Champion of the Year


Kick Off
August 29, 2017, 6:30pm
TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach 32082

November 17, 2017, 7:0opm
TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach 32082



November 17, 2017, 7:0opm
TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach 32082

Champion-Mary Jo Culliton

Mary Jo Culliton

Last Seen:  Running the streets of Ponte Vedra

Hidden Talent:  Can still do a head stand

Dream Vacation:  A trip into space

Top Bucket List Item:  The Maldives

Mild Obsession:  Creating daily lists

Champion-Jessica Gray

Jessica Gray

Grant Writer

Best Buddies International

Can’t Live Without: Coffee 

Last Seen:  Chasing my 11 month old around the house

Dream Vacation: Chartering a yacht in the Mediterranean with my family

Inspired By: My mom

Mild Obsession: My daughter, Piper and Lab, Lucy – full blown obsession


Ursula Lewis

VP/Business Controls Manager

Bank of America

Last Seen: Trying to keep up with her teen girls at the mall!!

Inspired By: My mom and dad – as immigrants, they showed me that tenacity and persistence do pay off

Dream Vacation: Bora Bora

Mild Obsession:  watching the kids skateboard anywhere, but especially at Kona State Park 

Champion-William Li

William Li


Jennifer Mason

VP of Strategic Relations


Described By Others As: “generous and kind. And someone I would want in my lifeboat” 🙂

Can’t Live Without: My kids 

Hidden Talent: water skiing 

Dream Vacation: long getaway on a private caribbean island with my closest friends and family

Top Bucket List Item: Retire early on a boat 

Mild Obsession: Cake

Champion-Joe McGhee (1)

Joe McGhee


Joe McGhee Insurance Agency, Inc | State Farm Agency

Described By Others As: Joe U…Fun and good looking –with a wry sense of humor 😉

Hidden TalentCan drain the 3 “from wayyyy downtown”, Mad rap skillz, and makes great omelets (exotic cheeses are the secret)

Dream Vacation:  Asia

Inspired By:  My parents, grandparents, my children and the general goodness of kind people

Champion-Cole Slate

Cole Slate

Real Estate Agent

Exit Real Estate

Last Seen:  Celebrating another “Closing Day” for The Cole Slate EXIT Real Estate Gallery Team

Happiest When:  Raising awareness for Best Buddies! 

Inspired By: Teachers – some of the best leaders in our community! 

Favorite Quote: “Tuesdays are for Tacos” 

Champion-Lisa Haas

Lisa Haas

Vice Principal

St. John’s County Schools

Hidden Talent:  finding the good in any situation

Top Bucket List Item:  touring castles in Switzerland

Dream Vacation: Exploring national parks

Inspired By: happy, kind people

Mild Obsession:  Chip and Joanna Gaines – Fixer Upper

Champion-Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith

Managing Director

Franklin Street

Hidden Talent:  Flip cup

Favorite Quote: “True, I was arrogant, but perhaps that is not the worst trait for a woman to have.” – Rachel, The Marriage of Opposites

Local Faves: 13 Gypsies, Biscottis, Bold Bean, Momni Boutique, & Dreamette

Mild Obsession:  Blue Bell’s The Great Divide

Champion-Wally Conway

Wally Conway


HomePro Inspections

Can’t live without: Bacon

Last seen: On Buzz TV

Hidden Talent: I can wiggle my baby toes

Dream Vacation: The Galapagos Islands

Bucket List: Complete the “Great Circle” by boat 

Local Faves: The Marina at Ortega Landing

Champion-Cindi Goodeaux

Cindi Goodeaux

Communications Analyst

Florida Blue

Described By Others As: Creative and bubbly 

Last Seen:  Working on my latest children’s book story

Inspired By: Anyone who overcomes insurmountable challenges and goes on to mighty success, while reaching back to help others

Local Faves: San Marco Bookstore, Cinco de Mayo on Atlantic Blvd., NaVera Farms


Hunter Sleiman

Regional Director of Leasing

Sleiman Enterprises

Champion-Melissa Kramer

Melissa Kramer

Independent Emerald Ambassador

Plexus Worldwide

Described By Others As: Compassionate, Loyal, Fierce
Can’t Live Without: my pink drink, of course
Last Seen: being the mama taxi of 4
Hidden Talent: target shooting
Favorite Quote: A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me. ~Jody Lander

Champion-Jeff Stoneking

Jeff Stoneking

Agency Owner

Brightway Insurance

Last Seen: Cranking out insurance quotes. 

Happiest When: The Kansas City Royals are winning. 

Dream Vacation: Sailing away on a houseboat with my wife.   

Top Bucket List Item: Winning the mega million jackpot.

What is Champion of the Year?

It’s a friendly(ish) fundraising competition between a group of champions.

Whoever raises the most money wins bragging rights and a boatload of prizes (maybe even a boat). The best part? All funds – 100% of them – go to Best Buddies in your community.  If you’re not quite sure why that’s awesome, ponder this:

We all love our best friends, right?

We talk on the phone, meet for coffee, catch a movie, crack corny jokes and eat too many nachos. In a nutshell, we do life together. But not everyone has a best friend. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can struggle to make connections on their own.  The need for belonging is essential – without it, there’s nothing but loneliness and isolation.

Best Buddies is here to make sure everyone has a sidekick.

Someone who knows your favorite ice cream flavor, surprises you on your birthday, picks you up when you’re down, and knows what makes you amazing. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Our champions are here to raise the funds needed so that everyone can have a best friend.

Best Buddies Logo Color CMYK CVC

Guess what? You can get in on the fun!

Kick off

Come raise a glass to our Champions and officially launch the contest


Support your favorite Champion (or Champions – you can have more than one!)


Eat, drink, and be merry – celebrate all our Champions and crown the winner

For event inquiries and sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Erika Hatch


We change the world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated employment

Best Buddies International is a 501 (c)(3) charity