Meet Our Board
Our Board Of Directors
Founder and CEO
- Chief Services Officer for CNL Financial Group.
- Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University.
- Responsible for the alignment of CNL Financial Group’s strategy, brand, culture and leadership to accelerate organizational performance.
- Member of the CNL Financial Group Board of Directors.
- Served as an elder for First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, as a board member for Lifework Leadership and as an advisory board member for the Soderquist Center for Leadership & Ethics.
- Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Grace Medical Home, Board of Directors for LIFT Orlando, and a Board Member of James Madison Institute.
- Serves on the Advisory Board for The Collaborative Orlando.
- Owner and Managing Partner of Heatwole Law Firm, P.A. delivering Compassionate Justice ® to clients
- Practices commercial/business litigation and family law (including divorces, paternity, family disputes, and Pre-Nup/Post-Nup Agreements).
- Graduated in 2003 with a J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law With Honors and in 2000 with a B.A. from the University of Florida with High Honors.
- Past-President of the Orange County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section.
- Member of the Christian Legal Society.
- Volunteers her time as a Guardian ad Litem to children in need.
- Lifework Leadership Orlando Alumni.
- Attends ReThink Life Church in Orlando.
- Partner in the international law firm of Holland & Knight LLP.
- Holds a law degree from the University of Florida College of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Florida, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.
- Represents landlords and tenants in the commercial leasing of shopping centers and out parcels, restaurants, high-rise office buildings, mixed-use projects, raw land, and industrial/warehouse facilities.
- Represents buyers, developers, and sellers in the acquisition, development (including infrastructure development), and disposition of commercial properties; and lenders and borrowers in connection with the acquisition, construction, and permanent financing and re-financing of commercial properties.
- Serves on the board for the Central Florida YMCA and the the Bergstrom Board (the advisory board to the real estate college at UF).
- Held various board positions with the Central Florida Gator Club, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), the Orlando Day Nursery, Shepherd’s Hope, Winter Park YMCA and United Arts of Central Florida.
- SVP Director of Human Resources for Cogent Bank
- Held leadership positions in Human Resources in a variety of industries over the past 31 years
- Experience encompasses a broad range of Human Resource disciplines such as recruitment, performance management, employment, employee relations, compensation & benefits administration, training, performance consulting, coaching, and project management
- MBA from the University of Central Florida and a BA in Economics from Agnes Scott College
- Certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and an SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)
- Retired Lieutenant Colonel, from the United States Army, where she served faithfully for 30 years.
- Founder and CEO of Women Connect, established in 2005, as an opportunity for women to connect once a month, to discuss various issues and network with other women.
- An ordained minister, author, counselor, motivational/inspirational speaker.
- Founder and CEO of 501c3 Non-profit organization called Enough International Inc., committed to living and demonstrating her life’s work that was divinely given to her by God.
- Led by God to start providing two types of sessions for Women Connect, one for the 16 to 20-year-old population and the second session for women 30 and above.
- Founder and CEO of a financial planning firm for the past 33 years.
- Recognized as one of the top 20 firms by the OBJ and one of the top 10 women in the nation for her broker-dealer.
- Provides financial planning advice to diverse clients, including teachers, engineers, professionals, pre-retirees and retirees, divorcees, and widows.
- Since her husband passed of a heart attack 6/2022 while they were in Costa Rica, she is even more involved with The Modern Widows Club and The American Heart Association.
- Passionate about foster care, she and her late husband raised 2 teenage girls through the foster care system along with their own two. All 4 are “adulting well”.
- Participates in various professional and community organizations, including FEW, 100 Women Strong, Central Florida Spokes, the National Association of Divorce Professionals, and the Financial Planning Association.
Elise Vasquez Warner
- Began career at Walmart in 1995 as an hourly associate and quickly moved up the ranks, serving as Assistant Manager, Co-Manager, and Store Manager.
- Promoted to Regional Operations Support Director for California and later relocated to Orange County, California to serve as District Manager.
- Graduated from Walmart Leadership Academy and named Vice President & Regional General Manager for the State of Alabama and Florida Panhandle, followed by five years in the same position in South Florida.
- Currently serves as Vice President & Regional General Manager of Central Florida, overseeing 102 stores and approximately 35,000 associates.
- Serves on various boards, including the American Red Cross and Meals on Wheels, and is an active member of The International Women’s Forum and her children’s school community.
- Named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business in 2018 by Fortune magazine.
- Co-owner and managing partner of Compass Law, specializing in family law-related needs, including dissolution of marriage, adoption, and dependency.
- Graduated from the University of Central Florida’s Burnett Honors College with bachelor degrees in Political Science and Philosophy and went on to receive a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida College of Law.
- Former felony prosecutor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
- Member of the Christian Legal Society, Orange County Bar Association, Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers.
Serves and attends Grace Church in Orlando.
- Teaches Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
- Enjoys reading, the beach, gardening and spending time with her husband and three kids.
Jo Newell is a multi-passionate business executive and entrepreneur. She is the Founder & CEO of Monday Strategies, a consulting firm focusing on supporting and elevating the business community, and the Cofounder of Bridge 2 Resilience, a new nonprofit designed to address mental wellness and accessibility for youth in Orlando.
• She started her career in early childhood education and quickly pivoted to business development and sales during the economic downturn of 2008. She found her passion for scaling businesses when she served as the Vice President of Operations & Sales at NLS Worldwide.
• After leaving the corporate world, Jo began her nonprofit journey to fulfill her passion and quest for helping others at The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. Through her success at the Commission, Jo joined the Orlando Regional Chamber, a core component of the Partnership. In January 2021, she became the first Black woman to lead the Chamber in its 100+ year history.
• Jo is an advocate and steward of women’s initiatives. In 2020 she launched the Orlando Economic Partnership’s All Women Empowered (AWE) program. Through the work of AWE, she spearheaded the first AWE Impact Forum which is now one of the annual community events for women in our region.
• Jo has been an honoree of Onyx Magazine’s Women on the Move, Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and Orlando Magazine’s Women of the Year. She was also featured in the i4 Business Magazine, Orlando Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful People, and Orange Appeal Magazine’s List of Women to Watch.
• An active leader in her community, Jo served as the first Board Chair of From Outside In and previously sat on Orange County Government’s MWBE Committee and the board of United Arts of Central Florida. She is currently the board chair of WholeLife Church and serves on the boards of Tech Sassy Girlz, J4 Leaders, and Cornerstone Hospice Foundation. Jo was also the co-chair of the Tech Sassy Girlz Fundraising Committee and co-chaired the panel for United Arts of Central Florida’s 2023 Operating Support Grants.
- Born and raised in Orlando, Megan Reed is a proud native of the Sunshine State.
- Graduated with an undergraduate degree in Marketing from Andrews University in 2015.
- Obtained her MBA from Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in 2021.
- Started her marketing career in the consumer product goods industry, working for the renowned Nutella and Ferrero Rocher brands under Ferrero USA.
- Continued her passion for food at Darden Restaurants, serving as a Brand Manager for LongHorn Steakhouse.
- Actively supports the community through board membership with Edible Education Experience and Well Activity Center.
- Enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, exploring new cities, and indulging in her favorite restaurants.