Past working experience: I have spent my entire career working in the nonprofit industry. For over 25 of those years, I served in multiple leadership positions for children and family services, including case management, residential group care, early childhood education, mental health, substance abuse treatment programs, and community solutions programming. Prior to UWLS, I served for four-and-a-half years as regional executive director for Children’s Home Society.
My new career: As chief executive officer of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, it is our mission to collaborate with local community leaders to address critical needs, providing opportunities to improve the quality of life for all.
My goals as CEO: My goals are simply to strengthen our community, improve lives, to close gaps and open opportunities so that everyone can thrive. These goals can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership.
Greatest professional achievement: I would say this position! I am super excited to serve Lake and Sumter communities because Lake County is where I live, work, and play.
First job: Working at a grocery store (Kash n’ Karry) as a bagger.
Dream vacation: I would love to visit Europe, specifically Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
My life outside work: I enjoy spending time with my family. During my spare time you will likely find me by the pool reading a good book or listening to live jazz.
Pets: I have a cairn terrier named Harley whom I absolutely love.
Role model: My role model was my mom. She will always be the most important woman in my life. She was my first teacher; her wise lessons have boded me well and will remain with me for eternity. While growing up, I watched and worked alongside her as she spent many hours in the community helping others. She was a community leader and activist known by many as a trailblazer and change agent for causes that impacted women, education, and equal rights for all. She was the first African American woman to serve as the president of a local Teamster Union in Bradenton, Florida. I am honored to be the keeper of my mom’s legacy. Peter Strople said, “Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.”