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Family on Digital Tablet


Together, we are transforming lives


Adriana Aponte

Accounting/HR Coordinator

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Adriana graduated from Ana G. Mendez University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She has worked with small and large financial institutions holding diverse positions in different departments from customer service to purchasing, human resources, and administration; allowing her to learn and understand the different aspects of business processes.


Akili Phillips

Director of Development

Akili Phillips holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Visual Communications. She has experience in fundraising, events, and marketing for nonprofits. Her event planning experience informs her belief in the power of collaboration and community impact. As our Development Director, Akili will share the stories of the families we serve and engage community members and businesses to support and invest in our mission.


Andrea Defibaugh

Intake Coordinator

Andrea works as the Intake Coordinator for Family Promise of Brevard. Andrea graduated from the University of Central Florida with her bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and has been working in the social service field serving veterans and their families since 2017. Andrea has a strong commitment to using her people skills, welcoming attitude, and love of service to provide the best possible experience for members of her community


Cleopatra Price

Prevention Coordinator

Cleopatra works as the Prevention Coordinator for Family Promise of Brevard. Cleopatra graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and also holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Mental Health from Webster University. She is a native Floridian and has been working in the social services field serving Families for over 25 years. She has a strong passion for helping individuals and families overcome challenges and reach their full potential. She believes in the power of community-based solutions and works to empower individuals to advocate for themselves and their families.


Diane Swain

Shelter Coordinator

Diane is a native of Brevard County. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Science from the University of South Florida and also holds a Masters Degree in Social Science. Shortly after graduating from USF, Diane moved to Houston, Texas where she pursued a career in Education and Social Work. She brings to FP, years of experience, including working with Homeless Teens and Young Adults. Diane has now returned to Brevard to fulfill her lifelong mission of giving back to her community.


Jennifer Cisco

Operations Director

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida. She has over 25 years of experience supporting operations in large engineering and manufacturing companies and has resided in central Florida for over 20 years. Having held multiple positions that required collaboration and networking across organizations, building and leading teams, developing strategies to support business execution, and managing and tracking projects, she is now following her passion to serve our local community and utilizing her diverse skillset as our new Grants Coordinator.


Mark Sexton

Director of Programs

Mark is a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Florida. He holds both a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Central Florida, and a graduate certificate in Military and Veteran Social Work. Mark is active in networking and collaborating with other agencies in the county, and has chaired multiple committees with the Brevard Homeless Coalition.


Mike Hoenick

Stabilization Coordinator

Mike graduated from the University of Central Florida with both his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work and is a licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida. As our full-time Stabilization Coordinator, he is primarily dedicated to the success of families in our Stabilization Program, but is versatile and skilled enough to work in all of our program settings.


Myrtle Smith

Office Coordinator

Myrtle is a native Floridian and has been a proud citizen of Cocoa for the last 25 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics from United Electronics Institute of Tampa. She has worked on three continents tracking the Shuttle and other rockets into space. Myrtle has experience as a housing counselor and brings over 30 years of community service to the Family Promise of Brevard team. 


Nancy Dudley

Director of Finance

Nancy was born and raised in Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She worked for many years managing accounts receivable and payable departments. She has also held Assistant Controller and Financial Analyst positions along with general bookkeeping and organizational positions.


Randy Stewart

Family Support Specialist

Randy assists families as our Family Support Specialist in our Prevention program with case management. He graduated from Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Randy has supported families since 1999 through Pastoral care and non-profits with fundraising and project management. He is passionate about solution focused outcomes from financial counseling and care that helps families create a better future.


Shayla Murray Smith

Director of Elevate Brevard

Shayla Murray Smith, a Brevard County Native, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation and Sports Management from Florida International University and a Master of Science Degree in Church Management from Villanova University.
She has ten years of experience in administrative management, business administration, and government relations consulting. As the Director of Elevate Brevard, Shayla will use the Collective Impact Model to leverage the power of connection with her passion for community and collaboration to help tackle economic mobility through the attainment of education and training in 32922.


Tara Pagliarini

Executive Director

Tara holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina, a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the College of Charleston, served a tour in 1996 as an Americorps VISTA Victim Advocate, and is a graduate of LEAD Brevard Class of 2020. She has experience in providing direct clinical services, programming, and advocacy for children and adults, including over 15 years of management and leadership experience. Tara sits on the Affiliate Council for National Family Promise. Tara’s education, background, and experience have ensured that our families receive an innovative, strengths-based, and multi-systemic approach based on empowerment and education. She strongly believes that every child, regardless of zip code, deserves a home and the chance to build a stronger future. Tara and her family have been residents of Brevard County since 2009.

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