Business Recruitment Manager, Charlotte County Economic Development
Health Officer, Florida Departhment of Health in Charlotte County
Executive Director, Virginia B. Andes Clinic
School Board Member, District 1
Vice-Chair, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners
CEO, Charlotte Behavioral Health Care
Captain, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
CEO, Gulf Coast Partnership
Director, Charlotte County Human Services
President, St. Vincent de Paul Diocese of Venice, Florida
Supportive Housing Specialist, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc.
Executive Director, United Way of Charlotte County
Executive Director, Jesus Loves You Ministry, Inc.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Qualified Supervisor for Registered Clinical Social Work Interns
Attorney, GCP Chair
Joseph Pepe serves as the Administrator at the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County. Prior to his current role, Dr. Pepe served as an emergency planner for the agency developing responses to public health emergencies. Before joining the Florida Department of Health, Dr. Pepe was the Executive Vice President of Administration at Hodges University and Executive Director at Nova Southeastern University leading campuses in multiple states and three countries. During that time Dr. Pepe launched several medical and allied health programs along with several community partnerships such as the Medical Reserve Corp and the 1st American Legion Post on a college campus to support Veterans returning home. Currently, Dr. Pepe is a current or past Board Member for Junior Achievement of SW Florida, Health Planning Council, National Board Member of Diversity First, Family Self Sufficiency Program and Early Learning Coalition, and Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network, Chair of the SW Florida Regional HIV/AIDS Consortia, Chair of the Hendry County Emergency Services Council, and serves in an advisory capacity to several non-profit organizations.
Currently, Dr. Pepe is working with community partners to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve the lives of all members. Dr. Pepe has presented at several statewide conferences on Adverse Childhood Experiences and their impact upon health and academic achievement.
Dr. Pepe holds a Doctorate Degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education and Human Services, a Masters in Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Sociology from the University of South Florida. He is also a Professor at Barry University teaching graduate courses in administration as part of their Masters in Administration.
Suzanne came to Charlotte County from St. Augustine, FL. Suzanne’s professional history includes 20+ years of experience in the field of human services and healthcare, with increasing executive management responsibilities, including national assignments with multiple honors and recognition. Suzanne received a Masters of Education degree in 1991 from the University of North Florida and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic College in 1983. Suzanne is an energetic professional with unlimited desire for growth and personal fulfillment through making a significant difference in organizations, youth and families.
Suzanne’s most recent professional experience includes numerous senior appointments with VisionQuest as National Director of Evidence Based Services, State Director of Behavioral Health Services, which included the programmatic administration of Department of Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Programs and Chief Administrator for a 42-bed Child Welfare Group Home Program. Additional Professional experiences include Regional Program Director for North Florida Mental Health Center, Executive Director for Bridges of America in St. Petersburg, FL, and Assistant Director of Residential DJJ program for Eckerd Youth Alternatives.
Having three young children in our schools gives me insight into the educational struggles that students and their families face. I want all children in our district to learn in environments that are supportive and challenging, allowing them to find their gifts and talents. I am invested in the public schools in our county and want them to always be the best option for our families.
As a former Charlotte County teacher, I understand the educational and professional struggles our teachers face. We must stand up against top-down legislation that limits teachers’ creativity, inadequate salaries, and an unhealthy culture that has left teachers and staff overworked and stretched thin. I will use my professional training and classroom experience to fight for our teachers, staff, and students.
Owning and operating a large community business has taught me a great deal, the most important of which is integrity. As a member of the school board, I will strive to represent my constituents with the utmost integrity, transparency, and accessibility.
I am committed to facilitating an honest and collaborative culture between all stakeholders in the education of Charlotte County’s youth. As a member of your school board, I will lead with energy and enthusiasm for educational excellence.
Excellent organizational skills. Innovative approaches to problem solving. Effective in development and implementation of new ideas, programs, and concepts. People orientated, support for team concept, effective management, administration, and program development. Facilitates people working cooperatively.
B.S., Economics and Business Administration. Education Minor, Wagner College, New York, New York, 1965
M. Ed., Community Leadership and Development (Planning and Community Organization) Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1969
M.A., Counseling and Guidance, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, 1972
Certified County Commissioner, 2012
Advanced Certified County Commissioner, Florida Association of Counties, 2014
Graduate Metropolitan Planning Organization Institute, 2015
Historical Advisory Committee
Beaches and Shores Advisory Committee
Charlotte County Veterans Council
Community Action Agency Advisory Board
Industrial Development Authority
Marine Advisory Committee
Metropolitan Planning Organization
Murdock Village Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee
West Coast Inland Navigation District
Alternate member, Parkside Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee
1988-2004 – President & CEO, SRD Inc., and SRD Realty, Warwick, Rhode Island
Owner of Real Estate Development and Housing Management Company. Complete responsibility for operation, staff development, marketing, sales, and management. Recognized by State Association of Realtors. Listed in “Who’s Who”
1984-1988 – Director of Special Projects, Ferland Corporation, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Responsible for property acquisition and development, program development, real estate assessment and review, public relations, and marketing consultation.
1975-1984 – Town Planner and Executive Director, Housing Authority, Town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Developed and directed first Community Development Program. Complete administrative responsibility for agency operation with a budget of over one million dollars. Instituted all Housing Authority programs. Established and managed Community’s first Elderly Housing Facility. Responsibility for all staff development, training, and supervision
1975-1988 – Director, East Greenwich Adult Education Program, Greenwich, Rhode Island
Established and directed the East Greenwich Adult Education Program, and High School Equivalency Program (GED)
1973-1974 – Executive Director, Council of Human Services, Fall River, Massachusetts
Instituted first community-wide coordinative agency for health and human services in Greater Fall River area. Directed city-wide agency and implemented new programs.
1971-1973 – Consultant In Training, Program, Staff Development, and Evaluation, Curriculum Research and Development Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island
Consultant to over a dozen Rhode Island School Systems. Evaluated career development programs and trained faculty staff members. Directed state-wide drug education program. Instructed graduate courses in Social Issues in Urban Education. Educational Psychology and Inter-group Relations. Directed staff development and training for state-wide drug education program.
1969-1971 – Supervisor of Planning, Providence Model Cities, Providence, Rhode Island
Responsible for research and development of all social programs, including economic development, health, education, and job training. Established public relations, community development and staff training and evaluation components.
1968-1969 – Youth Director, Providence Central YMCA, Providence, Rhode Island
Certified YMCA Director. Responsible for entire Youth Program, Day Camp, and Pre-School Programs
1965-1968 – Youth Director, Ridgewood YMCA, Ridgewood, New Jersey
Complete responsibility for Youth Program, including club program with 700 youngsters and 200 volunteers. High School program with 800 teens and an Outstanding Youth and Government Program. Received National Recognition as Youth Director.
Counselor, Director of Christian Education at three different Churches.
Consultant for Staff Development and Training, Instructor at Roger Williams University, University of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College.
Instructor, Rhode Island Association of Realtors Institute, and National Center of Housing Management.
Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee Candidate Training Director State of Rhode Island Drug Education Program
United States Coast Guard (1957-1963) – Honorable Discharge
2012-Present Member, Metropolitan Planning Organization
2016-2017 Chairman, Metropolitan Planning Organization
2016-2017 Chairman, West Coast Inland Navigation District
2014 Re-Elected to Charlotte County Commission
2014-2017 Vietnam Wall Committee
2013-Present American Legion Post #110
2012-Present Cultural Center
2012-Present Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce
2011, 2012 Elected Vice-Chair of Charlotte County Commission
2010-Present Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
2010 Elected, Charlotte County Commission
2009-Present Curmudgeon Club
2009-Present Northwest Port Charlotte Community League
2007-Present Sarasota/Charlotte, Friendship Volunteer Center, Port Charlotte, Florida
2006-Present Franz Ross YMCA Annual Support Campaign, Port Charlotte, Florida
2005-Present Franz Ross YMCA Advisory Board, Port Charlotte, Florida
2005-Present Volunteer Port Charlotte Homeless Center, Port Charlotte, Florida
2005-Present Charlotte County Senior Games, Port Charlotte, Florida
2004-Present Usher, Greeter, Men’s Bible Study, Murdock Baptist Church, Port Charlotte, Florida
1998-2004 Usher, Greeter, Men’s Group Coordinator, Stony Lane Baptist Church, North Kingstown, Rhode Island
1991-1993 Board of Trustees, First Baptist Church, E. Greenwich, Rhode Island
1990 Endorsed Republican Candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Rhode Island
1984-1990 Member, Board of Directors, Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Rhode Island
1988 Chairman, Board of Directors, Leadership Warwick Program, Rhode Island
1986 Re-Elected, Rhode Island State Senate
1986-1989 Member, Board of Directors, Warwick Museum, Rhode Island
1985-1991 Deacon, First Baptist Church, East Greenwich, Rhode Island
1985-1988 Member, Board of Directors, Leadership Warwick Program, Rhode Island
1984-1987 Member, Board of Directors, Kent County YMCA, Rhode Island
1982-1985 Chairman, Community Heart Fund Drive, Rhode Island
1985-1984 Elected Deputy Minority Leader, Rhode Island
1984 Graduate, Leadership Warwick Program, Rhode Island
1984 Re-Elected, Rhode Island State Senate
1983 Elected Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Rhode Island
1983 Elected Rhode Island State Senate
1982 Elected, Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Rhode Island
1982 Re-Elected, Rhode Island State Representatives
1980 Secretary, Joint Legislative Commission on Interns, Rhode Island
1980 Elected, Rhode Island State Representative
1978 Elected, East Greenwich Town Council, Rhode Island
1968 YMCA Youth Service Award, Rhode Island
2014 Florida Weekly – Named Leader of Distinction
2014 (Florida Association of Counties) Advanced County Commissioner
2012 (Florida Association of Counties) Certified County Commissioner
2007-2009 Sarasota/Charlotte Friendship Volunteer Center, Florida
2006-Present Charlotte County Senior Games, Port Charlotte, Florida
2005-2009 YMCA Annual Support Campaign, Port Charlotte, Florida
2005-2009 Sarasota/Charlotte County Senior Games, Port Charlotte, Florida
1989-2004 Million Dollar Sales Award Kent County Board of Realtors, Rhode Island
1990-2000 Listed in “Who’s Who in Rhode Island”
1982-1998 Listed in “Who’s Who in American Society”
1982-1998 Listed in “Who’s Who in the East”
1982-1994 Listed in “Who’s Who in American Politics”
1997 Listed in “Who’s Who in America”
1990 Listed in “100 Successful Rhode Islanders” 1990 Edition
1987 Rhode Island Humanitarian and Social Action Award
1986 Outstanding Rhode Island Adult Educator Award
1986 Alumni Achievement Award, Wagner College, Staten Island, New York
1978 Vietnam Era Veterans Association Service and Leadership Award
1968 YMCA Youth Service Award, New Jersey
Charlotte County Cultural Center, Port Charlotte, Flordia
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
Murdock Baptist Church, Port Charlotte, Florida
National Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Port Charlotte, Florida
Charlotte County YMCA Board of Directors, Port Charlotte, Florida
American Legion, Rhode Island
American Institute of Planners, Rhode Island
Certified Housing Manager (CHM) Washington, D.C.
Adult Education Association, Rhode Island
Public Housing Manager (PHM) Washington, D.C.
Registered Apartment Manager (RAM), Rhode Island
East Greenwich Firemen Association, Rhode Island
Housing Directors Association, Rhode Island
Adult Education Directors Association, Rhode Island
Kent Washington County Board of Realtors, Rhode Island
Rhode Island Association of Realtors
Alumni Association, University of Rhode Island
Rhode Island Commodores
Alumni Association Wagner College, New York, N.Y.
Kentish Guards Militia, Rhode Island
East Greenwich Yacht Club, Rhode Island
League of Women Voters, Rhode Island
Alumni Association Springfield College, Massachusetts
Rhode Island Planning Association
East Greenwich Preservation Society, Rhode Island
Alumni Association, DeWitt Clinton High School, New York, New York
Animal Protection League, Rhode Island and Florida
Alumni Association, Leadership Rhode Island
Kent County YMCA, Former Youth Committee and Board Member, Rhode Island
Licensed Real Estate Broker – Rhode Island
Licensed General Contractor – Rhode Island
National Association of Realtors, Rhode Island
Retired Legislators Association, Rhode Island
Victoria Scanlon, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, has worked as a clinician and administrator in community behavioral health for over 20 years. Her clinical career focus created a passion in treating adults with serious mental illnesses, emphasis on criminal justice diversion, and eliminating suicide. She joined Charlotte Behavioral Health Care in 2006 as Clinical Director, and quickly assumed oversight of Quality Management. She was then promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2007, and remained in that position for nine years, until assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer in May, 2016. Scanlon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and an Educational Specialist/Master’s in Education with a specialty of Community Counseling/Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida. She is originally from Venice, FL and moved to beautiful Charlotte County 19 years ago. Victoria is happily married to husband Keith and together they share a beautiful blended family of six children. Victoria has dedicated the majority of her life to helping others and that mission will never change.
Melissa has been employed as a certified Correctional Officer with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years. She has been assigned to the Bureau of Detention and currently is the Assistant Jail Commander overseeing Administrative Services. Her education includes a Masters degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors in Public Safety Management. She is a member of Punta Gorda Kiwanis, and works directly with various community groups to improve discharge planning for inmates, as well as continued programming for mental health and substance abuse issues. Melissa was born and raised in Charlotte County, she is married and has three adult children.
Angela Hogan moved to Florida from Brattleboro, Vermont in 2003 with her husband, John, and four children; Kayla (21); Brian (19); Nikki (17); and Dylan (7). Angela received her B.A in Social-Psychology and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Norwich Military Academy.
Angela’s working career has included Camp Director for 200 low-income girls, Case Manager for an in-patient Psychiatric Hospital, Technical Writer for a Nuclear Power Plant, and Grants Writer for the Sarasota Family YMCA. She began work at The Homeless Coalition in July 2008 and was promoted to Executive Director in May of 2009.
Angela has spear-headed multiple building campaigns for youth housing and shelter projects as well as managing foster care/child welfare contracts in excess of $80,000,000 per year. In 2005 Angela designed the YMCA Reads Program, with a 1.5 million dollar earmark from the Florida Legislature, to bring one on one reading mentors to 1st and 2nd grade students at 35 of Florida’s lowest performing schools. In 2007 Angela was one of the founding members of Vision North Port and the Imagine North Port Community Master Planning Initiative.
Angela, as CEO of The Homeless Coalition and Lead Agency for the Continuum of Care on Homelessness, guides both entities with successful strategic planning and community building to assist the homeless and agencies that serve the homeless and poverty stricken populations of Charlotte County.
Angie Matthiessen joined United Way of Charlotte County(UWCC)in 2014.Matthiessen obtained her Mastersof Social Work from the University of Georgia in 1994, and her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Georgia State University in 1990.Prior to joining UWCC, sheworked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for over 15 years, leading the Immunize Georgia program, as well as several statewide school health initiatives.In 2012, she edited thestatewide school health resource manual –a 600 page resource for every school in Georgia. Prior to that, she workedasa pediatric oncology social worker atAFLAC Cancer Centerfor five years. Before that, she workedin inner city Atlanta at Grady Hospital with adolescent mothers through the Healthy Families program. Matthiessen has been actively involved in Charlotte County, including participating in the Leadership Charlotte class of 2014, where she served as Vice-President of the class. A Florida native, Angie resides in Punta Gorda with her husband,Britt and daughter, Leah.
Shelia Dixon is a Southwest Florida native. Shelia received her Bachelor of Social Work degree and continued her education participating in the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program from Florida State University. Shelia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Qualified Supervisor for Registered Clinical Social Work Interns.
Shelia’s professional career has included providing counseling, case management, and crisis intervention to at-risk youth and their families in a youth shelter setting, counseling expectant mothers through Healthy Start program, and providing intensive community based mental health services to youth between the ages of 5-17 years old. Shelia has been an employee of Lutheran Services Florida, Inc. CINS/FINS (Child in Need of Service Family In Need of Service) program for a total of 5 years and has been the Southwest Clinical Director for 2 years. Shelia provides supervision to Master level interns from various local and out of state universities. Shelia also chairs the CINS/FINS Truancy, Ungovernable, Runaway Network (TURN) Case Staffing committee in Circuit 20 which is a strong partnership of community professionals dedicated to the effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that helps families, communities, and systems the opportunity to intervene and prevent the onset of truancy, delinquency behaviors, homelessness, and juvenile justice system involvement. Shelia is committed to delinquency and homelessness prevention work.
Kevin Russell, of W. Kevin Russell Law Firm, has been a champion in our community for many years. He is the past president of the United Way of Charlotte County, current chairman of the Gulf Coast Partnership, past president of the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, past president of the Charlotte County and North Port Chambers of Commerce, past president of Children’s Home Society of Florida where he was recognized as Child Advocate of the Year, past president of Charlotte County Legal Aid and the Charlotte County Bar Association, a graduate of both the North Port Leadership Institute and Leadership Charlotte Class of 1995, and a supporter of Port Charlotte Little League.
These are just a few of the many organizations and non-profits where Kevin donates his time and talents. One of Kevin’s many strengths is that he is not afraid to try new things and take chances. He is an active fundraiser. And he isn’t afraid to make “the ask”. Not only is he a generous donor, but he freely gives his time, talent, and most importantly, his enthusiasm.
According to Kevin, “We need to help the community understand it could be them, they could be two paychecks away from the rug being pulled from them.” Kevin shows proof of that by continually educating the public and volunteering his time facilitating tours of the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. Kevin takes his role as a Board Member seriously, every year he gives, raises, and recruits other people to give money to the missions he cares about. His genuine passion and dedication to the community is clear to anyone who knows him.