Florida Coalition for Children

Executive Director, Government and Community Affairs

– Present

The mission of the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) is to advocate on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned and neglected children and support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf. With over 60 years of history in the state, FCC, which was originally called the Florida Association of Child and Family Agencies (FACFA), has grown and transformed alongside the child welfare system.

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

Appointed Board Member, By Governor Rick Scott

– Present

The FDDC was created in Federal Law with the purpose of assuring individuals with developmental disabilities and their families can participate in designing and accessing needed community services, individualized supports, and assistance that promotes self-determination, independence, and productivity that are integrated with inclusion in all facets of community life through culturally competent programs authorized under this title.

The Council will accomplish its mission by supporting innovative initiatives that demonstrate new approaches to enhance the independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination of individuals with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life.

Florida State University College of Communications

Leadership Board Member

– Present

 There are three nationally-ranked schools that constitute the College of Communication & Information: the School of Communication, the School of Communication Science & Disorders and the School of Library & Information Studies.

The purpose of the Florida State University College of Communication & Information (FSU-CCI) Leadership Board is to serve as an essential network of engaged alumni and friends who will promote and assist the efforts of the School of Library & Information Studies to raise private funds and receive foundation and corporate support to help fulfill the mission of the College. The Board is not expected to advise on issues of academic administration.

United Way Worldwide Grant Manage Consultant

2011 United Way World Wide Grant Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2011 United Way World Wide Grant Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


The Opportunity 

In January 2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selected United Way Worldwide to assist in developing teacher effectiveness efforts. The foundation provided United Way Worldwide funding for Increasing Teacher Effectiveness Challenge Grants at 14 United Way offices in Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee to advance their efforts to positively impact education.

The grants align with UWW’s national education goals to cut high-school dropout numbers in half by 2018 and better prepare college-ready students. The grants also desired the states to organize local communities in developing communication, advocacy and mobilization strategies to increase teacher effectiveness statewide. Clarity 1st (ZSP) was selected due to years of success in public policy, marketing communications, community engagement, and leadership roles on state level education advisory boards to serve as Florida's state grant managing consultant.

The Challenge

Floridian's were marching on the state Capitol in protest. Divides between stakeholders was never greater with emotions high and combative.

Florida's grant implementation was not awarded until eight months after the other states which coincided with the legislative session and start of the education mood of unrest. 

The Result

A large scale campaign was organized that held over 100 face-to-face community meetings of Listening Sessions, Power Lunches, and one on one interviews, plus a Virtual Summit so citizens from Key West through Brandon and Oviedo up to St. Augustine and across to Okaloosa could come together for a true statewide accessible town hall by sitting in front of their desktop or library computer. 

We compiled the first overview of all teacher related Governor, Dept. of Education, National, State and Local task-forces recommendations and issues which were our starting that data that after each event was synthesized with the community comments we collected. The end product was presented to the Florida Legislature where all recommendations were immediately endorsed for the responsible agencies to embrace.

Not only did we deliver by mobilizing the state around common education reform action, we helped the healing process that was critical to ongoing improvements in education for Florida.

Florida Children and Youth Cabinet

Florida Children and Youth Cabinet

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Designee, Appointed Board Member

– Present

On July 11, 2007, legislation was signed by the Governor that created the Children and Youth Cabinet.

The members of the Children and Youth Cabinet consist of a chairman, the secretaries of the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Agency for Health Care Administration, as well as the directors of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and the Office of Early Learning. Other members include the State Surgeon General, the Commissioner of Education, the director of the Guardian ad Litem Office, and the director of the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection. Additionally, the Governor appoints five members from around the state who are representatives of children and youth advocacy organizations, but who are not service providers. Rounding out the Cabinet are the five ex-officio members named in statute, or their designees.

The Cabinet is charged with promoting and implementing collaboration, creativity, increased efficiency, information sharing and improved service delivery between and within state agencies and organizations.

As directed by statute, in 2007 the Cabinet developed a shared vision and a Strategic Plan to guide the Cabinet in designing and implementing measurable outcomes and actions that promote collaboration and information sharing.

Cabinet Initiatives:
• Child Death Review Teams Workgroup
• Crossover Children Workgroup
• Early Learning Workgroup
• Multi-System Children and Youth Workgroup
• Prevention Investment Strategy Workgroup
• Children and Youth Collaboration Services Workgroup

Operationalized Cabinet Initiatives:
• Human Trafficking Workgroup
• Interagency Background Screening Workgroup

Improving Post-Secondary Education Graduation Rates
State Advisory Council on Early Education and Care
Children’s Budget Analysis
Youth Commission

University of Florida College of Education Lastinger Center

Lastinger Center for Learning Board Member

– Present 

The Lastinger Center for Learning is an education innovation incubator. We harness the University of Florida’s extraordinary intellectual resources to partner with school districts, philanthropies, governmental entities and the private sector to design, build, field-test and disseminate innovations and models that transform teaching, improve learning and promote healthy child development.

The Women for Florida State University

The Women for Florida State University

Founding Member, Current Board Member

– Present 

The Women for Florida State University is for all women who share a passion for Florida State—current students, alumnae and friends, even parents of students. Members span multiple generations and diverse backgrounds, yet share the desire to support and increase innovative opportunities at the university for generations to come.

The Trust for Florida’s Children

Governor Appointee, Board Secretary and Executive Board Member

2010 – 2011 

A direct service organization to the Office of Governor Charlie Crist working for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, while promoting adoption for Florida's children in foster care.

Florida Education Foundation

Executive Board Member, Appointed by the Commissioner of Education

The Florida Education Foundation is a not for profit corporation incorporated under the provisions of Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, and approved by the Florida Department of State, and is a Department of Education direct-support organization, as defined under Florida Statutes, Section 1001.24(1), whose purpose is to lead in education enhancements statewide.

The Foundation is dedicated to the success of public prekindergarten through twelfth grade Florida students. The primary purpose of the Foundation is to encourage collaboration among parents, business people, community members and Florida's public schools to improve student performance.