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Board of Directors

The Jessica Green Foundation is comprised of parents of children with autism along with professionals within the community. The one thing that we all have in common is that we are touched by autism and have a genuine interest in making a difference in the lives of children and individuals affected.

Helen Green
Founder/Executive Director

A native of Los Angeles, Helen has called Jacksonville home since she was 8 months old.  As a young girl, Helen joined Girl Scouts which would ultimately lead her to become a philanthropist early on in her life as it allowed her to serve the community due to all the badges she had to earn.  She remembers getting a food and clothing drive together to give to the needy and helping the elderly in the community with their meals, cleaning their homes, planting a neighborhood garden, and anything she could do for the humanity of people.  At that point, it wasn’t just about earning badges but getting involved to do more.

Helen worked at the University of North Florida in the College of Education as an Administrative Assistant to the Chairman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the College of Arts and Sciences as an Administrative Assistant to the Chairman for the Department of Political Science, Sociology, and Criminal Justice until her life took a big turn when her next full-time job would be caring for her daughter, Jessica.  Through her challenges with her daughter, she became an advocate, mentor, and teacher for many other families and their children who struggle with autism.

As a mother caring and nurturing her daughter Jessica who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Helen understands the problems and concerns parents are dealing with because she also dealt with them.  She still remembers how perplexed, lost, and lonely she felt during the process of her own daughter’s diagnosis and was trying to comprehend and understand how to deal with all that she had been told about Jessica’s lifelong disability.  Her journey began desperately researching every available topic on autism and talking to other parents around the United States to become educated who also have children on the spectrum.  She also enrolled Jessica at The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities in Jacksonville, Florida.  This led Helen to opportunities where she met and spoke with other parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorder that opened the door to a whole new world for Helen and Jessica.  This helped both of them cope with this disability that was unknown to them.  As a result of Helen’s involvement and learning more about the Neurological disorder, she was appointed by Dr. John Lombardi, President of the University of Florida, to serve as a Constituency Board Member for The Center of Autism and Related Disabilities in which she served from 1997 to 2007.

As a strong advocate for parents and individuals, Helen was chosen by The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities in January 2002, to speak before the Senate in Tallahassee, Florida to not only represent The Center for Autism but to be a voice for her daughter and other parents and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  As a result, the Senate voted to continue funding for The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and continue their programs and support services for families and individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.

Two months after Jessica’s passing, Helen was requested by a group of parents in February 2008 to be their voice in Tallahassee to speak before the House of Representatives regarding passing the autism insurance bill, SB 2654 which was enacted in 2008.  The law became effective on April 1, 2009.

In the Spring of 2008, Helen was invited to attend a luncheon given by Dr. Mae Barker, Director of CARD, in which she was honored and given a plaque for the time in which she served on the Constituency BOARD and for her genuine dedication and services to help parents and individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.

Helen continues through the Jessica Green Foundation to advocate for the rights and supports of parents and individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.

Chairperson/Executive Committee

Picture and Bio coming soon

Heather Corey
Vice-Chair/Executive Committee

Heather Corey PictureHeather Corey, CFRE is a nonprofit professional with over 20 years of fundraising experience and over 15 years in senior nonprofit management service and is currently the Chief Executive Officer at DLC Nurse & Learn, a Special Needs Child Care and PPEC Center serving Northeast Florida.  She has served at grassroots organizations and at national nonprofits such as The Salvation Army, Jewish Family & Community Services, Learn to Read, the American Cancer Society and ElderSource. She achieved the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credentials in 2012 and holds a BA in Business Administration.

Heather is past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) First Coast Chapter (2010), Past President of the statewide AFP Florida Caucus (2011 to 2016), Planet Philanthropy Conference Chair (2019, 2021) and a member of the AFP International Marketing & Awards Committee. She is a former Delores Barr-Weaver Fellow and is a former Steering Committee Member of the Women’s Giving Alliance with The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida.  Heather is a Jacksonville native, 7th generation Floridan and married to David with the blessing of 3 beautiful daughters.

Vanessa Rowley
Secretary/Executive Committee

Vanessa was born and raised in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. She joined the United States Army in 1977 and exited the service in 1980 to give birth to her son. She was a truck driver in the service and later changed to administrative duties. She worked in Civil Service until 1988 when she moved to Florida. She also worked in the finance and administrative industry for many years.

Vanessa went to college and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting. Following her dream, she went to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and in 2016 she retired from the working world. In 2017 she moved to Kentucky to be closer to her siblings, and In July 2021 she moved back to Jacksonville to be closer to her son. Growing up she always wanted to be a truck driver and a nurse in which she achieved both of those goals. She believes life is about learning as much as you can and passing it on to others. Her goal now is to use what she has learned to help others achieve theirs.

Scott Manson
Treasurer/Executive Committee

Picture and Bio Coming Soon

Deana Roberts
Fundraising Committee/At-Large Member

Deana is a native of Baltimore, Maryland that transitioned to Jacksonville over 20 years ago. She has a Masters in Public Health (MPH), a Masters in Human Behavior (MHB), a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), and a Certified Mental Health Targeted Case Manager (MHTCM).

Deana has dedicated her career and education to special populations, community support, and social service. She is also a small business owner, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, and an old-school car enthusiast who is hoping to support our community and our families with Autism.

Ray Crews
Web Design & Administrator/At-Large Member

Picture  Coming Soon

Ray was born and raised in Henderson, North Carolina, and graduated from Northern Vance High School in Henderson, North Carolina in 1991.  A year later he enlisted into the United States Navy on June 22, 1992, and was sent to Boot Camp in Orlando, Florida.  After serving 20 honorable years of service for the United States Navy, he retired on June 30, 2012.  Ray then attended Colorado Tech University and received a degree in Web Development on June 16, 2016.

Ray always wanted to be a Sports Analyst and Play by Play Broadcasters ever since he was 5 years old.  He now has podcast shows on ASAP Network for College and NFL Football.

Ray is also a father to two sons, Nicolas and Luke, and two daughters Madi and Jordan.

Ray joined the Jessica Green Foundation Board because he has twin cousins that are on the Autism Spectrum and wants to be able to help make a difference for a great cause.

Connie Alden
JGF Nominations Committee Chair/At-Large Member

Connie is an accomplished senior executive, business consultant, and advisory board member with over  25 years of experience leading global human resources functions in a number of diverse industries including manufacturing, aviation, and digital publishing. As President and Founder of Alden People  Strategies, LLC, her key areas of expertise include: change management, executive coaching/consultation, talent management, leadership development, and HR effectiveness strategies.  She has led numerous acquisition and system integration initiatives requiring transformational change,  organization restructuring, and resource planning for multi-location operations. 

Connie has a Master of Science degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from the University of  Central Florida and holds the following certifications: Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR),  Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and SHRM- Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).  She is also a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner and MBTI (Myers-Briggs) Certified. 

She is on the Advisory Board of the Small Business Development Center at UCF(SBDC) and a member of the HR Advisory Committee and Volunteer Board Participant for the McCoy Federal Credit Union.  Previously, she was on the advisory board of Human Resource People and Strategy (HRPS), SHRM’s  Executive Network; and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Employers Association Forum,  Inc. (EAF).

Veron Thillet
Marketing/Communications Committee Chair/At-Large Member

VeronA highly respected seasoned leader with a history of success in launching B2B and B2C distribution channels, operational marketing initiatives, and eCommerce sites in ever-changing, dynamic environments.  Background in program development, multi-channel marketing strategies, promotional campaigns, customer growth and retention, large account development, and brand management. A collaborative communicator is skilled in building strong business relationships while promoting new ideas across all business lines to promote positive results.

General sales and marketing management of a real estate brokerage firm. New business procurement, including new clients and properties to sell or manage. Lead all property purchases, remodeling, and rental business processes. Supervise the maintenance, housekeeping, and administrative personnel to ensure properties are ready for rental. Ensure the financial wellness of the company, and manage the daily operations of the business. Design and develop all business procedures, with special attention to sales and marketing strategies, and the constant pursuit of business development opportunities. Real estate market analysis, property sales pricing strategy, and cultivating collaboration with external stakeholders to drive sales volume through partnership.

Provide leadership and direction to a team of 50 employees consisting of maintenance, housekeeping, and administrative personnel. Oversee the financial responsibilities of a $4.2M facility, including managing the daily operations of the business, developing operational procedures, marketing strategies, and business development opportunities. Analyze market conditions and pricing strategies, as well as collaborate with internal teams to drive market growth and promote brand awareness. Actively partner with key stakeholders like wedding planners, event producers, cruise lines, and tour and travel agencies to expand business relationships and identify new market segments

James Suh
At-Large Member

James SuhJames is a native of Sandusky, Ohio, and received his BA and MD degrees from Brown University. Following training at Stony Brook University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at New York University Langone Health, Senior Pathologist and Associate Medical Director at Foundation Medicine, and most recently as Director, Translational Medicine at the Frederick National Laboratory of Cancer Research.

Having worked in academia, the private sector, and government, he is new to Jacksonville and the non-profit space and is eager to help fulfill the mission of this foundation. His other interests include running on the beach, boating, and exploring the state of Florida by land and sea.