Thank You Rolling Board Members

Champions extends a warm gratitude for the faithful service of board members who rolled off of our board in 2023. The leadership, generous expertise, and support of these volunteers has strengthened and furthered the reach of our work. We could not have done this alone. We are grateful.

Dr. Anne Gormly 

Dr. Anne Gormly began her 14-years of CFC board service in 2010. During her time, she has served as Board President, Chair of the Governance Council, and has most recently ended her service as Board Secretary. 

Professionally, Dr. Gormly had been involved in higher education for more than 40 years, serving as a professor of Psychology and later as VP for Academic Affairs at The College of New Jersey and Georgia College and State University. She was the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education from which she retired in 2012.  

Her leadership contributions to Champions for Children have been many. Several of the initiatives she has contributed to leading and developing have included the CFC strategic planning process, board self-assessment, and the Board Alumni initiative. This past year, Dr. Gormly also co-authored the successful recognition of Paul D’Agostino as a Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero. 

Of her time on the board, Dr. Gormly says, “I loved being on this board and watching Champions grow to meet community needs.” 

Honorable Richard Nielsen 

The Honorable Richard “Rick” Nielsen began his board service with Champions for Children in 2013. During his 11 years of service on CFC’s board, he served as Chair of the Governance Council and Board Secretary.  

 He has served as CFC’s in-house “expert” on bylaw interpretation and drafting and has helped to create and document several governance practices. During his service, he also presented Judge Katherine Essrig with the Brian McEwen Award for Outstanding Service to Children and Families.   

While presiding over juvenile delinquency and family law divisions of the Circuit Court, Judge Rick Nielsen (retired) observed the effects of poverty, lack of education, and poor parenting skills on the children and teenagers of Hillsborough County. Even as a sitting Judge, he was drawn to Champion’s goals of protecting children and strengthening families in our community.   

Mark Stoker

Mark Stoker began his board service with Champions for Children in 2013 and will be rolling off at the end of this year. During his time, Mark served for many years as the Treasurer. He provided critical continuity on the Finance Council and was actively involved with the Sustainability Project and Real Estate Committee.  

Mark serves as the President and CEO of Care Team Inc. He has 30 years in the commercial banking industry, and 14 years in healthcare administration and real estate development.  

Laura-Elizabeth Ware

Thank you to Laura-Elizabeth Ware who began her board service with Champions for Children in 2013. During her time, she served as Board President. She also co-launched the highly successful annual CFC Annual Inshore Fishing Classic Tournament, which just surpassed its fifth year.   

Laura-Elizabeth is the Senior Vice President for Oracle’s North America  HCM Cloud  applications  and has served 24 years with the company.   

She has served CFC with the same expertise in leadership, passion for creativity, innovation, and growth which she has carried in her career. As a mother of three boys, she has stayed committed to Champions’ programs teaching parents the life skills to promote a healthy environment for the children.  

Willisha Williams 

Thank you to Willisha Williams who began her board service with Champions for Children in 2013. Willisha is one of the few Board members who has taken leadership roles on two councils. She has served as Development Chair prior to serving as Treasurer, a position she has held for the past two years.  

Willisha is the Manager of Supplier Diversity at Tampa Electric. She has always maintained a passion for nurturing and guiding children to grow and become the best person they can be. Willisha has combined her passion for nurturing and guiding children with her professional expertise to lead Champions through her service on the Board of Directors.  

Of her service on the board, Willisha says, “This Board has been near and dear to me for over a decade.  It has truly been an honor to participate in the strategic planning, growth and development of the agency throughout my time of service.  Service on the Board has also strengthened my personal and career development in ways unimaginable, for which I am eternally grateful.  Cheers to continued success, onward and upward!” 

Dianne Jacob, transitioning to Immediate Past Chair

Thank you to Dianne Jacob for her faithful and committed service to the CFC Board of Directors since 2021. In 2022, she became the board chair for a two-year term. During her time as chair, Dianne has expanded CFC’s relationships with key donors. She has also worked to develop key community partnerships such as our new Thrive by Five partnership with the Community Foundation.   

Dianne has achieved a vice president level in five professions including commercial interior design, commercial real estate, the construction industry, and banking.  We are grateful to her for bringing her expertise and leadership to Champions for Children and for the tremendous amount of growth she has contributed to our organization and community.  

Dianne will continue to serve on the board as Immediate Past Chair as Champions welcomes Dr. Bonnie Saks as incoming chair.  

For more information on the CFC board and leadership members, visit our leadership page online.