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Board

Karen Watson – Executive Director

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Karen Putman Watson, MSW grew up in Fort Myers, FL. She is married to Fred Watson and has two adult daughters and three grandchildren. She is 2008 alumni of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), where she acquired a Master Degree in Social Work. She also has a Child Development Associate Degree and Directors Credential. Karen worked 22 years for the School District of Lee County where she taught Head Start, working with pregnant moms and infant and toddlers. For 10 years, she was devoted to modeling best practices, providing resources, advocating for moms and children 0-3 years and teaching moms to be their child’s first best teacher while providing tutoring and operating a Family Home Child Care.

Fueled by frustration and optimism, she returned to higher education to earn a master’s degree in social work from FGCU. Through her years of working with the School District of Lee County and regular home visits, she came to believe that poor parenting was the root cause of impoverished students’ social, developmental and nutritional obstacles. Karen wanted to teach the parents to be the best parent they could be and give children a winning start before entering school. With graduate studies focused on mental illness in women and children, a former professor who saw the concern and commitment she had for children and women in her community inspired her to volunteer at Our Mother’s Home.

Karen currently serves on the Curriculum Advisory Committee of the School District of Lee County and the Board of Directors of RICO (Redeeming Influence Community Outreach).

Karen served one year as Vice President of Our Mother’s Home and a year and a half as President. In June 2011, Karen became the Executive Director of Our Mother’s Home.

In 2012 Karen became a graduate of The Greater Fort Myers Chamber Leadership. In her commitment to the community, she have served as Health Chairperson for The National Association for Advancement of Colored People, volunteers for Red Cross and is a mentor for Footsteps to the Future for young single mothers. In 2015 she was awarded the Golden Baby Shoe Award for her contribution of Social Service to help give babies a Healthy Start in life and in 2016 was recognized an Excellent Administrative Professional and Florida Gulf Coast University, Soaring Eagle. Karen founded Impact Dunbar in 2016 an initiative to impact women and children in the Dunbar Community through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. She has been featured in several magazines such as E’Bella, Pennicle of FGCU, Parent and Child and Granduer.

Karen and her husband Fred are members of Mount Hermon Ministries and serves on varies committees.

Marin Asher – Board Vice President

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Marin was born and raised in Howell, MI and moved to Fort Myers, FL in 2002. In 2004, she purchased the home of the late Helen Coppage, founder Our Mother’s Home. Helen and her husband had fostered nearly 70 children there, which left quite an impression on Marin. As fate would have it, 10 years later she was asked to join the Board of Directors.

“It’s so fulfilling to see things come full circle and finally be giving back to an organization that I believe in with all my heart. I’m extremely excited about helping the board increase awareness and support for Our Mother’s Home.” She said about her connection with Our Mother’s Home.

Marin is currently the Director of Marketing and Business Relations for Larue Pest Management, Inc. and has extensive background in web development, online marketing and public relations.

Aside from donating her time to Our Mother’s Home, she enjoys taking photos of birds, dolphin and sunsets while boating with her husband and their young daughter.

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Jim Vail – Board Treasurer

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JimVailProfessor Vail was a career Naval officer, retiring in 1981 as Captain, Supply Corps, United States Navy. He then became vice president and controller of the company managing the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In 1988 he joined CACI International, Inc., where he was successively vice president, senior vice president, and chief of staff. His principal responsibility was to oversee internal operations; in 1998 CACI was named by an independent survey the best managed company in the Federal IT industry.

In 1967 he received an M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard Business School. After moving to Florida he became a member of the faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he taught in the Executive MBA program and in several international exchange programs. Since 2004 he has been lead instructor for the Wuerzburg module at FGCU.

Mr. Vail has been an independent consultant in information systems design and evaluation. He served for six years on the board of the Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida and is currently a board member of Our Mother’s Home of SW Florida.

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Mary Lynn Podolak – Board Secretary

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Mary Lynn leads the Team Member Care group in Corporate Human Resources, reporting to Hope Hardison. She has responsibility for Employee Assistance, HR Service and Delivery, Global Payroll, HR Advisor and HR Data Management and Integration. Her mission is to develop and execute an integrated and engineered team member experience that delivers the same world class service to our team members that we require them to give to our customers.

Previously, Mary Lynn led the Corporate Technology division in the Technology and Operations Group (TOG).   As CIO she was responsible for delivering end-to-end technology solutions and support for more than 80 enterprise systems and services including E-mail, Blackberry, Instant Messaging, Records Management, One G/L and Financial Reporting, Workers Compensation and the Technology Connection Call Center.

Mary Lynn joined Wells Fargo in October of 2000.  Prior to that, she spent two years at First Union Bank (now Wachovia) in Charlotte, North Carolina as Head of Capital Markets Systems and eight years at Freddie Mac in McLean Virginia as Head of Mortgage Servicing and Securitization Systems.  She began her career as a programmer with Control Data Corporation and has held a variety of consulting positions including five years with Booz, Allen and Hamilton in the Washington, DC Area.

Mary Lynn is a native of the Washington, D.C. area and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland.

 

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Pat Kreutzer

Pat Kreutzer

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Pat KreutzerOur Mother’s Home has been a passion of Pat Kreutzer’s since 2004. As the volunteer financial manger Pat ensures that Our Mother’s Home is fiscally responsible and honors every donor dollar. “Over the years I have watched the impact Our Mother’s Home has made on the girls and their babies. We could not survive without the generous support of people who care. I am proud to be part of such an inspiring organization.” Pat is an active Board Member and supports various fundraising activities throughout the year.
Originally from Wisconsin, Pat & her late husband Bob have one daughter and two grandchildren. Pat enjoys playing cards, watching football and golf.

Tiffany Powe-Salters

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TiffanyA Fort Myers native, working in the public service sector for over thirteen years Tiffany has developed a deep passion for charitable work, inspiring, empowering and motivating others.  She has a background in networking; grant writing, project management and organizational development.  Tiffany is married and a proud mother of two.  One of her favorite quotes is,

“In every community, there is work to be done.  In every nation, there are wounds to heal.  In every heart, there is the power to do it.”

~ Marianne Williamson

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Mackelvie Jno-Charles

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Mack is a Supply Chain professional, and for the past 25 years held Logistics and Transportation leadership positions at Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Home Depot, FedEx, etc. He is currently Manager, Global Logistics Operations at Chico’s FAS, at their corporate office here in Fort Myers.

Mack is a native of Dominica; “The Nature Island of the Caribbean”. He migrated to Atlanta Georgia to attend college; lived and worked there for 25 years. He got his BA degree from Morris Brown College and his MBA degree from AIU. Mack is a Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt.

Mack is passionate about helping others and strives to be an exemplary servant leader. He serves at community events, Church, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and on the board of Our Mother’s Home of SWFL. His latest project was gathering and shipping Hurricane Relief supplies to his beloved Dominica that was devastated by Hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017. Mack’s main hobbies are spending time with his family, reading, cycling, tennis, and fishing.

Gissel Jno-Charles

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Gissel Jno-Charles was born and raised in the beautiful Nature Island of the Caribbean; Dominica. She is presently a Registered Nurse on the Progressive Care Unit at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida. She graduated from the Princess Margaret Hospital – School of Nursing in Dominica in 1999.

Gissel is a song-writer and artist, and released an album titled Freedom. She enjoys helping people; she hosted a call-in radio program encouraging listeners to live a life of freedom through God, practice a healthy lifestyle, and offered practical advice on various health topics. Gissel also started the Freedom Ministries Foundation to provide basic food, clothing and toiletries to the less fortunate in her community.

When Gissel isn’t working, she enjoys singing, fishing and crocheting.