Holocaust Center Staff

The Holocaust Center employs dedicated team members who are passionate about promoting a community free of hatred and injustice. Each team member has their own area of expertise and would be happy to speak with you.

Holocaust Center Searches for its Next CEO

The Holocaust Center has announced a search for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The services of Sandler Search have been engaged to work with a search committee to lead a national effort to find a CEO with experience in building, curating, and opening institutions similar in size and scope of the new Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity.

Our Team!

Shelley Lauten

Interim ceo

Shelley W. Lauten is a Founding Partner of triSect, LLC, a strategic change consulting firm focused on civic innovation, serving the business, government and independent sectors. 
A recognized visionary and entrepreneurial leader, Shelley is often called upon to serve as an advisor to organizations and communities wanting to create and implement shared visions and strategic directional plans.

Kathy Turner

VP, Development & marketing

(407) 628-0555 x285
Capital Campaign, Sponsorships, Planned Giving, Major Gifts, Donations

Kathy serves as the Senior Development Director chiefly responsible for all fundraising initiatives, strategic plans and development staff.
She was previously with AdventHealth Foundation for 13 years as Senior Development Officer with primary fundraising responsibility for Celebration Health, AdventHealth Winter Park, the Transplant Institute, Neuroscience Institute and employee giving program. 

Kathy was part of the Health Systems Philanthropy Leadership Group’s Fellowship program through the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy which concluded in a presentation at the AHP International Conference in 2016. She was proud to open the 40,000 square foot Bartch Transplant House on the Orlando campus as well as the Nicholson Pavilion at AdventHealth Winter Park Hospital with 140 private patient rooms. Her focus is on building key relationships and securing major gifts to achieve annual philanthropic goals. 

 She holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Ball State University and two master’s degrees from the University of St. Francis in Health Administration and Business Administration. 

Kathy currently serves and volunteers at Grace Church.  She also has two children, Kamryn and Mason.

Lauren Nelson

development director - corporate philanthropy

(407) 628-0555, x227
Capital Campaign, Major Gifts, Grants, Sponsorships, Donations

Lauren serves as the Major Gifts & Grants Officer, supporting philanthropic efforts for the Holocaust Center’s programs, exhibits and operations, as well as the capital campaign for the new Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity.

She has held previous leadership and senior philanthropy roles with many well-known national and local institutions, including Nemours Children’s Health System, American Cancer Society, Best Buddies International, Orlando Repertory Theatre, and Orlando Science Center. In these roles, Lauren created and led many strategic philanthropy initiatives in annual fund, major gifts, special events, grant writing, and campaigns ranging from $3 million to $30 million.

An active member of the community, Lauren is a board member for AFP Central Florida and Valencia Horizon Scholars, and she is an active member of Florida Executive Women. Lauren holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from University of Central Florida, bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications from Elon University, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). She is also an instructor with the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College, and an adjunct faculty member at University of Central Florida.


Stephen Poynor

education curator

(407) 628-0555, x283
Educational Programs & 
School Field Trips


Stephen Poynor is the Resource Teacher at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida. His position is a joint venture between Orange County Public Schools and the Center. He helps teachers and schools to implement the Florida mandate for Holocaust Education (F.S. 1003.42) through collaborative teacher training, direct student instruction, and curriculum design. He believes that studying the Holocaust provides an opportunity for educators to inspire critical thinking within students. He challenges educators and students to use the lessons from the Holocaust to raise questions about: individual and collective responsibility, the meaning of active citizenship, and the structures and societal norms that can become dangerous for certain groups and society as a whole. Prior to his position at the HMREC, Stephen earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. After 15 years in the private sector, Stephen began his career in education at West Orange High school where he launched a Holocaust Studies program and served on the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education. In his free time, Stephen enjoys spending time with his family, whitewater rafting, hiking, swimming, watching movies, and reading.

Lua Hancock

sr. consultant
take action institute

(407) 628-0555, x293
Take Action Conference 
Content & Curriculum

Dr. Lua Hancock specializes in providing consulting in areas of leadership, change management, conflict resolution, emergency planning and response, assessment, and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

She has worked with various Fortune 500 companies and higher education institutions from diverse sectors to facilitate towards values and goal creation, alignment, and success.  Additionally, she works as a coach to industry leaders assisting them with mindful, equitable and impactful leadership.

Dr. Hancock has more than 25 years of progressive student and academic affairs.  Most recently she served as the Vice President of Campus Life and Student Success at Stetson University.  

Lua has a Bachelor’s of Science from Rollins College in Psychology and African/African American Studies, a Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern University in Alternative Dispute Resolution and an EdD from NSU in Higher Education Leadership.


Lua has two sons who make her laugh every day.

Jennifer Kupper

Sr. Consultant
take action institute

(407) 628-0555, x294
Take Action Conference

Lauren Chianese

Sr. Consultant
exhibits & programs

(407) 628-0555, x279
Exhibits & Programs

Leilany Romero

administrative assistant

Leilany serves as administrative support to the team. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida in Art History and Latin American studies. Her interests in art and her heritage merged together for a passion for mesoamerican and contemporary Latin American art. Leilany also studied abroad in Peru where she taught English to children in Quechua villages and climbed Machu Picchu. Leilany is passionate about learning new things and enjoys traveling, dancing, watching movies, going to Disney with her sister, and reading comic books.


Leah Hornik

Education specialist

(407) 628-0555
Education & Field Trips

Leah Hornik is currently a student at Rollins College, majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern and North African studies. She is a member of the Bonner Leaders program at Rollins, where she has spent the last three years volunteering at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center. Leah recently worked as the Marketing and Social Media Ambassador on Phil Andersons’ Mayoral campaign race. 

Before starting her undergraduate at Rollins College, Leah participated in a gap-year program where she had the privilege to live in Israel for nine months. She studied at Hebrew University and volunteered with Magen David Adom, the Israeli ambulance system. As part of the program, Leah had the opportunity to travel to Poland to learn about the atrocities there firsthand.

In addition to serving as an education specialist for the Holocaust Center, Leah is preparing for her upcoming graduation and hoping to continue her studies in Holocaust education.

Sam MacKnight

museum lead - sundays

(407) 628-0555
Museum Lead – Sundays