Offical partners

  • The Office of the Public Defender of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit
  • Florida State University College of Criminology & Criminal Justice Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research.
  • Florida West Coast Resource, Conservation & Development (RC&D).

Board of directors

James Homes, BS

James Holmes, BS, Board Chair, is Online Director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, where he oversees development of digital products, the production of content for the newspaper’s various digital properties and all digital sales operations. In May, 2013, ArkansasOnline.com was named Website of the Year at the 2013 Great Plains Journalism Awards, an eight-state regional journalism competition.

Before moving to Arkansas in September of 2012, Mr. Holmes was Director of Circulation and Marketing for the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota. In addition to his work at the Herald-Tribune, Mr. Holmes was deeply involved in the Sarasota-Manatee area, serving on both the Small Business Council and the Leadership Council of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and on the Advisory Board and Executive Committee for the Manatee Economic Development Council.

Mr. Holmes received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Florida. He has served on the Board of Directors of Florida Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives and is a former board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County. Mr. Holmes is a graduate of the Leadership Sarasota Class of 2010.

Barbara Richards, MS

Barbara Richards, MS is the Founder and Director of Project 180. A former Adult Basic Education and GED teacher in the San Francisco County Jail system, she came to Florida to study for her Master’s of Science Degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice at Florida State University which she obtained in 2006. Prior to becoming involved in criminal justice issues, Ms. Richards owned and operated a successful restaurant in San Francisco for fifteen years.

Ms. Richards is a graduate of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Leadership Institute and is a member of the American Jail Association and the Sarasota County Civic League. She currently trains in small farm operation and management and has been a practitioner of the Biodynamic/French Intensive method of farming and gardening for over twenty years.

Judy Lash, BS

Judy Lash, BS, Nominating Committee Chair, is a Volunteer Job Coach for the Community Coalition on Homelessness in Manatee County. Ms. Lash spent over ten years as an Executive Search Consultant and Owner/Manager with Management Recruiters International and has founded and operated three successful technology-sector recruiting businesses.

Ms. Lash received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh, PA, and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch for over ten years where she currently serves as Club Secretary. Ms. Lash volunteers at Bayside Community Church as the leader of the Career Search Group.

Duane Saunders, CPA

Duane Saunders, CPA, is a Staff Accountant with Cavanaugh and Co. in Sarasota where he is primarily involved with tax return preparation for individuals and business. Mr. Saunders was formerly Controller for Administrative Concepts Corp, an employee leasing firm in Bradenton, FL, where he participated as a member of the management team and focused on operational efficiencies and improvements to increase profitability. He also spent thirty years as Controller for Ray Routh, Inc., a cabinetry manufacturer in Sarasota.

Mr. Saunders received his BA in Accounting from the University of South Florida from which he graduated magna cum laude.

Directors Emeritus

Vanessa Barker, PhD

Veronica Brandon Miller, MBA, Board Chair Emeritus, is Vice President for Goodwill Industries Manasota Foundation. Ms. Miller has over 20 years extensive experience in development and cause marketing. She has worked with many nonprofits including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, ShelterBox USA, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the American Lung Association and the Navy League of the United States. She has successfully helped increase revenues up to 1,000% and secured both national and international media coverage for the causes she’s led and championed.

Veronica earned her Master’s degree in business from the University of Maryland. She has received many awards for marketing and has published numerous articles on fundraising and marketing. She was listed by Biz941 Magazine as one of the 25 People to Watch in 2009.

Honorary Society.

  • Hon. Ed Brodsky, State Attorney-elect, Twelfth Judicial Circuit
  • Derek Byrd, Esq., State President, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Michael Carlson, AIA, Carlson Studios
  • Kathy Durfee, MA, Founder and CEO, Tech House
  • Hon. Larry Eger, Esq., Public Defender, Twelfth Judicial Circuit
  • Harris Friedman, PhD, ABPP, Florida Department of Corrections, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida
  • Marge Maisto, RN, MA, MS, Maisto Consulting
  • Elliott Metcalfe, Esq., Metcalfe & McLain, PA
  • Charlotte Ryan, MSW, LCSW