Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council Members


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.

Serves on the following workgroups: Child Welfare, 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@onemorechild.org


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.

Serves on the following workgroup: Child Welfare and Criminal Justice

Can assist with: Family Initiatives, Legislative, Poverty initiatives, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Leadership Strategy, Community Outreach, Foster Care/Adoption, Volunteerism, Cultural Diversity, and Training/Development

E-mail: Calvin.Martin@gal.fl.gov


Nancy AcevedoNancy Acevedo – Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
Governor’s Appointee

Commissioner Nancy C. Acevedo of Winter Springs was appointed to the Florida Commission on the Status of Woman by Governor Rick Scott in 2017 and currently serves as a Board Member/Secretary. She is a former Chairman of the Commission.

In 2018, she became the Community Relations Coordinator for the Office of the Sheriff In Seminole County.

Acevedo currently serves as a Senior Credentialed Law Enforcement chaplain with the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC), the Longwood Police Department, and the Seminole County Sheriff Office Chaplain’s Corp. (SCSO) She also serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Seminole County Sheriff Chaplain Corp.

In 2015, Nancy C. Acevedo retired as a Crime Analyst II for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office/Domestic Security Division (SCSO). She was a certified Terrorist Liaison Officer. She is a graduate of the Seminole County Sheriff Community Law Enforcement Academy, and a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico.

She was awarded the “Eagle Lifetime Achievement Award“ by the Hispanic Women Chamber of Commerce for her lifetime dedication and contributions to the Hispanic community and In 2010, she was selected as one of the “Most Influential Hispanic Women“ in Central Florida by the National Hispanic Achievers in Florida.

She is the former President of the Florida Crime Intelligence Analyst Association (FCIAA), a past member of the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) and the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA). In 2015, Acevedo was nominated to receive the Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit’s Crime Analyst of the Year Award. Acevedo is a recipient of multiple awards for her role as Crime Analyst and her dedication and hard work with the Central Florida community.

In 2018 Commissioner Nancy C. Acevedo was appointed to the Florida Faith Based and Community Based Council by Governor Rick Scott, and In 2019, she was elected as Vice Chair of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Florida.

Serves on the following workgroups: Legislative

Can assist others with: Community Outreach, legislation and Policy and LEO ministry of the presence

E-mail: Ncancel@seminolesheriff.org


AlbertsonRichard Albertson – Live the Life
Governor’s Appointee
Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council

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 re-entry, leadership strategy, legislative/policy, marriage education, relationship education, sexual risk, and youth in DJJ program

E-mail: richard@livethelife.org


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: Fatherhood, food services, homelessness, human trafficking, jail ministry, leadership strategy, legislative/policy, marriage education, mentorship, and substance abuse

E-mail: kirtea@naplescommunitychurch.org


allace BrownChaplain 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.

Serves on the following workgroup:

Can assist others with:

E-mail: Brown.Wallace@flsenate.gov


Trenia Cox – Community Advocate
Governor’s Appointee

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 several professional and community endeavors. With her re-election as Chair of the City of St. Petersburg Social Allocation Committee, she and other city appointees evaluate and rate proposals for the prevention and intervention of homeless services.  She has a similar role and responsibilities as 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. Her devotion to the engagement of the faith community in addressing the needs of children and families in struggling communities is the focus of her volunteerism with the Florida Dream Center Adopt-a-Block Program. Upon retirement, she became a board member to fully support the organization’s commitment to community revitization and human trafficking victimization services. Additionally, as a lifetime member and former President of the St. Petersburg National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, she continues to use her leadership skills to advocate for human rights, quality education, and juvenile justice reform. 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

Serves on the following workgroups: Annual Conference and Child Welfare

Can assist others with: Child abuse prevention, corrections/DJJ re-entry, disaster relief, domestic violence, educational tutoring, family preservation, food services, homelessness, human trafficking, jail ministry, kinship care, leadership strategy, legislative/policy, mental health, mentoring, military/veterans, single mothers, substance abuse, workforce/employment, and youth in DJJ programs

E-mail: tcox@jwbpinellas.org


Erik DellenbackErik 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.

Prior to his time at TTF, Erik spent more than 11 years working with the Gator Bowl Association as the Director of the ACC Football Championship and the Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer.

A native Floridian, Erik graduated from the University of Florida and his favorite thing to do on the planet is spending quality time with his wife, Elizabeth, and five children, Blake, Tyler, Emma, Sarah and Layla.

Can assist others with: Adoption, Foster Care, and Persons with Disabilities

E-mail: erik.dellenback@myflfamilies.com



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.

Serves on the following workgroup: Family Initiatives, Child Welfare, Criminal Justice & Annual Conference

Can assist others with: Fatherhood, Adult & Youth Re-Entry, School Based-Mentoring, Homelessness, Human Trafficking, Jail Ministry, Leadership Strategy, Legislative/Policy, Marriage Education, Adopt- A- school Initiative, and Substance Abuse, Financial Literacy, Faith-Based Partnerships

E-mail: Soil3@hotmail.com


JeffMr. 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 inspires men to fight for the fatherless as Jesus commands. The organization aims to break the cycle of generational fatherlessness.

Internationally it does this by working through local churches to implement its Authentic Masculinity Program (AMP), a year-long discipleship program that teaches men how to be protectors of and providers for their families, culminating in a microloan for those who qualify. Currently they operate in Uganda, Ethiopia, and the Dominican Republic.

Domestically, the organization runs its Man Up 100 program in Missouri and Florida to recruit and disciple men who serve and support foster and adoptive children and families. Jeff and his team have also developed AMP’D (Authentic Masculinity Program – Domestic), which seeks to break generational fatherlessness in aged-out foster male youth through holistically combining authentic masculinity, practical life skills, increased employability, and mentorship.

In addition to his role as CEO, Jeff serves as the Man Up Tampa Bay Cohort Chairman. He’s a deacon at Calvary Church in Clearwater, Leadership Pasco (2017) graduate, Eckerd Connects Advisory Council member, served as Guardian ad Litem, former long-time 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) in 2000, married classmate Liza in 2001, moved to Florida in 2003, and currently lives in Trinity. He and Liza have two children – Asher, adopted from Ethiopia, and Jolie, adopted from China. Jeff loves Jesus, pizza, golf, travelling, working out, and most recently, cycling while wearing those ridiculously tight shorts.

Can assist others with: Foster Care, Adoption, Trauma Education, Fatherhood, Masculinity, Marriage Restoration, Leadership Strategy, Community Engagement, Racial Reconciliation, Mentoring

E-mail: jford@manupandgo.org



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.

Serves on the following workgroups: Child Welfare and Family Initiatives

Can assist others with: leadership strategy, strategic partnerships, family/marriage, youth, and volunteerism

E-mail: Cgarmon@cfymca.org


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.

Serves on the following workgroup: Annual Conference Workgroup

Can assist others with: Homelessness, hunger, poverty, community engagement, working poor, and leadership development

E-mail: scottdestiny@aol.com


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

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

Can assist others with: Adoption, child abuse prevention, disaster preparedness and response, domestic violence, food services, foster care, and human trafficking

E-mail: rolyg@shareyourheart.org


KerrDr. Gretchen Kerr – Social Justice Consultant
Governor’s Appointee

Dr. Gretchen Kerr has been serving marginalized populations and working for justice for the voiceless for over 25 years. She runs her own consulting company, Kerrageous Solutions, which focuses on social justice issues; prison and jail transition, anti-human trafficking, serving orphans through foster care and adoption opportunities, holistic education and training of volunteer teams and large event planning. Dr. Kerr received her Doctorate in Transformational Leadership for the Global City from Bakke Graduate University where she studied complex social justice issues in difficult contexts. Her dissertation was titled Reentry: Closing the Revolving Door of the Jail and Opening the Door of the Church. She is currently developing a new program, ReNEW,  holistic reentry for all, serving women in Seminole County Jail. Her desire is to assist women in discovering their own voice and determining who they were created to be. Empowerment of women through an understanding of their own gifts and talents continues to be at the forefront of her work.

Dr. Kerr was formerly on the executive team at Northland, a Church Distributed where she was honored to be the only female staff member serving in the capacity. As the Executive Director of the Compassion and Reconciliation (CARE) Center she established many programs and projects that directly served the community. As such her focus has been on working towards poverty alleviation. She has served on many non-profit boards and led several non-profit organizations. She resigned from her position after serving 14 years on staff.

Dr. Kerr has served on the FBCBAC as a member and the Chairperson. She is honored to serve in this role and believes that through community collaboration and the efforts of many working together, great things can be accomplished.

Dr. Kerr obtained her bachelor’s degree in public administration, and master’s degree in nonprofit management from the University of Central Florida and received her Doctorate from 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@kerrageoussolutions.com 


OlsenPam 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.


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


ponderCommissioner 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.

Can assist others with: Church and City Unification, City Blessing Model, Workplace/Marketplace Engagement, Equipping and Empowering Leaders in their Calling and Community, Empowering the Church to Impact Culture and Partner with their City, Legislative/Policy, Leadership Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Family/Marriage, Youth, Community Outreach.

E-mail: Mel@beflorida.net


ReevesPastor Carl E. Reeves – Greater Mount Lily Missionary Baptist Church
Governor’s Appointee

Carl E. Reeves has served as the Pastor of the Greater Mount Lily Missionary Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida since February 2007. Pastor Reeves can attest that, “the LORD God is great and greatly to be praised.” Pastor Reeves was born and raised in Pensacola being the youngest child of Manuel and Thelma (Grier) Reeves. Educated in the public schools of Escambia County and granted the opportunity to matriculated and graduate from the institution that is perched on the “highest of seven hills” in Tallahassee – the Florida A. & M. University.
Blessed with a diverse background of honorable military service, federal, state and local government career service his greatest attribute is to render service to humanity fulfilling the maxim “to much is given, much is required.” He was initially appointed to the Council in 2007, by Governor Charlie Crist and subsequently reappointed twice by Governor Rick Scott (2011 & 2016).
Some of the Pastor’s volunteer efforts and community affiliations include: the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, the Milk & Honey Community Outreach, the Hungry & Homeless Coalition, Mentor for the Escambia County School District, Chaplaincy Volunteer, the Florida Department of Corrections, the Florida Council on Crime & Delinquency, the WSRE TV Foundation Board of Directors, the Pensacola Branch of the NAACP, the FAMU National Alumni Association, the First West Florida Baptist District Congress of Christian Education, the Waterfront Rescue Mission, One Church, One Child of Florida, the Old East Hill Neighborhood Association & the Belmont & DeVilliers Neighborhood Association.
Pastor Reeves realizes that the LORD God has saved and transformed his life to complete greater work that is yet undone and this is the impetus for his commitment which starts in the Pensacola Community and continues throughout the entire State of Florida. His support team consist of his blessed wife (Thelma) and their awesome family of two sons (Wil & Untraey) and five “wonderfully blessed grandchildren (Jalaya, Quajon, Untraey Jr., Omari and Teagen) ranging in ages of 17 years to 10 months. His hobbies include reading and watching sporting events. Lastly, Pastor Reeves is indeed grateful to God for all that He has done – for “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)

Serves on the following workgroups: Annual Conference and Criminal Justice

Can assist others with: Homeless and youth in DJJ, correction/DJJ re-entry, family preservation, homelessness, and leadership strategy

E-mail: greatermountlily@aol.com


Marcus SmithPastor Marcus Smith – Department of Juvenile Justice
Governor’s Appointee

Serves on the following workgroups: Annual Conference, Criminal Justice, and Legislative

Can assist others with: Corrections/DJJ re-entry, human trafficking, legislative/policy, mentoring, prevention/diversion, and youth in DJJ programs

E-mail: marcus.smith@djj.state.fl.us




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.

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

Can assist others with: Adoption, child abuse prevention, leadership strategy, mentoring young adults, prevention/diversion, and single mothers

E-mail: pat.smith@myflfamilies.com


Rabbi Pinchas TaylorRabbi Pinchas Taylor – Chabad of Plantation
Governor’s Appointee

Born and raised in Plantation, Florida, Rabbi Pinchas Taylor was always at the top of his class. He is a graduate of the Rabbinical College of America, and has initiated outreach projects in Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, and overseas in Russia and Greece.

Currently, Rabbi Taylor is the Director of Adult Education and Outreach at the Chabad of Plantation. He lectures to dozens of people in person every week, and has an online following in the tens of the thousands. In addition, Rabbi Taylor is a respected life coach, author, and lecturer, and has spoken across the globe in a wide variety of venues. He hosts a weekly session for locals in addiction recovery, serves as a hospice chaplain for the county, and teaches Jewish Thought at a women’s seminary for higher learning. Rabbi Taylor is a motivator, entertainer, and educator. He will inspire your group to strive for greatness and personal growth, enlighten them with the most fascinating, obscure, and exclusive topics, and at the same time captivate them at every moment.

Rabbi Taylor has a YouTube channel which provides weekly inspiration as well as promotes universal values and themes of universal interest. He regularly has celebrity guests, athletes, and politicians on his show “Taylor Talks” to help frame the theme and give it extra widespread appeal. Some of his interviews have been featured on nationally syndicated cable networks.

As a life coach, Rabbi Taylor is able to tap into exactly what is holding individuals back from accomplishing what it is that they want. He has worked extensively with people of all ages and backgrounds, empowering them to be there best. Additionally, Rabbi Taylor is a phenomenal problem solver and a member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Conflict Resolution.

Serves on the following workgroups: Disaster Planning and Family Initiatives

Can assist others with: Bereavement

E-mail: PinchasTaylor770@gmail.com


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

Serves on the following workgroups: 

Can assist others with: Adoption, Disaster Relief, Family Stability, and Housing

E-mail: Gtester@cflcc.org



Rabbi Yosef WeinstockRabbi 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.

Serves on the following workgroup: Disaster Planning and Family Initiatives

Can assist others with: Grief counseling and referrals for services

E-mail: ryw@yih.org


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 and prison ministry

E-mail: bwhitt@xtremesoulutions.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 workgroups: Child Welfare and Family Initiatives

Can assist others with: Adoption, fatherhood, leadership strategy, and marriage education

E-mail: rzunz@idlewild.org


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