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Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Jeff Feller


Jeff Feller is currently the Chief Executive Officer of WellFlorida Council, which is one of the 11 statutorily designated local health councils in Florida, and has served the Council for more than two decades. Mr. Feller is also an adjunct faculty at the University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions, Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.

Christina Seifert

Immediate Past Chairperson

Christina “Tina” Nieto Seifert is a licensed attorney in Florida, with her office located in Lake City, Florida. Tina’s solo practice concentrates on family law related matters.

Tina was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1995, after graduating from Stetson University College of Law in December 1994. She entered private practice in 2009, after spending most of the first 14 years of her legal career with the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. She served as the Chief Assistant State Attorney over the Lake City Office and handled a wide variety of case, including homicide and child sexual abuses cases.

Throughout her career, she has been a role model for newer attorneys in the Third Judicial Circuit. She has been an active member of the Third Judicial Circuit Bar Association, holding every officer position at least once and serving as president twice, most recently in 2014-15. Each December, she organizes the local bar association’s toy drive for low-income children.

Stephanie McClendon


Stephanie’s commitment to building relationships and a stronger community is evident by her service to First Federal and the counties she serves by currently volunteering her time on local boards such as Live Oak Community Charity Foundation and Meridian Health Board. She has previously been a board member and past President for United Way of Suwannee Valley, past President and Secretary of ARC North Florida, past President and Board Member of Altrusa International, founding member and Treasurer of Suwannee Academic Boosters, and Riveroak College Advisory Committee member for the business academy.

Denise Bennett

Board Member

Denise was named to the Meridian Board of Directors in 2019 and has been serving on the Meridian Board of Advisors (fund raising) since 2018. She relocated to Gainesville from Charlotte, NC in 2017 as a retired payments executive having worked at both MasterCard and Visa. However, many years prior, she worked in Upstate New York as administrator and intake counselor for a county-funded substance abuse organization called Outreach. Touched by anxiety and depression in her own family, Denise recognizes the importance of being able to talk about mental illness and substance use disorderes in the same way that we are open about any physical condition or ailment. She is passionate about breaking down the stigma of mental illness and bringing affordable, local mental healthcare to the communities that Meridian serves. Denise’s family includes her husband Ken here in Gainesville and her daughter Conner Elisabeth who resides in Charlotte.

Jason Cason

Board Member

Jason is a lifelong resident of Levy County and the Gainesville Market President for First Federal Bank. Having personally dealt with anxiety attacks, and having a family member that suffers from severe mental illness; has made him a first hand witness to the benefits and challenges of mental health care in our area. His personal experiences are what drew him to serve on Meridian's Board. Jason hopes to leverage his personal relationships with Levy County elected officials to help advance mental healthcare in those rural communities. Jason has been in banking and finance for 21 years and is currently a Board member for the Builders Association of North Central Florida and a member of the Rotary Club of Gainesville.

Kindall Crummey

Board Member

Kindall Crummey is a teacher for the Baker County School Board at J. Franklyn Keller Intermediate School. As an advocate of mental health services in her community, she works with children and families in the school setting to ensure they have the services they need to be successful in the classroom. She holds a Master of Christian Ministry from Liberty University and is currently pursuing a Master of Ed. Leadership. Crummey brings to the board a unique perspective from inside the classroom among some of the youngest members of her rural community. She hopes to bring a greater awareness of the needs of mental health to Baker County and the surrounding areas.

Patricia Knight

Board Member

Patricia Knight, Lender with Drummond Community Bank, is a life-long resident of North Central Florida. Her 30 plus years of banking and finance experience, combined with her belief in volunteerism and desire to raise awareness for area healthcare needs, make her a valuable member of our Board.

Amanda Manske

Board Member

Amanda Manske is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a heart and passion for helping others discover their power to change their lives. She has a heart for helping families grow and overcome generational transactions. Amanda has a background working with abused and neglected children with the Guardian ad Litem program, substance use treatment, and therapeutic services in the school setting.

Paul Metts

Board Member

Mr. Metts has an extensive career in healthcare previously as the Chief Executive Officer for Shands at the University of Florida (UF Health) and the Chief Administrative Officer for the State of Florida Department of Health. He serves on our board for the opportunity to share the healthcare knowledge he has acquired over the past several decades in both the public and private sectors.

Robert Milner

Board Member

A native Floridian, Bob Milner has been a part of Bradford County for most of his life. Bob graduated from Bradford High School, Lake City Community College and the U. of Central Florida with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. He is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. With over 35 years in criminal justice, Bob retired after serving 16 years as the elected Sheriff of Bradford County. As a long-time supporter, Bob served on the Board of Meridian in the past, and has recently returned, has been active in pursuing an expansion of services to all potential clients in need of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. Aside from serving on Meridian’s board, his volunteer efforts include his church, Kiwanis, Special Olympics, Bradford Food Pantry and the Development Authority. He and his wife Carol have two grown children and four grandchildren and enjoy riding their beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Irma Phillips-Maxwell

Board Member

Ms. Phillips-Maxwell has built her career around helping those in need as part of the Substance Abuse Treatment Team at the VA. Her service on Meridian’s board expands her service to those in need of treatment.

Becky Sharpe

Board Member

Mrs. Sharpe is a School Counselor and the Coordinator of Assessment, Home Education and Virtual School with Lafayette County Schools. She is an advocate of mental health services in the school and community.

Stuart Wegener

Board Member

Stuart was named to the Meridian Board of Directors in 2023. He is a Diversion Resource Coordinator for Alachua County, and an Alachua County Criminal Justice Liaison. Stuart is also a Founding Board Member for the Community Foundation of North Central Florida (CFNCF), which promotes community transformation through the power of philanthropy. His service with the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Oversight Sub-Committee includes advocacy for the Stepping Up program.

Stepping Up is a data-driven framework that assists counties through training, resources, and support tailored to local needs. These counties are currently Stepping Up to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Gadsden, Hernando, Lake, Leon, Levy, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Polk, and Sarasota.

The Stepping Up recommendations include a three-step approach for gathering data:

1. Establish a shared definition of Serious Mental Illness used throughout local criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

2. Use a validated mental health screening tool on every person booked into the jail and refer people who screen positive for symptoms of Serious Mental Illness to a follow-up clinical assessment by a licensed mental health professional.

3. Record clinical assessment results and regularly report on this population.

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