield, REVOLT

    Akiah Singfield-CROP

    Akiah Singfield received her Bachelor of Arts in Strategic, Legal and Management Communications in 2017 from Howard University. Akiah’s passion for touching the lives of others, resilient sense of self, and innate ability to get things done, has offered her many opportunities in the media industry. 

    In 2016, she got her start in entertainment media when she was 1 of 30 fellows selected from over 1,200 applicants for the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS), a media summer fellowship program. The summer fellowship program teaches up-and-coming communicators the realities of the media business world through career focused seminars and internship placement. Through the fellowship, Akiah interned at NBCUniversal on the Integrated Marketing team. 

    Akiah moved to New York City shortly after graduating where she started her first job in the industry as an invaluable member of the TV One family. First as a Sales Coordinator and then quickly promoted to a Sales Planner. In 2019, Akiah accepted a position at NBCUniversal, where she was a Sales Planner for the Olympic Channel, GOLF, and NBC Sports Network. Currently, Akiah is an Advertising and Marketing Sales Executive for REVOLT TV.

    Akiah hopes to continue her burgeoning career in advertising and plans to climb the ladder in hope to influence and inform many students on the media industry.

  • Alan James, Project Management Office (PMO)

    Alan James

    Job Title: Director of Global Operations Project Management Office (PMO) 

    University/Degree: Tennessee Technological University, Manufacturing & Engineering Technology 

    Brief Job Desc: Organize cross functional teams to define and execute the strategic manufacturing plan across the Danfoss Turbocor global footprint. Lead Advanced Manufacturing team in evaluating and developing cutting edge technologies in automation and process control.

  • Allison Clarke, singer-songwriter

    Allison Clarke

    Allison Clarke is a singer-songwriter based out of Nashville. Originally from Tallahassee, her southern roots have inspired songs such as “Gulf Coast Breeze,” “Live Oak” and "What Day Would You Go Back To." Allison has utilized her experience of working in the music industry to reach audiences worldwide, with over one million total streams on Spotify. Whether she is playing a festival or a songwriter’s round, Allison is passionate about creating music that connects with her listeners in an authentic way.

  • Antonio J. Carrion, FAMU College of Pharmacy/Encompass Health

    antonio carrion

    Dr. Carrion graduated with his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in May 2009. After graduating with his Doctor of Pharmacy, Dr. Carrion completed a post-graduate year one residency (PGY1) at FAMU/Leon County Health Department in Ambulatory Care with an emphasis on HIV pharmacotherapy and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Upon completion of his PGY1 residency, Dr. Carrion obtained his Master’s of Public Health in August 2012 from the Institute of Public Health at FAMU, with a focus in Health Policy and Management. Dr. Carrion currently serves an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the COPPS at FAMU and delivers pharmacotherapy services to the patients of Care Point Health and Wellness Center, where he also provides an advanced pharmacy practice experience for fourth professional year pharmacy students.

  • Antonio C. Cuyler, Cuyler Consulting, LLC

    antonio cuyler

    Dr. Antonio C. Cuyler is the author of Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations: Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Color in the U. S. and editor of a forthcoming volume, Arts Management, Cultural Policy, & the African Diaspora. He is also the Founder of Cuyler Consulting, LLC, a Black-owned arts consultancy that helps cultural organizations maximize their performance and community relevance through access, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI). He serves as the Director of the MA Program & Associate Professor of Arts Administration in the Department of Art Education at Florida State University (FSU), and Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan.  

  • Ashlee Weber, Moore Agency

    Ashlee Weber

    Ashlee Weber is the Associate Managing Director of Brand Development for Moore in Tallahassee. She has worked in marketing and communications for 17 years and oversees brand and campaign development for national, state and local clients. Ashlee graduated from Florida State University with a degree in English Creative Writing and minors in Communications and Film. She has won multiple industry awards for clients, including American Advertising Federation Awards, Telly Awards, FPRA Image Awards and Florida Print Awards.

  • Ben Martin, VR Systems

    Ben Martin

    As a kid, Ben Martin wanted to be a welder – just like his father. He spent most of his childhood in the hot and humid south, mainly in the small towns of Appomattox, Virginia and Gonzales, Louisiana (the jambalaya capital of the word), plus a year in Australia (the driest continent in the world). Martin didn’t follow his early plans for a career in metal fabrication; instead, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served nearly 20 years with the Marine Corps Logistics Command including time as a supervisor and logistics manager overseeing the implementation of numerous multi-million-dollar projects. 

    In 2007 Martin joined VR Systems, a Tallahassee-based provider of software and hardware technology for modern elections. After serving 10 years as the product manager for the company’s EViD electronic pollbook he was named Chief Operating Officer, a role in which he oversees the day-to-day business operations for all three product teams – including electronic pollbooks, voter registration and election management systems, and web solutions. 

    Martin holds numerous professional certifications including Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from PMI and the Certified Election Registration Vendor (CERV) designation from Election Center. He has served as an executive member of multiple industry associations throughout his career, most recently on the Executive Committee of the Sector Coordinating Council for Election Infrastructure Subsector under the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

    For more information about VR Systems, visit VRsystems.com

  • Bo Schmitz, Hyatt House/Hampton Inn & Suites Tallahassee Capitol-University

    Bo Schmitz

    Hospitality professional with 20 years of industry experience. Upon earning my Hospitality Business degree at Michigan State University, I accepted an AGM position with Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. In 1996, I moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Excluding a 2-year stint in the Detroit area to advance my career growth, I have lived in the Grand Rapids area with my wife Tina & 2 daughters, Katie & Ashley. Late in 2010, our family decided to re-locate to Tallahassee, Florida. Over the past 3 years, I have been involved in the complete property transformation of Tallahassee's iconic "round hotel", re-opening as the Four Points Tallahassee Downtown on June 7th, 2012. The hotel recently became Tallahassee's first LEED (Silver) Certified hotel and having already managed the first LEED Certified Hyatt Place in the past, I am very proud to promote sustainability in our industry and be a leader in making a difference to reduce our carbon footprint, both individually and as a corporation. My future goals include leading a successful hotel management company by building an exceptional team and implementing a culture of growth, both personally and professionally. Ultimately, my main goal is to be the best husband & father to my family, remaining grounded in the principles of working hard, honesty & faith. Specialties: Service Analysis for continuous improvement, financial profitability analysis

  • Buck & Ashly Deese, Deese Elite Concrete Coatings

    We are Buck and Ashly Deese. As Florida natives, We are dedicated to serving the community that we know and love. Buck has thirty years of construction experience under his belt, and has an in depth knowledge of all things related. Ashly has a degree in supervision and management, and her exceptional attention to detail will guarantee that your project is completed to perfection. We look forward to serving Tallahassee and surrounding areas.

  • Camila Delgado, Tallahassee Primary Care Associates

    Camila Delgado

    My name is Camila Delgado, and I’m a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant at Dr. Hugh Vanlandingham’s Office with TPCA. I am from Miami, FL and graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor in Athletic Training in May of 2021. My job is to assist a physician or provider with any clinical procedures, treatments, and other duties.

  • Cal Melton, Central Remedy

    cal  melton

    Dr. Cal Melton is a chiropractor and owner of C3 Chiropractic and Wellness Center. He received his D.C. from National University of Health Sciences, formally known as National Chiropractic College.  After graduation, Dr. Melton returned to Tallahassee to work with his uncle, Dr. Paul Grant, DC.

    Dr. Melton comes from a long and distinguished line of chiropractors. He is the 12th in three generations of chiropractors in his family. Dr. Melton’s great uncle, Dr. Leo L. Spears, was a chiropractic pioneer. In 1943, Spears founded Spears Chiropractic Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Although no longer open, Spears is the largest Chiropractic hospital to have existed in the world.  Dr. Spears also wrote and published The Spears Painless System of Chiropractic and Other Developments which is still currently used today.  

    Dr. Melton currently resides in Tallahassee with his wife Corrie and their sons Phillip and William.

  • Cheryl Thompson, Capital City Bank

    Cheryl Thompson headshot-CROP

    Cheryl has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years with experience in a variety of roles including teller, loan officer, office manager, human resources, system analyst, project manager and retail office administrator. Her current responsibilities as Senior Vice President of Operations include directing the bank operations group, information technology, facilities and building management, purchasing, corporate training and project management functions for the Bank.

    Cheryl received her business administration degree from the University of Florida and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking. She also earned a Wharton Leadership Certificate.

    Cheryl was born and raised in Tallahassee, Rickards High School Alum, and remains active in the community. She served as vice chair on the board of the Capital Area Community Action Agency and Chair of the Junior Achievement board. She also served as a Loan Executive with the United Way of the Big Bend.

  • Chip and Amanda Evans, Willie Jewell's

    chip and amanda evans photo-CROP

    Meet Chip and Amanda Evans.

    They are the proud owners of Willie Jewell’s Bar-B-Q in Tallahassee, Florida, and FRLA’s first ever Member of the Month.

    These members have been actively engaged in FRLA since they joined in June 2018. With a passion for giving back, Chip and Amanda have taken advantage of FRLA’s involvement in the community. Chip says, “We try and give whenever we can. FRLA has been good about plugging us in. This is where the opportunities to give are.”

    In October 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle. Victims of this disaster were left homeless, without food, water, power, or clean clothes. Along with other FRLA members, Chip and Amanda headed to Marianna to provide hot, fresh food and necessities to the community members in need.

    From help with the hurricane to volunteering time and food with Vet Events Tally and other organizations, Chip and Amanda always go the extra mile to give. Regional Director Nick Lowe noted that they are “members who understand what it really means to serve others.”

    Thank you, Chip and Amanda, for all you do for FRLA and the community.

  • Colette Washington, Health Science Consulting

    colette washington

    Registered Nurse. American Heart Association CPR, ACLS, PALS instructor. Nurse Educator. Experienced Medical Biller with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Event Management, Team Building, Radiography, and Organizational Leadership. Strong healthcare services professional graduated from Florida State University.

  • Damaris Barrios, GeneralDynamics Land Systems

    Damaris Barrios

    As a graduate of the University of Florida in both Industrial & Systems Engineering and Business Administration in 2002, Damaris began her career at FP&L (Florida Power & Light) as a Distribution Design Engineer in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She designed pathways for residential and commercial energy distribution for a year before being promoted to Area Manager. As Area Manager, she designed subdivisions and large sectors within South Florida for both overhead and underground utilities. Following her relocation to Tallahassee, Damaris began working as a Quality Engineer for Martin Electronics. She provided insight on contract and technical requirements for munitions sold to the US Military. She was put in charge of all grenade fuse line operations where she was responsible for operations including production, testing, and quality. She was recruited by General Dynamics in 2005 and began working for them as a Quality Engineer. Her background in government contracts and manufacturing helped her move up within General Dynamics from Quality Engineer to Reliability/Manufacturing Engineer. Most recently she was promoted to Production Manager and is responsible for 150+ employees within disciplines of assembly, electronic testing, inspection, supervision, and planning for military vehicles. Damaris takes pride in knowing the assemblies produced at General Dynamics Land Systems-Tallahassee provide quality and reliability to our military. 

    Skills/Interests: Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt, ISO, Process Improvement, Root Cause Analysis, Work Instruction Standardization, Employee Resource, Query Building, DEI Lead.

  • Deputy Chief Darryl Hall, Leon County Division of Emergency Medical Services

    Darryl Hall is a Deputy Chief with Leon County Government’s Division of Emergency Medical Services. In his current role over EMS Operations, he is responsible for overseeing all of the day-to-day operations of Tallahassee’s only transporting, 9-1-1 ambulance provider, responding to over 45,000 calls each year. He is Certified Public Manager and very active in his community. In addition to being a Paramedic, Darryl is a Registered Nurse, having spent 7 years working for Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare’s LifeFlight program as a Flight Nurse. In 2019, Darryl was inducted as a founding member of Tallahassee Community College’s Public Safety Hall of Fame.  


  • Dennis Taylor, Blue Triton Brands

    dennis taylor-CROP

    Name: Dennis Taylor

    Position: Container Manufacturing Manager

    Years in role: 3 years in role/ 25yrs total

    Credentials: I joined Nestlé Waters in 1997 at the Zephyrhills, FL factory and later transferred to the Madison factory.  I’ve leveraged my 25 years manufacturing experience in various roles as a Production Resource and later Container Manager improving AI, implementing cost reduction initiatives, creating best practices and developing leaders.  Over the past year, I’ve led the Madison factory to World Class UPS performance as a Container Manufacturing Manager, established a recruitment and training partnership with a local technical college and is the recent recipient of the “Impact Award” for ingenuity and creativity.

    I love the freedom, support and encouragement to work with an “Entrepreneurial Spirit” in building my team and improving Factory performance. I can see the direct impact I have on others and the business holistically.

  • Donny Crume, ProCom Consulting

    Donny Crume Headshot (St of FL)-CROP

    Innovative, strategic-minded and accomplished professional with a proven track record of custom-developed efforts based on accepted industry leading practices built from the ground-up that bring a positive impact to an organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. Success is driven by taking an end-user centric approach to understanding customer (business) needs, and exploration of opportunities for improvement. Philosophy is based-on advocating the promotion of managing processes (horizontally across departments) over the managing of functions (vertical silos). Professional strengths include getting the best out of a team through a compassionate understanding of team and cultural dynamics and process-oriented management philosophies. Donny's current professional areas of interest include supporting youth development, organizational change management, strategic planning, and data exploration.

  • Dustin Rivest, 223 Agency

    Dustin Rivest 2021-CROP

    After kicking my way through college at FIU (literally as the kicker for the football team), the mobile technology world has created many opportunities! I currently develop custom mobile applications for a variety of industries! My company, App Innovators has published over 100 apps in the last 12 months in over 20 industries!

    My wife, Lucki Rivest is my world and business is my passion! I love helping companies and organizations grow in this new mobile marketplace.

  • Eddie Gonzalez Loumiet, Ruvos

    Eddie Gonzalez

    With more than 20 years managing multi-million dollar enterprise technology projects, Eddie is an award-winning information technology expert, mentor, recognized speaker, and CEO at Ruvos (formerly named Uber Operations), a leading data, security, and cloud computing company. Eddie played a critical role in the development of the company's strategic growth from 5 individuals to over 45, and he continues this by working with partnerships and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility and growth in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
    Prior to joining Ruvos, Eddie served as Senior Project Manager at Stanford International Bank in Antigua, West Indies. While at Stanford, Eddie managed all facets of the technology at the bank including several high profile banking system implementations in Antigua, Panama, Venezuela, and Canada.
    Eddie, a Cuban-American born in Miami, Florida, attended Loyola University, New Orleans earning a bachelor's degree in Finance and Computer Information Systems. He subsequently received his Executive MBA in 2007 from the University of Miami while working full time.
    Eddie is fluent in English, Spanish, has a working knowledge of Portuguese, and has traveled on business to over 15 countries. Eddie is an active member of the Technology industry and a staunch advocate for the Latino and Small Business communities. He serves in a number of organizations and attends numerous conferences and technology events serving as an expert on entrepreneurship, project management, and leadership.
    Eddie is an adjunct professor at Florida A&M University as well as Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health.
    Eddie was named one of Florida's top entrepreneurs under the age of 40 and was profiled in Hispanic Executive magazine for his work in healthcare technology.
    Eddie lives in Tallahassee with his wife Jessica (teacher at Maclay School) and children, Raquel (8) and Meyer (5).

  • Gloria Pugh, AMWAT Moving Warehouse Storage

    Gloria Pugh

    Gloria Pugh is the Chief Executive Officer of AMWAT Moving Warehousing Storage. Where she operates a full service warehouse with four terminals and loading docks which allows easy access to any size tractor trailer. The warehousing storage is small enough to deliver quality personal services yet large enough to deliver comprehensive relocation support for all of your moving, storage, and shipping needs. The company receives and distributes a wide range of commodities and is conveniently located off South Monroe Street, which is a major artery in the area. 

    AMWAT tailors each project specific to the customers’ needs whether moving across town or across the globe. Whatever your transportation and storage needs, we do it all. What sets us apart from most of our competition is we DO NOT utilize day labor. We are able to execute a project in a much more timely and efficient manner due to our experienced employees. Our goal is to get you back to your life. AMWAT Moving Warehousing and Storage is a military certified facility. Specialties: Moving locally, nationally and internationally; Packing & Unpacking; Large inventory of moving supplies; Short & Long Term Storage; Logistic consulting and planning for large residential & commercial relocations Public Warehousing Shipping, Receiving & Distribution Climate Control Facility Military Approved ProMover Certified Agent for Wheaton World Wide Moving

  • Heather Hamlin, Tallahassee Community College

    heather hamlin

    Heather Hamlin is currently the Program Director for Tallahassee Community College Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education’s Simulation Center. A native of Cypress, Florida in Jackson County, she currently resides in Tallahassee with her family. Heather retired in 2018 as a Colonel from the Florida Department of Corrections after serving over 23 years in state government. She returned back to college to pursue her passion in healthcare and received a degree in Medical Assisting. She is a 2019 and 2020 graduate of Keiser University having studied Medical Assisting and Interdisciplinary Studies and is currently pursuing a higher degree in Health Science. Heather also received her certification in cosmetic teeth whitening and is the Owner of Marianna Smile Labs in Marianna, Florida.

  • Heather Nelson, Tallahassee International Airport

    Heather Nelson

    Heather Nelson, PMP, CDT is the Capital Programs Project Manager at Tal- lahassee International Airport. She has been in this position for approxi- mately 7 years. Before “settling” in Florida, Heather spent 9 years working for RS&H as an on site project representative for Airport Construction.

    Heather has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of New Mexico and a Masters in Business and Project Management from the University of Phoenix. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds an NEF (NAWIC Education Foundation) certification for Construction Document Technician.

    She is versed in all types of airport construction from heavy civil to commer- cial/government building to electrical and different systems. Her love of avia- tion and construction has brought the best of both worlds to her career.

    Heather succeeds in project management because of her solution based attitude and willingness to work with contractors to get the job done and done right.

    She grew up in Colorado and still loves the mountains but since moving to Florida in 2012 has embraced the salt water life and enjoys inshore and offshore fishing as much as possible with her husband Josh.

    Heather has been a member of NAWIC since 2008. She started in the Southwest Missouri Chap- ter #366 and upon moving to Florida contacted the local Tallahassee Chapter to start networking and meeting new people. She is a past Chapter President, Vice President, Treasurer and Director and has also taken roles on committees at the Regional and National Level.

    Heather believes that the construction industry is for everyone no matter what your background or education are. There is a place for you to learn, grow and become a leader!

  • Heidi Tyline King, Writer

    Heidi king

    Heidi Tyline King is the author of Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch, her first book for children. Her next picture book, Flash!, chronicles the firefly research of John Bonner Buck and his groundbreaking discoveries in bioluminescence. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

  • Isabelle Jotch, Tallahassee Primary Care Associates

    Isabelle Jotch

    My name is Isabelle Jotch and I am originally from St. Petersburg, FL. I am a Senior Pre-Medical Public Health student at Florida State University as well as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant at Tallahassee Primary Care Associates. I am in multiple student organizations on campus and in my free time I enjoy traveling and exercising.

  • Jackie Beck, Apalachee Center

    Jackie Beck

    Jackie Beck graduated Summa Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University with her MSW and has worked in the mental health field for over 35 years. Her career began in long-term care, but her interests quickly broadened to the mental health field serving individuals of all ages.  She began working in community mental health first as a case manager, then as an Assertive Community Treatment Team Leader, and then as a therapist specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Co-Occurring disorders. She eventually found herself in administration, directing emergency services and a walk-in clinic. 

    After moving to Florida in 1998, Jackie worked for the Department of Children and Families for 15 years, most of which was at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office at the Headquarters office in Tallahassee.   Her appointments there included State-wide Baker Act Director and Chief of Mental Health. While with DCF, she received several awards, including the District’s Total Quality Management Award and several Davis Productivity Awards. 

    In 2013, Jackie transitioned back to her first love: community mental health.  She is currently the Inpatient Program Director at Apalachee Center in Tallahassee where she directs over 200 staff in multiple inpatient programs including a detox unit, psychiatric units for children, adolescents and adults, as well as a Mobile Response Team and a Central Receiving Facility.

  • Jackie Watts, TSpark Enterprises

    Jackie Watts

    Jackie Watts was born and raised in southeast Texas. In 1981 she had a great opportunity to come to Tallahassee, FL to play rugby for FSU. She was coached by Kathy Flores who eventually advanced to coach the USA team. Like a lot of folks who come to Tallahassee, Jackie never left. In 2003 she was blessed with a son who is currently a junior at Leon High School. Jackie is over the top proud of him.

    By the time Jackie left Texas she had accumulated 6 years of A/C service experience. As a woman in the trades, she was before her time in Tallahassee. Job hunting was rough and she couldn’t find a job with an A/C company so she did apartment maintenance for a while and managed to score an apartment to live in as well.

    As time passed Jackie continued to look for opportunities in construction. An A/C company advertised for duct subcontractors and Jackie convinced Mr. Tom Trapane to hire her. Without any experience with ductwork Jackie learned quickly as the jobs piled up. They had all women duct crews at this company and other subs knew to get out of the way when they arrived because they worked hard to complete their jobs quickly. “That was a good learning experience and a fun time,” says Jackie.

    A competitor to Tom convinced the City of Tallahassee that she needed to be licensed. So, she went all out and took the State Certified A/C test and opened Watts Mechanical in 1989. Jackie said, “I think the competitor regretted that as I became his competition and moved forward full steam.”

    In the early 90’s she was appointed by the governor to serve on what was then called the Board of Building Codes and Standards, today it is called the Florida Building Code Commission. This was Jackie’s first experience on a public board which lead to many other appointments including 12 years on the Construction Industry Licensing Board. While every board member was very passionate about their opinions, they kept it professional and were all friends after the meetings.

    Jackie was in business with Watts Mechanical for 27 years and one day decided she needed to do something else. She literally handed the keys over to the office manager and to this day she continues to do a great job. Jackie then worked for the City of Tallahassee as a mechanical/gas inspector.

    As luck would have it, Mr. Travis Sparkman, TSpark Enterpises, gave Jackie an opportunity to super- vise his construction projects. After 40 years of being in and around construction it was the perfect fit. “I know how to treat my subs because I used to be one”, says Jackie. She is very happy with the teams she works with to successfully complete her jobs. She believes she will be with TSpark until she is 70...and retires.

    As a NAWIC member, Jackie brings a wealth of information to our chapter for new upcoming contractors and workers. Jackie recently completed the NAWIC Education Foundation certification for Con- struction Industry Technician (CIT). We value her expertise and can’t wait to see what Jackie does next.

  • Jackie Wilson, Metronet

    Jackie Wilson

    Jackie (Carrouth Garner) Wilson is a lifelong Tallahassee lassie! Although she was not born here, she has been here since she was 2 and although there were many opportunities, over the years, to leave, she 'chose' to stay in the city she loves!

    Jackie graduated from Leon High School and went directly to Florida State University, having been accepted in November of her Senior year of high school. She never even applied to another school. She was determined to be a Seminole. She continues to love her Alma Mater and swears she bleeds Garnet & Gold!

    Jackie was a Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising (double major) graduate with minors in Art (heavy in Fashion Illustration), Business and Interior Design. She had to get special permission, each quarter to take over-load hours, in order to finish when she wanted to.  Even with all the extra load, she finished 2 terms earlier than the normal schedule would have been (less than 4 years).

    Jackie was married after her first year of college and worked full-time hours throughout her college years. She worked in the fashion industry, for a while, including with a Fashion Designer and then Retail Management with several National chain stores, but then joined her husband to manage their plumbing company, where she found her "calling."

    The Building/Construction Industry was where she stayed.from then-on.or something that kept her connected to it. After a downturn in the industry, in the early '80s, and several contractors leaving them high & dry (not paying for their work), Jackie and her husband both moved on to other industry jobs. Jackie knew she had found her 'home' in construction and never looked back!!

    Jackie eventually found an opportunity with the Tallahassee Builders Association (TBA), as the Executive VP/CEO and was there for 21 years, She felt that she could relate to every member of the association as, by this time she had been a contractor/builder, sub- contractor, and a supplier of goods and services. She was at home organizing events, fund-raisers, meetings, conferences, working with boards, budgets and deadlines.

    During her first year on the job, Jackie found herself excited to be pregnant (with a second husband, who was also in the industry). Her son Robby, now 34 and married, grew up as a fixture in/at the NAWIC meeting and activities, as well as the ones at TBA. He was roofing on Habitat projects, during Spring Break at 8 years old.and loving it!  There was never any question that he would have a career in the industry that both his parents were in. He is now a Project Manager with a local road building firm.

    Jackie has had several City and/or County Commission appointments, over the years.including the Leon County Construction Industry Licensing Board and currently serves on the Tallahassee/Leon County Advisory Committee on Quality Growth.

    Jackie joined NAWIC in 1978 and has enjoyed the many friendships made over the years. She feels that she benefits from attending every meeting/conference/convention, no matter the size. She is a believer in learning from counterparts and contemporaries and bringing something back to the table.whether for the good of your company, for your career/professional growth or for your personal growth. There is no way to put a value on the contacts you make, and you never know what/how they may benefit you in the long run.

    Jackie has served the Tallahassee Chapter as President 6 separate terms, over the years and served as Region 3 National Director (a position on the National Board) 1985/86.Jackie's theme as NAWIC Regional Director was "Value Your NAWIC Membership & Take Pride In It" She still believes in that message!

    Jackie had retired for almost 2 years, just contracting part-time, but found herself 'bored' with so little to do.then she started being pursued by Metronet, even without ever applying for a job.  Turns out.one of 'those' contacts, from several years before, had told  the Metronet people that Jackie Wilson was the person they needed to fill their Marketing Coordinator position. After a call from their Corporate office, to set an interview, locally.then two more interviews, by phone, with upper level management in the Corporate office (Indiana), Jackie currently works as the Marketing Coordinator for Metronet's Florida Market. Metronet is the new 100% Fiber Optic Internet, TV and Phone service that is the latest in technology and an alternative to cable. Metronet entered Tallahassee approx. 18 months ago and has run well over 200 miles of underground conduit throughout the city and is now connecting residences and businesses to the service.

    Jackie continues to serve the Tallahassee Chapter with her local knowledge and outgoing personality! She inspires us every day and we look forward to many more years of her sparkle.

  • Jarrett Maloy, SneauxBall

    jarrett malloy

    Hey!! I'm Jarrett Maloy, the founder and owner of SneauxBall Catering Co. 
    Why SneauxBall?
    To raise funds for the development of student athletes while being of service to the community!!
    I can't turn down brownies! I played baseball in college! I have a true passion for helping others reach their goals and think bigger!

  • Jackson Jenkins, Residential Elevators

    jackson jenkins-CROP

    Jackson Jenkins represents Residential Elevators in manufacturing and delivery of residential elevators across the United States.  Jackson graduated from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in 2004 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Jackson’s responsibilities include all stages of manufacturing including procuring material/parts, metal & wood fabrication, assembly, and delivery of complete units to jobsites throughout the US. 

  • James Rhymer, Facebook

    James Rhymer

    James is your friendly neighborhood product designer @ Facebook. James attended Godby High School in Tallahassee, FL before becoming a partner at 223 Agency, and eventually making his way to Facebook. His first two years at the social media company were focused on building new experiences around AI (artificial intelligence) across Messenger, Instagram and more. He now spends his time evolving the Facebook app for young adults within the pop culture and music space. Being from Tallahassee, James is passionate about inspiring other creatives like himself to dream big and pursue a career they love.

  • Jason Coleman, Huber Engineered Woods

    jason coleman

    I am a 1993 graduate from Florida State University with a B.S in Communications.  I have over 26 years of experience in sales and sales management.  I started out my career right out of college in wireless telecommunications and then ten years ago I moved into the building materials field. I spent time with James Hardie Building Products in the North Florida and South Georgia area for three and half years.  At James Hardie, I worked as a territory sales representative and worked with the dealer channel (lumber yards), builders, general contractors, and architects in converting to Hardie products.   I have spent the past six 1/2 years working with Huber Engineered Woods as a Regional Sales Manager.  My responsibilities include working with the dealer channel (lumberyards), builders, contractors, architects, structural engineers in North Florida, South Georgia and South Alabama and developing new hires.  I have won Top Regional Sales Manager in the SE over the last four years with Huber.  I live in Tallahassee, FL with my wife, daughter- Freshman at USF and we have a son that is a Junior at FSU.  I am an avid Florida State University sports fan!

    The best way to learn more about Huber Engineered Woods is to visit our website at huberwood.com.

  • Jay Smith, AJAX

    Jay Smith

    Jay Smith, Commercial Contractor, AJAX

  • Jennifer Young, TC Bakery

    jennifer young

    From the NY Times:

    I first met Ms. Young when she came in as a guest speaker to my "Covid-19 and the Law" class. I am a clinical law professor at Florida State University College of Law, and a mentor of mine suggested I reach out to TC Bakery.

    Ms. Young’s presentation to my second- and third-year law students about the trials and tribulations of the pandemic was quite powerful. It reminded these future lawyers and decision-makers that laws and policies affect real people. Ms. Young discussed how proud she was of her bakery being in a predominantly Black neighborhood, but she noticed that customers were not coming to the area to support her and surrounding businesses. Covid has affected communities of color more than white communities, and that includes businesses owned by people of color. TC Bakery is the only bakery on the south side of Tallahassee, which is a historically Black community. If she weren’t there, the community would be missing a bakery, but it also would be missing the sense of innovation she brings.

    After her presentation, I visited her bakery. I did not understand how amazing her cakes were until then. I remember opening the door and seeing the cakes, wondering what the flavors were, feeling a sense of curiosity. I could smell fresh baked goods and hear the mixer in the back. Ms. Young came out and was just like, Oh my gosh, it’s you!

    It has now become a Friday afternoon ritual for me to visit TC Bakery and get my slices (yes, plural) to indulge in her tasty cakes. I deactivated my Facebook account years ago, but I regularly go onto the TC Bakery page to check what flavors she has baked up that day. Every time I go back, she remembers who I am.

    Jennifer Young owns TC Bakery in Tallahassee, Fla. Carla Laroche lives in Tallahassee.

  • Jeremy Spinks, BowStern

    jeremy spinks-headshot-CROP

    Jeremy Spinks has spent more than 20 years in the marketing industry, working in visual design, web programming, and project management. His daily duties as Creative Director involve leading a team of creative staff, solving design problems for local, regional and national clients. His passion for typography led him to release his own typeface in 2017, as part of Design Week Tallahassee. He is currently a board member of the Tallahassee Chapter of AIGA.

  • Jerry Orama, Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Jerry Orama

    My name is Jerry Orama, and I am a Journeyman Lineman for Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. I began my journey as a logger at 13 years old in my home county throughout my high school years. The hard work and dedication I acquired during this time paved the way for more opportunities, including my start to line work with Pike Electric for four years before I had the privilege of joining my local Cooperative, Talquin. Once hired with Talquin, I began a four-year apprenticeship where I completed Northwest Lineman College and became a Journeyman Lineman. Although I accomplished my goal of becoming a Lineman, my journey to empower others through my trials and tribulations drives me to achieve more every day.

  • Jofree Joseph, 305 Brothers All In One, LLC

    Jofree Joseph


     Jofree Thomas Joseph is Owner/Manager of 305 Brothers All In One. Mr. Joseph is a 1st generation Haitian American contractor where he oversees all company daily operations. Under Jofree’s direction, he has grown the company to be a well-respected residential & commercial contractor in the State of Florida. Also obtaining HUB Zone, Minority Business Enterprise and Disadvantage Business Enterprise designations. He has developed strong relationships by networking & community outreach. 

    Mr. Joseph obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Management from the Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry in the Spring of 2009. He has over 10 years of professional service experience, including 6 years as the founder and principal of 305 Brothers All In One, LLC.

  • John Hallas, Talquin Electric Co-Op, Inc.

    John Hallas

    John Hallas received his Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry from Florida State University. After receiving his bachelor's degree, he worked as a quality assurance chemist at a corn syrup manufacturing plant in Memphis, Tennessee. Later he received his Master of Science from Florida State University in Aquatic Environmental Science. He then worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, writing permits for the Everglades storm water treatment areas and later writing total daily load reports for sensitive ecosystems, including the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers basin. For over the past ten years, he has worked for Talquin Electric Coop. Inc. in the water and wastewater division directing regulatory compliance and managing operations. He is responsible for Talquin's water and wastewater services to homes and businesses across the four-county, 2,600 square mile service territory, including Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties of Florida. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida for a doctorate in Environmental Science. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his beautiful wife and four beautiful children. He and his family spend their time on their small farm raising chickens, ducks, and turkeys and tending their vegetable gardens.

  • Dr. Jonathan Perry, Tallahassee Primary Care Associates

    Jonathan Perry

    Education: B.S. in Agriculture University of Georgia, Athens, GA- Biological Sciences Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA- Biology 

    Medical School: M.D., Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 

    Residency: Wake Forest School of Medicine- Winston-Salem, NC 

    Board Certified: 

    Board certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine 

    Professional Memberships/Associations 

    Capital Medical Society Florida Academy of Family Physicians Florida Medical Association 

    About Me: 

    Besides going to church on the weekends, my family enjoys gathering with close friends and extended family. We also enjoy visiting Mexico Beach for our beach trips, as well as Athens in the fall to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play.

  • Joseph Garcia, Lively Aviation

    joe garcia


    Joseph Garcia

    School Name:

    Leon County Schools – Lively Technical College Aviation Maintenance Program.

    Professional Role:

    Chair of the Lively Technical College Aviation Program.

    Responsible for on an annual basis to plan and organize the activities of the aviation maintenance program; to work with program faculty/division director in course and program development and planning.

    Instructor for the General, Airframe and Powerplant classes.

    As an instructor, the primary role is to deliver classroom instruction and help students learn and achieve certification as a Federal Aviation Maintenance Mechanic/Technician.

    Federal Aviation Administration Designated Mechanic Examiner.

     A Designated Mechanic Examiners (DME) are designees that issue certificates to people who pass an oral and practical test given by the DME. These individuals are appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

    Writer and Editor for three curriculum books published by Aircraft Technical Book Company.

    • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics Test Study Guide/ General.
    • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics Test Study Guide/ Airframe.
    • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics Test Study Guide/ Powerplant.

    Professional Achievements:

    • Started flying airplanes at the age of 15.
    • Received certification as an FAA Aircraft Mechanic at the age of 18.
    • Repaired and maintained small aircraft that can fly only about 60 miles per hour to large aircraft that are able to break the sound barrier (the speed of sound).
    • Aircraft mechanic assigned to the Governor of Florida, leaders of industries such as Heinz ketchup and Marriot.

    Passions and Interest:

    Flying aircraft.

    • Playing guitar.
    • Learning how to learn. With advancing technology, the way we learn changes as well.
  • Joseph A. Ward, Neighborhood Medical

    joseph ward-CROP

    Mr. Joseph A. Ward is a graduate of The Florida A&M University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Mr. Ward possesses over ten years of experience in delivering “Academic Success” presentations to grades K-12 as well as college and middle aged adults. By working in such diverse venues as grade schools, college campuses, juvenile divergent programs, correctional Institutions, religious communities, homeless shelters, and foster homes Mr. Ward has gained the experience of providing valuable life skills training to a wide variety of community members.

    Mr. Ward is a graduate of the “New Hope Program” with the Florida Department of Health in Leon County and served as a co-facilitator of the program for over five years, working to teach life and professional skills to underprivileged persons. In addition to co-facilitating the “New Hope Program” Mr. Ward also helped to establish the Florida A&M University chapter of Men of Strength (MOST) and currently serves as co-facilitator. Mr. Ward also successfully developed the Sexual Violence Prevention Program with the Florida Department of Health in Leon County and holds over ten years of sexual and domestic violence Prevention training experience with A Call to Men, Men Can Stop Rape, and the Florida Council against Sexual Violence.

    Mr. Ward has over 11 years of service within the field of HIV/STD prevention, beginning as the developer and director of the Sexual Violence Prevention Program in 2009; he also began his journey as an HIV/AIDS prevention counselor/health educator. Mr. Ward has also served as a prevention training consultant, contract manager, early intervention consultant, linkage coordinator, outreach specialist, and HIV/AIDS 500/501 trainer. As a 500/501 trainer Mr. Ward has trained over 1,000 people to become HIV/AIDs trainers, educators and outreach specialists. He has been very successful in creating and maintaining relationships with fellow community based organizations, Tallahassee’s Colleges and Universities, drug treatment programs, social service programs, youth organizations that serve underprivileged individuals, community centers, throughout the Big Bend area.  Mr. Ward is committed to ending the spread of HIV and STD’s within his community. He is continuously educating himself about HIV, and learning new ways to provide services to clients.      

  • Julian Dozier, Thomas Howell Ferguson


    Since 2006, Julian has been providing assurance, consulting, and other accounting services.  A graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance and a Masters of Accounting, he has been involved in significant engagements which include forensic audits and litigation support related to both for-profit and governmental enterprises; audits and other assurance engagements, primarily for commercial, insurance, and not-for-profit entities; and has provided accounting assistance and consulting services to the firm’s small-business clients.

    He is knowledgeable in many areas of fraud prevention, detection, and investigation and has obtained the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential and the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) designation. Using those designations, Julian has been involved in substantially all forensic engagements performed by the firm since 2006. He is also Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV). Julian periodically leads continuing education seminars addressing professional standards and technical accounting topics. Additionally, Julian worked for six years in the construction industry providing project management support, which included percentage-of-completion accounting.

  • Justo Cruz, Tally Mac Shack, LLC

    justo cruz-CROP

    Cruz launched Tally Mac Shack — a gourmet mac n cheese concept — in October 2017 as a food truck at first. It now has two brick-and-mortar locations, 1215 S. Adams at Happy Motoring and 824 W. Jefferson in the 1851 Seminole Dining Hall on Florida State University's campus. The food truck is still on the move all over Tallahassee.

    Cruz started a second food truck in 2019, The Slide Hustle (gourmet sliders and Cuban sandwiches), which is located at Deep Brewing Company, 2524 Cathay Court, three days a week. Tally Mac Shack's FSU location did so well in its first year, university brass asked him to create another restaurant concept for the 1851 Dining Hall, and in late 2019, Vato Tacos (which specializes in authentic street tacos) arrived.

  • Kenneth Jones, Jvision Pictures

    Kenneth Jones

    MFA graduate from Florida State University Film School, 3rd feature film as a writer and director is My Music. The film was an “Official Selection” of the Sedona International Film Festival, My Music was reviewed as “magical,” “uplifting,” and “Inspiring.” Jones’ films have been distributed on PBS, HBO and his feature, “Love & Fate,” was an Encore/Starz Movie. His international and national awards include a CINE Eagle Award amongst others. His docudrama “Rosewood” for PBS was called “a chilling reenactment” by the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. A seasoned broadcast and multimedia professional and educator, Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida A&M University.  

  • Kerwyn Jones-Wilson

    Kerwyn Jones-Wilson

    "I love getting up to build houses every morning!" said an enthusiastic Kerwyn Jones-Wilson, active Tallahassee Builders Association (TBA) member and owner of Jones Construction and Design LLC of Quincy, Florida. Kerwyn's love of construction began at an early age when her father was a masonry in-structor at Gadsden Technical Institute (GTI), where she would sit at the back of his classes and wait for her dad after school. Building seemed a natural career path for Kerwyn, a career path she is now com- mitted to promoting for young people in the community.

    As a member of the Carpentry Board for Gadsden Technical Institute, Kerwyn discovered there was a need to find ways to encourage students to get into construction. The TBA leadership agreed. With the support of TBA and GTI, Kerwyn reached out to the Gadsden County School Superintendent, guidance counselors and principals to organize a program tointroduce students to the Future Builders of America (FBA).

    FBA was launched in 2003 to promote the many con- struction industry opportunities for Florida's students. Local construction, trade and professional associa- tions partner with local schools through FBA chapters to help students get a real world understanding of what it means to be part of Florida's construction industry. FBA offers scholarships, leadership skills development, local career fairs and student chapters. The Gadsden County Chapter of FBA is now offering meetings at Gadsden Technical Institute in order to centralizethe program instead of splitting into individual high schools. In Gadsden County, all high school students may attend GTI in the mornings for an elective, such as carpentry.

    Working with contractors at real job sites, students are learning safety, use of equipment, painting, landscaping, building inspection and even office work. One student even shadowed a local county judge that handled construction law, getting to sit alongside the judge in court.

    "It is a great experience for the students, and they love it," Kerwyn said. After working with mentors in the industry, many of the students have been offered summer internships by some of the contractors. Students like the idea of going into a tradethat provides high income, job security and growth.

    Gadsden's FBA is in its third school term and growing. Local support, including the Tallahassee Builders Association, providesinstruction, time and supplies for these future construction professionals. Kerwyn encourages the students, telling them to be determined and not to give up. "The construction industry can be a rewarding and satisfying career," she said. Kerwyn can be reached at 850.459.6140 or jcdbuilders@aol.com.

  • Kevin Peters, Leon County Emergency Management


    The Division of Emergency Management coordinates emergency management activities, services, and programs within the county and serves as liaison to the Florida Division of Emergency Management and other local emergency management agencies and organizations

  • Kim Kelling, WFSU Public Media

    kim kelling

    Experience in media, production, program management, grant writing and grant management for the past 30 years. For the past 16 years working in public media and connecting media content to the community through targeted projects. Experience in managing partnerships and measuring outcomes and evaluation.
    Current Projects:
    The American Graduate project is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. WFSU is one of 25 Hub stations in the country to participate in this initiative. Our goal is to use public media to create greater awareness of how many students dropout of high school. We have worked across the community to forge partnerships and provide resources to organizations that are working in this area. Kim launched the radio series, Voices from the Classroom that captures student voices from around the area and help educate listeners to the many challenges that today's teens face. The series airs every Thursday morning and repeats on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Kim also developed a American Graduate Professional Networking Lunch in partnership with The Success Academy at Ghazvini Learning Center helping students learn about various career pathways. This fall, Kim will bring the national PBS program Roadtrip Nation to several schools in the community. This project will allow students to research and explore over 4000 interviews with professionals across the country on the RTN website.

  • Kit Kennedy, Danfoss Turbocor

    kit kennedy

    Software and Manufacturing Engineering Leader focused on manufacturing operations and traceability.
    • Manufacturing Execution Systems Architect and Developer
    • Manufacturing Engineer
    • Project Manager
    • Java Swing Application Developer
    • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
    • FMEA Facilitator
    • SQL Database Architect

  • Kristina Tutton Reams, Altrua Global Solutions

    Kristina Tutton Reams

    Kristina Tutton Reams works for Altrua Global Solutions, Inc, a Manufacturing Company in Tallahassee. Kristina holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Florida State University and holds her Certified Public Accounting License with the State of Florida. Before working for Altrua Global Solutions, she worked for James Moore & Co., a Regional Public Accounting Firm. She has worked for Altrua for 9.5 years as the VP of Finance and Human Resources.

  • Lester Hutt, Hutt Recruiting Services, LLC

    Lester Hutt

    I have had a unique blend of scientific research, data analysis, recruiting, and business experience. While earning my graduate degree at U.C. Berkeley, I collaborated with the Jet Propulsion laboratory for building miniature analytical devices for Mars rovers to look for chemical evidence of past life. Then I had the opportunity to work with Apple for their PowerBook and iPod line of products. After this, I helped my wife run Golden Lighting, an import company for residential light fixtures. I utilized this experience at Coton Colors when they were expanding production overseas. I then started up BevShots, a company that spun out of the creative innovations coming out of Florida State University. BevShots is an internet retail site that sells modern artwork and gift items based off of photos taken of beer, wine, and alcohol under the microscope. My next position was with Diverse Computing, Inc. (DCI) where I assisted with the company's talent recruiting, communications, marketing, and community outreach. I have most recently started a new consulting firm, Hutt Recruiting Services, LLC to help small and mid-sized organizations with recruiting.

    Specialties: Recruiting, applicant vetting, product marketing, strategic planning, market demographic analysis, project management, corporate branding, pricing, and data mining

  • Lindsey Sheets, Lucky Goat Coffee Co.

    Lindsey Sheets-CROP


    From hiring to brand management, if you have a Lucky Goat question, Lindsey likely has the answer. Her eye for product selection and presentation made her a shoo-in for Lucky Goat’s Brand Manager position in 2015. As the flagship location grew and additional cafe locations were added, Lucky Goat was in need of a herder to keep everything in check. Now Lindsey oversees everything from human resources to retail cafes to branding in her role of Vice President.

    A Jacksonville native, Lindsey left Tallahassee after graduating from Florida State University in 2010 to pursue a career in merchandising with JCPenney. Five years later, she left the t-shirts and towels for Lattes and Luckyccinos, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

    When she isn’t at Lucky Goat, you’ll find Lindsey spending time with her husband, Daniel and daughters, Charlie and Emma. And most likely, rearranging their house and searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

  • L Michelle Salvant, LMichelleMedia Company

    As CEO of LMichelleMedia.co, I am dedicated to helping clients identify and implement "Media That Moves You Forward!" Our company works with Churches/Ministries, Non-Profits, Businesses, Schools, ect. to help them find dynamic ways to communicate their stories. Emerging Media is our speciality, and we use a "Media Made Simple" approach to coach you and develop you into your best Digital self. LMichelleMedia.co is built on Christian principles, and we attribute all of our success to being a business that started as a "God-idea!"
    Currently we have more than 15-years of electronic/digital Media experience...including web/social content development and distribution, Certified Digital Life Coaching and specialty Media trainings for Ministries and Youth. At the end of the day, we see everyone we work with as partners in our overall Mission of changing lives for the better.
    Specialties: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality,
    Directing Emerging Media Film Projects, Producing multi-media content; Producing television/radio shows; Engaging online audiences; New Media Education;

  • Madeline Miller, Florida State University

    Madeline Miller

    Madeline Miller is currently pursuing a Masters of Music in Violin Performance at FSU, and works under Prof. Corinne Stillwell as a Graduate Assistant teaching lessons and coaching chamber music. She is a member of the Carriola Quartet, an outreach string quartet that holds residencies in Destin, FL, and keeps a private violin studio in Tallahassee through Christ Classical Academy. She substitutes for Sinfonia Gulf Coast and enjoys singing as a staff singer at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral.

  • Mark Cross, Tasty Pastry Bakery

    Mark Cross

    Mark has spent his career working as a foodservice professional, running a successful catering business for 12 years as well as operating Tallahassee's oldest full-scale retail bakery. In 2000 he earned the designation as a Certified Master Baker (CMB), a lifetime certification from the Retail Bakers of America. He was the 100th person in the country to achieve this position.
    This certification led to a 15 year career of teaching first in Culinary Arts, then for Florida State University's Dedman School of Hospitality. In addition to teaching, while at Keiser University, he developed the curriculum for an accredited Associate of Science Degree program in Baking and Pastry Arts.
    At Florida State in the Dedman School, was the lead instructor for the long running class, required of students in the Hospitality Program, HFT4802, Catering Management, which presents the Ashby Stiff Little Dinner Series. This class guides students in the management of a themed, upscale 5-course dinner with wine pairings served to 100 guests.

  • Mark Kessler, Kessler Construction

    mark kessler

    Construction is in the blood- Mark’s grandfathers, uncles, and father were builders in Chicago, Kansas, and Colorado. Aligning with tradition, Mark’s love of construction keeps him working tirelessly to make customers feel at ease and enjoy the building process. Mark’s commitment to the details is reflected in each and every stage of a Team Kessler project. His extensive background in the building industry gives him a large knowledge base specializing in custom homes. Mark’s dedication to customer satisfaction and quality is evident throughout all of Team Kessler projects- hear it straight from our customers.

  • Markeshia Hines, Markeshia Media and Productions

    Marksheia Hiines

    Markeshia is a Professional Actress, Acting Coach, Director, and Producer with over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry. She's been featured on networks including industry giants FOX Soul, Netflix, HBO, NBC Universal, Travel Channel and Disney. She has written, produced, and directed over two dozen film and theatre projects. But this Master of Fine Arts channels most of her talent, expertise, experience, and training in her sought-after VIP Actor’s Retreat® and Masterclass, which has helped mold, prepare, and open doors for countless emerging artists. 

    Instagram: @markeshiaofficial 

    Facebook: Markeshia Media & Productions

  • Melody Johnson, Talquin Electric Co-Op, Inc.

    Melody Johnson

    Melody Johnson, PHR, serves as the Human Resources Manager with Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. Before joining the Cooperative in early 2019, she served as an Operations and Program Manager. She supported various HR functions for a government agency. She holds a Juris Master in Employment Law from Florida State University’s College of Law, and her areas of expertise include employee & labor relations, policy development, and HR compliance.

  • Monique Akanbi, League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates

    Monique Akanbi Headshot 2-CROP

    Monique Akanbi is a certified HR professional with broad-based experience in various roles and disciplines. In addition to HR, Monique is a Master Examiner and Mentor with the Florida Sterling Council Board of Examiners where she visits organizations throughout the state across all industries to assess their leadership system and organizational performance through the National Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence model. Monique is the Vice President of People and Culture with the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates, Immediate Past President of Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and District 2 Director for the HR Florida Council. A high energy, creative thinker, Monique has a passion for service and assisting others in their identification of purpose and potential, through meaningful connections. She is originally from Miami, Florida but has made Tallahassee her home since 2011.

  • Nick Williams, 223 Agency

    Nick Williams

    For the last 14 years, Nick has helped businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the Big Bed region improve their marketing, build deeper customer relationships, and strategize on brand development. He now serves as the Director of Business Development for the 223 Agency, a digital marketing agency and technology firm focusing in digital apps. Nick is a graduate of Flagler College Tallahassee with a degree in Business Administration.

  • Otis Kirksey, Neighborhood Medical Services

    Kirksey Photo (2)

    Dr. Otis Kirksey received both B.S. and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Florida A&M University.  He is a retired Professor of Pharmacy with over 25 years of experience in academia with specific focus in the area of pharmacy practice, diabetes and primary care. His experience as a practicing pharmacist spans over almost 35 years and encompasses a variety of practice settings including hospital, community and ambulatory pharmacy practice. Currently, he serves as the Director of Pharmacy Services for Neighborhood Medical Services, a federally qualified health center. Dr. Kirksey was recently awarded with the distinction of  Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy Practice by Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

    He is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM) as well a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES).  He is also a certified Lifestyle Coach as well as a Master Trainer for the National Diabetes Prevention Program. 

    Dr. Kirksey has received   funding for research from federal and private sponsors including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, the National Library of Medicine and the Minority Health Professions Foundation.  Dr. Kirksey has authored or co-authored over 20 manuscripts published in refereed and un-refereed journals and newspapers.

    He currently serves as President-Elect of Health Care and Education for the American Diabetes Association. He is a member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and serves as the director of the Prince Hall Shriners’ National Community Health Initiative.

  • Parnell Williams, iConquer Fitness Center

    Parnell Williams

    Parnell Williams, Owner/Fitness Instructor, iConquer Fitness Center

  • Paulina Scarlata, Paul Consulting Group

    Paulina Scarlata

    Paulina grew up in South Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Computer Science in 2019. Since then, she has worked as a web and mobile software developer at Paul Consulting Group, a custom software solutions company in Tallahassee. Alongside developing, she leads the development internship program that PCG offers for final semester college seniors.

  • Richard Jones, Tallahassee Fire Department

    Richard Jones

    Richard Jones is a Deputy Chief with the Tallahassee Fire Department. He manages both the Logistics and Prevention divisions. This includes maintenance and support for over 21 facilities, approximately 90 vehicles and overseeing Inspectors/Investigators that provide over 2500 inspections of local businesses annually. He also supervises our Public Education and Recruiting Division.

  • Robert Clary, Tallahassee Fire Department

    Robert Clary

    Robert Clary is a Staff Captain with the Tallahassee Fire Department serving as the department’s Public Educator. His role is to provide fire and life safety education to the community through multiple forms of community outreach.

  • Robert Scott Mixon, Georgia-Pacific, LLC

    Scott Mixon

    Over 30 years of experience in Relationship Management, Communications, Public Affairs, and Marketing. A results oriented leader with a proven track record in managing strategic initiatives and leading personnel with a consistent focus on building positive relationships with public officials, industry leadership, and the community.

  • Ryan Truchelut, WeatherTiger, LLC

    Ryan Truchelut-CROP

    Dr. Ryan Truchelut has 15 years of experience as a commodity meteorologist and possesses degrees in Geosciences and Meteorology from Princeton and FSU. He is the author of multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications focused on tropical cyclone risks, as well as weather analysis pieces for major media outlets including the Washington Post with appearances on CNNBBC World News, and and other international media outlets as an expert guest meteorologist. He is perhaps best known in North Florida for his weekly hurricane columns in the Tallahassee Democrat, which also appear across the USA Today Network, and for co-founding WeatherTiger, the Tallahassee-based weather information technology start-up that won Innovation Park's 2020 TechGrant prize. Today, he is focused on developing next generation predictive weather analytics for clients in the agricultural commodity and severe weather risk management markets.

  • Sabrina Johnson, Talquin Electric Co-Op, Inc.

    Sabrina Johnson

    My name is Sabrina Johnson, and I am the Safety Administrator at Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. I began my career in Member Services and had the privilege of serving our Members and employees for two and half years. I am currently involved in Leadership Academy through Talquin and serving as the secretary on The Fort Braden Little League Board in my community. My passion and dedication to helping others have always been my motivation for success. I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children on the boat or in the outdoors in my free time.

  • Sarah Cooksey, Tallahassee Fire Department

    Sarah Cooksey

    Sarah Cooksey is a Staff Lieutenant and is the Public Information Officer for the Tallahassee Fire Department. Her responsibilities are to insure accurate and timely information is released to the local media and the public, to respond to media inquiries and to maintain the departments social media pages. She also oversees our recruiting division.

  • Shannon Carnley, Tallahassee Primary Care Associates

    Shannon Carnley

    Shannon Carnley RT(N)(CT), is a molecular imaging professional who specializes in Nuclear Medicine, SPECT, and Computed Tomography. She has been a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for 17 years and has worked for Tallahassee Primary Care since 2007. Shannon enjoys biology, chemistry and physiology, which are an important part of this field. "The most rewarding thing about my job is getting be a part of finding the answers to help Doctors diagnose and treat their patients."

  • Stephen Mayfield, City of Tallahassee

    Stephen Mayfield

    Stephen Mayfield, Assistant General Manager, City of Tallahassee Natural Gas Utility

  • Sha`Ron James, Impact Foods

    Sha'Ron James

    Sha`Ron James is an Of Counsel Shareholder on the Government Affairs team at Gunster. Sha`Ron has nearly two decades of experience providing forward thinking, strategic and regulatory advice to clients on a number of business and economic development matters.
    Sha`Ron most recently served as the Insurance Consumer Advocate for the state of Florida, where she represented the general public and insurance consumers before state regulators and the courts. As a policyholder advocate, Sha`Ron championed key healthcare legislation that led to reforms in unfair consumer billing practices, intervened in triple digit long-term care insurance rate filing requests and in the proposed merger and acquisition of two of the largest health insurance carriers in the country.
    Sha`Ron was appointed to this role by State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater after her tenure as Division Director of the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation, where she directed the operation of over 48 highly complex receivership estates with entrusted assets totaling over $1.4 billion dollars. Sha`Ron has extensive experience as a lobbyist and legislative advocate, having championed key legislation and public policy reforms that have been modeled in states around the country. As a result of her legislative advocacy, Sha`Ron has been cited in national publications such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Brookings Institution, and Consumers Union. She has also been invited to present to the National Governors’ Association, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.
    Through her public service and civic engagement, Sha`Ron has earned an outstanding reputation in the community for her leadership and commitment to civic, charitable and professional organizations, garnering her the trust and respect of some of the state’s most influential decision makers. A member of Leadership Florida Class 37, Sha`Ron currently serves as the President of the National African American Insurance Association of Florida, and Chair of Leadership Tallahassee.
    Sha`Ron received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Florida A & M University, a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida, and an Advanced Project Management certification from Stanford University.

  • Sidney Bigham, Berger Singerman LLP

    sid bigham ii

    Sidney Bigham is a partner on Berger Singerman’s Government and Regulatory Team and its Dispute Resolution Team. Sidney is based in Tallahassee and focuses his practice on environmental, governmental, land use, and administrative and civil litigation, including related appeals. His experience includes representing local, regional, and national clients with emphasis on environmental permitting, land use and comprehensive planning issues, civil and administrative litigation including related appeals, regulatory compliance, enforcement, and defense, public procurements and rule making, contracts, due diligence, creditors’ rights, and proceedings generally intersecting with local, regional, state, and federal government.

  • Captain Steve Suarez, Leon County EMS


    Steve Suarez is a Captain with Leon County Government’s Division of Emergency Medical Services. Steve attended Miami-Dade College and Tallahassee Community College for his EMT and Paramedic education. He has co-authored several published clinical studies on prehospital resuscitation, including one that was recently referenced in the release of the American Heart Association’s 2020 international guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. In 2010, he was recognized by the Department of Health as the Florida Paramedic of the year. Steve previously worked for Miami Children’s Hospital as a member of their LifeFlight team and currently works part-time for Survival Flight Air Ambulance, a medivac provider that serves South Georgia, North Florida, and Southeast Alabama.  


  • Travis Mitchell, Blue Triton Brands

    Travis Mitchell

    Credentials: I’ve been a member of the Blue Triton Brands FKA, as Nestle Waters of North America for over 6 years. I hold an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Degree from Iowa Wesleyan University and a Graduate degree in Human Resources from Capella University. 

    In my role every day presents an opportunity for me to connect with someone new, the opportunity to make an impact in my community and across the world, and simply lend a helping hand. Every day, I approach these opportunities with a ton of zeal and continued passion, making it easy for me to smile and enjoy the career that I have chosen

  • Travis Sparkman, TSpark Enterprises

    Travis Sparkman

    Travis Sparkman is the President and a Licensed Contractor for TSpark Enterprises - Roofing & Construction Services. He has been in construction industry almost 16 years. Prior to starting his own company, Travis worked in construction supply and worked for a General Contractor and Roofing Contractor. Previously, he worked as a Law Enforcement Officer for 6 years. Travis holds a Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.




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