Florida 4-H Foundation Board of Directors
Samual J. Ard
Sam is an alumnus of 4-H from Santa Rosa County and was also involved in FFA. Sam previously served on the Florida 4-H Foundation Board of Directors from 1994 to 2000, and during that time served as Secretary, Treasurer, President-Elect and President. Sam is an active advocate and volunteer, especially in the Tallahassee region.
Sam is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. (1981) in Government and J.D. (1986). He is a Senior Partner at Ard, Shirley & Rudolph P.A. in Tallahassee. He has represented many agricultural clients as an attorney and before the Executive and Legislative branches of government throughout his career.
Ronda Ott Banner
Ronda is a lifetime 4-H’er who lives in Micanopy, Florida. Both her parents were 4-H leaders, and she was involved with 4-H as a youth member for 10 years. She served two years as a State Council Officer, in the positions of secretary and president. She then went on to Florida State University to obtain a degree in visual arts and interior design. She served as organizational leader of the Micanopy Friendship club for 16 years and raised three daughters in 4-H who are now alumnae and volunteers. In 2019, Ronda was inducted into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame.
She has been happily married to her husband, Toots, for 35 years. He is a veterinarian and licensed auctioneer. Ronda has a small boutique embroidery business that thrives on ETSY. They are enjoying the new role of Nana and Papa as their daughters are producing the family's 4th generation of 4-H'ers.
Adam serves as the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Associated Industries of Florida. Prior to his role with AIF he served in Legislative Affairs with Florida Farm Bureau for more than 16 years. He grew up on a family farm in Jackson County, which he lives on today after spending 10 years in Gainesville. Adam earned his bachelor’s in organizational communication with minors in political science and leadership from the University of West Florida, and would go on the receive his master’s in agricultural communication from the University of Florida.
Adam is passionate about his work in public policy, especially for agriculture, as it relates to his own family. He believes in the 4-H mission and its relation to leadership development and agricultural advocacy that it takes to move the agriculture industry forward. Adam and his wife Laura have six children, who help to keep them busy and moving.
Isaac E. Chandler
Isaac was born and raised in a 4-H family. His late father, Mr. Isaac Chandler, is a 2002 Florida 4-H Hall of Fame Inductee. Since 2009, Isaac has worked as an educator at Suwannee High School. Prior to this position, he was an Extension agent for UF/IFAS. Isaac is a FAMU and UF alumnus, with a bachelor's in biology from FAMU and master's in wildlife ecology and conservation with UF. Isaac remains involved with FAMU fraternity activities and community affairs locally and nationally, as well as local and state 4-H activities. In high school, he served as Florida 4-H State Council Vice President from 1987-88. Isaac is a distinguished and accomplished 4-H alumnus who remains actively connected with his 4-H peers and colleagues.
Gary F. Clark
Gary is currently the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. Prior to this role, he worked as the Deputy Secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. From the panhandle of Florida, Gary was very involved with FFA as a youth, and received his bachelor’s in business administration.
Today, Gary is a proud parent of two 4-H alumni, volunteer club leader, coach and member of the Washington Co. 4-H Association. In 4-H, he is most passionate about the shooting sports program and the life skills youth gain by participating in these programs.
Valerie B. Dailey
Valerie is originally from Sarasota, Florida. Growing up, she participated in 4-H horse show activities. After graduating, she served as a 4-H Horse Instructor at Camp Timpoochee and Camp Welaka, volunteered at state 4-H horse shows, and worked at the state Extension office.
Her husband lived and breathed 4-H and currently is a meat judging coach in Marion County. She has served as a volunteer coach for horse judging teams, and coached a state champion 4-H Horse Judging Team in the early 80’s. Her favorite aspect of 4-H is seeing the kids develop and grow into great people. Her family continues to be active volunteers and supporters in Marion County and Florida 4-H.
Valerie has been active in the real estate industry since 2005 and is the owner and broker for Showcase Properties of Central Florida, specializing in equine properties.
Katherine serves as the Senior Director of Development with UF/IFAS Advancement. Her focus areas include fundraising for Extension, including 4-H programs. She earned her bachelor’s in animal science with a minor in food and resource economics from the University of Florida. Katherine was involved in 4-H as a youth and remains passionate about the program. Now her two kids are involved in 4-H, and she hopes she can foster that passion even more with them.
Whitney is proud to be a sixth generation Floridian and is raising a seventh generation Floridian. She lives in Orlando where she works as an attorney with Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Colon & Power, P.A. Whitney has experience in civil litigation and dispute resolution. She works clients in a variety of real estate matters, and previoulsy worked with a construction litigation law firm representing multi-national contractors and major infrastructure projects.
Whitney joined the board in 2014. She was not involved in 4-H while growing up, so she considers this her first 4-H project and brings a fresh perspective to the board.
Stacey Ellison, PhD
Stacey serves as the State Program Leader for Florida 4-H. She considers herself very “green” as she became involved with 4-H at the age of eight in Gilchrist County. While in 4-H, she served as District Council President, as well as served on the Executive Board with the National 4-H Congress. Her proudest 4-H achievement was winning the 1994 National 4-H Poultry Judging Competition as part of the Florida 4-H team!
Stacey attended the University of Florida, receiving a bachelor’s in history, master’s in agricultural leadership, and doctorate in extension education. While an undergraduate student, she worked at 4-H State Headquarters with a desire to become a 4-H Agent. She has served as a 4-H Agent in several counties, as well as County Extension Director in Houston County, Georgia. Stacey, her husband Larry, and their two children live on their farm. Her children, Nicholas and Meredith, are also involved with 4-H, something she is most proud of.
Kathy Hartman | Comptroller
Kathy is the Comptroller for the board, a position she has served in for more than 10 years. Coming from Muncie, Indiana, her background is in not-for-profit organizational administration. Prior to her current position, she worked for the Ball State University Foundation. Kathy is married with five children and 13 grandchildren.
Danita Thomas Heagy, DC
A proud 4-H alumna, Danita grew up in St. Johns County and was an active member of 4-H participating in local, state and national leadership programs. She and her family have been annual supporters of St. Johns Co. 4-H in memory of her father, and she previously served on the St. Johns Co. 4-H Association Board. Dr. Heagy is recently retired from active practice of chiropractic care, and is just finished her term as a board member of the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine. Her husband Mike serves with the US Army National Guard.
Karen is an extension agent in Seminole County, Florida, and she has been an extension agent for more than 15 years. She grew up in Hillsborough County, and was involved with youth organizations, such as Girl Scouts.
Karen attended the University of Florida, which is where she was first introduced to UF/IFAS Extension. Through a student project with Dr. Joy Jordan, she was connected to Florida 4-H. While attending UF, she took courses in the Department of Agriculture Education and Communication with Dr. Nick Place who is now the UF/IFAS Dean of Extension. Karen serves as the Florida Association of Extension 4-H Agents (FAE4-HA) representative to the Board, connecting 4-H professionals at all levels with the Foundation.
Caylin Hilton | Board Secretary
Caylin is the Director of Development & External Relations for Florida 4-H with UF/IFAS Advancement. She works with the UF and Florida 4-H Foundations, and serves as Secretary of the Florida 4-H Foundation Board of Directors. She is passionate about 4-H and her role, and even more excited for her daughter's 4-H career.
Caylin was an active member of 4-H in Marion County, FL where she participated primarily in judging and leadership programs, including poultry and forest ecology. It was her involvement in the 4-H Forestry Ecology program that led her to study forest resources at the University of Florida. She also received her master's in political science with certificates in public affairs and non-profit management from UF.
Clay is the Chief of Staff for the Port of Tampa Bay. Originally from Polk County, Clay was involved with the Boy Scouts as a youth, achieveing the rank of Eagle Scout. He studied public policy with a minor in music, receiving a bachelor's from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Clay previously worked alongside Adam Putnam during his service as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture. In this function, Clay networked with many 4-H alumni and developed an interest in the 4-H youth development program.
Andra Johnson, PhD | Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Johnson serves as Dean for UF/IFAS Extension leading the statewide network of more than 650 faculty educators and scientists. Johnson grew up on a farm in rural Louisiana. His family raised cattle and grew cotton, corn and wheat, and his aunt has worked for the USDA Forest Service for more than 30 years.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in urban forest management from Southern University and A&M College, and a master’s degree and doctorate in forest resources from The Pennsylvania State University, Johnson worked his way up the ranks in academia to a tenured associate professor of urban forestry at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he conducted research and taught classes in urban forestry and natural resource management.
After more than a decade at Southern University, Johnson took on roles in university leadership, first as the assistant director of research and graduate research at Alcorn State University, then as Southern University’s vice chancellor for research and technology development, and then Penn State as associate director of Extension. He joined UF/IFAS as Dean for Extension on November 1, 2021.
B. Nax Joye
Nax was born and raised in Lake City, FL and is a graduate of the UF Warrington College of Business (BSBA 2012) and UF Levin College of Law (JD 2018). Mr. Joye is an associate with Moye O'Brien Pickert Dillon & Masterson, LLP. his practice focuses on construction and commercial litigation. He has over a decade of experience in the contracting business, with primary concentration on large commercial roofing systems, as well as a strong background in residential and commercial real estate sales and development.
While not a member of 4-H as a youth, Nax believes in the 4-H mission and the importance of civic engagement by young people. Nax and his wife Melissa reside in Orlando with their children.
Dr. Muthusami Kumaran has a teaching and research appointment in the Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences, teaching courses on fundamentals of nonprofit management, fundraising for nonprofit organizations, risk management in nonprofit organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). His areas of research interest include: roles & impacts of nonprofits/NGOs, community development, management capacity building for nonprofits/NGOs. He has trained numerous nonprofit leaders in the U.S.A and NGO leaders in nine countries through various projects and grants.
Prior to his academic career, Dr. Kumaran worked for a nonprofit organization, and as an official of a state government. He currently serves on the Boards of two additional Florida nonprofit organizations and two international NGOs.
Robert Scott Mixon
Scott serves as the Public Affairs Manager for Georgia-Pacific LLC’s Foley, Memphis and Lumberton Cellulose Mills. Scott has more than 30 years of experience in relationship management, communications and public affairs and marketing. Scott works with public and private leadership and the communit with a professional background in finance and business. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida in business administration, after completing his Associate’s at North Florida College in Madison, Florida.
Terry joined the board in 2019 and is proud to serve Florida 4-H. He was born and raised in Gay County in southern Ohio, and grew up working for Bob Evans farms. He also raised hogs and cattle, growing tobacco, woodworking, electrical services, and more. Terry would earn his bachelor’s from Embry-Riddle, his master’s from Troy University, and has completed coursework toward a doctorate in education leadership from Northwest Florida University.
Terry retired from service in the United States Air Force after 24 years and then would work with Lockheed Martin for another 23 years. During this time, he became involved with 4-H leadership and management programs in Okaloosa County when his daughter was 6. He has been a volunteer ever since, including as co-leader for the Eglin Sand & Spur 4-H horse club, Okaloosa County 4-H Advisory Board and on the county, district and state horse advisory board. Both of Terry’s daughters were very involved with 4-H. He was inducted into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame in 2015.
Curt serves as Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. He is also a cattle rancher and involved in seed sod and hay production. Curt is a double Gator with a B.S. Turfgrass Science and M.S. Agribusiness Management. He is also a graduate of UF Natural Resource Leadership Institute (NRLI), and current member of class XI of UF Wedgworth Leadership Institute.
Curt grew up in the FFA program. He and his wife Katherine currently have children in the 4-H program. Curt sees 4-H and his potential role on the Foundation as opportunity to provide leadership for the future agricultural leaders of the state, and ensure appropriate funding is available for 4-H leadership programs to continue to operate.
Originally from Gadsden County, Todd joined 4-H at age 10 and grew up in the program participating in projects including health, consumer education and citizenship-leadership. Todd served as Florida 4-H State Sergeant-At-Arms 1985-1986, and also attended National 4-H Congress in Chicago. He has a 34-year affiliation with Camp Miniwanca in Shelby, MI, serving 30 years on the NLC Summer Camp Staff with the American Youth Foundation. He became connected with the camp when he won the Florida 4-H State Danforth Award.
Todd graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor's in agronomy. He currently works at the Leon County Property Appraiser's office and Wal-Mart in Tallahassee. Todd joined the Board in 2014, has served as VP of Development since 2019, and an additional 16 years on the planning team for the Florida 4-H Silent Auction in Tallahassee. Todd resides in Tallahassee with his wife Kelli, they have been married 27 years and have two daughters ages 26 and 20.
Morris G. Steen Jr.
Honorary - Camp Development
Morris grew up as a 4-H'er in Taylor County, Florida. He was active in 4-H since he was 10 years old, camping at Cherry Lake every year from the ages of 10 to 19. He attended the University of Florida studying agricultural economics before serving as a pilot in the United States Navy for 27 years and earning rank of Captain. He would also receive his master’s degree in administration from George Washington University. In 2002 Morris was selected to serve as President of the North Florida Community College, where he oversaw tremendous growth and development before retiring in 2008.
Morris and his wife Judy serve as advocates and volunteers with the Taylor and Madison County 4-H programs. They recently celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary.
Robert Angus Williams
Honorary - Camp Development
Robert, or Angus as many know him, was born and raised in Imperial Polk County. He grew up on a farm with 4-H projects ranging from citizenship to dairy. However, he believes the truer growth he experienced was in his citizenship, leadership, and public speaking skills. Robert served two terms as a 4-H State Council Officer. Robert went on to the University of Florida, then to law school at Stetson University College of Law where he met his wife Amber. He and his wife have been married for 24 happy years and have two sons, 22 and 15. The family lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where Robert practices law with a focus on land use and environmental law with Lewis, Longman & Walker PA.