2021 SPYP EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
2021 SPYP Chair
Immediate Past- SPYP Chair
The James Museum
For over 10 years, Rachel has spent her professional career in corporate wellness and health education. She has been at Tampa General Hospital as part of Team Member Wellness for 7 years. She currently works as a Senior Wellness Educator for Community and Corporate Wellness. Rachel also teaches exercise science electives as an adjunct instructor at Hillsborough Community College. Rachel has a Master’s degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa and Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Public Health from the University of South Florida. She is also a Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist, earned her Exercise is Medicine Level II credentials through the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certified personal trainer. In her free time, Rachel loves to run (especially with her dog, Miles), volunteer with Girls on the Run, and spend time with her friends and family.
Jess, a Pinellas County native, became involved with the St. Pete Young Professionals in 2016. After making the move across the bridge and purchasing a home in St. Pete, she was quickly plugged in to the community through her new YP relationships. After two years, joined the executive board and used her passion to help grow membership through promotion and events. Professionally, Jess has a background in financial services marketing. Currently working as a Marketing Specialist at CBIZ, she uses her knowledge and community connections to help accounting professionals find new ways to grow their business. When not at the office, Jess spends her time in our beautiful city frequenting breweries, restaurants, Rays’ games, and supporting all things local. She loves to walk around town and can always be found with her two fur babies and boyfriend in tow. Jess is excited to continue to use her knowledge and passion for St. Pete to attract new young professionals and help them find ways to connect with like-minded individuals while finding ways to better our community.
Community Service Chair
Hi there, I’m Sophia Eden!
Working as an energetic and engaged young professional for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), I have been so lucky to grow my career in Global Office Administration and VIP Guest Experience for the past 7 years. Based in St Petersburg, Florida, my role with the WTA has brought me to all corners of the world, such as New York, London, Rome, Singapore, and Shenzhen to plan, design, and implement guest experiences at the highest level. It has been my desire to connect with real people both inside and outside of the St Pete community to develop a sense of belonging that can be shared amongst individuals, across small business, and beyond to connect nations. When finding ways to remain connected with myself, you might find me swinging a club on the golf course, cozy on my couch with a riveting murder mystery novel or catching some sun at Treasure Island with friends.
Chris is a lifelong Pinellas County resident and a resident of Downtown St. Petersburg since 2019. He is a proud alumnus of the University of South Florida and received his Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M University. Chris is an active member of the USF B.O.L.D Council, the Knights of Columbus, and the St. Pete DNA. Chris works for the City of St. Petersburg as a Budget Management Analyst. Chris is excited to be serving his second year as the Membership Chair for the St. Pete Young Professionals.
John is a 7th generation Floridian who has had the pleasure of working and living in St. Pete over the last five years. A University of Florida graduate, John works as a commercial insurance broker with Brown & Brown Insurance. While living in St. Pete, John has enjoyed various positions with organizations such as the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association, the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association and the Pinellas County Gator Club. This will be the 5th year that John has served on the board, previously holding roles as the Sports & Social Chair, the Events Chair and the Leadership Chair. Outside of work, you can find John at Tropicana Field and any of the neighboring restaurants and bars having a good time.
Lauren Highland has been a St Pete resident for 3 years and will be serving her second year on the board for SPYP. She currently manages multiple H&R Block locations around Pinellas County. Lauren has an extensive background in hospitality but made the switch to finance in recent years. In her free time you can find still find her in the kitchen cooking or trying out new cocktail recipes to serve to her friends. Lauren also loves to spend time outdoors with her boyfriend Jon and their dog Calvin. Her love for nature goes beyond that so she also participates in the Suncoast Surfrider Foundation & Rise Above Plastics Coalition.
Emily is a Florida native and currently a first-year student at Stetson Law in Gulfport. While earning her bachelors in public relations at UF, Emily worked in communications on a Florida Senate campaign. Before moving to St. Pete, she worked at a marketing and branding agency as a marketing coordinator. Outside of school, Emily enjoys running, golfing and trying new restaurants in St. Pete!
Annie is a St. Pete native, born and raised. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Florida. She received her Juris Doctor at Stetson University College of Law and is currently completing a Master of Science in Intelligence Studies at the University of South Florida. She is currently working as a Senior Trial Court Staff Attorney with the Sixth Judicial Circuit. She also volunteers with Reach St. Pete as a Warehouse Committee Leader.
Bailey was born and raised near Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication with an emphasis in public relations from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma. She first began her career in a mix of broadcast journalism, written journalism and public relations. From there, she moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and went into sales and marketing for a tech company. After that, she became the director of sales and marketing for an outsourcing services company. While she was in that role, she was taking on branding and advertising clients on the side and eventually realized her passion for entrepreneurship and brand building. That led to the formation of Branded Communication. She built her company in Utah, then moved to Dallas and now resides in St. Petersburg, Florida with her two Australian Shepherds. In addition to being the founder of Branded Communication, she is the co-founder of Refined Wellness, a published author, blogger, social media influencer, and social activist.
Shelby Meaders resides in St. Petersburg, FL with her wonderful partner and 2 cat children. Shelby’s current position with the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health focuses on opioid overdose prevention and decreasing overdose deaths while increasing naloxone access and use. Shelby has her Master of Public Health with a specialization in Health Policy and Management. Prior to her MPH, she received her B.S. from the Florida State University. Shelby has a deep passion for harm reduction, mental health, and serving at-risk populations like people who use drugs (PWUD), and people that identify as LGBTQ+.
Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair
Kelsey works as part of the North American People Operations Human Resources team for McKinsey and Company, Inc. She is a New Hampshire native who moved to Florida in search of sunshine and to attend the University of Tampa. After graduating in 2017, she relocated to the ‘Burg and has never looked back. She loves all that St. Pete has to offer from the many local spots to the outdoor parks and beaches and the neighborly culture of the city. Kelsey enjoys learning more about the city and ways to give back. She is an active member of the St. Petersburg Junior League and has enjoyed being part of SPYP for the last couple of years. She is looking forward to her second year of serving on the executive team.
Community Service Co-Chair
Brianna is a Tampa Bay native, born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. After a few years away, she is happy to be back in the Sunshine City. She is a 6th grade U.S. History teacher for Pinellas County Schools and has a passion for education and her community. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in Higher Education from Florida State University. When not at work, Brianna loves to support her hometown teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She also enjoys being active, biking around town, reading, and exploring new areas within the city and beyond. Brianna looks forward to serving the St. Pete community as a Chair for Diversity and Inclusion.
Diversity & Inclusion Chair
My name is Alec Snider and I am a Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer by day, and a sports/workout junky by night. I have been working with Fairway Independent Mortgage for almost a year now, and have loved every second of getting to help people find their dream homes!! Before this I was in Pharmaceutical Sales working for Johnson&Johnson and before that I did Inside Sales for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The amount of experience I have gained from these 3 amazing companies allows me to be the professional I am today and I cannot wait to bring pieces of each with me to SPYP!
Malynda Washington is the Community Engagement Manager at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. In this role, she manages the museum’s public relations initiatives, and connects the museum’s art and educational experiences to schools, community partners, festivals and more. Throughout her 10-year plus career, she has worked in various public relations and marketing roles for today’s most dynamic global brands including, The Madison Square Garden Company, ESSENCE Magazine, TIME Magazine, Raymond James Financial, BBDO Worldwide, News Corporation and more. Earning a degree in Journalism & Mass Communication, Malynda knew early on of the importance of connecting the community to business initiatives and goals. Malynda is a native of New York City, NY, a proud WNBA Liberty fan and graduate of Hampton University.