Megan Howell, MS
Executive Director, Founder
Megan Howell founded this organization in 2019 by helping a severely mentally ill man off the street who had been homeless for 25 years. All while attending college and working at the local Sarasota favorite restaurant, Patrick’s 1481.
She holds a Master’s degree in Science in Psychology. Her background experience is with serving those experiencing developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, mental illness and homelessness. She has completed extensive comparative work in the way of multi-cultural issues surrounding homelessness in Japan and actually lived on the streets of Tokyo for a study.
Megan serves on the leadership council for the SunCoast Partnership to End Homelessness Council members are tasked with guiding and coordinating the Sarasota-Manatee community’s policies, strategies and activities toward ending homelessness.
Megan takes her life cue from the Japanese philosophy of “Ikigai,” which means “find joy in life through purpose.”
Megan was named Sarasota Magazine 2023 Unity Award Winner.
Athyna Smith, BA
Director of Operations
Athyna Smith has an impressive track record of serving those most in need in her community. Her extensive experience includes working with veteran and non-veteran individuals and families experiencing homelessness, families with school-age children that are at risk of becoming homeless, troubled youth and neglected children.
Prior to joining Second Heart Homes, Athyna served as Director of Rapid Rehousing for the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the Suncoast. She also previously served as a member of the Continuum of Care Leadership Council for the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Southern Florida.
Board of Directors
David Lyons, MBA
Chairman of the Board
Since retiring as president of the Cola-Cola Company’s Philippines and South Africa divisions, David Lyons has been a champion of helping others achieve maximum mental well being. David is principal partner at David Lyons Coaching, a personal coaching service that helps people optimize their career and life. He also is a supporter and volunteer at the Salvation Army, First Step and the Sarasota county correctional system, helping individuals with addiction, trauma and mental health issues. David believes mental illness is the leading contributor to most societal issues, including homelessness. He is excited about working to expand Second Heart Homes’ model of developing independence through housing, clinical support and loving care.
Photo by Sarasota Ballet & Matt Holler.
David Welle, MBA
David currently operates an investment firm that invests in and manages commercial properties. Prior to this, he co-founded CSL International, a boutique management consulting firm that provides market, financial, and operating consulting services to owners and managers of sports-related developments. He also is a former partner with Coopers and Lybrand, one of the two firms that merged to form PricewaterhouseCoopers. David holds an MBA from the University of Denver and a Bachelors degree from Moorhead State University.
Erika Quartermaine, JD
Sarasota County Court Judge Erika Quartermaine is a Sarasota native and serves in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit. She is passionate about the use of problem-solving court programs in appropriate circumstances – with the goal of increasing public safety and improving lives by treating the underlying causes of criminality. She was instrumental in creating the Comprehensive Treatment Court, a mental-health court for non-violent offenders who are seriously mentally ill and unable to meet their basic needs. She also helped establish the Turn Your Life Around Court, a diversion program for individuals charged with prostitution-related crimes and who are victims of human trafficking.
Jim has been active in finding solutions to the issue of the chronic homeless population in Sarasota since 2015. In 2021, Jim was named as business community representative to the Continuum of Care Leadership Council for the SunCoast Partnership to End Homelessness. Council members guide and coordinate the Sarasota-Manatee community’s policies, strategies and activities toward ending homelessness.
He’s the Founder and retired CEO of JDA.media, a Sarasota based company that provides sales training and revenue development services to media companies throughout the United States. He was also a partner in Gocom Media which owned TV stations in Illinois and California. Jim holds a BA in Business Administration and Management from Rutgers University. He is the author of Selling with a Servant Heart.
Thomas Tryon, BS
Journalist and Florida son Tom Tryon is a former opinion editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where he examined homelessness issues for more than 15 years. Tom also served as board chairman for the former nonprofit, Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence (SCOPE), where he focused on connecting Sarasota citizens to create a better community through dialogue, data and public policy. Sarasota Magazine named Tom one of “The 100 New Most Powerful People in Sarasota Today,” noting he is “one who gets things done.” Tom looks forward to putting his words into action as a Second Heart Homes board member focused on reducing homelessness while revitalizing Sarasota’s vulnerable residents and neighborhoods.
Claudia Barnett, BA
With 40 years of experience as a Washington, D.C. real-estate broker, developer, and general contractor, Claudia Barnett is no stranger to the politics of housing and homelessness.
A native New Yorker, Claudia earned her BA in International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C., and later became a successful D.C. real estate developer. She went on to co-found three homeless organizations there.
After a decade as snowbirds, Claudia and her husband Jack became full-time Sarasotans in 2012. Today, Claudia is a sales associate for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. She has served on the Sarasota City Historic Preservation Advisory Board and enjoys raising money and volunteering for several nonprofit organizations. She views homelessness as a quality-of-life issue for homeless and home-blessed alike and is committed to helping crystalize Second Heart Homes’ role in the community.