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 

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.   From these sources and her own direct interactions, she has come to view The Haven as the gold standard in care for children who have suffered abuse and neglect.

In addition to her professional work, Clarissa also brings her childhood and adoptive parent experiences to the table in support of The Haven’s mission.

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

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

Jennifer Glass

Michelle Epting

Paul Roub

Michael Sweeney

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.