Meet Our Board
Angela Mia De la Vega
Angela, who is the co-founder of FLITE to Freedom, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the University of Madrid, Spain. Owner of Angela Mia De la Vega Studios, Angela is a member of the National Sculpture Society and American Women Artists, and has been given
the esteemed honor of being named a Living Master by the prestigious Art Renewal Center. Angela imbues in her sculptures a sense of freedom and joyful spirit, with the hope that they will stir or awaken similar emotions in the hearts of her viewers. Angela resides with her
family in Dallas.
Tara Whitehead Stotland
Tara received her BBA in marketing and BA in Communication Arts from Southern Methodist University. She also received an MBA with Distinction from Goizueta Business School of Emory University, and was Valedictorian of her Joint International Master’s Program at Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Netherlands. Tara, who is passionate about art and supporting non-profit organizations, was honored to be a founding member of the FLITE team. She has served on numerous professional and charitable boards, leveraging her global experience to help achieve the organization’s vision and mission. Tara is married, has two children, and resides in Dallas.
Carla has a dual degree from Southern Methodist University in engineering and economics, and, since becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 22, has built a successful Richardson-based business. Carla has a long history of philanthropy, supporting multiple causes including women’s health, education for underprivileged children, the North Texas Food Bank, and The George W. Bush Presidential Library. Carla resides in Richardson.
Art Curator and Chair
Ben specializes in large scale abstract acrylic and mixed media paintings, using multiple media, including oil paint, acrylic paint, pigmented pouring media and resin, sand texture, and canvas on canvas. Ben blends his love for architecture, design, and fine art, creating modern and contemporary artwork that is placed in many different home designs, commercial buildings, and public spaces. Ben, who served as Curator for our Art of Freedom Event in November, 2019, lives in Dallas.
Matula Adams MD
Born and raised in Athens Greece, Matula accomplished her dream of completing Medical School there, and worked in France doing brain mapping while still a student. Matula did a clinical rotation in transplant surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, and was recruited by the National Institutes of Health, to complete a postdoctoral fellowship there. She is currently working on her Medical Certification process, is ECFMG certified and expects to start her residency shortly. Matula, who shares a passion for art with her fellow Board members, is also a volunteer at local nonprofit clinics and doctors’ offices. Matula lives with her husband and their children in Dallas.
Leesa Ratliff Alhadef
Leesa Ratliff Alhadef, a native Texan, has been in sales and management for most of her career, developing leadership and analytical skills which are perfect for non-profit work. Leesa sits on the Board of Directors for the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Christ’s Family Clinic, and the Young Men’s Service League of Highland Park. Leesa also volunteers in various capacities in her community, and works for the Etcetera clothing line. Leesa believes it is important to make a difference every day, and that FLITE, of which she is a founding Board member, is a terrific vessel for making that happen. Leesa is married, has three children, and resides in Dallas.
Dorota, who grew up in Sweden and Poland, earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Economics from Uppsala University in Sweden. Dorota uses her business skills to run and manage Embell Properties, a real estate and oil and gas company she founded 5 years ago. Prior to that, Dorota worked at a prominent international advertising agency in San Francisco. Although she has a background in business, her true passions lay in the areas of visual and performing arts, and caring for her husband and three young children in Dallas.
Yvette is a catalyst, connector and coach, who works with business owners and individuals to identify possibilities, then assists them in creating various shifts and strategies to realize those possibilities. Yvette recently launched an online web show called “Proof of Concept,” and is in the process of publishing a children’s book entitled Lilly’s Deliciously Different Day. Yvette is thrilled to be able to use her experience in business and the non-profit community, along with her love for the arts, for the betterment of FLITE. Yvette has two grown sons, and lives in Dallas.
Liliana, who is a native of Colombia and received a degree in accounting from San Martin University in Bogotá, is particularly impacted by the struggles of Latinos to overcome their challenges resulting from economic disparities. Liliana hopes to provide support for individuals in unprivileged communities through her professional expertise and personal encouragement. Liliana is married, with a baby daughter and two stepchildren, and resides in Dallas.
Jake is a Rhode Island native who, with his wife Betsy, raised a family of four in rural Pennsylvania before moving to Granbury, Texas in the early 2000s to take on the ranching life. Since graduating from Lehigh University, Jake’s career has largely been focused on developing partnerships and strategic alliances, and he is currently the Senior Vice-President of Corporate Development for Charlotte-based Segra Communications. While growing up, Jake’s grandfather frequently told him “Do your giving while you’re living,” which is why Jake is so passionate about contributing his expertise to the FLITE cause.
A graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Adiana Vega describes herself as a creative catalyst, whose values are entirely rooted in passion, professionalism, and hard work. Adiana’s original musical compositions, sung in her beautiful and multi-faceted voice, along with her deep empathy and caring for others, has given Adiana a unique ability to connect with people from all over the world. Adiana has hosted two very successful FLITE fundraisers benefiting Mosaic Family Services and the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, and regularly holds live performance sessions on her Twitch.tv channel, @adiana_vega.
As a lifelong community and civic volunteer, collage artist Karen Zurmely (professionally known as Karen Schulte at the Beaudry Gallery) is excited to join FLITE's Board of Directors while maintaining her affiliation as a contributing artist. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Karen received her B.A. in Art from Wayne State University. Karen and her husband, Dean, reside in Dallas.