Joyce A. Arditti, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Human Development

On Friday, March 2nd, Project 180’s annual lecture series on prisoner reentry issues begins with Joyce Arditti, PhD, professor of human development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her book, Parental Incarceration and the Family, won the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Outstanding Book Award in 2014 and garnered Dr. Arditti the Virginia Tech 2016 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. For tickets, see the link below.

On April 6th, join us for “In Their Own Words,” a panel discussion moderated by Joy Mahler, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Suncoast, who will be introduced by Nancy Detert, County Commissioner. Our panelists—a mother, a father, a daughter, and a spouse—will discuss how their lives have been and continue to be impacted by the incarceration of a loved one.

On May 11th, in “A Mother’s Story: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on the Family,” Heather Palmer Roberts will discuss the intersection of addictive disease, the criminal justice system, loss, and love.

Luncheons will be held at The Francis, 1289 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota beginning at 11:30 am and ending at 1:00 pm. The recommended arrival time is 11:15 am; free parking is available above Louie’s Modern.  Tickets are available at $30 each and include lunch. For sponsorships, please contact Barbara at

Tom Melville

New Leadership at Project 180

Project 180 welcomes Tom Melville as our new Board Chair. Currently the Executive Director of The Literacy Council of Sarasota, Tom is well aware of the low literacy levels that plague incarcerated individuals and how adult low-literacy rates impact all sectors of a community. His drive, strategic thinking, and goal of helping adults meet their educational objectives and get ahead in life have already greatly benefited Project 180.

Building on the groundwork laid by former Project 180 Board Chair Veronica Brandon Miller, Tom brings a wealth of experience to the organization. “Thanks to a solid foundation built by previous boards, Project 180 is now moving out of the start-up phase as we institute additional internal structures and create more sustainable, long-term programming. We’re excited to begin providing direct services, including our Support Circle for formerly incarcerated individuals and, most notably, our Residential Program.”

With over 20 years of nonprofit executive management experience, Tom is providing key leadership in board-level oversight in his new role as Chair. A military veteran with over ten years in active duty, his previous positions include working with homeless organizations, coalitions, and HIV/AIDS service agencies as well as in community foundation development and fundraising.

Tom’s accomplishments and experience are extensive but it doesn’t hurt that he also has a superior intellect and a wickedly funny sense of humor.

Tom earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Administration from State University of New York in Oswego, then spent ten years in the US Army. He spent most of that time at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) Foreign Language Center. For those unfamiliar with the DLI, graduates include senior US government officials, senators, and active duty service members from every branch of the US military. At DLI Tom studied Russian, in which he became fluent, as well as Central and Eastern European languages and cultures.

At Project 180, Tom keeps board meetings well-organized, purposeful and on point, staying actively engaged between meetings. Since assuming the Chair position in July, he has held officer elections, updated bylaws and policies, and formed committees, all with a clear sense of purpose in moving the organization to the next level.

Enthusiastically embracing tough community issues, Tom believes that the best way to help others and achieve social change is by combining leadership, compassion, and resources to create lasting solutions. It’s a great honor and pleasure to welcome Tom to such an important position at Project 180. Tom, we’re immensely grateful for all you do.

Help Project 180 achieve its Vision of reducing poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and criminal behavior among formerly incarcerated citizens.