" "
Need help? Dial 2-1-1 to contact a United Way call center specialist or click here to find resources.


Women United Up Close and Personal 2024 Panelists

April 18, 2024


Join United Way of Northeast Florida’s Women United for Up Close and Personal the region’s premier event for community-focused women leaders. Don’t miss this unforgettable evening with Women United as we celebrate philanthropy and service in Northeast Florida.

The event kicks off with a networking reception, followed by a brief panel discussion and intimate discussions with local women leaders making a difference in our community.

Thursday, May 16
6-8 p.m.
Old St. Andrews Event Venue
317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32202



Camille Harrison – Executive Vice President of Medicare and Chief Innovation and Experience Officer at GuideWell and Florida Blue

Chriss Brown – Chef and Owner, Beaver Street Commissary, Catering by Chriss, Route 90 BBQ and Founder of The Empowered Kitchen

Dawn Curling – Executive Director of The Melanin Market and Owner of We Make the Shirt LLC

Diana Sorfleet – Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer at CSX

Jannet Walker-Ford – Senior Vice President of National Transit and Rail Leader at WSP

LeeAnn Mengel – Vice President and Administrator of Baptist MD Anderson

Kay Ehas – CEO at Groundwork Jacksonville Inc

Laura Phillips Edgecombe – Principal of Downtown Public Spaces at Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Patty Keenan – Chief Talent Officer at Miller Electric Company

Tammy Butler – Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance at CSX


Camille Harrison

As Executive Vice President of Medicare and Chief Innovation and Experience Officer, Camille Harrison spearheads transformative initiatives at GuideWell and Florida Blue. With over 27 years of healthcare industry experience, she’s a driving force behind Florida Blue’s the Medicare sector, overseeing performance and positioning. At GuideWell, she tackles systemic challenges, delivering strategic solutions for member and community betterment. Notably, Camille co-leads the Equity Alliance, combatting racial disparities in healthcare.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Camille is deeply engaged in philanthropy, serving on multiple boards, including Pager, Triple-S Management Corporation and WebTPA. Harrison embodies leadership excellence and social responsibility by participating in community initiatives, representing Florida Blue in United Way’s Tocqueville Society and the American Heart Association’s First Coast Executive Leadership Cabinet.



Chriss Brown

Chef Chriss Brown, a seasoned entrepreneur in the culinary industry, owns Beaver Street Commissary, Catering by Chriss, Route 90 BBQ and Founder of The Empowered Kitchen. With over 15 years of corporate restaurant experience across states, she returned to Jacksonville Beach in 2000, founding Cafe Express and later transitioning it into a successful catering enterprise.

Recognizing the need for support for female chefs, Chriss established The Empowered Kitchen, a nonprofit fostering independence through entrepreneurship and job-skills training. This six-month program guides participants through business development, from crafting plans to mastering operations and marketing. Chriss also initiated a program providing vocational training to young women transitioning from incarceration or foster care. Her commitment to empowering women and addressing societal challenges establishes her as a leader in both the culinary industry and community advocacy.


Dawn Curling

Dawn Curling, a dynamic community leader and fourth-generation business owner in Jacksonville’s historic Eastside corridor, is known for her commitment to economic empowerment and social justice. Committed to enhancing her community, Dawn provides quality services, developmental platforms and economic opportunities to empower the next generation of minority entrepreneurs.

Inspired by the vibrant economic history of Jacksonville’s Eastside, she founded The Melanin Market to revitalize the area’s minority-owned businesses. Dawn’s mission is to create a movement that instills hope and bridges ethics, culture and community to reshape the Eastside and serve as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring leaders and advocates alike.


Diana Sorfleet

Diana Sorfleet, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at CSX, leads aviation, facilities, human resources, people systems analytics and total rewards. Her pivotal role in navigating the company’s response to the pandemic and spearheading the development of a comprehensive social justice action plan underscores her strategic prowess. With a robust background, Diana previously served as Chief Human Resources Officer, driving workforce strategies amidst the Scheduled Railroading transformation. Prior to CSX, her career flourished at Exelon, where she ascended to vice president for diversity and development.

Recognized for her impactful contributions, Diana earned accolades from Black Enterprise in 2016 for her influential role in leading diversity initiatives among top companies nationwide. Diversity MBA honored her in 2012 as one of the Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executives. Diana holds degrees from Loyola University of Chicago, National Louis University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Beyond her corporate achievements, Diana actively champions philanthropic causes and community service, embodying a holistic approach to leadership.


Jannet Walker-Ford Senior Vice President of National Transit and Rail Leader at WSP

Jannet Walker-Ford

Jannet Walker-Ford, a nationally renowned transportation industry executive with WSP USA, brings over two decades of expertise to her role as the Senior Vice President of National Transit and Rail Leader. She spearheads equity, sustainability and community development initiatives, drawing on her extensive background in management consulting, technology and transportation systems. Jannet’s prior roles as Deputy General Manager/Deputy CEO and CIO at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority showcase her dedication to advancing public transit.

Beyond her professional achievements, Jannet is deeply committed to philanthropy and volunteerism. She actively participates on multiple boards, including as Chair of WTS International and serving on the APTA Executive Committee, ENO Transportation, Jacksonville Board of Trustees and the NFI Corporate Board, demonstrating her passion for community engagement. Her outstanding contributions have earned her prestigious recognitions, including the 2022 American Public Transportation Association’s Business Member of the Year, the 2021 WTS Northeast Florida Woman of the Year and the 2019 Women of Color STEM Technology All-Star Award. Jannet’s leadership, expertise and dedication to making a positive impact establish her as a standout leader in the transportation industry.


Kay Ehas

Kay Ehas serves as the CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville, a nonprofit partnering with the City of Jacksonville to create the 30-mile Emerald Trail and restore McCoys Creek and Hogans Creek. With a mission centered on environmental equity and resilience, Kay leads initiatives aimed at transforming low-resource and climate-vulnerable communities. Since joining Groundwork in 2017, she has spearheaded the development of the Emerald Trail Master Plan, driving its adoption by the Jacksonville City Council.

Leveraging 15 years of local government experience, Kay dedicates herself to building a vibrant, connected urban core. Her leadership extends beyond her professional roles through her tenure on boards such as the Riverside Avondale Preservation Society and her involvement in initiatives like the Blue Zones Jacksonville Built Environment Committee. Kay’s journey began as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), where she worked with public housing tenant associations and a low-income senior citizens group, laying the foundation for her impactful career in community development and advocacy. As an Eve Award finalist in 2020, her commitment to community betterment is recognized and celebrated.


Laura Phillips Edgecombe Principal of Downtown Public Spaces at Jesse Ball duPont Fund

Laura Phillips Edgecombe

Laura Phillips Edgecombe serves as the Principal of Downtown Public Spaces for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a Jacksonville-based private foundation dedicated to fostering communities of belonging. She also acts as an Executive on Loan to the City of Jacksonville, overseeing the activation of Downtown public spaces to benefit all Jaxsons. With nearly two decades of experience in community development, advocacy and event production, Laura is known for her creative leadership and ability to envision the big picture. Recognized as a Business Journal Jacksonville Woman of Influence in 2024, Laura’s professional journey includes cultivating relationships with key stakeholders, collaborating on successful programs and events, and effectively managing projects of all sizes.

Actively engaged in the Jacksonville business community, Laura serves on various boards and organizations, including the JAX Chamber Downtown Council and the Northeast Florida Builders Association. Committed to philanthropy, Laura volunteers her time with numerous local organizations, including Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park, United Way of Northeast Florida and The Florida Theatre. Her advocacy for equitable quality-of-life opportunities for all populations shows a dedication to building thriving communities in Jacksonville.


LeeAnn Mengel Vice President and Administrator Baptist MD Anderson

LeeAnn Mengel

As Vice President Administrator of Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, LeeAnn Mengel oversees the operational and strategic directions of Baptist Health’s cancer programs. Since joining Baptist Health in 2010, she has transitioned from Operations Administrator of Specialty Services to her current role in 2017. LeeAnn, board-certified by the American College of Medical Practice Executives, has a rich background in healthcare as both a nurse and an administrator. She holds a master’s degree in business from Jacksonville University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Florida State University.

Beyond her professional responsibilities, LeeAnn is actively engaged in community leadership. She has served as Budget and Finance Chair for the ElderSource Board of Directors and local Treasurer for the Boy Scouts of America. She is a member of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), reflecting her dedication to her profession and community.


Patty Keenan Chief Talent Officer at Miller Electric Company

Patty Keenan

Patty Keenan, the Chief Talent Officer at Miller Electric Company, has a rich professional background spanning leadership roles in sales, marketing and global industry management at a $6 billion business unit of General Electric. Additionally, she founded Keenan Insights, an executive coaching firm, where she has guided CEOs and senior executive teams for over 15 years, showcasing her expertise in talent development and leadership. Patty’s unwavering commitment to human potential is evident in her role at Miller Electric, where she champions the company’s values and fosters an innovative perspective aimed at nurturing future generations of leaders.

A dedicated philanthropist, Patty serves on United Way of Northeast Florida’s Board of Directors and is an active member of the Tocqueville Society. She also contributes her expertise to various organizations, including Randolph-Macon Academy and Junior Achievement of North Florida. Patty’s educational journey includes a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing from the University at Albany, New York. Her multifaceted leadership, philanthropy and academic engagements reflect her tireless efforts to shape a brighter future for her community and the broader business landscape.


Tammy Butler Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance at CSX

Tammy Butler

Tammy Butler, Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance at CSX, brings over 19 years of diverse experience in law, auditing, real estate, facilities management and corporate services to her role. At CSX, Tammy spearheads the strategic direction of the Internal Audit Department, ensuring the efficacy of governance, control and risk management processes. Her duties encompass evaluating the internal control environment for financial accuracy, identifying key fraud and compliance risks, and implementing strategic initiatives. Before her tenure at CSX, Tammy was an associate at Driver, McAfee & Griggs, PL and Holland & Knight LLP in Jacksonville, Florida.

Committed to community service, Tammy has provided leadership to organizations like Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Jacksonville Urban League and the Jacksonville Bar Association. Currently, she serves on the boards of City Year Jacksonville and the Railyard District Council and contributes as a cabinet member for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative. Recognized as a Jacksonville Business Journal 2021 Women of Influence honoree, Tammy holds a BBA and MAcc from the University of Georgia as well as a JD from the Florida State University School of Law.