Meet the Leadership Team

Chief Executive Officer

Lori Ann Whittington

Lori Ann Whittington is an accomplished nonprofit professional with more than 25 years of experience and currently serves as CEO of Pine Castle. Previously, Lori Ann served as the First Coast Area Executive Director of the American Cancer Society and later took on the role of National Director of Distinguished Events. In addition, Lori Ann has held leadership positions with The Dallas Opera, The Arts Festival of Atlanta, and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

Lori Ann’s prior experience also includes founding a special events production firm in Dallas, Texas and co-owning nonprofit consulting firms based in Atlanta, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida.

Lori Ann serves on state boards for both the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and Arts4All Florida. She also teaches seminars on topics ranging from special events to crisis communications and donor development. She resides in Jacksonville Beach with her husband, public relations consultant Ron Whittington.

Cynica Jackson

Chief Programs Officer

Cynica Jackson

Cynica Jackson joined Pine Castle in 2003 and serves as Chief Programs Officer. In this role, Cynica is responsible for overseeing our Life Enrichment Pathway, Employment Pathway, Residential Department, vehicles, health and safety program, and Operations Department, which includes the new campus crews in Culinary, Custodial, Maintenance, and Landscaping services.

His tenure and progressive roles across our organization, beginning as a direct support professional in the Residential Department and then serving as Group Home Manager, Director of Residential Services, Director of Operations, and Chief Administration Officer, have prepared Cynica for his latest leadership role and exemplify his dedication to our mission.

Before joining Pine Castle, Cynica worked for agencies in service to the IDD community and was a certified Firefighter with the State of Florida as well as a certified EMT.

Cynica lives in the Jacksonville community with his wife, Shante Jackson.

Lisa de Steiguer Jenkins

Chief Financial Officer

Lisa de Steiguer Jenkins, CNAP

Lisa De Steiguer Jenkins is the Chief Financial Officer at Pine Castle. She joined the organization with over 20 years of banking and financial experience but feels she has found a true home in the nonprofit sector. Lisa spent the last six years learning and advancing in the Finance Department and earned the Certified Non-Profit Accounting Professional designation.

She finds many aspects of Lisa’s career at Pine Castle fulfilling; the most rewarding is collaborating with fellow staff members across all disciplines who share the same passion and dedication for the individuals they serve.

Lisa enjoys time boating and diving outside of work with her husband, Derrick, and her two sons.

Chief Operating Officer

Jose Rodriguez, MBA

Jose Rodriguez is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Pine Castle. He is responsible for leading Pine Castle’s HR department, including Compensation and Benefits, Organizational Development, Talent Management, Employee Relations, Psycho-Social Rehabilitation, Admissions, and Information Technology. Jose’s impact extends beyond the administrative realm, as he also guides the programmatic facets of Pine Castle, including ResHab, Life Enrichment, Supportive Employment, and Community Employment.

As COO, Jose has also overseen many successful efforts that resulted in streamlined talent acquisition initiatives leveraging technology, comprehensive talent development programs, and compensation and retention practices focused on driving business results while connecting strategy, talent, and principles.

Jose holds degrees in Computer Information Science and a Master of Business Administration. Jose also has certifications as a Master Training Specialist, Gallup Certified Strength Coach, and numerous certifications under the Harvard Manage Mentor program.

Jose’s exceptional contributions have not gone unnoticed. In 2021, he was honored with the inaugural Human Resources Impact Award, a testament to his tangible influence on the workplace. Recognized for fostering productive, creative, and safe environments, Jose has consistently utilized his role to make a positive and lasting impact on Pine Castle and its employees.

Anthony Sutton

Chief Development Officer

Anthony Sutton, CFRE

Anthony Sutton joined Pine Castle in 2015 as Chief Development Officer. He is a veteran of the nonprofit industry with a passion for philanthropy and making Northeast Florida a better place to live for adults with IDD.

Before joining Pine Castle, Anthony was Director of Donor and Foundation Services at St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation and Director of Donor Relations and Special Events at Florida State College Foundation.

Anthony is a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) and a 2019 graduate of the Stein Fellowship Program. He is very active in the Northeast Florida community, serving as past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, past Chair of National Philanthropy Day, member of the Planned Giving Council of North Florida and Association of Donor Relations Professionals, Vice President of the J. Allen Axson PTA and member of the Staff Parrish Committee at Southside United Methodist Church.

Anthony is married with three children and enjoys spending time with his family at Disney, camping, and making memories.

Danielle Bingham

Director of Mental Health Services

Danielle Bingham, LMHC

Danielle Bingham is the Director of Mental Health Services at Pine Castle. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with nearly a decade of experience helping people with various behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues.

Danielle earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and her Master’s in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Danielle is currently pursuing her PhD in Psychology with a focus on religious trauma and spiritual abuse.

She also serves as an adjunct professor at Southeastern University, teaching psychology, sociology, diversity and inclusion, and counseling courses.

When she’s not at the office, Danielle can spend time with her husband and two children, trying new food spots, watching cheesy Netflix shows, or drinking cold-brew coffee.

Director of Admissions and Case Management

Harlee James

Harlee graduated from Edwards Water College with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. Harlee is finalizing her work product for the Cornell University Work Incentive Practitioner Certification (WIP-C).

Before accepting this position, Harlee worked in various departments within Pine Castle, Inc., with increasing responsibilities, including Case Management, Mental Health, Business Development, and Employment Services.

Harlee brings experience and a proven track record of success in her previous roles, which will be invaluable in meeting departmental goals and objectives.  

Wendy Mayle

Director of Development

Wendy Mayle

Wendy Mayle is the Director of Development. She joined the organization with more than 20 years of dedicated experience with local non-profits but knows she has found her true passion working with the individuals we serve. Wendy has spent the past few years helping to enhance Pine Castle’s campus through renovation projects, developing communication and volunteer programs, and streamlining the community connection process through PCE tours and outreach opportunities. 

Building the Friends of Pine Castle contributor group is very important to Wendy because it strengthens the community connection to Pine Castle and allows for sustainable funding to benefit the organization’s vision.

Being a Jacksonville native, Wendy loves the Florida sunshine and spends her time away from the campus making precious memories with her family. She and her husband, Rob, have three adult children and two son-in-laws.

Nichole Rivera

Director of Marketing and Communications

Nichole Rivera

Nichole Rivera is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Pine Castle. Nichole brings more than 9 years of experience in the communications world including work in public relations, media relations, digital marketing, and social media. Nichole earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and her Master’s in Communication Management from the University of North Florida. 

As Director of Marketing and Communications, Nichole is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of Pine Castle’s marketing, communications, and public relations efforts to advance Pine Castle’s mission in Northeast Florida.  Nichole has also developed the organization’s marketing and communication plans and oversees the development of all marketing collateral, advertising, social media, website content, email newsletters, and press releases.

When she’s not at the office, Nichole enjoys spending time with her husband and three fur babies, watching movies, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. 

Lotsy Simon

Director of Life Enrichment

Lotsy Simon

Lotsy Simon is the Director of Life Enrichment. She joined Pine Castle as the Adult Day Training Supervisor and was promoted to Director. In this role, Lotsy supervises and leads the staff to increase participants’ overall personal independence and quality of life. It is her passion to advocate for participants to reach their full potential. 

Lotsy earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the nation’s highest-ranking HBCU. Before joining Pine Castle, she worked in various fields that positively impacted children’s educational, social, and emotional development. Her experience includes educating, counseling, and supervising a program tailored to the needs of children with intellectual and developmental differences.

Outside of Pine Castle, Lotsy spends time with her family and friends. She loves supporting her church community and her family’s catering business. She also enjoys exploring Jacksonville by visiting local restaurants, coffee shops, and events. 

Cathy Taylor

Director of Residential Services

Cathy Taylor

Cathy has over 38 years of experience helping adolescents and young adults grow into successful and productive adults. She proudly credits 34 of those years to Daniel Memorial Inc., a facility catering to children’s and families’ mental health and emotional needs. Cathy began her healthcare career as a Residential Counselor; she flourished into a Program Director, certified social worker, leader, mentor, national public speaker, motivator, and child advocate. She is passionate about mentoring and leading young, less fortunate individuals to live productively and successfully in any community. She is the proud mother of one daughter and grandmother to two beautiful girls.

Cathy is highly respected in the child welfare community. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix, with strong ties to the mental health field. She is a certified social worker, experienced in starting community-based programs and facilitating life skill workshops for troubled adolescents and young adults.

Her favorite pastimes are traveling, cooking, reading, serving others, public speaking, and nurturing her spiritual growth as an active Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church member. Ms. Taylor exemplifies the meaning of professionalism, integrity, loyalty, and hard work, and is firm when necessary but always fair.

Favorite Scripture:  Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thy heart; and lean not to thy understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.

Chris Worthington

Director of Employment Services

Chris Worthington

Chris Worthington is the Director of Employment Services at Pine Castle. Chris has nearly 20 years of experience working for agencies that serve individuals with IDD. She joined Pine Castle in 2003 after volunteering her time during our annual BBQs. She has served in various roles supporting our mission, including Case Manager, Accounting Clerk, Payroll Specialist, and HR Specialist.

In her current role, Chris is responsible for directing and supervising the activities of the Employment Services departments and staff, which include Supported Employment, drug test fulfillment, woodshop, industrial contracts, and other production areas.

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