To say Greg Strader is waiting for a disaster to happen is true. In fact, he’s been waiting and preparing his community for more than ten years as the founder and CEO of BRACE, the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies located in Escambia County in NW Florida. BRACE’s vision is to make their community the most disaster resilient community in America.
Prior to Greg’s role with BRACE, he served as CEO of the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida and the Coordinator for the Escambia Long Term Recovery following hurricanes Ivan and Dennis. The relationships he developed during those times has helped him develop strong partnerships which are the cornerstone of success at BRACE.
Recovery following a disaster is a messy and complicated process. Greg has demonstrated the ability to navigate the mess, document lessons learned and build successful partnerships. BRACE has been recognized at the local, state and national level for its work including 13 awards and honorable mentions by FEMA through the Individual & Community Preparedness Awards program. BRACE received the John D. Solomon Preparedness Award in 2012, the highest presented through the FEMA Awards Program. BRACE also received the Promising Partnership Award in 2011, because of its success in engaging over 500 organizations as partners.
In January 2012, Greg was named a “Champion of Change” at a White House ceremony for the accomplishments of BRACE during 2010 and 2011, including the mobilization of 1,950 volunteers in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Greg’s service throughout his career was recognized with the “2016 Distinguished Service Award” at the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference.
When Greg isn’t preparing his community for disasters you might find him watching the Kansas City Chiefs. His affinity for the Chiefs goes back to when he had the opportunity to command the color guard at the 1971 AFC Divisional Playoff Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins which turned out to be the longest professional football game ever played. Greg has been married to his wife and best friend Kathy for nearly 25 years. They work together and of course they travel together too. They traveled to Australia and experienced snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, watching the Penguin Parade just outside of Melbourne and riding Brumbies in the Snowy Mountains where “Man from Snowy River” was filmed.
Greg serves as an Advisory Board Member at the University of Florida, Public Issues in Education Center and the Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management is pleased to have him on our board too!
Traci is the Director of the Volunteer Resource Center at Heart of Florida United Way where she leads a team of professionals who manage opportunities for volunteer engagement for corporate, faith-based, school-related and civic groups and individuals. She is inspired in her work at United Way by the difference they are making in their community and the people they serve. She serves on boards of youth related non-profits, and volunteer-focused organizations, and serves as a mentor.
Growing up, Traci wanted to be a teacher like her grandmother and aunts so she could have a positive influence on youth. Her grandmother, Doris Ann Holman, is her hero. She was an educator who was passionate about teaching and served in the Los Angeles School District for 35 years. She was also extremely active in her church and teaching sorority, and was a mentor and community servant for her whole life. Traci was inspired to serve by her grandmother and has adopted a similar pattern of service in her own life.
In Traci’s personal life, she is very proud of her is 21 year old son, Tevin, who is a junior at FAMU, and Tyler, her 18 year old daughter who is attending FAMU this fall. Traci is also a HUGE Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan! She can be a little adventurous at times. She’s rappelled down from a three story building and plans to skydive with her son soon!
Traci Blue is Certified in Volunteer Administration and serves on the Florida Association For Volunteer Resource Management Board as an At Large Director.
Joyce Wilson dreamed of being a business owner but her life’s path was redirected to serving not just herself but caring for and about others. Joyce credits her mother with instilling service and volunteerism in her as a young child. Her mom, now retired, continues to model service through her own volunteering with children and seniors.
As Executive Director of Unity Family Community Center, Joyce has the opportunity to share her personal purpose; to serve others, to bring happiness and to improve the quality of life. She is inspired by the people she serves and strives to build partnerships to help others. Joyce says “As we dream of how our lives are to be lived out, there is always another path ahead of us. With my mother’s wisdom embedded in me, I currently volunteer with faith based organizations, substance prevention coalitions, mentoring program and nonprofits. Each organization’s mission is to serve others.”
Unity Family Community Center is in Williston and their mission is to ensure services make positive changes in the lives of the youth served. This is accomplished through role models, improved family support, strengthened coping skills, and productive lifestyles through programs in prevention, intervention, and education.
Joyce holds a B.A. in Business Administration with specialization in Management, Dual Master of Arts in Management and Leadership and Human Resource Management. She currently serves as a At Large Director on the Florida Association For Volunteer Resource Management Board.