Council Members

Ute GaziochUte Gazioch, Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Department of Children and Families

Ute Gazioch currently serves as the Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Department of Children and Families. Previously she served as Mental Health Lead, responsible for the oversight of statewide grants and programs as well as providing clinical and programmatic expertise on adult and children’s behavioral health issues. Ms. Gazioch formerly served as State PATH Contact and State SOAR Lead, both initiatives aimed at assisting homeless individuals with behavioral health conditions obtain safe and affordable housing, benefits, and services and supports to meet their needs. Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Gazioch spent 16 years working with adults, children and families in the child welfare and behavioral health fields. Ms. Gazioch has extensive experience with direct care provision as well as program development, management and evaluation. Ms. Gazioch has trained providers and system partners on Motivational Interviewing, System of Care Principles, Wraparound, and Stepping Stones to Recovery. Ms. Gazioch earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from Florida State University.

Sean Lewis, Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator

Department of Economic Opportunity

Sean Lewis began working with the State of Florida in 1991 with the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services in Economic Services. He continued working with social issues including welfare reform, aging and mental health, and child care regulation reform during his time at the Florida House of Representatives. During this time he also acquired skills in program evaluation, program budgeting, economic development planning and the legislative appropriations process. Later, he joined the Department of Elder Affairs, developing demographic profiles for better client services targeting, as well as developing program and customer services evaluation tools. In 2004 he joined the Department of Community Affairs as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Division of Housing and Community Development. Celebrating twenty years of service to the State of Florida, Mr. Lewis is currently working as the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Community Development Block Grant Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity. Mr. Lewis holds a B.S. in Economics and a Master of Applied Social Sciences (M.A.S.S.) degree in Public Management, both from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

Laura Reeves, Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Tuberculosis Section

Department of Health

Image of Laura ReevesLaura Reeves is the Administrator of the Tuberculosis Control Section in the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Florida Department of Health. As Administrator, she is responsible for policy development, program evaluation, and staff enrichment and development. Ms. Reeves supports innovative thinking and encouraged the adoption of evidence based best practice methods while implementing changes in the new Florida System of Tuberculosis Care. Under Ms. Reeves’ leadership, the Tuberculosis Control Program is currently engaged in several developing statewide initiatives including video directly observed therapy, and the enhanced use of technology.

Ms. Reeves has twenty-two years in public health, with experience spanning program and organizational strategic planning, performance management, and quality improvement initiatives, policy development, public health accreditation, customer service, employee satisfaction and collaboration with local, state and national partners.

Ms. Reeves received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Florida State University and is a Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality.

Alene Tarter, Director, Division of Benefits & Assistance

Department of Veterans Affairs

Ethel A. ("Alene") Tarter has served in a myriad of leadership roles both in the United States Air Force, and with the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs. She served first as a Veteran's Claims Examiner beginning in October 1999, Claims Bureau Supervisor for the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs in 2002. In 2006, she was selected as the Bureau Chief for the Claims Bureau of the Division of Benefits and Assistance and was subsequently promoted to the position of Director of the Benefits and Assistance Division of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs in March, 2009. She manages 79 personnel in the Bureaus of Veterans' Claims, Field Services, and the State Approving Agency for Veterans' Training. She is a member of VISN 8 Veteran's OEF/OIF Reintegration and Suicide Prevention panel, the Florida Council on Homelessness, State Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery/Reintegration State Advisory Council, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Policy Academy for Returning Veterans and Their Families, the Supreme Court Task Force for Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and she serves as FDVA representative for SAMHSA's Military Families Strategic Initiative for Reclaiming Recovery, Resiliency, and Readiness. Ms. Tarter was named the Florida Veterans' Service Officer of the Year in 2002 by the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. Ms. Ms. Tarter is a retired Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force and she holds an Associate Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology and Education, with a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Health Care Administration.

Chris Southerland, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Re-entry

Department of Corrections

K. Chris SoutherlandChris Southerland currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Re-entry Programs. Ms. Southerland is a 25-year veteran of the Department. She is responsible for overseeing re-entry services statewide to ensure successful transition of inmates and offenders back into their communities. Ms. Southerland’s dedication to re-entry has been evident throughout her career and most notably in her most recent position as Director of Institutions for Region II. Prior to that post she held positions as Warden at Baker and Lowell Correctional Institutions. She is well respected throughout the Department for her knowledge of the correctional system and ability to motivate staff in order to meet any challenge. She began her work in the Department of Corrections in 1987 as an OPS employee in the Business Office. She attended college while working full time and earned not only her Bachelor’s degree, but also a Master's Degree. She was promoted through the ranks from a clerical position to her recent career challenge as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Re-Entry. Ms. Southerland inspires and motivates those around her to succeed.  Not only is her new position demanding of her time, but she is also a wife and mother of three children - Dalton 18, Tristyn 16, and Kamryn 6. She will tell you that her greatest accomplishment is her children. She is a woman of faith and gives the credit and honor to God for her accomplishments and often says to others, "God has put us all in positions for a purpose."  Her goal and greatest desire is to help change people's lives for the better including staff, inmates, and others.


Molly McKinstry, Deputy Secretary for Health Quality Assurance

Agency for Health Care Administration

Ms. McKinstry is the Deputy Secretary for the Division of Health Quality Assurance within the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The Division includes over 600 staff, responsible for the regulation of 40 different types of health care providers, and 42,000 entities, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies and managed care organizations; the review of architectural and emergency plans for health care facilities; the investigation of consumer complaints against health care facilities; the determination of need for additional health care facilities and services (Certificate of Need); and the provision of related training to staff, consumers and providers. She is the Agency's emergency operations coordinator representing the Agency before the Legislature and other organizations. During her tenure with the Agency, Ms. McKinstry has held the positions of Bureau Chief of Long Term Care Services and Program Manager and consultant/analyst! in the Long Term Care Unit as well as a specialist in the Medicaid program. She also formerly served as Director of Regulatory Affairs/Membership Services for the Florida Association of Homes for the Aging. Ms. McKinstry has over twenty years of health care experience; ranging from working with Medicaid service providers, managing long term care regulation, health care provider background screening, centralized intake for all licensure programs and technology system support and training for licensing, document management and health care provider emergency status systems.

Lorraine Allen, Director, Homeless Education Program

Department of Education

Lorraine Husum Allen has been the Director of Homeless Education for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) since January 2007. She also supervised the Title I, Part D Neglected and Delinquent Program from April 2007-January 2008. Prior to assuming these duties, she served as the Director of the Office of Safe and Healthy Schools. In that position, her responsibilities included overseeing the Safe and Drug-Free School Program, school-wide discipline and school safety data collection and reporting, school safety and security initiatives, and School Emergency Management Planning activities. From March 2004-June 2006, she also was the administrator over the Coordinated School Health Program and physical and health education programs. Ms. Allen has worked in a variety of positions and areas for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and the State University System of Florida for over 28 years. Allen has a master's degree in Public Administration from the Florida State University as well as a B.S. in Government and a B.A. in Spanish. She is originally from the Panama Canal Zone, and currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida.

Carmen Mims

CareerSource Florida

Image of Carmen MimsCarmen Mims manages the Incumbent Worker Training program for CareerSource Florida, the state’s business led workforce policy board of business, economic development, education and government leaders. This board develops the strategies implemented throughout the CareerSource Florida network, a statewide group of professionals, who work directly for Florida employers to find, develop and keep good talent.

Carmen advances CareerSource Florida’s vision to make Florida the global leader for talent by directing resources that help employers develop skilled talent to remain competitive and retain jobs, while connecting Floridians with career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Carmen leads efforts to increase the competitiveness of Florida businesses through training partnerships designed to align the talent needs of business with the needs of Florida’s workforce.

Since beginning her tenure within Florida’s workforce system more than five years ago, Carmen has been instrumental in the provision of more than $5 million in awarded grants used to train more than 12,000 workers at 275 companies.

Carmen, a five-year Certified Workforce Professional, has earned two degrees at the University of Central Florida: a master’s in communications and a bachelor’s in business administration with a focus in marketing. She has completed work toward her Certified Economic Development credential, is a member of the International Economic Development Council and sits on the Florida Council on Homelessness. A Tallahassee native and lifelong Floridian, Carmen has lived in Orlando and Fort Pierce, where her grandfather was the first African-American carpenter. His experiences were her introduction to the important role of small businesses in local and state economics and spurred her passion for supporting their growth.

Claudia Tuck, Director, Human and Veteran Services

Palm Beach County

Claudia Tuck is currently the Division Director of Human and Veteran Services for Palm Beach County. In this position, she is responsible for Homeless Service Planning, Homeless Lead Agency, Homeless Outreach and contracted services, Emergency and Self-Sufficiency programs, Indigent Cremation, Summer Camp Scholarship and Summer Food Service Programs and Veteran Advocacy. She was previously employed at the Oakwood Center of the Palm Beaches where she worked for over 25 years, and held the positions of Associate Director; Department Director of Continuing Care; Housing Services; Personal Growth Services; Case Management Services; and Geriatric Core Services; as well as several Supervisory positions preceding the directorships. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Health Care Risk Manager. Ms. Tuck is the President-Elect of the Florida Association of County Human Service Administrators. She is a current member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Sociology from the University of Delaware, and a Master of Social Work degree from Florida State University. Ms. Tuck has been a Field Instructor at Barry University for MSW students as well as an adjunct faculty member at Palm Beach Community College.

Rick Butler, Vice-Mayor

City of Pinellas Park

Rick ButlerRick Butler was elected to City Council in March of 1998 after serving as a member of the Pinellas Park Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee and the City of Pinellas Park Board of Adjustment. Currently, he serves as Vice-Mayor. After taking office, he represented the City on a variety of countywide boards such as the Pinellas County Economic Development Council, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), Pinellas County 1906 Committee, Pinellas Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS), Affordable Housing Committee. He is past President of the Suncoast League of Cities and is currently on the Homeless Leadership Board as Treasurer. Rick has been a driving force in the community for more than thirty years. He is a past president of the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Pinellas Park, the Pinellas Park Boys & Girls Club and Celebrate Pinellas Park, Incorporated. He has also served on numerous boards throughout the community including the Columbia Northside Hospital Board of Trustees, the Pinellas Park Equity Study Commission, the Pinellas Park Art Society and the St. Giles Emergency Food Pantry. Rick has owned and operated Rick Butler Realty for over thirty years and is a life-long resident of the City of Pinellas Park. He’s an avid outdoorsman and is currently an agent for one of the nuisance alligator trappers in Pinellas County for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. In his spare time Rick enjoys riding his motorcycle and working on various other projects in his garage. Rick and his wife, Carol have one son Ricky, two basset hounds, two cats and a wee dog named Tink.

Shannon Nazworth, Director, Ability Housing

Florida Supportive Housing Coalition

ShannonNazworth is the executive director of Ability Housing. She was hired in November 2003 to transform a service organization's small housing program into an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and operation of quality, affordable housing for adults with disabilities. Sincethen, the organization has expanded its mission to the provision of quality, affordable, community inclusive housing for individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness and adults with disabilities.Ms. Nazworth has over fifteen years' experience in the development of affordable housing. She is the former Associate Director of Habitat forHumanity of the Jacksonville Beaches, Inc.; Regional Administrator forHabitat for Humanity International; and Chief Financial Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, Inc. She chairs the State of Florida Council on Homelessness, is Board President of the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition, and was awarded the "Advocate of the Year" Award by the 2011 Southeast Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Ms. Nazworth is also a member of the Leadership Jacksonville class of 2011; graduated magna cum laude from Boston College; and has received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and a Certificate in Leadership from Harvard University's School of Business.

Bill Aldinger, Coordinator, Supportive Housing

Florida Housing Finance Corporation

Bill Aldinger is the Supportive Housing Coordinator for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Aldinger's responsibilities include: assisting in developing and implementing Florida Housing's supportive housing/special needs populations policy; representing the Corporation on supportive housing/special needs workgroups and committees; and serving as the special needs housing liaison between Florida Housing and state agencies, developers, supportive housing providers, advocates and other stakeholders. Before coming to Florida Housing in 2006, Aldinger served as the Director of the Elderly Housing Unit, as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Florida Coming Home Program at the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. He has more than 25 years experience in both the public and private sectors working in the fields of aging, community based services development, supportive housing, and mental health.

Angela Hogan, Executive Director

Florida Coalition for the Homeless

Angela Hogan, as CEO of the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition and the Gulf Coast Partnership, the Lead Agency for the Continuum of Care on Homelessness, guides both entities with successful strategic planning and community building to assist the homeless and agencies that serve the homeless and extremely low income populations of Charlotte County.

Mrs. Hogan currently serves as a board member for the Florida Coalition for the Homeless, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, and is serving as President of the Charlotte Harbor Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Angela's 26 year career in not-for-profit leadership includes organizations that promote literacy, education, mental health, human and civil rights, community development and those that work to prevent hunger, runaway youth, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, poverty, and homelessness.

Mrs. Hogan completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Vermont College of Norwich University in Northfield Vermont. Angela is a graduate of the North Port Leadership and in 2007, was one of the founding members of Vision North Port which lead into Imagine North Port and the creation of the Community Master Planning Initiative. Angela is also a 2012 graduate of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Charlotte Program.

Cherron "CC" Newby, Trainer and Small Business Coach

Cherron NewbyCherron “CC” Covington Newby moved to Florida from Georgia in June of 1998. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she started a construction final cleaning business that hired the homeless and ex-offenders, also providing transportation and a meal to her employees. She has employed as many as 45 individuals.

Prior to starting her business, she worked as an Administrative Assistant for a former Congressman and she worked at the Pentagon and with the Department of Defense. Today she is an authorized OSHA trainer and a small business coach. She also volunteers and does fundraising for various organizations.

"CC" is the mother of three daughters, two of whom are veterans, three grandsons and one granddaughter.

Teri Saunders, Executive Director, Heartland for Children

Ex-Officio Appointee

Teri Saunders is the Chief Executive Officer for Heartland for Children in Bartow, Florida. Heartland for Children is the local not-for-profit organization responsible for redesigning and overseeing the child welfare system in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties. Ms. Saunders currently serves as a board member for the Florida Coalition for Children Foundation and the Winter Haven YMCA. She is a member of the Polk Vision Quality of Life Task Force and previously served as the President of the Children's Cabinet of the 10th Circuit. Ms. Saunders has over 17 years of experience working in the human services field. She served as a faculty member of the University of South Florida's Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute for nine years. During this time she conducted program evaluation and outcome assessment projects for the Department of Children and Families. Ms. Saunders has been working and volunteering in the child welfare field since 2001. She served as the Chair of the Heartland for Children Board of Directors prior to taking the CEO position for that organization. She holds a BA degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida.

Lindsey Berling Cannon

Director, Program Operations
Children’s Home Society

Lindsey CannonLindsey Cannon recently joined the Children’s Home Society in Pensacola as Director of Program Operations. In that role, she will assist with the development and implementation of new programs and program budgets; identify grants and other funding sources; and participate in fund-raising and grant writing. She will oversee programs to ensure compliance with Children’s Home Society policies, licensing, contractual, quality assurance and outcome standards and requirements. Lindsey will establish and maintain collaborative relationships with relevant community agencies and she will represent the agency at community meetings/groups. Prior to joining the Children’s Home Society, Lindsey was Regional Director of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida, Pensacola Regional Office. She was also a program manager at Anchorage Children’s Home in Panama City. Lindsey holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of South Florida.

Steve Smith, Founder and Executive Director

New Beginnings of Lake County

Steve SmithSteve moved from Ohio to Florida in 2006 where he retired as a business executive having previously served in banking and the insurance industry. He is the Founder and Executive Director of New Beginnings of Central Florida which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency serving the homeless in Central Florida. He also serves on the boards of the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition and Lake County Affordable Housing. He was appointed to the Council on Homelessness by Governor Rick Scott. He is married and has 4 adult children, and is actively involved in his church and the Chamber of Commerce.