July 2020 – Brian Vann

Endings and Beginnings

With the third year of Crave coming to an end, we celebrate the two Crave Leader graduating cohortsone from Orlando and one from Sanford. The Crave program runs from August to June so this year’s classes completed the Crave curriculum during a most unprecedented time in our country’s history. As all non-profits do, these leaders had to overcome the challenges COVID-19 employed. They did so with integrity, character, perseverance, and determination. As they grew, so did all the individuals who make up the Crave Universe. With the third year in the books, we are excited to begin year four!  

The fourth year brings excitement, but also sadness. The third year marked the end of the tenure for some of our board members. We are saddened to see these friends and colleagues roll off the board. Even though they are no longer on the board, their legacy will be felt for a long time to come. Some of these individuals helped start Crave while others shaped it into what Crave is today. We pray for their present and continued support while staying within the Crave Universe.   

Thank you to outgoing Orlando council members Tom Harris, Adam Hartnett, Jon Tschanz, Rick Jones, Kelsey Kerce, Sarah Skidmore, Tonya Tolson, and Karen Weatherford. Thank you to outgoing Sanford council members Pasha Baker, Nancy Groves, Jolene Lovemore, Erin O’Donnell, and Tom Royal.

The fourth year marks a critical time in the growth of the Crave organization. The organization is no longer a start-up as it begins its growth stage. The growth we are experiencing afforded us the opportunity to expand our leadership. We now operate with an Advisory Council of Orlando and a Board of Directors. We are thankful to welcome many new members of both the Advisory Council and the Board of Directors. These individuals are some of the most influential in our community. We are working on some amazing projects such as creating a certificate program for the Crave curriculum. We are blessed to welcome a new group of social change makers to our fourth year Crave Leader cohort. These individuals are dynamic, intelligence, and inspirational. 

Welcome new board members Faith Buhler, Gina Dole, Woody Rodriguez, and Jarvis Wheeler; and council members Chantel Aquart, Blu Bailey, Katie Brown, Terri Hartman, Stephanie Preston-Hughes, and Katrina Jackson,

I am excited to kickoff a new Crave year!

Brian Vann, Chair of the Crave Board of Directors


November 2017 – Adam Hartnett

Crave is an adventure for the spiritually curious, and in November we explored the ways that each of us hasn’t quite fit into the spiritual boxes that exist in our world. It started as we were reflecting on the people, communities and moments that have shaped who we are. For me, I’ve been through quite a few communities of faith in my life. I grew up in a Catholic family, going to Catholic school and attending Mass faithfully every Sunday. Then in middle school I went to a Southern Baptist youth group and attended Sunday school and Sunday service religiously. As I attempted to mold myself into these spiritual boxes, a feeling of discontent persisted. I never really fit. I had a lot of questions; I was quite a bit more femme than the average boy; and the rules and rituals never quite made sense to me.

I have always felt a profound connection with the divine, even through my experiences of not quite fitting into religions. The consistent connection is, after all, what continues to motivate me in the work I get to do in the community. The divine connection has just changed over time, but I hadn’t realized any of this until I was asked to explore my spirituality in Crave. Through this self-discovery, I realized that it isn’t so much the idea of a God that I am discontent with. But, rather, I find great apprehension where philosophy and theology limit my ability to embrace myself or connect fully with folx from diverse backgrounds, that is the point where the religion boxes we have received become irrelevant to me.

It turns out that quite a few of us who are in Crave have come to a similar conclusion. We’ve had many, varied experiences with religion and none of those seemed to be quite relevant. So, we have begun this Crave journey; we are attempting to create this microcosm of a community where all our passions, motivations, beliefs and dreams can converge, however different they are, without one value or belief discounting another. This is the kind of community in which I have learn, I am able to thrive. Each of us come from different backgrounds, but we share a common desire to bring about good in our community. I think we each recognize that while we may have different beliefs, we can agree that to make a real, lasting, positive change in the world we must work together. Isn’t that cool? I think so.