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Amari Armstrong

Amari is currently a licensed Collateral Risk Examiner at Navy Federal Credit Union where she serves as liaison to other business units concerning collateral risk and changes, deceased account inquiries, processes, and procedures. Amari uses her analytical skills in reviewing documents such as power of attorneys, deeds, survey maps, appraisals, revocable living trusts, and probate court appointments. She also has experience as a Mortgage Compliance Underwriter. Amari has been recognized by her employers for her accomplishments in job performance and for the level of service she offers her clients. Since becoming a member of Jazz Pensacola after attending her first Jazz Gumbo this year she attends events as both a spectator as well as a volunteer. At JazzFest she assisted in the Merchandise Tent where she assisted attendees in product selection as well as processing payments. Amari will bring to the Board a youthful viewpoint and energy while demonstrating a strong desire to serve the entire community.

Board 1

Steve began his musical journey at age 8 on violin and guitar like so many other kids in school in the ’60s. He switched to playing the bass on the advice of a band director and played in school orchestras, high school bands, various youth symphonies, Michigan State Symphony and college jazz ensembles.

Over the years in Michigan, California and Arizona, Steve performed with Bruce Early, Gary Schunk, Gary Blumer, Eddie Shaughnessy, Ross Tompkins, Rick Vandivier, Dennis Rowland, Giacomo Gates, Jeff Baker, Dan Tomlinson and Roslyn Kind.

Steve has formed many groups including Soundscape Sedona, the Dynamite Divas and ZAZU, a Django-inspired French gypsy swing band. He has owned and operated Artists in Rhythm, providing top-quality entertainment for events in Arizona since 2005.

Steve’s past board experience includes Jazz San Jose, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks and Jazz in Arizona, where they own and operate their own jazz venue and education center, The Nash.        

Since moving to Pensacola, Steve has been active in Jazz Pensacola as a performer and a volunteer. He has written several articles for Jazz Pensacola’s newsletter.

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Steve Douglas

Board 2
Board 3
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William Howell

A graduate of University of West Florida, William uses that education in his role as Senior Creative and Multimedia Director of The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition where he began his career as a Student Assistant in 2000. In addition to several honors and awards from various organizations, he is also a published author of three peer-reviewed publications on robotics and several articles on media since 2006. William also served as Scientific Advisor in television programs shown on PBS, CNN and National Geographic. Besides media and studio engineering, William has a passion for music as a guitarist since 2001 where he had his first album recording. Since then, he has performed in the jazz performances as a soloist and in groups in the Pensacola area. This year, William embraces a new role as the In-House Band Leader on the local NPR program, RadioLive. William’s education, experience and interests will be a welcome addition to the Jazz Pensacola Board.

Rhonda has established herself at the University of West Florida as a great organizer of meetings, classes and events and demonstrates great skill in internal and external communications with departments, membership, volunteers, stakeholders and partners. In additional to this operational experience, she has developed and managed project plans and utilized several different types of electronic platforms for service promotion and gaining insight on consumer trends. Rhonda has also applied these skills to her role as Marketing Manager for First City Builders where she creates and manages content on social media. She has also served as Director Concert Operations for the Roswell Symphony Orchestra. Demonstrating her curiosity in understanding processes and seeking to improve them Rhonda looks upon this opportunity on the Board to not only continue to serve our Pensacola community but supporting her passion for music and those people that have been called to perform that music.

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Rhonda Wiggins

Board 4

Lawrence Young Jr. was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, and is the son of two career music educators, Lawrence and JoAnn Young, Sr. Lawrence currently serves as band director at Booker T. Washington High School. He is the director of the Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band/Wind Ensemble, percussion ensemble. Lawrence also is a freelance drummer, playing with numerous groups throughout the area. Lawrence is a 1993 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of West Florida and a Masters in Education, with an emphasis in music, from Florida A & M University. 

Lawrence is very passionate about music education for young people and maintains a profound love of this community. Lawrence’s professional affiliations are Florida School Music Association, National Association for Music Education – NAfME. Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, and Phi Beta Mu (International Bandmaster Fraternity)

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Lawrence E Young Jr.

Board 5
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