Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
Joe Dunlap - Treasurer/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 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.
Sheriff Sadie Darnell was sworn in as the first female Sheriff of Alachua County in 2006 and re-elected to a second term in 2008.
Sheriff Darnell is a thirty-year veteran of the Gainesville Police Department, promoted through the ranks to Police Captain before retiring and ultimately returning as the agency’s Community Relations Coordinator working with special needs citizens and victims.
Sheriff Darnell earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida. She is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff Darnell is currently a member of the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) Board of Directors, FSA Legislative Committee, FSA Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Regional Domestic Security Task Force Law Enforcement Subcommittee Co-Chair, Florida Gang Reduction Task Force Region 3 Co-Chair and actively supports the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, Ronald McDonald House, United Way, American Heart Association, March of Dimes, Child Advocacy Center, Partnership for Strong Families, Alachua County Children’s Alliance, Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, Reichert House, Girls 2 Young Ladies and Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., among many others.
Pastor George Dix holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida and is currently completeing a doctoral program in Divinity. He retired from Gainesville Regional Utilities after serving 27 years in various professional and managerial positions, including Division manager of Electric Transmission and Distribution Operation, and Manager of Systems Control, where he oversaw large staffs, projects, and multi-million dollar budgets.
Among other appointments and affiliations, he has served as Ambassador to Italy for Rotary International, as the chair of the corporate Diversity Council, and as a clergy advisor with the faith-based committee of the Congressional Black Caucus. He served for three years on the Executive Board of the community organization The Action Network meeting with senators, congressman and other governmental officials in Washington, DC successfully obtaining millions of dollars for local projects.
He is a strong community advocate for youth education and serves as the Chair of the Santa Fe Community College Faith-based Initiative, coordinating key educational initiatives in 16 churches. In 2007, Pastor Dix’s congregation donated $100,000.00 and provided tutors to the Alachua County School Board academic achievement at the elementary level.
Pastor Jack Donovan served as a City Commissioner for the City of Gainesville for six years. He is pastor of Highlands Presbyterian Church in northeast Gainesville. He also serves on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, the ACTION Network, the Alachua County Nutrition Alliance and the Community Coalition for Older Adults. He is a member of the Alachua County Children’s Alliance and the Juvenile Justice Coalition.
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 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.
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.
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.
Horace McLeod has thirty years of experience as an educational leader administrator. He has worked as an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College and in the Broward County Public School system as a teacher, assistant principal and principal/director. He served as president of Broward Principal Association, the Urban League of Broward County and National Alliance of Black School Educators, Broward Chapter. He was also a member of NAACP, standing committee of SACS, New Mount Olive Baptist Church and Omega Phi Psi Fraternity.
When Mr. McLeod retired and relocated to Perry, FL, he became the CEO and Board Chairman of Taylor County Leadership Council (TCLC), a 501(c)(3) organization. TCLC’s mission is to provide emergency food and clothing assistance, after-school tutorials, adult literacy programs, social services and recreational activities for low income families in Taylor County, FL. He has served in this role for eight years.