let us be your rock

2014 Board Members

by James Smith

A listing of 2014 Board Members

cathy adkison

Cathy Adkison, RN, BSN, CHPN

President and CEO of Big Bend Hospice

Board Membership- Since February 2014

During her more than 36 year career as a RN, Cathy’s primary focus of practice has been home health and hospice care leadership and management. She currently has her dream job working for Big Bend Hospice as the President and CEO. She resided for the past three years in Tallahassee with her husband Dr. Dan Adkison. Cathy was raised in Albany, Georgia and has one daughter, Katie, and new son in law, Roger. Her daughter is following in the footsteps of her mother and graduates from nursing school in May 2014! Cathy is on the Executive Board of Directors of the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association. She is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 30. She enjoys reading, exercise, kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her family.   

"I have been passionate about helping the elderly for my entire career and my work with the Alzheimer’s Project allows more opportunities to help in my community. Alzheimer’s disease is devastating to patients and their families and the Alzheimer’s Project provides additional services free of charge to them."

Ellen Amato

Ellen Amato

Direct of Quality Assurance for Home Instead Senior Care

Board Membership- July 2014

Mother of 3 teenagers,relocated to Tallahassee from Louisville, KY. Active also w Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, serving on their board, as current Vice President. Registered Nurse w background in hospice nursing and case management.

"I was drawn to Alzheimer's Project, having seen the wonderful contribution they make right here in our community."

Susan Bisbee

Compensation Mediator

Board Membership- 2014

Susan Bisbee has been the State Mediator for the Tallahassee District of the Office of the Judge of Compensation Claims since 2000. She previously worked as Executive Staff Director of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice where she was responsible for public information, board and counsel coordination and legislative affairs; as the Staff Director of the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee; as the Executive Director of HOPE Of Manatee, Inc. which provides domestic violence shelter and services to victims of domestic violence; and practiced law in Tampa, Florida. She  graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN in 1977 with a degree in Psychology and Human Services, and from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1982 where she was an associate editor of the Law Review.  Susan has lived in Tallahassee with her family since 1986.

"It is all about dignity, whether you receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or are a caregiver.  Alzheimer’s is isolating for the person with alzheimer’s disease and the caregiver. I would like to de-stigmatize alzheimer’s disease, so that people are not embarrassed, so they can talk about it and know that help is available, that they are not alone.   My mother suffered from and died of Alzheimer’s disease.  A cousin currently has early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  Even though my dad did not live in Tallahassee, he went to support groups when he was in town and met with a counselor from the Alzheimer’s Project for advice and support.  I want to give back because our family received so much support. 

Ron Davis

Governmental Affairs Consultant

 Board Membership— Since 2012

 Ron Davis is president of 21st Century Solutions, and has more than 25 years of experience in the administration and analysis of various housing programs and related policy.  Mr. Davis has directed housing programs for Howard County, Maryland and the state of Florida, as well as conducting national research projects for HUD and the National Science Foundation.  He also provided a regional program analysis for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.  His areas of expertise include program operations impact audits, analysis of impediments to fair housing choice, and housing components in natural disaster mitigation and emergency responses.  Mr. Davis has served as housing advisor for a gubernatorial transition team, and chaired the joint Tallahassee-Leon County Canopy Roads Citizens Committee. 

 More recently, he was appointed to Florida’s Purple Ribbon Task Force, where he provided insights about the impact of family caregivers on the welfare of persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

 “Both of my parents suffered from and died because of Alzheimer’s-related complications.  When I spoke with my relatives, I realized that other family members had similar ailments, but no one talked about it or shared their insights.  Soon after I became my Dad’s primary caregiver, the Alzheimer’s Project offered me a series of valuable support resources.  These resources so eased my caregiver role that I wanted to find a way to give back, both to honor my parents and to communicate the importance of this resource to other caregivers.” 

Michael German

General Sales Manager, WTXL ABC27

Board Membership— Since 2013

Michael German is the General/National Sales Manager for WTXL ABC 27 joining the team in 2012.  A Midwest native, Michael has developed and led successful sales teams for Citadel Communications, Second Generation and Gray Television. 

Michael has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity and the Advertising Federation.  German attended St. Ambrose University and majored in economics. He and his wife Carol have three children and 4 grandchildren. 

"It’s great to be involved with an organization whose board and volunteers have a clear mission and the drive to make a positive difference."

Bruce Harter

Retired

Board Membership- January 2014

Bruce Harter is a graduate of Florida State University, B.S. degree in Social Work and M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Currently retired after having been employed with the State of Florida. Bruce enjoys public speaking on advocacy and disability issues concerning consumers and parents. Currently serving on the Board of Dick Howser Cerebral Palsy program and Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend.   Bruce is an avid Florida State University Seminole fan and traveler.

Whether giving a motivational message challenging individuals with disabilities and their parents or inspiring church members, Bruce always focuses on an individual's ability rather than one’s disability. As you listen to Bruce Harter, you will be challenged to consider your own life and the many things you have before you to accomplish.

ann kimbrough

Ann Wead Kimbrough

Dean,  School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, FAMU

Board Membership- October 2014

Former multimedia journalist Ann Wead Kimbrough is the Dean, School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC), Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL where she is a tenured and full professor. In addition to Ann’s board service with the Alzheimer’s Project, she is committed to focused community philanthropy and volunteer service.

Ann has held leadership positions in higher education, media, government and worldwide events that include the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (1996 Olympic Games) and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  She has three adult children and three grandchildren. Ann received advanced degrees in financial journalism and business administration from Clark Atlanta University, Northwestern University and Argosy University. 

"Two members of my family are living with Alzheimer’s and prolonged Dementia. This challenge is personal; it is also communal.

The Alzheimer’s Project is an opportunity for me to ‘give back’ to an organization that provides enormous comfort and resources to hundreds of families in the greater Tallahassee community. It is a high honor for me to serve on the Alzheimer’s Project Board with a respected and amazing group of individuals who care, love and are strategic doers."

Alice Pomidor, MD, MPH

Professor, Dept of Geriatrics, FSU College of Medicine

Board Membership— Since 2007

Alice Pomidor, MD, MPH, is a family practice geriatrician who has been actively involved for over 25 years in clinical teaching of medical students, residents, and geriatric specialists. She previously served as the Director of Geriatrics at Akron General Medical Center in Ohio and as Medical Director of two Dementia Special Care Units over the past several years. Dr. Pomidor has helped to care for her own family members with memory problems.  She currently sees patients at the TMH Wound Healing Center. Dr. Pomidor can be reached at 850-645-1513 or alice.pomidor@med.fsu.edu.

"It is vital for us to help older adults and their caregivers enjoy their quality of life, not just prolong life.  I believe we can do better by learning about dementia and how to help.  That’s why the annual Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Training Conference hosted each February here at the College of Medicine is so important to me."

bwillis

Bekkah Willis, MSW

Program Specialist with Healthy Families Florida

Board Membership- 2014

Bekkah started as an MSW intern with the Alzheimer’s Project in 2011.  She has since graduated with her Master’s in Social Work and is currently working for Health Families Florida.  Bekkah’s background involves working with people experiencing homelessness in West Palm Beach and extensive work with children and families in programs throughout the state of Florida.

"I know firsthand the wonderful work that the Alzheimer’s Project does within our community.  From Caregiver support groups to respite care, Project Lifesaver, and beyond, this agency is doing wonderful work for our community and I am thrilled to be able to assist in that mission."