United Way of Northeast Florida is thrilled to recognize our outstanding honorees for 2018’s Women United Up Close & Personal event. Check back soon for additional honorees to be announced.
Ann-Marie Knight, Mayo Clinic, 2017-2018 Women United chair
Peggy Bryan, Community Philanthropist
Melissa Dykes, JEA
Karen Feagins, WJCT Public Broadcasting
Crystal Freed, The Freed Firm
Sherry Magill, Jessie Ball duPont Fund
Molly Miles, Availity
Megha Parekh, Jacksonville Jaguars
Deloris Patterson, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Victoria Raleigh, American Red Cross, North Florida Region
Mariellie Rodriguez Mundy, The Mariellie Mundy Company
Amy Ruth, Florida Blue
Kay Thiemann, Mayo Clinic
Ann-Marie Knight serves as Administrator, Community Relations where she partners with physician leaders to develop activities where Mayo Clinic can contribute to the community’s wellness through collaboration and outreach. Prior to this role, Ann-Marie managed the operational needs of the Department of Surgery, Critical Care Medicine Unit and Hospital Internal Medicine Unit, to name a few.
With over 17 years of experience in the areas of strategic planning, financial management, and operations management both in the inpatient and outpatient practice settings, she attributes her professional acumen to her 24 years of Naval Service in which she retired as a seasoned Lieutenant as a Medical Service Corps Officer. Her service tours included roles as Deputy Comptroller and Department Head, Access and Benefits and Administrative Officer for several outpatient practices and various assignments during the enlisted days of her career. Immediately following her military service, Ann-Marie had the pleasure of serving as Administrative Officer for the VA Clinic in Jacksonville Florida where she was instrumental in operationalizing the new Jefferson Street clinic.
Ann-Marie has membership in multiple local professional organizations and non-profit agencies. She has served the North Florida Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives since 2005, to include the role of president. Her nonprofit leadership includes board membership on the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and Sulzbacher Center. Ann-Marie received both Regent’s and Service Awards from the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2015 and, in 2016, was named a Veteran of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal.
Philanthropist and civic leader Peggy Bryan is a Jacksonville native who has dedicated her life to the lives of others in Northeast Florida. The daughter of Wellington “Cotton” Paul, one of Gateway, Steps to Recovery’s founders, Peggy fundraised for Gateway’s Serenity Park and was instrumental in the building and design of Gateway’s Detox facility and the new out-patient/administration building.
Peggy graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in European history and economics. She retired professionally in 2008 from her positions as executive director of the Reinhold Community Service Awards Program and as vice-president of the Reinhold Corporation and Shadowlawn Nursery.
Peggy is a past president of Learn to Read, Leadership Jacksonville, PACE Center for Girls, Youth Leadership Jacksonville and Greenscape of Jacksonville. She is currently on the boards of the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida; the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens; Greenscape; PACE; the Metro YMCA; Waste Not, Want Not; and Tiger Academy, the YMCA’s charter school.
Married for 50 years, Peggy and J.F. Bryan have been fortunate to work on many projects together for organizations including Leadership Jacksonville, Episcopal High School, the YMCA, Meninak Scholarship Fund, the Jacksonville Zoo and countless others. In 2012, the Association of Fundraising Professions honored them as the Philanthropists of the Year. Peggy received the Florida Times-Union’s 2014 EVE Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2017 was elected the first woman to chair the Metropolitan Board of Directors of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast.
Melissa Dykes has served as Chief Financial Officer since March 2013. She provides leadership to ensure the long-term financial health of JEA, resulting in access to capital at a lower cost for JEA’s customers. She is responsible for all aspects of JEA’s finances, including treasury, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, and budgeting, as well as corporate strategy, supply chain management and shared services. Melissa also has lead responsibility for ensuring compliance with all reporting, regulatory and tax requirements for JEA. She currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee of TEA.
Prior to joining JEA, Melissa was CFO at a portfolio company of a large energy private equity firm and a principal in a renewable energy development company, where she was responsible for origination, commercial structuring, development and capital raising for renewable energy projects. She also was Vice President of Investment Banking at JPMorgan, where she was responsible for providing capital solutions for clients, including more than $26 billion in financing for many municipal electric and water systems across the country, risk management product delivery, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Melissa worked for The World Bank Group, where she researched and published on private participation in infrastructure industries in developing countries. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a Certificate in Advanced Management from Dartmouth College.
Karen Feagins is Chief Operating Officer at WJCT Public Broadcasting and is a familiar voice to many First Coast audience members. She joined WJCT as host of 89.9 FM’s Morning Edition in 2005 and has filled a variety of roles in radio, television and management at the station. As news director, she launched the wjctnews.org website and edited the Murrow award-winning series, Diving Deep: Examining Threats to the St. Johns River. She has been an integral part of many WJCT productions including First Coast Forum, the Health Matters television series and the Voices of the First Coast oral history project. Karen holds a degree in broadcast journalism from The University of Missouri and spends her time outside of work exploring Jacksonville with her two daughters.
Crystal Freed is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. She started her career as a litigator at Akerman where she represented clients in complex commercial matters. Beginning in 2007, Crystal began devoting most of her professional time catalyzing a community-based response against human trafficking and child exploitation. Crystal co-founded the N.E. Florida Human Trafficking Coalition, organized the first human trafficking awareness events in Jacksonville, and over the years, brought nationally known names – including U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, anti-trafficking experts Laura Lederer and Terry Coonan and author E. Benjamin Skinner – to educate and empower a local response to this moral imperative.
Crystal organized the North America launch of Artworks for Freedom, the first-ever platform to use multiple forms of art, educating and equipping every day citizens to stand up and speak out against sex and labor trafficking. Crystal continues to employ her legal skills in not only representing survivors but also in coordinating the response of the N.E. Florida legal community by educating judges, civil attorneys and prosecutors, and by organizing legal seminars, extending trainings to law enforcement partners including Homeland Security, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. and State Attorneys’ Offices. Crystal co-founded a Florida-wide collaborative, Florida Attorneys for Survivors of Human Trafficking “FASHT” and the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Attorneys for Human Trafficking Survivors (“A4HTS”). Crystal has been recognized by the State of Florida, the Governor and the business and legal community here in Jacksonville for her dedication to the citizens of Florida and her hometown.
Outside the anti-human trafficking world, Crystal has served on the boards of the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., Eartha White Legacy Fund and the U.S. Military Academy Board. She co-Chaired JAX2025 and after serving as a commissioner, went on to chair the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. Some of her awards include the State of Florida Community Advocate of the Year, FDLE’s Unsung Hero Award, The Atlantic Institute Community Advocate Award, Florida Association of Women Lawyers’ Extraordinary Woman Award and the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. The awards that matter most to Crystal, however, are the awards that cannot be seen by human eyes. Crystal is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, is a Fund Advisor to her family fund, and is a legacy member of the Women’s Giving Alliance. Each day Crystal works toward creating a safer community and a safer world for all children especially her two girls. She is privileged to do this work alongside her husband who is also a local lawyer.
Dr. Sherry Magill serves as President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a private grantmaking foundation. Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the Fund’s assets approximate $300 million with an annual grants budget totaling approximately $12 to $15 million.
Prior to joining the Fund’s staff in 1991 as Program Officer for Education, Sherry served as Vice President and Deputy to the President of Washington College, a small private liberal arts college located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. While at Washington College, she taught courses in American Studies and on the American South, and in 1991 was selected by the graduating class to receive the Gold Pentagon Award for outstanding service to the college.
Sherry holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in American Studies from Syracuse University. She has served as a senior moderator for the Aspen Institute, and is the founding executive director of the Wye Faculty Seminar, a nationally recognized enrichment program for professors teaching in the nation’s small colleges. Sherry holds an honorary doctor of humane letters from Jacksonville University, Randolph-Macon College, and Lynchburg College. She is the recipient of the 2016 EVE Employment Award and a recipient of the 2018 OneJax Humanitarian Silver Medallion Award.
In addition to having served as chair of the Council on Foundations board, State of Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, the P.A.C.E. Center for Girls state board, and the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center for Girls and Young Women board, Sherry is past president of the Jacksonville Women’s Network board, a past member of the Southeastern Council of Foundations board, the Leadership Jacksonville board, the Southern Education Foundation board, the Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies board, and the Council of Independent Colleges board. She is a founding member and past chair of the Florida Philanthropic Network and is a member of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation-Jacksonville (LISC) advisory committee. She is an alumni member of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 1993, and Leadership Florida, Class XIV.
Molly Miles is Availity’s Vice President of Marketing, where she is responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s marketing department, which includes marketing research and corporate communications, and the Availity Learning Center. She joined Availity in April, 2015.
A seasoned marketing professional with a passion for digital and content marketing, Molly has been leading high-performing marketing teams for more than 17 years. Her first leadership role was with McKesson as a marketing communications manager, where she drove significant revenue gains for two market-leading services. After 10 years in McKesson’s pharmaceutical division, she transitioned to its technology division, serving as executive director of marketing for the Business Performance Services business unit. In this role, she established a new marketing strategy that included a new website, a new social media strategy, and an innovative brand awareness campaign. She left McKesson to join Wellcentive as vice president of marketing and oversaw the creation of a new value proposition, marketing plan, and visual identity for this fast-growing startup in the population health space.
Molly earned her B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has a certification in Voice of the Customer Studies in Business Markets from Penn State Smeal College of Business.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Molly now lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida with her husband and children.
Megha Parekh is responsible for oversight of all legal matters (including transactions, compliance, disputes, risk management and government relations), people development and training, information technology and capital improvements. Since joining the Jaguars, Megha has worked on team-owner Shahid Khan’s acquisition of Fulham Football Club, the $63 million public-private funded improvements to EverBank Field in 2014 that added the largest video boards (at the time) and two swim spas, and the $90 million project involving improvements to the US Assure Club in addition to the construction and the 2017 opening of Daily’s Place amphitheater and covered football field. She has also worked on the extension of EverBank’s naming rights and selection and engagement of new food, beverage and merchandise providers for EverBank Field.
Prior to joining the Jaguars, Megha worked in the New York office of the law firm Proskauer, which is an international law firm known for its sports practice. During her time at Proskauer, she worked on public and private acquisitions and financings and securities offerings, including the acquisition of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Browns. While at Proskauer, Megha also worked on a variety of matters including public and private company acquisitions and equity and debt financings.
Megha was named in December 2012 and 2013 to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Sports List, which honored the country’s top sports athletes and executives under the age of 30 who “represent the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation.” She has also been named a Woman of Influence (2014) and Ultimate Attorney (2016) since coming to Jacksonville.
Megha joined Proskauer in 2009 after graduating magna cum laude from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. While in school she was a sports writer for The Harvard Crimson. Megha serves on the boards of the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, Florida Sports Foundation and the Sports Business & Leadership Association and works with Women in Sports and Events.
Deloris Patterson joined the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in September 1997 and currently holds the rank of Assistant Chief. Currently, Deloris serves as the Zone Commander in the Northwest quadrant of Jacksonville. In this role, she has implemented community relations strategies which have been successful in increasing community involvement and building trust.
During her 20-year tenure with the Sheriff’s Office, Deloris has served in various areas of the agency including, but not limited to: Patrol, Investigations, Personnel and Professional Standards, Community Affairs and Special Events.
She has earned several accolades both in the community and from the Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, Deloris is a member of Leadership Jacksonville and serves on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC), the Community and Justice Steering Committee, the Board of Directors for Northeast Florida Community Action Agency (NFCAA), and is the Chairperson for JTA Accident Review Board. She is a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and to the Edward Waters College Criminal Justice students.
Victoria Raleigh serves as regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, North Florida Region and executive director of the Northeast Florida Chapter. As regional CEO, Victoria leads a team of paid and volunteer staff who provide critical Red Cross services to the 35 counties we serve. She has been involved with the Red Cross since 2002, starting as a blood services volunteer in Tulsa, Oklahoma and later serving as a Chapter Executive Director in North Carolina. Most recently, Victoria has served as the Southeast and Caribbean Division Service to the Armed Forces Director.
Prior to joining the Red Cross, Victoria worked as a Development Director in Eastern Kentucky and as a Project Manager in Sub-Saharan Africa working with HIV/AIDS Education. She holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.
The North Florida Region covers 35 counties with a population of more than 3 million residents and is composed of three chapters; Northeast Florida Chapter, Capital Area Chapter, and the Northwest Florida Chapter. They provide disaster relief to families affected by disaster, training courses in first aid and CPR, and provide services to the Armed Forces, including family communications for deployed service men and women.
Mariellie is a proven key senior executive leader and entrepreneur with demonstrated experience in transforming company culture resulting in significant profitable improvements. She fosters trusting and collaborative relationships while breaking down silos and driving strong results.
Mariellie has served regional and national companies with revenue ranging between $15M to $300M. She has experience with union and non-union employers. She received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Puerto Rico where she majored in Accounting. She then moved to South Florida to join a large general contractor as their financial executive. Mariellie earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a Major in Accounting from the University of Phoenix in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She passed all four parts of the CPA and is a Certified Public Accountant in Florida. Although she never had the urge to work in public accounting, she pursued the certification to align with her greatest strength, her deep desire to learn. Her progressive career allowed her the opportunity to relocate to North East Florida where she most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer of a National Electrical contractor with over 1,300 employees.
Most of her formal education is in the field of finance and accountancy. Mariellie has spent the majority of her professional experience leveraging her financial knowledge as a foundation to lead transformational organizational development with sound strategic alignment and execution. Mariellie has 20+ years’ experience analyzing and reporting data to stakeholders and board of directors. Her experience has taught her that profits are earned through people. That is the heart of her personal mission, vision and values.
Mariellie was selected as a 2015 Woman of Influence Honoree and 2016 40 Under 40 by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Mariellie is past President and current member of CFMA (Construction Financial Management Association). She currently supports United Way as a member of the Tocqueville Society, and she serves as a Big Sister through United Way’s Achievers for Life program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is a 2017 graduate of Lifework Leadership.
Mariellie is a mom to three boys, Angel, 21, “college boy”; Thomas IV, 3.5, “the threenager”; and Harper, 22 months, “the baby.” It is her hope and vision to be a catalyst for lasting valuable change.
Amy Ruth is Florida Blue’s Chief Human Resource Officer. In this role, Amy brings her extensive knowledge of human capital development and talent management to provide executive leadership for the company’s human resources, diversity, corporate services and strategic facilities. In her previous role with the company, she served as Senior Director, Workforce Optimization in Human Resources.
Prior to joining Florida Blue in 2014, she was the president of Incepture, a subsidiary of Florida Blue focused on professional staffing and printing solutions. As President, she was responsible for the strategic direction and successful execution of the company’s objectives. That effort led to the successful divestiture of Incepture’s staffing business at the end of 2014. Under Amy’s operational and human resource leadership, Incepture was recognized by Florida Trend magazine as one of the “Best Companies to Work For” in 2011 and 2012. Prior to her tenure at Incepture, she served in various leadership roles with a variety of organizations including TriServ Alliance, InterContinental Hotels Group, Towers Watson and SunTrust Banks, Inc.
Amy has been active in community and professional organizations across Northeast Florida. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for GuideWell Source, Inc. and is the immediate past Chair for the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center, for which she has served on the Board since 2013. She is the 2018 LUNG FORCE Chair and the Executive Sponsor for Florida Blue’s 2017-2018 United Way campaign. She is also a member of the Equality Means Business Advisory Board and provides support for the Mali Vai Washington Youth Foundation and the American Heart Association. She was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2012 as an “Ultimate HR Executive” and again in 2014 as one of Northeast Florida’s “Women of Influence.” In 2017, she was honored by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council as a “Woman of Distinction.”
Amy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Kennesaw State University in Marietta, Georgia.
Kay M.B. Thiemann has over 29 years of experience as a healthcare administrator at Mayo Clinic. She began her career in 1988 in Rochester, Minnesota, where she served in various administrative roles in Patient Support Services and the College of Medicine, School of Graduate Medical Education. In 2006, Kay and her family relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, when she assumed the role of Operations Administrator for the Neuroscience service line and eventually the Radiology and Emergency Medicine service lines. Additionally, she provided administrative oversight to launch the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Simulation Center in Jacksonville.
In 2013, Kay was promoted to Administrator of Mayo Clinic Hospital, where she and her physician partner provide leadership to a 304-bed acute care hospital. In 2015, she assumed additional responsibilities as administrator for the Mayo Clinic Hospital Care Delivery Platform, providing strategic oversight of Mayo Clinic’s 21-bed hospital system in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Kay has Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Finance and Mass Communications and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. She is an Assistant Professor of Health Systems Engineering, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Kay serves on the Board of Directors for Vizient Southeast as well as the Red Cross of Northeast Florida. She is a member of the Florida Hospital Association, the Medical Group Management Association, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.
In her free time, Kay enjoys theater, music, reading, watching sports, and spending time with her family. Kay and her husband, Roger, have four children, two grandchildren, and live in St. Johns, Florida.