Board of Directors

About Global Corner Kids

Our Board of Directors volunteer their time to make a difference in our community. All of them know that expanding horizons for children will have a long-lasting positive impact. The Global Corner Board President is Charity Hamilton, Vice President is Reid Rushing, our Treasurer is Karen Evans, and Secretary is Carlee Hoffmann.  Additional board members are Vanessa Mayes, Past President, Donovan Chau, Jo McArthur, Susana Mendoza-Kepner, Beverly Patteson, Kelly Reeser, Julie Olliff Vickery, and Rob Zitzewitz.  Lee Hansen, the Executive Director, and Jeanne Hooper, the Head Teacher are non-voting members of the Board.

Vanessa Mayes, President

Vanessa Mayes, Executive Director

Vanessa was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has traveled extensively throughout her life. She knows the value of expanding horizons for young children and the impact it has on the entire community. When she first heard about The Global Corner many years ago, she knew immediately that she wanted to be a part of “Bringing the World to Life – One Child at a Time.”

Vanessa Mayes, President

Kelly Reeser, President

Director of Entrepreneurial Development, FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance. Kelly has lived overseas in Argentina while pursuing her Master’s Degree and has traveled extensively throughout South America and Europe. As a parent of three small children, Kelly thinks it’s important to raise awareness that the world is much bigger and more diverse than what we experience in our daily lives. She would love for her own children to grow up with a broader perspective and thinks The Global Corner sparks that curiosity in children.

Vanessa Mayes, President

Donovan Chau, Vice President

Director of Strategy and Engagement in the Division of Research and Strategic Innovation at the University of West Florida. Dr. Chau has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere during his career working for Congress and as a defense and Homeland Security contractor in Washington, DC, and while working as an academician in his home state of California. As the father of a young child, he is passionate about the study of the world among our community’s young people.

Vanessa Mayes, President

Julie Olliff Vickery

Retired from the Escambia County School District as a First Grade Teacher, Julie experienced The Global Corner initially when they visited her classroom. She observed her children’s excitement for and desire to learn about people who were different from themselves. Not only did The Global Corner bring a joy for knowing about the world beyond the classroom walls, but it also created joy while learning through its child friendly and interactive activities. As a retired educator, Julie is now happy to be able to participate in The Global Corner’s mission in continuing to bring the world to life to children in Escambia County.

Vanessa Mayes, President

Charity Hamilton, Past President

Human Resources Coordinator at Community Drug and Alcohol Council, Inc.  Charity has traveled to Mexico, France, the Czech Republic, and Poland. She was raised here in Pensacola and would love to see international experiences like those provided by The Global Corner made available to an even larger number of students. Tapping into the natural curiosity of children, Charity believes, provides a channel through which we can foster cultural acceptance and simultaneously develop the critical thinking skills that are necessary in the job market. The ability to work successfully with diverse people is essential to further growth of our local economy. 

Vanessa Mayes, President

Allison Tyler Romer

Allison Tyler Romer serves as Economic Development Coordinator for the UWF Haas Center. Her love of learning about other cultures started at an early age witnessing from afar the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. That passion stayed with her as she received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in International Affairs and a minor in German. She is fortunate to have traveled to England, Spain, Mexico, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. She is excited to introduce her young daughter to other cultures and is already planning her family's next trip to Europe. This time she might actually make it to Germany!

Vanessa Mayes, President

Reid Rushing

President of Beck Partners Insurance. Reid is married to a Filipina woman and has traveled many times to the Philippines as well as to Europe. Reid believes the world we live in is so different and vast that we cannot comprehend any different life unless we travel and see how and where others live. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Vanessa Mayes, President

Robert Zitzewitz

Retired, USN Commander. Rob was born into a Navy family, graduated from the Naval Academy, and served in the Navy for twenty years. He lived overseas, both in Turkey and in Italy and has traveled extensively in Europe, South America, and Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Rob believes that expanding horizons for our children will kindle an interest in the world beyond their usual sphere and hopefully encourage them to take advantage of opportunities such as the Studer’s Pensacola Scholarship Program to obtain a degree and to remain in Northwest Florida as a part of an increasingly global workforce.

You can make a difference today!

P.O. Box 12785, Pensacola, FL 32591
321 N DeVilliers Street- Suite 220, Pensacola, FL 32501