Board Members

The amazing people who help make Home Again St. Johns as successful as it is.

  • Officers Fischer & Drouin — Board Members

    Officer Drouin has been with the SAPD for six years and she is a mother to three adult children. She is passionate about helping others and enjoys the challenges of finding the perfect resources for individual subjects she comes in contact with during her shifts. Officer Fisher has been in law enforcement for 22 years and is a dad to an adult child. He likes to think “outside of the box” to find solutions for our homeless. City of St Augustine Police Representative Outreach Officers Fischer or Drouin 151 King Street St Augustine, Fl 32084 904-825-1070 outreach@staugpd.com

  • Drew Sappington — Board Member

    Drew is a clinical psychologist, a researcher, a university professor–and a storyteller. My publications include one textbook, forty articles in peer-reviewed professional journals, a book of humorous but true stories from history for the general public, and a number of pieces in newspapers/small magazines (including The Upper Room). Drew loves to tell stories on stage at folk festivals and in theaters. His job settings have included mental hospitals, clinics, and prisons as well as universities. Drew Sappington Licensed Psychologist, Retired Educator 5131 Shore Drive St Augustine, Fl 32086 904-797-2025 drewsappington@msn.com

  • Justin Dolan — Board Member

    Justin Dolan opened the Charles Schwab Independent Branch in 2020, bringing the brand to St.Augustine. Schwab, one of the largest full-service investment services firms in the country, offers access to a range of modern investing, wealth management and personal finance guidance and services that combine the best of what people and technology can provide. A 2005 graduate of Flagler College, Justin has over 15 years’ experience in the financial service industry before becoming a Charles Schwab franchise owner, including previous work with large banks, investment firms, and independent offices. Justin’s mission in finance has always been to strengthen the St. Augustine community where he grew up. As part of that…

  • Monica Ortiz-Sanchez — Board Member

    Mónica Ortiz -Sanchez served the children of New York City for 25 years after working in the accounting field for 10 years. She earned a B.S in Accounting and a M.S. in Education from Lehman College (CUNY). She received her C.A.S in Educational Administration from New York University and in 2012 earned her doctoral degree at the same institution. She has work for the NYC Department of Education in various capacities. As teacher, Mónica taught at the middle school and high school levels. She was an Assistant Principal for Administration in Queens for 6 years. Monica than became Principal of one of the top 10 most violent school in the…

  • Richard M. LaVista — Board Member

    Rich LaVista was born and raised in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York; earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Long Island University in New York City in 1974; and moved to Melbourne Florida to pursue a career in Financial /Retirement Planning with E F Hutton and Company in 1978 and has served in many capacities in the financial service community until the present day. Rich is an accomplished financial professional with a successful history of building and leading sales organizations within the corporate broker dealer community throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Rich has extensive knowledge of the investment process to include significant experience in the…

  • Alex Najarian — Board Member

    Alex Najarian was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts; earned his law degree at St. John’s University in New York City in 2014; and spent his early career working in the entertainment industry in New York prior to relocating to St. Augustine Beach Alex currently is an attorney at The Corneal Law Firm where he specializes in intellectual property, entertainment, sports and corporate law in addition to civil litigation matters. He is also a licensed sports agent with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Alex has a wonderful daughter Elliott and, as he is an active member in the St. Augustine community, he is…

  • John Gillespie — Board Member

    John Gillespie was born in Altoona, PA, is 1946; moved to Jacksonville, FL in 1951, where he attended elementary school, and Englewood High School. In 1960 he started seminary training at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, where he graduated college in 1968. After three years graduate study at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL, he graduated from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA in 1972, with a Master’s in Early Christian Literature. He did graduate work at the University of Florida starting in 1968, in sociology and anthropology, toward his doctorate (dissertation not finished). In 1972, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest…

  • Ellen Walden — Executive Director

    Ellen Walden has been a resident of St Johns County since 1963, attending area schools. She graduated from St Joseph’s Academy and went on to further her education at Flagler College. Ellen has spent the last 42 years in management positions in organizations and government positions assisting the community with health and human services; 27 of those years was with the Department of Children and Families as a Program Supervisor in the Economic Self Sufficiency Division. In 2000, she accepted a new position at St Johns County Health & Human Services and retired in May 30, 2015 as the County Social Services Director. Ms. Walden continued on with the county…