Advisory Council

Access Chair: Richard Darabi | Moore Bass Consulting

What is the best part about Access?
I think the best part about Access Tallahassee is the ability to create valuable relationships with other young professionals in a number of industries.  It can be overwhelming to show up to Chamber events without any prior history or knowledge of the organization, but Access Tallahassee gives you an easy way to get involved, at your own pace, through less formal events like coffee socials, lunches, and roundtable discussions.

Favorite Access event?
My favorite Access Tallahassee event would be any of the Power Lunches.  The diversity of speakers and the easy networking environment make the lunches an asset for any young professional.

Fun fact about yourself?
I love to play poker and, for some time, had the grand idea of making it a living.  However, I’m still grateful I stuck to engineering!

Immediate Past Chair: Lauren Helm | Capital Health Plan

Why Tallahassee?
I love everything that Tallahassee has to offer – from beach escapes to greenways to our business community – there is something here for everyone.

Why did you get involved with Access Tallahassee?
I am a native of Tallahassee and it pains me each time I hear “there is nothing to do here”. I want to change that.

Favorite Access event and why?
I personally love Coffee & Connections. It is a very informal meet and greet, and what better way to learn about someone and their business than over a cup of coffee?

Richard Cassedy | Cassedy & Company, Inc.

Favorite Access event and why?
Coffee & Connections because networking is my favorite part of Access and Coffee & Connections is easy to remember – the first Friday of every month.

What other organizations are you involved in?
USGA, FSGA, Capital City Country Club, F3, Rotary Club of Tallahassee (Board Director), Maclay Alumni Association Board (Treasurer)

Fun fact about yourself?
On September 29, 2008 the Dow Jones fell 777 points – also my first day working in the investment business.

Christina Fanning | Hancock Whitney

Why Tallahassee?
I am originally from Birmingham, but prior to Tallahassee spent 7 years in New York City.  Needless to say the weather here was a huge plus!  When we came to visit I fell in love with all of the trees, and how friendly everyone is.  Tallahassee felt like home, and I am so happy we are here.

Why did you get involved with Access?
I wanted to be a part of an organization that empowered young professionals to build relationships and give back to the community.

Fun fact about yourself?
I trekked up a volcano in the middle of a rain forest in Rwanda, and spent an hour with a family of mountain gorillas while on safari.

Andrew Gay | Grimsley & Company, CPA’s, PA

What is the best part about Access?
The opportunity to hear from young professional counterparts about successes, struggles and everything in between. Some of my best business relationships and referring partners, I met through Access Tallahassee.

What other organizations are you involved in?
Leon County Housing Finance Authority (Treasurer), Tall Timbers Fundraising Committee, Foundation for Leon County Schools, Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, City Church Tallahassee Elder

Favorite TLH Festival?
Greek Food Festival

Amanda Morrison | Social Catering & Events

Favorite Access event?
Our annual service project, Access Day of Action, is hands down my favorite event. Most of us juggle busy work schedules and family obligations, but to take time out and focus on a day where our only purpose is to support our community is something very special. I think it perfectly encapsulates our commitment as both a program as well as a group of individuals to enrich Tallahassee in ways far beyond our business and career goals.

What other organizations are you involved in?
Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (Board Member), Tallahassee Chapter Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (President), Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (Board Member & Committee Vice Chair)

What’s on the top of your Tallahassee Bucket List?
Bradfordville Blues Club, B Sharps Jazz Cafe in Frenchtown and zip lining at Tallahassee Museum

Slaton Murray | NAI TALCOR

Why Tallahassee?
I never thought I would live in Tallahassee upon graduation from FSU, but watching the growth and diversification our community experienced in a relatively short period of time was eye-opening and made me want to stay.

Why did you get involved with Access Tallahassee?
While at Florida State I always heard great things about the organization, but it took me attending my first Access event to recognize its real value. Access presents a platform that allows you to interact with a variety of people in similar stages of their careers. Having these roots already in place when Access members ascend into decision making positions within their businesses/organizations will be critical to the progression of our community.

Fun fact about yourself?
I am an avid backcountry snow skier. I was a certified snow skiing instructor at age 16 but gave up the dream for real estate.

Chad Sanders | Demont Insurance Agency

Why Tallahassee?
I’m originally from Thomasville, but I’m an army brat and have lived all over the world! I attended college at FSU and then moved to Orlando & Jacksonville before deciding to move back to Tallahassee to put down roots. Ultimately, I wanted to live closer to family and I felt that Tallahassee offered me the best opportunities to enrich my family, career, & fun. And of course, I love my Seminoles!

Why did you get involved with Access Tallahassee?
Being involved allows me to give back, help others, and be stretched personally & professionally.

What other organizations are you involved in?
Local BNI Chapter President, Chamber Leads 6 member, Former Access Leads B Treasurer, Big Brothers Big Sisters Volunteer, Four Oaks Community Church active & engaged member, Elder Care Services – Meals on Wheels volunteer