Governing Board Members

Christopher J. "Chris" Card, Ph.D, Board Treasurer

Chris Card holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Oakland University. He received his Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University and his Doctorate of Social Work at the University of South Florida. Chris is a Leadership Florida graduate.

Chris has extensive experience in many arenas of social services including five years as a child welfare case manager and supervisor in Houston, Texas, five years managing an inpatient treatment center for children and adolescents, five years as a statewide advocate and association director for the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, nearly a decade as a Community Based Care lead agency executive director, and six years as the South Regional Vice President for Providence Service Corporation.

Chris was a founder of Florida's child welfare reform called Community Based Care and Chris was the primary architect and advocate for the system of care that has reformed Florida's child welfare system. Chris was the first executive of the pilot project in Sarasota County Florida that has been duplicated throughout the entire state of Florida. This reform included systemic redesign, data system development and implementation, transition from a state service delivery system to a community service delivery system, and significant policy and procedure reform. This reform has resulted in dramatic improvement in performance for all child welfare services including tripling the number of adoptions each year, a 40% reduction in the children in out of home care placements, over 25% reduction in caseloads, along with many other accomplishments.

Currently, Chris serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Lutheran Services Florida overseeing over $130 million in revenue and responsible for a wide range of social service programs throughout Florida.

Chris has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the board of the Healthy Kids Corporation (the Florida CHIP program), and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Children's Forum, Intervention Services Inc., Pivot Charter School (Florida), and Everyday Blessings Inc. Chris lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and has two adult sons.

Virginia Stacy, Board Director

Virginia M. Stacy of has a background in healthcare and the nonprofit sector. Prior to relocating to Fort Myers, Ms. Stacy lived in Virgina and was employed at CHIP/Healthy Families, a nonprofit agency serving at-risk children. She worked as an R.N. with a pediatric group teaching parents about milestones and health issues, including immunizations. Ms. Stacy also has experience as a volunteer working with senior citizens. She has served as the Assistant Financial Secretary for the Lee County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Ms. Stacy is an active member of Peace Lutheran Church in Fort Myers.

Bill Knott, Board Director

Pr. Bill Knott serves as Dean of the Broward-Bahamas Conference of Lutheran Churches in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as Lead Pastor to Abiding Savior Church and Interim Pastor to First Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to his ministry, Pr. Knott taught in Broward County Schools for seventeen years and has worked in both the IT and Yachting Industries with an emphasis on communications and sales since moving to South Florida in 1995.

As a public speaker and community leader, Pr. Knott has championed the causes of quality public education for all children, managed positive change in corporate and religious institutions, and affordable housing in urban communities. He advises the Board of El Centro Hispano De Todos Los Santos, Fort Lauderdale, regularly joins in supporting the work of Broward County BOLD Justice community initiatives and serves on the Board of ReconcilingWorks, Southeast Florida.

Pr. Knott earned a Bachelor of Education degree from Alderson-Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia; a Master of Divinity degree from Wilfrid-Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, and has done graduate study at both Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL and UCLA, Berkley Campus, CA.

A Pennsylvania native, Pr. Knott has served congregations and businesses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Florida.

Don Dixon, Board Director

Dr. Don Dixon has an extensive history of directing social services programs and developing programming and policies in various locations throughout Florida. He has developed expertise in child welfare and mental health, and financing and revenue maximization strategies. He has served as an expert consultant in child welfare cases across the state and implemented a revenue maximization strategy in Tampa Florida that generated just over $11 million in five years from 2006 to 2011. He earned his BA degree at the University of Florida, Masters of Social Work degree at Florida State University and his doctorate in Social Work at the University of South Florida. He taught social welfare policy in the USF School of Social Work for fourteen years.

Dr. Dixon is currently the Divisional Director of Social Services with the Florida Division of The Salvation Army.

David Yarborough, Board Director

David Yarborough is Vice President of Special Projects. Yarborough joined Lutheran Services Florida in March 2008 as Vice President of Operations.

Yarborough brings more than 25 years of experience specializing in social ministry organizational management, non-profit healthcare organizational management, non-profit healthcare organizations in leadership, team development, change management, operations, treatment program development and client staff relations.

Prior to joining LSF, Yarborough held a series of positions at Lutheran Social Services of the South in Austin, Texas, including Senior Vice President, Senior Vice President Disaster Response Programs, President Lutheran Affordable Housing Corporation, Senior Vice President Child and Family Services, and Vice President of Child and Family Services and Community Services for the Poor.

Yarborough holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing Research from the University of Mississippi as well as a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Mississippi College. He holds a Long Term Care Administrator’s License and a Childcare Administrator’s License as well as an Assisted Living Administrator Certificate. He is a member of the Trafficking Association and a board member of the Texas Alliance for Children and Families and the Association of Child Placement Agencies.

James Guelzow, Board Director


Ft. Lauderdale

Jeff Wood, Board Parent Liaison, Broward
cell (954) 646-1756
work (954) 763-6006
fax (954) 764-5367

Jeffrey S. Wood is a practicing attorney whose areas of concentration include business law, commercial litigation, adoption, and the representation of charter schools and related businesses. He is a current original Member of the Board of Directors of Charter School of Excellence and has served that school for eleven years. He has provided counsel and legal representation to various charter schools in the State of Florida for many years and has participated and assisted in the formation of several charter schools from their initiation, application stage and through opening.

Ft. Myers

John Copeland, Board Parent Liaison, Lee

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