Board Members & Staff

LaDessa Mitchell, MBA

LaDessa Mitchell, MBA

Executive Director

LaDessa began serving as a youth mentor over 13 years ago while attending college in Tallahassee, Florida. She has worked with various age groups, programs, and populations throughout her tenure. She has an extensive history of working with nonprofit organizations as a volunteer and in various leadership capacities throughout the Tampa Bay Area.

In 2006, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics from Florida State University and three minors: Business, Psychology, and Religion. She graduated from The University of Tampa in 2010 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management. In addition to receiving the Florida Bright Futures Medallion Scholarship, Mrs. Mitchell received scholarships from Miss Tallahassee USA 2004 pageant for her volunteer work and from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in 2008.

She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of South Florida as a recipient of the 2016-2017 Dr. Israel “Ike” Tribble, Jr. Scholarship, the 2016-2017 Leslie C. Robins Dean’s Excellence Scholarship Award, and the 2016-2017 USF Graduate Student Success Fellowship.

Our Board of Directors is comprised of parents, college alumni, business and civic leaders in the Greater Tampa Bay area. We aim to attract members from different professions and varying economic, ethnic and academic backgrounds, particularly those who have first-hand experience with higher education. In addition to their expertise, nominees are selected based on their genuine interests in. and commitment to, the mission and vision of MERGE Inc.

2016 – 2018 Governing Board Members 

Leslie Evans, Ed.S.
School Psychologist | School District of Hillsborough County

Dana Holmes-Jenkins, MOS
Consultant | D & K Systems Consulting, Inc.

Jeffrey Mitchell, M.S. Ed.
School Principal | West University Charter High School       

Ricardo Smith, Jr., M.S.
Detention Sergeant | Hillsborough County Sheriff s Office

2016 – 2018 Advisory Board Members

Theresa Skipper, M.P.H.
Independent Consultant

Vernetta Williams, Ph. D.
Chrysalis Consulting LLC


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