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Dr. Rivers is committed to adding value to families, individuals, and teams and to “helping people be great at what they do.”

Dr. Pauline M. Rivers

Dr. Pauline M. Rivers is the founder and president of the Board of Directors of Building Strong Families, Inc., a community supported nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.  Additionally, she is a leadership and workforce development consultant and trainer with 30 years of experience in consulting, coaching, training, and instructional design and development. 

Dr. Rivers also served alongside her husband, Pastor Reggie Rivers (Senior Pastor) as the Administrative Pastor of Plant City Christian Center for 14 years. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they launched A New Thing Ministry, Inc.  Dr. Rivers also serves in her local community as a member of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City and as a board member of ReachUp, Inc.

She is a member of the John Maxwell Team and is a certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Her additional certifications include Six Sigma Green Belt and the John Maxwell DISC Method.

Dr. Rivers has a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Florida.

She is committed to adding value to families, individuals, and teams and to “helping people be great at what they do.”

Board of Directors

Pastor C. Reginald (Reggie) Rivers

Pastor C. Reginald (Reggie) Rivers is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Building Strong Families, Inc.  He was licensed and ordained in 2005 and together with his wife, Dr. Pauline Rivers, founded Plant City Christian Center, Inc. in 2005 where he served as Senior Pastor until 2020.  Reggie served his county in the United States Army and is a Vietnam veteran.  He attended Pepperdine University and was a member of Crenshaw Christian Center under Dr. Frederick KC Price until 1995 when he got married to his beautiful wife, Dr Pauline Rivers (McNeill) and moved to Florida.

Tonja Johnson

Tonja Johnson is Secretary of the Board of Directors of Building Strong Families, Inc.  She also is the founder of Beautifully Unblemished, a vitiligo support group that was birthed in 2017.  Tonja was diagnosed with Vitiligo in 2013 and today is 85% covered with white patches.   Tonja has learned to embrace the skin she is in and is working diligently to promote vitiligo awareness to the entire state of Florida and educate legislature, schools, and communities about vitiligo.  In her spare time, she enjoys singing praise and worship, interior decorating, and traveling. Tonja is a married mother of one young-adult daughter and currently resides in Lakeland, Florida. Her Motto:  My spots don’t define me because I am altogether beautiful my love and there is no flaw in me.  

Barbara Wholuba

Barbara Wholuba serves as Treasurer for the Board of Directors of Building Strong Families, Inc.  She is an ordained minister and church administrator at Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, Inc. in Lakeland, Florida. She is dedicated to her husband of over 45 years and loves their two adult daughters. 


As a retired accounting manager of Publix Employees Federal Credit Union, she enjoys seeing people become financially responsible and successful in achieving their goals in life. She is consistent in serving and giving.

Evangelist Edwina Reddick

Evangelist Edwina Reddick has been involved in nonprofit work for over 15 years with organizations such as United Way, Catholic Charities and Habitat for Humanity.  She has been the Executive Director at Family Promise of Hillsborough County since August 2015. Edwina has a Bachelor’s degree in Management with a minor in Ethics from MidAmerica Christian University in Oklahoma City.  She is currently pursuing her Masters in Mental Health & Wellness with an emphasis in Christian Ministries through Grand Canyon University.  Edwina is certified in Nonprofit Management and certified as a Christian Life Coach. She is the mother of 6 wonderful daughters, grandmother to 14 awesome grands and great grandmother to an awesomely wonderful 7 pack with #8 baking in the oven.  Her life motto is, “if when our paths cross and I haven’t done or said something to inspire you towards your destiny, then I haven’t done what God has called me to do.” 

Valarie Johnson

Valarie Johnson is a native North Carolinian and UNC Chapel Hill graduate. Go Heels!  She is a devoted aunt, great aunt, and godmother who loves children and family.  Although she does not have any children, her nieces and nephews and her career in child welfare has been her passion. 


Dedicated to improving the lives of children and families, serving on the Board of Directors of Building Strong Families, Inc. is natural and a pleasure.

Maritza Acosta

Maritza Acosta has worked in Public Health for the last 18 years and is dedicated to putting in the extra effort and that extra touch to help everyone that she can. 


She strongly believes in educating and keeping the entire family involved in the community. She loves to travel, shop, and spend time with family and friends.

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