Board & Staff

Board of Directors:
Florence Ackey, MSW
Founder and CEO

Florence Ackey is the passionate, mission-driven, Founder and Executive Director of the Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative. After years of working in the community and local agencies to advocate for and increase the visibility of newly arrived refugee, migrant, and international women, Florence founded RAMWI in 2013. The goal was to help, even in a small way, by having RAMWI serve as a bridge of hope and resources to the hundreds of refugee families that resettled in Tampa Bay. 

Her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work set the stage for her work as a servant leader, which she demonstrates in her roles as both a Refugee Health Specialist with the Florida Department of Health and a doctoral student in Advanced Leadership Practices in Public Health at the University of South Florida. Additionally, she currently serves as the Chair of the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force’s Refugee Mental Health Team. She is frequently invited to lead trainings, guest speak, and present to the community (both public and private sectors) on refugee health and working to meet the needs of vulnerable and culturally diverse populations. In 2017, she received the honor of being nominated for the Florida Public Health Woman of the Year. She was also twice the recipient of the Making A World of Difference Award by Refugee Services, Department of Children and Families.

 

As a devoted mother of 3, she models the values needed for innovative, compassionate, and effective leadership through service and advocacy. In the words of Kristen Welsh, "I don't want to be the ceiling to their potential, I want to be their floor."

Jennifer Miner Knippen, MBA, PhD - President

Jennifer Knippen is an Associate Professor of Management at Eckerd College and the Co-Director of the Eckerd College St. Pete Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact. Jennifer earned her doctorate in Strategic Management from the University of Florida in 2012 and holds degrees from both Thunderbird, School of Global Management, and Florida State University. With over 13 years of experience teaching courses in strategic management, leadership, and entrepreneurship, Jennifer brings to RAMWI her knowledge of business and entrepreneurship education and a commitment to empowering women. While her academic research focuses on women’s leadership advancement within organizations, she is equally committed to helping women discover how they can create their own entrepreneurial opportunities. Jennifer is inspired by RAMWI’s dedication to empowering refugee and migrant women by helping them realize the strength of their community, voice, and creativity.

Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH - Vice President

I am a full-time Instructor at the USF College of Public Health (COPH) where I've taught courses in disaster management, humanitarian relief, and homeland security since joining the college in 2012. I am pursuing a Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) in Public Health Leadership from the USF COPH. The focus of my research involves evaluating disaster management systems working primarily with vulnerable populations, examining how the built environment and social determinants impact disaster resilience, population movements, and refugee resettlement (i.e., evacuation decision-making, IDPs/refugees, human trafficking). I serve as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative (RAMWI), Chair of the Hillsborough County Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) Working Group, and Lead for the FEMA Higher Education Special Interest Group for Service-Learning and Leadership.

Michael D Jimenez, CPA - Treasurer

I am President of Jimenez CPA Inc. My firm provides tax, accounting, virtual CFO services and accounting systems conversions for businesses and nonprofits. I have 23 years of experience in corporate management and executive accounting roles, both in nonprofit and for profit organizations. My experience includes years of charter school finance, grants financial management and government contracting. I am a U.S. Army veteran, having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have worked with complex tax and accounting issues, including recovering millions of dollars in revenue for my employers and tax clients. I have also performed several complex accounting systems conversions that increased operating efficiency. My objective is to bring my past experience to current and prospective clients. I can be reached at: mike@jcpainc.com or 813-727-6108.

Courtney Erickson
Director of Social Enterprise

My name is Courtney Erickson and I live in St. Petersburg, Fl. My role as Director of Social Enterprise for RAMWI is perfect for my mission-driven and entrepreneurial personality. I thrive on empowering women through equitable access to opportunity and the power of a supportive community, no matter the barrier. I am incredibly proud of winning the "Bold Woman" award from the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for my work founding Sew Much Hope Project, and I strive to raise my three children to be bold change-makers too. Since graduating from Villanova University with a B.A. in Communications I have spent my career working with under-served communities in the US and abroad, and I am inspired every day by the refugee families I know through RAMWI and their resilience and capacity for joy. When I am not overseeing sewing workshops, I can be found on my paddleboard in the mangroves or folding laundry. 

Rashida Kamis - Member at Large

Bio coming soon

April McCulloh - Member at Large

Bio coming soon