Communication Alumnae Shine in Local Young Professional Network

written by Janelle Altamirano

Once a year, the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals (NYP) celebrates and recognizes Tallahassee’s Top 20 Under 40 at their Golden A.C.E. Awards and Gala. Among the 20 chosen for this honor in February 2020, FSU School of Communication alumnae Lucille Spann Asbury (’14, M.S. Integrated Marketing Communication) and Erica Eckland (’15, B.S. Advertising) were selected. In recognition of authentic community engagement, or A.C.E., these awards are given to young professionals whose involvement in the community stands out.Lucille Spann Asbury

Lucille Spann Asbury (pictured left) is the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Greenback Expat Tax Services. She spends her free time working with children in several local organizations including the Tallahassee Foster Care Community. As a foster parent, she has become an advocate for foster care children, writing letters to multiple government officials to shine light on the needs of both foster children and foster parents. Additionally, Spann Asbury is a member of the Junior League of Tallahassee. Because of her passion to serve and her incredible work ethic beyond the office, she was recognized as one of the Top 20 Under 40.Erica Eckland ACE Award

The second alumna selected for an A.C.E. award is Erica Eckland (pictured right), the owner of Waggy Tails Pet Sitting. A pet salon that focuses on quality professional pet care, Eckland pours her love for animals into her business, but also spends her free time volunteering at local pet shelters to reduce the number of stray cats in Tallahassee. Aside from her love of animals, she is passionate about raising awareness and support for veterans by volunteering at the Florida Veterans Foundation. Eckland is also involved with It’s Meow or Never for Ferals, Saint Francis Wildlife, and Junior League of Tallahassee.

Kelli GemmerSpann Asbury and Eckland aren’t the only alumnae involved with Tallahassee NYP. Kelli Gemmer (pictured left) is President of the organization and a two-time alumna of the School of Communication – she earned a bachelor’s degree in Media Communication Studies in 2014 and a master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication in 2018. Her involvement with NYP began when she joined in the organization in 2017. “I was looking to meet people in the Tallahassee community and expand my social circle,” Gemmer said. “Many of my friends from undergrad had moved away and it was difficult to meet fellow young professionals. NYP was perfect because they host monthly happy hours at local bars that provide a comfortable environment to meet others. In 2018, I was appointed President and now help connect others in the community who may also be struggling to meet people like I was a few years ago.”

Focused on providing Tallahassee’s young professionals with opportunities to explore Tallahassee and meet its residents in a casual atmosphere, NYP’s mission is to attract and retain Florida’s young professional talent.  Their annual Golden A.C.E. Awards and Gala contributes to this effort by recognizing outstanding young professionals with their “Top 20 Under 40” program. The winners for the A.C.E. Awards are selected by a committee consisting of board members for the Network of Young Professionals and past ACE winners. There are 19 winners with 1 At-Large (Top A.C.E.) Award that make up the Top 20 under 40 A.C.E. Young Professionals. The Top A.C.E. Winner also receives a $1,000 check to be donated to the local charity of their choosing.

ACE Awards 2020