Meet the Team
Nashid Madyun, Executive Director
Dr. Nashid Madyun grew up in the small historic town of Helena, Arkansas. The town has a rich cross section of important historical periods; Civil War, African American Leadership during Reconstruction, and Gospel and Blues Music Heritage. Dr. Madyun attended Mississippi Valley State University and Delta State University to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and Southern New Hampshire University to obtain an MFA in Creative Writing. After working for the Department of Arkansas Heritage, he obtained a Doctorate in Management, conducting research in nonprofit sustainability and organizational leadership.
Dr. Madyun has served as the Director of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Texas State History Museum, President and General Manager of Gibson Retail Group (a division of Gibson Music Instruments), the Art Museum and Archives of Hampton University, and most recently, as the Director of the Carrie Meek and James Eaton Sr. Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
He continues to teach courses in Humanities, African American Art, U.S. History and Graduate courses in Business. Dr. Madyun has served on a host of boards and public service commissions; including but not limited to, the Blues Foundation, the Austin Arts Council, Arkansas Black History Commission, Virginia State Heritage Preservation Board, and the Visit Florida Cultural, Heritage, Rural And Nature Committee, and the African American History Task force for the State of Florida.
Patricia Putman, Associate Director
Patricia joined the Florida Humanities staff in 2001. She assists the Executive Director in the overall supervision and direction of the organization. Patricia is responsible for direct oversight and management of the grants and public programs team and leads Florida Humanities efforts to develop strategic partnerships statewide. In addition to the grants program, she has directly administered a variety of projects, including PrimeTime Family Reading Time, veterans’ programs, summer seminars for high school students and teachers, and special initiatives initiated by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Patricia holds a Master of Arts Management degree from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a St. Petersburg native.
Brenda O'Hara, Chief Financial Officer
Brenda joined Florida Humanities in September 2003. Brenda is a native of St Petersburg, FL. She attended the University of South Florida where she earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting. Her previous work experience is mainly in the non-profit area. Previous positions include business manager with Lifelink Child and Family Services, CFO with Easter Seals/M.A.R.C, and director of accounting with PARC, a center for the developmentally disabled. As the Florida Humanities Chief Financial Officer, Brenda oversees the financial aspects of the agency, including the preparation of financial statements, budgets, and funding requests, reporting to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the state, and assuring the accuracy of the organization’s accounting records to meet required auditing standards.
Stephanie Chill, Grants Coordinator
Stephanie joined Florida Humanities in the summer of 2021 to assist with coordination of competitive grants. She supports the promotion, awarding, and administration for Florida Humanities’ various grantmaking programs, and the sharing of grantee success stories. A first-generation Floridian and native of Pinellas, Stephanie has worked and volunteered locally with various art, cultural, and historic museums and non-profits. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Organizational Communications from the University of Central Florida, and Master’s in Heritage Studies from Newcastle University, England.
Lashonda Curry, Communications Director
Lashonda Curry joined the Florida Humanities in August 2021. As the Communications Director, she leads the digital and print multimedia efforts of the organization, including overseeing the production of FORUM Magazine. She also serves as the principal spokesperson for the Florida Humanities’ messaging to internal and external audiences.
Lashonda was born and raised in Atlanta, and graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Arts – Print Journalism. She moved to Florida in 2001 and spent 11 years as a newspaper reporter in Ocala and Gainesville. Lashonda also previously worked as an editor and content strategist for association magazines, and managed communications and public relations at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.
Pamela Daniel, FORUM Editor
Pam Daniel signed on as editor of Florida Humanities’ award-winning Forum Magazine in August 2021. As editorial director for Gulfshore Media, Pam was responsible for Sarasota Magazine and other consumer and special-interest publications as well as the company’s Internet and social media content. Under her leadership, the magazines won more than 120 state, regional and national awards; in 2017, the City and Regional Magazine association named Sarasota Magazine Best Consumer Magazine in the country in its division.
Pam has received several first-place “Charlies” from the Florida Magazine Association for her own writing. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University, Pam has two master’s degrees, one in counseling from the University of Virginia and one in humanities from Old Dominion University.
April Myerscough, Public Programs Coordinator
April joined Florida Humanities in the summer of 2021 as the Public Programs Coordinator. She manages the Florida Talks program, pairing high-quality speakers with humanities non-profits across the state to share the history and culture of Florida. April also assists in the management of the Museum on Main Street program, bringing Smithsonian exhibits to rural areas of the state. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Mercer University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Harvard University. April is a second-generation Floridian and a Pinellas County native.
Sheila Plew, Administrative Assistant
Sheila, a Cortland, New York native, joined Florida Humanities as an Administrative Assistant in April 2022. Prior to Florida Humanities, Before moving to Florida in 2017, she was a Human Resource/Office Manager for 25 years with a plastics corporation and Human Resource/Office Safety Manager for 15 years with a construction company.
Andrew Quintana, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Andrew joined Florida Humanities in May 2022 as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. In his role, Andrew creates multimedia content and marketing materials that promote Florida Humanities’ diverse funding opportunities and public programming. He also assists with website content management and e-mail communications to external audiences.
The child of Cuban immigrants, Andrew was born and raised in Miami. He received his Bachelor’s degrees in Communication Studies and Editing, Writing and Media from Florida State University. Prior to joining Florida Humanities, Andrew worked as a content producer for newsrooms across the state. He reported on environmental issues and politics for radio, print and television.
Mara Utterback, Membership Coordinator
Mara joined Florida Humanities in Fall of 2019. She is a native of the Tampa Bay area and graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. As the Membership Coordinator, she coordinates all aspects of the membership program for Florida Humanities, including development of giving levels, assisting in promotion of the program, and maintenance of the membership program. Mara is also responsible for entering accounts payable, accounts receivable, and deposits.