Special Edition E-Cast to meet your Leadership Florida Team
Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude. We here at Leadership Florida are tremendously thankful to have you as part of our extended family, and we hope you and your family have the happiest of Thanksgivings filled with magical memories and delicious food!

Before you leave for the holiday, we would like you to meet a few folks! Leadership Florida is happy to announce we are fully staffed, and to celebrate that, we have put together a special edition e-cast to introduce our complete team. Enjoy!
Announcing Your New Leadership Florida Team!
Wendy Spencer, President & CEO
As president and chief executive officer of Leadership Florida, Wendy brings the highest level of executive leadership and is dedicated to building partnerships across the state. She has a fresh vision and is ready to take Leadership Florida to the next level. Wendy’s 34 year career includes many leading roles including time in the Obama administration for the U.S. Senate-confirmed position as chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service—often referred to as the “Nation’s Top CEO of Service;” chief executive officer of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism under Governors Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist, and Rick Scott; director of the Florida Park Service; campaign director of United Way of Big Bend; as well as work in associations, private and nonprofit sectors.

Wendy is married to Ron Spencer. She has two sons, two stepsons, three daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters. She enjoys golf, snow skiing, playing croquet, and watching all sports, especially FSU!

Fun Fact:  Wendy recently crash landed in a hot air balloon and later repelled down a 12 story building behind the White House to raise money for charity, and lived to tell about both adventures! During her five-year term in Washington, D.C., she traveled to all 50 states, and more than 200 cities and towns. 
Chris Lucas, VP Operations & Chief of Staff
Chris loves being Leadership Florida’s vice president of operations and chief of staff, and has been with the organization for nearly 18 years. Her passion is making connections between great people. She holds a Master of Nonprofit of Organizations from Case Western Reserve University, as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in Russian Area Studies and Spanish from Wittenberg University, both in Ohio. Prior to choosing to be a Floridian in 1999, she served as executive director at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, where she ran the international visitors exchange program for several years. She also served as the coordinator of the Japan Exchange & Teaching Program at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. For over 20 years, she has served on the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Foreign Policy Association in New York.
Chris has been married to Dan Lucas for 30 years, and they have two daughters.

 Fun fact: Chris is a consummate nerd, and enjoys coaching her daughter’s high school engineering club, which has gone to state finals for the Florida Astronaut Challenge for the past three years running. She speaks Spanish, Russian, and just enough Japanese and Klingon to be dangerous.
Letreze Gooding, Program Director
Letreze began her Leadership Florida journey on November 6, 2017! As program director, Letreze oversees all programming and execution of the Cornerstone, Connect, Education and Executive class programs, as well as leads the recruiting and selection processes. Previous to joining the Leadership Florida team, Letreze worked at the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) as director of education and events. She was responsible for the curriculum and execution of FAC’s conferences and education certification programs for Florida's county commissioners and key county staff. She also served as deputy executive director of the Florida Counties Foundation, the Board that oversees the Association’s educational programming.

Fun Fact: Letreze loves a good adventure! She interned for six months in the White House; she has white water rafted many times including big trips on Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and the Zambezi River in Zambia, Africa; she once traveled to 18 countries with just a big backpack; and, has completed five Half Marathons. Letreze can’t wait to have many more adventures and “but for” moments with Leadership Florida!
Gjergi Ndoja, Director of Finance & Technology
Gjergj oversees the day to day finances of all Leadership Florida programs, operations, budgets, and the annual financial audit. When he isn’t nose deep in QuickBooks, he is researching, recommending and implementing new technologies (hardware, software, and even tech gadgets) to keep the organization running. Before joining the Leadership Florida team, Gjergj worked for a local community bank, Prime Meridian. For the past two years he has served on the Florida Society of Association Executives Foundation Finance Committee, and is a member of the Tallahassee Economic Club and the Tallahassee Exchange Club.
Gjergj is a native of Shkoder, Albania. How did he end up in Tallahassee? Well, while living in Florence, Italy, he met his future wife, Hester, who just happened to be a Tallahassee native. Gjergi and Hester married, and the rest is history! Gjergj received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University with a B.S. in Finance. In his free time, Gjergj plays the drums in a local band, is a photographer, enjoys cooking and spending time with his two sons, Alexander (5) and Oliver (2). 
Fun Fact: While at FSU, Gjergj had two businesses: a professional photography business where he photographed many weddings (some internationally) and the other was a personal chef business specializing in Italian cuisine. Gjergj treated his clients like royalty, preparing a four course Italian meal and ending the night with his famous homemade Limoncello Liquor.   
Rachel Pratt, Public Relations Manager
Rachel serves as public relations manager for Leadership Florida and is responsible for all communications efforts, special projects and events; including public relations, the annual meeting, social media, political debates, “but for” events, website management and new partnerships. Born and raised in Tallahassee, Rachel is a proud Floridian with a passion for the sunshine state. She began her professional career in politics 15 years ago, working with a number of firms, associations and agency's such as The Windsor Group, the Florida Department of Agriculture--were she served under Commissioner Charles Bronson, Associated Industries of Florida, The Florida League of Cities and Greenberg Traurig. Rachel transitioned from politics to public relations as she joined The Zimmerman Agency in 2015. As an account manager for Zimmerman she organized and executed major media events; as well as secured national placements for clients in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, AFAR, Redbook and more. With her background in politics and communications, Rachel is a true influencer. She graduated from The Florida State University with a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Communications. 

Rachel is married to Kenneth Pratt, and has an adorable son named Samuel, who is seven-months-old. She is a Dave Matthews Band (DMB) fanatic, loves cooking Persian food, watching movies, attending every type of sporting event, and of course, spending time with her new baby boy.

Fun Fact: She has seen DMB over five times and even traveled across the country for a three day music festival at The Gorge.
Bethany Swonson, Member Services & Resource Development Manager
Bethany serves as the member services and resource development manager for Leadership Florida. She is responsible for a number of key programs, including overseeing the regional councils, nominating committee, awards, appointments, Leadership Florida Education program, the Leadership Team, and all development efforts. Previously, Bethany worked as an Account Manager at The Zimmerman Agency for over five years. She graduated with honors from the Florida State University with a B.S. degree in Public Relations and continues to happily plant deep roots under the beautiful canopy trees in Tallahassee. Her accomplishments throughout her career include landing major national placements, such as Condé Nast Traveler and Delta Sky, hosting buzz events, such as those in New York during the Super Bowl and Park City during the Sundance Film Festival, executing a statewide U.S. Senate debate, and assisting with the production of over 30 Leadership Florida class programs and events across the state. All of these endeavors demonstrate Bethany’s ability in one of the most important aspects of business, the business of connecting people. 

Fun Fact: She had a diamond on her tooth for two years, has skydived with her grandfather, has flown a plane over the St. Pete skies, jumped off a 100 ft. cliff into Aruba’s turquoise ocean, has lived in 17 places, visited over 20 countries, and daily sings karaoke for anyone passing by while she is driving in her convertible VW bug.  
Kristin Mullikin, Executive Assistant to the President
Kristin serves as the executive assistant to the president and chief executive officer of Leadership Florida. Kristin joined Leadership Florida in May of 2017. Kristin retired from state government in November of 2012 after an exciting 37 year career. She served as the executive assistant to the CEO of the Governor’s Commission on Community Service (Volunteer Florida) from November 2006 until her retirement. Prior to that she was a senior management analyst with the Florida Department of Agriculture where she oversaw the Department’s purchasing card program (a program with over 1,300 cardholders). During her career in state government she also served as the executive assistant to the director of the Florida Park Service, the executive office of the State Comptroller, Lt. Gen. Bob Milligan; the Florida Department of State; the Executive Office of Governor Bob Martinez and the Department of Insurance.

Kristin has been married to her husband, Doug Mullikin, for 37 years. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters (Grace, 6 and Abbi, 4) and one grandson (Liam, 3). In her spare time she enjoys various outdoor activities including camping, hiking, salt water fishing and unicycle riding.

Fun Fact:  Her granddaughters, Grace and Abbi, are 5 th generation Tallahasseeans.

Tracy Warrington, Program Coordinator
Tracy has been Leadership Florida’s program coordinator since 2016. She manages logistical components and the publishing of documents for the Cornerstone, Connect and Education programs. Tracy earned her B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she spent the next five years working. In addition to routine laboratory testing, she was also responsible for research and development of novel clinical testing protocols under the supervision of the hospital pathologists. 

After her twins were born, she opted for a more flexible career and started a needlework fabric business, which allowed her the luxury of working from home and caring for her sons. The business grew beyond expectations and Tracy eventually sold the biggest portion of it to a worldwide distributor. She still retains the pattern development and marketing portion and currently has hundreds of needlework and craft patterns available on several online venues, one of which includes Amazon. 

In her spare time, Tracy enjoys a variety of art forms including drawing, digital painting, quilting and embroidery, as well as trail biking. She also cares for her chronically ill son, who is in the process of being wait-listed for a double lung transplant. She is married to Anthony, a research scientist at FSU, and has three sons.

Fun Fact:  Tracy and her mother hand crafted over a dozen quilts for a group of girls in Managua, Nicaragua, one of the country's poorest cities. She was part of the team that personally delivered the quilts, as well as other needed items, and spent a week visiting and teaching the children.
Hunter Hill, Member Services Assistant
Hunter moved to Florida to attend graduate school at The Florida State University this fall, and has been working as the program assistant at Leadership Florida. She is originally from just south of Chicago and graduated from Southeast Missouri State University this past spring with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in Philosophy. Outside of Leadership Florida, Hunter is a research assistant at Florida State University where she is obtaining a dual master's in public administration and finance. 

Hunter is very active and loves sports. She is a die-hard Bears football and White Sox baseball fan, and plays on several community softball, flag football teams, and volleyball teams.

Fun facts: Hunter will be competing in her first Bikini bodybuilding competition in 2018, and has been a vegetarian for 14 years!
Christopher Dabner, Accounting & Data Management Specialist
In 2014, Chris moved from Toronto, Ontario to Tallahassee, Florida to attend the The Florida State University (FSU). He is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. He currently works as an accounting and data management specialist where his main responsibilities include invoicing and membership platform administration. During his time at FSU he has become a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a business organization, Beta Gamma Sigma, an honors society, and has consistently been a member of the FSU President’s list. In his spare time Chris likes to cycle, hike, and if given the opportunity, go skiing.

Fun Fact: When he was in high school Chris was a ski racing coach at the Glen Eden Ski Area. During his time as a coach he taught young athletes the skills necessary to succeed on the hill.
Karmen Harlemon, Staff Assistant
Karmen Harlemon serves as staff assistant for Leadership Florida assisting leadership with all projects. She is currently a student at FAMU and is studying to be a chemical engineer.

Karmen is from Atlanta, Georgia and is interested in researching Self Sustainability. She volunteers with programs such as the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Care Action.

Fun fact: Karmen has practiced playing the flute for 10 years. For fun Karmen creates music and practices yoga.