Our Mission

Uniting the delivery of services provided at a center dedicated to restoring St. Johns County’s homeless to self-sufficiency.

Troy Blevins

President

Troy brings two decades of experience in government relations. As a former Parks and Recreation Director he understands the delicate balance between government and development. He is currently serving A. D. Davis Construction as the Director of Business Development. His strength in marketing, sales and development make him a good fit for A. D. Davis Construction. Troy is a believer in community first and volunteers throughout the county with several organizations. He is a proud father of two boys and has been with his wife Gina for over 20 years. With Gina they started and remain advocate for autism through their organization Project Autism of St. Johns.

Mike Davis

VICE-President

Mike Davis was born in Bethesda, Maryland in 1966. Mike returned to St. Augustine in 1971 when his Father came back to help A. D. run the family business. He has been working for A. D. Davis since the summer of 1981. Mike graduated from St. Joseph Academy in 1984. In 1988 Mike graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in Communications. He joined the office staff of A. D. Davis Construction in 1988. In 1989 while working full time he started working toward his second degree from the University of North Florida. In 1992 he graduated with a degree in Construction Management. Mike passed his State Building Contractor’s exam in December of 1994. In 1997 Mike became a partner with his father Vernon in the family business. When Mike is not working he devotes his time to his family and the community. Mike has been married to his wife Darcy since 1989. He has 4 children. Mike has served on several boards and community projects in the last 29 years. “I believe in giving back to a community that gave so much to me when I was growing up.”

Michael Biance

TREASURER

Through the course of his career, Michael has had the opportunity to work with many communities, both on the county, state, university and international levels. During his time at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, he worked with the homeless and underprivileged, which prepared him to help communities he would later serve. His knowledge of Florida’s educational system and background in finance and data analysis bring a perspective to the Home Again Board. Michael has been a resident of St. Johns County for seven years and enjoys spending time with his nine grandchildren and watching FSU football.

Nancy O'Byrne

BOARD SECRETARY

Nancy retired in 2004 from commercial real estate, leasing office space in downtown Jacksonville for 15 years.​She decided to take a more meaningful path in her life by devoting much of her time to advocacy for peace and justice issues in her church and in her community. She was the Chairwoman of the Catholic Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission for 13 years (2000 – 2013) and awarded the Thomas A. Horkan, Jr. Distinguished Catholic Leader Award by the Florida Bishops in 2012. Nancy was recently elected Chairperson of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP), whose mission is to bring church and civic groups together to educate and advocate against the use of the death penalty in Florida, which has one of the most broken DP systems in the country.​She is Coordinator of the Compassion in Action initiative of Compassionate St. Augustine, which provides educational and advocacy programs for prison and criminal justice reform, and she facilitates Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops for the boys at the St. Johns Youth Academy, the juvenile detention facility in St. Augustine. She and her husband David are members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in St. Augustine and do home visits to clients in need of financial assistance. They have been married for 23 years. She has 3 grown children and 6 beautiful grandsons.

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 for a year after retirement as an independent contractor. In August of 2016 she accepted the position of Interim Executive Director of Home Again St Johns and just recently the interim title was removed and she became the Executive Director. Ms. Walden’s focus has always been investing in the community and assisting in the creation of creative partnerships that help more people. As a volunteer and memberof numerous non-profit organizations Ms. Walden is able to meet her objective of making positive changes in our community. Organizations and civic groups with whom Ellen currently volunteers and holds some board positions include; The Junior Service League of St Augustine, Pie in the Sky, Kids Bridge Family Visitation Center, the St Augustine Sertoma Club and for the St Johns County Continuum of Care. Ms. Walden is also am a founding member of the N.O.E.L., a group of friends who host an annual Christmas party with the aim of raising funds for local charities. In the past 15 years, this group has raised a quarter of a million dollars and invested those funds directly into local charities. Ms. Walden is married to Tom Gillis and has four children, Rachel & Rebecca Walden and Tim (Adrianne) and Andrew (Katy) Gillis not to mention six grandchildren. Ms. Walden loves this community and looks forward to working to working to “end homelessness in St Johns County”.

Rachel Fulghum

Homeless Prevention Specialist

BIO to come shortly…

Al Deinhart

Board Member

Al Deinhart, retired Controller, Stroehmann Bakeries, Inc. after 38 years in the baking industry. Proud father of 6 and grandfather of 11. Served in leadership capacity for various civic and Catholic organizations in upstate New York , Pennsylvania and Florida. Coordinator of Dining with Dignity since it’s inception.

John Gillespie

Board Member

John D. 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 for the Diocese of St. Augustine, and has served at Immaculate Conception (1972-73) in Jacksonville, St. Paul’s (1973-75) in Pensacola, Holy Family (1975-79) in Willeston, St. Johns (1979-81) in Crescent City, St. Augustine Catholic Church and Student Center (1981 – 2010) in Gainesville and San Sebastains’ (2010-2017) in St. Augustine. He also taught at Bishop Kenny H.S. ( 1972-73) and Pensacola Catholic H.S. (1973-75) He has continued study interests in languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese), Scripture and Patristics, social science (marriage and family epistemology) anthropology Native –American, (Meso-American, Andreau Amazonia) history (Late Antique, Pre Colombian, Spanish colonial) He served for twenty – eight years on the board of St. Francis House in Gainesville

Tim Williford

Board Member

Tim Williford graduated HS in June 1981 from J. H. Rose High School in Greenville, NC. He was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer in 1984. He has served in a number of places throughout the US such as Alexandria, LA, Mobile, AL, Roanoke, VA, Chicago, IL, Niles, MI, Miami, FL, Brooksville, FL, Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Melbourne, FL, Northwest Arkansas, Orlando, FL, and St. Augustine, FL. Tim graduated with a degree in Business in 1990. For four years he served as a Student Local Pastor in the Kingstree Circuit of the United Methodist Church. Tim has served in disasters such as the Value Jet Crash and the Fine Air Cargo Crash in Miami, the floods in the Panhandle of Florida and in Grand Forks, ND, the fires in Volusia and Brevard Counties and many others. He responded to the Pentagon after 9/11 terrorist Attacks as well as to the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the Landing in Jacksonville, FL. US Representative Karen Thurman read into the Congressional Record an account of my Pentagon 9/11 work. Tim has two daughters, Lindsey and Caitlyn, two dogs, Lucy and Lexi, and two Harley Davidsons, which do not have names

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 proud to be a part of the Home Again St. Johns organization.

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 area of Insurance and Estate Planning. Rich currently manages and is responsible for a robust Financial / Retirement Planning practice, in the Ponte Vedra and St Augustine area. Rich and his wife Ann Marie have been married for 30 years and raised two wonderful children, Heather and Alex; Rich is a very active parishioner at the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine in St Augustine ,Florida, where Rich also serves as Chair of the Finance Council. Rich serves many civic and Catholic Organizations to include the privilege of serving with Al and Olivia Deinhart in the “Dining with Dignity” program since inception. Rich believes that feeding folks who are hungry and helping those who find themselves on the margins of our society is a responsibility we all share. He is proud to be part of the Home Again St Johns organization because it is their pursuit as well.

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 Bronx, NY. She was tasked with turning the school around and then phasing it out. She set out to transform the school with a population of 4,000 students, 200 plus teachers, a cabinet of 10 and supporting staff of over 20. In two years, she was able to turn a failing school to a performing school. In the following three years, Monica facilitated the phase out of the school to a campus with multiple schools. After phasing out the large school, she became the Director of Student Suspension for New York City Department of Education. Monica oversaw the suspension and expulsion process for city schools. Monica was also a member of a task force that supported violent and/or underperforming schools. She later accepted the task to work with another underperforming school with potential for turnaround. As a Principal, Mónica has been successful in turning around some of the most challenging schools in NYC with an unwavering belief in students’ ability to succeed provided they are given the opportunities and resources to do so. She understands the impact of low socio economics, homelessness, and family hardships have on students. And with that imperative, she partnered with multiple organizations to bring necessary resources to the school including a dental clinic, social workers and psychologist sessions, mediation and conflict resolutions clinics and myriad of other services. After proudly serving the children of New York for over two decades, Monica retired to due medical reasons. Currently, she is working on her third career as an artist.
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