Meet Our Staff


Monica Wofford

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Monica Wofford has diligently served on our board and Executive Board prior to being named CEO in May of 2020. She has a significant depth and breadth of exposure and experience in both the Non-Profit and Corporate leadership arena. Monica has served on the board of Freedom Ride, Rollins College Leadership Advisory Board, Girl Scouts, and National Speakers Association and is a current board member of Habitat for Humanity and a political committee, while also serving as a member of Lake County Workforce Housing Task Force and Lake 100. She is a twenty-year Lake County resident and brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships to the organization, due in part to her founding and operation of the leadership training and consulting firm of Contagious Companies, Inc, since 2003. Her roles in this organization have included business coaching, professional trainer, executive consultant, and keynote speaker. Monica has also written for the Non-Profit Times and taught courses within the Non-Profit Mini-MBA at Rollins College.

We value her commitment and passion to serve in this capacity as we smoothly transition during this time. Monica will continue to hold the role of CEO of leadership training firm Contagious Companies, Inc while also working closely and daily with the incredible team within United Way of Lake and Sumter, facilitating meeting the many needs within our communities.


Cathy Bicknell
Director, Finance

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Cathy Bicknell is the Finance Director of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. Her educational background includes a Bachelors in Business Administration that laid the foundation for her years of experience in various finance roles and positions. In fact, Cathy joined us with a great deal of familiarity with the United Way financial model, having served in a financial capacity at the United Way of McLean County and the United Way of Marion County.

A goal of Cathy’s is to consistently, and with the highest degree of compliance quality, grow this United Way to heights it’s never reached before, including the achievement of a new UWW Metro ranking and an excess of $4M in revenue, along with, of course, pristine, accurate, and compliant audits and 990 documentation.  


Michelle Dean
Director, Educational Programs

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Michelle Dean was born in Ocala at Munroe Regional Medical Center. She was raised in the small town of Anthony, Florida with an older brother, an older sister and one younger brother. Her other sisters and brothers were already married and had moved away. There are twelve children in all.

Michelle’s professional career started at the age of seventeen. She was an early childcare preschool teacher. She worked her way up to assistant Director and then standing Director of an Early Learning Center. She then moved into the school system as the In-House Substitute teacher. In this position, she completed an internship in the placement department. She was hired as a placement specialist working with foster children.

As the Master Teacher of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, she works in the early childcare classrooms to provide hands on training for the teachers in their own classrooms. The teachers earn a 45 hours certificate upon completion of the twenty-day program. She feels blessed to work with providers in the Lake and Sumter County areas.

Her personal goal is to complete her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Educational Leadership at the University of North Florida. Her professional goal is to be the Director of the Master Teacher Program. She also wants to provide a quality early childcare training conference to educators free of charge once a year. It is her desire to see this program make a difference in the providers of these two-great counties. She would also love to partner with local early childhood agencies to increase awareness and knowledge of early childhood needs in our area.

Michelle has many interests. At the top of the list, is spending time with her boys and husband. She enjoys watching her middle son play baseball and look forward to the season starting up again. She also enjoys helping her son with his wood working business. Painting, drawing, decorating, reading, and jewelry making is a very soothing experience for Michelle.

Stephen Shylkofski

Stephen Shylkofski
Director, Resource Development

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Stephen Shylkofski is the Community Impact Director of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. A long-time community volunteer and advocate, Stephen has had the pleasure of working closely with many areas of both the Federal and State Government, many Veterans programs, and most recently was the long-time Constituent Services Director for Congressman Daniel Webster. His transition to the Non-Profit sector showcases his passion for helping others and making an even more targeted and localized difference.

With a BA in Political Science from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!), Stephen is adept in advocacy for both our funded partners and community agencies with whom we affiliate. He is also quite skilled in showcasing new opportunities for greater positive impact in the community, including his efforts in leading and growing the Stronger Families Program.

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Victoria Gonzalez
Finance Coordinator

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   Victoria is a native Texan & has been residing in Florida for over 25 years. She is a devoted mother of two and a proud citizen of Lake County. As one of the newest additions to our finance department, she has extensive background in all aspects of sales, marketing, and financial management. Victoria found United Way to be the perfect fit for her skill set to be utilized for growth and advancement to our Lake & Sumter communities.


Nishika Stafford
Director, Family Stability Services

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Nishika Stafford earned her undergraduate degree in Social Work at the University of Central Florida with a minor in Aging Studies and is currently a student of Florida International University working on achieving her Master of Health Administration. While achieving her degree, she worked in long term care. Nishika has volunteered through UCF with assisting the homeless population and an active volunteer in Lake and Sumter counties non-profit events.

Nishika is a native of Central Florida and resides here with her two children. She finds joy in helping individual and families within her community who are born with societal disadvantages and fighting an up-hill battle. She enjoys encouraging youth to strive towards goals and making them aware of their potential to achieve all dreams.

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Danielle Heider 
Community Impact Coordinator

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Danielle is our new Community Impact Coordinator. Community Impact is achieved through the cooperation of area non-profits, for-profits, individuals and government agencies in solidarity towards specific social service program goals. United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties focuses on education, income, and health as the building blocks for a good life and a strong community. Danielle’s  goal is to create lasting change through Community Impact initiatives by addressing the underlying causes of problems that stand in the way of families striving for a better life. 

Tracy Schoonmaker

Tracey Schoonmaker
Mission United Coordinator

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Tracey Schoonmaker is currently serving as the Coordinator of Mission United of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. Mission United is designed to assist veterans in six key areas, which include: Health, Education, Employment, Financial Stability, Legal and Housing.

Tracey spent 24 years with the US Army rising to the rank of Lt. Col with successive assignments in various military assignments. He then was employed for the next 24 years in several positions in post-secondary education ranging from Campus Director, Vice President International operations, Vice President Brazilian operations, Regional Financial Director and Faculty member. Has also established and developed campuses in Orlando, Brazil, and India. He and his family currently reside in Howey in the Hills.

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Daisy Bisby
Case Manager

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Dasionia Bisby started as an intern at United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties through the Career Source program. During her internship, she was eager to help clients and was determined to develop her customer service skills. Dasionia is now the Family Stability executive administrator, in which she uses new customer service strategies and continues implementing a personalized approach to every client.

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Andrew Barajas
Case Manager

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Andrew Barajas began as an intern with United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties and quickly absorbed the magnitude of knowledge needed for each facet of case management and assistance funding. Based on his demonstration of skill for learning, he then became a full-time case manager with our Family Stability Services division. Andrew’s passion is clearly seen in his drive, determination, and dedicated work-ethic.

With a degree in Social Work, and aspirations to pursue his Master’s, he also shares a goal orientation and high level of detail orientation with each and everyone of his clients.


Lena J. McCamish-Kane
Campaign Manager

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Lena McCamish-Kane came to us as an administrative assistant following a 12 year period of juggling a part time at home medical transcription position while homeschooling and caring for her twin daughters.  After growing up in Augusta, Maine most of her life, she moved to Florida in 1991 with her first duty station in the US Coast Guard.  She earned a magna cum Laude Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in Psychology and has plans for earning her masters when her daughters are a little older.

Her professional experience has included fundraising, event planning, interconnect consulting and management consulting.  She thrives in making community connections and establishing long lasting relationships that lead to helping those around us that need us the most.  The most rewarding to her is connecting businesses to opportunities that inspire them to grow and flourish within the community.  Lena has a deep passion for traveling, geocaching, painting/sketching, and most of all, her twin daughters who light up every room they are in!

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Rebecca Morales
Administrative Assistant, Family Stability Services

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Rebecca is a native Floridian and serves as our valued administrative assistant for our Family Stability Services department. Her experience stems from the medical records and administration arena, with a focus on all things customer service. With a heart for service and helping others, as well as a cherished love of family, she is always bringing her best self to the company each day, assisting clients and working with those in need, at often their most trying time. Rebecca helps us to reach one of our many goals, which is helping families to achieve stability.

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Keia Wilson
Case Manager

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Keia Wilson is a Case Manager with United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. She holds a BS in Business and Accounting and has had 18 years of experience in the medical field. Her passion is in raising morale and establishing strong communication along with a trusting therapeutic relationship with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures.

She has worked with youth as a mentor, clients in need with funding options, and even helped clients assess the risks and outcomes of many of their decisions, using skills learned from when she was a data analyst. Keia tends to roam both counties in our service area, so you may spot her in Sumterville, Mount Dora, or even the South Lake area, as well as her home base of right here in Leesburg.


Evin Schneider

Grant Writer

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Evin Schneider is an Americorps Vista and began in early 2020, though it often seems as if she has been here much longer. With adept research skills and a drive to learn and grow her grant writing skills, Evin demonstrates a keen eye for funding opportunities and an enthusiasm for ensuring a match between grantee and grantor.

Evin holds a BA in elementary education and a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorder. She shares a passion for the education of children and how that is achieved and to what degree of quality. Her firm belief is that all kids need access to a quality education and deserve to receive individualized instruction.

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Justin Adonis 
Administrative Assistant, Mission United

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Justin Adonis was born in southern Florida and moved to New England six weeks later. Spending 25 years of his life in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, he returned to his roots and moved to Central Florida to live with his partner. An empathic soul and derives joy from seeing people improve. He has struggled with medical difficulties since he was young and is driven to improve the quality of life of others who need it. Justin started volunteering at United Way as a Tax Preparer for the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program in early 2021. With an extensive family background of veterans, he was eager and ready to help United Way and Mission United when the opportunity showed itself. Now he is an Administrative Assistant for Mission United at United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties.



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Thawanna Newton
Master Teacher

More About Thawanna...

Thawanna worked in the Department of Corrections for 10 years after graduating High School. She then started volunteering at Head Start only to realized how much I loved watching the children learn and grow.  Accepted a full time position there in the year 2000,and  it became very evident that she was following what she was passionate about.  Thawanna has been in Early Childhood for 21 years.  Most recent was serving staff and families as Director of Little Buffalo in the Villages.

I am a proud mom of two amazing sons and a beautiful granddaughter.  I firmly believe that all children can learn.  We must create environments they feel safe and accepted in.  There is no greater feeling than watching the change in little learners.  I believe that when teachers are supported with resources and knowledge they can make a difference.  Pouring into our little learners will in turn produce productive well rounded confident citizens.  I hold a Child Development Associates, Florida Daycare Directors Credentials and a Bachelors of Religious Arts in Biblical Studies.  Also a member of Florida Association of Childcare Management.

There is Nothing as Powerful as a Changed Mind”Thawanna Newton

We value diversity…

At United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of who we are. Our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all of our work in both of our two counties we have the pleasure of serving. They are central to our mission and vision, as well as our community impact. We know that having varied perspectives is able to help generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing—and increasingly diverse—world.