Our Board

Tequena Akintonde

SPPF Board Member

Expertise: Education, Reading and Early Learning

Title: Educator

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Creative Thinking or Optimism- I like finding new ways to approach situations, and I believe that we can find a way to be successful, whether that means refining ourselves or re-defining success.

Favorite Book: Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone Detective Series

Favorite Quote: “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Shel Silverstein


Laura Askew

Secretary of the SPPF Board

Expertise: Project Management for Innovation – I manage large, cross-functional teams to bring new product innovation to life.

Title: R&D – Global Innovation Process Manager, Transitions Optical, SPPF Board Secretary

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Lead by example – I do Math like a girl, try to keep up. 🙂

Favorite Book: Still searching for the one…. I love adventure fiction.

Favorite Quote: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”.

Mariana Bonow

SPPF Board Member

Expertise: Finance and Accounting for 15+ in financial reporting and operations within publicly traded, start-up, and global organizations. Proven ability to lead transformation, increase efficiency and develop financial controls and processes.

Title: Director, Accounting

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Perseverance! Stick to it and you can do anything!

Favorite Book: Educated by Tara Westover

Favorite Quote: “Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.”
– Maya Angelou

Mario Farias

Board Vice Chair

Expertise:  Marios’s Consulting Group specializes in multinational business development strategies for start ups, relocations and expansions. Working extensively with several municipal economic development divisions and assisting with market placement.

Title:  CEO-Managing Partner at Farias Consulting Group

Vivian Fueyo
Expertise: Teacher training, curriculum development, and educational program development to help low-performing students achieve
Title: Founding Dean and Professor of Childhood Education Emerita, USF St. Petersburg College of Education
M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Attribute: Persistence and a Positive attitude. I believe that what matters most is to set high expectations for oneself and to persist until one succeeds.
Favorite Book: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Favorite Quote: “The time is always right to do what is right.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lisset Hanewicz

Board Chair

Expertise: Law – former State and Federal prosecutor – over 15 years’ experience in civil and criminal law

Title: Attorney; President of Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association; co-founder of Friends of Woodlawn Elementary

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Practical, analytical and creative thinking – I think it is important to be practical when analyzing issues and use creativity in finding solutions

Favorite Book: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Favorite Quote: “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Linda Lerner
Expertise: Education, Knowledge of community organizations and governmental entities, Advocacy.
Title: Retired Pinellas County School Board Member
M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: A little progress every day adds up to big results.
Favorite Book: I have many favorite books and cannot choose one. However I especially like historical novels.
Favorite Quote: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Kimberly McMillon
Expertise: CPA, Florida, Institute of Management Accountant.
M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: “To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” (Tony Dorsett)
Favorite Book: “The Four Agreements” – Don Miguel Ruiz
Favorite Quote: “Life is hard” — Scott Peck
Kaley Johnson

Expertise: Law practice primarily focusing on commercial real estate.

Title: Attorney

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Desire to learn and improve and taking one thing at time to accomplish goals.

Favorite Book: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Favorite Quote: You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated. – Maya Angelou

Cosey Proctor Jr.

Expertise: K-12 Education

Title: Teacher/Entrepreneur

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Humor is a great tool for deflection

Favorite Book: The Poverty Problem by Horacio Sanchez

Favorite Quote: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly” – Langston Hughes

Bill Puller

CoFounder and Treasurer of the SPPF Board

Expertise: Fiscal Management/Accounting – I’ve managed large departments with staffing of 20- 30 people responsible for budget development and fiscal management, within Pinellas County Government –utilities and law enforcement. I’ve served in Financial Leadership roles for a number of nonprofit organizations (fraternity, church, Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc., etc)

Title: CoFounder & Treasurer of SPPF

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Don’t sweat the small stuff –I like to keep progressing, it’s the best way to accomplish something.

Favorite Book: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

Favorite Quote: “Don’t Kill a Good Idea with Perfection” Mordecai Walker

Virginia Valenote

Expertise: Insurance industry – I worked 25 years in the managed care industry. I built networks of physicians for insurance companies.

Title: Owner –I own my consulting business. I am a managed care advocate for physicians.

M.A.S.T.R. Kids Attribute: Self esteem- I will learn that I can do anything through education! I am the best at what I do!

Favorite Book: “Diary of Anne Frank”

Favorite Quote: “The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.” Mother Teresa

Ways You Can Help


Sponsor a student for the summer $2000; pay for a writing class $50. Anything you can afford helps us close the achievement gap for students!


Sponsor a student for the summer $2000; pay for a writing class $50. Anything you can afford helps us close the achievement gap for students!

Become a Partner

Sponsor a student for the summer $2000; pay for a writing class $50. Anything you can afford helps us close the achievement gap for students!

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Keisha Snead

SPPF Academic Leader

B.S. in Elementary Education,Cum Laude, FAMU 1996

I have served 24 years within the Elementary school setting in various instructional roles.  I have also served as the Mentor Coordinator for new and returning teachers. 

I have led professional development for faculty at several schools within Pinellas County.  I have coached colleagues in the understanding and delivery of the standards of reading and writing.  My love for learning is what drives my passion for teaching.  When I look into the eyes of a scholar who needs me, that is where I find my passion!