Board of Directors

Board of Directors

FPP Coalition is honored to be led by an esteemed Board of Directors representing a broad cross-sector of FPP Coalition organizations, including non-profits large and small, financial institutions, academia, government agencies, for-profit entities, and more!  This diverse team of professionals is commissioned with providing strategic governance and support for all FPP Coalition initiatives.   

Mellissa Slover-Athey has been in banking for 24 years and is currently a Senior Vice President and Director of Community Engagement for SouthState Bank.  She is responsible for implementing and administering all aspects of the Bank’s CRA program. She is instrumental in establishing, participating, and maintaining relationships with community-based charitable organizations that aid low– to moderate-income households and communities.  She is actively involved in several community groups and professional organizations.  

Mellissa has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida and is an honor graduate from the FBA’s Florida School of Banking.

Her passion is educating and sharing knowledge that will improve (even a little) someone’s day and future. She enjoys being a conjoiner of individuals and organizations to improve efficiencies and opportunities so we’re all working smarter, not harder.  She works to motivate others to share of their time and talent in their local communities.  Mellissa volunteers with various organizations in Central Florida, including leadership roles with, the BBIF, The Center for Independent Living, and Florida Prosperity Partnership.

Karla Bachmann is the Vice President of Financial Wellness Services at Branches. Using a human-centered approach, she leads the development and implementation of transformative programs and services that promote financial opportunity and asset building.

She is a firm believer in a family-centric and holistic approach to service delivery that promotes building social capital and integrates financial, education, and health services for participants to achieve true stability and financial success. Through the years, she has developed innovative service delivery models that have been recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The National Council of La Raza, and Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

Prior to joining Branches, Mrs. Bachmann worked at The National Council of La Raza (NCLR-Unidos Us), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States as their National Workforce Development Program Manager; and CLUES, the largest Latino non-profit organization in Minnesota, as Vice President of Programs. During her years at CLUES, she developed and directed programs that are both linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive with a holistic approach to family well-being. She established the organization’s first financial education program and VITA site, promoting financial capability and asset-building strategies that are integrated across all programs of the organization.

She remains tirelessly committed to building relationships, programs, and opportunities that help families and individuals prosper.

Karla has co-authored the book, “My Family, My Self,” The Latino Guide to Emotional Well-Being. Hazelden Publications, 2014.

Carter Elliott has over 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector at the local, regional, and national levels. He is passionate about addressing and solving the challenges that our most vulnerable populations face every day. 

Currently, Carter is on staff at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Jacksonville, with a focus on community outreach and engagement. Prior to this role, Carter worked at United Way of Northeast Florida, serving as the point person for financial stability efforts in Northeast Florida, including the development of indicators and outcomes that drive strategic priorities. His role was to identify new opportunities to ensure UWNEFL’s work aligned with greater community needs. 

Prior to relocating to Jacksonville in 2016 due to family commitments, Carter worked at Goodwill Industries International in Rockville, MD, where he led the financial wellness strategies for the enterprise, working directly with the Goodwill membership across the country to integrate financial stability and career readiness activities into local initiatives. This experience provided him with a national perspective on the challenges facing our target populations. 

In Atlanta, while at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Carter was instrumental in creating the Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, an asset-building initiative that addresses income disparities in the 13-county Atlanta region. His work was recognized for its impact by the Atlanta City Council, as part of the City’s community initiatives awards. He has also been awarded a community impact award from the IRS, for his work in Atlanta. 

In a volunteer capacity, Carter has participated on numerous advisory boards in Atlanta and Jacksonville, conducting site visits and making funding allocation decisions. He has an undergraduate degree from Auburn University and a Master’s degree from the University of Alabama.

Sarah M. Ellis is the Community Engagement Impact Analyst with South State Bank. Prior to her current role, Sarah was with the University of Florida/Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), where she developed and implemented educational programs with a focus on financial management, as well as had an integral role in the outreach and awareness of the programs and services offered through the IFAS Extension.  

She is also an accredited financial and HUD-certified housing counselor and possesses extensive experience in financial counseling and a passion for serving our communities.

Linda Fales is the Community Development Officer at Suncoast Credit Union, where she manages the Credit Union’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) initiative.

She works with community and industry peers to create partnerships focused on the needs of the communities throughout Florida. She collaborates with like-minded individuals and organizations to identify potential opportunities or initiatives that support the credit union’s mission of People Helping People.

As a Community Development Officer, Fales also oversees programs to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream; sources and identifies opportunities to support low- and moderate-income communities and individuals related to home ownership, credit, affordable financial products and services, and wealth-building; and interfaces with community leaders/organizations, nonprofits, and other credit unions.

She has served Suncoast Credit Union for over four decades, starting as a Share Draft Clerk in 1981. She also served as Teller Operations Manager, Loss Prevention Supervisor, and Vice President of Risk Management prior to her current position.

Her long tenure of leadership and experience with Suncoast provides a unique insight and perspective into what is now the largest credit union in Florida.

Fales has a Certified Credit Union Executive designation as well as a certification as a Credit Union Development Educator.  She also is certified through the Rockhurst University Management School.

She has been recognized for her positive impact on the community by the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, the Internal Revenue Service, the City of Tampa Police Department, and numerous law enforcement agencies.

The roots of Fales’s sense of service come from her life work of protecting Suncoast Credit Union and its members.  She participates in various non-profits and volunteer projects.  Fales also is a member of the Suncoast Foundation Board and the Prospera Technical Assistance Committee.

Cora R. Fulmore is recognized as an industry expert on consumer credit and homeownership counseling. For over 30 years she has served as a spokesperson, mortgage, and credit counselor, and advocate for policies that promote creative and safe lending practices for the benefit of our nation’s homebuyers and homeowners.

She has spoken at events sponsored by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Association of Realtors (NAR), NeighborWorks America, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. She has participated in regional forums including the Florida HOPE Task Force, the Nonprofit Housing Roundtable of Central Florida, the “Safe At Home” conference by Florida Legal Services for pro-bono attorneys, and foreclosure prevention workshops nationwide. 

Cora is a training instructor for Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart ® which is a financial literacy curriculum, NeighborWorks America, and many others; she is the creator and developer of the “Counselor’s Corner,” an online resource and training tool for Housing Professionals.

Ms. Fulmore is a graduate of Texas College in Tyler, Texas.

Alina Gonzalez-Dockery, Esq., was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida, the youngest of 3 children. Her parents, Cuban refugees, instilled in her at an early age the importance of community, education, and pride in the opportunities afforded to us in this country. Her family is Alina’s greatest supporter and gift in her life.

Alina’s family is the reason why she is dedicated to becoming a trusted advisor to clients and a leader in her community. To provide guidance and advice in promoting families’ stability and comfort is an honor and privilege in Alina’s work.

She believes in being involved in our community, whether through volunteering on various boards of non-profit agencies, such as FPP, Lee County Bar Association, and United Way of Central Florida, or mentoring young people through involvement with GIRLS GOING PLACES. As a member of the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, her leadership skills were developed, being honored to serve as its President and more importantly, sparking Alina’s passion and pride in witnessing the impact of efforts upon the lives of children and their families served.

Practicing law for over 23 years, Alina began her career in private practice as an associate and then a partner at Harris & Gonzalez, a small law firm in Lakeland, Florida, where she concentrated in Family Law. In December 2008, the Board of Directors of Heart of Florida Legal Aid Society, Inc. (HOFLA) hired Alina to be its Executive Director. Then in November 2014, she became the Executive Director of the Lee County Legal Aid Society (LCLA). Through Ms. Dockery’s work and community involvement, she grew professionally, philanthropically, and personally. Having loved her work with these agencies and the impact made in the community, Alina found that she missed building those meaningful connections and bonds with the individuals and families she served.

The next chapter in Ms. Gonzalez-Dockery’s legal profession is serving clients and their families at Life Law Planning. The firm believes in personalized service for every client. The approach is education and proactive planning to best fulfill their goals and needs.

Alina is a member of the Florida Bar Association, an organization dedicated to providing sophisticated and excellent service in today’s dynamic legal environment. She is also a member of the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section and the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section.

Alina Gonzalez-Dockery is also a proud member of the University of Florida Alumni Association and a huge Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, having grown up in the Tampa Bay Area.

She believes in FPP because the coalition is creating collaborations between government, for-profit, non-profit, and secular organizations to create the systems, policies, and programs which lift up and encourage financial stability and growth for all Floridians.

Douglas Griesenauer is the Director of Workforce Development & Financial Stability Initiatives at United Way Suncoast.

Serving his community at United Ways for the past nine years, and working in three different anti-poverty research centers before that, Doug is committed to ensuring that communities have the best tools at their disposal to help families receive what they need to be successful in whatever they do.

With a Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Doug works to connect national best practices with a local understanding of the community so that our communities can do the smartest work for their families.

Janet Hamer is a principal at Hamer Consulting which provides community and economic development services. Prior to her current role, she was Vice President, Community Development Manager for TD Bank in north and central Florida. In her role, she managed community relationships and supported regional market retail and commercial staff in developing and implementing responsive community development lending, service, and investment to revitalize and stabilize low-and-moderate income communities and promote financial empowerment for individuals throughout the TD Bank footprint.

Before joining TD Bank, she served as the Regional Community Development Manager at the Jacksonville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for fourteen years as a member of the Atlanta Fed’s community and economic development (CED) team and helped promote effective community development lending and investment programs and fair lending throughout the district. She led small businesses and microfinance lending and access to banking and financial stability.

Hamer has over 40 years of experience in housing, community, and economic development, financial services, and urban planning. She has also served as Chief of Housing Services for the Planning and Development Department of the city of Jacksonville and Deputy Director of the Community Development Department of the city of Daytona Beach.

Originally from Illinois, Hamer has a BA from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, and a MA in Public Affairs from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. She is active in numerous community development and professional groups both nationally and in Florida. Hamer serves on the National Disability Institute Board of Directors as Board Chair, and, is past president of the Florida Community Development Association. She also serves on the board of the Florida Alliance of Community Development Corporations, and Florida Supportive Housing Coalition, and is the past chair and co-founder of FPP.

Hamer lives in Daytona Beach, Florida, and is active locally in leadership positions in the community. She serves as Vice Chair of the Volusia/Flagler Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, Volusia/Flagler United Way Community Impact Cabinet, Volusia Interfaith Natural Disaster Board of Directors, and Volusia Flagler Campaign for Working Families Steering Committee. Additionally, Hamer is a volunteer tax preparer and VITA site coordinator for the Campaign for Working Families at Bethune Cookman University, Daytona Beach.

In 2011, she received the Ron Smith Outstanding Accomplishment Award from the National Disability Institute for her work in improving the economic lives of Americans with disabilities.

Kathy Hazelwood is the Community Development Manager of Central and North Florida for Synovus Bank.  She is actively involved in the markets she serves, identifying opportunities for services, contributions, and loans in low- to moderate-income area communities.  She is passionate about financial education for students and those wishing to build wealth. 

Among many volunteer experiences, Kathy served on the Board of Directors of Faith in Florida, FKA, and Federation of Congregations United to Serve for over 10 years.  Faith in Florida’s mission is to build a powerful, multicultural nonpartisan network of congregation community organizations in Florida that will address systemic racial and economic issues that cause poverty for our state’s families.

Kathy has an Organizational Communications degree from Rollins College.

Beth Kerly, MBA, is a full-time tenured Associate Professor at Hillsborough Community College.  In addition to her teaching activities, Kerly serves as the co-founder of the HCC Entrepreneurship and Innovation academic program, Operation Startup, and the InLab@HCC. She co-authored a chapter for the “Community Colleges as Incubators of Innovation” book that focuses on the urgent need for community colleges to prioritize entrepreneurship education both to remain relevant in a changing economy and to give graduate students the flexible and interdisciplinary mindsets needed for the future of society and co-founded e2venture, a consulting business that provides entrepreneurial mindset training services to organizations, educators, and at-risk youth. Recently, she co-authored a 2nd book, ImpactED, How Community College Entrepreneurship Creates Equity and Prosperity, and was appointed as a National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship Fellow to help community colleges across the nation increase their entrepreneurship education competencies to better serve their communities.

Before joining HCC, Ms. Kerly founded BK Consulting, a business and marketing advisory service company. In the 1990s, Kerly was involved in another startup, Conectiv Communications, a telecommunications service provider, where she served as the manager of innovative programs. From 2005-2007, she served the Southwest Florida region as Special Assistant to Governor Jeb Bush managing the regional office covering 16 counties, meeting with constituents, and discussing state policies and issues with local community leaders and citizens. She also reported to the Governor’s office on matters related to local community needs.

Charles W. Keys III is the Corporate Social Responsibility, CRA officer of the Florida Region for Valley Bank. Charles is a graduate of Indian State University and holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix.   With over 20 years of experience in banking, Charles has experience in Community Development, Sales production, operations, CRA, finance, and administration. Charles serves on the board of the Palm Beach County Black Business Investment as Treasurer. He also serves as Treasurer on the board of Pathway Capital Funding, a CDFI. Additionally, he serves as an affordable housing committee advisor council for Housing Partnership Inc, a member of the National Black MBA Association, an advisor to Consolidated Credit Financial Education Council, and serves on the AAA Scholarship Foundation Bank Advisory Board. He’s a father of 3 girls and puts God, family, and serving others as priorities.

Shannon Latimer, Career & Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator for Orange County Public Schools, is responsible for coordinating a network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure that high school students are college, career, and future ready. Shannon directs events, conferences, and activities for thousands of students in career-related academies.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from The University of Florida, Shannon took her talents and skills to Fort Wayne, Indiana. This was the beginning of her career in journalism as a copy editor and graphic artist. She would later become copy chief of The Shreveport Times in Shreveport, Louisiana, before moving to Dallas, Texas. In the Lone Star state, Shannon was a part of the creative team that created JCPenney’s catalog and marketing publications.

Shannon holds an MBA from Baylor University and enjoys working and helping students ignite their career interests. After more than 20 years in the private sector, this entrepreneur returned to her home state of Florida to share her knowledge with today’s youth. Shannon spent two years teaching high school business-related courses before moving to the district level.

Lesley Mace is a Senior Outreach Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta-Jacksonville Branch, where she serves educators in fifty-four Florida counties. Lesley has been with the Federal Reserve since June of 2010.

Prior to coming to the Bank, she was an Instructor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education at Auburn University – Montgomery. Lesley has taught college-level Economics and Business classes at both Auburn University’s Montgomery and Auburn campuses and at Florida State College – Jacksonville, including Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Global Trade and Finance, Cornerstone of Business, and Women and the Economy. Lesley joined Daytona State College as an adjunct instructor of Economics in the spring of 2017. She also taught Dual Enrollment Economics to students in three Alabama counties and was a high school Economics teacher.

Lesley has presented at several national and regional conferences, including the CEE, NCSS, NCEA and FCSS Annual Conferences, and had her economic research published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Southern Business and Economic Journal, the International Review of Economics Education, and the Florida Historical Quarterly.

A native of Auburn, Alabama, Lesley holds a B.A. in Economics and Foreign Language and an M.S. in Economics from Auburn University.

Rusty Music has been the Executive Director of the Church Service Center (CSC) and Women’s Care Center of Bartow (WCC) since November 2012. The CSC is the lead agency in Bartow that meets the needs of over 35 thousand individuals each year. The CSC serves the Bartow, Alturas, Highland City, and Homeland areas by partnering with local foundations, civic clubs, businesses, churches, and individual donors. The WCC is a Transitional/Emergency living facility for homeless women and children.

Mr. Music is also a graduate of Leadership Bartow Class of XVI. Prior to serving at these agencies, Mr. Music worked at Lighthouse for the Blind in Winter Haven teaching students independent living skills.

He also serves as an ordained Pastor for the Bartow community. Rusty also serves as the Vice Chair of the local FEMA/EFSP Board for Polk County. Mr. Music also serves as the transzonal liaison for the Polk County Homeless Coalition.

Rich Rollason joined Florida Community Loan Fund in March 2009. As the Development Officer he expands relationships with financial institutions, foundations, and religious organizations, evaluating opportunities to reach mutual community development goals in Florida. Mr. Rollason is responsible for assisting the CEO in securing the capital required to ensure the success of FCLF’s Community Development and Florida Preservation Fund programs, including meeting with representatives of banks and foundations, writing grant applications and requests, and participating in outreach workshops.

After more than 15 years of sales and management experience in manufacturing, Rollason transitioned into nonprofit management serving as director of operations of a sizeable church, providing strategic planning, and overseeing the capital campaign for funding the successful completion of an $8.5 million dollar education building. A native Floridian, Rollason remains active in the community, volunteering on various service projects and coaching youth sports. Rollason is a graduate of Valdosta State University.

Daniel Williams is the founder and Director of Business Development for Legacy Consulting Solutions, a small business Brand Development Agency

A graduate of Oakwood College, Mr. Williams has developed an extensive background in sales and branding, as well as a proven track record of empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Driven by his passion for empowering young people, Daniel has volunteered with numerous local and national youth mentoring programs.

He has also been recognized for his commitment to the economic empowerment of young people by several organizations, including the Synergetic Network Group, the Small Business Education and Development, and the Urban League.

His life’s mantra is, “In Passionate Pursuit of Purpose.”

Fun Fact about Mr. Daniel Williams:  90% of what he learned about branding and marketing was learned during his time chasing his rap dream.

Samya Zia is the CEO of Zia Kidz Learning and Money Moves, the Video Game, as well as a first-generation college student at Florida International University, studying Economics.  

Unfortunately, due to her being a first-generation student, she wasn’t aware of many resources or knowledge about college, loans, and finances. Samya then took initiative and taught herself how to do taxes; she learned about loans and finances, and then managed to apply and get into colleges.

She then decided that she wanted to help other students learn about finances and real-world information, too. Samya created a video game software that allows other students to learn about finances, loans, and scholarships in a fun and educative way.

A quote from Ms. Zia:  “I want no child or teen to feel left behind or as if they cannot attain higher education due to lack of financial knowledge. Money Moves, the Video Game can allow these students to learn and feel more confident in their future.”

Samya has won first place at NFTE’s national pitch challenge, first place at Start-Up Summer at FIU, and won first place for the Nova Southeastern Regional Pitch Challenge with Money Moves, the Video Game, and has received more than $20,000 in scholarship funds so far for her accomplishments.