About Us

We help others regain hope, dignity, self-worth and quality of life

Cole Link Foundation was established to help others and enrich the quality of life for individuals and families. The Foundation serves nationwide with hometown roots in the greater Tampa Bay, Florida area. Allocated funds support a variety of deserving programs in the fields of educational awareness, health & wellness and the performing arts.


Every day we work towards helping people who have been forgotten, neglected and often, lost hope. We serve as a friend, helping hand, mentor and motivator. Our charitable programs lift spirits, help others to find light in the darkest hour, inspire self-growth and heal mind and body.  We strive to empower a chain reaction of community involvement and pride. Our greatest reward is seeing smiles on the faces of the people we help. 

Our Vision

To promote education, generate wellness resources and bring about the richness of cultural traditions and expression. We will make it our mission to share the love and generosity of our donors and bring much-deserved healing to children and families who desperately need it. 

Our Mission

To collaborate with agencies and individuals dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development and cultivation of educational awareness, health & wellness and the arts. To network with those in need to ensure access and support, such that lives can be enriched.

We are Making a Difference Every Day

Imagine a world where dreams come true and helping each other is everyone’s top priority. The world’s problems are not going to go away by themselves. All of us need to get involved and solve them. Imagine how it would feel to have someone help you get off drugs, find a better job, teach you about better nutrition or provide you with assistance to write the screenplay of your dreams. This type of nonprofit community support from Cole Link Foundation has the power to lift individuals and families out of hopelessness and into a lifetime of productive contribution.

Thank You for Your Donation

Our donors are our lifeline to helping others. If you have a passion to help the underserved, donate today and we'll do all the hard work for you. Our dedicated team of healthcare workers, teachers and volunteers are working hard every day to make a difference in someone's life. Check out our website often to find out about upcoming programs and how you can help. We can't offer a helping hand without your support. The families we help thank you for your generous gift.

DONATE NOW

Board of Directors

Myra J. Cole-Baucom, Founder/Chairwoman

myra@colelinkfoundation.org

Myra J. Cole-Baucom is the founder of the Cole Link Foundation. She created the Cole Link Foundation in response to the ongoing desire to support individuals and organizations in The Arts, Health & Wellness and Educational Awareness. Myra wanted to establish an organization that kept dignity, respect and collective responsibility at the core of its focus. She is committed to bringing joy and cultural competency to community engagement. She is working with communities across the country to develop self-sustaining collaborations, improve access to resources and increase effective communication internally and externally.


Myra has also worked as a creative designer at several florists and nurseries. Her creativity reached new levels during her tenure at Trans World Airline. For nineteen years, Myra traveled the world with her late husband, gathering new ideas and learning cultural traditions. After her airline career, she started her own business and personally decorated several large restaurants, weddings and numerous homes. She is also a published author, songwriter and playwright.


Myra currently resides in central Florida. She has 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.


“I am excited and delighted to share my vision. My hope is first to uplift, inspire and support the underserved and the Native American people. It’s time to provide resources, venues and reward them for their many talents. My future and longtime goal is to help many cultures.

We have several dynamic projects in play to reach our goals. The Cole Link Foundation, with the help of the board of directors, staff and an outstanding volunteer team, will be the link to build lasting improvements in many ways. I am passionate about our commitment and feel we will accomplish our initiatives with love as our strength to guide our dreams and visions.” 

Mary Kennedy, President

mary@colelinkfoundation.org

Mary Kennedy has been speaking professionally since 1989. She is a dynamic and thought provoking leadership coach, author, motivational and keynote speaker. As the former CEO/President of the Lathrop District Chamber of Commerce, she has shared the speakers’ platform with such notables as: Senator Lois Wolk, Senator Kathleen Galigiani, Congresswoman Karen Bass, International Leadership Trainer Donna Hartley, Martin Luther King III and many more.  


As a trailblazer in the City of Lathrop, Mary Kennedy was Nominated "Woman of the Year” for the State of California by Senator Lois Wolk the 5th District. She was also placed in the Library of Congress in 2012 and 2013 consecutively, as an Outstanding Professional. During her tenure as the CEO/President of the Lathrop District Chamber of Commerce she created the first youth chamber in the United States. Through her efforts, the chamber was recognized as Business of Excellence.  


Mary is also the CEO of TYPP (Turn Your Passion into Profit), a Speaking Institution, that was founded on the concept and belief that expressing oneself through effective communication is an essential skill needed in this global society. As a former producer and talk show host of TYPP (Turn Your Passion into Profit), she was afforded the opportunity to discuss an array of hot button topics evolving around public speaking and public affairs.


Her professional affiliations include board memberships in such organizations as: Lathrop District Chamber of Commerce, Library of Congress, Workforce Investment Board, Boys and Girls Club, Lathrop Sunrise Rotary, and a former member of B.A.S.S. (Bay Area Speakers Services), League of Women Voter, NAACP and more. Mary Kennedy had been label as the “Energizer Bunny” by Senator Lois Wolk and” Unstoppable” By Motivational Speaker Les Brown. 

Deborah Butler, Vice President/Planning Chair

Deborah Butler is a resource specialist at Olathe South High School in Olathe, Kansas. She has taught in the public school system, Los Angeles Unified School District and Olathe School District, since 1983. In 2001, National Board of Directors declared Mrs. Butler for her dedication in teaching students with Exceptional Needs. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, a Resource Specialist certification from California Lutheran University, and a master’s degree from National University in special education. When she is not teaching, Deborah Butler is horseback riding or hiking with her dog in Leawood, Kansas.

Gail Sanders, Treasurer/Fiscal Affairs Chair

Gail Sanders is a licensed Leasing Agent and association board member for On Top of the World Real Estate, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida since July 2006. She is originally from Kansas City, Kansas where her father Robert L. Baucom, Sr. was a real estate broker for many years. She also brokered Bob Baucom & Associates for 10 years before moving to Orlando, Florida in 2004 and then to the Clearwater area in 2006.


 Wherever Gail has lived or visited, she has enthusiastically shared in the evangelizing work of helping individuals in the community with the accurate knowledge to become better citizens, marriage mates, parents and children despite the critical times that we live in. Gail is a devoted mother to two daughters and grandmother of seven.

Alexis Cole Strother, Secretary

Alexis Cole Strother is a registered nurse currently practicing in multiple states, including Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. Alexis received her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from the University of Central Missouri. She currently assists Medicare members in gaining access to the healthcare they need and navigating the complex healthcare systems. Alexis has experience in the national and global non-profit healthcare sectors, where she has co-managed budgets of over 1.3 million dollars in funds that were disbursed to assist individual's health related needs. Alexis enjoys volunteering her time to assist others in the areas of healthcare, financial planning and personal development. Alexis loves traveling, spending time with her family and friends and helping people improve their lives.

Carol Jane Cole-Holoman, Board Member

In Memory of Lifetime Member

Carol Jane Cole-Holoman is a former Adult  Education School Teacher and retired Real Estate Agent. She enjoyed her  profession of teaching data processing, while providing the knowledge  and training required to help her students obtain employment and develop  successful careers. As a Real Estate agent, Carol loved the joy of  finding homes and closing transactions for her clients.


In her  spare time Carol provides computer data entry and telemarketing for a  local manufacturing skin care company. She also assists her twin sister  Myra with various projects, including interior design, research and  writing. She currently resides in Palm Harbor, Florida. She has two  daughters, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Simon Peter Cole III, Board Member/Development Chair

Simon Peter Cole, III is the eldest son of the Cole family.  He is a native of Kansas City, Kansas with a brief stay in Connecticut as a young adolescent.  He served in the Air Force Military during the Vietnam War era. Simon currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri and has been married for over 20 years to his wife Yolande Warwease Cole. His overall philosophy is to love God, family and community.


Simon’s education and training consists of a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) from Park University, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Psychology from University of Central Missouri, where he is one of the founding chapter members of Alpha Phi Alpha, a Missouri/Kansas Real Estate License, a Graduate Realtor Institute Designation (G.R.I.) and a Missouri Auctioneer Appraiser.


Simon has over forty-five years extensive work experience in management, real estate and community support. He currently holds a position at Comprehensive Mental Health Services as the Community Support Specialist - Housing.  He has held positions at Swope Health Services- Children Community Support Worker; University Academy – Assistant Principal/School Based Social Worker; Kansas City, Missouri School District – School Based Social Worker, Real Estate Supervisor and Warehouse Administrative Officer; Coldwell Banker Real Estate – Real Estate Professional; PaperMate/Gillette Division – Marketing Representative, International Business Machines (IBM) – Marketing Representative,  and Allstate Insurance – Supervisor/Operation Manager.


Simon is on the board of Midwest Credit Union and has served on The Salvation Army Linwood Center Social Services Advisory Council.  

Montielle Bennett, Board Member/Nominating Chair

Montielle Bennett is a Registered Nurse in California and enjoys helping patients, families, and the countless professionals she collaborates with daily. As a Nursing Administrator for Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest Nonprofit Health Care Systems in the country, Montielle manages all daily operations for Vision Services in the Orange County service area. She received her Baccalaureate degree in Registered Nursing from the University of Phoenix and her Masters degree in Health Care Education from the same university. When not hard at work, she thrives on family time, fitness, and traveling. Montielle is a Public Health Nurse with a passion for supporting holistic nursing care for diverse populations. She has a heart for connecting people and assisting those in need. Montielle regularly volunteers for many large and small projects that involve, connect, and assist disparaged communities.

Staff Members

Carmen (Wilson) Lake CFE, CFSA, Executive Director

carmen@colelinkfoundation.org

Carmen Wilson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Management from the University of South Alabama and her Master of Business Administration from Tampa College in Tampa, Florida. Currently positioned as Program Director for Citizens Alliance for Progress, Inc., located in Tarpon Springs, Florida, Carmen Wilson plans, directs and coordinates community-based services to empower and support individuals and families to foster their personal growth and development. Part of her role is to involve herself in every aspect of the organization’s projects including reporting, budgets, proposals, contracts, staffing, scheduling, compliance and press releases.


Carmen’s expertise and natural talents in business were highly regarded throughout her distinguished career. As Executive Director of Faith in Action of Upper Pinellas, Carmen participated and managed the FIAUP Organization and all exercise programs for Independent Living and Strong For Life. Her skills in administration were highly prized as she handled grant research and preparation, payroll tax preparation and submittal, budget preparation and financial accounting. Under Carmen’s leadership and expert planning, targeted marketing and public relations for events continuously generated captivated audiences and meaningful agendas, as each event became more successful than the previous. Carmen is directly responsible for implementing new programs, increasing the volunteer base and significantly expanding the number of exercise sites and participants.


At Southwest Florida College Business Department in Tampa, Florida, Carmen taught courses in finance, business, taxation and accounting. Her outstanding accomplishments in teaching, budgets, accounting and finance can be seen during her tenure with Clerk of Circuit Court, Webster College, Equitable Mortgage Resources, Inc. and AmSouth Bank.


Carmen has held and currently holds many board positions in noteworthy organizations such as the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority, The Haven of RCS, American Red Cross, Wealth Building Coalition of Pinellas County, Crescent Foundation, Florida West Coast Credit Union, VITA United Way/IRS/Wealth Building Coalition, Life Force Arts & Technology Academy and Dunedin Committee on Aging.


Since 1998, Carmen has been honored with a plethora of Awards of Excellence and Community Service Leadership Awards for appreciation of her outstanding contributions and accomplishments in her field.

JoLynn F. Wright, Program Director

 jolynn@colelinkfoundation.org

JoLynn F. Wright has been a successful sales executive for more than 25 years, during which time she received numerous awards including Sales Representative of the Year, Key Account Manager of the Year, Top Gun Award and Top Sales Award. JoLynn sharpened her skills working for Fortune 500 companies Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Baxter International where she received valuable expertise and training. JoLynn is highly motivated and known for her professional presentation and personable nature. She currently works for Florida Cancer Specialists and loves helping people during a very difficult time in their lives.


 In addition to her professional achievements, JoLynn is very active in her community, serving on the board of directors for the Citizens Alliance for Progress and chairperson for their annual benefit banquet. She supports her son’s local high school fundraising efforts and volunteering at church. JoLynn attended The University of Kansas and majored in Communication Studies, where she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She currently lives in central Florida with her teenage son and long-haired dachshund.

Christa Kantner, Marketing Director

christa@colelinkfoundation.org

Christa Kantner is an accomplished senior marketing executive, graphic designer and writer with broad marketing experience developing pioneering brands and promoting products and services in a variety of industries from sports to medical. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at the University of Miami, where she minored in mathematics and is a member of the National Association of Professional Women. Christa has held the position of Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for national companies where she has generated multi-million dollar revenue growth.




During her tenure as Marketing Director of Summit Technology, Inc., the manufacturer of the Excimer Laser, Christa was the first marketing executive to market LASIK in the U.S. Her National marketing campaign built multi-million dollar revenues for a university-based chain of Laser Vision Centers including UCLA, Stanford, George Washington and The Cleveland Clinic. She worked closely with Senior Attorney, Matthew Daynard at the Federal Trade Commission to establish the first national advertising guidelines for the surgical procedure.




Christa managed a variety of marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies such as American Express Platinum and Siemens. She also led a programming team to create the first nationwide vehicle-tracking system for Ryder System, Inc.




As an enterprising writer, Christa wrote many nationally syndicated television show scripts for both MDTV Medical News Now and the Better Business News Journal. She has worked as a ghostwriter for many physicians in the medical industry and is currently working on a movie screenplay and book series.


Christa currently resides in Toledo, Ohio. She and her husband of 31 years are proud parents of one son who is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Juana L. Hishaw, PhD, Project Manager

 juana@colelinkfoundation.org

Dr. Juana L. Hishaw is a recognized education consultant on the national stage. As a retired Director of Elementary Instruction and member of the leadership team for the Center School District, Dr. Hishaw drove state accreditation resulting in recognition as the highest performing urban school district in the state of Missouri.

 

Among her other achievements, Dr. Hishaw held the positions of counselor, elementary school teacher, budget planner, grant writer, principal of two schools simultaneously, director of public information for the Kansas City Missouri School District, and organizer of the Foreign Language Magnet school, established to be a vehicle for desegregation. She currently holds the position of vice-president of the Alumni board at UMKC.

 

Of the numerous awards Dr. Hishaw has received, she most cherishes being named Alumni of the Year by the University of Missouri at Kansas City (education division) where she earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in education administration.

 

Serving on many boards with several organizations, Juana is very active in the community. She serves on the Women’s Christian Association board of directors and is a Centurion graduate of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Hishaw is a Socitas Docta and a member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Links, Carrousels, Twin Citians and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

 

Juana and Robert, her husband of 48 years, are the parents of two sons. Both young men are married, have children and are successful professionals in their respective communities.

Rob Butler, Marketing Manager

rob@colelinkfoundation.org

Rob Butler is a sales and marketing executive with over forty years of success.  After graduating from the University of Kansas, his career started in Kansas City in the real estate business where he began a lifelong involvement in residential investments and property development in the Midwest and on the west coast. 


After a few visits to the Los Angeles area, Rob decided to make the move to southern California where he began his medical sales and marketing career and west coast property investing.  He quickly earned accolades due to his work with large national medical companies like Johnson & Johnson and then took his expertise to smaller developing medical device companies where he earned even more praise and recognition.  While building the medical device business, he continued to invest in and work with real estate properties in southern California as well as in the Pacific Northwest. 


After twenty-five years of living in southern California, Rob moved back to the Kansas City area where he has continued to work in the medical device industry, invest in local real estate and reconnect with friends and family.

Kim Harris, Administrative Specialist

kim@colelinkfoundation.org

Kim Harris is currently an Executive Assistant at a minority-owned landscaping services company. Prior, to that Kim spent 10 years in the insurance field working in the work compensation, personal and commercial lines of business. Kim has a keen eye for detail, and enjoys planning and organizing events.



In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for her family and friends, and attending athletic events cheering her teams onto victory. Kim also spends time volunteering with various community groups and supporting her four children in their many activities in school and the community.

Lisa Street Rogers, Grant Consultant

Lstreet473@gmail.com

Lisa Street Rogers grew up in the nonprofit world; volunteering as young as age twelve for Camp Anytown, a project of the then National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), to teach diversity issues and skills to teens and preteens. Since then, she has been an avid volunteer for a number of organizations.


She has also served on such boards as Executive Women International (EWI), San Antonio Literacy, and the San Antonio Book Festival, and was a member of the Junior Leagues of San Antonio and Chicago. She has worked with museums, military support organizations, Girl Scouts, and her local Symphony League to name a few. She is also a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Grantwriting Professionals Association (GPA).




With broad experience in the nonprofit industry and a writer at heart, Lisa began to focus on grantwriting and has been consistently successful in her endeavors. For nearly ten years, Lisa has worked both internally and externally for nonprofit organizations and even from the beginning assisted with such detailed grants as Kronkosky Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and a number of private foundations.




Lisa was deeply involved during the conception and inception of Literacy San Antonio which began as a five year project in the San Antonio Junior League. This project raised not just the reading levels of San Antonio and Texas children, but also set a model for literacy programs nationwide. During its start-up phase, Lisa was in charge of research and metrics, wrote support and appeal letters on behalf of the Mayor of San Antonio and worked in collaboration with a grants team to apply for funding for books, volunteers, teachers, and program coordinators.

 


"Grantwriting is about sharing an organization’s story and pulling at the heartstrings of those who already have deep connection to the respective industry. It’s those connections and those stories that make my job so fulfilling."

"Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have." ~ Jim Rohn

Contact Us

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Find out how you can help!

Contact us to send us a message or find out more about fundraising events and volunteer opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cole Link Foundation

871 East Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs, Florida 34689, United States

Phone: 727-940-8481
Fax: 727-316-5111
info@colelinkfoundation.org