Vision: A happy birthday for all children
Mission: To convey Christ’s love for His children by creating unforgettable birthday cakes for children living in poverty, with a life-threatening illness or with special needs.
- We are all created as children of God
- God answers prayers
- All gestures, done in Christ’s name, make a big difference
- Communities contain the resources necessary to improve the human condition
Ashley Boyd Gann is the Founder and Executive Director of Sweet Blessings, which she started in 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a Masters of Public Health from the University of South Carolina. Her greatest accomplishments are her marriage to her husband, Scott, and her children, Jackson and Alex.
Sweet Blessings’ founder, Ashley Boyd Gann, did not always want to be a baker. It wasn’t until she was in her 30s that she decorated her first cake. Sensing that God brought cakes in her life for a reason, her family prayed for close to five years for His will. Ashley researched a group that connects professional bakers with critically ill children, but that still wasn’t the answer. One morning during church the pastor was speaking about outreach efforts in downtown Lexington, KY. It was then that she realized that sick children are not the only ones living in crisis, children in poverty are living in crisis as well. God had put cakes in her life to use cake to reach out to his children.
Douglas M. Graham, Board Chair, is the Information Systems Manager at Commonwealth Credit Union. He attended Western KY University and the University of KY and he holds numerous technical certifications. He and his wife, Joan, make their home in Frankfort, KY. They, along with their two daughters, Cassidy and Mea, are active members of Buck Run Baptist Church where Doug & Joan teach a children’s Sunday school class.
René True, Vice-Chair, serves as Executive Director for ConnectKentucky, a non-profit with a mission to accelerate broadband access, adoption and use. Previously, René served as Executive Director of the Office of Research and Information Technology, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development; Deputy Secretary, Kentucky Revenue Cabinet and Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator. He is a real estate broker and auctioneer. He and his wife own and manage a resident real estate portfolio of 10 properties. He has served as Chairman of the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce, Chair of CASA of the Bluegrass and continues to serve on committees for the Frankfort First Foundation and Downtown Frankfort, Inc. René obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Kentucky. He is married to Leslie True and they have three children, Brandon, Bradley and Alyssa.
Connie Malone, Secretary, is an attorney who retired from active practice. Connie was a felony prosecutor in Fayette County, served as Director of the Office of Criminal Appeals in the Attorney General’s office and was Deputy General Counsel in the Justice Cabinet. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky. In addition to being one of Sweet Blessing’s most active volunteers, Connie also volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), advocating for abused and neglected children in Family Court.
Anne Wells, Treasurer, is a CPA who works for Lexmark in Lexington. Anne graduated from Murray State University. She served on Sts. Peter and Paul Regional Catholic School Board and Finance Committees, and she is currently serving on the Academic Boosters board at Lexington Catholic. Anne lives in Lexington with her husband, Rodney, and she has three children.
Brandie Tatro, Past Chair, is a full time mom and part-time homeschooler who also works as a physical therapist in the field of rehabilitation. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Kinesiology and a Masters in Physical Therapy. Brandie and her family are active in the Southland Christian Church. Brandie is married to her husband, Quint, who live in Nicholasville with their three boys, Joshua, Andrew, and Aaron.
Janet Weeks Doss joined the Sweet Blessings board in January of 2017. She has two undergraduate degrees from the University of Kentucky, one in Social Work and one in Education. She completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Louisville Kent School. Janet has worked with children and families for over 30 years in many different social work positions in the Lexington community. Most recently Janet retired from the Fayette County Public Schools after 21 years as a Guidance Specialist in an elementary school. Currently she works as a LCSW in a private practice setting and works part time at the College of Social Work as the Coordinator for the School Social Work Certification program.
Mark Hart, is the Director of Business Development and National accounts for Access Control Devices Inc. (ACDI) He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1997 with a degree in Computer Science with a specialization in business. He and his wife, Alicia, along with their two children Lauren (13) and Mason (11) live in Fishers Mill Landing, Scott County. The Hart’s are active members of Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church where they assist with the many outreach programs offered by MaxPresb. Mark is an avid woodworker who enjoys the outdoors and traveling with his family. He is also a member of the Scott County Youth Baseball executive board where he coaches his son Mason and helps assist the 600+ children in Scott County enjoy the love of the game of baseball.
David Kendrick is a property and casualty insurance agent with Assured Partners. He grew up in Pikeville KY and graduated from EKU with his Bachelors in Business Administration. He is also a Kentucky Colonel. He lives in Lexington and has two children, Emily and Scott.
Rebecca Anne Mercier is a retired social worker and justice professional. Becky retired from LFUCG, Department of Social Services. Positions with the Department began with a student intern placement and through career promotions and professional growth included: Social Worker I., II., and III., Center Director, Project Director, Division Director and Senior Administrative Officer to the Commissioner. She taught criminal courses at LCC, currently BCTC, for almost 20 years and taught correction courses and Child Care Certification courses at EKU. She continues to consult in the arena of “best practice” policy and training in Human Services, Justice and Accreditation. Becky is very active in her community giving back and volunteering with, in addition to Sweet Blessings, Altrusa of Lexington, District Six Board of Altrusa International, Bluegrass Mustang Club and her church, Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. She is a Kentucky Colonel. She and her husband Del have a blended family of three girls and one boy, 6 grandchildren, two dogs and a sassy cat named Gracie.
Joey Stafford: Shortly after college Joey went to work for FDL, Inc. The company manufactured chairs sold to large retailers such as Sam’s Club. He worked under the VP of Operations and traveled extensively to Asia to negotiate the pricing on the chairs manufactured overseas. Joey joined Creech & Stafford Insurance Agency in 2000, where he was the Property & Casualty Manager for their Lexington, Flemingsburg and Hazard office locations. Creech & Stafford was purchased by Assured Partners on February 1, 2014. Joey specializes in Casualty, Health, Life and Property Insurance.
Sweet Blessings is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization.