Senior Leadership

Nicole Thomas – Founder and Executive Officer 
Accountant

Nicole Thomas is a graduate of Strayer University. She currently works in the role as an Accountant for Veracity Engineering where she enjoys her career and working with top executives and management teams.

In her current role as an Accountant with Veracity Engineering Inc. she is responsible for compliance, policy development, tracking finance cost variations such as revenues and expenses, contract funding and modifications, direct and indirect costs, funding forecast and projections, coding, general ledger accounts accuracy and maintaining support documentation.

Her efforts has established financial goals to ensure share of corporate profitability of products and services, implement, execute and manage financial programs and plans, both short and long term, to ensure the profit growth. Researches, analyzes, and monitors financial, technological, and demographic factors so that opportunities may be capitalized.

Nicole has over 13 years of experience and has held managerial positions with both corporate and government entities in event management, business development, and sponsor recruitment and a track record of revolutionizing events profitability, popularity, and performance. With a strong drive to help others grow professionally, coupled with a personal conviction of life-long learning. She is proactive in promoting team progress toward event and program organization and management.

Nicole competencies include working with management teams to:

  • Improve practices by creating meaningful policies and outcomes
  • Manage procedures of the importance of Quality Assurance
  • Working to gain and maintain financial integrity for healthier financial sustainability
  • Program Management and Organizational Development

Nicole has passion for philanthropic activities. She consistently play a strong role in support of the community needs and has been socially responsible through the selfless support to various school systems, parent and women leadership groups.

Nicole quotes "Every child deserves the opportunity to explore and experience things outside their circumstances and environments. I have come to realize that what distinguishes one child from another is not ability, but access; access to education, access to opportunity, access to love. It is very important for outlets and platforms be established and made available to youth outside of home and school to sustain positive growth and achievements. Nicole also believes as adults we all have to lead by example. Every child wants to be loved and reassured that s/he can succeed and reach their goals in life. Her famous quote is "It's not where you start that matters, it's where you finish"

A loyal, responsible, and committed fellow to whatever she sets her heart and mind to doing. In her spare time she enjoys reading and writing quotes, watching movies, spending time with her family and entertaining. 

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Xiomara "Liz" Zuniga – Director of Corporate Development 
Business Development

Liz ZunigaXiomara (Liz) Zuniga, serves as Director of Business Development, of O'Neal Technologies, Inc. (OTI), a consulting company providing companies with software training, organizational development, benefits administration, and management development. In executive capacities with the company, Liz oversees the operations, accounting, customer service, and marketing. Through a successful 8 years, she developed and implemented strategic marketing plans leading to substantial revenue and profit growth. In addition to dedication and achievement at OTI, Liz is also committed to her family and community. Liz quotes "As a child, I found guidance and support through youth programs offered at the Latin America Youth Center in DC. I would like to offer other youth the same opportunities I was given as programs outside of school are instrumental in youth's success in and outside the classroom"

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Richard A. Opanuga, MioD, CIAMA, MNIPM. – Chief Financial Officer
Certified Public Accountant

ropanugaRichard Opanuga is the Principal Consultant of Taxpoint Consults LLC since 2001. Providing enterprise resource solutions as a subcontractor, providing both Public and Private consulting with entire teams' expert consultants. He is an enrolled Agent with the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, for Public Tax Matters & Consulting. Public Sector Taxation Model Systems Design, Governmental Tax Legacy Solutions, Enterprise Tax Planning. He has over 15 years experience in the finance industry with responsibilities in Project Management, Corporate Finance, Treasury & Cash Management, and Risk Management. He has functioned in a variety of roles including corporate Taxation, treasury operations.

He worked with fortune 500 companies including Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULLICO), where he managed Assets Reconciliation account which includes [Citibank, Sequoia Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, First Union Bank and Bank of America] for 15 Entities.

Richard is an Accountant, graduated from The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. He attended University of Maryland, Robert Smith Business School for the degree conversion accreditation through FACS. He is an Executive Education graduate of Harvard Business School. He attended Leadership Development Program & Financial Management.

Currently volunteers with Future Next Corporation as a Liaison to assess financial valid opinions checks and ensures appropriate 501 (c) 3 statutory requirements are adhered to. Richard monitors FNC's financial activities and reporting in accordance with statutory laws, financial regulatory codes and Internal Revenue Service compliance and Reporting.

Richard is currently leading projects, initiating and designing processes. He is currently serving on Board of various organizations (profit & non-profit organizations)

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Lydia Merriam-Pigg – Development Coordinator
Program Analyst

Lydia

Lydia Merriam-Pigg earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida, and her Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. Currently residing in Stockton, California, Lydia works as a Program Analyst for Exel Logistics, the western regional distribution center for Kraft Foods. With more than a decade of tutoring experience in both volunteer and employed capacities, Lydia is powerfully driven to help students achieve academic, and subsequently life, success. A dedicated teacher, Lydia has also mentored and led children in developing musical theatre and puppetry skills. In her spare time, Lydia performs with local community theatre organizations, having recently been seen as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Betty in White Christmas, and Frenchy in Grease.

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Welmanee Anna Phuangmala – Volunteer Coordinator Assistant
Office Manager

welmanee

Growing up within a low-income and at-risked community, Welmanee understands how important and invaluable education can be. Welmanee also knows how easy it is to fall under the influences and the pressures of the negativity that seems to be forever circulating throughout every society. She always wanted to be a part of a greater movement for the good of others and Earth. Thanks to a close friend during elementary school, she was able to serve as a Youth Leadership Council member within her local community. Being a part of the council, opened a whole new world for Welmanee. She was able to advocate for youth leadership, community involvement, anti-violence, healthy lifestyles, sustainable living, and many other aspects that affects today's way of life.

Currently pursuing a degree in Communications with the intent to double major in Business Administration & Management, Welmanee wants to be able to give back to everyone that has helped her throughout her life as well as safeguard the future for many generations to come. Her belief is "the children of today, are the leaders of tomorrow." It is our duty as humans sharing the same air that we help to guide them in the direction that they would best benefit in knowledge as well as mental, emotional health and well being. This can be done through advising, advocating, resources and finding a connection through communication.

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Kayla Yates– Sr. College Bound Coordinator
Management Analyst 

Kayla

Kayla Yates was born and raised in Prince Georges County, MD. She currently works for the Department of Defense as a Management Analyst for the Army Conference Management Directorate. Kayla graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology.

Kayla has a passion for helping young children and strongly believes in supporting her community. She gives back to her community by volunteering as an assistant coach for the LaPlata Blue Knights cheerleading squad in Laplata, MD.

Kayla joined FNC because she enjoys helping students achieve their goals. “I am excited about being apart of Future Next. I have the opportunity to encourage the young generation to seek higher education and achieve their dreams.”

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 Ashley Bennett – Development Coordinator
Marketer 

ashleybennettAshley Bennett an Ohio native is a digital marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She has written for ProBlogger, Convince and Convert, The Social Media Sun, Instant Shift, and Freelance Switch. She specializes in marketing, social media, SEO, and digital content creation.

I chose to volunteer with FNC because I understand the importance of after-school enrichment programs for children. I attended a number after-school programs as a child and I am proud to support an organization that provides other children with the same opportunities.

 

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Tricia M. Warren – Community Outreach Coordinator
Marketing Director

Tricia Warren, a native of Detroit, MI. Tricia comes to FNC because, "I believe in its mission and that all children should be afforded every opportunity there is to becoming successful." She holds a position as the Marketing Director for a successful orthodontic practice in Maryland and the Parent Student Coordinator for FNC. She is the mother of 3 beautiful children ( Bianca, Jalin , Jayla) whom she love and truly adore. In 2007, God told her to move to MD and without hesitation she relocated to a place and found it to be a great opportunity for children and herself."

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Valerie Appea – Volunteer Coordinator
Teacher Special Education

Valerie comes with extensive experience working with youth and primarily students with disabilities and special needs. Valerie has held posts with Highland Park Christian Academy, Prince Georges County Public Schools and her current position with the Frederick County Public Schools working directly with the Learning for Life program. Valerie resides in Frederick Maryland with her wonderful family. Valerie quotes "I am a teacher. I love children. I am a person who loves to help where I can be needed"

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