Advisory Council

Access Chair: Lauren HelmCapital 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?

Immediate Past Chair: 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

Jason Borger | Hancock Bank

Why did you get involved with Access?
I wanted to give back to the Chamber. It has helped me out greatly – both personally and professionally.

What other organizations are you involved in?
ECHO (Board President) and LifeConnectors Mentor

Fun fact about yourself?
I am a Clawhammer Banjo enthusiast!

Richard Cassedy | Cassedy & Company

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.


Will Croley | Doug Croley Insurance Services

Why did you get involved with Access Tallahassee?
I chose to get involved because I wanted to do more than just network and I also felt it was necessary to give back. I wanted to be a part of the planning team that makes Access even better for years to come.

What other organizations are you involved in?
Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates (President) and Jim Moran Institute (Veteran Program Volunteer)

Favorite TLH Park/Trail?
With two small children, we often hit up the great parks around town. With so many choices like Cascades, Tom Brown, Miccosukee Greenways or just a neighborhood park, the options are endless!

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!

 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


Ashlyn Portero | City Church

What is the best part about Access Tallahassee?
The opportunity to network and get to know so many different people who I otherwise might not interact with on a regular basis. I work on a small staff, so the ability to get out and form friendships and connections with other people who love Tallahassee is very beneficial and just fun! It also is a great on-ramp to involvement in the growth of the city and to meeting people who are driving that forward.

Favorite Access event?
My favorite Access events are the YP Roundtables and Coffee & Connections. At the roundtables, I enjoy hearing from a diverse range of community and city leaders on topics of professional growth. I love Coffee & Connections because each event is different and I enjoy hearing people’s stories and how they chose Tallahassee as their city. It’s a fun way to start a Friday!

Fun fact about yourself?
I’ve lived in Tallahassee three different times! My family kept moving back after my dad’s job would take us elsewhere and when I went to Florida State, I decided to stay.

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