About the Board of Directors
The Heartland Workforce Investment Board, Inc. d/b/a CareerSource Heartland, Board of Directors provide policy and guidance along with the general direction of CareerSource Florida, Inc. the state's chief policy organization for all CareerSource Heartland's activities affecting DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties.
The Board is mandated legislatively to have representatives from the following categories: private sector, education, labor, community-based organizations, economic development, veterans, and non-public post-secondary educational institutions.
Local Elected Officials – the Executive Board
The Honorable Mike Thompson – Chair / Chief Elected Official
Hardee County Board of County Commissioners
The Honorable Kelly Owens - Vice Chair
Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners
The Honorable Terry Hill
DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners
The Honorable Don Elwell
Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
Board Officers: 2018-19
The Nature Conservancy, Altamonte Springs
William (“Bill”) J. Nielander
Nielander Law Firm P.A.
Russell Brown, Provost
Dixon Hendry Campus – Indian River State College
Mary Kay Burns, Owner
Operations General Manager, Florikan
Mary Dow, President
Dow Realty, Inc.
Joshua Exendine, Union Treasurer, Executive Board
Hardee County Professional Firefighters Union, Local 3471
Stefanie Gonzalez del Real, RN/Staff Development Coordinator
Florida Health Care Association &
Lake Placid Health and Rehabilitation Center
Vanessa Hernandez, SVP II South Regional Mgr., Retail Dely.
MidFlorida South/MidFlorida Credit Union
Lois Hilton, Human Resources Director
DeSoto Memorial Hospital
Yessenia “Jessy” Irizarry, Staffing Manager
Sunshine Staffing of Highlands County, Inc.
Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, President
South Florida State College
Dr. Brenda Longshore, Superintendent
School Board of Highlands County
Wayne Olson, Area Director
Florida DOE/Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Tara Poulton, Special Projects Director
DeSoto Board of County Commissioners
Gary Ritter, Assist. Director of Govt. & Community Affairs
Florida Farm Bureau Federation
Raymond D. Royce, Executive Director
Highlands County Citrus Growers Assn.
American Legion Post 2
Representing Military Veterans
Sherry Sapp, Director of Admissions
NBI Truck Driver Training
Megan Smith, President / CEO
Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation
Sandra Swanson, Project Director
AARP Foundation, SCSEP
Amanda Wilson, Community Development Administrator, Circuit 10
Dept. of Children & Families