CAROLYN FORD - Gretna
Carolyn Ford is the founder and Executive Director of the North Florida Educational Development Corporation, based in Gretna, the chairperson of Florida Black Chambers of Commerce and the former mayor of Quincy, Florida. She is a former teacher in Gadsden County and a former instructor at Florida State University. In addition, she has served as program supervisor at Apalachee Community Mental Health Service, Inc.
At the North Florida Educational Development Corporation, Ms. Ford manages several community-based programs: the Jericho Organizing Project; the Retro-Fix Program, which employs youth and low-income workers while providing repair services to low-income homeowners, especially senior citizens; the Entrepreneurial Program for middle- and high-school students at W.S. Stevens School; and Home Buyers Clubs offering counseling and support for low-income residents seeking mortgages.
North Florida Educational Corporation also is involved in housing programs through SouthSprings, the Rural Home Loan Partnership, Hamilton Places and the WellSpring Initiative.
Ms. Ford earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida A&M University and a specialist degree in Counseling and Human Systems at Florida State University.
FELY CURVA, Ph.D. – Tallahassee
Fely Curva, Ph.D. is principal partner at Curva and Associates, a private consulting firm, located in Tallahassee. She currently serves as the Coordinator of the Budd Bell Clearinghouse on Human Services (an advocacy organization that brings to bear some 150 health, human services, and educational organizations on current legislative issues). Her areas of technical expertise include research and evaluation, lobbying and advocacy, grant writing, staff development and training. Dr. Curva served as a Legislative Analyst with the Florida House of Representatives for five years with responsibilities for legislation relating to aging, adult services, mental health and substance abuse. She has authored numerous publications and reports.
Curva and Associates has also been conducting research and evaluation activities in the field of prevention and school-based health education programs for the past 13 years.
Dr. Curva received her Ph.D. from the Florida State University, Department in Reading and Multilingual/Multicultural Education; a Masters of Science degree in Education and Research and Evaluation; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Valdosta State College.
ALPHONSO MAYFIELD - West Palm Beach
Alphonso Mayfield has served as President of Service Employees International Union, Florida Public Services Union, since May 2009, managing day-to-day operations of the 5,000-member union statewide. In 2007-08 he worked for S.E.I.U. in St. Louis, Mo., as Executive Director of Missourians for Quality Home Care and State Director of S.E.I.U. Missouri Home Care. He developed the plan and handled day-to-day activities to collect 200,000 signatures to quality the Quality Home Care Act for the ballot. Alphonso also helped write the act.
He previously worked for S.E.I.U. in Columbus, Ohio, and Baltimore, Md.
A graduate of Alcorn State University in Lorman, Ms., and a graduate student at Jackson State University, Alphonso also has worked in the Mississippi Office of the Governor and the Mississippi Office of the Attorney General. In addition to political campaign positions, he worked for the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services for more than two years.