Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council Members

AlbertsonRichard Albertson – Chairman
Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council
Live the Life

Governor’s Appointee

Richard Albertson is the Founding President and CEO of Live the Life, a statewide, faith based non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening marriages and families. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, Live the Life has regional offices in Jacksonville, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Ft. Lauderdale.

Richard is a co-Founder and Board Treasurer for the National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education (NARME). Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Richard to the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council in 2013. He previously served as Chairman of the Florida Commission on Marriage and Family Support, and Chairman of the Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood, and Board member of the National Abstinence Education Association.

Since Live the Life launched in 1998, the divorce rate in Leon County has dropped 40.5%, more than double the drop in the Florida divorce rate during the same time. While Live the Life and its collaborative partners do not take all the credit for this significant drop, it is the only non-profit in Leon County focused on strengthening marriages and families and reducing the divorce rate. Live the Life’s Hope Weekends have saved more than 80% of troubled marriages over the last 11 years. Live the Life had more than 17,000 participants in its programs in 2013.

Serves on the following workgroups: Family Initiatives (Chair) and Annual Conference

Can assist others with: Corrections/DJJ reentry, fatherhood, mentoring, youth in DJJ, marriage education, relationship education, and sexual risk avoidance for youth

E-mail: richard@livethelife.org

 

ReevesPastor Carl E. Reeves – Vice Chairman
Governor’s Appointee

Carl is a graduate of Florida A&M University and an honorably discharged United States Air Force Veteran (1993). On the Second Sunday of May in 1996, at the Saint John Divine Missionary Baptist Church, Brother Reeves’ heart was pricked by the Spirit of God at which time Brother Reeves surrendered, repented of sin and received Jesus Christ as his “Lord and Savior”. Through the Church’s holistic Bible Study, the District Congress, the State Congress, the National Congress, Seminary and Theological Studies at the West Florida Baptist Institute, Brother Reeves has matured as a Servant/Leader and Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Serves on the following workgroups: Annual Conference and Criminal Justice

Can assist others with: Homelessness and youth in DJJ

E-mail: greatermountlily@aol.com

 

AndersonPastor Kirt Anderson – Naples Community Church
Governor’s Appointee

Pastor Anderson is the pastor of Naples Community Church in Naples, Florida. He brings over thirty years of ministry experience to the leadership team at NCC. Kirt played varsity basketball at UCSB, went on to Princeton Seminary, and earned his doctorate from Fuller Seminary. He is the disgustingly proud father of three, father in law of two, and grandfather of Owen Christopher and Ellery Rose.

Serves on the following workgroups: Family Initiatives and Legislative

Can assist others with: Educational tutoring, food services, homelessness, human trafficking, legislative/policy, mentoring, and substance abuse

E-mail: kirtea@naplescommunitychurch.org

 

 

Ms. Trenia Cox – Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
Governor’s Appointee
E-mail: tcox@jwbpinellas.org

Trenia L. Cox is known as much for her advocacy roles as well as the multiple roles she has assumed during her nineteen years of service at the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB), a local funding source to promote the healthy development of youth and families.  In her current role as Senior Special Projects Coordinator, she is dedicated to building the partnership of the Faith-based community with JWB through capacity building, technical assistance, and innovative programming to better address the needs of at-risk populations.  With a recent promotion, the above responsibilities have been expanded to include local community stakeholders and their organizations in order to enhance the impact of the Juvenile Welfare Board in high need communities.

Ms. Cox earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Sociology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo Michigan. Also, she is a graduate of Eckerd College Leadership Development Institute (2013) and Leadership Pinellas (2003).  For eight years, Ms. Cox was an adjunct professor at St. Petersburg College in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Ms. Cox lends her time and talent to a number of professional and community endeavors. Currently, she is Chair of the United Way’s Federal Emergency Management Community Advisory Committee, who is charged with the disbursement of local funds for safety net services.  She was appointed by the St. Petersburg’s City Council to serve on the Social Services Allocation Committee to address the needs of the homeless population, recently elected as Chair.  For the Juvenile Welfare Board, she is the lead staff member assigned to Family Oriented Concept Unified to Serve (FOCUS), a network of faith-based leaders and social service providers for technical assistance. Additionally, she is credited with four national presentations to the Child Welfare League of America, three presentation at the National Faith-based Symposium, and the National Association of Planning Councils on the value of social capitalism, community planning, and faith-based engagement.

Her professionalism and volunteerism has not gone unnoticed.  She was recently recognized by the Office of U.S. Representative Kathy Castor and the City of St. Petersburg City Council as one of the 2014 First Ladies in African American History. She was also a finalist for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award, and Human Rights Hero Award in 2006.  Former and current affiliations include:  National Forum for Black Public Administrators, National Association of Planning Councils, National Association of Human Rights Organization, Child Welfare League of America, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where she served as President.

In her spare time, Ms. Cox serves as a mentor to at-risk youth and young professional women. Her current advocacy efforts are focused on the educational achievement gap, juvenile justice reform, and the pipeline to prison.

Ms. Cox is widowed with two adult children and resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.

 

DavisReverend James “Perry” Davis – Christ to Inmates, Inc.
Speaker of the House Appointee

President and Founder of Christ to Inmates, Inc. and he is Senior Chaplain at the Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach. He has received numerous awards from the State of Florida, Florida Baptist Convention, Volusia County Department of Corrections and the DeLand Breakfast Rotary Club for his volunteer services and ministry. He is presently serving his third term with the Council. Reverend Davis brings over thirty years of Law Enforcement and Corrections experience.

Serves on the following workgroup: Criminal Justice

Can assist others with: Corrections, fatherhood, jail ministry, and substance abuse

E-mail: christtoinmates@cfl.rr.com

 

DimmittAlan C. Dimmitt, MPA – Liberty Youth Ranch
Governor’s Appointee

Alan C. Dimmitt is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Youth Ranch, a faith-based 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to boys and girls in crisis and in need of hope and healing. Orphaned and homeless at an early age, he was raised in a children’s home and has been directly involved with child welfare issues for over thirty years. Alan received his Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Management and Communication and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He was awarded the United States Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) in Washington DC with PMF appointments to the United States Department of Justice and United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has executive and legislative affairs level experience working for one of the largest privately funded nonprofit youth & family service organizations in the United States and corporate work experience with one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. However, Alan’s greatest passion is the lifelong calling to positively impact children, one child at a time, through his ministry and entrepreneurial work at Liberty Youth Ranch.

Alan has been married for 15 years to Angela and has a daughter, Alli, and son, Charlie. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time fishing, hunting, horseback riding and coaching youth sports.

Serves on the following workgroups: Child Welfare

Can assist others with: Adoption, child abuse prevention, foster care/aging out, kinship care, mentoring, homelessness, legislative/policy

E-mail: alan@LibertyYouthRanch.org

 

Scott GeorgePastor Scott George, Orlando Hope and United Against Poverty
Governor Appointee

 

 

 

 

 

Rosby GloverDr. Rosby Glover, Mt. Bethel Human Services Corp.
Governor Appointee

 

 

 

 

GomezMs. Sheila Gomez – Catholic Charities of Palm Beach County
Governor’s Appointee
E-mail: sgomez@diocesepb.org

 

 

 

 

GonzalezRoland “Roly” Gonzalez – Victory for Youth
Governor’s Appointee

Serves on the following workgroup: Disaster Planning

Can assist others with: Food services

E-mail: rolyg@shareyourheart.org

 

 

Haag

Jerry T. Haag, Ph.D., CFP® – Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, The Porch Light and Orphan’s Heart
Governor’s Appointee

Dr. Jerry Haag serves as President and CEO of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Orphan’s Heart and The Porch Light. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University and earned a Ph.D. in finance and real estate in 1995 from the University of Texas at Arlington. He served from 1995 to 1997 as an assistant professor at Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS, where he was named the Mortar Board Top Professor in 1995 and 1996. From 1997 to 1998, he taught at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, before joining Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham as administrative pastor from 1998-2000. He also has corporate work experience with AT&T and is a Certified Financial Planner. From 2000-2007, Dr. Haag served as President and CEO of the South Texas Children’s Home in Beeville.

In 2007, Dr. Haag joined the staff at Florida Baptist Children’s Homes as the ninth president in the organization’s 112-year history. During his tenure as president, he has led efforts that expanded the number of ministry sites from nine to 24 locations across Florida, launched a successful international childcare ministry, Orphan’s Heart, to help children in 16 countries around the world and established numerous partnerships with churches and nonprofit organizations. In 2013, he launched The Porch Light ministry, which includes Florida’s first certified safe home for child victims of sex trafficking, as well as prevention, advocacy and training efforts. Under Dr. Haag’s leadership and through ministry growth, the number of children and families served has increased by more than 900 percent.

Dr. Haag has been appointed by both Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott to serve on the Florida Faith-based and Community-based Advisory Council. He also serves as a member of the Citizen Review Panel for Florida Department of Children and Families, which was formed as mandated by the Federal Child Abuse and Treatment Act of 1996. Dr. Haag also chaired the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) National Foster Care Initiative – Faith and Foster Care Research Team.

In summer 2009, Dr. Haag was selected to participate in a special summer seminar on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy, sponsored by the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University. The seminar focused on how beliefs, values and lifestyles affect economic and political developments worldwide, with special attention paid to the role of religion in world affairs. Participants for the seminar were selected from leaders in academia, government, religious institutions, media and nongovernmental organizations, both from the United States and foreign countries.

Dr. Haag has led and participated in humanitarian aid, emergency relief, child care and ministry to children and families in countries around the world. He has preached in churches across Florida and Texas. He and his wife, Christi, also speak at marriage and family seminars.

Additionally, he has authored, presented and published academic articles relating to his business expertise and has been honored several times for his business, professional and civic achievements. He was named an Outstanding Young Alumnus by the Baylor Alumni Association in 2005. He was named Baylor University’s Vice President for University Development in 2011, where he served before returning as President of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.

Dr. Haag and his wife live in Lakeland, Florida, where Christi is a popular speaker with “Women of Purpose Speak.” Their eldest son, Ben, lives and works in Dallas Texas, and their youngest son, Brady, attends Baylor University. Dr. Haag and Christi are members of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland.

Serves on the following workgroups: Child Welfare (Chair), Annual Conference and Legislative

Can assist others with: Adoption, child abuse prevention, domestic violence, foster care/aging out, human trafficking, independent living, mental health, mentoring, prevention/diversion, and single mothers.

E-mail: jerry.haag@fbchomes.org

 

KerrDr. Gretchen Kerr – Northland, A Church Distributed Governor’s Appointee

Dr. Gretchen Kerr helps Northland build collaborative relationships within the community and among government, nonprofits and other churches. Gretchen helped to develop Resource Point (www.resourcepoint.org), a collaborative for case management, data collection and community collaboration, and provides the knowledge of resources within the community. Social justice issues are at the heart of Gretchen’s ministry activities, most recently anti-human trafficking endeavors and serving orphans through foster care and adoption opportunities.

Gretchen has a bachelor’s degree in public administration, a master’s degree in nonprofit management and received her Doctorate of Ministry at Bakke Graduate University in the Spring of 2012. Originally from Scituate, Mass., Gretchen and her husband, Greg, have three children, Tiffany, Trevor and Justin.

Serves on the following workgroups: Criminal Justice (Chair) and Disaster Planning

Can assist others with: Corrections/DJJ re-entry, disaster relief, homelessness, human trafficking, mentoring, and substance abuse

Email: gretchen.kerr@northlandchurch.net

 

 

MesaDr. Leonel “Leo” Mesa, LMHC – New Day Center
Governor’s Appointee

Dr. Mesa is the President/CEO of Reflections Wellness Center and Chairman of the Florida Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives. He is a licensed mental health counselor and is active in the American Association of Christian Counselors, Latino Alliance Against Domestic Violence and the Miami-Dade Critical Incident Stress Management Team.

 

Serves on the following workgroups: Annual Conference and Child Welfare

Can assist others with: Domestic violence, elderly, fatherhood, mental health, persons with disabilities, substance abuse, family preservation, kinship care, and parenting

E-mail: drmesa@newdaycenters.com

 

OlsenPam Olsen – International House of Prayer
Governor’s Appointee

Pam began the International House of Prayer Tallahassee with her husband Tenney, and serves as its Executive Director. It is a house of prayer that unites and establishes individuals in intimacy with Christ through prayer and worship. We are committed to prayer, worship, fasting, healing and the Great Commission. The members intercede for God to move in lives, cities, states and nations.

 

Serves on the following workgroups: Child Welfare, Disaster Planning, and Legislative

Can assist others with: Adoption, human trafficking, and legislative/policy

E-mail: pam@ihoptallahassee.org

 

Patricia RobinsRobbins Alger – Farm Share
Governor’s Appointee

Before beginning her second career in philanthropy, Patricia piloted her own private plane transporting commercial seafood from her seafood company, Robbins Seafood, in South Miami, to a large southern grocery chain. Her favorite flights were piloting a DC 3 cargo plane to the Turks & Caicos Islands.

After retiring in 1991, Patricia founded the Farm Share program, a non-profit organization recovering and providing fresh produce to the hungry in Florida. Today Farm Share has multiple offices throughout Florida and has distributed over 300 million pounds of food to more than 1,000 soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries, and other groups feeding families in need throughout the State. Patricia’s “hair on fire” approach to doing business has translated well into addressing the problem of domestic hunger in Florida. Having evolved into the most successful independent hunger organization in the Eastern United States, Farm Share handles between 10 – 20 million pounds of food each year and administers the USDA TEFAP food program for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. As a native Floridian, Patricia has witnessed domestic hunger in her state first hand and constantly strives to improve the quality of life for Florida’s elderly, and impoverished families.

While Chairman of Farm Share’s board, Patricia has also served as Vice Chairman of the Florida Fair Board for eight years, and Vice Chairman of Community Advisory Board for non-profits for Miami-Dade County for four years. Patricia has received many awards and honors, including Florida’s Finest, from Governor Lawton Chiles, recognition from United States Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman at the World Food Summit in Rome for the “Most Innovative Way to Solve World Hunger, and the national “Heroes against Hunger” award. She has received recognition from United States Senators Bob Graham and Bill Nelson, U.S. Congresswoman Carrie Meek, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putman, Allen Boyd and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Congressman Tony Hall (former Ambassador to the Rome World Hunger Program), and Governor Jeb Bush. Other accolades include three Florida Legislative Honorary Proclamations and a Miami-Dade County Honorary Proclamation. In 1996 she was awarded Woman of the Year in Agriculture by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Serves on the following workgroups: Disaster Planning and Legislative

Can assist others with: Disaster relief, food services, legislative/policy

Email: patriciar@farmshare.org

 

Marcus SmithPastor Marcus Smith – Department of Juvenile Justice
Governor’s Appointee
E-mail: marcus.smith@djj.state.fl.us

 

 

 

 

 

Smith

Patricia “Pat” Smith
Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council

Department of Children and Families
Governor’s Appointee

Pat Smith is an executive with more than 15 years of progressive experience in Public Relations and Mass Communications. With a background in media relations and event planning, she understands what it takes to create a successful, results-driven community event and campaign.

Pat currently works for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) in the Office of Communications as the Community Relations and Faith-Based Initiatives Director.

Pat is a motivational speaker and plays an active role in minority and women’s issues as she demonstrated while serving two years as the chairwoman of the Tallahassee Chamber Professional Women’s Forum, teaching’s Bible study for five years in Tallahassee and was the former radio talk show host on WTAL 1450 AM for “The Woman In You” show.

In 2006, she was nominated by the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce as a finalist for the Distinguished Leadership Pacesetter Award and was the recipient of the 1999 NAACP Black Achiever Award. Other highlights include winning two Judges’ Image Awards from the Florida Public Relations Associations (FPRA), Capital Chapter in 2009 and 2011 for producing a 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) for television.

Pat is a true Public Servant in her community. She is a 2011 Certified Public Manager (CPM) and graduate from the Florida State Center for Public Management at Florida State University. Other honors and recognitions include being named by the Tallahassee Democrat as one of Tallahassee’s “Top 25 Women You Need to Know” and was also appointed by the Leon County Commissioners to serve on the inaugural Leon County Status of Women and Girls Commission. In 2013, she was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council and serves as the immediate past Chairwoman.

Serves on the following workgroups: Annual Conference (Chair) and Child Welfare

Can assist others with: Adoption and mentoring young adults.

E-mail: pat.smith@myflfamilies.com

 

WhittPastor Blaine Whitt – Xtreme Soulutions
Speaker of the House Appointee

Blaine has a passion, an Xtreme passion to help others. Thus, Xtreme Soulutions. He knows all too well that it is in the “soul” of man, and the inner workings of the system where change needs to take place. He is the Founder and President of Xtreme Soulutions and the Founder and former Senior Pastor of Christian Disciples International.

A native to Florida, Blaine Whitt has a passion for people and a wealth of experience. Previously a business owner in the field of building construction, he has been training and empowering leaders for the past 20+ years throughout the world. He mentors high school and college students, business owners, community leaders, as well as pastors and students in eight different countries. Currently, he preaches and mentors in Marion Correctional, Lowell Correctional and Lake Correctional Institutions. He was awarded the Florida Department of Corrections’ Volunteer of the Year for 2010 and sits on the Board of Directors for the Faith & Justice Coalition.

Blaine has been married for 42 years, has two daughters, two son in laws, and six grandchildren. Blaine’s passions include: Loving and serving Jesus Christ, playing with his grandkids, watching them grow, and mentoring them.

Serves on the following workgroup: Criminal Justice

Can assist others with: Corrections/DJJ re-entry

E-mail: bwhitt@xtremesoulutions.com

 

VeerjeeKarim Veerjee – Florida Hospital
Governor’s Appointee

A local to Florida since 1982, Karim Veerjee completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of South Florida in 1989. After spending a few years in the work force, Karim returned to school, and obtained a Master’s Degree in Health Services Management from the University of St. Francis in 1998. Karim is also fluent in two languages, English and Urdu.

Currently serving as the Director of Information Services at Florida Hospital in Tampa, Florida, Karim has spent the last 23 years leading technology implementation at the hospital. Beginning his career as a systems analyst, Karim’s dedication to achieving excellence quickly led him to progress to a Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, and then to the position he has held for the past 7 years, the Director of Information Services.

While Karim has undoubtedly achieved much success in his professional life, for the past 30 years, Karim has also contributed greatly to another part of his life that is close and dear to his heart, his service to the local community. His journey in community service began as early as his education and career, when from 1993 to 1996, he served a ministerial position in his prayer center, offering pastoral care to the local community. Karim’s journey continued forward when in 1999, he began a 6 year service as a Regional Member for the Council for Florida. Serving specifically as a Tampa Bay Management Committee Chair, he led an enthusiastic team that prioritized and emphasized initiatives for education, a healthy lifestyle, and economic stability. At the end of his six year period in 2005, Karim then took on another 7 years as the Regional Florida Chairman for the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board, also known as ITREB, a board that promotes not only religious education, but emphasizes the daily practice of ethics and morals that stem from one’s religious beliefs in one’s daily life.

Currently, Karim serves as the Florida Chairman for Aga Khan Foundation. The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) focuses on a small number of specific development problems by forming intellectual and financial partnerships with organizations sharing its objectives. Most Foundation grants are made to grassroots organizations testing innovative approaches in the field. With a small staff, a host of cooperating agencies and thousands of volunteers, the Foundation reaches out to vulnerable populations on four continents, irrespective of their race, religion, political persuasion or gender. Karim is also a Regional member for Communications and Publications, dealing specifically with outreach and in-reach within the local communities. Last, Karim serves as a National Facilitator to conduct sessions with different age groups regarding the incorporation of Ethics in our daily lives.

Along with a successful career and unwavering dedication to community service, Karim holds his family as his utmost priority. Karim has been married for 22 years, and has three beautiful daughters with his lovely wife. In his spare time, which is available to Karim quite sparingly, he enjoys the outdoors while playing tennis or walking, and also aspires to learn to play Golf.

Serves on the following workgroup: Disaster Planning

E-mail: karimveerjee@gmail.com

 

ZunzPastor Reno Zunz – Idlewild Baptist Church
Speaker of the House Appointee

Reno Zunz has been a
Minister of Family Life at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida for 30 years. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Georgia Tech and Master’s of Divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife Sherri for thirty years. They have three adult children and a granddaughter.

Serves on the following workgroup: Child Welfare

Can assist others with: Adoption, disaster relief, and fatherhood

E-mail: rzunz@idlewild.org

 

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