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Board of Directors

DR. MICHAEL BOWIE – CHAIR

Dr. Michael V. Bowie has a master’s degree from Penn State University and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Florida in Veterinary Medical Sciences. Dr. Bowie is the Executive Director of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc, and the Director of the Office of Recruitment, Retention, and Multicultural Affairs for the College of Education at the University of Florida. He advocates for funding for educational programs, is responsible for raising $3 million in scholarships per year and hosts an annual conference for minorities in teacher education programs.  His interest in education became a passion through his experiences with the College Reach-Out Program (CROP), a program for economically and academically disadvantaged youth, where he has served as a former coordinator, instructor and summer camp counselor.  Dr. Bowie serves as the UF administrator for the College Reach-Out Program.

As President and Founder of Black AIDS Services and Education, Inc., President of the Alachua County Branch of the N.A.A.C.P., Board Member of the Cultural Arts Coalition and State Education Committee Member of the NAACP, Dr. Bowie is a pillar in the Alachua County and Gainesville communities. He has received hundreds of awards and honors.

JO HALEY – VICE CHAIR

Jo Haley holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana, Missoula and performed her post-graduate studies at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and the University of Florida at Gainesville. Ms. Haley is a former student advisor, counselor and ombudsman at Lake City Community College, where she developed the “Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker/Single Pregnant Woman” and “Gender Equity” programs, for which she recruited approximately 200 new students into high-wage vocational training.

Currently, Ms. Haley serves on several regional boards of not-for-profit organizations that serve the surrounding counties: Vice Chair of the board for Partnership for Strong Families (Judicial Districts 3 and 8); Chair of the board for Suwannee Valley 4Cs (Head Start/Early Head Start) with centers in four counties.

Ms. Haley’s credentials include marketing and government agency liaison work as well as college community relations. She also spent twelve years serving as county coordinator/family education specialist with the Child Abuse Prevention Project for the University of Florida.

JIM STRINGFELLOW – CHAIR EMERITUS

Jim Stringfellow is a retired Captain in the United States Air Force and holds a BSBA in marketing from the University of Florida. A successful business owner for nearly 36 years, Mr. Stringfellow has been actively involved in community service for more than 5 decades, including serving as the Chair of numerous organizations including the City of Gainesville Airport Advisory Board, the Alachua General Hospital Board, the Gainesville Regional Airport Authority, the City of Gainesville Downtown Redevelopment Board, the City of Gainesville Beautification Board, the “Success by Six” Project and the CHOICES Healthcare Advisory Board. He has also served on the MTPO Citizens Advisory Board, the Healthy Families Advisory Board, the United Way of North Central Florida Board, and the Alachua County Children’s Alliance. Mr. Stringfellow is also a longtime and current member of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Stringfellow has been recognized with notable civic awards, including the Rotary/Volunteer Center “Health Volunteer of the Year” award and the National Family Week Children’s Advocacy Award.

 
EDWARD C. PEDDIE  – TREASURER

Mr. Peddie is the President & CEO Emeritus of Santa Fe Healthcare and a Visiting Instructor at the University of Florida, where he teaches a graduate Health Sciences course entitled “Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”

Mr. Peddie received his bachelor’s degree from the School of Psychology, Florida State University and his master’s degree in hospital administration from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.  He is a 1990 graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Peddie served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Services Corps and spent a year as advisor to the Republic of South Vietnam Armed Forces’ Surgeon General and the Minister of Health of Vietnam.  He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam and an equivalent Medal by the Vietnamese Armed Forces Surgeon General for his meritorious work in Vietnam.

Mr. Peddie is a former Board Member of the American Association of Health Plans, the Hospital Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association, the Florida Council for Economic Education, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, the Florida Hospital Association, the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association, and many others. Mr. Peddie currently serves on the Board of Directors of Webber International University and Partnership for Strong Families.

JOE DUNLAP – SECRETARY

Joe Dunlap has a degree from the University of Florida and presently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of AvMed Health Plan, Florida’s largest not-for-profit health plan, and the Vice Chairman of the Santa Fe Health Plan. He is a board member of the Partnership for Strong Families, a member of the University City Kiwanis Club and on the Board of Trustees of the P.K. Yonge School.

Mr. Dunlap is the past President of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Home Society, the Gainesville Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Board and the United Way Board of Directors.

DON CALDWELL

Don Caldwell is a former United States Marine Corps volunteer and maintains strong ties with fellow Marines and the Marine Corps League. After the Marines, Mr. Caldwell attended Jacksonville University and majored in history with a minor in speech. He was a member of the debate team and editor of the newspaper.

Mr. Caldwell is a former editor and publisher of the Fernandina Beach News-Leader.  His newspaper career spanned 38 years, during which time he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

DR. TOM HAWKINS

Dr. William Hawkins has served on the boards of a myriad of professional societies and hospitals, including the Alachua General Hospital Executive Committee, the Alachua County Medical Society, the Florida Radiological Society, the United Way Alachua County, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the American Cancer Society of Alachua County, the Gainesville Rotary Club, the Vestry Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Atlantic Bank and the Gainesville Development Company.

CHIEF TONY JONES

Chief Tony Jones has more than 30 years of service with the Gainesville Police Department.  During his tenure he has served in numerous capacities including Police Patrol Officer, Detective, Police Explorer Advisor, Crime Prevention Supervisor, Community Resources Division Chief and Commander of the Neighborhood Services Bureau.  He was appointed as Interim Chief of Police in 1997 and served as Interim Assistant City Manager in 2003.  In 2009, he was appointed Chief of Police.  Tony has a long history of service to the community. Board of Director appointments include the Boys and Girls Club, Partnership for Strong Families, United Way, Reichert House, Black on Black Crime Task Force and Alachua Academy.  He has also served on advisory boards for Job Corps, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Corporate Volunteer Council.

In 1987, Mr. Jones and a colleague to established the Reichert House, a program that provides young men with after-school support, mentoring and life skills training and support. Mr. Jones is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Science from the University of Alabama.

DR. MUTHUSAMI KUMARAN

Dr. Muthusami Kumaran is the Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management & Community Organizations, Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, University of Florida. He has a Ph.D. in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Urban & Public Affairs. His teaching, research and service works revolve around management capacity building for nonprofit organizations. He teaches various courses on nonprofit management. He has assisted numerous nonprofits in the USA and NGOs in India, South Korea and The Bahamas in enhancing their organizational capacities and management practices. He currently serves on the UF President’s Council on Diversity and as the Chair of UF International Center’s India Working Group.  

He also serves on the boards of Florida 4-H Foundation, Alachua Conservation Trust and as a Trustee of Sethu Valliammal Education Trust, a large educational NGO that operates schools and colleges in India. He has received several honors and awards in recognition of his teaching, research and service excellence including: The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonel, UF/IFAS International Achievement Award, NACTA (North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture) Educator Award and Social Reformer Award.  

 KATHRYN (KITTY) MCELHANEY

Kitty McElhaney obtained her Specialist in Education from Nova University and also holds a Master’s in Business Management from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education from Ohio Dominican College. She has received numerous honors and recognitions including Teacher of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year. Ms. McElhaney has more than 40 years of experience in the school system serving in both teacher and administrative roles.

Ms. McElhaney is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society and currently sits on the Board of Take Stock in Children. She is also a member of Altrusa International, of which she sat on the Board for four years. She has taken an active role in her community and provides a keen insight into the needs of residents of Columbia County to PSF’s Board of Directors. Her experience in the education system helps to guide PSF’s Board in making important decisions to ensure children in our care have their academic needs and goals supported.

DIANA MCPHERSON

Diana McPherson holds a bachelor’s in Education, a master’s in special education and a law degree. Ms. McPherson is a former legal services attorney with the Eight Judicial Circuit and is experienced in the fields of law and mediation, particularly involving family law issues. Before her retirement from practicing law, she held several gubernatorial appointments and was active on city, county and non-profit organization boards of directors including the United Way of Alachua County, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, ACORN Health Center and the Alachua County Department of Corrections Advisory Board.

Ms. McPherson joined the board of PSF in 2013 and serves on the Community and Government Relations Committee. She is also active in the Alachua County branch of the NAACP (Secretary 2004-2010), ACT-SO Chair 2008-2010), the Cultural Arts Coalition board of directors and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (President 2005-2007, Financial Secretary 2009-2012).

 

ESTER TIBBS

Ms. Ester Tibbs has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Atlanta University and a Bachelors’ of Arts in Sociology from Alabama A&M University. In 2011, Ms. Tibbs retired from the Department of Children and Families, where she served children and families of our community for nearly 35 years. She began working as a social worker for the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center and was later promoted to Director of the Psychiatric Unit. Beginning in 1984 and until she retired, Ms. Tibbs held several management positions with the state serving District 3, the most recent of which being Circuit Administrator for the Department of Children and Families’ Circuits 3 and 8.  In this position, she had a significant role in the privatization of child welfare locally and worked closely with PSF to ensure the child welfare system provided a strong safety net for this community.  Ms. Tibbs actively serves the community as a Board Member of the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, Chair for the Women’s Giving Circle, Vice-Chair for Friends of Children, Inc., as well as an active member of United Way, Altrusa International and Gainesville Women’s Forum.  In addition, she mentors students through Take Stock in Children and is a Reading Pal through United Way. Ms. Tibbs brings a wealth of knowledge and strong commitment to serving children and families to the Board and to our community.

DONAVAN ARNOLD

Donavan Arnold was born and raised in Gainesville. Mr. Arnold attended Lake City Community College and Santa Fe College before earning his real estate license. He is currently a realtor for Keller Williams Realty in Gainesville, which has given him a strong ability to build relationships and network within the community. His business background and experience in the Gainesville community have made him a welcome addition to the board.

Mr. Arnold became passionate about child welfare in 2013 when he became the permanent guardian for his two nephews. Mr. Arnold is a great asset to the board as he has worked with PSF first-hand and has a unique understanding of the issues that children and families in our care can face. He has a great commitment to helping PSF expand our presence in the community.

ARGATHA GILMORE – ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER 

Argatha Gilmore is the Chief of Police of the Lake City Police Department and has worked in law enforcement for 26 years. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and a Master of Applied Social Science in Public Administration. Ms. Gilmore is a member of the Altrusa Club, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Florida Police Chief Association, the City of Tallahassee Community Improvement Advisory Council, the Tallahassee Police Department Service Standards Training Team, Strategic Planning Team and Training Committee and is a past member of the Tallahassee Urban League and the Southside Rotary Club Tallahassee.

 SHERIFF ROBERT SCHULTZ – ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER 

Sheriff Robert “Bobby” Schultz was elected Sheriff of Gilchrist County in 2012. He has more than twenty years of experience in law enforcement, including serving in the Gilchrist and Levy County Sheriff’s Offices, the Chiefland Police Department, the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office and the Eighth Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office. A longtime resident of Gilchrist County, Sherriff Schultz graduated from Bell High School and attended Lake City Community College studying Law Enforcement. Sheriff Schultz received the “Outstanding Service, Beyond the Call of Duty” Award from the Chiefland Police Department in 1997 and served in the Levy County Sheriff’s Office when it was named Law Enforcement Office of the Year in 2000. 

Sheriff Schultz brings to the PSF Board of Directors a wealth of information on the needs of families in Circuit 8 with a unique perspective on systemic strengths and areas in need of improving in the area. He joined the Board in 2014.

Contact Us

Partnership for Strong Families' Headquarters Location
5950 NW 1st Place, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607

Phone: (352) 244-1500
Toll Free: (866) 310-7326
Fax: (352) 244-1647

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