Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council Members

Haag

Jerry T. Haag, Ph.D., CFP® – One More Child – Chair
Governor’s Appointee

Dr. Jerry Haag serves as president and CEO of One More Child. He earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in finance from Baylor University and earned a Ph.D. in finance and real estate in 1995 from the University of Texas at Arlington. 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 One More Child as the ninth president in the organization’s rich history, which dates back to 1904. During his tenure as president, he has guided the expansion of ministry sites from nine locations in Florida to more than 50 locations domestically and internationally. He launched an anti-trafficking ministry focused on preventing child sex trafficking and restoring victims, and established numerous partnerships with churches and nonprofit organizations.

Under Dr. Haag’s leadership, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and One More Child has increased from serving 3,351 children and individuals in 2007 to impacting 200,524 in 2017.

In 2018, Dr. Haag was awarded the 2018 George W. Truett Distinguished Service Award by the Baylor Line Foundation and was honored at its Hall of Fame Gala for his exceptional leadership in meeting the needs of children around the world. The Baylor Alumni Association named him an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2005.

Dr. Haag has been appointed and reappointed since 2013 by both Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott to serve on the Florida Faith-based and Community-based Advisory Council. As an advisor in child welfare protocols and innovations, Dr. Haag participates in on-going White House roundtable discussions, and he joined voices with leaders across the nation during the U.S. Department of Justice Human Trafficking Summit. Dr. Haag has served 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 serves as a Board of Director for the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), as well as for Hines Ugandan Ministry.

Dr. Haag had the pleasure of being selected to participate in a distinguished seminar on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy, sponsored by the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University. Participants were leaders from around the world who work in academia, government, religious institutions, media and nongovernmental organizations. 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.

Dr. Haag has led and participated in humanitarian aid, emergency relief, childcare and ministry to children and families in countries around the world. He has preached in churches throughout the nation, and he and his wife, Christi, also enjoy speaking together.

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 Baylor University’s Vice President for University Development in 2011, where he served before returning as President of One More Child.

Dr. Haag lives with his wife in Lakeland, FL. Christi is a well-known speaker with “Women of Purpose Speak.” Their eldest son, Ben, lives and works in Dallas, TX, and their youngest son, Brady, attends Baylor University. Dr. Haag and Christi are members of Church at the Mall in Lakeland.

 

 

Calvin MartinCalvin Martin – Florida Guardian ad Litem – Vice-Chair
Governor’s Appointee

As the Director of Program Advocacy and Inclusion with the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, Calvin Martin, MA, has over 25 years of experience in a variety of capacities in the areas of child welfare, mental health, community assessment and engagement, cultural diversity, training delivery methods and staff development. He has frequently been invited to speak throughout parts of Florida on the child welfare system, cultural awareness/diversity and leadership principles. He has facilitated comprehensive trainings for college students and a wide range of professionals on leadership, cultural awareness, community systems of care and organizational management.

Calvin has also written numerous articles/editorials about the child welfare system including “Privatization Efforts in Florida,” “Building Community Partnerships, Effects of Child Abuse within Our Community” and “Volunteerism in Florida.” In fulfillment of his passion for bringing diverse groups together, Calvin has successfully integrated varying aspects of intercultural communications/cultural competency skill building into his presentations and project management initiatives.

As a certified trainer in racial and ethnic identity work, Calvin’s personal mission is to assist others in leading their agency in efforts to create specific strategies for securing timely outcomes for children and families, as well as increase the overall safety and long-term well-being for all children within different systems of care. In his current role, Calvin provides strategic, operational and organizational leadership that grows capacity for intercultural competence, nurturance of diverse populations and inclusive leadership across the program.

Calvin has been married to his wife, Amy, for more than seventeen years and has three daughters, Amaiya, Jaidyn and Brooklynn.

 

 

Anthony Verdugo – Christian Family Coalition
Governor’s Appointee

Verdugo is the Founder and Executive Director of the Christian Family Coalition, founded with the purpose of serving as a voice for the pro-family citizens of Florida and protect religious liberties. He attended Miami Dade College and Florida International University.

 

 

 Adam Voran – Downtown Community Church
Speaker of the House Appointee
Adam is a member of Downtown Community Church in Tallahassee Florida where he has served primarily in discipleship ministry with college students and young professionals. Adam is a Tallahassee native and graduated from FSU, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering. In addition to discipleship and small group ministry, Adam is passionate about faith-based response to both natural and man-made disasters.

 

 

Chad Garmon – YMCA of Central Florida
President of the Senate Appointee

In Chad’s role as the VP of Community Engagement & Christian Initiatives at the YMCA of Central Florida, where he’s served since 2016, he supports the Association’s strategic plan and enhances the member engagement experience. He is responsible for cultivating effective partnerships with community organizations, volunteers, and staff. This will sustain the Y’s Christian values through faith-based programming at the Family Centers and create a national model.
For 17 years prior to joining the YMCA of Central Florida team, Chad held the position of Founder and Executive Director of Impact Ministries of Central Florida. Chad managed multiple cause-driven projects that impacted individuals and families in need, by engaging more than 700 volunteers and leading a staff team to serve in their own communities. In 2002, accompanied by a strong board of directors, Chad led his organization to the next step, and IMPACT received official 501(c) 3 status. Under his leadership as Executive Director, the organization doubled its budget and its services within the first four years. As of the summer of 2015, IMPACT has impacted over 420 residents throughout Central Florida.
Chad also enjoys utilizing his creative strengths and knowledge in technology and social media to engage audiences and deliver his messages. Chad has held previous leadership roles as minister for a local church and past Chairman of the Board for the Youth Ministries Institute. He is currently involved in Central Florida Commission on Homelessness as a Faith-Based Committee Member, serves as a Board Member for Youth Ministry Institute, and a Cabinet Member for US Mission Network.
Chad was raised in Central Florida, where he and his wife of nineteen years, Kimberly, have adopted Faith (2) and Micah (6), and are raising them along with Rileigh (13) and Elijah (16). Chad has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Belhaven University. He also holds his Ordination in Christian Ministry.

 

 

Chad Poppell – KPMG
Governor’s Appointee

Chad comes to the Advisory Council with 20 years of experience leading state and local government institutions. Most recently, as Secretary of both Florida’s Department of Children and Families, Chad worked to achieve the Governor’s vision of a government that works collaboratively with faith and community organizations to ensure needs are met locally and families don’t fall deeper into state run systems such as child welfare, substance abuse and mental health, and economic self-sufficiency.

Chad is a Managing Director for KPMG, LLP, and works in the Health and Government practice. His directive is to deliver the same type of programmatic transformation for government clients in Florida and throughout the United States as when he was part of state government. He is also a board member for the Selfless Love Foundation, a Florida based non-profit organization focused on increasing adoptions and helping children aging out of the foster care system be successful adults.

 

 

Denise Harle – Alliance Defending Freedom
Governor’s Appointee

Harle is Senior Counsel to the Alliance Defending Freedom where she is Director of the Center for Life. In this role, Harle leads her team’s litigation and advocacy efforts to defend pro-life legislation around the nation. Prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases, including defending the constitutionality of pro-life laws.

Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University, a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems, the law school’s oldest journal.

 

Erik Dellenback – Faith and Community Based Liaison to the Governor
Governor’s Appointee

Erik Dellenback currently serves as the “Faith and Community Based Liaison to the Governor” for Governor Ron Desantis’ Faith and Community Based Initiative in the State of Florida.

For the past two years Erik served as a private entrepreneur, as an executive producer of the movie Run The Race and as a consultant to some of the most well-known non-profits in the philanthropy arena.

Prior to that, Erik served as the President and Executive Director of the Tim Tebow Foundation (TTF) for seven years, from its inception to 2017. During his time at TTF, Erik began many domestic and international ministry programs, including Night to Shine, a prom for individuals with special needs. Erik Leadership saw Night to Shine become a worldwide movement that currently takes place in all 50 states and 30 countries around the world.

 

Gary Tester – Catholic Charities of Central Florida
President of the Senate Appointee

Gary Tester is President of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, serving the Diocese of Orlando. He began serving in this capacity in August 2015. He is also the Secretary for Human Dignity and Solidarity in the cabinet of Bishop John G. Noonan. Catholic Charities of Central Florida provides numerous ministries to individuals and families throughout the Diocese of Orlando including the counties of Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia and cities including Orlando, Daytona Beach, Lakeland, Melbourne, Ocala, Sanford and Kissimmee. Essential ministries include Family Stability; Comprehensive Refugee Services; Agape Mission Markets; Disaster Preparation Response and Recovery; Behavioral Health Services; Free Medical and Dental Clinics; Affordable Housing and Property Management; Senior Services; and, Immigration Legal Services.

Tester holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from St. Leo’s University and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Bowling Green State University and has worked extensively in service to children and families in both the non-profit and government sectors for over 35 years. He serves on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Florida, the state organization representing the seven Catholic Charities agencies in Florida. He is finishing his sixth year of formation for the Permanent Diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Pastor Gerard Duncan – Prayers By Faith Ministries
President of the Senate Appointee

Pastor Gerard Duncan is the Senior Pastor of Prayers By Faith Ministries in Gainesville, FL and President of Innovative Dads Inc. He is a Social Entrepreneur and Civic Engagement Advocate for Children and Families. Pastor Duncan is a native of Andros Bahamas and raised in Carol City, Florida. He is passionate about the wellbeing of Alachua County communities and families. Pastor Duncan through his Church community outreach, recognized the needs of the community and the disconnect between organizations with resources and the community families. Pastor Duncan has been instrumental in developing programs for Fathers, reentry , mentoring programs for at-risk youth and their families as well, parent engagement workshops and seminars. He has organized and collaborated with many organizations for community engagement events that targeted at-risk youth and engaged them with recreational, life enrichment and educational activities. Pastor Duncan has been trained and implemented The National adopt a school initiative Dr. Tony Evans program within the Gainesville, FL school. He is a trained Father Engagement Facilitator for the National Fatherhood Initiative. Pastor Duncan has trained over 1500 incarcerated men for Bridges of America pre-release 100hr transition program .He and a group of young men he mentored through his fatherhood training program, Innovative Dads, work to help revitalize communities and to create measurable outcomes for sustainability. Pastor Duncan is a member of the United Way of North Central, FL, Black on Black Crime task force, past Chair of the Family/Jobs Committee Gainesville4All. A Current member of the Gainesville Empowerment Zone Executive Committee, Current member UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Advisory Committee. UF Strategic Jury Award Committee, City Of Gainesville Strategic Planning Committee. Dept. Of Juvenile Justice Faith Network. Santé Fe College Community Advisory Board.

 

Pastor Jason Cullum – Christ’s Church in Jacksonville
Governor’s Appointee

Cullum is the Lead Pastor at Christ’s Church in Jacksonville. He is a member of Florida Church Planters and is a Past President of Christian Financial Resources. Cullum earned his bachelor’s degree from Kentucky Christian University.

 

 

James Drake – Cru
Governor’s Appointee

Drake is the Executive Director of Cru. He is a Teaching Pastor for the Presbyterian Church of America and has served on the board of the University of Miami Chaplains Association. Drake earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Samford University and master’s degree in divinity from the Beeson Divinity School.

 

 

Mr. Jeff Ford – Man Up and Go
Speaker of the House Appointee

Jeff serves as the founding and current CEO of Man Up and Go, a global non-profit organization that mobilizes men to fight for the fatherless as Jesus commands. The organization aims to break the cycle of generational fatherlessness through its Authentic Masculinity Program, which equips men both internationally and domestically to be protectors of and providers for their families.

In addition to his role as CEO, Jeff serves as the Man Up Tampa Bay Cohort Chairman. He’s a 2017 Leadership Pasco graduate, former Eckerd Connects Advisory Council member and current Florida Support Services Advisory Council member, current Tampa Bay Foster Care and Adoption Alliance member, served as Guardian ad Litem and as a board member with the CS Lewis Society, and has summitted the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro, twice.

Jeff graduated from Wheaton College (IL) and has lived in the Trinity (FL) area since 2003 with his wife Liza. They have two children, Asher (from Ethiopia), and Jolie (from China). Jeff loves Jesus, pizza, golf, traveling, working out, and most recently, cycling while wearing those ridiculously tight shorts.

 

 

Lori Bontell – Bontell and Associates
Governor’s Appointee

Bontell is an Insurance Agent and President of Bontell and Associates and the former National Account Manager for Realm Health. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from the University of Central Florida.

Today, Lori serves her community by providing life and health insurance to individuals and small business owners while she remains committed to protecting Biblical values including life, religious freedom, strong families, parental rights, and medical freedom. She proudly serves on the parish council of St. Jude Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida and participates in local and national faith based initiatives.

Lori resides in Orange County, Florida with her husband of 30 years and their two children.

 

 

Mami Kisner – Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church
Governor’s Appointee

Kisner is the First Lady of the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church and a retired Senior Management Trainer for Eastern Airlines. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Marshall University, master’s degree in divinity from The People’s Bible Training Institute and an honorary doctorate of divinity from the Bethesda Bible Institute of North America.

 

 

Mario Bramnick – New Wine Ministries Church
Governor’s Appointee

Bramnick is the Senior Pastor of New Wine Ministries Church. He is also President of the South Florida Pastors Network and President of the Latino Coalition for Israel. Bramnick earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and juris doctor from the University of Miami.

 

 

Commissioner Mel Ponder  –

Business Empowered (BE), Government Affairs Director for ECAR & Okaloosa County Commissioner, District 5
Speaker of the House Appointee

Mel is the Founder and President of Business Empowered (BE) and was elected in November 2020 to serve as an Okaloosa County Commissioner, District 5.  He is also the Government Affairs Director for the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors.  Mel had the honor to previously serve as Mayor of the City of Destin as well as serve in the Florida House of Representatives, District 4, before seeking to come back home to keep serving the citizens of Okaloosa County as a County Commissioner.

His company, Business Empowered, is a marketplace ministry headquartered in Destin, whose mission is to equip, encourage, and empower individuals called to the marketplace.  Previously, Mel worked as the Director of Regional Marketing Programs for the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and just prior, served as Executive Director of Coastal Vision 3000/THE Beach.  Mel also has over 10 years of banking, mortgage and financial services experience.  Mel has served in leadership positions as a State Representative, having been Chair of Children, Families, and Seniors Subcommittee, Vice Chair of Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Chair of the Legislative Prayer Caucus, as well as served as a Deputy Whip within the House Majority Office.  He now serves as Vice Chair for the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners.

A 3rd generation Floridian, Mel was born and raised in Ocala, Florida.  He attended Florida State University and received a B.S. degree in Finance.  Mel married his wife Mona, of 29 years, in 1991 and they have three children: Preston – 26, Casey – 24, and Grace – 16.

 

 

Michael Sheedy – Florida Catholic Conference
Governor’s Appointee

Sheedy is the Executive Director of the Florida Catholic Conference. He serves on the Catholic Charities of Florida board and is Vice President of Martyrs La Florida Missions. Sheedy earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame, master’s degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University and master’s degree in theological studies from Notre Dame Seminary.

 

 

 

Pam Olsen – Hilltop House of Prayer

Governor’s Appointee

Pam began the Hilltop 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.

 

 

 

Pastor 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.

 

 

 

Scott George

Pastor Scott George – Pine Castle UMC and Feeding Children Everywhere
Governor Appointee

Author, nonprofit leader, speaker, and leadership coach, J Scott George has been a passionate voice in the  nonprofit and church world for over thirty-five years. His unique ability to communicate leadership principles  has motivated and inspired groups of all sizes. He has traveled the world, bringing hope and help through seminars, and philanthropic and humanitarian campaigns. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Pine Castle United Methodist Church in Orlando, FL, and was the founder of UP – United against Poverty in downtown Orlando; an innovative, cutting-edge nonprofit facility that serves thousands of families each month with food, medical care, crisis intervention and education.  Scott is currently launching a new nonprofit called Orlando Hope. He is the author of 6 books and holds a B.A. in Communications from UCF, as well as a Master of Theology and Honorary Doctorate in Theology from Faith Christian University. Scott is happily married to his wife, Tammi, and they have four children—Austen, Aaren, Amanda, and Allison. In his free time he loves playing racquetball and fly fishing.

 

 

Stephan Tchividjian – National Christian Foundation of South Florida
Governor’s Appointee

Tchividjian currently serves as one of the founders and the president of the board of the National Christian Foundation of South Florida, formed as a platform to encourage and facilitate generous giving among the South Florida community, impacting local, national and international needs. In addition, Stephan currently manages his own small boutique consulting firm, The Caleb Group, specializing in assisting select non-profits and for profits. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance from Florida Atlantic University.

Stephan is married to his beautiful bride, Lisa, whom he met while in high school and then later through their South Florida church. Lisa and Stephan, together have five wonderful children ages 32 to 12, seven grandchildren and two son-in-law’s and a wonderful daughter-in-law.

 

 

Chaplain Wallace Brown – Honorary Chaplain, The Florida Senate
President of the Senate Appointee

Wallace Brown was brown in 1952 in Havana, Florida. Son of Carlton Brown and Sade Mae Williams Brown. He graduated from Havana Northside High School in 1970. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1971. He served for 2 years and 9 months as an Airman 1st Class. For most of his service, he was stationed in Germany. While in the service he took several college courses.
After his honorable discharge, he worked part-time and continued his college studies at Tallahassee Community College. He then worked with his father for 10 years in the lawn service business.
In March of 1990, he began working for the Florida Legislature in Support Services, where he still is employed.
He is a member of the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Church for over 50 years. He has served on the Deacon and Trustee Boards of the church for 15 years, currently serving as Chairman of the Deacon Board.
He loves his work and especially loves working for the Lord.

 

 

Rabbi Yosef Weinstock – Young Israel of Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale
Governor’s Appointee

Rabbi Yosef Weinstock has served the Young Israel of Hollywood – Ft. Lauderdale community with pride and dedication since 2005. During his tenure the congregation has doubled in size; today it is a diverse and vibrant 600 family multi-generational community center in Southeast Broward County. Rabbi Weinstock attended Yeshiva University, graduating summa cum laude with a major in history. He received a Masters in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work and ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Weinstock, is a charter member of the OU Advocacy’s TEACH Florida, and member of the Beth Din of Florida, which specializes in Jewish conversion and family matters. Rabbi Weinstock was recently appointed to the National Board of Mizrachi- Religious Zionists of America, and he was recently elected as a Vice Chair to Israel Bonds Rabbinic Advisory Council.

Rabbi Weinstock is married to Rebecca, a Speech Language Pathologist in the Broward County School System. Rabbi and Rebecca have been honored by Bikur Cholim of Hollywood, Young Israel of Hollywood – Ft. Lauderdale and, by Brauser Maimonides Academy with the Community Service award. Rabbi and Rebbeca are the proud parents of Yaakov, Shoshana, Avi and Eitan. Rabbi Weinstock enjoys running (he has completed 3 Half marathons), reading non-fiction, and sight-seeing with his family, especially touring lighthouses.

 

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