Steve is CEO of Birdsong Housing. He served as former Executive Director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation, the state’s housing finance agency that administers several multi-family development programs for affordable rental housing, including housing for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, and other vulnerable populations. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council of State Housing Agencies, the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, and as Chair of the Florida Council on Homelessness.
Brice Barnes cut her teeth on developing political organization, strategy and finance operations for candidates across the South and and has since expanded to assist private businesses and nonprofits on strategic planning, building long term fundraising operations, and organizational strengthening. She feels strongly about the need for Independence Landing because her sister, who died in her twenties, was born with Cerebral Palsy, attended college and lived independently with supports. In 2015 Brice was named one of the top 40 under 40 political consultants in the United States by the American Association of Political Consultants.
Scott is president of Allstate Construction with 27 years of experience in commercial and residential construction. He is a Florida regional general contractor and construction manager CGC1518758. Scott has extensive construction and site development experience in Tallahassee and years of experience with facilities maintenance management. His firm, Allstate Construction, is a $50 million firm with 80 employees and multi-location offices in Florida and Georgia. The firm has achieved Silver Accreditation from the United States Green Building Council, employs 12 LEED Accredited professionals on staff, and is committed to protecting Florida’s natural resources through its “green” building practice. Scott’s long time support of individuals with developmental disabilities springs from his youngest daughter’s voluntarism in her high school with with peers with disabilities, an experience which added great value to her life and to the life of her family.
Caroline is a Tallahassee Native with deep roots in our community. Her love and dedication for her cousin Spencer, whom she worked with as his nanny, led to her involvement with Independence Landing and its endeavors. Caroline has volunteered for various charities and organizations throughout Tallahassee and Leon County and currently serves on the Board of Goodwood Museum and Gardens. Caroline led the creation of the Gardenia Garden Circle at the Tallahassee Garden Club, led donation days for Refuge House and Second Harvest of the Big Bend, and serves as officer for her local Chapter of PEO, which raises funds to support women in pursuit of higher education. Caroline received her degree in Journalism from FAMU, and works as a REALTOR for Hill Spooner & Elliott, Inc.
Liz Dudek’s career in Florida’s state government has spanned over 40 years across a variety of senior management positions including Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration and Deputy Secretary of Health Quality Assurance. As Secretary, Liz oversaw one of the largest Medicaid programs in the nation. Under her administration, the Agency successfully implemented the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program and the establishment of the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse. Liz has worked extensively with health care facilities, providers, and insurers. She began her career working with the developmentally disabled population. She was instrumental in dismantling two troubled state institutions and finding secure, appropriate placement for the institutions’ residents. She has a working knowledge of regulatory requirements of Medicaid, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Management Services, and facilities. She is a statewide, respected leader in health care regulation and insurance.
Cindi Goodson, Treasurer
Cindi Goodson is the President and CFO of the Flightline Group and RedHills Powersports. Flightline is a regional aviation sales and service company providing aviation services, aircraft sales, parts, avionics and aircraft maintenance services to the southeast region of the U.S. Red Hills powersports is a leading recreational power sport dealership in the community. Cindi has served as the treasurer of KEYS (Keys to Exceptional Youth Success) for 12 years and is now a senior advisor.
Cindi graduated from Florida State University in 1985 with a BS Degree in Accounting and received her CPA certification. She is an avid runner and is involved with Special Olympics of Leon County. She is married to Bart Goodson and they have one son, Brantley.
Shad is the CEO of the Florida Assisted Living Association. Prior to this position, he was the head of the Assisted Living Unit of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. In that position, Shad was responsible for the licensure of all assisted living facilities, adult family care homes and adult day care centers in Florida. Prior to that, he spent several years as an attorney handling nursing home, home health, hospital, clinical laboratory and assisted living cases for the Agency for Health Care Administration. Shad frequently advises entities on best practices for healthcare and assisted living facility operation, expansion of existing facilities, and state/federal regulatory compliance.
Shad served in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman and received a Bachelors of Health Science from Campbell University. After graduation from Campbell, he attended Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he received his Juris Doctor degree. He serves on the State Plan Advisory Group on Aging, the Leon County Contractor’s Licensing and Examination Board, the Executive Committee for the Florida Bar’s Health Law Section, and the Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee, and is a member of the Tallahassee Barristers Association.
Brett Ketcham, Vice-Chair
Brett Vice President of Ketcham Realty Group in Tallahassee. He has over 20 years of commercial real estate experience, holding both real estate appraisal and broker licenses. Brett is the founding member and current chair of the Everhart Excellence Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting Getchen Everhart School, Tallahassee’s premier school for children with significant disabilities. In this role, he has raised and spent in excess of $500,000 over the years. Brett is the father of a child with medical and developmental disabilities of a complexity that will likely require a higher degree of care than Independence Landing is designed to provide. Nonetheless, Brett is a dedicated and active supporter of IL because he feels strongly that more housing choices are necessary for individuals with developmental disabilities.
William Earle Klay
Dr. Earle Klay is professor emeritus and former director of the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. The Askew School has been ranked as high as 3rd in the world in faculty research productivity. He is currently writing a book about how our nation’s founding president George Washington taught us to make government work in ways that strengthen the public’s trust in our democratic institutions. He created a course at FSU called ‘Futures Studies’ which helps students to envision desirable futures and to realistically work to make those visions a reality. A Certified Government Financial Manager, his courses have ranged from policy development to procurement and financial management. His practitioner experience included service as a captain in the U.S Army, a systems specialist in a federal agency, a policy analyst for a state legislature, and a senior planner in a governor's executive office. He is a commissioner for the Suwannee River Area Council of Scouts BSA; his responsibility is to promote and facilitate scouting for youth with disabilities.
John is a personal injury attorney with Brooks, LeBouef, PA. He graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the Florida State University College of Law in 1998. He is a highly recognized member of The Florida Bar. In addition to his professional accomplishments, John is active in the community and committed to charitable works. He serves on the Board of Directors for Independence Landing and previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ernie Sims Big HITS Foundation and as a Board member for the local branch of the March of Dimes.
Debie has been a Certified Public Accountant with Thomas Howell Ferguson since 1983. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and earned a Certificate of Achievement for Personal Financial Specialist from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Debie has extensive experience working with not-for-profit organizations.
Toni is the former president of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s Foundation with years of experience in major gifts fundraising including endowments, planned giving and event planning. In that role, she was also responsible for public relations and administration. She subsequently worked as an academic administrator with the newly established Florida State University College of Medicine, and a is a former planning and budgeting bureau chief with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. She is married to Dr. Terry McCoy, a past president of the Florida Medical Association, member of the Florida Board of Medicine, and chief of medical staff at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Toni & Terry have an adult son who is cognitively impaired due to a brain injury he sustained in a car accident at the age of 13. Toni and Terry have spent a great deal of time and resources exploring long term residential options for their son, and others like him.
Carrie McNeill is a 13 year business owner and retailer specializing in women’s clothing in Tallahassee, Florida. She was featured in Southern Living Magazine and credited for helping revitalize the Midtown area of Tallahassee. Carrie has a Masters degree from Florida State University, where she studied Elementary Education. Carrie has taught early childhood programs, elementary schools and undergraduate elementary education courses at Florida State University. She has a unique interest in teaching reading to young children as well as those with other first language backgrounds. She has served on boards, chaired successful charity events and volunteered with organizations such as The Children's Home Society, Hang Tough Foundation, which supports families whose children are in medical crisis and other special needs, and the Alzheimer's Project.
Terry was the founder and director of a non-profit organization, the Center for Enabling Special Children, for six years. As a non-profit director, she focused on operations, fundraising, advocacy and event planning. She left Tallahassee for a number of years to seek the best possible educational option for her son with autism becoming the Vice Chair of the parent group of the Jericho School for Autistic Children in Jacksonville. She served as an assistant to the school’s executive director focused on fundraising, grant research and writing, advocacy in Washington, DC, non-profit management, volunteer management, and policy standards for non-profits. She is a certified Critical and Certified Hemodialysis Nurse, behavioral analyst and clinical researcher for 20 years. She is the Board’s liaison to the Adult & Community Education day program for adults over age 22 at Lively and has traveled across the United States and abroad researching independent living options, strategies, and programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Timothy J. Stapleton has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Medical Association since 2008. During Mr. Stapleton's tenure as CEO, the FMA’s membership has expanded to include physicians representing large multi-specialty medical groups, health systems and academic medical groups. The FMA has also experienced record membership growth over the past decade. Under Mr. Stapleton’s leadership, the organization has increased non-dues revenue to record levels by adding new educational programs and member services. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Stapleton served as Vice President of Public Affairs and Executive Director of the FMA Political Action Committee, where he was responsible for directing the FMA’s legislative and political advocacy efforts. He has been with the FMA since 1998.
Before joining the FMA staff, Mr. Stapleton served as a Regional Representative for the American Medical Association in Chicago and as a lobbyist for the Medical Society of the State of New York in Albany. He also served as Legislative Liaison for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and was a staff member on two statewide political campaigns in Illinois.
Mr. Stapleton is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Hillary, and their son, Nicholas.
Allison Tant Richard
Allison Tant Richard is the founder of KEYS - Keys to Exceptional Youth Success, which has raised funds to award scholarships to students with disabilities for the pursuit of continued educational opportunities after high school. To date,176 individual scholarships have been awarded, allowing students to pursue AA or BA degrees, and for those unable to attend a college or university, continue lifelong learning in adult day programs. In addition to funding existing program opportunities for students with disabilities, this initiative has created new pathways for continued learning for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities including the Eagle Connections program at Tallahassee Community College, the creation of a state recognized Life, Social & Vocational Skills Summer Institute and job training site on Lively’s campus teaching barista skills, customer service skills, money management and business operations.
Allison is engaged in the community in multiple ways including serving as a regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of Florida, Moms Demand Action, which seeks common sense gun violence solutions, Rotary Club of Tallahassee, and Capital Women’s Network. She is a former Board member, Treasurer and President of the Children’s Home Society of North Florida, former Board member and Big Sister of the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and former Tallahassee Community College Foundation Board member. She began her work with Independence Landing in 2016. She is married to Barry Richard. They have 5 children, including two children from Barry’s first marriage, and 2 grandchildren.
Denise is a Senior Vice President at Capital City Bank Group and the Director of Star University, managing a team of 10 at Capital City Bank to develop professional development and training programs for bank associates. She has been in the Corporate Learning & Development Profession for 30 years, is a Business and organizational Leadership Consultant serving entities across the community in organizational strategy, leadership development and retention. For the past 20 years, Denise has served on several boards and committees of organizations throughout the area and has a particular focus on serving with entities who work on behalf the people with cognitive and developmental disabilities.
Gil Ziffer, Chair
Gil has been a Tallahassee resident since 1983, and owns Ziffer Stansberry Communications, a marketing/public relations company he started in 1990. After many years in the private sector, he joined the Tallahassee City Commission in 2009 and served for 9 years. Gil has a solid history of assuming an active leadership role with a diverse range of issues and projects throughout Florida.
Closest to his heart is the work he does for those in need. Much of his focus has been to develop and implement solutions for the Tallahassee area homeless, increased efforts for early childhood learning, housing for those with limited cognitive or physical disabilities and a greater awareness of the needs for those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Gil is a Past President of the Florida League of Cities and served on the National League of Cities Board of Directors in his capacity as the Chair of the National League of Cities, Human Development Federal Advocacy Committee.
Born February 12, 1957, he is one of five children and grew up in Winter Park, Florida. He graduated in 1975 from Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs. He continued his education at the University of Florida. He and his wife, Gail Stansberry-Ziffer, married since 1990, have two sons and six grandchildren.