Our Team

Core Leadership Team
Stephanie Porta
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Chevalier Lovett
Sr. Vice President & Managing Director
Maddy Garcia
Vice President of Finance & Accounting
Laura Johns
Vice President of Resource Development
Stephanie Porta
Executive Director & Co-Founder

As a community organizer, Stephanie Porta has spent the last 15 years working to support Florida’s low income communities in their fight for equity and dignity. Her work has led to raising Florida's minimum wage in 2004, passing police accountability reforms, winning foreclosure prevention programs, affordable utility campaigns, electing progressive officials and much more.

In 2010, Stephanie co-founded Organize Florida to work on the needs of Florida's low and moderate income communities and now acts as Executive Director. The membership organization has grown quickly and has membership in 17 counties across mid-Florida. In 2014, Stephanie championed efforts to pass Earned Sick Time in Orange County, and in 2016 supported outreach efforts to more than two million voters across Florida. Stephanie has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Weekly, Orlando Magazine & Orlando Women’s Magazine for leadership on government transparency and issues facing the working poor.

She has three cats and a tremendous family of supporters in Orlando where she was born and raised and currently lives with her partner Edgar. She is a rainbow chaser, always in search of sunshine and a fighter for Florida.

Chevalier Lovett
Sr. Vice President & Managing Director

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. In 2009 Chev spent a year as a faculty member for Edgewater High School, where he supported the entire music department in AP Music Theory, Intro to Music Appreciation and several leadership development programs. A bulk of his career was spent in the YMCA movement. With the YMCA, Chev has served in many areas of leadership as a Director in: Camps, Education & Youth Programs, Membership & Marketing, as an Associate Executive Director, and as the Experience Director (Executive of Operations & Member Experience) 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 point/lead for the Corps leadership, personal & professional development program.

Chev has completed higher level studies at the University of Hartford and Rollins College, primarily focusing on programs in education, leadership development, pedagogy and business/organizational & executive best practices. He is a proud graduate of the Center for Popular Democracy’s (CPD) Executive Director Cohort, Class I. Chev has been with Organize Florida (formerly Organize Now) since July of 2016 – and currently serves as the Sr. Vice President & Managing Director, where his role is to support the success of each department and to provide overall leadership and structure to the Senior Leadership (SLT) & Core Leadership (CLT) Teams. Although he loves all aspects of the non-profit world, he most enjoys strategic planning, leadership development and organizational best practices & implementation.

Chev is very involved in the community and serves on several Central Florida boards; including – Opera Orlando as the VP of Development, Community Core as the Co-Chair, Leadership Winter Park Alumni Council as the Development & Member Engagement Director, Two Spirit Health and on the board for CRAVE, Inc. as the Community Partners Chair to name a few. Chev considers himself a new age activist – and his passion is being an advocate for the Peace Movement. This includes being vocal and active about causes that affect the LGBTQ+ communities, Youth, Education and standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. In his free time, he loves to travel the world with his family, spoil his nephew, live an active and fit lifestyle in the gym & running 5K’s, read, add to his personal library and immerse himself in classical music as a performer and audience member! He is an active and sought after opera singer, conductor (both choral & opera), pianist, lecturer, adjudicator and recitalist in the Eastern United States; most recently performing as the pianist & Associate Director of the nationally acclaimed Jones High School Concert Choir at Carnegie Hall in the Spring of 2018.

Maddy Garcia
Vice President of Finance & Accounting

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

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.

Gloria Barber
Human Resources Director
Amy Busefink
Political Director
Cloe Cabrera
Communications Director
Linda De La Nuez
Operations & Administrative Director
Gloria Barber
Human Resources Director

Bio coming soon

Amy Busefink
Political Director

Amy has been organizing in Florida since 2004, starting with the fight to raise Florida's minimum wage. She worked for 11 years developing and executing national voter registration field programs, including managing the field operations for Project Vote’s 2008 voter registration program, which collected 1.1 million applications and utilizing new and exciting technology for Get-Out-the-Vote efforts. She has also worked to develop and execute legislative policy and advocacy programs in several states around voting rights, both fighting back against barriers to voting and identifying opportunities to expand access.

Amy graduated from Florida State University in 2003 with a B.A. in Political Science. She resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. Amy is a very serious FSU football fan (even when its hard). She enjoys running races in the beautiful Florida sunshine and then eating much deserved pancakes afterwards! She resides in St. Petersburg, Florida with her kitten, Holli.

Cloe Cabrera
Communications Director

Cloe Cabrera is the Marketing & Communications Director for Organize Florida and brings more than 25 years of multi-media experience to the position. She is a former major-metropolitan newspaper journalist and columnist (English and Spanish). As a reporter for the at the Tampa Tribune, her writings about Tampa’s diverse communities garnered national awards. Her weekly column, called “Que Pasa”, offered an insider’s look at what it pasa,” recognition. Cloe has worked as a popular television reporter for major-market NBC and CBS-affiliates, where she hosted her own television programs called “Looking Good” and “Que Pasa.” She also created and served as the spokesperson for a statewide campaign addressing teenage girl’s self-esteem called “Brains & Beauty, Too.” Cloe’s deep passion for community service keeps her active in several local non-profit organizations that help immigrants, the elderly and children.

Linda De La Nuez
Operations & Administrative Director

Bio coming soon

Ericka Gomez-Tejeda
Organizing Director
Morgan Harvey
IT & Data Director
Robin Lockett
Regional Director, Tampa
Brother John Muhammad
Regional Director, St. Petersburg
Ericka Gomez-Tejeda
Organizing Director

Bio coming soon.

Morgan Harvey
IT & Data Director

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.

Robin Lockett
Regional Director, Tampa

Robin Lockett lives in Tampa, Florida. She has worked as a Legal Assistant for a State Agency, was recently the Owner of Lockett & Associates Appraisal Services for 10 years, she dissolved her company when the market crashed. She is the mother of 2 Cedric who lives in California and has 2 sons Gavin and Dallas and Xavier who has recently graduated from the University of the Cumberlands. She has been involved in the community for many years, she started out with the NAACP as the Political Chair working within the community educating the community regarding issues, conducting voters registration events, and hosting candidates forum; She was the African American Liaison for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections also educating the community regarding voting rights and conducting voter registration events; She worked as a Regional Director of Fair Districts decided to participate with getting this amendment on the ballot and was very successful. She decided to support the imitative because she felt it would provide power to the black community instead of history only offering 1 black seat and everyone fighting for that seat. Attempting to make sure the electoral lines were as fair as possible. Being the PTA Political Chair was an exciting experience, assisting with writing a platform and being involved in the process and President of the Hillsborough County Democratic Black Caucus is an adventure within itself. To have a vision that others want to be a part of and attempt to fulfil for the betterment of our community. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power and being informed is a must. My goal has been to educate the community regarding who they are voting for and why! I really believe power is with the people and that's why working with Organize Now is exciting because they have and are proving that power is with the people, we just need to get them to really buy into it and once that is done the sky will not be the limit it can go beyond!

Brother John Muhammad
Regional Director, St. Petersburg

Brother John Muhammad is the Regional Director in St. Petersburg, FL and has been involved in grassroots organizing and community outreach since joining the Nation of Islam in 1997 at age 21. He co-founded the St. Pete Stop the Violence Coalition which was recognized by President Barack Obama and received National Volunteer Service Awards from his office in 2013 and 2014.

His Political & Community Organizing led to the passage of a local wage theft ordinance, a "hard to hire" and apprenticeship policy and a $15 per hour minimum wage for those employed by the City of St. Petersburg City. He also successfully advocated for increased wages for part-time workers and those who are employed by City Contractors.

He is Lead Organizer of the New Deal for St. Pete, a community led agenda that was developed after surveying several hundred residents in St. Petersburg, highlighting "points of progress" for the community based on their input. The initiative resulted in the establishment of the One Community Grocery Co-Op, the "St. Pete Works!" workforce development collaborative and the One Community Plan for Economic Growth in South St. Pete.

He married his high school sweetheart, they have been together for over 25 years and have 3 daughters and three grandsons.