our team

Florida Senior Living Association Staff

Gail Matillo, MPA
President & CEO

As the Association’s and Institute’s President/CEO, Gail is responsible for directing the association, institute and identifying policy objectives that support the mission, vision and growth of both organizations. Previously, she spent more than two years as the State Housing Director with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and more than 18 years with the Florida Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, now LeadingAge Florida, as the Director of Housing and Professional Development. Gail has a master’s degree in public administration, and a bachelor’s degree in business and health care administration. Gail has been an ALF Core Trainer for more than 10 years and served on Governor DeSantis’ Safe and Reopening of LTC communities and Vaccine Task Forces. She is the Chair of the Argentum State Executives board and is a board member of Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition and the Pioneer Network.  Gail loves the outdoors and enjoys camping, motorcycling, cooking and antique shopping.

Jason Hand, esq.
Vice President of Public Policy and Legal Affairs

Jason M. Hand is responsible for managing the legislative, regulatory and policy activities of FSLA on behalf of its members.  He brings an understanding of policy, politics and personalities based on 20 years of experience with the creation and implementation of state policy and high-profile projects in Florida’s legislative and executive branches of government.

Most recently, Jason was an Assistant Deputy General Counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). He also previously served in the Florida Senate as Chief Attorney and Lead Policy Analyst for the education policy committees for Senate Presidents Gaetz, Gardiner and Negron.

Jason has extensive experience in agency rule-making and licensing, business operations, competitive procurements, contract negotiations, compliance reviews, and civil and administrative litigation. A fifth generation Floridian, Hand is a graduate of Mercer Law School, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College.

Sheri LeaJean
director of Education & Sponsorships; Executive Editor, ENGAGE magazine

Sheri LeaJean is responsible for directing education opportunities including in-person events, online courses and virtual webinars.

She is an association executive with more than 20 years of experience in business, communications, marketing and member services in both private and public sectors. Driven by her heart of service, she is the visionary behind a local company, Cookies & Tea for Me, LLC, an unique children’s tea party boutique and summer camp for children. After 15 years in business, she passed the torch to a new owner and segued her career to working with associations, most recently employed by the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association and Florida Auto Dealers Association. Previously, Sheri also worked with Volunteer Florida.

Sheri is a graduate of Florida State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with graduate studies in public administration.

Sheri is responsible for directing Industry Partner memberships and education opportunities, including in-person events, online courses and virtual webinars.

Meredith Van Valkenburgh
Project Director

Meredith Van Valkenburgh brings more than 27 years of public and private sector service to FSLA as well as his background as a Navy veteran. Highly adapted to project management, he has extensive accounting experience including budget preparation, fiscal reporting and team communications.

Meredith holds a master’s degree in forensic accounting and two bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics. He is also  Certified in Public Management (CPM) and has a Sigma Six Green Belt.  Driven by a commitment of volunteerism, he has been involved with the CPM program for the past 10 years and more recently with other local initiatives.


Kristin is from Panama City, Florida and has lived in Tallahassee since 2014. She graduated from Tallahassee Community College in 2015 and Florida State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Law and Philosophy. She is currently in the Masters of Applied American Politics and Policy Program at Florida State University and will earn her master’s degree in the summer of 2023. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the graduate program and is a member of the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. Kristin has over four years of experience in the Florida Legislature and  is dedicated to public service, helping the community, and serving Floridians. When not working, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family, especially her identical twin sister, reading, and going to the beach.

jimmie fay griffin, LPN
Accounting & Membership MANAGER

Jimmie Fay has recently joined the team at Florida Senior Living Association. Previously, she was an Executive Director for more than 17 years. In this role, she was responsible for directing all departments in the community including staffing, caregiving, maintenance, customer service, and provided consistent and accurate information to owners, management, staff and families. She was responsible for drafting policies and procedures and has a clear understanding of the importance of follow-through communications in all situations. Her motto is that most problems occur from failure to communicate properly.

Jimmie Fay is a licensed nurse and strives to keep up-to-date with clinical issues even though she isn’t working in that capacity now. She loves a challenge and is a problem solver. When not working, Jimmie Fay loves spending time with her family.


John Henry brings more than 30+ yrs of business experience working as a management consultant, investment banker and commercial banker developing and delivering a broad range of applied business research, market research, financial and engineering services.   Most recently, John worked with several companies helping them ramp up their marketing, business development and sales acceleration teams.

At FSLA, John will leverage his many years of marketing and sales experience as the Director of Business Development.

John Henry earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business completing a specialization in Business Economics & concentrations in Finance and Marketing. He graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Engineering.


Katherine is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and was a member of the Sociology Honor Society. Since earning her undergraduate degree, Katherine became certified as a behavioral therapist to provide ABA therapy to children diagnosed with Autism. Katherine has a dedication to being of service to underserved populations and is excited to shift her focus to public policy and advocacy work at FSLA. Katherine has a passion for all things creative and enjoys spending her free time painting, practicing yoga, and creating new projects for herself.

Strength in experience, knowledge and expertise

Florida Senior Living Association works closely with a team of lobbyists, consultants and trainers to ensure it provides the best possible representation and advocacy for its members.

James McFaddin

Chris Dudley

Paul Mitchell

Clark Smith

Monte Stevens

Rachel Cone



Amy Schrader, Outside Counsel


Greg Cochran, CPA

Sandi poreda, communications

Katie Truelove, Marketing + Design



Monica Wilson is an experienced trainer, facilitator and educator with a passion for older adults, technology and connecting people and processes. Previously, Monica was one of the original Department of Elder Affairs ALF trainers and was responsible for development of the initial ALF Core training certification exam developed in partnership with the University of South Florida.  She has extensive knowledge of and experience with assisted living regulation both in Florida and nationally. She has a Master of Science in Gerontology and more than 20 years of experience working with organizations that provide services for older persons, including serving in management roles in senior living organizations.