Board of Directors

Willie Kirkland, Jr - President

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Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. Attended Pensacola Christian K-8th and Booker T. Washington High. Owner of W.C.Kirkland Trucking Inc. Minister at PCS Outreach Ministries. Mentor at Suit Up for the Kingdom of God Boys Club. 2016-2017 Vice Chairman of the Pine Forest Student Advisory Board. 2017-2019 Chairman of the Pine Forest High School Student Advisory Board. Current Board Member of the Jim C. Downey Community Center. Volunteer for Guardian Ad Litem. 2016 Former Candidate for Escambia County School Board District 1. 2018 Real Men Wear Pink Candidate. 2018 MLK Living The Dream Award Recipient continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. In 2018 was appointed by the Escambia County School Superintendent to the Escambia County Schools Half-Cent Sales Tax Watchdog Committee. Appointed by the Chairman of the Escambia County Commissioners to serve on the Escambia County Board of Adjustment on March 7, 2019.

Donna Franke - VP Okaloosa/Walton

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Donna has been a volunteer for the Guardian ad Litem program for 6 years and has proudly advocated for over 35 children. Donna has mentored new volunteers. She was recognized by Governor Scott and the statewide Guardian ad Litem office as volunteer of the year 2014 in the first judicial circuit. Donna joined the board in 2017. Donna plans to work tirelessly to make sure every child in the dependency system has representation, normalcy and never feels alone.

Carolyn Palmer - VP Escambia/Santa Rosa

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Carolyn has been a volunteer in the Guardian ad Litem program for over 12 years. She joined the Board of Directors last year with a mission to increase awareness of the critical need for dedicated child advocates for the growing numbers of children in dependency court. 

Emily Lalas - Director, Treasurer

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Emily is a Pensacola native and local alumna of the University of West Florida.  She is an accountant at a local CPA firm, but is also passionate about using her voice to advocate for the vulnerable in our community.  Having been involved in community outreach initiatives through her local church, Emily became aware of the great need for resources and mentorship for children that are part of the dependency system as one of the first “lines-of-defense” against the continuation of generational cycles of poverty and exploitation of the vulnerable.  She became a volunteer with Guardian ad Litem in 2017 and has since joined the Board in 2019 where she is committed to raising awareness and resources to further the mission and vision of GAL within her sphere-of-influence.

Jesse Casey - Director

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"Bio coming soon!"

John J. 'Jack' Daly - Director

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Jack has been a GAL advocate since 2012. Jack holds degrees in Sociology and Psychology and also Masters Degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education. He has served on numerous Boards between New York and Florida. Most recently he was CEO at Okaloosa-Walton  Child Care Services and Interim CEO of the YMCA of Florida's Emerald Coast, Inc.

Cindy Frakes - Director

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Born in West Virginia, Cindy moved with her family to a small town in West Test when she was 5 (she considerers herself a Texan!) She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Communication Disorders. Years later, she attended graduate school at University of West Florida, completing a degree in Habilitative Science. 

Active in real estate for 33 years, Cindy is a broker/agent/First Vice President at ERA American Real Estate in Shalimar. She served 16 years on the Okaloosa County School Board, has been active in community leadership positions and maintains an active interest in state and national public policy/education issues.

Some of her volunteer positions include president of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast, chair of West Florida Regional Planning Council (Governor’s appointee), president of the state regional planning councils, chair of the Economic Development Council and on the Okaloosa Walton Workforce Development Board. 

Cindy is an Air Force wife, married to Bernie for 50 years. They have two adult sons: Russ and Lori have 5 children and live in Santa Rosa Beach; Steve and Michelle have 4 children and live in Jacksonville. 

In addition to a busy work life, Cindy loves to cook and is currently baking her way through American’s Test Kitchen Bread Cookbook (a friend gave her for her birthday).

Lindsay Fujawa - Director

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* Bio coming soon!

Nancy McAuliffe - Director, CIN Fund Chair

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Nancy grew up in Long Island and began her career working for

Helen Gurley Brown at Cosmopolitan before moving onward.

After a 30 year career at Newsweek International, she got her

real estate license and followed that career path for five years.

She then moved to Gulf Breeze and got involved with several

nonprofit organizations. She has  been a member of the

Pensacola IMPACT100 group for the last 3 years. She recently

joined Sunday’s Child, another philanthropic group, in the

Pensacola area. She has been a GAL volunteer for 2 years.

She recently became a Pensacola Humane Society Volunteer.

Janet Norris - Director, Secretary

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 Janet Norris grew up in Okaloosa County the child of educators. As a senior at Fort Walton Beach High School, she began volunteering at a local elementary school with severely autistic children. Upon graduation from high school, her career path had been established. Janet graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She remained in the Hattiesburg area and taught two years while earning her Master of Science degree in Elementary Education. Upon returning to Okaloosa County, Janet taught elementary school for eight years while earning an Educational Specialist degree from Florida State University in Educational Administration and Supervision. For twenty-five years, Janet worked as school administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels and as the Director of Elementary Education. After thirty-five years in public education, Janet retired to enjoy time reading, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.  She volunteers with Shalimar United Methodist Church in an outreach program for children in need of weekend meals, as an usher and communion server. Janet has been a Guardian ad Litem for one year and has been fortunate to be involved in the lives of ten children. 

Charles E. Schuster - Director

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Chuck is from Altoona, PA. He served 34 years in the US Air Force. In Korea he completed 116 combat missions and retired in April, 1984. He received a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, with distinction, in 1964 and Masters, EE in 1965, both from University of Oklahoma. After retirement in 1984 he began work as a government support contractor in Acquisition Management of electronic warfare and air combat training systems at Eglin Air Force Base for the next  20 years. Chuck became certified as a GAL volunteer advocate in October 2005. He subsequently was offered a position on the Foundation Board in 2013 and was elected president in 2015 and re-elected to a second term in June 2017. Chuck's free time interests include history, reading and stamp collecting. Chuck is a forward thinking visionary and has set the Foundation on a path that will greatly enhance not just the lives of the children in the GAL 1st judicial district but the volunteers and Child Advocate Managers (CAMs) as well.



Jeff Selph - Director, Golf Events Chair

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Jeff Selph grew up in NC and received a BS degree in Biology from East Carolina University. He joined Burroughs Wellcome Pharmaceuticals Company in Research Triangle Park, NC. He retired from GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Company after a 32-year career in Drug Research and Development. After retirement, Jeff became an entrepreneur and helped start seven different technical development companies in NC. He came to Santa Rosa County in 2013 to start a pre-fabricated housing company and decided to move there permanently with his wife, Cindy. Jeff is now retired and lives in Pace where he enjoys golf, fishing, hunting and community activities.

Board Advisors

Bryan Carter - Circuit Director, First Circuit

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Bryan Carter was born in a small coal mining town in West Virginia and moved to Pace, Florida in his early childhood.  He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida (Orlando) and Florida State University (Tallahassee), having completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology and graduate studies in Business Administration.  Bryan is also a Certified Public Manager (CPM), having been certified through the CPM Program at Florida State University.  Bryan started working with the Guardian ad Litem Program in 2006.  He has worked in various positions within the Program, including Child Advocate Manager (2006-2009), Assistant Circuit Director (2009-2013) and Regional Program Manager – Circuits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 18 (2013 – 2014).  After having the opportunity to work with so many incredible staff members and Volunteer Child Advocates throughout Florida, Bryan was selected by Executive Director Alan Abramowitz to return “home” as the Circuit Director of the First Judicial Circuit (2014 – present) - in the very circuit where he started his career with the Guardian ad Litem Program.  Bryan and his wife, Kari have been together for 20 years and are the proud parents of their little miracle, a five year old son – Cameron.  Having grown up in this area, Bryan’s focus and passion is to give back to the community that had such an impact on him and to help every abused child realize a brighter day.  Bryan is incredibly honored to be a part of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program and proudly proclaims “I am for the child.”

Michael H. Crew - Attorney

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Mike Crew practices in the areas of real estate, construction, land use, business law, and civil litigation. He has practiced law since 1989, and co-founded his Fort Walton Beach law firm in 1996, Southern Legal. He is Board Certified in Construction Law, the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the area of construction law. He has been a Florida Certified Building Contractor since 1984. He has been a GAL volunteer since 2003.