Craig PhillipsCraig Phillips, Board Chair

Client 1st Advisory Group

In addition to his responsibilities as Managing Partner of Client 1st Advisory Group, Mr. Phillips is a former member of the Board of Directors of Tampa Bay affiliate of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). He also is a current Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of Directors for Directions for Living, Inc., a non-profit community mental health provider.

He is the past treasurer and currently the Florida Governor Appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County. He is former Chairman of the Humane Society of Pinellas Foundation Board and is a board member and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Clearwater Free Clinic.

Andy ArnerAndy Arner, Vice Chairman

VP of Sales CardWorks Merchant Services

Andy was born in New York and spent most of his career working on Wall Street.  He and his family moved to Florida in 2019 and is currently the Vice President of Sales for CardWorks Merchant Services. He served on the Board of Directors for The Townwide Fund, Community Chest, and has experience serving on committees for several other nonprofit organizations.

Andy’s daughter currently attends Autism Inspired Academy.  He is passionate about sharing his family’s great experience and helping other families in the community to have the same opportunity.

Jaime RJaime Girgenti, Secretary

Older, Lundy, Alvarez & Koch

Jaime grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 1998 and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida in 2001. She practices marital and family law because she enjoys helping and supporting individuals through the most difficult and challenging time in their lives. Jaime has been very active with Bar activities on the local and state level. Within the Hillsborough County Bar Association, she served on the Young Lawyers Division Board in various positions before serving as the president in 2011.

Jaime has also been an active member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section as well as the Clearwater Bar’s Family Law Section, where she served as Chair of the Section for the 2017-2018 Bar Year. Since 2015, Jaime has been serving on the Board of Trustees for the Clearwater Bar Foundation, as well as Treasurer for the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court. She enjoys helping community organizations such as The Heart Gallery of Pinellas County and Morton Plant Hospital Foundation.

Debbie MurphyDebbie Murphy, Treasurer

Hess Financials Solutions, LLC

Debbie is originally from New York and attended LIU – CW Post Center, earning her bachelor’s degree in Public Accounting.  Although she started working in the accounting field as a teen, her career began as an accountant for KPMG.  After moving to Florida in 1992, Debbie was raising her family as she worked to build her own practice and earn a master’s degree in Accounting at the University of South Florida.  Debbie’s an Enrolled Agent and a partner in her firm, practicing in both business and personal accounting and taxation.

She has vast experience working with non-profit organizations, much of which was accomplished during her 16 years volunteering with the Girl Scout organization, as well as firsthand knowledge of the struggles her grandson with autism deals with every day.  Debbie is proud to be a part of the Board of Directors for Autism Inspired Academy and looks forward to providing guidance and help in the lives of those on the spectrum.

Elizabeth Russell, Autism Inspired, Inc.

Elizabeth Russell

Liz earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from University of Nevada Las Vegas and a master’s degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She was an educator for 5 years in Nevada and then enjoyed a successful career in sales, including a role as a National Sales Manager. She is currently the co-founder of Autism Inspired, a non-profit organization providing education and summer camp opportunities for children on the autism spectrum.

Liz is passionate about using her knowledge and personal experiences with her son to benefit others in the community and believes all children have a right to an excellent education regardless of their disability or income.

HeatherHeather Strassel, CitrusAd

Originally from Columbus, OH, Heather moved to sunny Florida towards the end of 2014 to start the next chapter of her life in the sunshine state. Heather earned her bachelor’s degree from DeVry University with a major in Business and a minor in Marketing, graduating summa cum laude in 2009. She currently works for CitrusAd, a global ad/tech start-up company, as a Marketing Analyst & Client Strategist.

Heather enjoys volunteering and getting involved within her community and also currently sits on the board of Fostering Hope Florida. She is motivated by the wonderful culture that Autism Inspired has created for children and their families and looks forward to being a part of such an impactful group.

Charles VanoverCharles Vanover, University of South Florida

Dr. Charles Vanover is an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of South Florida. He taught in Title I buildings in the Chicago Public Schools for 8 years before receiving a fellowship to study Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he worked as a qualitative data analysist on one of the largest researcher-led investigations of schools in history, the Study of Instructional Improvement.

At the University of South Florida St Petersburg campus, Charles has helped develop a generation of school leaders by helping design more than 100 action research projects with school leaders in Tampa Bay. His new book from SAGE, Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Research: After the Interview, Co-Edited with Paul Mihas and Johnny Saldaña will be out in the Spring of 2021.

Charles has a second career as a playwright and his 10 plays have been performed more than 10 times, including 4 plays directed by Bob Devin Jones, the Artistic Director of St Petersburg’s The Studio@620. Charles is co-editing a book on assessing performance-based research that examines “Chicago Butoh,” a film and a set of live performances he developed with Bob.