Staff

Mike Clayborne

PResident

Mike has served as President of CREATE Foundation since November of 1996. Under his leadership, the foundation’s assets have grown from $13.9 million to over $150 million. Mike prides himself in helping donors accomplish their charitable giving interests and assisting communities and organizations establish priorities.

Lewis Whitfield

Senior Vice PResident

After 32 years as a bank executive and community leader, Lewis believes that educational attainment is critical to northeast Mississippi’s economic and community development success.  His work with the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi over the past 16 years has resulted in several successful education initiatives, which have reduced the dropout rate and improved college attendance.  Lewis, and the Commission, support school districts in developing community-based accountability systems.

Juanita Floyd

Vice President Finance and Administration

Juanita has served the CREATE Foundation for over 36 years.  Her responsibilities include managing all financial aspects of the operation of the Foundation and the oversight of assets. Through relationship building, customer service, and a historical perspective of the organization, Juanita brings a personal engagement lens to donor capacity at CREATE.

Kristy Luse

Vice President of Toyota Wellspring Education Fund

After nearly 27 years as a public school educator, Kristy’s belief that in changing the educational landscape, while impacting the economic development of our communities, can influence the trajectory of future generations. Through the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund’s initiatives, which target workforce development in the public K-12 arena, students will be exposed to, prepared for, and connected to fulfilling careers in Northeast Mississippi. This work is the core of Kristy’s lifelong commitment to the students of our region.

Albine Bennett

Director of Communications

Albine’s passion for community service and engagement, in the nonprofit sector, showcases her leadership role which elevates the reputation of CREATE across Northeast Mississippi. Through a broad range of events, programs, volunteerism, and fundraising, Albine effectively networks service partners in the region. With a personal commitment to excellence, Albine’s strategies align CREATE’s mission to successful community outcomes.

KAtie Stuart

Director of Finance

Katie joined the CREATE Foundation in 2015, bringing with her over 13 years of public accounting experience as a practicing Certified Public Accountant.  Her prior experience, as well as remaining current on events of nonprofit accounting, assists Katie in fulfilling her role at the CREATE Foundation.  Through her work, Katie is dedicated to overseeing accounting and reporting functions of more than 800 funds at CREATE Foundation. 

PK Thomas

Director of Development

PK joined the CREATE Foundation in 2020 following ten years with Mississippi State University Development Foundation.  His primary duties at CREATE are to work with community affiliates, as well as all current and prospective donors. PK is committed to community service and continuing to build the legacy of donor impact in Northeast Mississippi.

Stewart Brevard McMillan

Toyota Wellspring/CREATE Project Manager

Stewart’s personal mantra, “a rising tide raises all ships”, is reflective of her experiences as a teacher and district administrator, which positively impacted students in northeast Mississippi. Through CREATE’s broad initiatives, and as a part of the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund team, Stewart is able to mesh her love of education with social service, business, and healthcare. By merging all aspects of her experiences, Stewart ensures students are lifelong learners, as she is doing her part to make the community a better place for future generations.

Dana Peters

Administrative Assistant/Project Coordinator

Dana, a life-long resident of Tupelo, joined CREATE in 2017, after a 30-year banking career.   She is an asset to CREATE because of her excellent administrative skills and personable donor engagement.  While Dana performs a multitude of roles in her work, her true loves are serving our clients and providing exceptional donor service, allowing her to witness the growth of funds designated to help others.