Board of Directors
David C. Jones, President - It is rare that someone can take a “tragedy” as an opportunity to change their life and help others. That is exactly what David Jones did. His injury became a personal commitment to help others. In 1988, David Jones was shot in a hunting accident resulting in a serious head injury that left him with permanent paralyses of his left leg, limiting mobility and no use of his left hand. David utilized a wheelchair for one year and gradually increased his mobility to the point where he could walk with a walker and now walks with a slight limp without any device. He remains paralyzed in one arm. In the process of his rehabilitation, he became aware of the importance of recreation for rehabilitation – not only to improve mobility, but to improve mental well-being. David saw this event in his life as a challenge and an opportunity to assist others. This life changing event developed into his personal crusade. David went back to school and received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Florida State University. David Jones overcame the challenge of his disability utilizing sports for himself and others by forming the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association in 1990. This organization came out of the positive experience David had from using sports and recreation for his own rehabilitation.
Gordon Palmer, Vice President - Gordon Palmer is a senior attorney with the Florida Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission, where he has worked for 24 years. He was injured in an automobile accident in 1977 where he became a C4-5 quadriplegic. Not long after his injury, he started doing volunteer and advocacy work for people with disabilities. His volunteer efforts include: Spinal Cord Society; the Center for Independent Living of North Florida; the Florida Transportation Disadvantaged Commission; the North Florida Spinal Injuries Association; the Florida Independent Living Advisory Council; the James Patrick Work Incentive Program for people with disabilities; and others. Since the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association was founded in 1990, Gordon has been involved as a participant and volunteer and subsequently a board member since the board's foundation.
Kristy Carter, CTRS, Secretary - Kristy is the Assistant Program Supervisor at the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs. Upon graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Administration she holds her license as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist while assisting with training and advocacy within the community. Prior to that time, she served as the Inclusion Specialist for Florida Disabled Outdoors Association along with serving in the community as a recreation therapist in a variety of settings from community recreation, rehab hospital to adult day care. She has been involved with the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association as a volunteer and then board member since 1998.
Michael Isaacson, Treasurer - Michael Isaacson is a Government Operations Consultant II with the State Revolving Fund Program of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As a child, he competed for many years at the National Junior Disability Championships winning medals in various Olympic sports including track and swimming. He graduated from the University of Florida with honors receiving a Bachelor Degree of Science in Economics with a Specialization in Management and a Minor in Law. While attending college, he worked in the disability resource center, was a member of the Union for Students with Disabilities, and was co-founder/vice president of Delta Sigma Omicron, the epsilon chapter of a disabled service fraternity. During his time with Delta Sigma Omicron, he helped organize disability workshops, create disability awareness events, and bring keynote speakers to the university such as Paralympian gold medal winner Scot Hollonbeck. Michael is also a former guard for the North Florida Rolling Osprey wheelchair basketball team. He has been involved as a volunteer and board member with FDOA since 2008.
David Scott Lowe, Director at Large, is a veteran from the United State Navy where he worked as an EMT. David was in the construction field until 1991 when he was involved in a car accident where he lost his left arm. In 1997, his right hand was crushed in a construction accident resulting in the loss of his index finger. In July of 2001, David was placed in the VA hospital with diabetic ulcers on both feet which eventually lead to the amputation of both feet below the knee. These circumstances led David to return to school at Tallahassee Community College where he is pursuing his degree in Computer Assisted Design (CAD). Through each challenge in his life, he has retained a positive attitude and he continues to work as an advocate for active leisure for people of all abilities. He has been involved with the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association as a volunteer and then board member since 2003.
Laurie LoRe-Gussak, MBA, IOM, CAE, Executive Director - Laurie has over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit / association management field. She has worked for the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association since 2002 and volunteered with them prior to that time. Her experience includes serving as Executive Director for ITFlorida and Executive Director of the TalTech Alliance as well as tenure at the Florida Institute of CPAs and the Florida Association of Court Clerks. She has a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology and Bachelor of Science in Management Science from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Laurie also graduated from the Institute of Organization Management, which is a prominent training program for association executives. She obtained her certification as a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives. She has been active in her professional community. She served on the Diversity Committee for the American Society of Association Executives and the National Marketing Committee for the United States Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organization Management. She has also been an active member of the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives chairing various committees and served on the Board of Directors of the Apalachee Blues Society.