Founder and President
Susan Johnson of Winter Park is the Founder and President of Support Our Scholars (SOS), established in 2007. Their motto is, “Changing Women’s Lives One Degree at a Time” and their mission is to support local underprivileged young women with extraordinary academic credentials graduate college. This organization provides its scholars with a mentor, a $10,000 stipend and everything she may need to be successful in college. From that small beginning ten short years ago, SOS has supported thirteen college graduates while 34 more are currently working toward their college diplomas.
Susan holds a Doctorate of Humanities from Western Maryland College. She is married to baseball great, Davey Johnson, and they have been blessed with four children and six grandchildren.
Kym Merrill re-joined the SOS Board in January 2014. She was one of the original founding Board members of the Foundation for Success, now known as SOS. During her time on the Board, Kym served as the Treasurer. She is a graduate of The University of Alabama with a BA in Accounting. Kym was the Chief Financial Officer for Schenck Company for thirty years and is currently the Chief Operating Office at World Food, LLC. She currently resides in Orlando with her husband Woody. During her spare time, she loves going to the beach, weight training and reading.
Christi Ashby is the editor and publisher of Orange Appeal, a magazine for women she founded in 2008 to create a sense of community and promote local women, their interests and non-profit organizations. Prior to that she developed Orlando Leisure and was the editor and publisher for nine years. She founded the Orlando Women’s Conference in 2011 with her daughter, Kate Slentz.
Christi is celebrating 32 years as a publishing and media professional this year having managed and operated more than 10 different national and regional publications. A proud graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism, she was on the board of directors of the Florida Magazine Association for 12 years, serving as president of the organization twice.
She has assisted dozens of non-profit organizations and has served on the boards of Shepherd’s Hope (chair), the Central Florida Women’s League and Orlando Ballet (vice-chair), the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Circle, Florida Hospital Foundation (chair) as well as the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Circle
She was awarded the 2011 Media Award from H.O.P.E., 2010 Women’s Executive Council Achievement Award, 2011 Seminole State College Alumni of Distinction and the Women’s Resource Center Summit Award in 2016. Christi has been married to her husband Rob for 35 years and has two children, Nick and Kate, and two grandchildren.
Andrea Batchelor is a public relations consultant and community volunteer. She serves on numerous nonprofit boards and committees in Central Florida community. Andrea is a retired journalist who anchored and reported the evening news at the NBC affiliate in Orlando for nearly 15 years. Along with serving on the board at Support Our Scholars, Andrea mentors one of our young women. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, Dick Batchelor. They are the parents of three grown sons.
Ginny has been working in higher education for almost a decade. Currently she is working at the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities researching barriers and bridges in STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as creating a STEM ecosystem within the state of Florida. Additionally, she teaches student success courses and leadership courses at the University of Central Florida. Ginny has served as a mentor for SOS since 2013. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Central Florida and her bachelor and master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
Chocky Burks - Broker, President / Direct: 407-493-2748 / Chocky@prpfl.com /Renowned real estate professional Chocky Burks has cemented her success as a high-end luxury property specialist with unparalleled knowledge of her market. Beginning her 25+-year real estate career at a Sotheby’s International Realty in the residential and new home division, Chocky quickly excelled in her field. She is recognized consistently in the top one percent of Realtors in Central Florida. The opportunity to partner and create a luxury boutique presented itself. Chocky embraced it and is now the Broker and Co-Founder of Premier Realty Partners. Chocky and her partners have taken their business to unprecedented levels of success, utilizing exceptional service and professionalism. Active in the community Chocky served on the Board, and is long time member, of the Council of 101, fund raising arm of the Orlando Museum of Art. She supports Freedom Ride and Support Our Scholars.
Jen Ferguson is the founder and CEO of Symphony Financial Team, a concierge financial planning firm committed to redefining financial service. As a Trusted Advisor with over 28 years of experience, Jen works to ensure clients’ financial homes are in order, so they can focus more time on what is most important in their lives. In addition to certification as a Certified Financial Planner ™, Jen also holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida.
Jen is happily married to James G. Vickaryous, an attorney in Central Florida, and they are the proud parents of three children. With a passion for community, education and empowering women, Jen is proud to serve Support Our Scholars as both a board member and mentor.
Chenenne Gonzalez is the founder of the CWG Retail Group; a brand strategy consulting firm specializing in the retail industry in Windermere, FL.
Chenenne has been in the fashion industry for over sixteen years. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she began her career in Retail Operations at Gap Inc. in San Francisco in the early 2000’s. Immersed in the vibrant fashion scene, Chenenne developed an innate ability to spot upcoming trends based on her travels, love of all things pop culture and understanding of an emerging accessories market. Her love of accessories brought her to Henri Bendel in New York City, where quickly climbed the ranks to Senior Accessories Buyer searching tirelessly for emerging accessory designers that would bring a fresh perspective to the Henri Bendel and thus launched the careers of such notable brands as Natasha hair accessories, Love Quotes scarves and countless others. Chenenne was also part of the Henri Bendel concept store team and helped to develop, open and market the expansion of Henri Bendel branded stores across the United States.
In 20011, Chenenne left her position as Director of Merchandising at Juicy Couture and relocated back to Orlando, FL. where she became the mother of 3 rambunctious toddlers and started the CWG Retail Group where she continues her ability to nurture emerging talent and develop strong brands.
Kimberley Maxie Guilfoy
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Kim spent almost 20 years working for American Express. Starting in Washington DC, she moved around the country in various roles from Marketing, Product Development, Business Development and Client Management. Kim honed her skills in people leadership and relationship building as a Director, Client Management in the Business Travel division.
In 2009 Kim left her position at American Express, prior to the birth of her second child, only to return in 2010 as a consultant. In 2011, she and her family relocated to Orlando, Florida where she has since been focused on raising her 2 children aged 9 and 7. She is now choosing to focus her energy on working with organizations like SOS to nurture and support our youth.
Hope Newsome serves as general counsel for Triloma Financial Group and chief compliance officer for Triloma Energy Advisors. In these roles, she is responsible for managing all the compliance programs for the advisor to the Triloma EIG Energy Income Funds, as well as the legal, compliance and risk programs of the firm.
Hope joined Triloma with more than 10 years of experience providing compliance and legal advice to financial institutions. Hope received her B.A. degree in Political Science from Spelman College and her Juris Doctorate from Barry University School of Law. She also holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 53 and 66 registrations. She is also a member of the Florida Bar Association. In 2014, Hope received the First Chair Award for "Top Compliance Counsel."
Myla Remer is a licensed CPA and member of AICPA with over a decade of experience in public accounting, specializing in audit and attestation services. A native of the former Soviet Union, Myla is fluent in Russian and has a Masters in Biophysics from Kharkov State University in Ukraine. After receiving her MBA in accounting, with honors, from Hawaii Pacific University, she began her public accounting career with a Big Four firm. She joined Rosenfield & Company in 2011, was promoted to Firm Leader in 2012 and became the firm's first female partner in 2017.
She is happily married to her husband, David, an attorney. Together they share two beautiful sons. Myla has a passion for family and helping others in achieving equality for education.
Teresa M. Walsh is the Program Manager and Professor of Accounting at Seminole State College of Florida and previously taught at other public and private colleges. She previously had been a CPA for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and other companies/firms with expertise in auditing, compliance and tax issues. She has been President of the Florida Association of Accounting Educators for two years and is the current Treasurer. She has served on the Seminole State College Foundation Board and currently serves on the Board of the not-for-profit, Support Our Scholars. She was selected for inclusion in the 8th and 9th edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 2003 and 2004. In addition, she has been published nationally and regionally on various accounting and tax related matters. She is a current member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, past member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.