Ben Pingree, CEcD
Director, Office of Economic Vitality
Deputy Director, Business Development
Business Development Manager, Applied Science
Deputy Director, Minority Women & Small Business Enterprise
Darryl Jones is the Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) for Minority, Women and Small Business (MWSBE) Programs. In this role, Darryl manages supplier diversity for the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, and the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency.
Prior to joining OEV, Darryl served thirteen years as the Executive Director of the Bethel Community Development Corporation.
Mr. Jones is an active volunteer in the community, lending his considerable expertise and guidance to several organizations. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, the PACE Center for Girls and is a former Chair of the Tallahassee Leon County Planning Commission, which is responsible for comprehensive area wide-planning for the greater Tallahassee area. In November 2018, Darryl was elected to the Leon County School Board, representing District 3, which includes all schools and students in Southern Leon County.
Additionally, Mr. Jones has volunteered on a variety of Boards of Directors including the Big Bend Fair Housing Agency, the United Partners for Human Services, the Leadership Tallahassee Board of Governors, Tallahassee Housing Authority, the Children’s Campaign, the FAMU Boosters, the inaugural Vice Chairman of the Board for the Boys Choir of Tallahassee and a member of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and past chair of both Kids, Inc. of the Big Bend, and the Enterprise Zone Development Agency (EZDA) Board of Commissioners. Darryl also served on the Board of Directors for Imagine Tallahassee, an agency devoted to make decisions about economic development projects through the “penny sales tax initiative.” He also recently served on the Board of Directors of the Big Bend Minority Chamber and the Tallahassee Airport Advisory Committee.
Darryl Jones is a native of Clearwater, FL and graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in English.
Business Development Manager
For over 32 years, T.J. Lewis (35) has lived in every corner of Tallahassee-Leon County. He is respected for his knowledge in Growth Management, Planning and Real Estate Development and Public Administration. Named “Volunteer of the Year” for his numerous community service initiatives as Student Body President of Lincoln High School where he launched the first campus-wide recycling program in Leon County Schools’ history. As a college student at the Florida State University, T.J. also served as an inaugural member of the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI), and through his ongoing participation with Keep Tallahassee Leon-County Beautiful.
To showcase the robust growth that Tallahassee-Leon County has experienced over the past decade, T.J. founded UrbanTallahassee.com, an online community resource to facilitate the engagement of local residents in the community’s growth which he later sold to join PLACE. T.J.’s efforts have been recognized for boosting the marketability of the Tallahassee region and enhancing our local economy. As a Commercial Realtor for a leading local brokerage, T.J. was also a multi-million producer and has also worked in institutional Real Estate for the State of Florida Division of State Lands. He is committed to the principles of Smart-Growth and to the dream of helping to make Tallahassee-Leon County the absolute best place to live, learn, and do business!
Division Coordinator, Research & Business Analytics
Senior Coordinator, Minority Women & Small Business Enterprise
LaTanya Raffington is a Senior Coordinator with the Office of Economic Vitality Minority Women Small Business Enterprise Division. LaTanya has a passion for providing business and technical assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses. She has over twenty years of experience in public service at the local municipal level. She also serves as the City of Tallahassee Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Liaison Officer.
LaTanya has a background that combines public service with hands on experience in contract compliance, supplier diversity, and business MWSBE/DBE certification programs. Throughout the years LaTanya has provided technical assistance, training, and government contracting services and resources to the Tallahassee/Leon County business community.
LaTanya earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University in Retail Merchandising and earned a Master Compliance Administrator (MCA) certification from the American Contract Compliance Association (ACCA).
She and her husband Vince have been married for thirty three years and have two adult daughters and one granddaughter. They enjoy traveling and attending sporting events. LaTanya loves Tallahassee because it is a great place for education and a great place to raise a family.
Senior Coordinator, Minority Women & Small Business Enterprise
Shanea Wilks has extensive public sector experience with over 30 years in state and local government. Her public sector background includes various activities associated with economic development, including program management and oversight, business development workshop facilitator, and serving as a government representative on various local committees. Currently, she is responsible for database management associated with minority-owned, women-owned, and small business enterprise certifications, she also administers the MWSBE certification process enabling approved firms to do business with local government; and, as a member of the MWSBE team coordinates business development workshops and networking events with local community partners. Her economic development experience also includes financial compliance and grants management for housing programs; and, budget administration of healthcare funding for uninsured local residents. Ms. Wilks is a public speaker; and, has participated in various event panels focused on minorities, women, and small businesses.
Shanea is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She has earned her Master Compliance Administrator certification from the American Contract Compliance Association (ACCA) and is in the process of completing her Executive Certified Master Compliance Administrator certification from ACCA.
Shanea loves Tallahassee-Leon County because the city comes alive during football season, it serves as host to diverse festivals, and the parks and trails are cool attractions.
Richard Darabi, P.E.
Dr. Temple Robinson, MD
Wayne E. Mayo
George Johnson, Jr.
Frank W. Williams
- To make a positive impact on the lives of everyone I meet along this short path of life that the Lord Blesses me with.
- Exercise daily as often as I can by reaching down and pulling someone up to help them be successful!
- To transfer Florida Developers Inc to the next generation.
- To travel to Australia and Antarctica to complete the “Continent Chase”!
- Joint Venture Partner on the Renovation of the Department of Social Work Ware-Rhoney Building at FAMU
- Joint Venture Partner on the Construction Frederick S. Humphries (FSH) Science Research Center (SRC)
- Renovation of Strong & Jones Funeral Home
- Completed the Site Work for the Leon County Joint Dispatch Center
- Florida Developers is the longest running Minority General Contractor to have its doors open with continuous service 8-5, Monday through Friday except for holidays for over 40 years!
- Southside Rotary, Former President & Current Charter Member
- Buffalo Soldiers Moter Cycle Club Current Charter Member
- Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
- Saint Peter Primitive Baptist Board of Deacons
- MWSBE Advisory Board
- Blueprint 2000 Committee City of Tallahassee
- Capital Area Community Action Agency
- Legal Services of North Florida
- National Association of Minority Contractors
Tallahassee Housing Authority is a public housing authority created pursuant to Chapter 421 of the Florida Statutes. THA is a dual program authority administering both a public housing program (ACC) and Housing Choice voucher Program sponsored by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). THA has multiple housing properties, as well as one LIHTC-only property. THA has approximately 2, 2014 Section 8 Vouchers and an ACC capacity of 641 in service. THA is a mission-driven public organization committed to changing the face and character of affordable housing by creating high performing, high quality housing using national examples of best practice mixed-use/mixed income development.