Friends of the Children–Tampa Bay's Board of Directors are composed of dedicated professional and community leaders who share our passion for our mission and commitment to our values.

Jay Silver

Chairperson

President, Helicon

Tampa Bay, FL

Jay Silver

Chairperson

President, Helicon

Tampa Bay, FL

Jay Silver has spent his entire career in the construction industry with a primary focus on foundation repair and soil stabilization. He started Helicon with a small workforce and a home office. Since then, he has grown the business to include a corporate office in Tampa, staffing over 65 employees. With Jay’s leadership, Helicon has been able to uniquely position themselves as the top foundation and sink hole repair company in the state of Florida. Jay is a regular presenter for professional organizations as a sinkhole expert and a trainer on business leadership and management. Jay believes in the importance of delivering excellent customer service and has continued to reinforce that throughout the Helicon culture.

Terri L. Parker

Vice-Chairperson

Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Tampa Bay, FL

Terri L. Parker

Vice-Chairperson

Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Tampa Bay, FL

Terri Parker’s litigation practice includes defending product liability cases, employment disputes, and general tort, contract and eminent domain disputes. Terri is experienced in all phases of pretrial litigation and trial support, including taking and defending key depositions, managing discovery and case teams, preparing expert witnesses, third-chairing complex product liability trials, litigating and resolving post-trial claims for attorneys’ fees and costs, and arguing pretrial hearings, including dispositive motions. Some of Terri’s successes include winning summary judgment in three high-profile wrongful death cases. Terri’s thorough and detail-oriented discovery practices have effectively resolved a number of cases without the need for a trial. Terri also has deep knowledge of the Florida Wrongful Death Act.

Terri joined the legal profession with 15 years of operations and management experience in the insurance and financial services industry where she managed a variety of insurance underwriting, claims and customer service divisions for a Fortune 500 financial services company. This professional experience, coupled with an Executive MBA, provide Terri with a unique understanding and passion for defending corporations in today’s litigious environment.

C. Elizabeth McCarty

Secretary

Owner, TeamLogic IT - Central Pinellas

C. Elizabeth McCarty

Secretary

Owner, TeamLogic IT - Central Pinellas

Building upon an eclectic professional background, Elizabeth MCCarty recently opened TeamLogic IT/Central Pinellas, a full service IT support company in Clearwater, Florida. Their mission is to bring affordable, enterprise-quality IT support to the small and mid-sized business market, helping companies manage their technology needs proactively so business owners can focus on growing their core business. Beth is an Ambassador for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and is active in the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, as well as the RGA Network.

Prior to opening the TeamLogic IT franchise, Beth was in HR/Talent Management for over 20 years, helping companies as diverse as Ernst & Young Consulting, Discover Financial Services, Darden Restaurants, HSNi, and Catalina Marketing build corporate organizations and cultures that supported the attraction and development of top talent in all roles and of leaders who can fully engage their diverse teams. This work built on her years as a consultant and sales/account manager helping companies implement policies and practices that helped their employees balance work with the rest of their lives.

Beth is the very proud mother of an accomplished daughter, now at the University of Florida. She serves as a Guardian ad Litem in Pinellas County, currently supporting two little boys in foster care, and visits to other children without a full time GAL. She loves to travel, cook, and read and to attend theatre, movies, and the St. Pete Art Walk.

Gretchen Whalen

Treasurer

Principal, State and Local Tax, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Tampa Bay, FL

Gretchen Whalen

Treasurer

Principal, State and Local Tax, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Tampa Bay, FL

Gretchen Whalen is the leader of the state and local tax practice in the East region responsible for delivery of a variety of SALT services to CLA’s clients. She specializes in multistate income/franchise and sales/use tax consulting for a diverse client base including companies in the following industries: retail, hospitality, manufacturing, distribution, financial services, insurance, and technology. Gretchen has spent significant time working with companies as they integrate newly acquired businesses into their structure and undertake domestic and international restructuring. She also has substantial experience with Florida corporate income tax matters and controversy.

Gretchen joined CliftonLarsonAllen in 2016. Prior to joining the Firm, she spent 13 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tampa, Florida, and Detroit, Michigan.

Adam Besnard

CEO, Besnard Insurance

Adam Besnard

CEO, Besnard Insurance

Adam Besnard is President and Chief Executive Officer of Besnard Insurance, a large national insurance agency/broker in the US. Besnard Insurance has offices in Tampa and Minneapolis, and does business in all 50 states. Besnard Insurance represents the largest global insurance companies and markets around the world including Lloyds of London. Among other things, Besnard Insurance insures over 8,000 restaurants. His professionalism, attitude, and hard work has paid off with improved long-term insurance solutions for his clients.

Prior to starting Besnard Insurance, Adam graduated from Florida State University in 1996 from the College of Business majoring in Management of Information Systems. He worked for Accenture (f.k.a. Andersen Consulting), the leader in business services worldwide. While there, he provided business consulting services to numerous Fortune 500 companies across various industries. Adam went on to start his own consulting company, Galleon Technologies, which delivered global strategy, process, and technology solutions to some of the largest worldwide companies. Among his numerous clients were DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, Medline, Sodexho, State of Florida, and AT&T. Adam had over 300 people reporting to him around the world to deliver global information technology and process solutions.

Adam, a Florida native, is married and has three children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, boating, fishing, and doing his part to give back to his local community.

Johnny Bush

Principal, H. B. Plant High School

Tampa Bay, FL

Johnny Bush

Principal, H. B. Plant High School

Tampa Bay, FL

Johnny Bush is a native of Lake Worth, Florida, located in Palm Beach County. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in School Social Work from Concordia Lutheran University in Seward, NE, and a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from the University of North Florida, Jacksonville. Mr. Bush received his certification in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. He began his teaching career in the elementary department at the Florida School for the Deaf in St. Augustine, Florida. His career with Hillsborough County Public Schools began in 1997 as a teacher of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students at Brandon High School. He went on to become the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Riverview High School (2003-2006), Assistant Principal for Administration at Brandon High School (2006-2009), Assistant Principal for Curriculum (2009-2012), and eventually Principal of Robinson High School (2012-2016). In 2016, Mr. Bush was appointed General Manager for Professional Standards for Hillsborough County Public Schools. After one year in this position, he was appointed principal of high performing H.B. Plant High School (2017- present). Over his 30-plus years as an educator, Mr. Bush has experienced many highlights. As principal of T.R. Robinson High School and H.B. Plant High School, both schools maintained “A” ratings. He has served on many district committees. Most notability he served as a member of the Wallace Grant Committee, a substantial grant awarded to Hillsborough County Public Schools. Mr. Bush has worked with special needs children since age 15. Being blessed with the support of many mentors and advocates, he has always felt the need to “give back.”

Mr. Bush has been married 19 years. He and his wife Lauren have two teenage daughters. He serves as their principal at H.B. Plant High School. In 2015, he was featured in the May issue of Tampa Parenting magazine. When it comes to raising children, Mr. Bush firmly believes, “loves comes in many forms.” In his spare time, he enjoys longboard surfing and other water activities on the east coast of Florida.

Shirley Dehmlow

Community Advocate

St. Petersburg, FL

Shirley Dehmlow

Community Advocate

St. Petersburg, FL

Since moving to Florida two years ago, Shirley Dehmlow has been a mentor in the Lunch Pals Program in Pinellas County and a reading tutor in the Lawyers for Literacy program. She is currently the Treasurer for the Vinoy Ladies Golf Association.

Shirley spent the previous 38 years in Illinois. She has been married to her husband Steve for 40 years. Shirley has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and an MBA in Finance, both from Tulane University. She worked in accounting for ten years before electing to stay home and raise her three children. In addition to volunteering in her children's schools and church, she was a volunteer who mentored formerly homeless families in DuPage Co., Illinois.

Lisa Greene

Manager of Physician Communications, Tampa General Hospital

Lisa Greene

Manager of Physician Communications, Tampa General Hospital

Lisa Greene is a health care communications leader and recovering journalist. She currently manages internal and external physician communications for Tampa General Hospital, the region’s Level One Trauma Center, safety net hospital and academic medical center. Last year, she managed the hospital’s public relations team, which was named the small group “PR Team of the Year” for 2019 by Ragan / PR Daily. Greene came to Tampa General in 2014 from its academic partner, USF Health, where she was the chief communications officer and directed strategic communications. Prior to that, Greene was the medical writer at the Tampa Bay Times. During her journalism career, Greene wrote extensively about health and medicine, courts and the law, child poverty and other social issues. Her work has been honored by both the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Bar Association. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College and a master’s degree in Digital Journalism and Design in 2017 from the University of South Florida.

Greene grew up in North Carolina and has three children – Gracie, Anna and Ian. You can usually find her running, paddle boarding or cheering on the Robinson High School basketball team.

Nicole Hisler

SVP, Director of Charitable Solutions, Raymond James Charitable Administration

Nicole Hisler

SVP, Director of Charitable Solutions, Raymond James Charitable Administration

Nicole Hisler is the SVP, Director of Charitable Solutions, at Raymond James Trust. In this role Nicole leads the charitable solutions business for RJ Trust, including the team that provides general administration for RJ Charitable, a public 501c3 with a donor advised fund program. Prior to taking on this role in 2018, Nicole was the Director of Corporate Marketing for Raymond James and has worked at Raymond James since 2011.

Nicole spent 16 years in the marketing industry before joining RJ Trust. She started off working as a marketing director for her family’s MassMutual agency, Levin Financial Group, and two years later moved to a top local advertising agency, now named 22Squared, working on the Publix account. Nicole also ran her own marketing agency for a few years and was an adjunct professor at the University of Florida – her alma mater – teaching social media management. In 2004, while active in the local community with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Emerge Tampa Bay and Ad2, Nicole was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a 30-Under-30 award winner.

Nicole and her husband, Pram Dass, live in south Tampa and have four children – three boys and a girl – between the ages of 9 and 3.

Christopher Horan

VP, Corporate Compliance Investigations, WellCare Health Plans, Inc

Tampa Bay, FL

Christopher Horan

VP, Corporate Compliance Investigations, WellCare Health Plans, Inc

Tampa Bay, FL

Chris Horan joined WellCare in 2013 and currently serves as the Vice President of Corporate Compliance Investigations for WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Chris has over 25 years of experience in compliance and health care fraud investigations including serving as the director of operations for WellPoint; Vice President of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs for AbsoluteTotalCare, a Centene subsidiary, and prior to that he was the Corporate Compliance Officer at TriCenturion Inc., a Program Safeguard Contractor (PSC). Additionally, Chris led investigations at Palmetto GBA resulting in over $100 million in fraud recoveries.

Chris' background includes extensive experience in compliance, fraud investigations, Medicaid and Medicare operations and regulatory affairs. Chris is currently a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) with the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics and has held previous certifications as an Accredited Health Care Fraud Investigator (AHFI) with the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association and Certified Compliance Professional (CCP) with Health Ethics Trust.

Chris is a recipient of the FBI Director's Award, received several recognitions from the Office of Inspector General, and is a Leadership Columbia Graduate. He also has a BS in Criminal Justice from Winona State University.

Kristen M.J. Johnson

Senior Associate, Taylor & Associates, Attorneys at Law, P.L.

Tampa Bay, FL

Kristen M.J. Johnson

Senior Associate, Taylor & Associates, Attorneys at Law, P.L.

Tampa Bay, FL

Kristen M.J. Johnson is a transportation attorney at Taylor & Associates and handles a full range of business litigation, arbitration, appeals, and government investigations. She regularly handles freight claims under the Carmack Amendment, complex civil disputes, product and warranty claims, and contract disputes.

Kristen’s practice originated at a major Washington DC law firm, where she represented large corporate interests, sovereign governments, and high-stakes individual matters. Kristen spent part of her career in Doha, Qatar, where she advised on domestic and international disputes, construction claims, risk prevention, data protection, and corporate investigations. Her appellate work includes submissions before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First and Fourth Circuits, and state courts of appeals.

Kristen’s practice spans from traditional courtroom litigation to administrative actions to corporate planning. Kristen directly advises clients on risk management, case and witness preparation, investigations response and compliance programs, and critical strategy. She manages legal teams, streamlines budgets, and oversees deadlines. She is experienced as lead attorney at trials, hearings, depositions, and settlement negotiations.

Before entering the law, Kristen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University, Honors College. She was a recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to Japan (2002-2003), where she researched labor and civil rights issues. Kristen received her Master’s of Arts in International Relations from American University, School of International Service, and a law degree from American University, Washington College of Law. As a thought leader, Kristen is active in the industry and community. She presently is a member of Women in Transportation and the Transportation Lawyers Association. Her other passion is humanitarian aid and children’s rights, and she is the co-founder of Pretrial Rights International, an organization focused on human rights of detainees. Kristen lives in Safety Harbor, Florida, with her husband, three sons, and adorable puppy dog.

Tim Killgoar

Senior Vice President, National Director for the Financial Institutions Division, Raymond James

Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL

Tim Killgoar

Senior Vice President, National Director for the Financial Institutions Division, Raymond James

Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL

Tim Killgoar is National Director for the Financial Institutions Division within the Private Client Group at Raymond James. In this role, Tim leads a team of professionals who provide brokerage and advisory services to bank and credit union investment programs. Prior to taking on the leadership role for the Financial Institutions Division in 2017, Tim served the division as Director of Strategy & Consulting, working closely with the division’s leadership team on relationship management and business development activities.

Tim joined Raymond James as an assistant to the chairman in 2008, working on strategic projects for the firm’s board and operating committee, and subsequently spent five years overseeing the client experience and marketing strategy efforts for Raymond James Financial.

Prior to joining Raymond James in 2008, Tim worked as an internal consultant with Bank of America, focusing on domestic and overseas operational and technology integration projects, and as a consultant for Andersen LLP in the financial services practice.

Tim earned his MBA from the University of Texas and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Princeton University, where he also captained the Tigers baseball team. He and his wife, Christina, live in Tampa with their two children. A Massachusetts native, he’s an avid fan and loyal supporter of all Boston sports teams, but especially the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.

Susan Riesdorph

Principal, Riesdorph Reporting Group, A Veritext Company

Susan Riesdorph

Principal, Riesdorph Reporting Group, A Veritext Company

Susan was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has lived in Tampa since coming to attend University of South Florida in 1974. She majored in special education and psychology while at USF. Following USF, Susan began court reporting school, also in Tampa. She became a court reporter in 1980. She worked for several firms in Tampa before starting Riesdorph Reporting Group, Inc. in February 1998. Riesdorph Reporting Group was sold to Veritext, a national court reporting/litigation support company in November 2019. Susan is currently assisting with the Veritext/RRG transition and integration, following which time she will return to full-time court reporting with no further administrative duties.

Susan has been married to her husband Bobby since September 1977. Bobby works as a manufacturer’s rep for Leviton Manufacturing, who manufactures electrical devices, voice and data networking components, home automation, and many other related products. They have two grown children, Rachel and Matthew, both of whom are employed by Riesdorph Reporting/Veritext. They also have a son-in-law and three grandchildren. They enjoy family time, church time, and time at their townhome on Lake Santa Fe outside of Gainesville, FL.

Susan serves on the Advisory Council for K.I.D.S Campaign, a 501 (c)(3) devoted to assisting families of pediatric cancer patients. She has also served on the Board and several committees of Florida Court Reporters Association, in addition to serving as Board member and treasurer of DepoSpan Association, another court reporting association.

Susan and Bobby support several not-for-profit organizations, all serving to support kids and/or families. They are very excited about the work Friends of the Children is doing in the lives of at-risk kids.

Mona Shah Alexander

Regional Sales Director, Datasite

Tampa Bay, FL

Mona Shah Alexander

Regional Sales Director, Datasite

Tampa Bay, FL

Mona Shah Alexander is a member of the management team at Datasite, formerly Merrill Corporation, a cloud-based financial security software solution, and oversees a sales team in the Southeast. Mona has spent the majority of her career selling SaaS software to Fortune 1000 companies and bulge bracket investment banks. She has extensive experience within data security and SaaS software, and she works with private companies that want to be positioned for sale or to go public.

Mona joined Merrill Corporation in 2016. Prior to joining the firm, she spent eight years at Intralinks in New York, Chicago, Mumbai, and London. She started her career at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, managing outpatient practices and working on large hospital-wide patient care initiatives. Mona graduated from University of Delaware in 2004 with a degree in International Relations and a minor in French. She lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and son.

Terri Sorensen

Chief Executive Officer, Friends of the Children

Seattle, WA

Terri Sorensen

Chief Executive Officer, Friends of the Children

Seattle, WA

Terri Sorensen is the Chief Executive Officer of Friends of the Children, a national nonprofit that is breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Friends of the Children pairs children facing the greatest obstacles with a salaried, professional mentor (called a Friend) who stays with each child from as early as age 4 through high school graduation – 12+ years, no matter what.

As the national CEO, Sorensen is responsible for carrying out the vision, mission and strategic direction for the national network. She works closely with the National Board of Directors, a diverse and well-respected group of 25 public, private and nonprofit leaders from around the country.

Over her 17-year tenure with the organization, Sorensen has led record-breaking fundraising efforts, bringing in over $100 million to the organization. Since becoming CEO in 2012, Sorensen has led an ambitious national expansion campaign, growing the organization from five to 22 locations in just seven years, and quadrupling the number of children served. She has also diversified funding streams, growing the network-wide operating budget from just $7.5 million in 2012 to $33 million in 2020.

In her role as national CEO, Sorensen sets the priorities for the network, ensures the organization is financially sustainable, and oversees Friends of the Children’s program implementation, research and evaluation, branding, fundraising and expansion efforts. She leads a national team of nearly 30 staff members and provides leadership for more than 375 staff across the country. Prior to being appointed national CEO in 2012, Sorensen served as the executive director of Friends of the Children – Portland, the founding chapter, for 12 years.

Under Sorensen’s leadership, Friends of the Children has become a national leader in evidence-based practice for its rigorous research and evaluation efforts. This includes participation in a Longitudinal Randomized-Controlled Trial, a Social Return on Investment study by the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon and a Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success feasibility study. Sorensen also oversees annual third-party evaluation of the network’s program data.

In 2019, Sorensen wrote an article for Stanford Social Innovation Review on the organization’s successful scaling efforts. Her work has led to national recognition for the organization in The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, CBS News, NPR, Governing Magazine, The Chronicle of Social Change and dozens of other national media outlets.

Sorensen was selected as one of the first leaders for the Business Journal’s Leadership Trust. She was also selected for Results for America’s Moneyball for Government Nonprofit All-Star Team and the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community. She has served on numerous boards of directors and received an Orchid Award for the 25 Most Influential Women in Business by the Portland Business Journal. In 2019, the organization was awarded the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Sorensen holds a B.S. in accountancy from the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri—Columbia and is a Certified Public Accountant. Previously, she was controller for the American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter, held key managerial positions with Sprint Corporation and worked in public accounting for Ernst & Young in Kansas City, MO. Sorensen is on Twitter @Terri_Sorensen.

Heather Vermette

Assistant Vice President of Sales, Wells Pharmacy Network

Heather Vermette

Assistant Vice President of Sales, Wells Pharmacy Network

Heather Vermette originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan moved to Tampa Florida in 1996 to complete her undergraduate degree while seeking a warmer climate. In her role as the Assistance Vice President of Sales with Wells Pharmacy Network she travels extensively throughout the United States working with thought leaders in the field of Concierge based Medicine focused on Wellness outside of Insurance billing.

Heather began her love of service work as a teen Candy Stripe Volunteer at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She has since served the Tampa Bay community through The Junior League of Tampa from 2004-2012 including on their Board of Directors for four year. While with The Junior League of Tampa she worked with many impactful 503c3 organizations locally such as DACCO, Connected by 25, PACE Center for Girls and The Children’s Cancer Center. She has also volunteered with Florida Blood Services, The Florida Aquarium for the Sea Grapes Wine and Food Festival as well as the Hillsborough County Public School system including serving as Co-Chair for their very successful Annual Roosevelt Elementary Auction. The opportunity to work with some of the most at-risk young children in our area, then follow them though graduation with a track record of success was what drew Heather to Friends of the Children.

Heather resides in South Tampa with her two sports loving boys Jace and Brody attending Colemen Middle and Plant High School with their Frenchy Louis that can’t get enough walks on Bayshore Blvd.