Chair – Becker
Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff
Senator Bogdanoff joined Becker after serving over six years as a Member of the Florida House of Representatives and two years as a Florida State Senator.
She also has over 30 years in the business sector, owning her first insurance business by the age of 21 and, after 16 years, selling her interest in her company. In 1997, she opened a corporate and local government consulting firm. Senator Bogdanoff later attended law school, graduating in 2003. She began her legal career as a litigator and is currently a Certified Circuit Civil and Family Mediator.
After leaving public office in 2012, Senator Bogdanoff expanded her practice to include government consulting in Tallahassee. Her knowledge, experience, and access to key decision makers are extremely valuable to her clients.
Vice Chair - U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking
Sara Gaffney Mahoney was the New York City Press Secretary for Governor George Pataki of New York, having previously served as his Communications Director in the New York State Senate. Sara served on the Board of Directors of My Sisters’ Place for twenty years, a New York agency that strives to end domestic violence and human trafficking through comprehensive services, advocacy and community education. She currently chairs their Honorary Advisory Committee.
A ten-year resident of Tampa, Florida, Sara serves on the Advisory Council of the US Institute Against Human Trafficking, a Tampa based national organization that is fighting to end human trafficking by combating demand, rescuing victims and providing safe refuge for survivors. Sara is also co-founder of Tampa Athletes Unite, an organization comprised of athletes from the Tampa Bay region racing to bring awareness to the horrible crime of human trafficking in the Tampa Bay community and helping to empower those oppressed through sport.
Sara is married to Kieran Mahoney and the mother of four. She is a 2017 member of the ITU Team USA Long Distance Triathlon Team, an Ironman athlete and ultra-marathoner.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
Corporal Alan Wilkett
Corporal Alan Wilkett has served with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office since 2005 with a total law enforcement experience of over 24 years. Patrol, court security, investigations, crime prevention, and community relations are among the assignments fulfilled in the years of service. In 2007 he was awarded the Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year. Corporal Wilkett holds a Florida Practitioner Designation in both crime prevention and CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design).
Corporal Wilkett has devoted the past several years in the fight against human trafficking. He has trained and instructed law enforcement, federal agencies, state and local agencies, NGO’s, along with multiple groups, churches, and organizations. The Pasco Human Trafficking Task Force, the Human Trafficking Commission, and Light Up The Night are current initiatives. Corporal Wilkett was recently awarded the 2017 Florida Human Trafficking Law Enforcement Official of the Year from Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement
Special Agent in Charge Shane Pollard
Vaden “Shane” Pollard is a 23 year veteran of Florida law enforcement. During his tenure as a police professional he has served in the capacity of patrol officer, detective, and special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). He currently serves as the Special Agent in Charge of the FDLE Fort Myers Regional Operations Center where he oversees FDLE’s investigative and crime laboratory resources in Southwest Florida. As the Special Agent in Charge he has implemented a robust intelligence mission that focuses on significant crime trends impacting the Fort Myers Region, with emphasis on human trafficking. He is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and dedicated husband and father, who works every day to promote public safety and enhance domestic security in Southwest Florida.
Representative Toby Overdorf
Representative Toby Overdorf has been a Treasure Coast resident for over twenty years, and represents District 83 in the Florida House of Representatives. He is an Environmental Consultant, currently living in Palm City, Florida, with his wife Maggie. Representative Overdorf founded Crossroads Environmental Consultants in 2002, which became a nationally recognized company under his expansion and leadership. He has also overseen similar growth at EDC, Inc., a full-service local engineering firm where he currently serves as the Environmental Division President. His occupation stemmed from his passion for the environment, which he exemplified by receiving his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Union College, along with his Masters in Biology and Environmental MBA from Florida Atlantic University.
Representative Overdorf has served in the following leadership roles: President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors of Leadership Florida, and a member of the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council, among many other state and regional leadership positions.
Representative Overdorf serves on the following committees: Commerce; Higher Education & Career Readiness; Higher Education Appropriations; Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs; and Transportation & Infrastructure.
Apart from work, Representative Overdorf enjoys spending time with his supportive wife Maggie, who is also a longtime Treasure Coast Resident, daughter Carleigh, and their three dogs – Tommy, Lily, and Hootie.
Graci McGillicuddy is a founding member and chairperson of the All Star Children’s Foundation, established in 2005. The foundation created and supports the All Star Children’s “Campus of Hope & Healing,” which was developed in collaboration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to provide trauma-focused clinical services for children victimized by abuse. Mrs. McGillicuddy has served as both a Board Chair and Board Member of the Child Protection Center of Sarasota since 1987. In 2004, she was appointed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to serve on the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative. In 2008, she was appointed by former Florida Governor Charlie Crist to the Governor’s Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Advisory Council and was reappointed in 2009.
Graci has been the recipient of many awards including the Florida Senate’s “Spirit of Service” Award in 2009, this is the highest honor bestowed on civilians by the Florida Senate. This award was created to recognize Florida’s “unsung heroes” those who, through their acts of service, preserve America’s long-standing tradition and commitment to volunteerism and make Florida a better place.
Centerstone of Florida
Melissa Larkin-Skinner is the president and chief executive officer of Centerstone of Florida. She is responsible for significant organizational growth since becoming CEO, expanding Centerstone’s presence from three to six Florida counties.
As a licensed mental health counselor with 25 years of experience in all aspects of mental health and addiction prevention and treatment, Larkin- Skinner has worked with children and adults of all ages in diverse treatment programs including inpatient, outpatient, crisis intervention, intensive community-based and child welfare. She has designed and operated innovative programs to meet community needs, including the first children’s Community Action Treatment Team (CAT) in 2004. CAT has been adopted as Florida’s statewide model serving youth who are struggling with severe mental health, behavioral and co-occurring disorders, along with their families.
A persistent voice bringing attention to the opioid epidemic, Larkin-Skinner is an authority on the disease of addiction’s devastating effects on communities. She regularly provides state and federal policy feedback and engages in legislative advocacy as a mental health and addiction subject- matter expert in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. She has led Centerstone in the rapid expansion of treatment services for individuals fighting opioid addiction, including Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in hospital, clinic and jail-based sites.
In August 2016, Larkin-Skinner received the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association Administrator of the Year for her efforts toward combating the opioid epidemic. In 2017, she was presented with the Prevention Champion award by Drug Free Manatee. Larkin-Skinner currently serves as the only behavioral health provider on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
She received an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Saint Leo University and an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Florida.
Representative Heather Fitzenhagen
Heather Fitzenhagen is a Florida State Representative for District 78 in Lee County. With deep roots in the Fort Myers community, she has been a District 78 resident for over two decades, served as the District’s representative since 2012, and is the proud mom of Alexander Deboest and Olivia Deboest.
Heather is originally from Dallas, Texas, graduated from Hollins University with a BA in political science and earned her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University Law School. She is a member of the Florida State Bar Association and is a lawyer on staff at Morgan & Morgan law firm.
Fitzenhagen’s experience in the financial sector as VP for AIG has established her strength as an all-around business leader.
Senator Lauren Book
Over the course of the last decade, Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation) has become a trailblazer in the fight to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation and to help survivors heal.
Through her nonprofit foundation, Lauren’s Kids (laurenskids.org), Senator Book – a child advocate and former classroom teacher – created a K-12 school-based curriculum program now being used in 37 states and several countries to teach children, parents, and educators about abuse prevention and personal safety. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Senator Book has elevated the voices of fellow survivors within the legislative process to raise awareness, influence the process, and shatter stigma.
Following a multi-year legislative battle and with the help of dedicated survivor advocates, Book successfully passed a bill – now Florida law – to prevent human trafficking by curbing demand and create a funding mechanism to support survivors. Senator Book now proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking’s new Direct Support Organization and looks forward to continuing this fight. Book’s advocacy also extends into school and community safety; following her leadership in the wake of the Parkland massacre, Senator Book was appointed to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission to investigate mass shootings and recommend policy to reduce the possibility of future such tragedies.
Senator Book also serves as a member of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, Chairs the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, and serves on committees including: Appropriations, Appropriations Subcommittees on Education and Health and Human Services, Health Policy, Rules, and the Joint Legislative Budget Commission. Senator Book has been named a GLAMOUR Woman of the Year, PEOPLE All-Star Among Us, and L’Oreal Woman of Worth, and is the recipient of a Congressional Medal of Merit for her tireless work to protect childhood. She is an EMMY and Gracie Award-winning television producer and has been featured by national media outlets including the New York Times, Newsweek, People Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the Huffington Post, USA Today, Washington Post, and many more.
Senator Book most enjoys spending time with her family – husband, Blair Byrnes, and twin toddlers, Kennedy Grace and Hudson Lee.
A Place of Hope
Charles is the Founding CEO of Place of Hope, a faith-based and state-licensed family-style residential child-caring agency for abused and neglected children, located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He earned his B.A. degree in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University and also studied at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.
Charles came to Place of Hope in 1999 following many years of work with various housing, social, and human services organizations throughout Palm Beach County. He has participated in numerous community committees, task forces, special initiatives, and boards. He has been a team member of several other local leading organizations including: Palm Beach County Housing and Community Development, Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Inc., the City of Delray Beach Community Development Division. The majority of Charles’ work has involved low-income individuals and families, homeless and substance abusing populations, and at-risk/dependent children and youth. Prior to spearheading implementation of Place of Hope, Charles was a primary volunteer in the multi-year visioning and development processes while still a “vision” of Christ Fellowship (founding church).
Charles has significant experience developing and administering social programs and low-income housing initiatives, executing growth plans, implementing federal, state, and local funding programs, building organizational capacity and community coalitions, enhancing service delivery systems, raising capital and annual operating funds, and managing overall non-profit operations.
Toni Houston Azinger is a native of Blackshear, GA and a forty year resident of Florida. She is an Art Education graduate of Florida State University. Mrs. Azinger was a 30 year member of the PGA Tour Wives Association. She currently serves as a founding co-chair for Women of Compassion (under the umbrella of One More Child), an anti-trafficking initiative and advocacy group for underprivileged children of Florida. Toni and her husband Paul reside in Bradenton, FL near their daughters Josie (son-in-law Sebastian) and Sarah Jean (son-in-law Tim). They are the proud grandparents of Campbell and Houston.
Secretary - Aspire Health
Dr. Philip Toal
Philip O. Toal graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. He earned his doctorate in Clinical Sexology from The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. He is a Florida State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and sex therapist and has worked in the area of behavioral health care and substance abuse for over 40 years. Philip’s work has included stress management, pain management and biofeedback, behavioral medicine, psychoneuroimmunology, depression, HIV/AIDS; sex therapy, LGBTQ issues, mental health and substance use disorders. He has worked with human trafficking survivors and provides training on a local, state and national level. He has developed and conducted stress management for an inpatient cardiac and oncology units. His work using relaxation and imagery with AIDS patients has been widely recognized. Philip has presented at several international behavioral medicine conferences and has contributed chapters to two books for professionals. He has worked with the Central Florida AIDS community since 1983.. He is an adjunct Professor at Valencia College in the areas of Sex Therapy and Substance Abuse Disorders. Philip is the Senior Vice-President of Residential Services for Aspire Health, the largest Behavioral Health Care Provider in the Southeast.
Treasurer - Survivor Leader and Speaker
Savannah has a passion for writing and speaking about the Hope she has found after many years of abuse. She is involved in Survivor Leadership through active prevention and awareness activities. She routinely shares her experiences with the public to grow knowledge of the tragic issue of familial trafficking within the commercial sex trafficking arena. She is a nationally recognized speaker on the subject, and has won awards from anti-human trafficking organizations for her efforts. Savannah has recently become one of the foremost voices on human trafficking at the State Capitol. She has lived a life of abuse and she refuses to sit back and continue to be a victim. The wounds from her past are being healed and it’s her desire to be a voice for the voiceless.
Erin M. Collins
Erin Collins has served as the Executive Director since October 2019.
Prior to this role, Erin served as the External Affairs Manager for the Agency for State Technology overseeing all legislative affairs and communications efforts. She has previously worked as a consultant with National Strategies, a state and local government consulting firm, assisting clients with business development and procurement-related activities. She also held various positions with Florida TaxWatch, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog; including Director of Membership and External Relations.
Erin is a past statewide chair of the Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee and currently serves on the board. She is also active in the Junior League of Tallahassee, having served in various leadership capacities over the last ten years. She is a member of Florida Blue Key and is the Immediate Past President of the Capital Area Gator Club.
Erin was born in Boston, MA and was raised in Jupiter, Florida. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication from the University of Florida.
She resides in Tallahassee, FL with her husband and two step-daughters.
we are ending human trafficking in florida.