Board of Directors

photo of David JonesDavid C. Jones, Founder / Past-President It is rare that someone can take a “tragedy” as an opportunity to change their life and help others. That is exactly what David Jones did. His injury became a personal commitment to help others. In 1988, David Jones was shot in a hunting accident resulting in a serious head injury that left him with permanent paralyses of his left leg, limiting mobility and no use of his left hand. David utilized a wheelchair for one year and gradually increased his mobility to the point where he could walk with a walker and now walks with a slight limp without any device. He remains paralyzed in one arm. In the process of his rehabilitation, he became aware of the importance of recreation for rehabilitation – not only to improve mobility, but to improve mental well-being. David saw this event in his life as a challenge and an opportunity to assist others. This life changing event developed into his personal crusade.  David went back to school and received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Florida State University. David Jones overcame the challenge of his disability utilizing sports for himself and others by forming the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association in 1990. This organization came out of the positive experience David had from using sports and recreation for his own rehabilitation.

photo of Gordon PalmerGordon Palmer,  President - Gordon Palmer is a senior attorney with the Florida Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission, where he has worked for over 25 years.  He was injured in an automobile accident in 1977 where he became a C4-5 quadriplegic.  Not long after his injury, he started doing volunteer and advocacy work for people with disabilities.  His volunteer efforts include: Spinal Cord Society; the Center for Independent Living of North Florida; the Florida Transportation Disadvantaged Commission; the North Florida Spinal Injuries Association; the Florida Independent Living Advisory Council; the James Patrick Work Incentive Program for people with disabilities; and others.  Since the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association was founded in 1990, Gordon has been involved as a participant and volunteer and subsequently a board member since the board's foundation.

Photo of Kristy CarterKristy Carter, CTRS, Vice-President -  Kristy is the Assistant Program Supervisor at the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs.  Upon graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Administration she holds her license as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist while assisting with training and advocacy within the community.  Prior to that time, she served as the Inclusion Specialist for Florida Disabled Outdoors Association along with serving in the community as a recreation therapist in a variety of settings from community recreation, rehab hospital to adult day care.   She has been involved with the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association as a volunteer and then board member since 1998.

 photo Ned Campbell Ned Campbell,  Treasurer - Ned is Founding Partner of aCG and has 30-years of experience in association management. He has provided visionary, results-oriented leadership through his work with various associations. 

photo of Bliss WilsonBliss Wilson, Secretary - Bliss started as youth board member through Youth Leadership Tallahassee in 2015. She currently attends Florida State University for exercise physiology and plans to attend medical school after graduation. She is active in all Florida Disabled Outdoors Association programs, especially Miracle Sports.
 
photo of George CoackerGeorge Coaker, Director at Large - George Coaker has been involved with the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association since its inception. He has an Associates of Arts from Tallahassee Community College (formerly Tallahassee Junior College) and a certificate in Graphics from Lively Technical. He worked in the printing industry in Tallahassee for 34 years. George was hit by a drunken driver at the age of 17 crushing the left side of his body. George spent approximately four years recovering from the accident. Since that time, George realized the importance of active leisure in his recovery. He is an avid hunter and a disability advocate.

Greg GrangerGreg Granger, Director at Large - Greg graduated from Florida State University in 2002 with degrees in Finance and Management Information Systems, and has worked as a business consultant and VP of operations for two technology businesses in Tallahassee over the past 15 years. His role as a business consultant is to design and implement business intelligence solutions for property and casualty insurance companies, mainly focused on data warehousing, multi-dimensional reporting, data conversions and system audits. Greg is also an originating partner and minority shareholder with Rating Dynamics, a provider of property and casualty premium data for insurance agents, carriers and actuaries, and has overseen operations for the company since 2010. 

 


 Staff

photo of Laurie LoRe GussakLaurie LoRe-Gussak, MBA, IOM, CAE,  Executive Director - Laurie has over 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit / association management field.  She has worked for the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association since 2002 and volunteered with them prior to that time. Her experience includes serving as Executive Director for ITFlorida and Executive Director of the TalTech Alliance as well as tenure at the Florida Institute of CPAs and the Florida Association of Court Clerks.  She has a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology and Bachelor of Science in Management Science from the State University of New York at Geneseo.  Laurie also graduated from the Institute of Organization Management, which is a prominent training program for association executives.  She obtained her certification as a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives. She has been active in her professional community.  She served on the Diversity Committee for the American Society of Association Executives and the National Marketing Committee for the United States Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organization Management.  She has also been an active member of the Florida Society of Association Executives chairing various committees and served on the Board of Directors of the Apalachee Blues Society.

Kevin Taylor's photoKevin Taylor, Member Service Specialist - Kevin is a digital marketing specialist with a diverse background. His experience includes being a military veteran, a graduate of Tallahassee Community College with a degree in Drafting and Design, and a small business owner. Since 2013 Kevin has been working with nonprofit organizations assisting them with design, digital marketing, and systems improvement. He currently serves as the Vice Chair on the Healing Arts Alliance board of directors and is an ordained inter-faith minister through the Alliance of Divine Love. When he is not working, Kevin enjoys going camping with his girlfriend and 2 dogs in their travel trailer and trying out different local restaurants and coffee shops wherever they travel.

photo of Riley Harrison

Riley Harrison, FDOA Intern - With a wide background working in the accessibility field, Riley is very excited about learning the fundamentals of non-profit administration while working to promote accessible programming. This May, she will graduate from Florida State University with her bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Sciences. Upon graduation, she plans to continue her studies on a graduate level while developing her non-profit transitional ranch for combat veterans.

photo of Thomas Henry, FDOA InternThomas Henry, FDOA Intern - Currently enrolled as a graduate student at Florida State University in Sport Management, Thomas has a vibrant passion for sports and wants to make it his career. Originally from France and after completing his bachelor’s degree in Mississippi, he chose to further his education and career in the Sunshine State. After completing his degree in August, Thomas is looking to utilize his background as a former swimmer and his variety of experiences in the sports field to work in event planning.

photo of Amanda Cover, FDOA InternAmanda Cover, FDOA Intern - Amanda is a sport management student at Florida State University. She has always had a passion for sports and is looking to start a career in event operations for professional sports after she graduates. Amanda enjoys playing soccer in her free time and attending as many FSU sporting events as possible.

photo of Manuel "Manny" Osaba, FDOA InternManuel "Manny" Osaba, FDOA Intern - Manny recently graduated as an alumni of Florida State with his bachelor's degree in public relations. He will be pursuing his masters from Florida State in the fall. Manny is from South Florida, and he would like to work as an executive for a professional soccer team in the United States or abroad when older. His interests include marketing, communications, and data analytics. He has experience in non-profits, as he co-founded one as a freshman at Florida State. He is excited to be a part of the FDOA team, as it combines his interests in community non-profits and sports.