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United Way announces 2019 Cocktails and Conversations Honorees

March 27, 2019

United Way of Northeast Florida is thrilled to recognize some of our outstanding honorees for 2019’s Cocktails and Conversations, April 23, 2019.


Kemal Gasper, Vice President of Business Development, 121 Financial Credit Union
John Henderson, Director of Finance, Baptist Medical Center South


Debbie Buckland, Market President, Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T)
Nat Ford, CEO, Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Kevin Gay, CEO/Founder, Operation New Hope
Marcus Haile, Executive Director, Learn to Read
Kristin Keen, Founder and President, Rethreaded
Tra’Chella Johnson-Foy, M.D., Baptist Larmoyeux Primary Care
David Miller, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Brightway Insurance
Audrey Moran, Executive Vice President, Baptist Health and President, Baptist Health Foundation
Aundra Wallace, President, JAXUSA Partnership
Darryl Willie, District 4 School Board Member, Duval County School Board
Brian Wolfburg, President and CEO, VyStar Credit Union
Joy Young, Executive Director, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville



Debbie Buckland

Debbie is Market President for Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) in Jacksonville, Florida.

Debbie is currently serving as Chair of JAX Chamber, on the board of First Coast YMCA and as immediate past chair of Downtown Vision, Inc.  She is a past chair of Jacksonville Women’s Business Center and American Cancer Society, a member of Wolfson Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, Jacksonville Women’s Network and Women’s Giving Alliance.

In 2016, Debbie was honored as a Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, was named Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2006, is a 2009 Graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and in 2011 was named by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women as one of Jacksonville’s Women Making a Difference.

Debbie is a 1979 graduate of Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics and Philosophy.


Nat Ford

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. is chief executive officer of Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and immediate past chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). His distinguished career spans more than three decades, including tenures as CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. He has been active in APTA for more than 25 years serving in multiple leadership roles, including chair, vice chair of the management and finance committee, and secretary/treasurer.

Nat has built a legacy of organizational leadership, fiscal acumen and innovation throughout his distinguished career. He is a champion of multi-modal transportation, walkable neighborhoods, public-private partnerships and transit-oriented development; and known for industry-leading insights and thought leadership on international transportation issues from trade and study missions around the world.

Under Nat’s leadership, the JTA was recognized as the winner of the 2016 APTA Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award. He has received numerous awards for his transformational programs and initiatives, including the White House Champion of Change. He was named “Ultimate CEO” by the Jacksonville Business Journal and was recently inducted into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame.

Nat holds an Executive MBA from the Davis School of Business at Jacksonville University and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in organizational leadership from Mercer University. He is a graduate of the Executive Development Consortium Program at Emory University, has completed executive training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and recently became a published author.



Kevin Gay

Kevin T. Gay is a native of Jacksonville, FL and a graduate of University of Florida. As CEO and founder of Operation New Hope, he successfully revitalized urban neighborhoods in Jacksonville while helping the under-served communities find a way out of the cycle of addiction, poverty and incarceration.

Kevin left corporate America in 1999 to create a new model for community development. His mission initially was to restore urban communities through restoration of the historic Springfield community. Operation New Hope brought new housing and new skills which lead to new jobs and a revitalized community. In June of 2002, Kevin was invited to meet with President George W. Bush and Secretary of Labor Elain Chao. This meeting led to ONH being selected by the White House to develop the first national model for prisoner re­-entry called Ready4Work. This employment-based re-entry model was then introduced in 16 other cities around the country. Ready4Work Jacksonville has gained national attention because of its impact in reducing recidivism.



Marcus Haile, MPA, CFRE

Marcus has been involved with non-profit organizations in Jacksonville for his entire career including United Way of Northeast Florida and many of its partner organizations. In the early 90’s he first got involved with United Way as a loaned executive from the American Red Cross. Then in early 2001, he joined the team as a full-time campaign manager and eventually became senior resource and campaign manager. In that role he was responsible for the Leadership Giving program, some of the campaign’s largest corporate partners, as well as working on the resource management team to make community investments with the funds raised. During his time at United Way, Marcus brought the e-CImpact system online, launched the Success by Six initiative, and helped start Atlantic Circle, United Way’s young professionals group.

Since then, Marcus has gone on to program management, communications, and fundraising roles with partner agencies such as PACE Center for Girls and Communities in Schools. He currently serves as the interim executive director for Learn to Read, Inc. as he assists them with strategic planning ,while also managing the organization’s operations.



Kristin Keen

For five years, Kristin lived in Kolkata, India where she co-founded, Sari Bari, a thriving business that gives survivors of human trafficking a way out of exploitation through employment. Sari Bari now employs more than 120 women. Upon her return to Jacksonville, Kristin started forming relationships with women on the street.  She found the problem of human trafficking was flourishing in her own city and in 2012 she founded Rethreaded. Rethreaded is a safe, supportive work environment where women can start a new career while experiencing continued healing through community. When not at Rethreaded, Kristin is biking or swimming in the ocean at sunrise.



Tra’Chella Johnson-Foy, M.D.

Dr. Tra’Chella Johnson-Foy is a native of Jacksonville. She graduated from Ribault Senior High School and then went on to the University of Florida where she completed her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. She completed her medical training at Morehouse School of Medicine and did her residency at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

She completed a mini-fellowship at Harvard AIDS Institute and is an Arthur Ashe AIDS-Care Fellow. Tra’Chella is Board Certified in family medicine. She currently serves on the board of directors for We Care Jacksonville and Duval County Medical Society. She has been voted one of Jacksonville’s Top Doctors by Jacksonville Magazine in the last five editions. She has also received the nationally recognized “Patient Choice Award” for eight consecutive years and Most Compassionate Doctor 2011 -2018.  She won the woman of Steel Award in 2015 and the Woman of Influence Award by Jacksonville Business Journal. She also was voted Top 20 under 40 by Jacksonville Black Pages.

Tra’Chella has received numerous other awards including Duval County Healthcare Pioneer recipient, the Morehouse School of Medicine Primary Care Award, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Patient Care Award and AAFP Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education and University of South Florida Outstanding Teacher Award. She volunteers for We Care Jacksonville and works as a motivational speaker. She is an active member of the Northeast Florida Medical Society, Duval County Medical Society, Florida Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians and was chosen as one of nine physicians for the Florida Leadership Academy.  She was also the first African American female president of the Duval County Medical Society.

Tra’Chella along with her husband, Mr. Lamont Foy, is the co-owner of Platinum Cutts Unlimited Barber & Beauty Services and Platinum Cutts Salon on the corner of Southside and Atlantic boulevard. They have been a staple in the community for the last 16 years.

She has been married nine years and was recently blessed with a son Lamont Foy Jr.

One of her mottoes is “Forget not to serve others…and others will not forget you.”



David Miller

David Miller is the co-founder and executive chairman of Brightway Insurance, one of the largest property and casualty insurance agencies in the country. With annual sales over $560 million Brightway has earned recognition from Forbes as the #1 Franchise to Buy in the U.S., from Entrepreneur Magazine as the No. 1 insurance franchise in the country, and from Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country nine years in a row.

David is passionate about creating positive outcomes that have positive results for multiple stakeholders. He calls this operating mandate “W Cubed,” (W3), which stands for “Win, Win, Win.” All Brightway people—almost 1000 strong—embrace this as the way they do business. And David is expanding the concept beyond Brightway into the greater community through various public and private endeavors.

David currently serves on the board of directors for United Way of Northeast Florida and is the past chair of the Tocqueville Society. He is a member of the Jacksonville Civic Council and a past board member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Jacksonville and the Amelia Island Concours D’elegance.

David and his wife Monique have two children, Josh and Leah.


Audrey Moran

Audrey Moran is executive vice president of Baptist Health and president of Baptist Health Foundation in Jacksonville, Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Syracuse University and received her juris doctorate from Duke University’s School of Law. Audrey has enjoyed a broad and varied career, ranging from serving as a top prosecutor at the State’s Attorney’s office to chief of staff for former Mayor John Delaney to the CEO of Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless.

At Baptist Health, Audrey directs six significant areas of responsibility: social responsibility, philanthropy, behavioral health, spiritual care, human resources and leadership development. She serves on the board of directors of the LeRoy Collins Public Policy Institute at Florida State University and is chair of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center. Audrey is a past chair of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is an active member of the Women’s Giving Alliance, and has previously served as a trustee for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a $300 million charitable grant-making organization in Northeast Florida.



Aundra Wallace

Aundra Wallace is the president of JAXUSA Partnership, the regional economic development arm of JAX Chamber. He directs a staff of 14 in the areas of business development, international,
workforce development, research and marketing.

Prior to joining JAXUSA Partnership in October 2018, Aundra served as CEO of the City of Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority, where he directed economic development
efforts in the city’s downtown since August 2013.

A leader in managing community, housing and economic development initiatives throughout his career, Aundra spent three years as executive director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority
before relocating to Jacksonville. He has also served as the senior vice president for commercial real estate at the North Carolina Community Development Initiative and held several executive
and senior leadership positions over the course of 12 years with Miami‐Dade County government, including the title of president & CEO with Miami‐Dade Empowerment Trust.

Aundra holds a Master of Public Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Georgia Southern University. He is a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional and a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional.




Darryl Willie

Darryl Willie is a proud military brat who has lived in various states and overseas. For the past 10 years, he has called Jacksonville home. Darryl has over 15 years of education experience including his time as a teacher in the Mississippi Delta where he was awarded Teacher of the Year twice. Darryl has also worked as a teacher coach and school director at teacher training institutes across the country. Darryl most recently served as the executive director of Teach For America in Jacksonville. The non-profit program has over 300 people working to help students attain an excellent education. Fifty Teach For America teachers have been awarded teacher of the year at their schools. His passion for education continues as Darryl is now one of the newest members of the Duval County School Board. He was elected to serve alongside the six other board members as the representative for District 4 in November 2018.

Darryl sits on several local boards and has served on advisory boards for university presidents at two institutions. He is a board member for Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation, Jacksonville Arts and Music School, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and 100 Black Men of Jacksonville.

Darryl’s efforts have not gone unnoticed as he has been recognized as a Jacksonville Non-Profit Emerging Leader, Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2016, Leadership Florida Education Class of 2017 and a Jacksonville Business Journal top 40 under 40.

Darryl attended undergraduate school at North Carolina State University where he was elected student body president. He received his master’s degree from the University of Georgia in Higher Education Administration. Darryl is madly in love with his wife and his three young daughters, the oldest of whom will be starting school next year.



Brian Wolfburg

Brian E. Wolfburg currently serves as the president and CEO of VyStar Credit Union.  Prior to joining VyStar October 31, 2017, Brian was the chief operations officer for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, based in Anchorage, Alaska.

Brian has over twenty years of experience and leadership as a senior executive in the credit union and diversified financial services industry, as well as entrepreneurial and non-profit sectors.

Brian believes in being very involved in the communities in which he lives and works.  Since moving his family to Jacksonville, he has joined the boards of and or taken leadership positions in the Jacksonville Chamber, JAXUSAs Military Affairs Committee, the FIS Credit Union Advisory Board and the NASCUS Credit Union Advisory Board.  During his time in Anchorage, Alaska, he was a board member for the Anchorage Concert Association, the Covenant House, and Habitat for Humanity.  He had previously been on the boards of the Broadway Center for Performing Arts and Human Society in Tacoma, Washington, the Salvation Army, and American Heart Association in Buffalo, New York.  He has been an active volunteer for the ArtsFund, Humane Society, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes, and Pride Foundation, and served as a guest teacher at Pacific Lutheran University, banking/finance classes.

Brian performed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University and the State University of New York at Buffalo, ultimately graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.S. Business Administration, in January 1999. Brian went on to achieve a Master of Business Administration from New York University – Stern School of Management in May 2011.

VyStar Credit Union, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida was formed in 1952 to serve Navy and civil service personnel and their family members.  VyStar currently serves over 650,000 members at 49 traditional branches and 14 high school branches, and 225 ATM’s across 49 counties in central to northern Florida, as well as four counties in Southeast Georgia.  Additionally, members can call VyStar’s full-service call center or view their account and complete transactions 24 hours a day online and through the Mobile App.  VyStar is the 16th largest credit union in the country and second largest in Florida, at $8.5 billion in assets.


Joy Young

Joy Young arrives at the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville from the South Carolina Arts Commission where she served 14 years in both programmatic and executive management roles. Joy’s executive management responsibilities were performed under the title of director of administration, human resources and operations, which required hands-on and collaborative management across departments to ensure state and federal compliance in finance and human resources. Her program experience in public arts administration includes: leadership and organizational development; cultural tourism; performing arts and presenting; and arts and cultural entrepreneurship.

Joy animates the mission of the Cultural Council by being a key arts and cultural leader who is committed to shaping strategy, developing, and executing initiatives that address priority issues in the community.  This work of the Cultural Council centers in three domains – economic development, community development, and cultural planning. Her work on behalf of the arts and cultural sector includes resource development and fundraising, cultural entrepreneurship, research, diversity and equity, collaboration, advocacy, cultural policy, and other endeavors that support the vision – that arts and culture are recognized by all as essential for quality of life in Northeast Florida.


Join us at Cocktails & Conversations 2019

Register today to join us at Cocktails & Conversations, April 23 at 6 p.m.