Alex was born and raised in Miami, Florida. While at the University of Florida, he majored in public relations and political science and participated in many student organization including Student Government, Florida Blue Key and Hillel. Alex moved to D.C. upon graduation to pursue a career in public affairs. Currently, Alex works at Amplify Public Affairs and serves as an Associate for Public Affairs and Social Media. He works daily to create and implement innovative strategies that bridge traditional and new media resources.
Tyler was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. While at the University of Florida, he majored in political science and was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha honor society. He was also involved in numerous local political campaigns, and the local Chamber of commerce as an intern. After graduation Tyler moved to D.C. to pursue his graduate education from GMU in Public Policy. Currently, Tyler works for the Department of Health and Human Services and serves as a Budget Analyst.
Taylor Gilliland, Ph.D. was born and raised in Sarasota, FL and completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in Applied and Professional Ethics at the University of Florida as a John V. Lombardi Scholar. While at UF, Taylor conducted HIV research in the School of Medicine and helped lead Outdoor Adventure Recreation, the GatorTeens mentor program, and the UF chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign. After Gainesville, Taylor completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of California San Diego where his research focused on understanding the structure and function of a family of proteins involved in immune cell migration. He came to DC in 2014 as an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is now a science policy advisor in the NIH Office of the Director. He also serves as President of the Board of Directors of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, an international global health nonprofit organization.
SVP, Special Projects & Communications
Todd is FLO-GROWN, as many call it, being born in Miami, FL and raised in Orlando, FL. While at UF, he was active on campus at Sigma Phi Epsilon (Hair Salon) serving as Social Chair. He received his bachelors in History with a minor in Education in 2001. He moved back to Orlando shortly after graduation to pursue a sales career where he remained until leaving for DC in 2009 looking for a new challenge and has loved it ever since. Todd is the pitcher for the DC Gator Club softball team, co-founder of the All Florida Alumni of DC (AFLA-DC) and club representative with the SEC in DC alumni group. He started as a member-at-large in 2011, moved to president elect and then served as club president from 2013-2014. Since then, he has continued as our SVP. Todd is a sales director at a higher ed publication in D.C. and lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife, two daughters and dog Stewie.
vp, Special events
Matt Cannella is a native of south Florida and currently serves as Director of Development for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at the George Washington University. He joined GW after spending seven years at The Nature Conservancy where he focused on fundraising for freshwater conservation, event management, and donor communications. He earned a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida in 2010 and also minored in Business Administration and History. (Go Gators!) While at Florida, he was a member of Student Government's Freshmen Leadership Council (FLC) and served as a Florida Cicerone. Matt also earned a Master's in Public Administration concentrating in nonprofit management from George Mason University in 2014.
Ryan Lynch was born and raised a Gator in Tampa, Florida. While at UF, he worked for a digital marketing start-up in the new Infinity Hall and stayed involved with community service and campus athletics through his roles within Phi Delta Theta. After graduating with a degree in Industrial and System Engineering in 2016, he moved up to DC to work as a federal technology consultant. In his free time, Ryan enjoys playing sports, travelling across the world, and optimistically cheering on the Gators in every sport!
Sammi Levy if from Davie, Florida and graduated from UF in 2013 where she studied public relations. At UF, Sammi was involved in student government, Florida Blue Key ‘s Speakers Bureau and her sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi. She now works at CEB Global, supporting businesses with technology best practices and insights.
Michael graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2017. During law school he was a leader of the Environmental and Land Use Society and the Volunteer Income Tax Association. With the latter he assisted individuals with their tax returns during tax season and taught other law students how to do the same. With the former he led excursions to local watering holes, such as Ichetucknee Springs and the Santa Fe River, as well as Swamphead and First Magnitude breweries. When's he's not at a local Game Day watch party, Michael can be found surveying DC parks or hiking in the Blue Ridge. Go Gators!
Caroline Nickerson is passionate about civic engagement. In addition to being a Master of Public Policy student at American University and a graduate research assistant at The Lab @ DC, a team in Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration, Caroline also serves as managing editor for SciStarter, an organization that promotes citizen science, and as the secretary of the board of the Commission on Local Debates, a nonprofit that hosts debates for local elections in Orange County, FL. As a proud graduate, Caroline continues her affiliation with the University of Florida through membership in the UF-VA UNESCO Bioethics Unit, by volunteering with the UF Psychiatry Christensen Project to serve under-served and homeless populations, and by serving on the board of the DC Gator Club.
Kimberly Vacca is from Bradenton, Florida and is a proud “Double Gator,” completing her undergraduate degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment in 2014 and her Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 2015. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area following graduate school to pursue a career in local government and to challenge herself by living in an unfamiliar part of the country. While California’s phenomenal weather and unbelievable hikes were unparalleled, she could not stay away from the east coast; in 2018, Kimberly moved to DC to work as an urban planner for Arlington County. In her spare time, you’ll find Kimberly exploring cities on her bicycle, at dog parks with her crazy pup, reading in a hammock at a nearby park, or at Gator game watch parties in the Fall.
Wilson Trawick is a recent May 2018 graduate. He majored in Political Science and International Studies while in undergrad and is currently working for Florida Senator Bill Nelson. He enjoys sailing and hiking.
Natalie Martinez works as a Legislative Assistant in the office of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) in Washington, D.C. Originally from Maitland, FL, she completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Florida while being active with the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, the UF Honors Program, various Student Government roles and her sorority, Chi Omega. She has since held roles in public affairs and government relations, advocating for both Fortune 500 and small companies. She is the co-founder of a nonpartisan nonprofit called the Commission on Local Debates which sponsors and produces debates for local races and boosts them online to registered voters.