At Large - Ed Milde - (Region 6)
Region 1 - Roy Wilkinson
Region 2 - Edward "Eddie" Cullaro
Region 3 - Anne Bello
Region 3 - Ebbin Spellman
Region 4 - Dan Santana
Region 7 - Bruce Caruso
2017 Board of Directors:
Region 1 - Roy Wilkinson / Open
Region 2 - Edward Cullaro / Open
Region 3 - Anne Bello / Ebbin Spellman
Region 4 - Dan Santana / Open
Region 5 - Chris Thobois / Darrell Tongate
Region 6 - James Cunningham / Ellen Pinder
Region 7 - Carol Sjursen / Bruce Caruso
At Large - Karen Twigg / Penni Saginario / Ed Milde
Region 5 - Darrell Tongate
Carol Sjursen - Region 7 - Florida CERT Association Vice President
Carol has been actively involved with CERT since 2003 and currently serves as the CERT Coordinator for the Deerfield Beach CERT Team. She began attending the Florida CERT Association State Conferences in 2004 and in 2010 began to run the Deerfield Beach CERT program in the absence of a coordinator. In 2010 the Fire Chiefs Association of Broward County presented Carol with the Broward County CERT Member of the Year award. In 2013, Carol received the CERT Member of the Year award presented by the Florida CERT Association. Under her leadership, the Deerfield Beach CERT Team was presented with the CERT Team of the Year award by the Florida CERT Association. Following the 2013 Conference, she began to serve the State organization as one of the Region 7 Representatives to the Board of Directors. She has developed and taught numerous classes not only for the Deerfield team, but for other CERT teams in Broward County as well as at the State Conferences. In 2016, she became the Florida CERT Association’s Vice President.
Carol is train-the-trainer certified as a CERT Program Manager as well as a CERT Train the Trainer. Since obtaining her certification, she has taught these certification courses at both the Broward County Emergency Operations Center and at the Florida CERT Association State Conferences.
In addition to Carol’s many duties with CERT, she also involved with ARES/RACES where she serves Broward County Emergency Management in times of disaster providing emergency communications through amateur “ham” radio should normal means of communications fail.
Carol has her Master's Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. She believes that training is critical to the success of any organization and has continued to take advanced certification classes so that she can continue to train others.
Shirley Chisholm once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
At Large - Karen Twigg - (Region 5)
Karen has a Master Degree in Education from Southwest Missouri State University. She is retired after 22 years at Walt Disney World Security, 18 years at Bell/AT&T, and over 20 years of teaching. She has been involved with the Florida CERT Association since 2004 and has served on their Board of Directors for 10 years. She has been an instructor and drill coordinator. Karen has been in Seminole County CERT Association since 2003. She has been on their Board of Directors 11 out of 14 years and has served as their training coordinator and CERT Program Manager. Karen specializes in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and has completed many hours of specialized training in caring for the mental health of First Responders. Karen has taught in public schools, college, tutoring, Jamaica West Indies and Performing Arts schools as well as assisted training in every job she has worked. She loves to teach. She also teaches sign language and deaf interpreting in her church and has prepared training for Ministers in Training.
At Large - Penni Saginario (Region 7)
Penni Saginario is an At-Large Member of the Florida Cert Association Board of Directors. Penni is an Emergency Management Specialist with the Broward County Emergency Management Division and the County Liaison to the Broward County CERT Teams.
She earned her Florida Professional Emergency Manager’s certification in 2012.
Chris Thobois - Region 5 - Florida CERT Association Secretary
Chris has been active with the CERT program since 2000. In 2002, our program became nonprofit and was elected to the Board of Directors as secretary. Elected in 2013 as president of Seminole County CERT Association. The program has been, in the past, active with Emergency Management and our local fire department. As president, Chris has worked on seeing that the members receive as much FEMA and state SERT training as possible. In 2002, Chris attended the first Florida CERT Association Conference in Davenport. The next year, Seminole County sponsored the conference Chris acted as secretary. Currently secretary for the FCA. she has received training in various areas, among many others, Incident Command, Medical First Responder, pandemic distribution of medications, special needs, needs assessment class, fire rehab training, train the trainer course completion, as well as participated in numerous drill within and outside the county.
Ellen Pinder - Region 6 - Florida CERT Association Treasurer
Ellen Pinder is the CERT Coordinator and Mitigation Planner for Charlotte County Emergency Management. She is a certified Florida Associated Emergency Manager. Her role as the Charlotte County CERT coordinator started in 2014, and during that time the program has drastically expanded. As part of the leadership team for Charlotte County CERT the program now provides fire fighter rehab to Charlotte County Fire & EMS, first aid support at public events, advanced training programs, and expanded the team to 300 active members. She has been awarded Public Safety Employee of the Year in 2016 and Charlotte County Employee of the Year in 2017.
James Cunningham – Region 6 - Florida CERT Association President
A member of the Florida CERT Association Board of Directors for 8 years, and in the role of President for the previous two years, James Cunningham understands the importance that CERT plays within a community. Instructing more than 900 residents in the CERT program during the last decade, Cunningham is continually striving to promote CERT to new agencies and communities around the state of Florida, bringing attention to CERT team effectiveness during emergencies.
As Fire Chief for the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District, Cunningham oversees more than 25 CERT teams who were instrumental in delivering aide to southwest Florida following Hurricanes Charlie and Wilma in 2004-2005 and Hurricane Hermine in 2016.
A public servant, Cunningham has served in the fire service for more than 20 years. During that time, he has also served as a Deputy for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, currently still functioning in a volunteer capacity. An Eagle Scout himself, Chief Cunningham has provided mentoring and guidance to the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of Collier County since 2006.
Other accomplishments include the Leadership Collier Foundation 2015 James V. Mudd Fellowship award, the 2014 Sons of the American Revolution award, the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Public Service award, two Collier County Sheriff’s Office Gallantry Star awards and numerous Collier County Phoenix awards for life saving. Cunningham is also a member of the Leadership Collier Class of 2016.
Education includes Associate Degrees in Fire Science and Criminal Justice/Police Science and a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University.
Cunningham is also certified by the State of Florida as Fire Officer I, Fire Officer II and a paramedic.
Florida CERT Association
Board of Directors