Jack Cox

Vice Chair
Elizabeth LaBoone

Dana Keane

Jay Miller


Denis Baker
Eric Hoonhout
Wade McVay
Dr. Kevin O’Neil
Capt. Patrick Robinson
Brena Slater
Bill Spitler
Ron Turner
Pepper Wakeland
Pastor John Walker, Jr.


Brenda Asher, CPA

Brenda Asher joined First Step in 2006 as Chief Financial Officer. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Asher worked in Operations Accounting for Sun Hydraulics prior to joining  First Step.

David J. Beesley, MPH

Responsible for oversight all of First Step’s operations and funding streams, David Beesley brings more than 20 years of experience in healthcare management to his position at First Step. Beesley has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota and has dedicated most of his career to working for non-profit healthcare organizations.

Marlene Minzey, MS, CPHQ

Marlene Minzey has more than 25 years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health field.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.  Under her direction, First Step has earned two “Best Practices” awards by the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Phillip “P.J.” Brooks, MA, LMHC

P. J. Brooks is Vice President of Outpatient and Youth Services. He has more than 17 years of counseling experience, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and has a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Florida.

Robert Piper, MA, LMHC

Bob Piper holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Florida and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Bob has practiced in the treatment addiction field for over three decades.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida School of Addiction Studies and has served as a Past President of the Board.  Bob trains clinicians throughout the State of Florida in the treatment of addiction and associated disorders.

William “Bill” Camp, MBA

Bill joined First Step in 2012. He has more than 25 years of experience in managing information systems with over 10 years in Behavioral Health. Bill has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management of Information Systems from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Argosy University.

Casey Collier

Casey Collier, Clinical Director of First Step’s Residential Campus, graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling in 2008.  A Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Ms. Collier is also certified as a Moral Reconation Therapy Facilitator (MRT).  MRT is a highly-regarded evidence-based treatment method that fosters moral decision making through structured exercises by addressing beliefs and reasoning.

David Panting

Dr. Panting has been a consultant for First Step since 2000 and became the Medical Director in 2006 prior to the opening of the Addictions Receiving Facility.  He completed his training in Psychiatry at The Allegheny Neuropsychiatric Institute of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 1996 where he also was Chief Resident during his senior year.

Dr. Panting is a Board Certified member of The American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and The American Society of Addiction Medicine.  He currently is on staff at Blake Medical Center and maintains a private practice in Bradenton, Florida.

Herta Bowes

Herta Bowes joined FSOS in 2005 where she  served as charge nurse, admission nurse and for the past five years served as nurse manager. She currently is overseeing the Addictions Receiving Facility as the Director of Nursing.  Prior to moving to Florida, Bowes worked at St. Joseph Hospital in  Elgin, Illinois where she received her Associates of Science Degree in nursing.  She earned a Certificate of Completion from M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Hospital in Houston, Texas and contributed to the development of St. Josephs  out-patient oncology clinic where she served as charge nurse until her move to Florida with her family.

Nancy Page

Ms. Page, clinical director of the Special Services Center, has been with First Step since 1999. A Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Addictions Professional, Ms. Page worked at Morris Village prior moving to Sarasota.

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