Meet The Team

It Takes a Village

Without the dedicated support of our team, we wouldn’t be able to transform the lives of our residents, alumni and children here at Rainbow Village. Our team comes from all backgrounds, each bringing a unique passion for the work we’re doing. Learn more below about each member of this team and how they move the needle for our residents. 


Rev. Melanie Conner

Chief Executive Officer

Coming to Rainbow Village in 2017 truly was a “God thing.” Melanie has always had a passion for doing work that empowers women. As CEO, Melanie wants to ensure that families experiencing homelessness have the confidence to take the first step on their journey to self-sufficiency. But that’s not all she wants. Melanie wants all families to have access to affordable childcare, health care, and economic independence to break free from poverty and pursue their dreams. Her focus is on helping the families and the organization evolve and be purpose-driven. Drawing on her extensive experience obtained through her work with corporations, government, and nonprofits, Melanie brings a broad perspective to the table and works to impact lives by providing a safe place to live, a caring, supportive, and qualified staff, and the resources and training that they need to improve their quality of life.

Melanie values spending time with her family and is keenly aware it is a privilege she should never take for granted. She has been married to the love of her life for 30 years. She is the mother to two tall, dark and handsome adult sons and her fur baby, Jack Jack. 

Melanie has previously served as the Social Services Program Manager at the Governer’s Office of Transition, Support & Reentry as well as as the Executive Director of the Zion Hill Community Development Corporation.

Randy Redner

Chief Strategy & Philanthropy Officer

Randy learned about Rainbow Village more than 20 years ago and feels as if he has come full-circle. He is passionate and dedicated to help families through the provision of housing and programs. As Chief Strategist, he will help to identify ways to expand Rainbow Village programs and serve even more families. Randy is a visionary of leadership and is immersed in Gwinnett County Community engagement, he will serve the organization well.

Outside of his time at Rainbow Village, Randy spends time with his family.

Randy previously served Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society and United Methodist Children’s Home over the course of a combined 15 years, Redner is perhaps best known in the nonprofit realm for his most recent seven-year turn as President & CEO for the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia (CFNEG)

Cheryl Deluca-Johnson

Special Projects Coordinator

Cheryl learned about Rainbow Village after being invited to tour the facility and learn about our mission. She was inspired by Rainbow Village’s comprehensive and innovative approach to help families end the cycle of experiencing homelessness and finding ways to expand that impact. As Special Projects Manager, she hoping to enhance and expand the impact of the current work being done at Rainbow Village and to use the information learned to increase impact in the community. 

Outside of her time at Rainbow Village, Cheryl spends time with her family. She has been happily married for 40 years. She is a mother of 6 and Nonna of 5.

Cheryl received her Master’s of Education at the University of GA as well as her Bachelor’s of Arts from Mercer University.

Joy Holmes

Chief Development Officer

Joy comes to Rainbow Village with a professional background in nonprofit fundraising and executive volunteer management, she has worked with nonprofit organizations for 20 years. Joy’s passion for community all began with a 5-gallon bucket of water she received from her host Russian family during a student exchange program she participated in as a teenager. Upon deeper reflection, Joy recalls that moment as pivotal in her own desire to give back. Since that time, she has dedicated her life to the service of others and various nonprofits, both local and national.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, and cooking delicious meals while hosting her large extended family.

Joy graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia with a degree in Communication Arts and in English. She’s held multiple leadership and fundraising roles at various local and national nonprofit organizations.

Program Team

Rachelle Dowell

Program Manager

Rachelle’s passion and gift from God is helping others. She has worked with homeless families for over 20 years and believes that having a place to live significantly impacts a person’s mental and physical health as well as the community at large.

Rachelle is excited to be part of the Rainbow Village team to guide homeless families to permanent affordable housing and employment opportunities that will sustain them on their life journey.

Rachelle is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, enjoys Zumba and hiking in beautiful parks.

Olivia Sheridan

Program Coordinator

Olivia began her professional career in 2016 at the Center for Civil and Human Rights where she worked in group marketing for almost 6 years. Following her time at NCCHR she worked as a Program Assistant for Tower Lights Charities helping with events, fundraising, and development. She was inspired by Rainbow Village’s compassion shown for those in need but also the determination and tools that Rainbow Village provides families to help them break the cycle. She is enthusiastic to be a part of a team that is passionate about what they do and where she can help make a difference. As Program Coordinator, she hopes to bring an element of support that allows the Program team to be more efficient in helping build and transition residents into a more self-sufficient life once they move into their own homes.

Outside of her time at Rainbow Village, Olivia enjoys cuddling with her dogs and traveling to other countries to increase her culture awareness. 

Olivia received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Georgia and a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University.

China Bland

ASPIRE Success Coach

China loves working with women that have been down on their luck, oppressed, incarcerated, and homeless. She specializes in identifying and resolving life crises, she realizes that every person and family have strengths, and at times need additional resources and skills to get them back on track to the life God intended for them. Therefore, China focuses on the Person-Centered Approach and this approach meets the individual and/or family where they are. China’s solution is to support this person or family with a Case Manager, Shelter, Food, Life Coach, and Recovery. With these primary services in place every person that is bound to crisis will become set free of the bondage that has been holding from exceeding in life.

China successfully advocates for services needed and encourages women to stick to their goals that would have a positive impact in their lives. Due to her life’s struggles as a widow, a single mom, homeless and divorce; she uses her testimonies to encourage others that they can make it too.

Latoya McLennon

ASPIRE Success Coach

Latoya is a native New Yorker who moved to Georgia in 2015 with her 2 children. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from Walden University.  She brings 13 years of experience to her role as Success Coach to Rainbow Village. Her experience includes case management working with clients with mental health issues, developmental disabilities, at risk youth and families experiencing homelessness.     

She was lead to Rainbow Village by our mission of providing help, hope, housing and healing to families. Working in the non-profit arena is her passion. She loves to give back to the community and being able to put a smile on her client’s face means the world to her.

Latoya gets greats pleasure helping families achieve their target goals to become economically self-sufficient and securing permanent housing.  She believes that without stable housing, families will continue to struggle to put the broken pieces of their lives together in order for their family to thrive.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, cooking, shopping, playing volleyball and watching action movies!

Anika Crosby

ASPIRE Success Coach

Anika is a native of New Orleans, she brings over 15 years of experience working in human services, including working with homeless, domestic violence, and at-risk populations. She has worked with the Department of Family Children Service in Georgia, a Legal Advocate at Cherokee Family Violence and Housing Advocate at LiveSafe Resources.

After many years of working in social service, Anika realized that obtaining affordable housing is essential to family harmony and self-sufficiency. Her upbringing instilled in her the belief that a stable home environment is paramount to the development and growth of the youth. Furthermore, Anika understands and appreciates that Rainbow Village’s mission is to break the vicious cycle of homelessness and poverty.

Outside of her time at Rainbow Village, Anika spends time with her family. She is a mother of two young men, 20 and 22. Anika enjoys watching Nascar with her oldest son and cheering on her youngest son as he competes in Track and Field at the collegiate level.

Anika has a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Mississippi. She is completing her master’s degree in Non-profit management and leadership at Walden University. 

Community Engagement

Michelle Alcorn

Community Engagement Director

Michelle first began her journey with Rainbow Village as the Liason between Rainbow Village and Perimeter Church. In this role, Michelle organized service projects, co-chaired fundraising event committees, organized faith partner serving efforts. She was recognized as Volunteer of the Year in 2010. 

Since joining the Rainbow Village Team in 2016, Michelle has continued to focused on engaging the community to provide the support and resources needed to fund the Rainbow Village programming that gives these families stability, safety, and second chances. As a member of the team, Michelle gets to see first hand how that programming can equip, teach and coach residents to give them a hand up!

Michelle previously worked for 11 years with Charter Behavioral Health Services in Marketing and Business Development. She spent 5 years consulting in the behavioral health field before entering her second career as a full time Mom in 1997! 

Brittany Lowe

Community Engagement Coordinator

Brittany joined the Rainbow Village team in January 2021 in part because their mission resonates with her. Growing up her story has been similar to some of the families at Rainbow Village and she is proud to be a part of the change and growth for the families in our community.

Brittany focuses on increasing awareness of the Rainbow Village message and activating volunteers from the community to become more involved not only by donating financially, but by donating their time to the Rainbow Village families. Outside of her time at Rainbow Village, Brittany loves to travel and spend time with family– especially her son!

Brittany completed her Hospitality Management Degree from Gwinnett Technical College. Before joining Rainbow Village, Brittany lent her talents at The River Club, Suwanee Towne Florist and Chateau Elan Winery & Resort specializing in Weddings and Private Events.

Support Services

Open Position

Executive & Office Assistant

This is your opportunity to do more than just have a job. Your congenial personality, compassion, and hard work will support the mission of the organization and help ensure families experiencing homelessness have the support they need. We are looking for someone who is capable of multi-tasking and comfortable with each day being just a little different than the last. The ideal candidate will be dynamic, high-energy, organized, and able to support cross-functional coordination in a fast-paced environment. Must possess good judgement. Must be available during regular business hours (9a.m.– 5p.m., Monday through Friday) and on occasion/as needed to provide support and assistance to the staff on occasional weekends/evenings.

Tracy Turner

Facilities Manager

Tracy was drawn to Rainbow Village because the the mission matches his passion for helping families heal from the trauma of homelessness.

As the Facilities Manager, Tracy makes sure that each apartment is not just “ready” for move in but up to the standards of most upper crest apartments on the market. He strives to make Rainbow Village a stable community that’s more than a place for families to move into to get out of homelessness but also a place they can be proud to call home while getting themselves together. 

Outside of supporting residents at Rainbow Village, Tracy enjoys attending dog shows, traveling to nice beaches and cheering on the Atlanta Falcons and University of Georgia football teams!

Tracy graduated cum laude from Fort Valley State University, Tracy has worked for non-profit organizations primarily serving youth in foster care as an advisor and life coach.  He has also worked in the mental health arena counseling youth.

Rainbow Village ACADEMY Team

Sondra Blue

Academy Director

Sondra Blue first came to Rainbow Village as a resident in 2002. Following her time on campus she stayed involved through volunteering, then part-time employment, and finally joining the team full-time. Sondra has been a full-time staff member for over 14 years.

As the Academy Director, Sondra makes sure that each each child’s individual needs are met. She is passionate about making Rainbow Village Academy a stable and nurturing atmosphere for the youth we serve. She helps to provide a creative and fun learning environment while also helping the youth to develop leaderships skills and open communication. 

Sondra spent 11 years in the military before getting her Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate. 

Curtis Allen

Children and Youth Coordinator

Curtis has always been passionate about working with and mentoring youth. He was attracted to Rainbow Village because of our mission of “transforming lives”.  He believes strongly that transformation is a process and along the way, “life happens” and brings ups and downs creating a journey of discovery. 

He has worked for the US Department of Education discretionary grant program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) for the past 11 years. This program was designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Curtis holds a degree from Governors State University in Public Affairs. He has been married to his best friend for 22 years and has three children and a female Cane Corso named Nova. 

Mildred Herrera

Children and Youth Assistant

Mildred has always believed her calling is to serve others in any way she can. She is passionate about always being able to give a helping hand.

She has is a Gwinnett native and graduated from Duluth High School in 2016. In her spare time, Mildred loves touring local parks with her dog Jack. She also enjoys taking friends and family to her favorite restaurants and coffee shops.

Mildred is currently a student at Gwinnett Technical College pursuing a studying Radiology.

2023 Board Members

The Reverend Joel P. Hudson, Chairman Emeritus

Cathe Reams, (Chair), Communication Director, Sustainability and Urban Infrastructure, Siemens Corporation

Michelle Livingstone, (Vice Chair) Vice President- Transportation, The Home Depot (Retired)

Mona Reiser Armstrong, (Secretary) Owner and Assistant School Director, International School of Skin and Nailcare

Jacqueline Neilson, Executive and Leadership Coach, Owner, Jackie Neilson Coaching

Charnette Brown,  Rainbow Village Graduate

Paul Culbreth, Certified Financial Planner, Your Wealth Partners

Jill Edwards, Senior Vice President, United Community Bank

Deborah Latham, CEO, Georgia Tank Lines

Wayne Ellison, Ellison Insurance Agency

Deon Tucker, Regional Director, Georgia Power Company

Indran Indrakrishnan, MD, CEO & Founder Gwinnett Digestive Clinic PC and Endoscopy Center LLC, Adjunct Professor Of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Jann L. Joseph, President, Georgia Gwinnett College

C.G. McBride, Vitalysys Technologies, Owner

Debbie Bilbro, President and CEO Northside Hospital- Gwinnett

Steve Emert, Attorney at Law, Emert Law Firm LLC.

Scott Phelan, Executive Vice President, Janney

Jan Trantham, EVP Operations Administration, Primerica

Susie Collat, Owner, Mayer Electric Supply Company (Retired)