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Board Of Directors

The board of directors is the governing body for Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, and is responsible for advising management on financial and policy issues that shape the Council’s strategic plans.

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Margaret "Peggy" Wingard, Board Chair
Owner, O-Gee Paint Company

Margaret (Peggy) Wingard is the owner and manager of O-Gee Paint Co., a premium paint, wallpaper and equipment chain in Miami, Fl. O-Gee Paint Co. has been recognized as one of the top women lead businesses in Florida and has been featured in national industry publications. A true Miamian, Peggy was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her degree in Business Administration from Florida State University.

Peggy is currently Chairperson of the Board of the Girls Scouts of Tropical Florida. Her leadership and entrepreneurial skills were developed in Girl Scouts. Peggy was a Brownie, Junior and Cadette Girl Scout. An advocate for Girl Scouts as an adult, she has held several community and training titles in Girl Scouts, including Board Secretary. In her 25 years as a volunteer, she has worked to improve her community, earning her the Thanks Badge from Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. A true believer in the Scouting programs, her children advanced through all levels, where her daughter earned the Girl Scout Gold Award and her son his Eagle Award from the Boy Scouts.

Peggy enjoys butterfly gardening, campfires, kayaking and exploring new places with her husband George.

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Sarah Nesbitt Artecona, First Vice Chair
Artecona Consulting

Sarah Nesbitt Artecona spent a 30+ year in media relations, marketing and community relations. She retired in 2020 from a 20-year career at the University of Miami. Before joining the University, she was in senior leadership positions with a Fortune 500 company and was spokesperson for Miami-Dade County, the largest county government in the southeast United States. Today, she consults with large South Florida companies on their community engagement roles. She is past Chair of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross Greater Miami and the Keys and active in the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, and the Junior League of Miami. Born during Hurricane Betsy, she is a Coral Gables native and fourth generation Miamian.

Sarah was a Girl Scout as was her mother and troop leader, Lenore Nesbitt. She and her husband Mario, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami, live in South Miami with their Basset Hound, Annabelle Lee.

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Jenny Arias May, Second Vice Chair
Vice President of Multi Family Group, Apex Capital Realty

Jenny Arias May has been actively involved in real estate for 16 years, representing developers in acquiring sites for condo, multi-family, hospitality and retail projects in the SE Florida market. She has also worked in identifying and assisting with the acquisition of cash flowing assets/value add properties for Investment Groups and Private Investors. These efforts have added to the firm's overall sales and leasing efforts with more than $200 Million in current real estate assets located in Miami's urban core.

In addition to her career accomplishments, Jenny is an avid environmentalist. She serves as an appointed member to the City of Coral Gables Green Task Force and advises other local governments on Climate Change issues. She served on the 2013-2014 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Committee on Land Use, Property Rights, and Sustainable Development and was also one of the co-founders of TREEmendous Miami.

Jenny serves and has served on several other boards and committees throughout Miami Dade County which include, DREAM IN GREEN, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, and The City of Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. Jenny graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Florida International University. She is dedicated to her work and to the community promoting sustainability, global education, and preserving our youth to a safe and healthy future. 

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Christine Rupert, Third Vice Chair
Captain, American Airlines

Christine Rupert, a Miami native, started taking flying lessons when she was 19 years and is a graduate of Miami Dade College’s Aviation program. She mentors for the American Airlines Cadet Academy and is on the Scholarship Committee for The Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Christine is also a member of WAI (Women in Aviation International) and ISA +21 (International Society of Women Airline Pilots). Christine volunteers with her company and various organizations mentoring people interested in a career in aviation. She is a Girl Scout alum and her niece is a Girl Scout. 

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Linda Leasburg-Kramer, Treasurer

Supply Chain Services, Baptist Health South Florida ​​

Linda Leasburg-Kramer is a Corporate Director of Contracts and Sourcing for Baptist Health South Florida. In her role she is responsible for sourcing strategy and contracting for Information Technology, Construction, and Facilities. Prior to joining Baptist Health South Florida she held various positions in government procurement in Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade County Public Schools; and roles in corporate retail and distribution procurement.

Linda is a South Florida native with degrees from Miami Dade College and Florida International University in Economics. She is married with two children.

Sheryl Alonso

Sheryl L. Alonso, Ph.D.
Academic Director, The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Institute

Sheryl Alonso is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at the University of Miami Herbert Business School.  She teaches organizational behavior, human resource management, leading teams, and leadership at the undergraduate and graduate level and in executive development. Dr. Alonso began her career as a nurse, earning a BSN from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois and later an MBA from the University of Miami.  She completed a Ph.D. in Medical Leadership at the University of Miami. 

Dr. Alonso draws on extensive experience at the executive level, having served as a hospital vice president for many years at Mercy Hospital in Miami and in leadership positions at Loyola University in Chicago prior to teaching in the Business School. Dr. Alonso has been a speaker and organizer of programs and events at the local, national, and international level. Dr. Alonso is the Academic Director of The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Institute and is the Director of the Master of Science in Leadership program. She has been the recipient of many awards including the Excellence in Teaching Awards, Research Mentor of the Year Award, Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management, U.S. Army Southern Strike Recognition Award, and has been recognized for Athletics Academics. She is active in a variety of management, civic and not-for-profit organizations.

Tami Blanco

Tami Blanco
Vice President – Strategic Sourcing and Site Services, Carnival Cruise Line

Tamarah ‘Tami’ Blanco currently serves as the Vice President - Strategic Sourcing and Site Services for Carnival Cruise Line, overseeing the strategic negotiations/procurement within our Hotel, F&B and Medical categories as well as leading Facilities Management/Site Services which includes day-to-day operational needs and our strategic approach toward workplace enhancements.  She joined Carnival in 2011 as the Director of Revenue Accounting Operations and moved her way to a dual role as the Director of Finance, Shipboard Operations & Analytics and then a promotion to Vice President of Finance Operations.  After 6 years in the Finance organization, she headed Carnival’s shore-side Human Resources functions and later moved to the Operations group overseeing the Crew Recruiting, Crew Scheduling and Travel Operations.  Prior to joining Carnival, she held a number of roles at Royal Caribbean International (13 years) and Ryder Truck Rental (RTR)/Ryder System (5 years); her first professional role out of college was that of Reimbursement Specialist for RTR, filing for state reimbursement for environmental clean-up.

A Certified Public Accountant, she holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!!) and a Master’s in Accounting from Florida International University (GO PANTHERS!).  For 8 years and still counting, Tami has served as a “Big Sister” in the Big Brother/Big Sister Mentoring Program through Carnival Foundation, mentoring girls through their high school years.  She is a member of the Association for Financial Professionals and the National Association of Professional Women.  In January 2019, she joined the advisory board for The Commonwealth Institute – a non-profit organization devoted to advancing businesswomen in leadership positions – and currently holds the co-chair position for the South Florida chapter. Later that same year, she took a roll on the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida Fundraiser Host Committee that aims to raise money to support Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida and the 3,500 girls we serve and joined the advisory board just this year. Lastly, Tami joined Miami Women's Panhellenic with a goal to expand beyond her own Kappa Alpha Theta sisterhood and build new and lifelong relationships while doing good in the community.

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Eliza Fendell, J.D.
Director of Change Management, Ryder System, Inc.

As a Change Management leader with over 15 years of experience in the logistics and supply chain industry, Eliza A. Fendell leads change management at Ryder System, Inc., most recently leading the adoption of Workday HCM & Financials across Ryder’s U.S. and Canada operations. Previous to her director role at Ryder, Eliza led change management and corporate culture at Aeropost, Inc., the leading e-commerce company for Latin America and the Caribbean. At Aeropost, she also oversaw the 5x expansion of their Miami Operations hub in her stint as General Operations Manager. 

Eliza has a passion for people and is an avid supporter of women leadership and empowerment – volunteering her time to Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida as a Board Member and Chair of the Board Development Committee, to The Commonwealth Institute of South Florida as co-facilitator of their Non-Profit Executive Women Forum, and as the President of the Bryn Mawr Club of Miami. Eliza earned her law degree from George Mason University School of Law, was awarded a Presidential Management Internship position, and interned at the White House in the Office of Public Liaison, Office of Disabilities, during the Clinton administration. She currently resides in Coconut Grove with her spouse, 3 children (one a Silver Award Girl Scout), and 2 French mastiffs. 

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Charmaine Gatlin
Co-President/COO, Jackson Health Foundation

Charmaine Gatlin currently serves as Co-President / COO at Jackson Health Foundation. She joined the team in September 2014, bringing more than 25 years of local and global philanthropy, fiscal management and operations expertise, marketing and advertising expertise, financial accounting, public/private partnership expertise, and executive management experience to the organization. 

Before joining the Foundation, she worked for 100 Black Men of America, Inc. as their Vice-President of Operations and Events for seven years. In that role, she oversaw the day-to-day operations for the organizations and managed the national and regional events. One of the highlights of that role was the planning and managing of the Black and Brown Democratic Debate that was held in Las Vegas, Nevada that featured Senators Hillary Clinton and then Senator Barack Obama. Prior to that, she worked for the Nat Moore Foundation, the NFL Super Bowl and Pro Bowl Youth Clinics, the Orange Bowl Committee, and the University of Florida Athletic department. 

Charmaine earned her Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Florida where she was a member of the women’s basketball team along with her sister two-time Olympian DeLisha Milton Jones. In 2015, she was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities for her civil service commitment and to nonprofits. Throughout her career, she has received numerous leadership and recognition awards. Charmaine loves sports, loves to travel, and has a passion for giving back and making a difference in the community. Charmaine is married to Dr. Arthur Gatlin, Jr. and they reside in Weston, FL with their 3 kids Artese, Alexis and Trey.

Emily Gresham

Emily Gresham
AVP of Research & Economic Development and Co-Founder of StartUP FIU

Overseeing its Innovation and Economic Development unit, Emily leads efforts to stimulate economic development in the region by translating FIU’s strengths in research and scholarship into technology transfer, commercialization and entrepreneurship activities. An energetic, dynamic consensus builder with over 14 years of experience leading and supporting teams at prominent institutions in Miami, Emily is uniquely well informed about the economic, health, and social needs of Miami’s diverse communities and well connected to leaders in these sectors. A proven fundraiser, Emily has raised over $100 million during her career at the University of Miami, The Miami Foundation and FIU. The architect of FIU’s current strategic plan, Emily sees StartUP FIU as a platform to solve the community’s most pressing challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. leadership roles within the foster care and child welfare system in Miami-Dade County, including Executive Director at Casa Valentina and Director of External Affairs and Program Innovation at Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe.  Through project development and grant procurement, she successfully implemented complex, multi-million-dollar initiatives to improve outcomes for children and families with child welfare involvement. 

In addition to her professional endeavors, Ms. Wilkerson is the proud mother of two school aged children.  She is an active community volunteer, currently serving as board chair for Code/Art and PTA board member at Palmetto Elementary School.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from Smith College and an MBA from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN.

Amira Ishoof
Community Volunteer and Girl Scout Mom

Amira Ishoof is an entrepreneur, social justice leader, mother of two, wife and advocate for peace. Amira has dedicated her life to empowering other women and minorities who have been left behind from educational, civic and economic opportunities. Amira is a founding member of Emgage USA, which is now the largest national Muslim American civic organization. In her role at Emgage, Amira helped to launch and lead a program called EmergingLeaders which focused on developing the next generation of American Muslim leaders. 

Amira serves as the Business Development Director for Investments Amazon, where she guides investments in residential properties in South Florida and the Caribbean. 

Amira proudly serves as a member of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs Dean’s Advisory Council at Florida International University. Amira is also a co-founder and co-leader of the Miami Chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, an organization committed to building bridges of understanding between Muslim & Jewish Women. Amira serves on the National Board of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and also in the capacity of Treasurer of the Board. 

Amira is an alumni of Leadership Florida’s Connect Class 9 cohort and continues to serve as Class Representative for Connect Class 9. Amira served as a Board Member of Leadership Florida 2019-2020. 

Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson
Executive Director, Workday, University of Miami

An employee of the University of Miami since 1993.  Currently serves in the capacity of Executive Director, Workday; Workday is the HR/Payroll and Finance system at the University. Prior to transitioning to the Workday project, served as assistant vice president for human resources for Coral Gables/RSMAS Campuses. Prior to joining the University in 1993, served as assistant vice president-employment manager for Ocean Bank.  An active member of the New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and of the Music Ministry for 30 years; serves as Financial Secretary for the Fellowship Mass Choir. A product of the Miami-Dade Public School System and holds an MBA from the University of Miami and a BBA from Florida International University. 

Brent Muckridge

Brent Muckridge
Professor, Assistant Professor and Sylvester Endowed Chair in entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Management at Lynn and CoFounder, 305XL

Dr. Brent Muckridge is the Assistant Professor and Sylvester Endowed Chair in entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Management at Lynn University in Boca Raton. Brent has been an active member of the Miami startup ecosystem, supporting and mentoring entrepreneurs and collaborating with Refresh Miami and the South Florida Food and Beverage Association to provide support and programming. Brent co-founded 305XL in Miami to support entrepreneurs through workshops and coaching. Brent was the lead faculty for entrepreneurship for Johnson & Wales University in North Miami and oversaw the entrepreneurship lab. 

A telecom industry veteran and entrepreneur, Brent has spent more than 15 years working in a senior-level position in telecommunications companies in the USA, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. He has worked with mobile network operators (MNOs), fixed-line carriers, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), and cloud services providers. Brent has provided strategic leadership in finance, operations, carrier services, regulation, and administration. He has also established corporate social responsibility programs, managed outsourcing projects, and led post-merger integration projects.

Brent has been an entrepreneur starting 305XL and EM Finance Consulting, working in startups in Boston and Hungary, and being an intrapreneur in Poland, Afghanistan, and Israel. In addition, he has held the roles of Chief Financial Officer at Wataniya Mobile, Chief Operating Officer at Roshan, Chief Executive Officers of UpSource Mobile Services, and Supervisory Board Member for Neostratus.

Brent is a Miami transplant, a father of three, and a proud Girl Scout dad to two daughters. Brent holds a Doctorate in Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from Walden University, a Master of Business Administration from Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School for Business, and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Johnson & Wales University. 

Ruth Fagen Silva
Vice-President, Custom Credit Executive, Merrill Lynch

Ruth Fagen Silva is a South Florida native and a professional in the banking and finance industry here for over 30 years. As Credit Executive with Bank of America she is responsible for assisting clients with custom lending needs, including commercial properties, art and yacht financing.  Prior to her current role she handled many different aspects of the Consumer Bank division including Financial Center Manager and Wealth Management Loan Officer. She has a bachelor’s degree from Barry University. 

Ruth is a former Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida Troop 50.  She is married with two sons. She is passionate about the environment and the outdoors as an avid camper, gardener, and boater.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Ms. Wilkerson is the proud mother of two school aged children.  She is an active community volunteer, currently serving as board chair for Code/Art and PTA board member at Palmetto Elementary School.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from Smith College and an MBA from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN.

Carolyn Thompson 
Managing Principal of the Merito Group

Carolyn Thompson is Managing Principal of the Merito Group, a nationwide talent acquisition consulting firm providing retained and direct hire executive search, RPO and sourcing programs for highly cleared professionals as well as general contingent labor services across the US.

Carolyn is also a serial entrepreneur across multiple industries. Since 2013, she has launched:

  • The Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative (WWLI.org) – a 501(c)3 membership organization with over 200 women leader members
  • BioPharma Global (www.biopharmaglobal.com) – a global biotech regulatory affairs firm facilitating FDA and EMA approvals for new and investigational drugs and devices with as specialty in rare diseases and unmet needs
  • The Elevar Group (www.elevargroup.com) – global continuing education provider for ICF credentialed coaches
  • ResellXL (www.resellxl.com) – online consignment retailer for plus size clothes, shoes and accessories
  • Resale Global (www.resaleglobal.com) – inventory software and ecommerce software as a service for the consignment industry allowing local stores to go global in one click
  • ShopBrite (www.shopbrite.com) – sustainable shopping and fashion aggregator for consignment shoppers where people can enter their measurements online and see all the unique items that fit them now or within an inch of alteration (launching 2021)

She resides in the Washington, DC and Miami, FL areas and is frequently called upon by national magazines, trade journals, and news organizations such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN and MSNBC to contribute content on a variety of topics.

Carolyn is a Trustee of Kansas State University, has written a few books, and sits on several boards including the Girl Scouts. She is an active member of Women in Bio, ACG, the National Speakers Association, the Pinnacle Society, and a credentialed member of the International Coach Federation.

Christina Boomer Vazquez

Christina Boomer Vazquez
Reporter, WPLG

Christina is an Emmy award-winning reporter and a proud Girl Scouts mom! She is currently serving the South Florida community from the frontlines of the pandemic as an in-the-field journalist with WPLG. In 2015 The Radio Television Digital News Association awarded Christina a regional Edward R. Murrow for her reporting on the child migration border crisis in Honduras. She was also the creator of the Emmy award-winning  ‘Call Christina’  investigative consumer protection segment on WPLG and was the station’s gavel-to-gavel courtroom reporter for the George Zimmerman Trial, one of just a handful of journalists to have a seat inside the courtroom. She has served on the executive team of Miami’s flagship contemporary art museum Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) where she helped the museum craft a strategic plan, develop a brand journalism strategy, and conceptualize a first-of-its-kind Knight Foundation-funded augmented reality art exhibition utilizing Apple’s ARKit. She is Cuban-American, born and raised in Southwest Miami-Dade. After earning a political science degree at Boston College, Christina began to pursue her passion for journalism. Her career has taken her to London, Boston, Rhode Island, California, Texas, and Arizona. Along the way, she picked up several awards to include the USC Annenberg Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, a national award. She also taught multimedia journalism at Arizona State University. In 2021 she earned a Master of Science in Communications with a journalism innovation specialization from Syracuse University.

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Chelsea Wilkerson, MBA
CEO, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida

Since joining Girl Scouts in 2016, Chelsea Wilkerson has led the council in a business transformation initiative, advancing the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida as a leading 21st century organization dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. She is an accomplished, performance-driven non-profit professional experienced in building organizational capacity and funding stability. 

Prior to joining Girl Scouts, Chelsea spent over a decade serving in various leadership roles within the foster care and child welfare system in Miami-Dade County, including Executive Director at Casa Valentina and Director of External Affairs and Program Innovation at Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe.  Through project development and grant procurement, she successfully implemented complex, multi-million-dollar initiatives to improve outcomes for children and families with child welfare involvement. 

In addition to her professional endeavors, Ms. Wilkerson is the proud mother of two school aged children.  She is an active community volunteer, currently serving as board chair for Code/Art and PTA board member at Palmetto Elementary School.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from Smith College and an MBA from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN.


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