honoring neighbors who serve our community's future

Local Patriots

Ahead of our program “Stand in the place where we live” we’ve looked high and low for people who stand up and make things happen where we live right here in Tallahassee. Meet your nominees.

Note that you can still purchase tickets here to the program to honor Local Patriots “Stand in the Place Where We Live” but we honestly have no idea when the program will be held. If you buy a ticket and have a date conflict then we’ll offer refunds.

Please also note that we’re gathering Local Patriots from near and far to help support deploying face masks to key essential personnel across the community here.

Tiffany Baker is a public historian with over 15 years in the field and was appointed Museum Director of the Florida Historical Capitol Museum in 2014. Prior to this role, she was head of the Florida Legislative Research Center and held positions at several cultural institutions including the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. Tiffany is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee as well as Leadership Florida, and of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship’s Non-profit Executive Program.

Sandy Beck has devoted her life to caring for injured animals and to educating the people of Tallahassee about all the wild animals we share our city with through her work with the St. Francis Wildlife Association. She has served as the Education Director of the association’s Wild Classroom since 1989. Stemming from her work, she has been named as one of the ten “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” awarded by Tallahassee Community College.

Barbara Boone is Vice President at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Outreach and Executive Director of Leadership Tallahassee. She has been instrumental in the growth of Leadership Tallahassee, including the addition of the Youth Leadership Tallahassee program. She is currently serving as a board member of the Association of Leadership Programs, and was recently appointed to the board of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.

Stefanie Bowden oversees External Affairs for the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama at Comcast. Committed to community service, Stefanie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Florida, Women in Cable Telecommunications of Florida, and Girls on the Run of the Big Bend. She is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 32, Leadership Florida Connect Class IX and was recognized as one of the Tallahassee Democrat’s “25 Women to Know” in 2016.

Sandey Bucklew is a Senior Vice President for Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., where she oversees roadway and bridge construction projects in the Tallahassee and Big Bend Area. She is a member of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 33, and is the upcoming Youth Leadership Tallahassee Curriculum Chair. Sandey is currently the Florida Engineering Society Chapter President. Her efforts in youth and community development in Tallahassee include previously volunteering with Girls on the Run.

Adrienne Campbell and Jana Sayler founded Tallahassee Classical School starting with no funding and no support. They recruited a board of governors, wrote grant applications, hired builders, hired school staff, chartered the school with Leon County Schools. The school is opening in August of 2020 and will be a free charter school for Leon County students.

Jessica Clark is the CEO and Chief Creative Strategist of Skye Creative Marketing, a woman-owned creative company focused on providing branding and public outreach services. She is also a nationally-acclaimed producer garnering two Emmy® Award nominations. Here in our hometown, she is a partner and brand manager of Ology Brewing Co. and Ology Distilling, a craft brewery and distillery. Jessica is a board member on the FSU College of Communication & Information Leadership Board. A graduate of Youth Leadership Tallahassee, she now speaks at local and state conferences about female leadership and entrepreneurship.

Kate Clark is a Managing Partner at Cypress Capital. Kate has volunteered her time as a Board Member for Gadsden Arts Center and Museum. She is also a Past President of Business Networking International (BNI) – Capitol Action, member of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and Access Tallahassee and a Leadership Tallahassee Class 33 Graduate.

Betsy Couch is the Executive Director of the Knight Creative Communities Institute, a nonprofit that brings together community “Catalysts” to implement a sense of place in our hometown. Betsy’s love for this community runs deep and includes experience with Visit Florida and Florida State University. She was also awarded the Leadership Pacesetter Award by the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

Justo Cruz is the Owner of the Tally Mac Shack, which was named as Small Business of the Week by Senator Marco Rubio in February. Brought to Tallahassee originally by graduate school, Justo converted a delivery truck into the Tally Mac Shack food truck. Building the small business from the ground up, Justo has learned the mechanisms of running a small business with his employees. Now with 2 permanent locations, Tally Mac Shack is partnering up with Register’s Meat Company to create sausages that they will donate to local restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis.

John Dailey is currently serving as the Mayor of Tallahassee, in Seat 4 of the City of Tallahassee Commission. His work in government is extensive, previously serving as a Leon County Commissioner from 2006 to 2018. He served twice as Chair of the Leon County Commissioner during his tenure. His love of local government is reflected in his creation of JDA Strategies, a research consulting firm focused on local governance.

Talethia Edwards is a wife and mother of eight, including Romel the “community baby.” She is the Founder and President of the Greater Bond Neighborhood Association, and was named the Leon County Neighbor of the Year in 2016. Talethia also focuses her efforts on youth and community development in Tallahassee. She is the Founder of the Leaping for Literacy program that incentivizes youth to meet their reading goals in addition to chairing numerous development committees including the Economic Impact and Resident Empowerment.

Elizabeth Emmanuel is the CEO of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, a former Knight Creative Communities Institute catalyst, and a member of Leadership Tallahassee class 32. Her love of Tallahassee shines through with all the ways she played an active role in her community. She has previously served as president of the Sunset Rotary, a board member with FSU Career Advisory, and on fundraising committees for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Big Bend Hospice. She is one of Tallahassee’s 25 Women You Need to Know this year.

Christic Henry is the Managing Real Estate Broker of Kingdom First Realty. She is also the past President of the Council of Neighborhood Associations – Tallahassee/Leon County. She has been a guest on WFSU Public Media talking about her love for the Tallahassee community and her desire to see it grow. She is a former Program Coordinator and Summer Enrichment Counselor for the City of Tallahassee at the Smith-Williams Services Center.

Lester Hutt is the Director of Recruiting and Community Outreach at Diverse Computing. He has helped coordinate the Tally Job Hop, an effort retain local graduates by showcasing job opportunities in Tallahassee. Lester also helped create the Tallahassee Welcomes U program, designed to make incoming university faculty feel welcome in their new community. He is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee class 35.

Yuh-Mei Hutt is President of Golden Lighting, a manufacturer of residential light fixtures. Yuh-Mei is a Leadership Tallahassee graduate of Class 33, and is the Board Chairman of Domi Station where she promotes local entrepreneurship. She is also the creator and sponsor of the ‘Light the Way to the Future’ essay contest focused on positive change in Tallahassee and people who believe they can make a difference.

Jake Kiker, III is a Shareholder with WilliamsGautier Law Firm where he has experience with business lending and civil litigation. Jake also the Co-Founder of the DOMI Station, a business incubator and co-working space for entrepreneurs in Tallahassee. He also helped create ‘Happy Motoring’ a spot where patrons can bond over craft beer and seasonal creations. Jake currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, where he chairs the Committee on Entrepreneurship. He is a member of Leadership Tallahassee, Class 28, and a Knight Creative Communities Institute Community Catalyst.

Royle King is the Volunteer Services Manager with the Leon County Government. Driven by his positive experience with mentorship programs in his youth, Royle created the Omega Lamplighters mentoring program while pursuing his undergraduate degree at FAMU . Since 2008 the program has grown to over 120 male youth in the Big Bend area with chapters all over the United States and Naples, Italy. Among his many accolades, Royle has been featured in the Black Enterprise Magazine and WFSU’s “Voices that Inspire.”

Devan Leavins has lived in Tallahassee for 16 years and works with neighborhoods, communities, and organizations to empower people to take action for things they want to see accomplished. Devan is currently the Special Projects Administrator for the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department. He also sits on the board for the Downtown Improvement Authority and The Sharing Tree, as well as being a former KCCI Catalyst. In 2016, Devan worked with the Frenchtown Neighborhood to do a Better Block activation.

Julie Meadows-Keefe was the first Ethics Officer for the City of Tallahassee, serving the position from 2014 to 2020. A lawyer at heart, she has practiced law since 1993. Before her work with the City of Tallahassee, she was the Chief Legal Counsel at the Department of Health. Julie’s heart has been in Tallahassee since her time at Florida State University Law School and she continues to work in the community to foster citizen engagement and activism.

Jermaine Miller is a candidate for the City of Tallahassee Commission. Drawing on his experience with homelessness and in the criminal justice system, Jermaine is a youth mentor here in our hometown. In addition to his work with the youth residents of Tallahassee, Jermaine is helping the community by advocating for the construction of sidewalks and the increase of affordable housing within our community.

Jay Revell is Vice President at The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce where he oversees all Advocacy and Public Policy initiatives on behalf of 1,400 business members. Before taking on his role at The Chamber, Jay served as Executive Director of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority. Jay has also formerly served as the Aide to Leon County Commissioner John E. Dailey. Deeply committed to our hometown, if you haven’t met Jay yet, it’s past time to meet him.

Ron Sachs is the CEO and Founder of Sachs Media Group, which was named 2018 national “PR Agency of the Year by national industry journal PR News. Before founding Sachs Media Group, Ron was the Director of Communications in the Executive Office for Governor Lawton Chiles. His involvement in the community has ranged from chairing Leadership Florida and the United Way of Big Bend to creating a financial awards program for impressive high school seniors in Leon County. Ron regularly spurs into action that makes our community better, stronger and more unified.

Jana Sayler is the Board Chair and a co-founder of Tallahassee Classical School together with Adrienne Campbell. She has a background in business administration and is a Certified Public Accountant – this combined with her dedication to liberal arts education has led her to pursue bringing classical education to the public school system. She researched and authored the Organizational and Business sections of Classical’s charter school application, and continues to serve a critical role in launching the school toward its opening day this August.

Darby Scott is the Director of the Immigration Law Project at Florida State University’s College of Law; Former Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee. She is the current Chair of the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls; Member of Leadership Tallahassee Class of 33. “She is the recipient of the 2016 Thomas M. Ervin, Jr. Distinguished Young Lawyer Award and the 2016 Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Chapter 2 Judicial Distinguished Service Award.

Samantha Sexton is the Director of Government Relations at the University of Florida. Before her work at UF, Samantha was the Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the Personal Federation of Florida. During her time in Tallahassee, she also served as the Director of Government Affairs for the PACE Center for Girls helping advance the organization’s expansion into Georgia. In addition to her professional work, she also serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend.

Carly Sinnadurai is the Executive Director of The Sharing Tree, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on inspiring creativity, innovative thinking, and collaborative problem-solving among children and adults through educational opportunities. She was one of Tallahassee’s 25 Women You Need to Know in 2019.

Matt Thompson is Managing Partner of ‘For the Table Hospitality,’ the group behind the creation of brands such as Madison Social, Township, Centrale, SoDOUGH Baking Co., and more. In this role, he received the Tallahassee Golden ACE Award for Entrepreneurship in 2014. Matt’s background is also in communication – he has taught communication courses at Florida State University and other institutions. Here in this hometown, he currently serves as a board member for the Leon County Tourist Development Council and Tallahassee Entrepreneurship Organization.

Jovita Woodrich is the Volunteer Services Director for Volunteer Florida, which seeks to strengthen Florida’s communities through volunteerism and service. Jovita is also a member of the Affordable Housing Advising Committee at the City of Tallahassee. In another avenue she is a member of Leadership Florida’s Connect Class 8 and also one of Tallahassee’s 25 Women You Need to Know in 2020.

Alex Workman is a professional photographer and Co-Founder, with his wife Chelsea of ‘The Workmans’, a photography and short film company. When Alex and his wife Chelsea moved to Tallahassee – learning to love his new city – he developed a community project called Aerial Tallahassee, telling the story of Tallahassee from the sky. In 2017, Alex begin capturing portraits and telling the stories of many refugee families who fled for their lives and now call Tallahassee home, through a series called #RefugeeesofTLH. In 2018, after the Hurricane Michael caused massive devastation, he co-founded the #NeverForgottenCoast Campaign.