REC of Florida State Board of Directors
State Board Advisors & Support (Non-Voting)
Mary Starkey – Executive Director
Mary has been involved with prison ministry and resident after-care programs since 2003. Prior to relocating to Central Florida in 2007, she served on the Residents Encounter Christ (REC) Board of Directors in Louisville, KY. Mary was on staff from 2004-2007 as the Director of Operations for Prodigal Ministries, the largest after-care provider in Louisville. She also represented the ministry on the Louisville and Jefferson County Offender Re-entry Task Force.
In Central Florida, she serves as a resource member of the Prison/Jail Ministry Task Force for the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and served as President of the REC Community Board of Directors from 2008-2010. In 2010, she accepted the position of Executive Director of REC for the State of Florida. Mary attended Eastern Michigan University and has a Bachelor of Ministry degree from Pillsbury Seminary.
Ralph Donohue- Spiritual Director/Ministry Expansion
Ralph and his wife, Judy, are the proud parents of five children, two biological daughters who are ordained ministers, and three adopted sons in various stages of redemption. They are also blessed with ten grand children ranging in age from 7 to 20. Ralph and Judy came to the Villages in 2007. In January, 2009, he became involved with this inmate-changing program called REC and all the wonderful Christ-centered people who came with it. Many of those same people are serving on this board. Shortly after that first REC weekend in the Sumter County Detention Center, he received another blessing by being hired by fellow board member Tom Moffitt as the jail Chaplain for that same facility.
Ralph, a former international sales person and subsequently an ordained minister with four units of CPE under his belt, is presently doing a second tour as Chaplain at the Sumter County jail. He has recently served as the visitation pastor at Community United Methodist Church in Fruitland Park. He is now assisting Pastor Michael Beck at Wildwood United Methodist Church in providing pastoral care to that congregation.
Ralph is excited about the new things God is about to do in the lives of incarcerated people across the state through the dedicated service of some special Christ-centered REC volunteers.
Carolyn Elkins - President
Ms. Elkins retired from teaching after (30) years and moved from Louisville, Kentucky to Central Florida in 2004. She has been an active volunteer since 2007 and has served in several positions on the Community Board of Directors, including twice as its President. Her background in education, including a Masters of Education and an Ed.S., enabled her to consult with the ministry leadership regarding the training programs for team members of the REC community. She continues to provide consultation in all aspects of the programs for the REC ministry and presently serves as Recording Secretary for the State Board.
Susan Tracy - Vice President
Susan retired and moved to Ocala in 2018 after working for more than 22 years as an administrative assistant at UCF in Orlando. After she experienced her Walk to Emmaus in 2012, she served on several Emmaus teams as well as on the Aldersgate Emmaus Board of Directors. She was a member of University Carillon UMC in Oviedo where she was blessed to serve on the leadership team that started Celebrate Recovery. She currently worships and serves at Belleview UMC in Ocala.
Susan knew she was being called to jail ministry in 2013 when she attended an REC candlelight at the Orange County Jail. Since then she has served on many Orlando REC teams as well as on the REC Greater Orlando Community Board. She also served with Inside Out Jail Ministries as a one-on-one mentor inside the Orange County Jail.
Susan is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the REC State Board of Directors and also to share in the joy of bringing the love of Jesus into the Sumter County Detention Center.
Vacant - Recording Secretary
Larry Rowold – Community Liaison
Larry became interested in REC by osmosis; REC was usually a topic discussed at a Tuesday Morning Men’s Prayer Breakfast that he attends. Upon completion of Larry’s Walk to Emmaus, he began pursuing another program to “give back.”
Larry was instrumental in beginning the “Celebrate Recovery” program at New Covenant United Methodist Church. When the new building addition committee, where Larry served as Vice Chairman, was approaching its final phase, Larry began his journey into REC.
When asked to participate in an REC program at the Orlando Jail, it was enough to begin looking towards doing more. Larry has served in most team positions over the past few years and said “yes” immediately when asked to serve on the State Board as the Community Liaison.
Kathy Yoakum – Administrative Support
Kathy was born in and moved from Rochester, New York to Central Florida in 2004. Her family still all resides in New York. She attended Bonaventure University and currently completing her degree here in Florida. Kathy, through her relationship with Jesus and active participation in substance abuse programs is currently enjoying a life free alcohol and drugs. Her passion for jail, prison, and transitional ministry comes from her understanding of the difficulties faced by those who struggle with addiction and incarceration from her own life experience. She believes that true life transformation, for anyone, may only happen through a relationship with Jesus. God has blessed her with a marriage to Bud Yoakum since 2013. This relationship began through working in the REC ministry.
Kathy currently is on the staff of New Covenant United Methodist Church as Coordinator of Outreach Ministries. She also serves with several ministries that assist in addiction recovery, jail and prison ministry along with transitional programs for men and women leaving jail and prison. She is very excited about being joining with others in serving the imprisoned, sharing what a relationship with Jesus has meant in her life and walking with others in theirs.
Cindy Hall - Member-At-Large
Cindy Hall took her Walk to Emmaus in 2008 and served on her first REC team shortly thereafter the same year. Since then, she has served on several teams in various capacities.
Prior to its closing, Cindy was an active member of the leadership team for her church and was instrumental in creating the guidebook, providing training for volunteers and promoting their HUGS (Hospitality, Ushering, Greeting, and Safety) Ministry.
She has a deep love of our Lord and with a career as an Administrative Assistant, offers her office and organizational skills to the REC Ministry to help bring the Good News to everyone.