Listee Features — January 2023


Born in Honduras, Nanci E. Flores immigrated to the United States with her family when she was just 9 years old. After graduating with a diploma from Woodrow Wilson High School, she went on to complete vocational coursework at the Computer Training Center and achieved certification as a community health worker from the City College of San Francisco. She began her career in 2001 as a patient services representative with the California Pacific Medical Center Mission Bernal Campus & Orthopedic Institute, previously known as the St. Luke’s Campus. Remaining in this role for a decade, Ms. Flores joined the San Francisco Human Services Agency in 2012, where she served as a senior bilingual food stamp and eligibility worker until 2021.

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Laurie J. James embarked on her professional journey by earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1983. In the early years of her career, she developed her business acumen through such positions as office manager with KLFY TV, teller with the Louisiana USA Federal Credit Union and front office manager for Panavision. In 1986, she became the president of Just Your Type, Inc., where she excelled until 2004. Concurrently, she helped to co-found Career Directors International in 2000. Serving as their first president until 2005, Ms. James continues to contribute to Career Directors International as an active member. In 2005, Ms. James established herself as a career image coach, independent sales

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Dr. Suzanne Strohl embarked on her professional journey by earning a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Marymount University in 1995. During this time, she interned with the United States Department of the Army and did early work as a general engineer with the night vision and electronic sensors laboratory at Fort Belvoir. Her specialty was in lasers and electro-optics, and she worked on various weapons systems, including tanks and missiles. In 1995, she became the division chief for instrumentation at the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command and achieved her Master of Science in systems engineering from the University of Virginia in 2002. From 2004 to 2005, Dr. Strohl worked as a general engineer and team chief for

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Born in El Paso, Texas, Andrea M. Contin-Chesek spent her early years traveling internationally. She embarked on her professional journey at Asociacion Escuela Lincoln, also known as the American International School of Buenos Aires-Lincoln School, in Argentina. After graduating with a diploma, she went on to matriculate at John Cabot University, an American university in Rome, Italy, earning a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in psychology, magna cum laude, in 2001. Ms. Contin-Chesek began practicing Pilates upon her return to the United States in 2003, recalling that she was instantly captivated upon taking her very first Pilates class. Having always turned to physical fitness to manage her health needs, be it stress, anxiety, depression or something else, Ms. Contin-Chesek

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Having accrued nearly three decades of excellence in childcare development, Mollie N. Ball is highly regarded for her skill and passion in the childcare industry. Since 2005, she has excelled as the owner and director of A Precious 1 Childcare in Midland, Texas. For the past 18 years, she has focused her efforts on providing care for children ages 0 to 2 years old and managing her staff, ensuring the children and employees all have the resources they need to succeed. To put parents at ease, she shares with them, “We provide a safe, quality, and caring environment where your child is a precious one.” The fruition of Ms. Ball’s childcare business began in her own home. Ultimately, she felt

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Linda Fostek


A devoted entrepreneur and advocate, Linda Fostek has excelled as the founder of The Crisis Planner, a disaster planning system that helps individuals get off the “worry-go-round” when faced with life’s unexpected happenings. Established in 2014, the mission of the one-stop shop is to gather different resources in one convenient location and to empower people with peace of mind in the face of life’s disasters. Additionally, The Crisis Planner will help people develop fail-safes for their loved ones to help their families avoid chaos and surprises in the wake of their passing or any disaster life or mother nature delivers. Through her work with The Crisis Planner, Ms. Fostek is able to pay tribute to her father’s legacy. Before his

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Specializing in foreign language education, Otilia Lucila Salmon-Johnson has earned distinction as a notable educator over the course of her four-decade-long career. For the past 34 years, she has excelled as an associate professor for the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, focusing her efforts on teaching English as a second language courses, as well as coordinating the program for Spanish and French language studies. She primarily teaches young people or paraprofessionals who are working as teaching assistants. As an extension of language education, Dr. Salmon also teaches her students about different cultures from around the world. In addition, she enriches them in a program called Ladder of Success. For Dr. Salmon, no culture is greater than another, as

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Melissa Helton


Distinguished for her years of experience in strategic planning and the gaming and hospitality industry, Melissa G. Helton has found vast success in a career spanning nearly 25 years. Since 2020, she has excelled as the president and general manager of FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing in Collinsville, Illinois. Among her responsibilities in her role spanning finance and business operations, she oversees general operations, leads executive meetings, liaises with jockeys and administers to horses after races. Earlier in her professional journey, between 2018 and 2020, Ms. Helton served as senior vice president of finance for Del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York. She has also been director of finance operations for Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville,

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Karen S. Charleston, MBA, is a retired information technology architect and project manager celebrating more than 30 years of expertise in her field. Throughout her professional career, she developed a reputation for excellence in enterprise architecture for clients in both the public and private sectors, including open group architecture framework and organizational information technology improvement and overhaul projects. Much of Ms. Charleston’s career was spent working in public service for the United States government, and she retired in 2022 as the chief enterprise architect for the United States Forest Service. She joined the United States Forest Service in 2009 and, over the next 13 years, managed a team of other enterprise architects to analyze and improve the branch’s information technology

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Holding considerable expertise in emotional and spiritual support, mental health, trauma and crisis, the Rev. Dr. Patricia Ann Moody Ray has excelled as a mental health chaplain at the Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage since 2010. In this role, she provides support for patients, families and friends in the emergency room, surgery department, mental health unit and more. She is also involved in psychological evaluations, facilitates meetings for teenagers and adults at the Crisis Recovery Center and conducts flag ceremonies for the families of organ donors. Notably, she is one of the few chaplains who provide telehealth services. Prior to entering the field of health care, the Rev. Dr. Ray spent more than 35 years as a services representative

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