Our Team

Core Leadership Team
Stephanie Porta
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Chevalier Lovett
Sr. Vice President & Managing Director
Maddy Garcia
Vice President of Finances & Administration
Laura Johns
Vice President of Resource Development
Stephanie Porta
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Stephanie@organizeflorida.org

Stephanie Porta was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. After graduating with honors from American University in Washington DC, she worked on several campaigns including raising Florida's minimum wage in 2004, passing police accountability reforms in Orange County, as well as winning foreclosure prevention programs and affordable utility campaigns and more.

In 2010, Stephanie co-founded Organize Now & Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment to work on the needs of Florida's low and moderate income communities and is currently executive director for both. For more than a decade, Ms. Porta has worked on successful campaigns for candidates and issues— including environmental justice, community safety, community development, health care, public education and more.

More recently, Stephanie led the effort to pass Earned Sick Time in Orange County in 2014. Stephanie has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Weekly and Orlando Magazine for her leadership around government transparency and issues facing the working poor.

Chevalier Lovett
Sr. Vice President & Managing Director
Chev@organizeflorida.org

Chevalier (Chev) Lovett, is a native of Winter Park, FL (born and raised) - and has spent the past 10 years working in the Non-Profit sector. An Alumni of Winter Park High School, Chev also studied at the University of Hartford and Rollins College. While working for the YMCA movement, Chev has served in many areas of leadership in: Camps, School Programs, Membership, and in executive leadership throughout the Central & North Florida areas. For two years Chev worked with City Year, Inc. in Orlando serving in the Impact department as the Manager of Jones High & Meadowbrook Middle Schools, and as the site leadership & professional development point. Although he loves all aspects of the non-profit world, he most enjoys Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, and Business Best Practices & Implementation. Chev is very passionate about education and socio-economic development.

In his free time, Chev most enjoys spending countless hours with his family, traveling to experience the world around him, playing piano and accompanying many talented singers, instrumentalists, and choruses, nerding out on books mostly in the genre of self-help, fantasy, and leadership development, and adding to his collection of classical music scores (so far at 1,200 manuscripts) and classical recordings (so far 3,500 CD's).

Maddy Garcia
Vice President of Finances & Administration
Maddy@organizeflorida.org

Maddy Garcia has been called a "lifesaver" for her ability to help non-profit organizations get organized. Maddy brings a wealth of experience having worked in the banking sector for fifteen years and the non-profit sector for ten. Maddy comes with tremendous organizational and administrative skills. Maddy was born in Puerto Rico in the early 60's and migrated to New York in the early 70's. Growing up in the Bronx to non-English speaking parents, Maddy experienced many obstacles. Education and equality were on the top of her list. Her passion in social justice and education comes from her humble beginnings. Maddy always believed that education was the key that would open doors and so her dream of helping others began. During her 35 years as a resident of New York City, Maddy committed herself to helping and empowering minority students attend college. After leaving the banking industry in 1998 she landed her first job at a non-profit organization called Goddard Riverside Community center and later at Let's get Ready! She was able to help approximately 400 minority students attend college. In 2004, The College Access Consortium of New York (CACNY) presented her with a recognition award for her work and commitment. She joined Organize Now in March of 2012 as their new Chief Financial Officer and HR Director.

Laura Johns
Vice President of Resource Development
Laura@organizeflorida.org

A native Floridian, Laura moved back to Central Florida in 1995. She worked as both a political and community organizer for three years and then was a HUD certified housing counselor and Director of Counseling Quality Control for Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) until January 2012. Earlier this year she moved into the position of Director of Development and Partnerships, focusing on advancing the organization through capacity and resource building.

Yulissa Arce
Regional Director, Central Florida
Tim Heberlein
Regional Director, Tampa Bay
Morgan Harvey
Program Design & Data Director
Linda De La Nuez
Operations Director
Yulissa Arce
Regional Director, Central Florida
Yulissa@organizeflorida.org

Yulissa is a committed individual with a deep passion for community service and environmental stewardship. She brings a diverse background and a passion for community organizing and education to Organize Now and Florida Institute of Reform and Empowerment (FIRE). Ms. Arce's professional background includes work in education, community organizing, and outreach for both the Public and Non-Profit Sectors. She currently volunteers her time serving as a mentor for the New Leaders Council Orlando Class of 2016 and other causes. Ms. Arce was raised in Orlando, Florida and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida.

Tim Heberlein
Regional Director, Tampa Bay
Tim@organizeflorida.org

Tim Heberlein has been active in the Tampa Bay political community since 2006, most recently as the Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club Florida. He also served 4 years as the Political Director for the Florida Consumer Action Network, and organizes his community to advocate for economic and social justice. His activism has focused on grassroots organizing and field campaigning for progressive issues and candidates.

Heberlein has mobilized thousands of activists and voters around progressive campaigns, and trained many into progressive leadership in the Tampa Bay area. He has trained with the Capital Leadership Academy, National Organizing Institute, Camp Wellstone and the Midwest Academy, and been a panelist on several conference and televised forums.

Before working in advocacy, Heberlein worked as a case manager and counselor to Floridians with mental health diagnosis and substance abuse issues. Heberlein is also active in his community, just finishing his term as the Vice Chair of the Hillsborough Democratic Party, a Disaster Action Team Leader for the American Red Cross since 2006, and as a member of the Human Relations Committee for Hillsborough County. He is the son of two military service members and attended public schools all over the world. His wife Caitlin, a teacher with Hillsborough County Public Schools, and son Charlie live in Tampa.

Morgan Harvey
Program Design & Data Director
Morgan@organizeflorida.org

A lifelong Orlandoan, Morgan is deeply rooted in its nonprofit community having served on local boards focused on nonprofit capacity development and nonprofit professional development. Morgan holds two bachelor's degrees from Florida State University, an english degree with a focus in creative writing and a social science degree in international affairs. Morgan became involved in the work of FIRE and Organize Now in 2015 as part of her graduate coursework in nonprofit management. She is currently pursuing both a graduate degree in nonprofit management and a graduate certificate in fundraising from the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida.

Morgan is a jack-of-all-trades, with experience in accounting, journalism, sales, legal research, public relations, logistics as well as nonprofit and program development. Prior to joining FIRE, she served as the internship coordinator for a local public university where she spearheaded efforts to develop new partnerships on campus and deliver more services to students in public administration and nonprofit management disciplines.

Linda De La Nuez
Operations Director
Linda@organizeflorida.org

Bio coming soon

Cloe Cabrera
Marketing & Communications Director
Debbie King
Sr. Regional Lead Organizer, Expansion Counties
Cloe Cabrera
Marketing & Communications Director
cloe@organizeflorida.org

Bio Coming Soon

Debbie King
Sr. Regional Lead Organizer, Expansion Counties
Debbie@organizeflorida.org

Debbie was raised in Tampa and came from a politically active family. She believes that our community has untapped power to solve the many problems we currently face. Debbie envisions a Florida where we lead the world in addressing global warming through radical sustainable energy policies focusing on inclusive economic development, where women and other minorities have an equal place at the table in major local and statewide policy decisions, and where our progressive movement revolves around building deep lasting relationships with people who are organized, supported, and encouraged into leadership roles. The cornerstone to her vision is you; what tools do you need, what do you envision for your future? She wants each Floridian to use their power to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Debbie started rabble rousing in 2003 in the wake of the buildup of the war in Iraq. She has volunteered in local and national electoral campaigns, worked and volunteered with the Florida Consumer Action Network, The Sierra Club, the Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality, Equality Florida and others.