2023 Future 5 Recipients

Cyrus Calhoun

Cyrus C. Calhoun III is a native of Tallahassee, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science/International Relations from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and a Master of Science degree in Applied American Politics & Policy from The Florida State University. He is a proud Third Generation FAMU graduate.

Cyrus has studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, and Cuba. His research topics included the Malaria epidemic in West Africa and steps to eliminate its spread, and the Afro-Cuban community and the U.S. blockade on Cuba’s economy, respectively. While in each of the countries, he took up learning the languages of Spanish and Twi, the dialect of the Akan language in Ghana.
Upon graduating from FAMU, he served in the Florida Legislature for five years as both a District Legislative Assistant and District Senior Executive Secretary in the St. Petersburg/Tampa-Bay area for House District 70, and the Tallahassee-Big Bend area for House District 8. Working in this field, he was responsible for coordinating legislative town halls, assisting legislators in securing millions of dollars in state funding to provide to state-run facilities and not-for-profit organizations, and even assisted the legislator in passing legislation that expanded opportunities for black farmers to obtain cultivation licenses in alternative medicine.

He later served as the Corporate Communications Specialist for one of the largest alternative medicine companies in the nation, Trulieve. During this time, he served as a key individual in delivering internal and external communications and partnered with staff across multiple departments on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee, and the Environmental, Social & Governance committee.
Cyrus has had the opportunity to speak on podcasts such as Poppin Policies Podcast with R. Jordan Davis where he discussed the legislative process and how citizens could be more involved in their communities. This segment was the most listened to podcast during its series.

Mr. Calhoun serves as the Marketing & Business Development Associate at Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs where he manages content creation, proposal writing, professional development services, social media management, and corporate communications. He also serves as the firm representative for the Classroom Connection program in partnership with the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and John G. Riley Elementary School. Cyrus also participates in the BEACON program within Access Tallahassee, which enables young professionals to assist high school juniors and graduating seniors in applying for scholarship opportunities and FAFSA.

Cyrus’ community affiliations: New Leaders Council of Tallahassee, a Florida Politics’ Rising Stars 30 Under 30 Honoree, Knight Creative Communities Institute of Tallahassee (KCCI) Catalyst, TCC Take Stock In Children, The Florida A&M University National Alumni Association, The Florida State University Black Alumni Association, The Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce-Access Tallahassee, and an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Gamma Mu Lambda Chapter.

Ben Clark

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Ben moved to Tallahassee in 2011 to attend Florida State University and study accounting and finance. During his time at FSU, Ben met his wife Jessica. They both fell in love with all Tallahassee has to offer (can you say NO TRAFFIC!?) and decided to stay there after graduation.

It was through this decision that Ben found James Moore and Company. He began his career with the firm in 2015 through an accounting internship program. Now as a senior manager, he oversees audits and other attestation and consulting engagements from start to finish. Ben is involved in all aspects of the work, from planning through fieldwork and preparation of final deliverables. He has also worked in the firm’s tax department.

Ben focuses primarily on clients in the government, nonprofit and higher education industries. He also works extensively with workforce board clients. He has in-depth knowledge of Uniform Guidance and other federal and state audit guidelines.

In addition to his client work, Ben’s passion is to serve as a mentor to new James Moore team members and train and develop other employees. He is a proud member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 40 (Fiercest Class Ever) and loves to find ways to serve his community. Currently he serves as the board secretary for the Omega Lamplighters, an organization that seeks to empower area youth by training them in the life skills needed to succeed. Ben is passionate about bridging gaps that exist in our community and believes organizations like the Lamplighters can be a unique and powerful vehicle to achieve that mission.

Erin McCarty

Erin McCarty is a Financial Advisor and Director of Operations with Cypress Capital. She began working in the finance and insurance industry in 2015 while studying Finance at Florida State University.

She majored in Finance and holds a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University. She also holds her Series 7 securities license held through LPL Financial and Series 66 securities license held through both Cypress Capital and LPL, and insurance licenses for Variable Life, Variable Annuities, Fixed Life and Fixed Annuities.

Erin takes great pride in her client’s service experience. She strives to convey her thoughts and processes in the most understandable and efficient ways. She helps clients pursue their financial goals and truly enjoys what she does and who she serves.She lives in Tallahassee with her husband, Connor, and two rescue dogs. She loves being outdoors, either running or spending time in thesun or on the water.

Erin takes pleasure in being a part of the Tallahassee community. She started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend and has been matched with her little sister, whom she can’t imagine life without, since 2017.


Chirag Shah

Chirag Shah is the Founder & CEO of The Current Agency and Made Equal Clothing Co., his digital and creative ad agency and clothing brand startup. Through 15+ years of experience, Chirag specializes in community relations, social media, search engine optimization, and website development, which allows him to ultimately improve his client’s bottom line by crafting creative solutions to their business problems. Chirag holds a Master of Arts in Creative Business Leadership from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Florida State University. Chirag is inspired daily by his employees, parents, and four older sisters. Chirag travels, bar-hops, goes to the movies, plays basketball, and volunteers with local and regional organizations in his free time.



Erin Warner

Erin grew up in Tallahassee, and knows first-hand how special the people in our community truly are. She discovered early on in her professional career her passion for working with people and creating enjoyable environments for diverse audiences. After attending Gilchrist, RAA and Lincoln, she went on to receive her AA Degree from TCC, and graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and a Certification in Event Management from FSU. Erin is currently the Development Director with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, and has been with the agency for the past 5 years. Erin also works part-time at her local gym, assistant instructing kickboxing and self defense classes. When she is not working, she enjoys spending her time with her son Theodore and their family pets, working out, kickboxing, dancing, discovering new music and creating art. Erin believes that people are influenced by first impressions and deeply wants ones first impression of her, in her job, to be that she is enjoying her work, and in turn, that others will enjoy working with her, and recommend her work to many others.