Our Board

Our dedicated Board sets the course for The $1,000 Start-Ups Consortium. Through their effort and with the support of our donors and sponsors we are working to build an organization with sustainable funding that provides economic and reentry opportunity to traditionally underserved communities.

Leah Ward-Lee, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Leah is the author of both the book and course $1,000 Start-Ups: 60 Business for Micro-Entrepreneurs … and How to Start Them, used in the entrepreneurship section of the $1,000 Start-Ups program.

A business and technology executive with thirty years of experience with public, private, and government organizations, she has owned and operated LWL Enterprises, Inc, a management consulting and publishing firm, since 1998.

Capitalizing on her extensive knowledge regarding the business use of technology on a wide range of business and technical issues, she became the Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Equifax Healthcare Information Services, Centra Benefit Services, and LSG SkyChefs.

Following that, she decided to work as an independent management consultant.  Through her ability to quickly understand and communicate even the most complex issues and develop implementable and sustainable solutions, she delivered more than $2 billion in earnings to her client organizations, most of which were Fortune 500 companies.


Tony X. Lee, Co-Founder, Director, and Board Member

While still in High School, Tony started in the restaurant and bar service industry.  He continued in the industry during college and to date has spent more than two decades learning the intricacies of the business. 

During that time, he served in every available position, from busboy to bartender to General Manager of multi-unit concepts.  In Dallas, he was well-known as a celebrity bartender with a following that packed every shift to capacity and a restaurant and bar consultant for staff hiring, training, and

 operational management.

Along the way he worked with thousands of individuals and saw how easily bar and restaurant money comes and goes.  To enable anyone who had a dollar in their pocket and a desire to improve their quality of life had a resource and a path to follow.  Working with Leah Ward-Lee, they devised a plan and published a book, workbook, and training course to help keep people from going broke.

With the $1000 Startups Program, Tony has taken the lessons learned and lumps taken along the way and sees daily how his knowledge and passion for business helps business owners and entrepreneurs gain focus and realize their goals.


Rev. Anthony C. Daniel, Director & Board Member

Pastor Anthony C. Daniel has served as the spiritual leader and pastor of Historic Macedonia AME Church Fernandina Beach, Florida since November 2013.  Licensed by the Rev. Dr. William Maxwell Robinson, his Father in the ministry at the Ebenezer AME Church in New City, NY, he was ordained by the African Methodist Episcopal Church with Third Episcopal District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania upon accepting the call to the pastorate in 1990.

Pastor Daniel is a passionate community servant.  He motivates and inspires individuals to identify their potential and share this passion in serving others.  

Pastor Daniel successfully spearheaded Bridging the Gap, a faith-based initiative to facilitate a sense of unity

among The Clergy, Community Leaders, and Law Enforcement in Nassau County in light of the recent tragedies and troubled times we live. His primary focus and purpose are to create and promote an inclusive community empowered by diversity in every form imaginable and enhance social equity.

He currently serves on several Executive Boards within the City of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County. He also serves as a member of the Nassau County Christian Leadership Conference, Nassau County Ministerial Association. 

In addition to Pastor Daniel’s thirty years of experience are undergraduate and graduate degrees.  However, the degree he is most proud of is his degree in Common Sense which he obtained at the University of Sylvia Daniel’s home of his praying mother. A firm believer that if you Touch the Heart, you can Save the Soul. 


Samuel O. Lane, Director & Board Member

Samuel O. Lane is a retired Air Force colonel and  Command Pilot with over 4000 flying hours in large and jumbo jets (C-141 and C-5) and general aviation aircraft.  He has extensive experience in Air Force airfield and fleet operations.  He spent five years as an FAA-certified Air Force air traffic controller. Expert in command-and-control systems and operations, including planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, and controlling trans-national, multi-modal transportation and logistics operations.

He’s a Systems Engineer with sixteen years as a Management Consultant for business and government.  During that time he conducted numerous studies and analyses of management and engineering practices.  He’s a recognized expert in large-scale program and project management, including planning, management, and financial and risk controls.  He has more than thirty years’ total experience in organizational leadership; formulation of management policy; design, development, and use of management control systems; and process improvement. He served as an Adjunct Professor in the Systems Engineering Master’s Degree program for Johns-Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering.

He’s a resident of Fernandina Beach, FL since 2007 and an active pilot. 


Chef Xylina Green, Board Member and Owner, Island Personal Chefs

Xylina Green, is a Personal Chef and Caterer. She graduated The Art Institute of Atlanta, Culinary Arts School in 2014. She went on to work in several Atlanta area kitchens until moving back home and eventually opening Island Personal Chefs LLC in 2018.

She served as a Master at Arms in the Navy Reserves, developing leadership, planning and problem- solving skills during her eleven years of service.  Xylina, separated from the military in 2020 to focus on developing her catering business.

Xylina, gained attention from the local Chaine des Rotisseurs, president Dr. Rawson Griffin and she has been preparing coursed dinners for the group for over a year. She was recently presented with the honor of joining this prestigious wine and food society as a professional chef.  She will be formally inducted December 9, 2021. 

She created Island Sisters, Incorporated in 2020 to mentor local girls and young women.  It is still in its development stage.


Connor Fasel, Board Member and Owner, Millennial Touch, LLC

Connor Fasel is the Founder of Millennial Touch, a small personal tech services company based in Fernandina Beach, FL. In addition, Connor is an active participant in local community focused groups and non-profit organizations including the $1,000 Start-Ups Consortium and Fernandina Beach Pride. 

After graduating with Honors from the University of Alabama with his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and a Minor in Spanish, Connor pursued a Master’s Degree at the University of Iceland. 

He began his career teaching English as a Second Language and worked in a host of fields connected to academia and the arts.  In 2018, Connor began working in Social Media Marketing and Information Technology for Story & Song Bookstore Bistro. This lifetime of experience ultimately led to the founding of Connor’s first company, Millennial Touch, which emphasizes assisting people with technical issues while focusing on helping people learn and no longer feel intimidated by their devices.”

Connor is a relatively new resident of Fernandina Beach, but in less than three years he has become a vocal and active member of the small business community. Connor employs a diverse range of skills garnered over a range of personal and professional experiences.  He was recently selected by the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce to attend the 2021 Leadership Nassau program.


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