Monday, July 02, 2012

Aida Barnhart Named To Board

Hendry Housing Director Added To Board Of Early Learning Coalition

LABELLE, FL. -- The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida announced this week the addition of LaBelle's Aida Barnhart to their Board of Directors.

Aida Barnhart, Housing Director for Hendry County, serves as the representative for the Hendry County Board of County Commissions. Ms. Barnhart’s past community involvements include the position of Vice President, Ways and Means for the Hendry Glades Homeless Coalition, member of the Community Action Task Force for Affordable Housing Hendry County and member of the Board of Directors - Beta Sigma Phi for the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida is responsible for administering the School Readiness Program for low income and at risk children and families. They are also responsible for administering the Voluntary Prekindergarten program (VPK) which serves all 4 year old children in Lee, Collier, Hendry and Glades counties regardless of income. The VPK program is an entitlement program for all 4 year olds residing in the State of Florida.

Other new board members were chosen for their dedication to the community and its children and include the following:

Jane Lane, Attorney and Mediator with Private Mediation/Arbitration Services in Fort Myers is Florida Supreme Court certified for civil, family, dependency mediation and arbitration and is also the Program Manager and Director for RMFMP, 20th Judicial Circuit. Her past community involvements include Lee County Alliance for the Arts, Florida Repertory Theatre, Art of the Olympians Foundation, Ft. Myers Women’s Community Club Advisory Board, and the “Girls Going Places” Entrepreneurial Program. Ms. Lane serves as a representative for Lee County.

Dr. Gillian Ward, a licensed psychologist in England, has a special interest in children from low income and at risk families. Since coming to the United States, she has been working with Mary Ellen Frazier, Psy.D, of Naples. Gillian is currently a mental health professional member of the Tri-County Critical Incident Stress Management Team, providing services to public service workers in the tri-county area of Lee, Hendry and Charlotte counties. Ms. Ward serves as a representative for Collier County.

Javier I. Rosado, PhD of the Florida State University College of Medicine provides clinical behavioral health services for children and families for a broad range of psychological problems including medical adherence difficulties, weight management, and early childhood issues. He has personally designed and implemented training programs for medical students on a variety of behavioral health topics. His past community involvements include membership with the American Psychological Association, Florida Psychological Association, and the National Latina/o Psychological Association.

Heather Singleton is the faith based child care provider representative. She is the Co-Director of New Life Assembly Academy in Lehigh Acres, a Christian preschool operated as a ministry on the campus of New Life Assembly of God. Her past community involvements include the Father Anglim Academy, Boy Scouts of America and Employee Activities Committee.

The Early Learning Coalition is also proud to welcome the following new Executive Officer board members for 2012:

Gerry Poppe, CFO of Waterman Broadcasting Corporation, was recently elected to be Vice Chair of the board. Gerry has served as board member Governor Appointee since September of 2007. Gerry has serves on a variety of boards including The United Way of Southwest Florida, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Rotary Club of South Fort Myers, Zion Lutheran Church and the American Cancer Society.

Joe Paterno, Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, Inc., has served on the Early Learning Coalition’s board since 1998. Joe was recently elected to serve as Board Secretary for 2012. His past community involvements include the Florida Workforce Development Association, American Red Cross, Kiwanis Club of Naples, Junior Achievement, and The Partners in Education Council, Florida International Corps, Economic Development Council and the Walker Institute of Technology.

Peter Seif, President of Synergy Networks, was elected as Board Treasurer for 2012. He has served as a board member and finance committee member since November 1990.. His community involvements include the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Rotary Club of South Fort Myers.

Current board member, Jill Turner, was approved for a second term on the Board. Jill is Chief Executive officer for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida that serves abused, neglected and high-risk children and their families. She has been a board member with the Early Learning Coalition for 4 years and serves as the Chair of the Bylaws/Nominations Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.

The remaining Board of Director members serving this past year include John Remington (Chair), Elaine Schaeffer, Jeanne LaFountain, Colleen Gallagher, Dan England, Dr. Joan Colfer, Mike D’Amico, Joseph Gammons, Jodi Jacoby, Leslie Moguil, Trina Puddefoot, and Veronica Vega. Dr. Kathleen Reynolds serves as the CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida,


  1. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Aida will be a great addition to the Board. She is a caring, compassionate person and an able administrator.

    Good luck!


  2. Back in the 90's I worked with Aida for a womens accessories store. She was a great boss, kind and caring. We had fun working together well at least I enjoyed working with her. I've thought about her throughout the years and I'm glad she's made a success of herself (not that I would expect less) Im glad I remembered her last name and have been googling for the past couple of years to see hows she doing. Good luck Aida and best wishes always.
    Janice Pena

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