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Board of Directors

 

 

Nicole Coratti

Nicole is a professional in the field of social work and a self-advocate with extensive experience empowering individuals with disabilities to advocate for themselves. She has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Central Florida. Her skills include public speaking, facilitating groups and workshops, and connecting individuals to resources. She uses a person-centered, culturally competent approach to assisting clients. In addition to serving on ROOF’s Collier Board of Trustees, Nicole currently volunteers for several organizations, including Kiwanis, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, StarAbility Foundation, and Naples Community Hospital. These organizations are close to her heart and she enjoys using her knowledge and skills to help her community. Previously Nicole worked with Youth Haven as an in-house case manager, where she assisted the organization with implementing a therapy dog program and created individualized resource referrals for clients. Nicole is also an artist, writer, and blogger. She is an up-and-coming radio host of a show called The View from the Chair, which is broadcast on WGCU from the Florida Gulf Coast University campus, through the radio reading program.

 

 

Steve Evangelista

Stephen Evangelista is the Principal of Evangelista Consulting, focusing on Advocacy, Alliance Development, Fundraising and Non-Profit Management.  He began his consulting business retiring from the Arthritis Foundation in 2015. He began his career with the Arthritis Foundation in 2001, where he served as President and CEO of the Northern and Southern New England Chapter. He was the 2005 recipient of the highly regarded Clifford Clarke Award for Outstanding Leadership. Steve serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Healthcare Institute, the New England Biotech Association, STARability Foundation, Powered for Patients, and is Chairman of the Rhode Island Health Advocacy Forum, the Vasari Cares Foundation and the former Ocean State Theatre Company.

Steve began his non-profit career in 1970 as the first Executive Director of the Rhode Island Special Olympics. In 1988, he was appointed to lead the Dole Foundation for the Employment of People with Disabilities in Washington, DC. In 1992 he was appointed to the role of Deputy Chair for Boy’s Town New England where he was instrumental in raising $20 million to build the Boy’s Town New England Campus in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. In 1994, Steve was appointed to President/CEO of the National Kidney Foundation for New England.

Steve received his BA from Roger Williams University and his MA from Rhode Island College and has received numerous awards and citations. Steve and his wife Arlene reside in Bonita Springs, FL. where he is proud to serve on ROOF’s Board of Directors and lend his expertise and knowledge.

 

Victoria Gauze

Victoria Gauze is a passionate, servant leader and has extensive experience as a healthcare management executive assistant. For years, she has been a volunteer and advocate for the undeserved residents in Immokalee and surrounding areas. Mrs. Gauze concentrates her energies on giving back to her community by fulfilling her purpose to make a difference in someone’s life through listening, empowering or motivating. 

Gauze and her husband Verol reside in Immokalee, FL. She have two daughters and relishes her role as ‘Nana’ among her five grandchildren. Gauze sums up her life philosophy and purpose by reciting Maya Angelou, “Giving back to the world is the only way to thank the world for having what you have.”

Gauze serves as an active member of Rotary International District 6960, Board Member of Gift of Life Florida Rotary District 6960, and One By One Leadership. She is a Florida Certified Community Health Worker, a Florida Notary Public, member of the National Notary Association, and member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She is currently attending Florida Southwestern State College. 

Eddie Hall

Eddie Hall was born and raised on a farm in Michigan and moved to Florida at a young age. Eddie became a paraplegic at age 8 and was the first student in a wheelchair to attend his elementary, middle, and high schools. He received his AAS Degree in Computer Engineering from Polk State College in Lakeland.

Eddie is a 26-year retiree from Publix Supermarkets and continues to work part time at Home Depot as a Greeter. He is a resident of Lakeland, Florida and has a wife and three children. Committed to giving back to the community, Eddie is involved in various organizations that have paved the way for his involvement with ROOF. Currently, Eddie is on the Board of Directors for Florida Development Disabilities Council, Family Cafe, Florida Alliance of Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), President of Florida Self-Advocates Network’D (SANDS), and is a Commissioner of the Lakeland Housing Authority.

Max Hatch 

At age 20, Max Hatch is ROOF’s youngest statewide Board member, brought on to represent younger people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Max himself has received more than 30 medical diagnoses, but that doesn’t stop him from being a vibrant, active member of the community. Special Collier County Public Schools programs provided the opportunity for Max to work as a greeter at Publix and volunteer at Paragon Pavilion, directly assisting customers. Max graduated from Naples High School several years ago. Max is well known for his positivity and sharing his “Never give up” mantra.

 

 

Arizona Jenkins

Arizona Jenkins is a very positive and caring individual. He was born with cerebral palsy and is “partially paralyzed” on his left side. He leads an independent life, using a motorized wheelchair. Arizona stays connected on-the-go with a cell phone and Bluetooth receiver in his right ear.

He is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities at the local, state, and national levels. He is the President and Treasurer of New Horizon Support Group, Inc., which he founded in 2007.

Arizona serves on the HARTLINE ADA Committee, the Hillsborough County Children’s Committee, the Florida Self-Advocacy Alliance, Florida Self-Advocates Network’D (SANDS), and the USF Community Inclusion Center. He volunteers as a mentor for children with disabilities at LaVoy Exceptional School and Booker T. Washington Elementary School. Serving as a model patient, Arizona teaches third-year medical students at USF how to treat and communicate with people with disabilities as patients.

 

 

Yesse Leyva

Please stay tuned for more information on this individual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesse Larsen

Jesse Larsen holds an MBA in Finance from Florida Gulf Coast University with 12 years of experience in the banking industry. He serves as Vice President, Business Banking Credit Manager at Florida Community Bank in Naples. Jesse was elected in 2018 to the Collier County Board of Trustees for Residential Options of Florida. Jesse will combine his knowledge and experience to support the financial goals for the organization. A major focus will be the development of relationships to advance the mission of ROOF in our community. His passion to serve includes mentoring at the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, as well as coaching basketball for the YMCA and flag football at Fleischman Park.

Robin Rosario

As the Director of Sales & Events for Pure Florida for the past ten years, Robin Rosario has had the honor of meeting then-Governor Rick Scott and Congressman Rooney as part of her work. Her career has also led her to serving on the Boards of Directors of the Sports Council of Collier County and the Southwest Florida Attractions Association and she is often sought after to serve on local committees. Robin has also been active with the Business Networking International and was honored as the Woman of the Year for Local Chapter of Business Woman.

Robin is married and the mother of six children, their youngest of which has special needs. Robin credits her youngest as helping her family keeping things in perspective, realizing what matters…and what doesn’t. Robin’s professional and personal background makes her an excellent choice to serve on ROOF’s statewide Board of Directors.