Jesse Miller began as a volunteer photographer when the Heart Gallery pilot program first came to Florida 13 years ago. After serving as Director of Education for the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center, she decided to bring her non-profit experience and photography skills to help grow the Heart Gallery program. She has now served as director of the Heart Gallery for 10 years and her team has helped develop 35 new Heart Galleries around the country. Through the efforts of her team, more than 500 of Tampa’s foster children have found loving, forever families. The Heart Gallery of Tampa was named Non-Profit of the Year in 2013 by WEDU. Ms. Miller was a Business Woman of the Year finalist in 2014, and won the Up & Comer Hall of Fame award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2015. She is extremely proud of her team and the amazing children they serve.
Lindsay Antal 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 Program Manager.
Gina Larsen joined the Heart Gallery team in 2016 as the Program Coordinator. Before joining the team, Gina worked in social behavioral research design and research administration at The University of South Florida for 6 years, where she received her Master’s Degree in Applied Anthropology. As a researcher, Gina has worked to understand the link between environmental degradation and human impacts throughout Tampa Bay. During her time at USF, she also helped to educate the research community about human research ethics and policy through large-scale outreach initiatives. Gina is thrilled to be able to take her knowledge and passion for social behavioral research and local outreach and serve the waiting children of the Heart Gallery of Tampa.
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.