Our Mission: Provide safe and effective programs to strengthen youth and families.
Arnette House provides programs and services to the 5th circuit which includes Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus & Hernando Counties by caring and dedicated professionals who focus on the strengths of the family while providing skills and knowledge to help improve life at home. Our master’s-level counselors utilize various forms of therapy with the family to end conflict, improve communication and reunite children with their families.
Key Staff Contacts
Cheri Pettitt, LMHC
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Compliance Manager/Shelter Manager
Group Home Manager
Human Resources Officer
Community Development Coordinator
Crystal Westman, LMHC
Arnette House Mascot
Board of Directors
Kerry Crawford, President, retired Marion County Sheriff Deputy, has been a board member since 2011.
Justin Turner, Treasurer, is a third generation native Ocalan, and also a third generation CPA. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and his Master of Accountancy degrees from the University of North Florida. Justin is a partner of the CPA Firm Turner & Turner, P.A. and has served on the Arnette House Board of Directors since 2011. He and his wife, Lindsey, have two children and enjoy attending local community events and fishing as a family out of Bonita Fishing Club, Inglis, FL.
Brandon Crysler, Secretary, is a Mortgage Banker with Southern Home Loans, and has been on the board since 2012. Brandon Crysler has been in the mortgage business since 2002. He started as a Loan Officer with Ameriquest Mortgage in Nashville, Tennessee. He quickly learned the business and became a Branch Manager with over 25 loan officers within his first 8 months. Brandon and his team have closed over 4000 loans, giving them an edge in the market place and the experience to tackle most situations. In 2006 he and his wife Casey moved to Ocala, Florida, started a Mortgage broker business, and began building their family. They now have 3 kids and the whole family enjoys contributing to the community through Church, Arnette House, Home and Roots. Currently, Brandon is a Producing Branch Manager with Southern Home Loans where he consistently supports, trains, and builds his team. The prime benefit of what Brandon does is being able to help families purchase their home.
Sara Connell Arnette helped co-found the Arnette House with her late husband, Vernon Arnette in 1981. She is also a Past President, serving two years. Mrs. Arnette is active in the First United Methodist Church of Ocala, was the founding president of Altrusa International Inc. of Ocala and served on the Munroe Regional Medical Center board of trustees for eight years. Mrs. Arnette has been an Arnette House board member since 1997.
Timothy Babiarz, Esq. is the founding partner of the Babiarz Law Firm, P.A. and joined the board in 2015.
Lorin Bryan is a retired insurance agent who specialized in working with clients on Medicare. He served for 2 years as President of the Arnette House Inc. and was instrumental in obtaining from the City of Ocala the 5 acres on which the Arnette House Inc. is presently located, and the building of the shelter facility. He is past President of the Ocala Rotary Club, served on the board of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce. He has served in the past and currently serves with the United Way of Marion County and helped originate the first “Day of Caring” which has continued to this day. He has donated more than 25 gallons of blood here in Marion County. He is a Florida cracker and obtained a B.S. degree in business management at Florida State University and served his country as an officer in the United States Army. He has served in various positions on the Board of the Arnette House Inc. since 1985.
Rev. Jonathan French, is the senior pastor of Grace Episcopal Church. He attended the University of the South in Tennessee and previously worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on college campuses across Central Florida. He has been on the board since 2013.
David Goebel is Vice President/General Manager of Goebel’s Used Cars, Inc. He played football from 1986-88 for and graduated from Troy University in 1990 with a B.A. degree in Business Management. David is an avid mountain biker, attends the Church @ the Springs and enjoys weightlifting and attending Troy University football games. He is also a member of the Ocala Rotary Club and serves on the board of the Marion County Fellowship of Christian Athletes. David resides in Ocala with his wife and three children. Mr. Goebel has been an Arnette House board member since 2001.
Kelly Rogers, joined the board in 2015. Though originally from Michigan, Kelly has lived in Ocala for most of her life. A great deal of her career has consisted of management positions in social service organizations serving children in need including children’s mental health services, juvenile justice programs, child welfare, and educational programs. She is the Regional Director of Episcopal Children’s Service’s Head Start/ Early Head Start program. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services with a minor in Psychology from Saint Leo University. In addition, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Services at Capella University. Her community involvement and contributions include: PACE Center for Girls; Arnette House Youth Shelter; Brother’s Keeper Soup Kitchen; Skill Day Center; Boys & Girls Clubs; and Big Sun Soccer League.
Alethia Pantazis, MD, has been on the board since 2016. She is currently an ophthalmologist working at the Veteran’s Hospital in Gainesville. She specializes in neuro-ophthalmology but also practices comprehensive ophthalmology. She received her fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology from the University of Iowa and completed her ophthalmology residency at Cook County Hospital, Chicago IL. Her medical degree is from Northeastern Ohio Medical University. Her undergraduate degree is from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Alethia has lived in a wide variety of places but she feels privileged to call Ocala her home. Alethia is married to Thomas Brown and they are proud parents of three young girls and one young boy. Their son lives most of the year with his biological mother. Alethia has always had a desire to nurture and guide and feels the Arnette House is an effective and vital resource to the community.
Katina Pantazis, is an Attorney as well as an athlete, violinist, artist, and entrepreneur. She earned a Business degree from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida in 2004. In 2009 she earned her Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law, where she was a recipient of the prestigious Elder Law Scholarship and participated in a study abroad program in Spetses, Greece, focusing on comparative international law. Ms. Pantazis practices estate planning, probate and trust administration. She has been on the board since 2013.
Chris Whitler, joined the board 2016 and is a veteran of the Florida Army National Guard, and is a Lieutenant at Marion County Fire Rescue.
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