Board of Directors

Board Members Biographies

Pamela Blackwell
Board President

First Citizen Bank

Pam Blackwell is currently with First Citizens Bank where she is the Vice President of the Immokalee Road Office. She’s been with First Citizens Bank since 201 and has held various positions, including Business Banker and Corporate Trainer for the company.  Pam has twenty nine years banking experience.  A native of Boston Massachusetts she earned her Finance from Suffolk University in 1990.  Pam is active in our community; currently serving on the Women in Business Committee of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.  She donates her time and expertise to many organizations such as the American Heart Association, March of Dimes: March for Babies, and the United Way.  Pam lives in Bonita Springs and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.


 Robert Bobo
Board Vice President 

Community AIDS Network, Inc.

Robert Bobo is presently the Quality Assurance / Quality Improvement specialist for the Community AIDS Network, Inc. with 24 sites throughout the State of Florida offering services from Miami – Dade (south) to Jacksonville (north), Daytona Beach (east) to Sarasota (west) and points in between. Mr. Bobo hopes to bring regional and national recognition to the quality work done by CAN.

Robert Bobo was the HIV/AIDS/STI Program Manager for the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), Hendry 2006 -2016.   He enjoyed the ability to manage a program that served to bring people a better quality of life while dealing with a chronic illness.

Through collaboration with Healthy Start, he helped to ensure that HIV positive moms didn’t have HIV positive babies.  A former colleague says, “Through his abundance of knowledge, Mr. Bobo has secured Ryan White Part C funding for two separate organizations, managed and oversaw the entire operation of the AIDS Resource Council of Southwest Florida, Inc.”  Mr. Bobo is most proud that the FDOH continues to be honored regionally and nationally for the quality work his team does.

Blair Fretwell
Board Treasurer

Community Cooperative

Blair Fretwell is the Chief Financial Officer and Administration Officer for the Community Cooperative and has served on the Healthy Start Finance Committee for a couple years.  Prior to this, she was an auditor with Tuscan and Company which included being the lead auditor for the Healthy Start Coalition for several years.  Her professional affiliations include American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, FICPA Florida Gulf Coast University Accounting and Tax Committee, and Healthy Start Finance Committee.

Blair is a Certified Public Accountant and received her Bachelor of Science in 2005 as well as her Masters of Science in 2013 from Florida Gulf Coast University.


Stephen Eller
Board Secretary 

Raymond James Financial Services

Stephen Eller is financial advisor in Southwest Florida.  Prior to going into the financial advising industry almost 22 years ago he was in the accounting industry.  For the past 17 years he has been the Owner/Manager of the Raymond James Financial Services office in Estero, Florida.

He is committed to helping the world around him to be a better place.  As witnessed by his contribution to Healthy Start of Southwest Florida as a board member or committee member for more than 18 years.  As well as being a Coach and Board member of his children’s lacrosse, soccer, flag football, baseball organizations.

Keeping balanced in life is a high priority to Stephen.  So spending time with his family, hitting the gym, or going for a nice bike ride are all high on Stephen’s to-do list.

Keisha Burchell

Keisha Burchell is a native Floridian who grew up in Belle Glade and graduated high school as a Clewiston Tiger. She is also an United States Air National Guard Veteran.

She relocated to Clewiston from Atlanta where she worked for Turner Broadcasting Company (TBS). Since returning, she has become part of Leadership Hendry/Glades Counties, Westside Elementary PTO, and Clewiston Chamber of Commerce. With a B.S. in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration, she is looking to build relationships that will inspire and educate our social and cultural communities.



Denise Henning, CNM, MSN

Healthcare Network of Southwest FL

Denise Henning is the Administrator of Women’s Health Services at Healthcare Network of SW Florida.  Prior to this she was the Clinical Operations Director for Women’s Health at Family Health Centers in Fort Myers.  She has also served as the Midwifery Service Director/CNM at the Bond Clinic in Winter Haven and worked in Labor & Delivery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Denise is a member of the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FOQC).  She has also served as a Commissioner on the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, the President of the Midwifery Business Network, the Chapter Chair for SW FL Gulfcoast Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, a member of the Florida Infant and Maternal Review, and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Mortality Alliance.
Denise received her MS in Nursing from the University of Florida, her BS in Nursing from the University of Florida, and a BS in Business Management from Nova. 

Joe Paterno

Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board

Joe Paterno is the Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, Inc., Region 24. His responsibilities include coordinating all activities for a volunteer Board of Directors that oversees the following initiatives (in coordination with local community & business partners, school districts, and state agencies): the Workforce Investment Act, One Stop Career Centers, Welfare Tr

ansition, High Skills/High Wages and other state and local initiatives.

Prior to that appointment, he served as the Executive Director for the Southwest Florida Private Industry Council for thirteen years. He came to Southwest Florida from Kentucky, where he oversaw an employment and training program in a ninety-two county area and was responsible for administering an annual budget of approximately 4.5 million dollars.

Joseph is a graduate of West Virginia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Accounting and Economics. He has been a member of the Florida Employment and Training Association since 1985, a member of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida since 1986, a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XII, and past President of the Collier County Chapter of the American Red Cross. In 2002 he was recognized as one of Collier County’s “Men of Distinction.”

Lasheba Travis, Ph.D.

Keiser University

Dr. Lasheba Travis is the Program Chair for Biomedical Science/Natural Sciences at Keiser University, which combines biology and medicine to enhance the health of humans and animals.

Prior to Keiser University, Dr. Travis worked in public health providing services to Hendry and Glades counties.  The teen pregnancy rates and high school dropout rates dropped dramatically in youth that participated in the teen health programs that Dr. Travis managed in Hendry County.

Another aspect of Dr. Travis’s work was to manage care coordination of Healthy Start services. In 2012 under her leadership, over 500 mothers and babies received services in Hendry and Glades counties with the majority of those services received being face to face.  Dr. Travis also performed research entitled “Teen Pregnancy Prevention in a Rural County” which was published in 2012 by ProQuest and was placed in the Library of Congress. She was also an adjunct professor teaching biology, chemistry, and healthcare systems online at Grand Canyon University.

Judith Yevick

Retired Non-Profit Executive  

Judith Yevick has lived and worked in Southwest Florida since 1982. Originally a native of Detroit, she attended and graduated Wayne State University with a B.A. Degree and then went on to receive a Masters of Education Degree majoring in sociology in Frankfurt, Germany.  For close to 20 years she has worked within the not-for-profit sector, with the last 12 years as the West Coast Operations Manager of The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida.

With a passion for children and animals, she has served in the past on the Board of the Gulf coast Humane Society, the Animal Refuge Center and the Oversights Committee for Lee County Domestic Animal Services Trust. She is also active with the Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties and the Holocaust Museum and Education Center of SWFL. 



Julie Soud 

Hendry Regional Convenient Care Center 

Julie Soud has lived in the LaBelle area for 37 years. She works as a family nurse practitioner at a rural clinic and treats patients from birth to 99+ years. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, she received her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Valdosta State University in 1979. She worked as an RN in various areas part-time as she and her husband, Carey, raised their three children. She received her Master’s in Nursing from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012 and has worked at HRCCC since then.  She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is active in her church and enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren.


Jillian White

Hendry County School District

Jillian White is the Pre-K and 6th grade ESE Specialist for the Hendry County School District.  This is her 10th year as a teacher, 5 years in New York and 5 years in Hendry County.  Jillian is a 2006 graduate of State University of New York at Potsdam with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education Grades 1-6.  She is also a 2011 graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with a Master’s Degree in Reading Grades 5-12.  Jillian is also currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education Grades K-12 from Saint Leo University. 

Ms. White has had a passion for working with children of all ages since she was a child herself.  She was employed as an assistant dance instructor since the age of 14, and was the first student at her studio to be in charge of her own classes prior to graduating from high school.  While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, Jillian was employed at the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club as a staff member.  She currently volunteers for Special Olympics Florida, serving as the Hendry County Special Olympics Unified Cheerleading Coach. 

In order to continue to serve children as well as their families, she has partnered with grant funded programs like SEDNET (The Multiagency Network for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities), PEN (Parent Education Network) and PEP (Parents Educating Parents) to bring training to parents of all students in Hendry County.  Jillian is also currently going through the licensing process to become a certified foster parent.