Sistah of the Month
Marti L. Forchion
Author/Creator of "A+ COLLEGE PREP PLANNER" & CollegePrepPlanner.com
Marti L. Forchion is the Author/Creator of the “A+ COLLEGE PREP PLANNER – the Ultimate College Preparation Guide for High-School Students (and their Parents)” and creator of the CollegePrepPlanner.com website.
A native of New Jersey, raised in sunny south Florida, Ms. Forchion is a graduate of Florida State University where she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in mathematics and was a 2016 recipient of the Florida State University Black Alumni ”Outstanding Alumni Award”.
She has worked for over 25-years as an IT professional and uses her creative and innovative mind to engage and motivate youth to focus on higher education and intellectual pursuits in the STEM career fields.
Our Featured Guests
June 4, 2021
Lakitsia C. Gaines
State Farm Insurance & Financial Services
Multi-Agency Owner/Community Advocate
Lakitsia Gaines is a Miami, FL native and a graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.
After 10 years of promotions and relocations with State Farm, Lakitsia wanted more than success as an employee of a fortune 500 company. She wanted to be her own boss, achieve independent financial freedom and give more back to her community. So, in 2006, she became an agency owner of the #1 auto, life, homeowners and boat insurer in the country – State Farm. She has a team of 15 multilingual and licensed insurance and financial services professionals dedicated to protecting your wealth. They speak Russian, French, Creole, Spanish, English and her favorite language - MONEY. As one of nearly 200 agents out of 19,000 across the country, she has two State Farm agencies: her flagship agency is located in Miami and the newest addition is Hallandale Beach.
June 6, 2021
William and Betty Cody Foundation
President Jacksonville Links 2011-2015
President Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority 1995-1999
Moles Treasurer 2004-2008
Silhouettes Kappa Alpha Psi President 1998-2002
Silhouettes Area Coordinator 2002-2006
Jack & Jill Associate Member
Vice President William & Betty Cody Foundation
Immediate Past President Gamma Beta Boule Foundation
Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumni Foundation
March 21, 2021
Barbara Darby, Ed.D
Retired Florida State College
Campus President & Community Trustee
A member of Woodlawn Presbyterian Church since relocating to Jacksonville from New York in 1972, Dr. Barbara Ann Darby retired as president of the North Campus and the Nassau Center of Florida State College at Jacksonville in July 2015. She held this position since 1998. Dr. Darby received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Hunter College in New York, a Master of Education degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida. She received her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. She gives God, the Center of her life, all praise and glory for whatever she has accomplished
January 31, 2021
Duval County Court Judge, Fourth Judicial Circuit
Judge-Elect Rhonda Peoples Waters was the first Black female elected to the bench in our 4th Judicial Circuit. She will take office in January 2021 and will preside over a Duval County Court. She has tried over 75 non-jury and jury trials in her career. She was the lead trial counsel in more than half of those cases. She has been licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Florida since 1999, after graduating from the University of Florida School of Law where she studied under an academic scholarship. Rhonda began her career at the Public Defender’s Office in Jacksonville, Florida. Rhonda has handled thousands of cases covering misdemeanors and felonies. Rhonda finished her career at the Public Defender’s Office after seven years and after serving as the Division Chief of each Repeat Offender Divisions in Duval County. Rhonda, as lead counsel, has handled almost every type of criminal case imaginable ranging from petit theft cases to murder cases. Rhonda was promoted several times during her tenure at the office. Her reviews exemplified her hard-work and professional ethics.
Jasmine S. Waters
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
Sophomore, Electrical Engineering
January 3, 2020
Speaker, Nonprofit and Health Executive
JOY D. Calloway is a charismatic, transformational leader with over 27 years healthcare and non-profit experience. Currently serving as the Interim Executive Director for the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), JOY is a three-time graduate of The University of Michigan (BA, MBA, MHSA) where she remains very active with her alma mater, mentoring and precepting young professionals.
NAMI Michigan, Executive Director
Kevin Fischer is the Executive Director of NAMI Michigan. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. A retired businessman, Kevin joined NAMI as a volunteer in 2011 after his oldest son Dominique was diagnosed with a mental illness in late 2007 and was lost to suicide in 2010. After serving on the NAMI Michigan Board of Directors as the NAMIWalks Chairperson for two years, and as Board Vice-President for two years, Kevin accepted the role of Executive Director in 2014.