“The Connect” 2016 Reimagining Waterworks

KCCI Catalysts are everywhere. They could be your teacher, your neighbor, your banker or a local business owner. The one thing they have in common is their desire to create a difference in the Tallahassee area, and the drive to do something about it.

We are pleased to introduce the 2016 Reimagining Waterworks Community Catalyst team. Connect with our Catalysts by reading the short bios below:


Althemese Barnes

Claim to Fame: “I am the Founder of Riley House Museum and the Florida African American Museum Network (a professional association of 30 museums) and first Executive Director of both for 18 years. I was also appointed by President Barack Obama to the IMLS (Institute of Museums and Library Services) – the oversight agency for federal funding and policy governing museums and libraries.”

I wish there was more time for: “Writing historical publications, including my biography”

Other Gigs: “I am a fill-in musician for church choirs and a charter member of Legacy Choir. I am also a Civil War Re-enactor.”

Time spent in Tallahassee: “I’ve lived in Tallahassee my whole life, I was born here.”


Amy Bradbury

Claim to Fame: “I helped to establish the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, The My Safe Florida Home Nonprofit Program and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund”

Favorite Film: “Shrek”

Wish there was more time for: “Gardening, cooking and volunteering”

Something you might not know about me: “I truly love learning, I am always researching something new”


Spencer Dorsey Jr.

Favorite Music: Hip Hop/R&B, Reggae/Dancehall, Afrobeat

Grew up in: Long Island, NY

Claim to Fame: “I established the first homecoming in Nigeria”

Proudest Accomplishments: “Graduating from college and living abroad”


Melissa Franklin

Hometown: “Tallahassee, FL – I’ve lived in the area for 27 years”

Favorite Film: “The Lego Movie and The Big Lebowski”

Favorite Music: “The Black Keys, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Bob Marley and the Wailers, and Alabama Shakes”

Favorite Urban Venue: “Cascades Park”


Kevin Graham

Occupation: FSU Real Estate Foundation

Claim to Fame: “I built the 2003 HGTV Dream Home”

Wish there was more time for: “Travel and outdoors recreation”

Favorite Film: Cool Hand Luke. Thematically, I like stories about people that can’t be beaten by circumstances”


Bob Howard

What I do: “I am retired, but my great passion is event photography. My main subjects are the FSU Circus and the Village Square, but I have also photographed dance and music performances, lecturers, filmmakers, festivals, political candidates and much more.”

Claim to fame: “As the first director of the FSU Askew Student Life Center, I was involved with the building during its design and construction phase. Then I was able to spend a decade developing student programming in the theatre. It was the best job in the world.”

Acquired Wisdom: “Do it right the first time. Also, talk to young people. After working with college students for 35 years, I am convinced that they are able to see something fresh and exciting.”


Alissa Lotane

Claim to Fame: “I am the first person in my extended family to graduate college”

Favorite Music: “Mostly anything from the 90’s”

Favorite Urban Venue: “Lewis Park (Chain of Parks downtown) – where I was married, and Mission San Luis”

Something you may not know about me: “I ride in New Orleans Mardi Gras parades each year as a member of the Krewe of Iris, and will be celebrating the organization’s 100th anniversary this year.”


Jessica Lowe-Minor

I wish there was more time for: “Horseback riding, cooking, binge-watching TV in my pajamas, eating chocolate icing with a spoon”

Grew up in: New Port Richey, FL

Claim to fame: “I went to FSU with Megan Boone, James Spader’s co-star on Blacklist

You might not know: “I own four pets (1 dog, 2 cats and 1 horse) and I am vegetarian”


Serena Moyle

Time spent in Tallahassee: “I’ve lived in Tallahassee for 24 years, but I root for The Gators!”

What I do: “I am the Curator for the library at Tallahassee’s new retail concept, Hearth & Soul.  I love reading books, talking about and recommending books and meeting the authors!”

Favorite Film: Pride and Prejudice

Something you might not know: “I love to edit cookbooks”


Andi Nelson

Favorite Place to Eat in Tallahassee: “The Wharf Express and Moe’s”

One Thing on my Bucket List: “I really would like to see the Grand Canyon”

Proudest Accomplishment: “Becoming an entrepreneur”

What Drove me to Apply to be a KCCI Catalyst: “I think that Tallahassee is a jewel and I would like to see it meaningfully grow as an incubator for science, technology and new industry”


Carlos Rey

Favorite Music: Florence and the Machine, Peter Gabriel, Beny Moré and Top 40

Hometown: Miami, FL

I wish there was more time for: “Reading, drawing, writing, traveling, spending time with my family”

Claim to fame: “I helped coordinate the recovery effort in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina”


Rob Rushin

What I do: “I am a writer and a musician. I focus in the areas of literature, music, films, politics, economics and social issues”

Acquired Wisdom: “You learn more with your ears than with your mouth”

Favorite Urban Venue: “Proof and Grasslands breweries, Cascades Park and any city sidewalk that leads somewhere”

I always root for: “The underdog”



Wayne Spinks

Claim to fame: “I was part of the team that created “Declaration”, the glass and metal sculpture on Gaines Street, and the Bowden stained glass window in the FSU University Center”

Favorite non-Urban Venue: Wakulla Springs

Wish there was more time for: “Beach walking and canoeing”

Teams I root for: “The Seminoles, ATL Braves and Chiles HS Timberwolves”



Mat Tharpe

Proudest Accomplishment: “Successfully starting and growing a business during a recession while being newly married and then starting a family”

Mentors/Influences: “My wife Jess and son Everett by far incluence my decisions and success more than anyone else”

Favorite non-Urban Venue: “Bradley’s Country Store”

Something you might not know about me: “Tharpe Street was named after my great-grandfather”


Melissa VanSickle

Favorite Film: “I can’t sit still long enough to enjoy a movie, so I watch TV instead.”

Proudest Accomplishments: “Quitting Diet Coke, deciding to run for Florida Bar Board of Governors and opening my firm’s new office”

Favorite non-Urban Venue: “St. George Island”

Something you might not know: “ I can tap dance!”


Alex Workman

What I Do: “I am the Creative Director for Genesis Church, YoungPastors & AWCreative and I am also the Founder of Aerial Tallahassee”

I wish there was more time for: “Exploring new places”

Acquired Wisdom: “The best idea wins and silence is affirmation”

Proudest Accomplishments: “Marrying the most incredible woman in the world and welcoming our son Keegan this past November”



For more information about serving as a volunteer Community Catalyst, click here

To learn more about the 2016 Reimagining Waterworks team, click here