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    Florida Family Network     Florida Asset Building Coalition  

Board of Directors

"Thanks" to our Board of Directors. Click on each name for a bio.

Sokoya Finch

Sokoya Finch is founder and Executive Director of Florida Family Network, Inc. (FFN). FFN's mission is to advocate, educate, and promote self-sufficiency among families by strengthening the family foundation. Ms. Finch has been working with minorities and very low- to-moderate income families across the Southern Black Belt region; specifically in Florida, for more than 30 years. Her areas of focus in disparities have included poverty and wealth, health, education, and incarceration disparities.

Ms. Finch's efforts in combating persistent poverty in the Southeast Region of Florida, along with other community-based agencies, i.e., Historical Black Colleges & Universities, and 1890 land grant institutions, have led to specific federal legislative efforts Ms. Finch and FFN are currently a leading agency for advocacy efforts of Florida in building a statewide Asset Building Coalition (FABC) with an interdisciplinary approach to asset creation among communities of color and low to-moderate income families who are impacted by recent disasters and families' inability to gain, maintain, accumulate and grow their assets. Ms. Finch works as an advocate, convener, supporter, and technical assistance provider in asset-building issues that are presently being developed for the Southern Regional Asset Building Coalition; including the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ms. Finch has often used her many talents of advocating for systemic changes for the poverty stricken, low-income, working families in both rural and urban communities; she has also been the thread that has woven through other services, the common stitches in the social fabric of families healthy growth and stability; she has provided technical assistance to universities, community-based organizations, health care delivery agencies in organizational development, community-based participatory research, and developed strategic plans to dismantle poverty in the south. She was a major role-player, managing teams of community and health disparities experts in the development of the State of Florida's first health strategic plan for the state's racial and ethnic minorities. Ms. Finch brings grassroots health communication and experiential knowledge to risk communications, including patient and consumer perspectives, to her five-year appointment to the Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee. On a county level, she sits on the Tallahassee Branch of NAACP's Health Committee, whose primary objective is racial health disparities and access to better healthcare services.

On behalf of FFN, Ms. Finch serves on the board of Florida Black Chamber of Commerce (FBCC). FBCC represents more than 5,000 members and 400 businesses across the State of Florida. Ms. Finch ensures that FFN's statewide outreach efforts intersect the basic components that strengthen the core of individuals and families. In the area of Education, Ms. Finch is a member of the Board of the George Washington Carver Humanitarian Institute. The Carver Humanitarian Institute is dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities and the introduction of technology as an equalizer. Ms. Finch's educational efforts reached the disenfranchised population -- incarcerated mothers. She has been teaching in state and federal prisons, and in public and private primary/adult education for over 15 years. She also serves as a national advocate on behalf of incarcerated mothers and the children and families left behind.

Ms. Finch is one of the founding members of the Black Belt Action Network (BBAN), a coalition comprised of community people, community activists, scholars and scholar-activists from the Black Belt/Delta South. BBAN has been working since 2004 through community-university partnerships to strengthen and extend the work of a region-wide and grassroots network that combats poverty.

Ms. Finch's credentials include a bachelor's in Political Science/Journalism from Florida A & M University, master's in Education from The George Washington University and A.B.D in Education Policy from Florida State University. Ms. Finch is married and the mother of three adult children.

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Larry Williams

Mr. Williams currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of a community-based nonprofit organization in Orlando, FL -- Simeon Resource and Development Center for Men, Inc. (SRDCM). SRDCM provides an array of services for males, 12 yrs. and up, in an effort to assist them in becoming productive citizens. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director at Simeon, Mr. Williams served as the Director of the Office of Minority Health for the Orange County Health Department. He spent 25 years in public health, helping to identify and address factors that disproportionately impact racial and ethnic populations in Central Florida.

As an avocation, Mr. Williams is a classically trained actor. His prior performances include: Ibsen's "A Doll House"; Shakespeare's "Othello," "Hamlet," "MacBeth," and "Richard III"; "Driving Miss Daisy"; "A Raisin in the Sun"; and "The Elephant Man." He has written and produced several one-act plays and educational videos, including a script for an independent film. Mr. Williams has also authored a children's book dealing with race relations.

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Janell D. Bryant

Janell D. Bryant is a Certified Nursing Assistant, and a dedicated professional who is a very capable, committed, and, compassionate expert in the in the field of patient care and support. Ms Bryant brings to Florida Family Network (FFN) approximately ten (10) years of healthcare support, having worked for various organization, including, but limited to the Renaissance on Peachtree Assisted Living, in Atlanta, Georgia; Consulate Healthcare of Tallahassee, Tallahassee, Florida; and the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Tallahassee, Florida.

Janell has been a dedicated member of FFN throughout its inception and continues to volunteer her services in support of the mission and goals of FFN to ensure its success throughout the communities, providing the needed support in the area of youth growth and development services and activities.. Ms. Bryant has been a faithful worker in medical service; she has supported various dedicated doctors, nurses, and other colleagues of a higher echelon from the communities. Her experience covers a broad spectrum from administrative services to personal care services, including rehabilitation, geriatric care; and unit operations.

Janell Bryant is certified in the States of Florida and Georgia and received her education from Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, Florida; and from Atlanta Technical College, Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Bryant is one of the young and influential members of the community, who continues to improve upon her expertise and experience through her volunteered time with FFN.

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Dr. Gerald B. Hinson

Dr. Gerald B. Hinson comes to Florida Family Network (FFN) with substantial credentials. Besides having received his Doctorate in Management Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, Graduate School of Industrial Administrations in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, he has a multitude of experience in the field of education and management.

One of Dr. Hinson's passions is music and video production. He has designed, constructed, equipped and installed recording, mixing and audio mastering suites for professional recordings. He has produced numerous music, video productions and live concerts; a few include: a video for John G. Riley House entitled "Path to Freedom Civil Rights"; a large concert for New Orleans Disaster Relief; and he produced and directed recordings of FAMU's Marching 100 for the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Dr. Hinson has served in several positions with Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, as an Assistant Professor teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Management Information Systems courses in the School of Business & Industry. He has co-authored grant-and-aid in the amount of $475,000 for the School of Business.

Dr. Hinson was also a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, teaching Management Information Systems and Systems Analysis and Design Courses. He is also known in academia as a Lecturer in the field of Accounting, Introduction to Business Systems, Database Management; and he has developed numerous MIS applications.

Dr. Hinson is the founder and President of On-Line International Networks, Inc., where he conceptualized, developed, marketed, and managed accounts for computer supply and consulting firms. Among his many clients were Martin Marietta, Kennedy Space Center, Disney World and others. Dr. Hinson acquired some of his professional talents and experience through early years as a Corporate Planning Analyst for Red Lobster Inns of America. He has completed tenure with Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, IN, as a Corporate Auditor; and performed his Auditing Internship with Air Products and Chemicals of Allentown, PA.

Dr. Hinson has produced a number of research articles. One in particular was a longitudinal study of organizational reliability in response to simulated natural and man-made disasters. The study observed participants in FEMA's Integrated Emergency Management Course and conducted analysis on communication patterns, decision-making, and organizational structure shifts in response to various incidents. Out of this research, Dr. Hinson developed quantitative network analysis measurements and graphical analysis methods for FEMA's use in actual disaster response evaluations.

Dr. Hinson is affiliated with several organizations. Among them are the Boy Scouts of America; Florida A&M University Alumnae Association; Carnegie Mellon University Alumnae Association; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; Small Business Administration; Big Brothers/Sisters of America; and he is a very active member of Big Bethel Baptist Church.

Dr. Gerald B. Hinson received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Florida A&M University; MBA in International Business - Export Management from The Wharton School of Finance University; Masters Degree in Management Information Systems, and his Doctorate in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, Graduate School of Industrial Administration.

Deborah V. Lloyd

Ms. Deborah V. Lloyd, a dedicated Social Worker, brings to the Florida Family Network (FFN) more than twenty (20) years experience in the field of Social Work and Counseling. Ms. Lloyd is presently employed as the Regional Director for the Refuge House in Quincy, Florida. Ms. Lloyd provides a wealth of knowledge in assisting families experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence; human trafficking; and children in outreach settings in Florida's Region 1, which includes Gadsden, Wakulla, Liberty, and Franklin Counties. Ms. Lloyd is also a "first-responder," for various crisis intervention programs, responding to hospital calls for assistance.

Ms. Lloyd is an avid participant in community activities, meetings and a very capable member of Community and Regional Task Forces operations. While an employee (Program Director) of The Henry and Rilla White Youth Foundation, Sawmill Academy for Girls, Tallahassee, Florida. Deborah Lloyd also provided professional training and organized public awareness events whose themes are promoted throughout the state during the months of April and October.

Ms. Lloyd's experience includes, but is not limited to her expertise in managing programmatic expenditures, ensuring efficient use of resources and maintaining program operations within an allocated budget. As a Program Director she also provided oversight and guidance for principles with leadership responsibilities for Program Management, Food Services, Healthcare, Staff Development, Education Services, Case Management, Mental Health Services; and staff associated with the successful operation, planning, development and maintenance of a juvenile residential program. Ms. Lloyd coordinated with key leadership in the Florida Judicial System, law enforcement, Department of Children and Families, and various other family support organizations to affect changes within the communities of low-to-moderate income families; while also fighting to improve the system to eliminate juvenile delinquency, domestic and sexual violence, and other communities' events victimizing and exploiting women and children.

Ms. Lloyd established and maintained cooperative agreements with law enforcement agencies, victim assistance programs, and healthcare and social services providers advocating eradication of these issues, all efforts geared toward improving the quality of life in the communities. Throughout the years she has filled positions Outreach Program Director, Florida's Region II; Sexual Violence Advocate; Case Management Coordinator; Director, Emergency Services; Crisis Counselor; Clinical Supervisor; and Founder and Executive Director of a Community Outreach Program (Community Intervention Center, Inc.).

Ms. Lloyd's experience also includes spearheading agencies annual food and back-to-school drives. She served as a Director of Emergency Services with Echo Outreach Ministries, Tallahassee, Florida.

Ms. Lloyd's education includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and Minor in Social Work from Florida State University; she also completed the MSW Program with Emphasis on Social Work Policy and Administration from Florida A&M University.

Ms. Lloyd lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Kendra Lewis

Dr. Kendra Lewis brings to Florida Family Network the health and health disparities component of the work for individuals and the family unit. Outside of being one of the youngest, 25 years of age, her skills, expertise and most importantly, being connected to the youth population is critical to the health and health disparities work with Florida Family Network.

Dr. Kendra Lewis is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Florida A&M University's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences where she earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree. Throughout her educational career Dr. Lewis has held several leadership positions in various organizations. These include Historian of the TRIO Scholarship Association, Business Manager and Secretary of the Florida Retail Scholarship Foundation and Parliamentarian of the Pharmacy Class of 2008. Dr. Lewis also served on the royal court of Kappa Psi Fraternity Inc. for the 2004-2005 school terms. Dr. Lewis's role in these positions allowed her to cultivate her leadership and organizational skills.

Dr. Lewis's areas of focus include women's health and health disparities. Dr. Lewis is an advocate for health prevention as well as eliminating health disparities that exist in our communities. Her current research focus deals with evaluating the gender and racial disparities in diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease in the ambulatory care setting. She has also conducted research on the topics of contraceptives as well as blood pressure control in the minority community which has been presented at major clinical meetings.

Dr. Lewis actively participates in community events by volunteering her services at community health fairs, her local high school, and organizations such as the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Lewis has had experience across a pendulum of pharmacy settings including retail, hospital, pharmaceutical industry and academia. Currently she is completing a pharmacy general practice residency with Florida A&M University.

Dr. Lewis strives to promote FFN's mission in her everyday practices as a pharmacist by addressing health disparities in her research and promoting family values and healthy lifestyles in her patient counseling.

Dr. Lewis was raised in Tallahassee, FL and currently resides in the South Florida area. She is the oldest of three siblings.

 

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