Laurie Meggesin joined FCAN in 2013 as its executive director to implement the organization’s first strategic plan. A longtime practicing attorney and partner with a national law firm prior to joining FCAN, Laurie started her career as an English teacher and job skills coach serving recent immigrants working to assimilate into the American workforce. A passionate believer in the power of collaboration, Laurie has also served as a community development manager with a major nonprofit organization to advance innovative multi-sector partnerships serving low-income youth. Laurie holds a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in English from Columbia College Chicago. Outside of FCAN, Laurie loves exploring Florida’s natural wonders by camping, kayaking, and hiking with her husband and their dogs.
Assistant Director for Network Partnerships
Kathy McDonald joined FCAN in 2016. Kathy supports the network of LCANs throughout the state and contributes to the development of new LCANs by facilitating the LCAN learning community. Kathy has supported the education and career development of adult learners for 17 years. She is an experienced workshop leader and speaker who has developed adult learning programs for numerous organizations including Accenture, PwC, the City of Chicago, Eckerd College, and the Hillsborough Education Foundation. Kathy holds an MBA from Northwestern University, a BS in Business Management from Southern Illinois University, is certified as a leadership coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, is a Certified Scrum Master from the Agile Scrum Alliance, and holds an Advanced Professional Certificate in Internet Marketing from the University of San Francisco. Now an empty nester, Kathy enjoys time with her husband John and their 3 dogs, as well as gardening and traveling.
Assistant Director for Research and Policy
Kimberly Lent joined FCAN in 2016. Her research work focuses on K-12 and higher education data and policy analysis, while also providing data technical assistance to FCAN partners. She has experience in community-based participatory research and program evaluation in public health and K-12 education settings. Kimberly holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a certificate in public affairs and nonprofit management from University of Florida, a master’s degree in public health from University of South Florida, and is currently earning a doctorate in measurement and evaluation from University of South Florida’s College of Education. Kimberly enjoys exploring the Tampa Bay area with her family, friends, and German Shepherd-mixes.
LaVerne Handfield joined FCAN in 2019. LaVerne manages FCAN’s College Ready Florida statewide initiatives and collaborates with FCAN partners to assess community needs. She previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA working on implementing college access and success programs in Fort Dodge, Iowa. LaVerne holds two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and public health from the University of South Florida. She also enjoys going on road trips with her sister and traveling with her family.
John Ceballos joined FCAN in 2017. John manages FCAN’s communications strategies and social media pages, fields media requests, and produces content for the organization’s website, blog, and e-newsletter highlighting the work of FCAN’s partners. Prior to joining FCAN, John spent more than a decade working as a newspaper reporter for The Tampa Tribune and The Ledger in Lakeland. John holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. John also enjoys swing dancing and is proud papa to three corgis and one tortoise.
Grace Moseley joined FCAN in 2019. She supports FCAN policy and advocacy work by creating educational materials and building relationships with decision-makers. Prior to joining FCAN, Grace served as a legislative assistant in the Florida House of Representatives. Grace holds two bachelor’s degrees in political science and creative writing from the Florida State University. She is a Tampa Bay native and enjoys participating in various community events throughout the bay.
Kristen Hengtgen joined FCAN in 2020. Her work focuses on K-12 and higher education data and research. She has experience in critical qualitative and historical research in both K-12 and higher education settings. Prior to joining FCAN, Kristen was an academic advisor at Indiana University. Kristen holds bachelor’s degrees in history and secondary education from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in history and philosophy of education from Indiana University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Indiana University. She hails from the Detroit area and enjoys fresh air, a good workout, and experimenting with new recipes.
Jolanda Thompson joined FCAN in 2019. She is a skilled administrative assistant with over 17 years of experience supporting executive-level positions in both corporations and higher education. Jolanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwood University. Prior to joining the civilian workforce, Jolanda was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a Logistics Planner and retired as a Chief Master Sergeant with 23 years of honorable service. Her last tour of duty brought her to the Tampa Bay area, where she enjoys spending quality time with her husband Kevin, two daughters, and two sweet guinea pigs.