The Faces of Our Organization
Founder & CEO
John Mills was born in Centralia, Washington and grew up in agriculture. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1965. During his tenure in the Army, he served in Vietnam and did tours of duty in Tehran, Iran; Mali, Africa and in Panama during Operation Just Cause. Mills received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and with this degree assisted with the design and construction of the National Training Center in Death Valley.
After thirty years of service to his country, Mills retired. In retirement he served as the Secretary of the Panama Canal Commission, he worked in the private sector at Watsco and in 2014 he formed Redland Ahead, Inc., a local 501(c)3 non profit that assists veterans and the underserved find opportunities in agriculture here in South Florida. Under his leadership at Redland Ahead, Inc., he manages the Redland Community Farm & Market for the Miami Dade Homeless Trust, mentors Florida International University Agroecology students, devised a COVID-19 training program for his team of K9’s, helped feed thousands with the “Adopt-A-Box” program during the height of the pandemic and now is operating a training incubator that includes an organic controlled environmental agriculture greenhouse, classrooms and a first class training center for new farmers.
Tyra Phillips. is the President of Redland Ahead, Inc. Redland Ahead is a small, local non-profit that assists veterans and the underserved in our community become involved in agribusiness. Tyra also holds the title of Director of Government Affairs and Education for building organic controlled environmental agriculture greenhouses. Our combined mission is to the veteran and underserved communities, providing them with education, training and employment opportunities in the agricultural sector. Redland Ahead is currently working on teaching a more self sustainable way of life by growing fresh, organic produce in hydroponic greenhouses.
Although Tyra has been involved with Redland Ahead for over eight years, she also served as the Executive Director for Dade County Farm Bureau. Dade County Farm Bureau is one of the oldest and one of the largest county Farm Bureau’s in the state of Florida. She worked alongside local, state and federal government officials during her tenure. Understanding South Florida’s complex agricultural template has given her important insight to finding solutions to our ever changing food security issues.
The majority of Tyra’s career was spent as a Police Officer in the City of Coral Gables. During her 15 year tenure, she worked undercover, worked as a member of a DUI task force and was a background investigator. A career ending injury cut her employment short, but she went on to start her own background investigation business specializing in the aviation industry. Tyra currently lives on a five acre farm that produces avocados, mangos and starfruit as well as many other tropical varieties of fruit. Her farming passion however is her rescue horses, donkeys, goats and chickens (dogs & cats too).
Chief Operating Officer Littlefield Oil Company
Vice President General Manager Rheem Manufacturing (Retired)
Vice President Sales Rheem Manufacturing
Group VP Watsco ( Miami, Florida)
Vice President General Manager Butcher Distributors (New Orleans, La)
Sub Section Marketing Manager Customer Development and Tech Support
(The Trane Company ,Tyler Texas)
Community Involvement :
Graduate Leadership Fort Smith
Graduate Fort Smith Citizens Police Academy
Graduate FBI Citizens Academy
Member UAFS Deans Advisory Council
Former member Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce Executive Council
Former United Way Board President
Former Board Member Girls Inc.
Board President Fort Smith Public School Board
Board Chairman Innovative Detection Concepts : Homestead, Florida
Ken H. Adams has 35+ years’ experience serving as a “C level” executive in the Hospitality Industry. From December 2014 through September 2022, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer for Cora Global Concepts and Hybrid1, LLC. Both firms have a focus on location-based entertainment (LBE) projects globally. Such projects are Resorts / Casinos / Theme Parks / Water Parks / Food & Beverage / Wellness, Health & Spa development. The Firms’ provide project conceptualization, design, development, and operations management.
Mr. Adams has been both a franchisee and franchisor within the restaurant industry. He served as the General Manager/Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Hospitality Development Company (HDC), a publicly traded entertainment and hospitality company in Doha, Qatar. He implemented the strategic turnaround plan for HDC’ The Pearl Qatar hospitality group. Other major international projects have included: 1) the start-up, in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq, of a company focused on development of restaurants along with international hotel brands within the Hilton and Hyatt portfolios, 2) the turnaround and restructuring of a group headquartered in Kuwait which owned and operated over 300 restaurants in the Middle East and United Kingdom 3) the turnaround and restructuring of Burger King Taiwan.
Mr. Adams practiced as a Certified Public Accountant and Consultant, with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and KPMG. He served as an adjunct professor of Accounting, Economics and Entrepreneurship at North Georgia College, Western Carolina University and North Carolina State University. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Accounting and received his Executive master’s in business administration from the University of Miami. Mr. Adams served in the U.S. Navy submarine force as a Radio and Communications Technician and as a Lead Ship’s Diver.