Board of Directors 2022-2023

The Haven for Children Board of Directors

Craig Roberts, Board Chair

Born and raised in Northwest, Florida, Craig Roberts moved to Brevard County in 2007 after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. At a young age Craig began giving back to his community through coaching youth sports. The ability to influence young athletes in their athletic careers and mentoring young men and women to be better members of the community helped fuel Craig’s passion for community involvement. Prior to his current role as Board Chair Craig served as the Audit Chair and was an active member of The Haven’s Board of Directors.

Craig’s professional career includes companies like One Sotheby International Realty, L3 Harris technologies, General Dynamics Land Systems and MCI World Com. Craig also served in the U.S. Air Force as a satellite wideband equipment journeyman. Craig holds a Master of Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management at Devry University.

David W. Matte, Treasurer

David has been a Florida resident for 50 years and served four years in the U.S. Navy as an Intelligence Specialist (Korea and the Philippines).Holding degrees in Business Administration from Eastern Florida State College and Florida Atlantic University, David worked 35 years at Harris Corporation/L3Harris Technologies and retired in 2020 as a Principal Financial Analyst.

David joined the Haven’s Board of Directors in September 2021 and was appointed Treasurer for the Guild and Lamb Shoppe.  In June 2022, David was elected by the Board of Directors to the role of Haven Treasurer.

Blair Wilgus, Vice Chair 

Lauren Hodges

Lauren is the co-founder of Lauren Hodges, LLC, and founder of Performance on Purpose, LLC, two performance coaching companies focused on advancing leadership and performance potential through keynotes, executive retreats, content design, consulting, and executive coaching. Her primary areas of expertise are in learning experience design, well-being, and human performance.

Clarissa Harrell is a Brevard native who has been a trial attorney for nearly 30 years. She is presently a member of the Career Criminal and Firearms Unit prosecution team at the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. She became a lawyer after volunteer work as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem for abused and neglected children.

Her legal career has centered predominantly around work with children and advancement of their interests. Throughout this work, Clarissa developed extensive ties with foster care providers, child psychologists, DCF case managers, educators, child protective investigators, school resource officers, pediatric medical care providers, guardians ad litem, social service administrators, and community volunteers all dedicated to the well-being of Brevard’s children. 

In addition to her professional work, Clarissa also brings her own childhood experiences and her journey as an adoptive parent to the table in support of The Haven’s mission. She views The Haven as the gold standard in care for children who have suffered abuse and neglect, and she is extremely honored to be able to serve on its Board.

Elizabeth Evander retired in 2019 from Brevard Public Schools where she provided decades of quality service to students and their families. From classroom teacher to school administrator, Elizabeth’s passion and focus were always directed toward doing what was best for Brevard’s kids.  She welcomes opportunities to serve children and families in a voluntary capacity.

Nancy Unum, Secretary

Heather Harris

Jennifer Glass

Michelle Epting

Paul Roub

Michael Sweeney

Guild Chair TBD

Kimberly Straehla, Executive Director

Amber Olesen, Resource Development Director

Amber has decades of experience with nonprofit groups. She has worked with government and county agencies and private community members, with the goal of helping children in need. Olesen has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Southern Maine and has years of writing and public speaking experience.

In her role prior to joining The Haven for Children, Amber worked as a public high school teacher and for the Guardian Ad Litem program. She was hired by The Haven to assist with fundraising efforts, volunteer recruitment, campaign solicitations, and special events.