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 has been appointed by Governors Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush to a variety of positions of state leadership for children and families.
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.
Willye MalVeaux Dent, ESQ., Board Chairperson
Pamela Watkins, Board Director
Pamela Marie Watkins is a public speaker and minister in the Tampa Bay area. Since 2001, she has spoken to over 13,000 high school students in the School District of Hillsborough County. Her area of expertise are interactive presentations that focus on the benefits of avoiding sexual risks as teenagers, goal setting and analyzing the life-time consequences of choices made at a young age.
Since 2003, Mrs. Watkins has been a staff Minister at Rivers of Life Church Ministries, Inc., in Brandon, FL. At ROL she conducts individual and group marital and premarital counseling, as well as overseeing at least 25 ministry groups.
Before moving to Florida, Mrs. Watkins was a newspaper reporter, working for papers in Harrisburg, PA, Southern New Jersey, as well as freelance writing for the St. Petersburg Times, The Tampa Tribune and the National Society of Black Journalists.
Mrs. Watkins has been married for 17 years and is the mother of one, daughter and son.
Linda Faingold, ESQ., Board Director
Linda Faingold is a practicing attorney for the Tampa Bay Elder Law Firm specializing in Estate Planning, Probate and Guardianship.Linda was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2005 and has served the community as an Associate Public Defender for the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, Florida. She is a member of Florida Bar Association, American Bar Association, U.S. District Court-Middle District of Florida, Carrollwood Bar Association, Attorney's Title Insurance Fund, Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Ms. Faingold graduated Cum Laude from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida in 2004. Linda is also active in the community as a member of Neighborhood Networks, Bay Area Referral Group, Van Dyke United Methodist Church, and Schwarzkopf Elementary PTA.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1969, Linda was raised in the Chicago suburbs and has been a resident of Florida since 2000. Linda resides in Tampa with her nine year old daughter, Mia Danielle.
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.