Board of Directors 2023

The Haven for Children Board of Directors

Blair Wilgus, Board Chair

Karly Patterson, Vice Chair

Karly Patterson has been a resident of Brevards’ beachside community for over 30 years. Karly attended Satellite High School, Florida State University (undergrad) and the University of Central Florida (Masters). Professionally, her career began in administration, transitioning into Human Resources Management where she worked for several years before switching gears completely & becoming a Real Estate Agent for the past 5 years.
When Karly is not showing house & writing contracts, she is spending time with family & friends. Karly is married to her high-school sweetheart, Kenneth, and has one daughter, Isla Blair.  Karly has been a Haven Volunteer for many years starting with the Haven Guild, Chef du Jour and now is the Vice Chair of the BoD. She loves giving back to the kids and supporting everything the Haven stands for.

Nancy Unum, Secretary

Nancy was born and raised in Brevard County where she attended Melbourne High School having Cathy Ford, a founding member of The Haven, as one of her favorite  teachers. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from UCF, she spent 35 years as a Software Engineer at Harris Controls and later General Electric until her retirement in 2019 whereupon she joined The Haven Board of Directors.

Nancy and her husband Mike raised their two boys in Merritt Island and wish to give back to the community where they live. While the boys were growing up, Nancy volunteered at their son’s school, Holy Trinity Academy in all phases of the boys years there, from pre-school helper to JV Lacrosse Team Mom. Nancy participates in the Chef du Jour program for The Haven, cooking monthly for Haven 1. She is proud to serve on the board of The Haven and is entering her third year as Secretary.

Heather Harris

Patricia Ryan

Paul Roub

Kathy Heron, Guild Chair

After working as a production manager in the textbook industry, Kathy Heron decided to take the plunge and start her own business. Kathy Heron is the owner of Sport Clips Haircuts, which caters to men and boys by providing hassle-free hairstyling in a sports-themed environment. Heron opened her first location at the Avenue Viera in April 2007. Five years ago, Kathy Heron opened her second location in West Melbourne at Hammock Landing. Each year Kathy Hero increases year-over-year net sales and client count and has built a highly successful operation that has been regularly recognized as one of the top stores in Florida and nationwide. 

Kathy Heron has a passion for advocating for children. For the past ten years, Kathy Heron hsa served as Race Director for Superhero run, an annual 5K and 1M race to raise funds and awareness for abused children in our local community. The 2022 Superhero Race will be on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at the Avenue Viera. The race is the signature fundraising event for Friends of Children of Brevard, where Kathy Heron has serviced on the board since 2014. This hard working non-profit, run by volunteers works to improve the lives of local abused children. Kathy Heron has been honored several times for her work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem where she advocates for local abused children before the court, social service agencies, and the community. 

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.