Who We Are

Leadership

Leon Russell

Board Chair
Tampa, FL

Leon W. Russell is one busy man! He not only serves as Chair of the American Children’s Campaign Board of Directors, but also as Chair of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. Leon retired in January 2012 after serving as the Director of the Office of Human Rights for Pinellas County, a position he held since January 1977.

He has been involved with the National Board of Directors of the NAACP since 1990, having also served as its Vice Chairman and Assistance Secretary. He previously was the President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP for four years (January 1996 – January 2000), after serving for 15 years as its First Vice President.

In September 2007, Leon was elected President of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies. The IAOHRA Membership is agency based and consists of statutory human and civil rights agencies throughout the United States and Canada, and also includes representation from several other nations. These agencies enforce state and local civil rights laws and are actively engaged in reducing and resolving intergroup tension and promoting intergroup relations.

He is also a member of the International City Management Association; member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators; past Board Member of the Pinellas Opportunity Council; past President and Board Member of the National Association of Human Rights Workers; and served on the Blueprint Commission on Juvenile Justice with responsibility for recommending reforms to improve the juvenile justice system in the state of Florida.

Roy Miller

President and Founder
Jacksonville, FL

Roy Miller built a direct service agency for children and families over a 13-year period before becoming a political consultant, managing both candidate and issue campaigns. The strategic advocacy science of American Children’s Campaign, which he founded in 1992, builds on the knowledge and information he acquired from both of these professional experiences.

Roy is described by colleagues as the state’s top watchdog for children, an insightful political strategist, determined lobbyist, plain spoken media spokesman and commentator, and, more important, an unapologetic yet neutral critic of ineffective services to children.

His innovations have resulted in new non-partisan approaches to public policy, new service structures for at-risk children, and powerful new advocacy voices. His models and strategic communications techniques have been replicated in other states.

In 2005, he received the statewide Champions for Children award from the Early Childhood Association of Florida and his work was featured for the launch of the national website for PreK Now, a project of Pew Charitable Trusts. In 2006, Miller received the statewide Presidents Award from the Florida Network of Youth & Family Services, an award that has been bestowed only four times in the previous 30 years. In 2008, the statewide Youth Advocacy Award was presented to Miller by the Florida Juvenile Justice Association.

Roy is spearheading conversation and action across the country for building a stronger and more effective political voice for children.

In his spare time, Roy likes the beach, tennis and golf. He supports several organizations that care for dogs and endangered animals.

Alan Abramowitz

Board Member
Tallahassee, FL

Alan has a long history of volunteerism and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations. He currently serves as chief executive officer of The Arc of Florida, a highly respected grassroots advocacy organization focused on ensuring individuals with disabilities and their children have the information, opportunities and supports to reach their full potential.
Prior to joining The Arc of Florida, Alan served for more than 10 years as the executive director of the Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office under Governors DeSantis, Scott and Crist. In addition, he spent 10 years at the Department of Children and Families as the chief legal counsel for central Florida and as manager of a variety of regional and statewide offices. He also served for four years as assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, as well as assistant attorney for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, and as an assistant public defender for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.

Alan holds a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University, master’s degrees in Public Administration and Sociology, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kansas State University. He played college football for the Kansas State Wildcats and has served with United States Peace Corps, United States Army Reserve, and Florida Army National Guard.

Bill Bentley

Board Member
Silver Spring, MD

Bill Bentley has spent his entire career as an advocate for children, youth and families, especially those most vulnerable (e.g., poor families, LGTB youth, children and youth of color).

He has worked at the local, state and federal levels over his 40+ year career. He has served in leadership positions within nonprofit and governmental agencies, most recently serving as a Senior Political Appointee in the Obama Administration, at the Administration for Children and Families, within the federal Department of Health and Human Services. He retired in November of 2016 after serving in the Obama Administration.

In addition to his service with American Children’s Campaign’s Board of Directors, Bill also volunteers with the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health -Healthy Futures Initiative, Brady United to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Child Advocacy Institute. Bentley was also appointed by the Montgomery County Chief Executive to the East County Citizen’s Advisory Board.

Bill has a Masters of Social Work from Florida State University.

Diego Corzo

Board Member
Austin, TX

Diego Corzo is a Forbes-featured millennial entrepreneur and TEDx speaker living in Austin, TX. Diego was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States with his family when he was nine years old. Diego’s parents told him America was the land of opportunity and with hard work and determination all his dreams would be possible. As a Dreamer and a DACA recipient, Diego has been an advocate in the push for immigration reform. He shared his story multiple times in Washington D.C. with members of Congress, participated in press conferences, news interviews and much more. Diego is one of the co-founders of Rat Race to FL, an organization that teaches people how to invest in real estate and create financial independence. He is also one of the top realtors in Austin, TX, leading the #1 team in his Keller Williams office. He graduated in the top 1% of his class from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and also a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems in December 2012. While he was a student, Diego worked at American Children’s Campaign as a Web Designer.

Shelley Katz

Board Member
Jacksonville, FL

Shelley is a mission-driven nonprofit leader with 30 years of progressively responsible positions delivering quality services for children and families. She is well- known for her passion for helping vulnerable and at-risk populations, as well as her strong leadership skills and demonstrated ability for working across systems to improve lives. Shelley currently serves as Chief Operating Officer with LSF Health Systems. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Office with Victor Community Support Services/Victor Treatment Centers, overseeing all program operations for this California children and family services agency with an operating budget of $88M.
Her prior experience includes leadership positions with LSF Health Systems, Florida’s managing entity for the state-funded behavioral health system in Northeast and North Central Florida, and also Children’s Home Society of Florida, one of Florida’s oldest and largest providers of child welfare services.

Shelley was selected to participate in Miami Herald’s Influencer Project and has served on numerous boards including Florida Coalition for Children, Florida Association of Child and Family Agencies, and United States Selective Service. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida and Leadership Gainesville and served as a training peer reviewer for Council on Accreditation.

Bruce Mills, MRC, CRC, CCM, ACCM

Chair, Nominations
Hendersonville, NC

Bruce has worked over 35 years in private sector case management, providing and supervising medical and vocational rehabilitation services for both injured workers and clients with disabling conditions who are covered with either long term disability, short term disability or individual disability insurance policies.

He also has experience as a medical social worker, both for Pinellas County Government and Memorial Hospital in Tampa, Florida. In addition, he has worked in the private, nonprofit sector as Program Director of the Hotline/Information and Referral Program in Pinellas County.

Bruce has a record of distinguished participation in the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, having served on the National Board of Directors for 4 years. In addition, he was named the Outstanding Individual Professional Member of the Association in 2004.

He also has a long-standing record of community service and in 1995 was the recipient of the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award for Community Service in recognition of his volunteer work with the Tampa AIDS Network.

Bruce graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology. He earned his master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Florida College of Health-Related Professions. He possesses credentials as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (C.R.C.) and Certified Case Manager (C.C.M.). He is also a member of the Academy of Certified Case Managers.

Katie Ross

Secretary
Jacksonville, FL

Katie is a native Floridian and a lifelong public servant. The daughter and granddaughter of public-school teachers, service is a family affair. She had the honor of serving as U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s Northeast Florida’s Regional Director for 6 years. Katie went on to serve as Chief of Staff for Florida State College at Jacksonville, manage Judge Maureen Horkan’s successful campaign for the Group 18 seat on the 4th Judicial Circuit Court, and serve as a consultant on numerous projects involving community development, homelessness, and film production. She started her political career as an intern on Betty Castor’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2004. Katie is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Public Administration.

Jilla Tombar

Board Member
New Orleans, LA

A visionary philanthropic strategist and advisor, Jilla uses the platform of philanthropy to catalyze community-led solutions that advance equity, increase economic opportunity, and inspire climate action. Jilla’s career spans 20 years in both the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors where she has helped leading-edge organizations in Washington, DC, Louisiana and Florida meet their missions through program administration, strategic leadership, and fundraising.

Jilla leverages her experience in external affairs, philanthropic advising, and development to design holistic grantmaking programs, philanthropic partnerships, and leadership initiatives that prioritize community engagement, policy change, and to build needed infrastructure and capacity for organizations committed to racial equity, climate justice, and economic justice. This includes raising and moving more than $75M on behalf of organizations such as the Latin American Youth Center, Earth Conservation Corps, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Jilla is an ardent supporter of the arts, the environment, equitable health care, and adoption. She is a Trustee for the IMH Foundation and serves on the board of directors for the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Uptown Music Theatre, and the NeuroCritical Care Foundation. She earned her Master of Philanthropy & Development from LaGrange College and is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) candidate.

Administration

Carol Armstrong

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Carol has a broad base of Fortune 500 financial management and human resources experience. Throughout her career, she has led cross-functional teams to improve systems and processes that impacted financial performance and human capital development. Her most challenging assignment was serving as controller of AT&Ts Health and Welfare plans, which included managing over $1.5B of healthcare expenses, and coordinating the work of Payroll, Human Resources, finance organizations, lawyers, actuaries, health insurance companies, other vendors, and internal and external auditors. During her 22 years with AT&T, Carol also had opportunities to work with software developers to integrate cost-benefit algorithms into software used throughout AT&T. The application of these types of economic-value algorithms also facilitated an analysis of AT&T’s assets, resulting in a $6.8B write-off at divesture. Her work at AT&T in a post-divestiture environment made Carol acutely aware for the need for a career planning and workforce development program for the chief accountant’s organization to ensure employees could maximize their potential in this new environment. Given that Carol was also working on a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the time, she took advantage of the opportunity to create this program and use it to meet a degree requirement. While at AT&T, Carol became convinced that approaching issues and proposing solutions based on an understanding of the end-to end process was the only way to circumvent the silo mentality and limited understanding of downstream impacts inherent in too many organizations. She has continued to employ a process perspective as an independent consultant with small businesses and other nonprofit organizations, and in her current work with American Children’s Campaign.

Nancy Harrison

CPA

Nancy is originally from Stamford, Connecticut and moved to Tallahassee, her husband’s hometown, in 1998. She earned a degree in Business from Florida State University in 2003. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 2006. Nancy has extensive accounting experience, including working as the controller of an import-export firm in Westport, Connecticut for 10 years. Her tenure in Florida has been exclusively in public accounting and enjoys the opportunity to help a wide variety of clients. She has extensive experience in non-profit accounting and consulting. She considers her work with American Children’s Campaign to be an extremely fulfilling and important part of her professional experience. Nancy and her husband Frank have 6 grown sons and five grandchildren. Nancy enjoys gardening, reading and spending time with her wonderful family.

Communications

Karen Bonsignori

Communications Director

Karen’s involvement with American Children’s Campaign spans nearly 20 years, although she has officially served as our Director of Communications for about 10 years. She is an award-winning public relations and marketing professional whose specialty is helping under-recognized organizations and public causes achieve the awareness and visibility they deserve. She is deeply experienced in high-impact, behavior-changing public awareness, advocacy and outreach campaigns that get people to notice and talk about silent causes, leading to increases in awareness, involvement and behavior change.

She also specializes in managing highly complex and often controversial public issues and crisis communications challenges. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards from the Tampa Advertising Federation, Florida Motion Picture & Television Association, Graphic Design USA, and Florida Public Relations Association, including the top public relations award in the state of Florida ― the prestigious Dick Pope All Florida Golden Image Award. In 2012, Karen was honored with the top national media award called The Golden Thinker Award from the North American Precis Syndicate for a consumer feature article that received an extraordinary amount of media placements in American newspapers.

Karen is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and completed post baccalaureate studies in Public Relations Management at University of Florida.

Andrea Bonsignori

Communications Coordinator

Andrea is a Florida native and a self-motivated woman with a passion for creating positive social change. Prior to joining American Children’s Campaign, Andrea worked with a variety of businesses and organizations in improving efficiency in human resources, marketing, and digital security. Her skills include persuasive copywriting, social media marketing, graphic design, website updating, database management, change management, and data-driven business optimization, among others.

Andrea received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida and completed her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Anna Maria College, graduating from both with honors. She is certified in Microsoft Office and specializes in Excel.

Public Policy

Amanda Ostrander

Director of Policy

Amanda has served in many different capacities for American Children’s Campaign, including Coordinator of Policy & Administration and Deputy Director of Communications. Her current position allows her to focus on the research and policy that support best practices while incorporating that knowledge into legislation that will support Florida’s children. She is able to utilize her history with American Children’s Campaign communications to inform subscribers about up-to-date policy information. Prior to joining the Campaign, Amanda worked for other child advocacy organizations, including Voices for Florida’s Children, and a fellowship with the Child Welfare League of America. Amanda received her Master’s in Social Work Policy and Administration from Florida State University. She and her husband currently reside in Jacksonville, FL and are the proud parents of four energetic children.

Reya Swain

Reya Swain

Public Policy Resident
Leia Bamasi

Leia Bamasi

Public Policy Apprentice

In Memoriam

Janice Wade-Miller

Co-Founder

For several years, Janice served as a nutrition educator for our organization. She held a bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in food and nutrition from Florida State University and a minor in psychology. Janice held the position of educational instructor for the Family and Consumer Sciences Department of the Pinellas County Extension for eight years. While there, she developed and presented educational programs on food, nutrition, health and food safety to diverse groups, inclusive of children in the child welfare and juvenile justice system. She was a team member of a federally funded health education grant and participated in two “Take Charge of Your Diabetes” research studies through the University of Florida. Formerly, she was a registered dental hygienist and successful owner of a beach-related gift shop.