Leah Ward-Lee, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Tony X. Lee, Co-Founder, Director, & Board Member
While still in High School, Tony started in the restaurant and bar service industry. He continued in the industry during college and to date has spent more than two decades learning the intricacies of the business.
During that time, he served in every available position, from busboy to bartender to General Manager of multi-unit concepts. In Dallas, he was well-known as a celebrity bartender with a following that packed every shift to capacity and a restaurant and bar consultant for staff hiring, training, and operational management.
Along the way he worked with thousands of individuals and saw how easily bar and restaurant money comes and goes. To enable anyone who had a dollar in their pocket and a desire to improve their quality of life had a resource and a path to follow. Working with Leah Ward-Lee, they devised a plan and published a book, workbook, and training course to help keep people from going broke.
With the $1000 Startups Program, Tony has taken the lessons learned and lumps taken along the way and sees daily how his knowledge and passion for business helps business owners and entrepreneurs gain focus and realize their goals.
Rev. Anthony C. Daniel, Director & Board Member
Anthony C. Daniel served as the spiritual leader and pastor of Historic Macedonia AME Church Fernandina Beach, Florida from November 2013 -November 2021. Licensed by the Rev. Dr. William Maxwell Robinson, his Father in the ministry at the Ebenezer AME Church in New City, NY, he was ordained by the African Methodist Episcopal Church with Third Episcopal District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania upon accepting the call to the pastorate in 1990.
Pastor Daniel is a passionate community servant. He motivates and inspires individuals to identify their potential and share this passion in serving others.
Pastor Daniel successfully spearheaded Bridging the Gap, a faith-based initiative to facilitate a sense of unity among The Clergy, Community Leaders, and Law Enforcement in Nassau County in light of the recent tragedies and troubled times we live. His primary focus and purpose are to create and promote an inclusive community empowered by diversity in every form imaginable and enhance social equity.
He currently serves on several Executive Boards within the City of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County. He also serves as a member of the Nassau County Christian Leadership Conference, Nassau County Ministerial Association.
In addition to Pastor Daniel’s thirty years of experience are undergraduate and graduate degrees. However, the degree he is most proud of is his degree in Common Sense which he obtained at the University of Sylvia Daniel’s home of his praying mother. A firm believer that if you Touch the Heart, you can Save the Soul.
Samuel O. Lane, Director & Board Member
Samuel O. Lane is a retired Air Force colonel and Command Pilot with over 4000 flying hours in large and jumbo jets (C-141 and C-5) and general aviation aircraft. He has extensive experience in Air Force airfield and fleet operations. He spent five years as an FAA-certified Air Force air traffic controller. Expert in command-and-control systems and operations, including planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, and controlling trans-national, multi-modal transportation and logistics operations.
He’s a Systems Engineer with sixteen years as a Management Consultant for business and government. During that time he conducted numerous studies and analyses of management and engineering practices. He’s a recognized expert in large-scale program and project management, including planning, management, and financial and risk controls. He has more than thirty years’ total experience in organizational leadership; formulation of management policy; design, development, and use of management control systems; and process improvement. He served as an Adjunct Professor in the Systems Engineering Master’s Degree program for Johns-Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering.
Sam is a resident of Fernandina Beach, FL since 2007 and an active pilot.
Chef Xylina Green, Board Member, Owner of Island Personal Chefs
Xylina Green, is a Personal Chef and Caterer. She graduated The Art Institute of Atlanta, Culinary Arts School in 2014. She went on to work in several Atlanta area kitchens until moving back home and eventually opening Island Personal Chefs LLC in 2018.
She served as a Master at Arms in the Navy Reserves, developing leadership, planning and problem- solving skills during her eleven years of service. Xylina, separated from the military in 2020 to focus on developing her catering business.
Xylina gained attention from the local Chaine des Rotisseurs, president Dr. Rawson Griffin and she has been preparing coursed dinners for the group for over a year. She was recently presented with the honor of joining this prestigious wine and food society as a professional chef. She will be formally inducted December 9, 2021.
She created Island Sisters, Incorporated in 2020 to mentor local girls and young women. It is still in its development stage.
Connor Fasel, Board Member, Owner of Millennial Touch, LLC
Connor Fasel is the Founder of Millennial Touch, a small personal tech services company based in Fernandina Beach, FL. In addition, Connor is an active participant in local community focused groups and non-profit organizations including the $1,000 Start-Ups Consortium and Fernandina Beach Pride.
After graduating with Honors from the University of Alabama with his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and a Minor in Spanish, Connor pursued a Master’s Degree at the University of Iceland.
He began his career teaching English as a Second Language and worked in a host of fields connected to academia and the arts. In 2018, Connor began working in Social Media Marketing and Information Technology for Story & Song Bookstore Bistro. This lifetime of experience ultimately led to the founding of Connor’s first company, Millennial Touch, which emphasizes assisting people with technical issues while focusing on helping people learn and no longer feel intimidated by their devices.”
Connor is a relatively new resident of Fernandina Beach, but in less than three years he has become a vocal and active member of the small business community. Connor employs a diverse range of skills garnered over a range of personal and professional experiences. He was recently selected by the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce to attend the 2021 Leadership Nassau program.
T.R. Richardson, Board Member, CTO Richwood Int'l
T.R. Richardson is the Chief Training Officer at the Richwood International, the company he founded. He is also the Executive Director of the Nassau County Racial Equality Coalition.
An impactful speaker, trainer, and facilitator, he has travelled the nation empowering more than 350,000 learners and attendees with the skills and tools they need to achieve their personal, professional, and organizational goals.
He is an innovative and goal-oriented change agent known for achieving organizational growth as well as his background identify training needs, providing interventions, and measuring training effectiveness in the private and public sector.