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Board of Directors
Guardians For New Futures
Board of Directors
2014-2015
Name Position Term Ending Bio Contact Information

Debbie Butler
(Saint Lucie County)

President

January 2017

Debbie Butler is the former Senior Vice President of Human Capital with international global information provider, ComScore. With her extensive experience in business start-ups, operational management, employee training and employee development, Ms. Butler has effectively built and managed large workforces including remote locations. She is member of 19th Judicial Circuit Model Dependency Court, National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Foster Care Supports, Injury Prevention Taskforce, Roundtable of SLC Steering Committee, Child and Adolescent Wellness Network, Substance Abuse Network SLC, Victims' Rights Coalition and Treasure Coast Human Trafficking Coalition. Ms. Butler has also been a participant in a number of other state and local initiatives impacting children.

GFNF
546 NW University Blvd.
Suite 203
Port St. Lucie, FL  34986
Office:  772.807.3868
Fax:  772.807.3869
Cell:  772.359.2824
dbutler@gfnf4kids.org

Michelle Akins
(Okeechobee County)

Vice President

January 2017

Michelle Akins is the Quality Assurance Coordinator for the Child Abuse Death Review Committee in Florida. Earning a B.S. in Social Work from Augsburg College, she has established 24 local Child Abuse Death Review Committees in Florida. Because of her experience, she has served on many gubernatorial task forces that directed legislative changes. Michelle provides training in areas of child death investigation, risk assessment, mandatory child abuse reporting, critical findings from the State Committee on child death investigations and is a national certified Drug Endangered Children (DEC) trainer. She works with Florida Crime Prevention Training Institute, FDLE, Substance Abuse & Mental Health, Public Defenders Office and St Lucie County Jail on various initiatives. Michelle's past work experience includes 21 years with the Department of Children and Families. She is the Vice President, Board of Directors for Guardians for New Futures and serves on the Board of Directors for Redeem the Shadows, Healthy Families Okeechobee and Healthy Families Martin Advisory Boards. Michelle is also a member of The Southeast Coalition on Child Fatalities, Florida Injury Prevention Advisory Council, Child Abuse Prevention Advisory Council for Circuit 19, Domestic Violence Fatality Committee for Circuit 19, Treasure Coast Human Trafficking Coalition, ALPHI Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council and Florida Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

State Child Abuse Death Review
Committee
1701 S 23rd Street
Fort Pierce, FL  34950
Office:  772.467.6012
Cell:  863.697.3981
Michelle.Akins@flhealth.gov

Erin Craig
(Saint Lucie County)

Treasurer

February 2017

Ms. Craig is the Fiscal and HR Specialist for Children's Services Council of St. Lucie County where her primary focus is auditing funding agencies. Ms. Craig has over ten (10) years of experience in accounting both in the non-profit and for profit sectors. She is an active member of the Treasure Coast Chapter of Florida Government Finance Officer's Association (FGFOA). Ms. Craig is a strong advocate of children and building collaborative partnerships.

GFNF
546 NW University Blvd.
Suite 203
Port St. Lucie, FL  34986
Office:  772.807.3868
Fax:  772.807.3869

Elizabeth Mackenzie
(Saint Lucie County)

Secretary

January 2017

Mrs. Mackenzie is the former Circuit Director for the 19th Judicial Guardian ad Litem Program. She has over 14 years of Public Service experience with the State of Florida including State Attorney's Office and 19th Judicial Circuit, Court Administration. Mrs. Mackenzie is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), Roundtable of St. Lucie County Steering Committee, Strengthening Families Committee, Poverty to Prosperity Leadership Committee, Connected 4 Kids Coalition, 19th Judicial Circuit Model Dependency Court. She is a trained county and family mediator. Mrs. Mackenzie is the CEO of Child's Voice First.

Child's Voice First
c/o GFNF
546 NW University Blvd.
Suite 203
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
Office: 772.807.3868
Fax: 772.807.3869
Cell: 772.201.1996
emackenzie@gfnf4kids.org

Leah (Wypych) Buchin
(Martin County)

Director

May 2017

Ms. Wypych is the Marketing Coordinator for SandyPines, a top Florida residential treatment center which provides quality care for children ages 5 to 17 with severe psychiatric disorders. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration with her undergraduate work at Florida State University. As a native Floridian she has been extremely active in the community and began her career working in the child welfare system in 2001 helping children. Ms. Wypych has worked in the non-profit sector throughout her career including Children's Home Society of Florida, Area Agency on Aging and Child and Family Connections.

SandyPines
11301 SE Tequesta Terrace
Tequesta, FL 33469
Office: 561.744.0211 Ext. 399
Fax: 561.743.8501
Cell: 561.329.3061
Leah.Buchin@uhsinc.com

Lorraine Coughlin
(Indian River County)

Director

January 2017

Ms. Coughlin is an Assistant Professor in Education at IRSC. She has held a variety of posts for IRSC such as Project Coordinator and Program Manager for the Barbara Bush Literacy Grant. She has received teaching certificates and many certifications. She serves as the Campus Club advisor for Kids at Hope and has been the recipient of the best practices award in professional development for the state of Florida. She has over 40 years' experience across the US working and volunteering with at risk children and promoting child literacy.

Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL 34981
lcoughli@irsc.edu

Kathy Hurt
(Indian River County)

Director

May 2017

Kathy Hurt is the President and co-founder of Ocean Addiction Recovery Services. Ms. Hurt started her career with the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale. While there, she was responsible for juvenile court case evaluation and referral program. Later, she facilitated group therapy at the Saint Francis Addiction Treatment Center, also in Fort Lauderdale. In 2000, Ms. Hurt retired from a successful career with Tribune Media Corporation. She most recently served as Director of development for Hanley Center, a non-for-profit addiction treatment facility in Vero Beach.

   

Ocean Addiction Recovery Services
1705 19th Place, Suite E-2
Vero Beach, FL 32958
Office: 772.257.5995
Cell: 772.321.3761
khurt@oceanaddictionrecovery.org

Doris Plym
(Indian River County)

Director

January 2017

Mrs. Plym is a former import business owner with successful fundraising and volunteer program development experience. Mrs. Plym is a certified Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteer who has served over 18 years advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. She has mentored many GAL volunteers to improve their advocacy and served on numerous committees within the GAL Program. Mrs. Plym chaired both recruitment and outreach committees for the board for over four (4) years. Her hard work has been key to the success of both GFNF's Kits4Kids Back to School drive and GFNF's Holiday Gift Drive. She is a member of the Moorings Club and active in the Indian River community.

GFNF
546 NW University Blvd.
Suite 203
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
Office: 772.807.3868
Fax: 772.807.3869
Cell: 772.584.1428
dplym@gfnf4kids.org

Lisa Rule
(Martin/Okeechobee County)

Director

January 2017

Ms. Rule is currently Supervisor/Assistant Program Manager for the Healthy Families Martin/Okeechobee program, a division of Helping People Succeed in Stuart. Ms. Rule received her B.A. from Castleton State College in Vermont. She worked for many years in the Special Education field, specifically with adolescents, teens and their families with multiple educational and Behavioral challenges. Ms. Rule is a member of the local Child Abuse Death Review Committee for District 19. She is a strong advocate for prevention and early intervention, working to ensure that every parent and child have the tools and support necessary to be successful.

Healthy Families Martin/Okeechobee
Helping People Succeed, Inc.
1100 SE Federal Hwy
Stuart, FL 34994
Office:  772.320.0784
Cell: 772.475.3510
lrule@hpsfl.org