board of directors
Our Board of Directors are comprised of a talented and diverse group of professionals who are truly passionate about the mission of Sunday's Child. Each board member brings his and her own respective talents to the organization to help it realize its vision. Sunday's Child members are encouraged to participate as a board member or a committee member.
PRESIDENT — DREW BUCHANAN
Drew was born and raised on the Gulf Coast and moved to Pensacola in 2014 after serving on active duty as a combat correspondent with the U.S. Air Force. He has always been an advocate and voice within the communities he’s called home. Drew currently serves as publisher of The Pulse, a digitally-native newspaper serving Pensacola and the Gulf Coast.
VICE PRESIDENT — GARY RHODES
Gary Rhodes, a Montgomery Alabama native, received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1991 from Auburn University at Montgomery. After a short career in retail management he decided to make a change and went back to school for Management Information Technology graduating in 1995.
He has spent the last 21 years in the software and database development business primarily on Department of Defense contracts. He moved to Pensacola in 2001 and is currently employed by CSRA Inc. specializing in database development and interface communications for a Navy financial system. Gary is the proud father of one young adult son that lives in the area.
Pensacola has definitely become home to Gary. In his free time you will most likely find him socializing and attending events downtown or laying on the beach.
SECRETARY — SARAH EVERHART
Originally from Jupiter, Florida, Sarah Everhart came to our area in 2005 attending college at UWF. After meeting her fiancé Amanda at school and graduating with a BS degree in Maritime Studies, the couple embarked on a year long road trip around the continental US living in their car and volunteering at Habitat For Humanity affiliates in every state they were able. Upon returning to Pensacola, Sarah gladly took a position as an AmeriCorps Service member at the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate leading and teaching volunteers alongside new homeowners on countless construction sites. It was during these 2 years as a Corps member that Sarah began to recognize the feeling of comfort that one gets when they are home. She and Amanda decided to lay down some roots in Pensacola. Sarah went on to earn her National Registry as an EMT and is working part-time for the Escambia County Public Safety department. Her full time employment is with the Navy's MWR and Community Recreation operations teaching sailing and developing leisure programming for our local military families.
When she isn’t working, her interests include being outdoors. Whether it's volunteering, surfing, sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, backcountry hiking, road tripping, yoga or anything in between, Sarah is always looking for ways to share an adventure. Sarah loves Pensacola in a way that is closely tied to the people and the culture that she has come into contact with in our area. There isn't anything that compares to the feeling of being home. And to have that feeling in Pensacola is a gift that Sarah loves to share with others.
TREASURER — CORY WILKINSON
Cory Wilkinson is a Pensacola native and graduate of University of West Florida (B.S. in Environmental Resource Management and Planning, 1990), and Johns Hopkins University (M.S. in Environmental Science, 1999). He is employed with HDR Engineering, Inc. as an environmental planner certified by the American Planning Association (APA) Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certified Environmental Planner (CEP). He is married to Edward Tisdale. Cory has lived and worked in Tennessee, Washington D.C. metro area, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, New Orleans, and is pleased to call downtown Pensacola home. He enjoys dogs, travel, music, nature, campfires, cool fall air, and walks in the woods.
Rev. Ron Helms-MacBeth relocated to Pensacola, Florida in July 2005 from Rochester, New York after many years of serving as Senior Pastor & where he held interim statewide membership on the New York Council of Bishops. He’s also a two-time honorably discharged military veteran from the United States Navy. Ron has a lifetime of experience working on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. His last pastorate prior to ministry retirement was with Christ Fellowship Church of Pensacola who celebrated his life of ordained ministry with a Reaffirmation of Ordination Worship in early 2006. He is the past President for Gulf Coast TIDE (Together In Diversity and Equality). He continues to work toward social and political justice for the GLBT community in both state-wide and local politics. Currently, he is a local business owner.
Laura Ericson has called Pensacola home for 20 years. When she isn’t working, her interests include scuba diving, travel, time at the beach, yoga, Pickleball, organic gardening, vegetarian cooking, foreign language study, and spending time with her wife, Stephanie Karous, and their two dogs and two cats. She also is doing her part to keep the U.S. Postal Service alive and well by sending snail-mail postcards (over 3000 in the past 6 years).
Laura is a long time volunteer with Covenant Hospice, active with Impact 100, a “friend” of the Escambia County Animal Shelter, and a supporter of the arts community.
Tracy Wise retired and moved to Pensacola in 2010. Prior to settling in the Florida Panhandle, she lived and worked in seven states and Australia in a variety of Human Resource positions.Tracy is a graduate of Iowa State University receiving a B.S. in Management and a minor in Finance.
She is presently an active member of Impact 100 and has volunteered her time with several nonprofits including Manna, Pensacola Lighthouse, Big Brother/Big Sister and ECARE. Tracy plans to visit all 48 National Parks in the lower US states and has only five remaining parks to cross off her list.
Sam Mathews is a Pensacola native, raised in the western Panhandle. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army having served in the Viet Nam War. Upon returning from his military service he attended and graduated from the University of West Florida with B.A and M.A. degrees in Psychology. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison obtaining a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology. He returned to Pensacola, to join the faculty of UWF in the Department of Psychology.
During that tenure he worked with international NGO’s to support educational reform among former Soviet Republics following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. He continued working for educational reform in the Balkans following the wars in the 90’s and in Liberia following their civil wars. Sam’s interest in marginalized youth led him to join Sunday’s Child as a means to support those who face exclusion and discrimination due to their sexual and gender identities.
Sonya Davis has been a resident of Pensacola since 2009. She has been an administrator in the business, government and non-profit worlds for nearly 30 years. Having served in numerous capacities in a number of locales both north and south, she’s been a business owner, elected official, non-profit executive director, board member, fundraiser, and committed volunteer. She received both Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Now mostly retired, she spends time traveling to both familiar and new destinations while making ample time for family. Locally, her heart is with smaller non-profits and she’s provided organizational development and fundraising advice as well as grants-writing to those such as the ReEntry Alliance of Pensacola (REAP), Klaas Kids Foundation Search and Rescue, Jeff’s Corner Garden at Arc Gateway, East Hill Academy, and the Pensacola Heritage Foundation, among others. As a volunteer wielding a hammer for a cause (!), she enjoyed her time as part of Habitat for Humanity’s “Women Build” in 2014 and 2015. She is a member and past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) West Florida Chapter and AFP State Caucus, and a member of IMPACT 100 as well as Sunday’s Child. She was a member of Leadership Pensacola (LEAP), Class of 2010, and Leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2005.
Shelley Gourley was raised in Pensacola, FL. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from UWF. After many years working in sales and operations management in San Diego, Atlanta, Tallahassee and the DC area, Shelley returned to Pensacola and served as the Ticketing Director for the Pensacola Pelicans for 5 years. With a strong desire to help others, she made the decision to change careers and became a Registered Nurse a few years ago. She is currently practicing in Pensacola. She is a “big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters and volunteers with the Council on Aging. She is passionate about learning, trying new things and connecting with others. Shelley lives in downtown Pensacola with her husband, Richard and their rescue dog, Goose.
Kathy Decker retired in Pensacola after working 33 years in the healthcare field in San Francisco. Born in Honolulu, she received her BA English from California State University - Chico and her MA in Health Care from the University of Humanistic Studies. Kathy served on the Healthcare Advisory Board of Marin County, CA, the Advisory Board for the San Francisco Golden Gate Transit System and the Board of the Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance – San Francisco Lodge. Presently she is a member of Sunday’s Child and Impact 100, and volunteers at Manna Food Pantries and with the United Way Escambia County in ECARE, as a CERT member, and with the Youth Mentoring Program. In 2015 and 2016 she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Besides volunteering, and helping to manage a charity she helped co-found, Kathy enjoys sports and activities with her husband, friends and her beloved dachshunds.
Stephen is a native of Pensacola. He is married to Rev. Ron Helms-MacBeth. He graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Business Administration, in 1993. Stephen is a manager in the Financial Institutions Advisory Group at Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund, where he holds the certifications of Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) and Certified AML and Fraud Professional (CAFP). He has been working in the financial institutions industry since 1992, concentrating primarily on compliance, operations and policies and procedures.
PAST PRESIDENT & FOUNDING MEMBER — CHUCK PRESTI
Dr. Chuck Presti moved to Florida in 1975 from Ohio, and has been a resident of Pensacola since 1991. He is a graduate of Stetson University and received his MD from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He practiced Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology for 15 years, and most recently enjoys working in Healthcare Information Technology.
He is a past board member of the Pensacola Heritage Foundation and a rowing enthusiast. He is married to Mike Bruce, another board member and founder of Sunday’s Child. They have a son and daughter and two grandchildren.