Bridget Gaudette, Executive Director
Bridget was born into a very devout Jehovah’s Witness family. Raised as a young Earth creationist and Bible literalist, it wasn’t until college that she finally rid herself of religious belief. She attributes this primarily to her studies in geology and biological anthropology. Due to the rejection of her parent’s religious beliefs, she was disowned and has had almost no contact with them in over a decade.
After obtaining her Masters in Public Administration (which focused on nonprofit management) Bridget has assisted several freethought organizations with their development and administration. Bridget’s most recent post was as the Director of Development for Foundation Beyond Belief.
Bridget was a contributor to the book BlackNones: You Are Not Alone and the upcoming The Gospel of Doubt: Challenging the Faith. She is the author of Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood, due out next year.Bridget has spoken around the country, about her deconversion, what it’s like to be a black atheist and her transformation from sex-negative to sex-positive and how religion played a key role.
Cara Zelaya- Social Media Coordinator
Cara Zelaya is a senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in Business Administration. Prior to joining the Humanists of Florida Association she was an active member in the Secular Student Alliance at UCF. Raised Christian, she was a member of Catholic youth ministry in her high school. Following graduation and seeing the corruption and unethical behaviors of the Catholic Church she left religion to pursue secular philanthropic work. While making the transition from high school to college, she began to avidly read books on secularism and atheism, and embraced a Secular Humanist world view. Cara writes on the topic of secularism, separation of church and state, sex-positivity, and feminism on her personal blog which has a 14,000 person readership.
Kristeen Cherney- Communications Coordinator, Newsletter Editor, HFA Blogger
Kristeen is a native Californian who grew up in Hawaii. After moving to Florida in middle school, she suffered a heavy religious shock in her community. Although family and friends encouraged church attendance at first, she was quickly turned off from organized religion. Kristeen graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2006 with a B.A. in Communication and a Minor in Marketing. She is currently a freelance writer, reporting on issues related to health and well-being. Kristeen is also pursuing an M.A. in English with an emphasis in Cultural Studies. Her hope is to continue helping others through writing, while also eventually researching and reporting on society and culture. She has a specific interest in religion’s effects on linguistics.
Kristeen brings a wealth of real-life experience as well as a pursuit for free-thought to the Humanists of Florida. She hopes to help the Association and her community through professional experience in reporting, communication and marketing, along with a passion for empathy and secularism.
Allen Drozd- Special Projects Coordinator, HFA Blogger
Allen Drozd is a freelance writer, psychotherapist, and business consultant with a health and human services consulting group. Allen possesses more than 20 years of experience in healthcare and human services enterprises and has developed and/or managed dozens of facilities across the country. He holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, a B.A. in Psychology (with a minor in Philosophy) and is currently pursuing an MBA.
As a Humanist and self appointed advocate for social justice, his interests include: Reading & researching, philosophy, psychology, art, culture and music. Also, multicultural factors in health & human services and the use of technology to improve our society and our lives.
The son of European and Latin American parents, Allen was raised in the Catholic tradition and considers himself a “Recovered Catholic”.
Samantha McDonald- Social Media Coordinator
Samantha McDonald is a Sociology major at the University of Central Florida and a member of the Secular Student Alliance at UCF. Born and raised in the Orlando area, she attended a non-denominational church until high school. In college, she gradually began to notice the many literary and historical inconsistencies of religious texts, and realized that she preferred science over superstition. She is aware that churches and other places of worship serve as important places of socialization. Coming out as atheist can mean being rejected by friends and family, and developing an irreligious identity can be a struggle. The non-religious population is growing in the US and is already well established in Europe, and so this population needs to know that they can be represented politically and socially without fear of negative response.
Robert Cossairt- Operations Coordinator
Rob Cossairt is a technology consultant and a computer technician. Soon, he will obtain his Bachelor’s in Information Technology with a minor in Non-Profit Management. He has duel Associate’s degrees in Accounting and Computer Networking
At an early age Rob began traveling and living around the United States and various parts of Canada.
Although born into a Catholic family, as an early teen he left behind his religious beliefs. He then began researching and experimenting with different belief systems. For over 15 years he studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism, even living at a Western Buddhist Monasteries and Abbeys and a few different retreat centers around North America.
In 2008 he realized that his atheism conflicted with many aspects of his worldview and eventually led to him leaving that community behind. In 2012 he moved to Florida and Rob continued looking for a community of like-minded individuals which brought him to the Humanists organizations. He is a new member to the FHA having joined at the 2013 annual conference.
David Williamson- Events Coordinator
David began community organizing in the freethought movement in Sarasota where he started the Suncoast Skeptics in 2008 and helped found the local Atheists of Florida chapter in 2011. After moving to Orlando in 2012, he founded the area’s only organization focused on state/church separation, the Central Florida Freethought Community. In a very short time, the CFFC has stopped several state/church violations and continues to be a force for preserving Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation.”
Recently, David has served as the Chair of the Secular Coalition for Florida and was awarded the Florida Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year in 2013 for his efforts in community organizing and activism. He brings to FHA a passion for fighting to ensure the equal treatment of non-believers under the law as well as experience in organizing local events. Look for FHA-sponsored events in your area in the future and contact David if you can assist in bringing high-quality speakers to Florida.
Mark Nebo- Social Media Coordinator
Elizabeth Dorssom- Affiliate, Membership and Development Coordinator
Elizabeth Dorssom is a graduate student of Public Administration at California State University, Northridge. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from Chatham College for Women. She recently served as the Beyond Belief Network intern for Foundation Beyond Belief.
Raised in numerous Christian denominations, Elizabeth finally abandoned religious beliefs in college when she realized religion was primarily used as a means to subjugate women, minorities and the LGBT community.
In her spare time, Elizabeth likes to watch Real Time with Bill Maher, write articles for Yahoo News, and read books on her Kindle. Elizabeth’s interests include feminism, women’s studies, politics, history, freethought, and atheism.
All coordinators are volunteers