Meet the Faces Behind Our Mission
Behind every initiative, every program, and every success story, there are passionate individuals who make it all possible. Meet the dedicated minds and compassionate hearts that form the backbone of our organization. Each member brings their unique skills, experiences, and unwavering commitment to the table, united by a common goal – to create a brighter, healthier, and more resilient community.
President and CEO
Nearly three decades of private and public sector experience fuels a diverse portfolio of capabilities in community development, social responsibility, and communications.
Previous roles include Vice President of Advancement and Strategic Communications at Georgia Gwinnett College, Director of Community Relations at Cisco Systems and Scientific Atlanta, and senior consultant for nonprofits seeking to increase organizational capacity.
Ms. Byrd-Lewis is adept at transcending industry and functional boundaries and leveraging an extensive network to achieve desired outcomes. A Gwinnett County resident since 1995, Ms. Byrd-Lewis is an engaged leader with deep community knowledge. She is a Past Board Chair of Leadership Gwinnett Foundation and serves as a Board member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation.
Ms. Byrd-Lewis earned a master’s degree from Georgia State University, and dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from Emory University, and resides in Buford with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Teresa Raetz
Chief Operating Officer
She moved to Lawrenceville in 2002, serving in roles as Director of Student Affairs for Extended Campuses for UGA and Director of Policy Analysis for Georgia Gwinnett College.
She currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Gwinnett Coalition.
She has served as a higher education consultant and served in leadership capacities in the Oklahoma College Student Personnel Association, Georgia College Personnel Association, ACPA: College Educators International, and the Association of College and University Policy Administrators.
Teresa has volunteered at many organizations, including Rainbow Village, North Gwinnett Co-op, Adopt-a-Highway, Girl Scouts, and Scouts BSA.
She served as a board member for Covenant Counseling and Family Resource Center. Her professional and academic interests include servant leadership, organizational culture, stress and coping, and wellness.
Senior Director of Engagement
Vala attended the University of Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology. Go Dawgs!
She brings more than 20 years of diverse experience, from the private and public sectors, to the Coalition.
For more than a decade, she worked in the private sector focusing on project management, process development and optimization, and training initiatives with organizations like Alcon and FedEx.
In the public sector at Georgia Gwinnett College, Vala spent several years serving in leadership roles within Academic and Student Affairs and Public Affairs where she specialized in project management, digital communications, communications strategy, and engagement.
When Vala isn’t strategizing and creating for the Gwinnett Coalition, she can be found exercising her green thumb, spending time with friends and family, including her two chihuahuas, painting, and enjoying the outdoors.
Community Health Program Director
He has been a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist since 1993. He retired in 2022 after more than 27 years as an officer of the United States Public Health Service, located in two federal agencies, the Indian Health Service, where he developed, led, and provided clinical and public health nutrition, health promotion, diabetes, and tobacco control services in various tribal communities across the US, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; while providing leadership on policy and program planning activities and advising and assisting state and community-based programs, national partners, and various health organizations on public health issues and practices.
He has been both a staff dietitian with the UNC Employee Wellness Program and Assistant to the Director of the UNC Student Wellness Resource Center, and has previously worked as a clinical dietitian in Atlanta at Grady Memorial Hospital and the Shephard Center.
His personal professional interests include food and nutrition security, environmental and policy influences on health and obesity, how mass media affects food choices, and sports and vegetarian nutrition issues. He is an avid cyclist and loves hiking and geocaching. He lives in Lawrenceville with his wife Latha and is blessed with two wonderful children.
Kamesha Walker, MPH
Community Health Program Manager
Kamesha Walker serves as the Community Health Program Manager for the Gwinnett Coalition where she is leading initiatives and programs that build capacity and improve community health in Gwinnett County.
Kamesha has a bachelor’s of Biology from Spelman College and a master’s of Public Health from Mercer University. She is an experienced clinic manager and public health professional with a strong background in patient care management, program management, grant writing, and community outreach.
Kamesha is passionate about positively impacting hospital and healthcare program development in our community.
Vanessa Orduna Zarazua, MPH
Community Engagement Coordinator
During her collegiate career, she had the opportunity to complete internship programs at the Task Force for Global Health and the National Public Health Institute, a program of the Division of Global Health Protection, CDC.
She has experience with community engagement through volunteer work with the Ventanilla de Salud at the Mexican Consulate and conducting community health assessments for the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia (HHCGA).
Her passion for community service and health advocacy, coupled with her extensive experience and deep understanding of community outreach, make her well-equipped to foster meaningful connections and make a positive impact. Vanessa moved to Georgia from Ohio, and now proudly calls Gwinnett her home.
When Vanessa isn’t working to achieve health and well-being for all Gwinnettians, you’ll find her planning her next epic trip abroad (maybe Egypt?), spending time with her fur baby, or visiting family and friends in Ohio.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Deicy Vega serves as a bilingual Community Engagement Coordinator at the Gwinnett Coalition. Her name is Deicy, just like the flower that blooms in adversity.
She became involved with her community at a very young age and loves to give back. She has more than seven years of experience working within local hospitals and nonprofits, which has provided her with the skills needed to navigate the healthcare system and be able to provide assistance to the community.
Her motto is “Be the change you would like to see in the world”. Deicy earned her bachelor’s of science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Oglethorpe University.
Silvia Molina has 20 years of experience working as a personal and confidential assistant for Senior Executives. After 32 years of federal government service, she retired on December 31, 2019. At that time, she was working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region, Atlanta, GA.
She served as Executive Assistant to the Regional Forester, serving in that position since 2005, and during her tenure served under five Regional Foresters.
Prior to such, she worked with several other agencies under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, such as Veterinary Services and Veterinary Biologics. Since her retirement, she has been serving in a volunteer role in the Southern Retirees Association as their Membership Chair.
Silvia is also a Veteran who has also served in the U.S. Army. She is a native of Puerto Rico and fully bilingual. Silvia serves as a part-time administrative assistant to support all programs of the Coalition.
Office Assistant & Helpline Specialist
Phyllis Horton has a passion for helping others and began her time with the Gwinnett Coalition as a Helpline volunteer in 2021. She joined our full-time staff in May 2023 and now serves as our Office Assistant & Helpline Specialist.
Phyllis has more than 30 years of professional experience working in the court system and has performed various roles, including File Clerk, Claims Analyst, Calendar Clerk, and Plan Analyst, and she brings a wealth of experience to the Gwinnett Coalition team.
She made Gwinnett her home more than 25 years ago, and Gwinnett’s award-winning parks and diverse cuisine rank at the top of her favorite things in Gwinnett.
When she’s not supporting our team and helping connect Gwinnettians to resources, she enjoys spending time with her three children and four grandchildren.
Milcah Mccall serves as a Helpline Specialist for the Gwinnett Coalition. Upon retiring from a major airline in 2020 as a Ground Operations and Customer Service Leader, she decided to follow her passion, which is helping her community.
Milcah has held many extraordinary leadership positions where she was responsible for providing distinctive customer service and a delightful experience, all of which helped her grow in many aspects of her life. Her background also includes being a Finance Manager for over 13 years, college-level coursework in Childhood Education and Entrepreneurship, and owning a restaurant in her hometown Chicago, where she spent countless hours cooking for families in need.
Felicia Theobald serves as a Helpline Specialist for the Gwinnett Coalition, where she is responsible for assisting Gwinnett County School System officials and residents of Gwinnett County in obtaining assistance with various types of crises.
She has been active in the school system and has served the special needs community for the past six years. Felicia is a New York native, a dedicated mother, and has a passion for helping others, both in her personal and professional life. Her goal is to help turn stressful situations into solutions, all while putting a smile on everyone’s face.
Board of Directors
Marques holds a bachelor degree in Political Science from Georgia State University (08), a Juris Doctorate from DePaul College of Law (J.D. ’12), and is on staff as a Community Pastor at Grace Snellville in the suburbs of Atlanta. Marqus also serves as the National Director of Church and Community Engagement at the Evangelical Environmental Network.
Marqus was trained as part of the initial cohort of the Racial Justice Training Institute (’14), and has subsequently mentored others and remained an active part of the national community of advocates for a more just and equitable community. Marqus, his wife Amanda, his two daughters and dog enjoy exploring the parks all around Gwinnett County.
Jill Cauthen Edwards is Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Manager, for United Community Bank. She is responsible for the Commercial Lending Team located in Northeast Georgia, with a focus on Gwinnett County. Prior to joining UCB, Jill served in leadership positions with Wells Fargo Bank.
Jill is a career veteran of the banking industry in Atlanta with most of her experience centered in the Gwinnett market where she serves on 5 boards.
She has been active with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years, serving on their board for the past 5 years, most recently as the Vice-Chair of Economic Development and now as Chair-Elect, sits on their Executive Board. She is active with Partnership Gwinnett as well as the Gwinnett Chamber’s A-List Membership Drive, serving and chairing multiple committees over the years. Since 2014, Jill has sat on the board of the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District which is tasked with enhancing the economic vitality of Gwinnett’s central business district.
In early 2019, Jill joined the board of the newly created entity, Across the Bridge. As their name suggests, ATB is a bridge from the world of addiction and life-changing circumstances to the hope of recovery.
In January 2020, she joined the board of Rainbow Village and the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services. Rainbow Village transforms the lives of homeless families with children by providing a stable community and services that instill initiative, self-development, and accountability for future generations. The Coalition is tasked with facilitating collaboration that improves the well-being of the community. In her spare time, Jill enjoys yoga, tennis, biking, skiing, and daily walks. She also makes jewelry – affectionately named jillery. Jill has a BS in Finance with a Management Science option, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Currently serving as Gwinnett’s Department of Community Services Director, Tina Fleming has been employed with Gwinnett County since 2001. Prior to Tina’s appointment as Community Services Director, she served as the Division Director of Parks and Recreation Operations and has more than 25 years of public service experience working with local communities in Georgia.
Her current areas of responsibility include Parks & Recreation, Health & Human Services, UGA Extension, Animal Welfare & Enforcement, Community Engagement & Collaboration, Voter Registrations and Elections, and she is the liaison with several community service organizations.
As a 2017 Voices for Georgia’s Children Big Voice Honoree, she was recognized as a leader in the state for expanding out-of-school time learning and wellness for children through Live Healthy Gwinnett.
A past Afterschool Alliance Ambassador and current member of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Gwinnett Board, she is relentless in finding new ways to promote health and wellness for Gwinnett, expand afterschool and summer learning and advocate for wrap-around services for the Gwinnett community.
Tina and her husband Jay live on the family’s 150-year-old farm. They have been blessed with 3 children – Melisa, Chris, and Kathryn and 5 amazing grandchildren – Emily, Addison, Bennett, Landrie, and Jack.
Jennifer Hibbard lives and works in Gwinnett County as a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Chief Executive Officer at View Point Health, where she has worked for more than 19 years.
During her time at View Point Health, she has had the pleasure of serving in a variety of positions, beginning her career as an intake clinician at one of the mental health outpatient centers. She has had the opportunity to be the Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Programs, Director of Quality Assurance, and Center Director.
As the CEO of View Point Health, Jennifer also serves on the Board of Directors for the Gwinnett Coalition. Jennifer is also a member and serves on the board of the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County as a Past President in order to further serve the community and advocate for individuals with behavioral health needs and developmental disabilities. Jennifer serves as Assistant Governor for Rotary District 6910.
She is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and the National Council for Behavioral Health Executive Leadership program. She currently serves as the Management Team Chair for Leadership Gwinnett. Jennifer has experience working with adults, children, and adolescents with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Prior to moving to Georgia, she lived in Texas where she earned her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Southwest Texas State University and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas in Austin.
Jennifer’s career began while volunteering as a counselor for the Williamson County Juvenile Academy in Georgetown, Texas, a residential alternative facility associated with the Texas Youth Correctional system while she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Jennifer is also a National Certified Counselor of the NBCC, and a member of the American Counselors Association. Jennifer lives in Snellville with her husband of 20 years, her son and daughter, as well as 3 cats and 2 dogs.
For the past 25 years, Dr. Hunter has served as a teacher and administrator in districts across the state and nation. Over this time, he has earned a reputation for developing and nurturing district leaders, local school leaders, teachers, and students through a commitment to mentoring and coaching.
Dr. Hunter served as the principal of Susan Stripling Elementary School and South Gwinnett High School. During his tenure at South Gwinnett, he received the 2011 PTSA of Georgia Outstanding Principal of the Year Award.
He currently serves Gwinnett County Public Schools as the associate superintendent of curriculum and instructional support.
Dr. Hunter is an alumnus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended graduate school at the University of Georgia and Clark Atlanta University. He is also a graduate of the New York City Leadership Academy Principal Supervisor Program and the Superintendent Preparation Academy (SUPES).
Victoria Huynh is a Community Organizer and has more than 18 years of experience working with international, immigrant, and refugee communities in the state of Georgia. Previous roles include Senior Vice President/Chief Officer of External Affairs at the Center for Pan Asian Community Services.
Mrs. Huynh’s experiences in her limited English proficient (LEP) Vietnamese Refugee household fuels her passion for community building, strategic planning, and policy work within the immigrant spaces.
Since 2009, Mrs. Huynh actively advocates for equitable language access, encourages civic engagement, protects immigrant rights, champions cultural competency, and has developed vital social service programs.
From 2013-2018, Mrs. Huynh served on the National Regional Health Equity Council. In 2015, 2017, and 2022, the Georgia Asian Times recognized Huynh as an honoree of the 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia.
In 2020, the Southeast U.S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce named her an outstanding AAPI in the Southeast and was named a sHERO by the Center for Asian Pacific American Women and OCA at a National AAPI Womxn’s Conference.
She recently ended her three-year appointment with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. Mrs. Huynh currently serves as a federal appointee with the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI).
A Mom, G-Mom, and Entrepreneur with a passion for making life better for the people whose lives she touches. Bianca was born in Ecuador and came to the US to attend high school in Connecticut. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Finance and Accounting, with a minor in Marketing.
During her professional career, she held senior leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies, influencing the future of business operations and finances.
Her love for delivering stellar financial results to her clients, coupled with her passion for serving others and her love of family, truly allows Bianca the opportunity to make life better for others while making her own dreams come true
Suleima Salgado, MBA is the Director of Telemedicine & Rural Health Initiatives for the Georgia Department of Public Health. With over 15 years of experience in state and local government, healthcare education, and public relations. She has led various public health initiatives in both Georgia and Florida.
As the director of telehealth, Suleima manages a $2.4 million budget and is responsible for setting strategic goals to increase access and bring health equity to underserved areas of the state through collaboration with Georgia’s 159 county health departments.
Suleima works daily with state and federal agencies, health systems, county health departments, private providers, public schools, colleges/universities, and non-profits to develop and implement telemedicine programs across Georgia.
In 2009, Ms. Salgado moved to Georgia to serve as the Director of Communications & Health Promotions/Risk Communicator for the Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments. She was also the spokesperson for the district and was involved in several health response events such as the H1N1 pandemic, multiple infectious disease outbreaks, vaccine shortages, mosquito-borne illnesses, and various interagency and multi-jurisdictional incidents and disasters.
Mrs. Salgado holds a Master of Business Administration from Southeastern University in Florida. Suleima also serves her community as a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Gwinnett is a member of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is on the Medical Reserve Corp-GEM response team, is an active Duncan Creek Elementary PTA member, and also serves as a board member for MentorEvolution and the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services
Chuck Warbington is a lifelong resident of Gwinnett County and a member of the Dacula Football Sports Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree.
While at Georgia Tech, he was a wide receiver for the 1990 National Championship Football Team. Chuck and his wife, Stacey, have been married for over 25 years and have 4 children.
Chuck is a registered professional engineer and worked as a principal manager for a local Architectural/Engineering company (Pond & Company) for over 13 years.
He began the leadership of Gwinnett Village in January 2006 leading the efforts in forming the largest Community Improvement District (CID) in the state in mid-2006. In 2016, he was appointed City Manager for the City of Lawrenceville where he oversees just under a $200 million budget and just over 300 employees.
As a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett, Chuck is serving his community in many capacities, including as a board member for the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services and the Fort Daniel Historical Foundation. He also serves on the Quantum National Bank Board of Directors, as well as the Atlanta Transit Link Authority Board (ATL). Chuck is past chairman of the Gwinnett County Planning Commission, past president of the Rotary Club of Gwinnett and past executive board member of the Gwinnett Chamber.
He was selected by the Georgia Engineering Alliance as Engineer of the Year in Private Practice for the state of Georgia in 2003 and was honored as one of Georgia Trend’s 40 under 40 for 2006. In 2012, Chuck was selected by the national publication CE News as one of fifteen Rising Stars in Civil Engineering.
Jessica Andrews-Wilson is the Executive Director at GUIDE, Inc., a substance abuse prevention and positive youth development agency in Lawrenceville, GA.
Jessica has volunteered and worked in various capacities with community mobilization, youth development and substance abuse prevention since her first year at GUIDE’s Georgia Teen Institute program in 1993 as a representative from Brookwood High School in Snellville.
GUIDE’s work focuses on community-level change around issues including suicide prevention, underage drinking, prescription drug abuse and vaping prevention, youth development training, youth empowerment and leadership, and all things that create safe and healthy communities.
Some of Jessica’s career highlights (so far!) include helping to create the Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development (ASYD) Initiative (and continuing to co-lead this initiative), becoming an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist through the Prevention Credentialing Consortium of Georgia, receiving the Ray Avant Excellence in Prevention Award and conducting trainings with some of the most talented and respected trainers this side of the Mississippi.
Jessica earned her Master of Science degree in Organizational Development and Leadership from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and believes wholeheartedly that she has the best job in the world.
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