About the Board of Directors

The Heartland Workforce Investment Board, Inc. d/b/a CareerSource Heartland, Board of Directors provide policy and guidance along with the general direction of CareerSource Florida, Inc. the state's chief policy organization for all CareerSource Heartland's activities affecting DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties.

The Board is mandated legislatively to have representatives from the following categories: private sector, education, labor, community-based organizations, economic development, veterans, and non-public post-secondary educational institutions.

Board Members


Local Elected Officials – the Executive Board

The Honorable Mike Thompson – Chair / Chief Elected Official
Hardee County Board of County Commissioners

The Honorable Kelly Owens - Vice Chair
Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners

The Honorable Terry Hill
DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners

The Honorable Don Elwell
Highlands County Board of County Commissioner 

Board Officers: 2018-19

Chair David Royal
The Nature Conservancy, Altamonte Springs

William (“Bill”) J. Nielander
Nielander Law Firm P.A.

Lois Hilton, Human Resources Director
DeSoto Memorial Hospital

Board Members

Russell Brown, Provost
Dixon Hendry Campus – Indian River State College

Mary Kay Burns, Owner
Burns Citrus

Adrian Cline, Superintendent of Schools
Desoto County School Board

Kevin Cundiff
Operations General Manager, Florikan

Mary Dow, President
Dow Realty, Inc.

Ben Dunn, Development Services Director
Highlands County Board of County Commissioners

Joshua Exendine, Union Treasurer, Executive Board
Hardee County Professional Firefighters Union, Local 3471

Dan Graham, President/CEO
DeSoto Home Health Care, Inc

Vanessa Hernandez, SVP II South Regional Mgr., Retail Dely.
MidFlorida South/MidFlorida Credit Union

Yessenia “Jessy” Irizarry, Staffing Manager
Sunshine Staffing of Highlands County, Inc.

William “Bill” Lambert, Director
Hardee County Economic Development

Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, President
South Florida State College

Debbie Meliti, Senior Human Resource Generalist

Wayne Olson, Area Director
Florida DOE/Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Gary Ritter, Assist. Director of Govt. & Community Affairs
Florida Farm Bureau Federation

Raymond D. Royce, Executive Director
Highlands County Citrus Growers Assn.

Donald Samuels
American Legion Post 2
Representing Military Veterans

Sherry Sapp, Director of Admissions
NBI Truck Driver Training

Sandra Swanson, Project Director
AARP Foundation, SCSEP

Amanda Wilson, Community Development Administrator, Circuit 10
Dept. of Children & Families