Our 2022 Assembly is cancelled due to COVID
Dr. Dennis Ray is Chair of the Florida Chautauqua Center, Inc. He is a retired professor of management from Mississippi State University where he served as Head of the Management Department. His teaching career also included the University of Florida and the University of Alabama. Dennis attended public schools in DeFuniak Springs from the first grade through the twelfth. He received his B.S.B.A., M.B.A and Ph.D. in economics and industrial management from the University of Florida and served honorably in the US Navy for four years. His practical experience includes extensive consulting work with several major American companies and the US Federal Government. In recognition of his contribution to management theory and the management discipline, Dennis was voted a Fellow by the prestigious Fellows group of the Academy of Management. He is the founding editor of the internationally recognized Journal of Management. Since retiring and moving back to his hometown, Dennis has been active in numerous community service organizations, city government, preservation efforts, and local businesses.
Dennis Ray, Ph.D.
For more than 35 years, Cathy has been providing accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax return preparation services for individuals and small businesses. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Campbellsville College in Campbellsville, Kentucky in 1977 with majors in mathematics and sociology. in 1980, she added a major in accounting from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Since obtaining her CPA license in 1984, Cathy has continuously worked in either public accounting or industry (or both) giving her a wide diversity of experience to offer her clients. Cathy is a licensed CPA in both Florida and Kentucky and has also achieved CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation. She is an active member of the AICP (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and the FICPA (Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants). In November of 2012, Cathy relocated from Corbin, Kentucky to DeFuniak Springs, Florida and opened her office on Circle Drive where she serves clients in several states in addition to those in Florida and Kentucky. She and her husband Glenn live in Mossy Head, Florida. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.
Mary Catherine Disney, CPA, CGMA
Mr. Thomas Cloud is an attorney and historian, has practiced law in Florida for four decades primarily handling utilities, environmental, state and local government, land use and administrative matters. He has been Chairman of the Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Section and President of the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association. He is Board-certified by the Florida Bar in City, County, and Local Government Law. He has served as general and special counsel to over 100 cities and counties throughout Florida, the Florida League of Cities, the Space Coast League of Cities, and is City Attorney to the City of Wauchula, Polk City, and the City of Fort Meade, as well as General Counsel to the Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach. He has authored numerous articles and made presentations on Florida legal and historical topics to a variety of audiences around the country.
Thomas Cloud, Esq.
Mr. R. Michael (Mike) Hill is the Founder, President & CEO of PanCare of Florida, Inc. that operates federally qualified health centers (FQHC) in 10 northwest florida counties including Freeport in Waltton County. Mr. Hill also is Executive Director of the Northwest Florida and Big Bend Health Councils, which serve 18 counties in northwest Florida. Additionally, Mr. Hill served a 3- year term as a member of the National Institutes of Health’s, Council of Public Representatives. He serves as president of the Florida Association of Health Planning Agencies, representing all 11 of Florida’s legislatively mandated Health Councils that serve Florida’s 20 million residents. In addition to developing and negotiating state and federal legislation for the Certificate of Need and Healthy Kids programs, Mr. Hill has led community coalitions that successfully established Federally Qualified Community Health Centers and an indigent clinic for Florida’s Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Franklin, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Walton and Washington Counties.
Before beginning his career in healthcare Mr. Hill held several positions in Florida’s educational community, including chief lobbyist for federal and state legislative and regulatory policy activities at the Florida Association of School Administrators. Mr. Hill has received many awards for his work for a broad range of civic and professional organizations.
Mr. Hill completed undergraduate studies in social and political science and graduate studies in Public Administration (MPA) at the University of West Florida. He earned an Ed.S. in educational leadership from Florida State University. He resides in Panama City and DeFuniak Springs, Florida.
Denise Mack was the program chair for the 2019 Florida Chautauqua Assembly. She is a retired high school teacher of history and taught in District 211 schools in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, the largest high school district outside the city of Chicago. She served as a curriculum specialist master teacher for the U.S. Department of Education's Teaching American History Grant. During her tenure as a teacher she was employed as a consultant and exam reader for the College Board. Accolades include recognition from the National Society of High School Scholars Educator of Distinction, University of Chicago Best Teacher, Coca Cola Educator of the Month, Most Memorable Teacher and Golden Apple Semi-finalist along with numerous Principals' Awards. Denise received her Bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University, Masters from Northeastern Illinois University and completed post graduate work at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Currently she is an active member of Impact 100 and the Avalon Beach subdivision on in Miramar Beach where she resides with her husband, Brian Jonland. But most importantly she is the proud grandmother of three granddaughters: Makenna, Sloane and Adalind.
Ms. Lejeune is an executive leader by profession and experienced professional in policy development and implementation, organizational development, coaching and training, strategic planning, sustainability and emergency management. Her responsibilities have included managing organizations and capital projects, directing departments and staffing at all levels, preparing and submitting balanced budgets, casting vision and establishing measurable goals. She is successful in conflict management, resolving complaints, disputes and problems of service delivery; working with local media; participating with local community organizations and activities; and working with staff to facilitate personal and professional growth. Her strengths are organizational development, project management, strategic planning, communication, conflict resolution, public speaking, coaching and training.
Amy Meyer is a self-published author of “Day by Day - A Creative Guide to Living Your Best Life with Clarity, Intention & Flow.” She is a photographer, a creative entrepreneur and the creator of The Soul Shine Collective. The Soul Shine Collective’s mission is to inspire others to live their best life through challenges, coursework and workshops that can be utilized in both personal and professional settings. After a series of life altering events, including having two children under two, Amy was inspired to begin her own healing and wellness journey in the ﬁght against postpartum depression and anxiety. She uses her life experiences, creativity, gift of discernment, education and inspiration to encourage others to strive for excellence and live their most authentic life. Amy helps audiences connect deeper by determining one’s own self-worth and path for success. She earned a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations in 2005 from the University of West Florida and has more than 15 years of experience developing brand messages and strategic planning for government organizations, entertainment companies and corporate business clients to help channel their vision, develop team partnerships and direct marketing plans at local, regional and national levels. Amy calls DeFuniak Springs, Florida home where she lives with her two daughters and fur babies. “Connection makes life worth living," Amy likes to say. "I believe we each have a soul purpose and that we are meant to pursue our God-given destiny to be the light while we’re here on Earth-- to be loved, to be heard and to love others."
Chris is president of the Florida Chautauqua Association and served as program chair for the 2008-2016 assemblies and the 2020 assembly. He is a resident of DeFuniak Springs and is employed by the City of DeFuniak Springs as the City's grant writer and public information officer. Chris is an award-winning broadcast journalist with WMBB-TV, and ABC affiliate in Panama City, Florida. He grew up in Foxboro, Massachusetts and received his BA in Political Science at Georgia Southwestern College (now Georgia Southwestern State University) in 1985 in Americus, Georgia. Following his college graduation, Chris worked as a personal aide to former President Jimmy Carter at The Carter Center in Atlanta, a nonprofit, non-partisan public policy institute affiliated with Emory University. His work with the Carters has taken him Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and England.