2nd Annual Black Tie Gala
October 9, 2014
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs
Champion of Children's Mental Health Award
Mayor Jacobs is a known champion of ethics reform and a strong advocate for public participation in the governmental process. Jacobs immediately established a set of core values for county employees: professionalism, integrity, strong work ethic, innovation, fairness and accountability.
Before winning the Mayor’s race, Jacobs served two terms as an Orange County Commissioner from 2000 to 2008. Prior to holding public office, Jacobs was President of the Orange County Homeowners Association Alliance (an organization that represented approximately 100 neighborhoods).
Mayor Jacobs is a cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in economics. She enjoyed a successful nine-year career in banking.
As Mayor, Teresa Jacobs remains focused on maintaining Orange County’s reputation as the world’s #1 tourism destination while expanding the brand to encompass the region’s emerging reputation in high tech, digital media and medical research. Mayor Jacobs wants the world to know that Orange County is the best place to live, learn, work, do business and raise a family. She and her husband Bruce are the proud parents of four young adults.
Business Leadership Award
Debbie Driskell serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Aspire Health Partners, insuring the positive integration of administrative and support functions with all clinical/programmatic areas, as well as assuring that AHP delivers the highest possible quality services.
She was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Seminole Behavioral Healthcare (SBH) where she was responsible for all clinical/programmatic and administrative/financial/IT functions by Seminole County’s premiere agency for mental health and substance abuse services. She came to SBH in June 1983 with a Sociology degree from the University of South Carolina, along with graduate work in law, social work, and public health administration. Debbie completed a portion of her coursework in London, as well. She also provided counseling early in her career in South Carolina to substance abuse clients.
Well known in the provider community as a successful negotiator, Debbie has been called upon many times to provide direction and offer original and innovative ideas and practices to other not-for-profits who face challenges and opportunities. In recent years, she became a Certified Life Coach, but her day-to-day focus continues to be on providing leadership, management, creativity and inspiration.
Marc Mero’s enthusiasm is contagious as he empowers youth and people of all ages to make positive choices and achieve their highest potential. A former WCW and WWE Wrestling Champion, Marc founded the nonprofit organization Champion of Choices in 2007, after losing more than 30 friends and family members largely due to their bad choices.
He now dedicates his life to making a difference by sharing his compelling personal story of tragedy and triumph at schools, churches, and corporations worldwide. Having presented more than 800 theatrical productions, one-million people have been inspired to dream big, cherish relationships, and become the Champions they are destined to be.
Marc serves as a spokesperson and educator on serious issues such as substance abuse, bullying, self-harm, and suicide prevention, and instills the importance of making positive choices, goal setting, and Believing. Thousands of youth and adults credit Marc Mero and Champion of Choices with changing their life – and many lives have been saved! Marc has made appearances on several national TV shows including CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace and the Montel Williams Show.
Marc’s book, “How to be the Happiest Person on the Planet” reveals the secrets to achieving true joy. Among Marc’s many goals is the filming of a movie of his life so that even more people can experience the Hope that Marc has found – Hope that is available to each and every one of us!
Family Member, Orange County
My name is Katrina Bushner and I am a single mother of three boys ages 14, 13, and 8. My two oldest sons exhibited signs of mental health challenges while in daycare. In 2002, I moved from Miami to Orlando. I began searching for help for my children. OCPS Early Learning evaluated my sons and referred me to different agencies to help me. My oldest son is diagnosed with ADHD and mood disorder. My middle son is diagnosed with ADHD, mood disorder and manic depression. Unfortunately, my middle son ended up in the court system at the age of 8. By age 10, he was on his 4th felony charge. I was referred to Wraparound Orange where I connected with the Federation of Families of Central Florida. My journey has been very hard but I can say I have learned a lot over the years. Being part of these two agencies has allowed me to learn how to communicate effectively and advocate for my children. I can happily say that my children are doing well. With all that I have gone through, I am now a Family Partner for Wraparound Orange and enjoy my work in helping other families advocate for their children.
Family Member, Seminole County
On January 14, 1952 a phenomenal woman was born in the hills of Port Antonio, Jamaica. It was a fairly sunny Monday afternoon in a little district called Mooretown that Doreen and Herbert would welcome their child, Paulette Andrea Chang. Like every child, Paulette enjoyed singing, dancing, and just having a good time. At the age of 13 she took her first flight and relocated to London, England. She attended North Paddington All Girls School then continued on to Brixton College. At the age of 20 she earned her nursing license form Monsall Hospital. England was just what Paulette needed, while there she solidified friendships that have lasted the test of time. She explored new beginnings and enjoyed many of the common English customs. In 1978, she welcomed her first child, Charmaine Andrea.During the 80’s, Paulette moved to the Big Apple. New York City wasn’t quite like Jamaica or England. The streets were busy yet the opportunities were endless. Armed with her nursing degree Paulette fit right in with the New York healthcare system. She used her training to make a name for herself and settled down in Queens, New York. While there she rededicated her life to God and was baptized at Mount Sinai Seventh-Day Adventist Church. She served in health and temperance, pathfinders, and the usher committees.In the early 90’s Paulette decided that she had enough of the cold and moved to Miami, Florida. Miami had just the right amount of sunshine that she was used to. She found that she could use her Jamaican heritage and knowledge acquired in England and New York to further her career. Paulette soon became known for her healing abilities. She worked for a man who had a deteriorating injury to his leg. His wound was open, infected, and in danger of being amputated. After months of nursing care by Paulette, his would was healed. The doctors were astonished at what they’d seen. Paulette was recognized for her patient care techniques. How could a man whose leg was ready to be amputated be saved by this nurse? Well her secret was a good old Jamaican one, Aloe Vera root. In 1993, Paulette moved to Oviedo, Florida with her mother Doreen and daughter, Charmaine. It was a rough transition at first but Paulette soon found her way. In 1998, she became a foster mother. Every child that came into her home left with more than they could handle. She clothed, fed, and nurtured the children. More importantly, giving them what they lacked and needed – love. In December of that same year a door knock would change her life forever. There he laid in his car seat along with just the clothes on his back. A bundle sent from heaven, so young and sweet. Two years later, it was official, Paulette adopted Deshawn Kenton.Her home is now complete. She cared for her three grandchildren during the day and works caring for medically needy children at night. Her days are long and her nights are even longer. As many of you know, raising a teenage son has its ups and downs. However, Paulette’s dedication to her family and love has made the road a little less rough. She spends countless hours trying to educate herself on caring for her teen. With the help of the Federation of Families, and Wraparound she was able to gain a better understanding of how to care for her troubled teen. She uses the tools provided by the Federation to guide her in molding her son into a man. She remains focused during adversity, praying every day for a brighter future for him. This mother, grandmother, teacher, daughter, pathfinder, friend, and caregiver, is phenomenal at best. She has come a long way and has overcome many obstacles. Her love of God continues to keep her strong. Her faith in the possible keeps our hearts warm.
- Bio was lovingly written by Paulette's children