Meet Our Board
Angela Mia De la Vega
Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the University of Madrid, Spain. She is a member of the National Sculpture Society, American Women Artists, and has been given the high honor of being named a Living Master by the prestigious ARC (Art Renewal Center). Owner of Angela Mia De la Vega Studios, Inc. and cofounder of Flite to Freedom. Her purpose through her work is freedom of spirit to uplift, inspire feelings of pure love and joy. Angela's fulfillment as an artist is complete if her sculptures stir or awaken personal emotion in the hearts of viewers Angela resides with her family in Dallas, TX.
Tara Whitehead Stotland
Tara received her BBA in marketing and BA in Communication Arts from Southern Methodist University. She also received a MBA with Distinction from Goizueta Business school of Emory University and ranked Valedictorian of her joint international masters programat Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Netherlands. Tara is passionate about art and supporting non-profit organizations, so was honored to be a founding member of the FLITE team. She has served on numerous professional and charitable boards, and hopes to leverage her global experience to help achieve the organizations vision and mission. She is married with 2 children and resides in Dallas
Becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 22, she has built a successful Richardson based business over the past 26 years. Carla has a dual degree from Southern Methodist University in engineering and economics. She has a long history of philanthropy and has supported 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 Richarson.
Art Curator and Chair
Ben Fluno is an artist living in Dallas, Texas. Specializing in large scale abstract acrylic and mixed media paintings, using multiple mediums including oil paint, acrylic paint, pigmented pouring mediums & resin, sand texture, canvas on canvas. With a love for architecture and design, he blends his love for design and fine art, creating modern and contemporary artwork that work in many different home designs, commercial buildings and public spaces. Ben served as Curator for our Art of Freedom Event in November, 2019.
Matula Adams MD
Born in Athens Greece, she completed Medical School which was always her life dream. She worked in France in brain mapping while a student and did clinical rotations in surgery, particularly in transplant in Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital. Matula was recruited from the NIH, department of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases where she did a post doctorate fellowship. She is currently working on her Medical Certification process, is ECFMG certified and waiting to start her residency in the near future. Matula is a volunteer in local nonprofit clinics and at doctors’ offices when she is needed. Also passionate about art, she resides in Dallas with her husband and their children.
Leesa Ratliff Alhadef
Leesa Ratliff Alhadef is a native Texan, she is married with 3 children and resides in Dallas. Being in sales and management for most of her career life, Leesa developed leadership and analytical skills which are perfect for non-profit work. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Christ’s Family Clinic, Young Mens Service League Highland Park, as well as, volunteers in various capacities in her community. Along with volunteering, being a mom and wife, Leesa works for Etcetera clothing line. She believes it is important to make a difference everyday. FLITE is a terrific vessel for “Paying it Forward” and “Leaving it Better than You Found It’. She is honored to be a founding board member.
Dorota grew up in Sweden and Poland and currently resides in Dallas with her husband and three young children. Her main job is to support and care for her family. In her free time, she uses her business skills to run and manage Embell Properties, LLC, a real estate and oil and gas company she started 5 years ago. Before her entrepreneurial days, Dorota worked at a prominent International advertising agency located in San Francisco. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Economics at Uppsala University, Sweden. Although she has a background in business, her true passions lay in the areas of visual and performing arts.
Yvette Grove is a Catalyst, Connector & Coach working with business owners and individuals to identify possibilities in business as well as in life and then assist in creating the shifts and strategies to realize those possibilities. She has recently launched an online web show called Proof of Concept and is in the process of publishing a children’s book Lilly’s Deliciously Different Day. Yvette is thrilled to be a part of FLITE and use her love for the arts, people and her experience in business and the non-profit community to help grow such an important cause.
Liliana Larson, a Colombian native, received a degree in accounting from San Martin University in Bogotá, Colombia. She moved to Dallas in 2016 where she now lives with her husband, her baby daughter and two step-children.
Of particular importance to Liliana is the plight of Latinos to overcome challenges brought by economic disparity. As an active board member of FLITE, she hopes to provide support for individuals in underserved communities by way of her professional expertise and personal encouragement.
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 ranch life. Since graduating Lehigh University, Jake’s career has largely been focused on driving partnerships and strategic alliances, and he currently serves as SVP of Corporate Development for Charlotte-based Segra Communications. While growing up, Jake’s grandfather frequently told him “Do your giving while you’re living.” Jake has attempted to live his life by this rule and it's why he is so passionate about the Flite cause.
A graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Adiana Vega describes herself as a creative catalyst. Her values are entirely rooted in passion, professionalism and work ethic, because of how people she reaches respond to them. She has seen and experienced firsthand the discernible difference, when a professional genuinely cares about what they are doing, and who they are doing it. Adiana regularly holds live sessions on her Twitch channel @adiana_vega.
As a life long community and civic volunteer, collage artist Karen Zurmely 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.
She lives in Dallas with her husband Dean and is currently represented by the Beaudry Gallery under her maiden name, Karen Schulte.