Lindsay worked in the foster care system for six years prior to joining the Heart Gallery team in 2014. She initially began working with newly licensed foster parents before transitioning to work specifically with prospective adoptive parents and helping to match waiting children to their forever families. She has also worked for Eckerd Community Alternatives as an Operations Specialist and liaison between Eckerd and case management agencies. Helping children find their forever families has been the most fulfilling thing Lindsay has ever done both personally and professionally. Through her work with the Heart Gallery, she is now able to make a direct impact on the lives of children waiting to be adopted through her work as the Executive Director.
Christie and her sisters were adopted from foster care as young children and now as a mom, she has become an advocate for adoption hoping to impart the significance of giving back to her own children. Christie became a Guardian Ad Litem in 2009 and has since become a Master Guardian and trains new mentors. She has served on the Heart Gallery’s Be Mine event team for two years and is a dedicated mom and volunteer. Christie joined the Heart Gallery team as a part-time exhibits coordinator in 2013.
Jenny was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana until her career as a Special Education teacher moved her to Atlanta, Georgia. She worked specifically with children with significant emotional needs, many of whom were in the foster care system. Jenny and her husband, Vince, adopted their third child from the Hillsborough County foster care system in 2011. Throughout the past five years, Jenny has remained involved in the child welfare system by serving as a volunteer for the Heart Gallery Tampa Bay. She officially joined the Heart Gallery team as a part-time Project Coordinator in 2015.
Christy has been a passionate advocate for children and youth in foster care since 2006. She began her career in the foster care system working with foster and adoptive families. She first joined the Heart Gallery in 2009 and worked for the program until 2014. Christy continued her advocacy work as a Foster Care Licensing Specialist, then as the Supervisor for the Adoption Recruitment Team with Eckerd Connects. During that time, she continued to serve the Heart Gallery in a volunteer capacity. Since 2006, she has mentored four foster care youth and adopted one, who is now an adult. Christy also has two adult daughters. She is delighted to be back as a formal member of the Heart Gallery team again and looks forward to making an impact in her role as Program Director.
Kyana was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She graduated from college with a Bachelors in Sociology and double minored in Criminal Justice and Psychology. After graduation, she moved to Florida in 2018 and became a dependency case manager with the child welfare system. She transitioned to the adoptions unit in June 2020, as she realized her passion was finding children their forever families. Taking that passion one step further, Kyana accepted a position with the Heart Gallery in September 2021 as an Adoptive Family Recruiter.
Nikki was born and raised in Florida. She graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida and went back to earn a Masters in Psychology from Nova Southeastern in 2013. Nikki began working in community mental health both in inpatient and outpatient over 10 years ago with a focus on survivors of complex and chronic trauma. Through working on the inpatient psych units and learning about the child welfare system, Nikki decided to become a Guardian Ad Litem in C13 Hillsborough county and had the privilege of serving as a court appointed GAL for 6 years. Nikki became a licensed foster family in 2018 and then experienced firsthand what it was like to go through the adoption process from the system of care in 2019. This experience led her directly to working in the field of adoption to help children and families navigate their individual road to healing as a way out of the child welfare system. Nikki is Florida DCF Adoption Competent trained and works with all the Heart Gallery of Tampa children and families through the family selection, recruitment, match and post placement process to ensure they have the support and services needed to be successful.