Forum Bio's 

Healthier Pinellas 

Keynote Speakers


Gary White, MPH
Gary White is President and Principal Consultant/Trainer with Gary White Training & Consulting, LLC (GWTnC, LLC), a services provision firm specializing in Public Health consulting, workforce development/training and group facilitation. Gary also serves as the Associate Director of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance (HCADA), a community-based organization working to improve population health through education, collaboration and advocacy. He received his BS in Public Health from the University of Tampa and MPH from the University of South Florida. He has worked with faith leaders in international and national communities spanning Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Germany, Texas, Washington, Massachusetts, and Florida. Gary has 21-years as a military healthcare nurse and a decade of community leadership in population health initiatives. Gary’s background includes: Certified in Public Health (CPH), Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Community Coalition Leadership Trainer of Trainers and Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager (CWWPM). In addition to a career in public health, Gary regularly supports local groups including the Military Affairs Council and WUSF public radio. He currently resides in Hillsborough County, FL with his wife and two children.


Dr. Julie Bailey-Steeno, Humana
Julie Bailey-Steeno has spent more than 30 years dedicated to serving the Behavioral Health needs of some of the most underserved and marginalized populations. Her work as a social worker, psychotherapist, educator, mentor and thought leader has contributed to improving the lives of many. Julie has worked directly with children, adults and families facing the challenges of homelessness, Mental health diagnosis, Developmental Disabilities, abuse, and addiction. As the parent of a differently abled adult Julie has experienced the challenges of navigating the multiple systems of care and the inherent struggle to coordinate, collaborate and integrate the care delivery system. Dr. Bailey-Steeno is the Director of Behavioral Health at Humana.

Subject Matter Expert (SME) Panel


Panel Moderator:  Will Baldwin, Faculty, St. Petersburg College

Will Baldwin is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida and currently works as an instructor in the Health Services Administration baccalaureate program at St. Petersburg College (SPC). Will is an active member of the community. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Manners Housing Foundation, a small student led nonprofit that is raising money to help address college student homelessness. He is a member of the African American Heritage Association of St. Petersburg, a nonprofit that helps preserve black history in St. Pete. Will also engages in research and program planning surrounding student health and wellness and basic need insecurities. He received his Masters of Public Health from the University of South Florida.

SME Panelists


Amy Ronshausen, Executive Director, Drug Free America


Amy Ronshausen is the new Executive Director of both Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), national nonprofit organizations that work to defeat drug legalization attempts, promote sound drug policies, and prevent drug use, abuse and addiction. 
Mrs. Ronshausen has dedicated most of her adult life to the work of reducing illegal drug use and drug prevention. In her eleven years with Drug Free America Foundation and S.O.S, she has assisted in coordinating successful grassroots advocacy campaigns to defeat marijuana legalization efforts, coordinated statewide prevention summits, analyzed and tracked state and federal drug policy legislation, and trained prevention professionals at local and national conferences. 

Prior to coming to DFAF, Mrs. Ronshausen spent three years as a program specialist with the Pinellas County Adult Drug Court, working under four judges. While in drug court, Mrs. Ronshausen linked defendants with treatment providers and monitored their progress through the criminal justice system. In 2007, Mrs. Ronshausen was awarded Best Team Practices for her work in Adult Drug Court.

Mrs. Ronshausen started her work in drug prevention with Operation PAR, the largest treatment provider in Pinellas County, where she started off as a call specialist in their access center and then worked as a juvenile certified GAIN assessor. She also worked as a juvenile counselor for PAR’s Adolescent Recovery Intervention Services and the Juvenile Enhancement Treatment Services and is trained in Motivational Enhancement and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

Mrs. Ronshausen volunteers as the Executive Director for the Florida Coalition Alliance, representing over 30 community anti-drug coalitions. She is a LiveFree! Key Leader Council member, chairs the Marijuana Task Force as part of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, and serves on the Pinellas County Opioid Task Force. Mrs. Ronshausen serves on the board of Informed Families and represents North America on the World Federation Against Drugs board. 
Mrs. Ronshausen received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from University of South Florida. 

Damia Kelly, LMHC, Director of Community Treatment, Directions for Living

Damia Kelly serves as Directions for Living’s Director of Community Treatment, through which role she oversees a team of 38 employees providing trauma-informed homeless outreach, targeted case management, Treatment Works, System of Care, SOAR, CABHI SOAR and Mental Health Navigation in partnership with Largo Police Department and Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office to children and families throughout Pinellas County. Ms. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from West Virginia State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University, where she graduated Cum Laude. Ms. Kelly has nearly two decades of experience working with at risk populations. She is an Adjunct Professor Part Time at St. Petersburg College, where she teaches Crisis Intervention and Youth Development, and a trainer with the Pinellas County Crisis Intervention Team, providing mental health education and training to local law enforcement agencies. Ms. Kelly holds or has held the following licenses/certifications: Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Qualified Supervisor, Certified Child Protection Professional (2003-2013), and Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager Supervisor (CBHCMS), and is certified in Wraparound 101, Trauma Informed Care, Adoption Competency, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Nurturing Parenting Program, and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Ms. Kelly is a proud member of the following professional organizations: ACEs Connection, Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, Florida Counseling Association, Community Resilience Initiative, and CIT International. Ms. Kelly is a career-long champion for children and has received the following awards and recognition for her contributions of helping others: Diana Deardorff Humanitarian Award (1999), Molina Health Care Community of Champions (2011), Outstanding Contributions for the children and young adults of Circuit 6 (2009), and Recognition by Circuit Court, Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Judge Irene Sullivan for dedication and commitment to serving children (2004).

Laurallyn Segur, Senior Director of Foster Care Licensing, Eckerd Community Alternatives

Laurallyn Segur brings over  30  years of child welfare experience to Eckerd Connects/Community Alternatives.    She has served in multiple capacities and leadership positions in Child Welfare.  She began her career working in a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys.  From there she went to Health and Rehabilitative Services which then became Department of Children and Families.  Ms. Segur started as a case manager for foster care residential services and then as a leader overseeing foster care, child protection investigations, protective services and adoptions.  The State of Florida privatized Child Welfare Services in the year 2000 and she began serving in the private sector serving as a leader in the development of foster care services.

Ms. Segur is the  Senior Director of External relations/  Foster Care Licensing and Recruitment for Eckerd Connects/ Community Alternatives.  The lead Agency in Pinellas and Pasco County over Child Welfare Services.  She obtained her BSW from Florida State University.  She currently oversees over 450 foster homes and 35 employees who are responsible for recruiting, training, supporting and licensing foster and relative foster homes.  Ms. Segur is committed and passionate about children and the families she works with on a daily basis.  

Ms Segur serves on multiple boards and committees in the community, including but not limited to the Faith Based Initiative for Champions for Children, James B. Sanderlin Neighbor family Center Board, Abuse Neglect and Dependency Committee, Substance abuse and Mental Health , Community Based Care Liaison  serving on the board to the State Foster/ Adoptive Association and St. Petersburg College Human Services Advisory Board.

Ms. Segur is a lifelong resident of Pinellas County .  She is married and has four beautiful daughters and four  grandchildren.  Ms. Segur’s  passion for child welfare and her commitment to the foster care system has earned her the  District 5 Sustain Superior Achievement  Award 1996; Excellent in Child Welfare Award 2010 presented by the DCF ; Excellence in External Relations  2010, and   Partner in Caring Award 2014 presented  by the State of Florida Foster/Adoptive parent Association and Director of the Year.


Shawn Thomas, Youth Pastor, Mount Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church


Shawn Thomas has a passion to help transform the lives of youth and adults alike through ministry and missions that help bring real spiritual and social change to community.  

Shawn Thomas relocated back to St. Petersburg from Atlanta, Georgia, where he was engaged in educational matriculation at The Morehouse School of Religion by way of The Interdenominational Theological Center.  As a result of this process, Shawn earned the Master of Arts degree in Divinity with a Concentration in Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Care.  Furthermore, Shawn completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education to help develop his abilities to holistically assist individuals. 

Shawn Thomas serves as Youth Pastor of Mt. Zion Progressive Church where he is emphasizing upon children and youth the necessity of being Spiritually Connected, Socially Conscious, Smart and Cultured. Shawn is an adjunct professor of World Religion at St. Petersburg College and serves the State of Florida as a house speaker appointee on the Council for the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.  He recently published his first very popular book entitled 3 Square Meals. Shawn is a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He has his feet forward and eyes upward in expectation of the great things that God will do in his life.  


James Robert Phillips, Chief Clinical Officer, Phoenix House of Florida


James Robert Phillips (Rob), Phoenix House Florida Chief Clinical Officer, completed his undergraduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Florida Christian College and his graduate degree from Webster University.  Rob was raised in Ocala and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor whose background includes running outpatient programming, serving as director of clinical services for the CORE military services program and HOPE substance abuse program. Most recent, Rob served as Executive Director of a large hospital system’s behavioral health division increasing patient satisfaction scores and quality metrics to rank among the best in the country.

Lived Experience Panel


Panel Moderator:  Ken Wrede, M.Sc.


Ken Wrede has been a resident in St. Petersburg for three years, a member of LWVSPA since 2017, and a member of the Board since April 2018. A business executive, veteran, and entrepreneur, Ken has wide-ranging background in the worlds of international business, international security, consulting, and startup businesses. He has 27 years of experience living and working around the world: South Korea, The Netherlands, Spain, and France. Ken was commissioned in the US Army from Mississippi State University, holds an M.Sc. from the Golden Gate University in telecommunications, and an EMBA from École des Hautes Études Commerciales d’Paris (HEC Paris), Paris, France with an emphasis in innovation and entrepreneurship. Ken splits his time between working with non-profit organizations, speaking, and writing extensively on leadership and leadership modeling.  Ken writes in a blog on issues concerning leadership, business, and critical thinking.

Lived Experience Panelists


Officer Albin Soto, Largo Police Department 


Albin Soto has been a police officer with the City of Largo for the past 17 years.  Officer Soto has worked in many different capacities throughout his career to include patrol, school resource officer, and problem-oriented policing unit.   He has been on the Largo Police Department’s S.W.A.T team for over 14 years.  He is presently a sniper on the team, as well as a rappel master.   He is currently serving the community as Largo P.D.’s first Mental Health Liaison.  The position is a new collaborative effort between the Largo Police Department and Directions for Living, created to help those in the community struggling with mental health needs.  The position presented a unique opportunity to develop and tailor a new role within the police department.  The challenge of learning a new aspect of policing, coupled with the initiative and out of the box thinking required to find solutions attracted him to the task.  Out of all the positions held at this agency, in the few short months, this position has been the most satisfying and rewarding job of his career.

Tianna Audet, MSW, Directions for Living 

Tianna is originally from Auburn, Maine. Tianna’s passion for mental health grew out of lived experience in helping various loved ones suffering from mental health challenges and substance abuse. In 2014, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern Maine in Social and Behavioral Science, with a concentration in Counseling. Post-graduation, Tianna worked as a Mobile Outreach Crisis Counselor in Maine for 4 years. In 2016, Tianna moved to Tampa, Florida to pursue her Masters in Social Work degree at the University of South Florida, which she achieved in 2018. While at USF, Tianna was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society. During July of 2018, Tianna began working full-time with Directions for Living as a CABHI Counselor, providing behavioral health treatment and recovery-oriented services within a permanent supportive housing approach, before transitioning to her current position as a Directions for Living Mental Health Navigator. In this position, she is partnered with Largo Police Department sworn officer, Albin Soto, responding to individuals living with severe and persistent mental illness and substance abuse concerns. Through this role, Tianna provides wraparound services to the high-needs, high-utilizers citizens who have frequent police interaction within the city of Largo. She helps those in crisis feel safe and uses her training to assess and address underlying mental and emotional needs which may be triggering these frequent calls to the police. Tianna is a member of the Crisis Intervention Team of Pinellas County. Tianna is currently working toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and toward a certification in Critical Incident Stress Management, which entails pre and post-incident preparedness/follow up, as well as acute crisis management to all first responders in the state of Florida.

Pastor George Wood, Timothy Initiative 

Pastor George Wood is an expert in the addiction treatment and recovery field. Pastor Wood is also a person in long term recovery, beginning his personal journey in 2006, and in 2007 began working in the recovery field.   In 2009 after some very traumatic life events George knew he had to do more for those struggling with addiction.  At that time he founded “The Timothy Initiative” a faith based ministry that works with men in addiction.  Over the past 10 years The Initiative has helped hundreds of men not just find sobriety but a whole life!  The Initiative is best known for its “community” method of recovery which has led to an incredible percentage of men that find long term sobriety (typically multiple years). During this same time Pastor Wood has also built a successful Non-Profit construction business that exist to teach men responsibility, and the dignity that comes from a hard day’s work.  During which the individual is learning a valuable trade that will enable him to take care of himself, provide for a family and to be a productive member of society.  Currently Pastor Wood is also the Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling for the Tampa Underground Church Network, and is in the process of developing a new Non-profit, “Sober Truth Project” that will focus on bringing awareness, solutions, and destigmatizing of addiction. George is also on the committee to bring an R.C.O. (Recovery Community Organization) to Hillsborough County.


Justin Shea, City of Gulfport 


Justin Shea is a leader making a difference in Pinellas County Florida. His disability took him by surprise in high school when the popular young baseball star began to spiral out of control and was eventually diagnosed with schizo affective disorder. In 2004 he found his way to Vincent House where he began to interact with others and worked on small projects to develop his stamina, self-esteem, and a vision of what he could still accomplish while living with schizophrenia. He gained a part-time job and with the support of Vincent House, it went well. He enrolled in college and found success. In 2007, Justin was hired at the City of Gulfport as a recreation leader. He now oversees the work of 13 staff members as the Cultural Facilities Events Supervisor. He serves on the NAMI Pinellas Board of Directors, is a homeowner, and the father of a beautiful seven-year-old daughter named Melody. He still volunteers with Vincent House and encourages members to achieve all they can.


James Robert Phillips, Chief Clinical Officer, Phoenix House of Florida


James Robert Phillips (Rob), Phoenix House Florida Chief Clinical Officer, completed his undergraduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Florida Christian College and his graduate degree from Webster University.  Rob was raised in Ocala and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor whose background includes running outpatient programming, serving as director of clinical services for the CORE military services program and HOPE substance abuse program. Most recent, Rob served as Executive Director of a large hospital system’s behavioral health division increasing patient satisfaction scores and quality metrics to rank among the best in the country.

Sergeant Gareth Burkinshaw, Retired U.S. Army

Gareth and his wife Leah live in the Tampa Florida area. He is the father of four children. After almost eleven years of service, Gareth was medically retired from the U.S. Army.  Unbeknownst to him, Gareth began his training with Holy Spirit for spiritual warfare and victory as an Airborne Infantryman!  While stationed at Ft. Bragg N.C. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and quickly found himself in Iraq during 2003-2004.  After being reassigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Gareth joined his unit in Afghanistan (2005-2006) as a Sergeant.  Shortly after redeploying Gareth was accepted into the Warrant Officer program and became a Boeing CH-47 Chinook pilot.  He put his newly learned skill set into practice during his fourth and final combat deployment (Iraq 2009).  He is now the Chaplain at North Tampa Behavioral Health in the military wing. Gareth was miraculously healed of PTSD, TBI and many physical issues by Jesus. The Lord has radically changed his life and continues to do so on a daily basis. Gareth teams up with the Holy Spirit every day in order to give as freely as he has received through Soulutions for Soldiers, Inc, which God has called him to lead.  He has had the honor of preaching the Gospel in power in various places around America, as well as in Haiti and the United Kingdom.  He is passionate about leading others into that same kind of encounter with the King of Kings. 


Dr. Basha Jordan, Founder of Hope Alive Ministry

Dr. Jordan is the author of The Pipe and the Pulpit and the founder of Hope Alive Ministry. He has worked for decades in addiction recovery counseling and has a pastoral heart for sharing his own story of recovery and supporting others in their own journey. Dr. Jordan currently airs a monthly social media broadcast called the Addiction Recovery Broadcast. He holds a Doctor of Divinity from Drew University School of Theology and has worked both as a Licensed Clinician for Drugs and Alcohol and as a pastor for various ministries within the United Methodist Church. He has been married to his wife, Pia Marie Winters Jordan, for 38 years, and has two grown children, Basha and Christina.