Staff

 

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Hannah Baldwin (Sarasota Location)

Title:  Vocational Instructor

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

Background:  Hannah is originally from Chicago, Illinois and has always enjoyed helping others.  While studying at Eckerd College she stumbled upon Vincent House while looking for a volunteer opportunity in the mental health field and has continued to work full time after her volunteer opportunity.

Quote: “There is nothing more empowering than working with others as they find their talents they didn’t know they had and realize their purpose in the community.  At Vincent Academy this is something I get to see each day as I work alongside our amazing members in a safe place where there is no stigma for mental illness.”

Asaf Baruh

Title:  Sustainability Coordinator

Education:  Masters of Arts in Global Sustainability

Background:  Asaf has volunteered a number of years at community gardens in St. Petersburg. After gaining this experience and taking advantage of his teaching skills, he recently decided to join Vincent House. He is excited to help the organization develop a number of sustainability projects, with a focus on edible and ornamental gardening.

Quote: “I find Vincent House to be a model of a healthy community that does wonders. I am excited now to be part of it, learn how Vincent House operates, and contribute my own skills to help it grow even bigger.”

 

 

Jacki Betz

Jacki Betz

Title: Outreach Coordinator

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

Background:  Jacki has always had a passion for helping others, and pursued a degree in Psychology to be able to do just that. After volunteering with the National Alliance of Mental Illness, she developed the desire to support individuals living with mental illness in their journey to develop their full potential.

Quote: “At Vincent House, members work to improve their self-esteem, seek employment and get their lives back. I truly wake up every day with a smile on my face knowing I get to be a part of this process. As Vincent House founder Elliott Steele always says, ‘Work somewhere you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,’ I believe I have found that here at Vincent House.

 

 

Philip Boyer

Philip Boyer (Sarasota Location)

Title: Vocational Instructor, Community Relations

Education:  Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Washington State University

Background: Phil is originally from Washington State and has always been interested in the value of service to others. Before coming to Vincent House, he spent the past two years as a national volunteer with Intermountain AmeriCorps in north central Washington. Phil served full time with Children’s Home Society of Washington and was involved with various non-profits in the area supporting children and families.

Quote: “Vincent House is such a unique organization of care, support and motivation that I am so grateful to be part of. The community within Vincent House creates such a positive environment which pushes staff and members to grow and better themselves. There is always forward momentum here and I can’t imagine a better service in mental health.”

 

 

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Ligia Gómez

Title:  Assistant Director

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from the University of Miami, Miami, FL and Master of Public Health from Yale University, New Haven, CT

Background:  Originally from Medellín, Colombia, Ligia has worked in child injury prevention, substance abuse, immigrant health issues and tropical disease research. Her approach to public health is motivated by a desire to strengthen individuals and communities through a holistic understanding of health – one that integrates physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing and development.

Quote: “The Vincent House community is grounded in hope and a strong belief in everyone´s capacity for growth. It is a privilege to learn within and contribute to this experience.”

 

 

Samantha Hauser

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Culinary Arts

Education:  Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology with a Minor in Education, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Background:  From a young age, Samantha was certain that her career would be in a field where she was making a positive impact each day. While obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Samantha gained experience in the field of education as a substitute teacher. She also completed an internship at the Rothman Center for Neuropsychiatry as a research assistant. Samantha is thrilled that she is able to utilize her educational and vocational skills each day at Vincent House.

Quote “I feel privileged to come to Vincent House each day and work alongside so many amazing people. There is a consistent, positive atmosphere throughout the organization creating an environment free of judgment and stigma. The sky’s truly the limit here.”  

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Kayla Jacobson

Title:  Community Liaison

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Background:  After graduating, Kayla wanted to utilize her marketing skills in a way that would benefit others. Kayla spent her time in college gaining experience with numerous internships in the healthcare field and volunteering in the community during her free time.

Quote“Everyone at Vincent House exhibits a strong work ethic. The positive morale is contagious and motivating. I am excited and privileged to work in such an inspirational place.”

 

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Jeffrey Jean (Sarasota Location)

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Community Relations

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Background:  Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jeffrey moved to Florida at the age of 6. He joined Vincent House soon after he completed his undergraduate studies with the simple but powerful desire to serve people in the same manner that others have helped and impacted his own life.

Quote: “It is an absolute privilege to be working for an organization that defines people by their dreams and talents and not by the limitations that society places on them.”

 

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William McKeever (Sarasota Location)

Title:  Executive Director

Education:  Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling, Assumption College, Worcester, MA.  Bachelor in Arts and Sciences, Boston College, Boston, MA.

Background:  William has spent much of his adult life working in educational and humanitarian projects in Perú. He came to Pinellas Park in 2006, and had the privilege of working with Vincent House co-Founders, Dianne and Elliott Steele, for 7 years prior to their retirement.

Quote: “Vincent House is an amazing community, filled with hope and opportunity.  As professional staff, we are blessed by the opportunity to work alongside our members in their recovery process.  The journey to wellness is truly a shared experience.”

Direct Phone Line 727-541-0359

 

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Denise Nightingale

Title:  Program Coordinator

Education:   Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Background:  Denise has a background in policy analysis and has implemented and coordinated programs at a grass roots level in several underserved communities.  Service and community engagement is one of her main passions.

Quote:  “From the moment that I walked into Vincent House, I felt like this was right where I needed to be.  Helping a member find purpose in their life and supporting them through their recovery is the most rewarding  work I’ve ever done.  Vincent House is a community that raises expectations of those living with mental illness and compassionately works together to reduce the stigma of mental illness.  I’m so proud to be part of this team and grateful for the opportunity to support members on their journey to recovery!”

 


Janine Santillo

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Culinary Arts

Education: The Culinary Institute Of America – Hyde Park, N.Y. Associates Degree of Culinary Arts, Dutchess Community College – Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Associates Degree in Liberal Arts And Humanities, Cornell University – Ithaca, N.Y. Certification Better Process Control

Background: I’ve been an executive chef and owner of a five star restaurant in upstate New York. I then transitioned into food styling, catering and delved into the world of food Television. I never want to stop exploring our relationship with food. From the need to keep our lives sustained by healthy choices to the pleasure a simple bite of food can bring. Food to me equals happiness.

Quote: “Vincent House is another shining example of how food can unite a community. From the education it can gives us to the sense of comradery working side by side can bring. Developing your skills in the kitchen can become the ultimate vehicle of expression. Let your taste buds tell a story and then share that story.”

 

 

Alex Stocks

Alex Stocks

Title:  Vocational Instructor, Community Relations

Education:  Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Background:  I have always had a passion for helping others. While in search for volunteer opportunities I came across the Vincent House. I was a volunteer for over two years, during my time in school.  I wanted to use my compassion for helping others in an unconventional way and here at Vincent House they do just that. I enjoy that every day I am able to use my creativity, customer service skills and love for helping others in a way that will make a difference.

Quote: Vincent House is a place with no limitations. Everyday I am inspired by the people here. The Vincent House is a place of inspiration, compassion and positivity.  Working with such a profound organization is a true privilege.

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Lindsay Taylor

Title:  Vocational Counselor, Career and Learning Center

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University, University Park, PA

Background:  Lindsay has a passion for working with people and enjoys being a part of other’s path to self-improvement. Her experience in mental health spans across various positions throughout her career.

Quote: “There is no place like Vincent House.  Our program is the missing link in the rehabilitation process of one recovering from mental illness.  It is an honor to be a part of such a wonderfully positive community where each and every day one can witness progress and success made by our determined members and staff.”

 

 

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Joy Waechter

Title: Vocational Instructor, Community Relations

Education: Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Indiana University Northwest, Gary, Indiana; Bachelors of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Child and Family Services, Hammond, Indiana

Background: I have always had a desire to serve others and encourage those to  reach their full potential. She has had 7 years’ experience working in an adolescent mental health facility, helping to enrich and better the lives of youth struggling with psychological and behavior struggles.

Quote: “I am truly blessed to be  part of an organization such as Vincent House that  delivers such a sense of belonging and fosters self-discovery.  To be able to work alongside members, seeing individuals gain independence, empowerment, and self-determination to achieve wellness and success is extremely rewarding.  Vincent House restores lives and ultimately brings a sense hope which is a remarkable accomplishment.

 

 

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Jodi-lee Weiss (Sarasota Location)

Title:  Program Director, Career and Learning Center

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Theater from Syracuse University, Syracruse, NY

Background:  Jodi-lee began her career in social services while working in residential treatment settings in Santa Cruz, CA. She saw first-hand how integral productivity is to the human spirit. She believes in motivating people with the assumption of their success, and she champions those who strive to overcome their challenges. An avid runner and health enthusiast, she is interested in the connection between physical and mental health.

Quote: “Upon my first visit to Vincent House, I had the sense that I was a single puzzle piece and had found my Big Picture. It is deeply satisfying to be part of an organization which is so closely aligned with my personal views on mental health. The culture at Vincent House is life-affirming and the effects are transformational”.

 

 

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Stacy Freskos

 

Title: Staff Emeritus

Stacy was one of the first staff to be hired at Vincent House. Stacy served Vincent House tirelessly for over six years, as well as being a member of NAMI. Stacy retired from Vincent House in 2008 , but remains actively supporting our community