Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation President Peter Racine visits Neighbor To Family, Inc. March 24 to learn more about the organization

Jgas foundation

Top photo: NTF President/CEO Gordon Johnson (right) discusses the Sibling model with Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation President Peter Racine (left)

Bottom photo: From left to right — Johnson, NTF-Jacksonville Program Executive Director Aida Seeraj, Racine and NTF-Jacksonville Program Professional Foster Caregiver Ann Lisk.

NTF-UAC Miami Program holds door decorating contest to teach children about St. Patrick’s Day

Miami St Pats

MIAMI, FL — The NTF-UAC Miami Program office held a St. Patrick’s Day door decorating contest. The children and staff decorated the doors. Everyone participated with music, food and games for the children to learn all about St Patrick’s Day.

NTF Vice President of Florida Operations and UAC Liaison Jamie Akins served as the judge with the following results: First place was a tie (top two doors pictured) between Lisette Perez and Yanilla Llompart-Millis. Second place (pictured bottom left) went to the teacher- Jennifer Espinosa and her assistant Gabe. Third place (pictured bottom right) was Nersy Quinones. Honorable mention was earned by Terry Witherspoon.

Gerow returns to the Neighbor To Family-Daytona Sibling Program as executive director

Rachael Gerow

NTF-Daytona Program Executive Director Rachael Gerow

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Neighbor To Family, Inc. (NTF) President and CEO Gordon Johnson recently appointed Rachael Gerow as the executive director of Neighbor To Family, Inc.’s (NTF) Daytona sibling Program.

Gerow earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Massachusetts and a Master of Social Work from UCF.  She served as the NTF-Daytona Sibling Program executive director from 2002-2007 and was most recently an operations review specialist for the FL Dept. of Children and Families.

“Rachael returns to NTF with valuable, varied background and experience including residential, case management and rape crisis counseling and we are absolutely thrilled to have her return to our NTF family,” Johnson said.

Gerow replaces James Akins who was recently promoted to NTF-Corporate as its vice president of Florida programs.

NTF-Jacksonville hosts first Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dance

Jax valentine

JACKSONVILLE, FL — On Feb. 16, NTF-Jacksonville hosted its first Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dance. This beautiful event was facilitated by Neviaser STAR Nurturing Parenting Facilitators Michelle Adams and Mia Hill.

A special Valentine’s Day Cupid DJ played great music, while the children had an opportunity to create their own Valentine’s Day cards, take photos at the Sweetheart Photo Booth and, of course, dance and eat lots of food and dessert!

Birthdays were celebrated, and there was also a photographer and videographer on hand to record all of the fun! Everyone had a wonderful time!

Happy birthday to NTF Founder and President/CEO Gordon Johnson!

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HERE’S A LOOK AT HIS HARD WORK AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE CHILD WELFARE FIELD:

In honor of our Founder and President/CEO Gordon Johnson, Neighbor To Family, Inc.’s (NTF’s) Safety Committee prepared a timeline of his great work and how the organization came into existence.

Mr. Johnson made it possible for countless to share in his vision of child abuse prevention services that keep siblings together.  We thank you, Mr. Johnson!

Timeline:

The 1930’s & 1940’s brought on young Gordon Johnson desire to be a “Protector of Children”

In the 1950’s, Gordon Johnson returned to college after serving in the U.S. Army and he wanted to use his degree to work with and influence young people.

The 1960’s brought incredible changes in civil rights and child welfare.  Gordon Johnson earned his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and his career launches in Battle Creek, MI and Miami, FL.

The 1970’s took Mr. Johnson to Pennsylvania where, in leadership roles, he became acquainted in Washington, D.C. with Greg Coler, (who would become a good friend and mentor), which led to opportunities in New York and Illinois.

In 1980, the Illinois DCFS faced a crisis, unable to place over 700 black children.  “One Church, One Child” was developed by Coler and Johnson and, by 1986, only 39 were awaiting adoption.  In the midst of the crusade, Gordon Johnson replaced Coler as the Director of the Illinois DCFS.

In 1990, Gordon Johnson took on the challenge of saving the Jane Addams Hull House in Illinois, initiating the “New Directions” program to help teens in group homes or foster care to transition on their own.  “The Families For a Better Life” program got the attention of Oprah Winfrey and the media.  In 1994, responding to the need for providing foster care that would keep siblings together, Mr. Johnson conceived a new program he called, “Neighbor to Neighbor.”

In 1994, Gordon Johnson was called down to Florida from the DCF administrator to discuss the Neighbor to Neighbor program.  After numerous trips back and forth, the program was finally implemented in 1998.

By 2002, Neighbor to Family was incorporated and evolved to what it is today.  Throughout the growth and changes, at the heart of NTF remains the core model:  Keeping Siblings Together.

Akins promoted to NTF vice president of Florida programs

Jamie Akins

James L. ” Jamie” Akins, III

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Neighbor To Family, Inc. (NTF) President and CEO Gordon Johnson recently promoted Daytona Program Executive Director James L. “Jamie” Akins, III to vice president of Florida programs.

Akins was first employed with NTF in 2005 as a case manager for the sibling foster care model at the Daytona program office. He was later promoted to lead case manager, lead family care manager, the Family in Home Resource Support Team (FIRST) program supervisor and, for the past four years, executive director.

Akins earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bryan College and a master’s degree in social work from UCF. In 2014, he was named one of “40 Under 40” by the Volusia-Flagler Business Report.

“We are extremely pleased to have Jamie join our corporate management team,” Johnson said. “He has worked his way up to the vice presidency from the front line and his vast experience will serve thousands of children, siblings and families.”

Regacho named victor of the Fifth Annual Chili Cook-off

Chili 1st

NTF President/CEO Gordon Johnson and Chili Cook-off winner Daytona Program Family Care Manager Robin Regacho. 

 

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Neighbor To Family President/CEO Gordon Johnson awarded Daytona Program Family Care Manager Robin Regacho first place in the Fifth Annual Daytona Program-Corporate Office Chili Cook-off. Regacho’s winning recipe was spicy and organic, containing grain-fed beef.

Second place went to Florida Programs Medicaid Director Claudia Williams’ yummy chili and Corporate Human Resources Administrator Kasi Cox earned third place. Cox’s chocolate, salted caramel cupcakes were also amazing!

Special thanks to this year’s judges: Bob Barringer, Daytona Program Lead Clinical Engagement Specialist; Petoula Diaz, Daytona Program Clinical Engagement Specialist and Corina Henriquez, Corporate Payroll Administrator.  Also, Assistant to the President Kelly Morgan did a marvelous job coordinating the event!

Chili winners

Top  (l-r) Williams, Cox, Johnson & Regacho. Bottom (l-r) Henriquez, Diaz & Barringer.