SHAL is led by a hard-working group of volunteers from the community who bring their talent and diverse experience to ensure the organization’s effectiveness.

Officers (Executive Committee)

  • Peter Dswonyk, Chairman
  • Clare Keller, Vice Chairwoman
  • Steve Black, Treasurer
  • Alan Teitelbaum, Secretary and Past Chairman


SHAL Treasurer Steve Black joined the SHAL board in 2019. From a small farming town in New Mexico, Steve attended college at the University of New Mexico, then spent four years on active duty with the US Navy.  After earning an MBA at the University of North Florida, he worked for 30 years in financial analysis and management in the rail and aviation agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation. During that time Steve also continued serving in the Naval Reserves and continued his education, taking courses to attain the equivalent of a bachelor’s in accounting and was designated a CPA in the District of Columbia.  He has been the Treasurer and then Vice President of the Old Island Restoration Foundation since 2009. He attended the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy, the City of Key West Ambassador’s Academy, and the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys‘ Leadership Success Academy.  He joined the SHAL Board to work to improve the quality of life for homeless and other residents of the community.

Past SHAL Chair Rick Casey is Program Manager for Volunteers of America of Florida, providing transitional housing for homeless veterans in Key West since 2017. He is also the Executive Director of the Middle Keys Community Land Trust, a non-profit organization developing and preserving affordable housing in the Florida Keys since 2005. Previously, Rick worked for the Monroe County Housing Authority and Heron-Peacock Supported Living, an assisted living facility for adults with mental illness. Having lived in the Keys for the past twenty years, Rick has had the opportunity to serve on the board of directors of a number of non-profit organizations and been appointed to numerous public committees, all in support of affordable and workforce housing efforts throughout Monroe County. Rick is a licensed Florida Community Association Manager, and  earned a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.

SHAL Chairman Peter Dswonyk is a formerly homeless disabled veteran who served his country in the United States Marine Corps, which included a tour in Vietnam. He is currently a full-time volunteer Resident Manager with Volunteers of America in Key West, where he helps supervise and counsel homeless veteran participants at the 15-bed facility. He also serves the membership of VFW Post 3911 Key West as the Post Service Officer, advising and assisting members with obtaining records and benefits, as well as updated information on changes in Veterans Administration policies. Mr. Dswonyk earned a GED while in the military and is a graduate of the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys‘  Leadership Success Academy and the City of Key West Ambassador’s Academy.

Charles Ford joined the SHAL board in 2019.

Robert S. Gold joined the SHAL board in 2013. In over three decades of executive-level management consulting, he has advised and enabled the leaders of over one hundred global and national corporations and organizations in such disciplines as strategic planning, business performance improvement, and information technology management. He earned his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. In the Florida Keys, he is a graduate of the City of Key West Ambassador’s Academy and Community Foundation of the Florida Keys‘ Leadership Success Academy, is on the steering committee of the Monroe County Democratic Executive Committee, on the board of directors of Friends of the Key West Library and was previously on the board of FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe). He also volunteers in support of Old Island Restoration Foundation and Equality Florida.

SHAL Vice Chairwoman Clare Keller joined the SHAL board in 2019. Clare began her professional career as a middle school science teacher. In 1998 she completed a Ph.D. in measurement, statistics, and evaluation from the University of Maryland. Over the past two decades she has conducted statistical analyses and program evaluations for government agencies, non-profits, foundations, universities, and public school districts. Clare has been a regular visitor to Key West since 1990 and a full-time resident since 2018. In addition to her service for SHAL, Clare volunteers in support of community organizations that include the Key West Woman’s Club, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Fringe Theater.

Shad Neiss joined the SHAL board in 2019.

Rita Snyder-Cotter
joined the SHAL board in 2019.Rita Sneider-Cotter joined the Board in 2019. Rita was born and raised in Tampa and moved to the Keys shortly after she obtained her Bachelors of Social Work from the University of South Florida in 2012. She has worked for two Members of the US House of Representatives in Florida, as well as multiple non-profits working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, including the Domestic Abuse Shelter working in the Key West shelter. Rita briefly left the Florida Keys to earn her Masters in Social Work from the University Denver in Colorado and returned to the Keys in 2018 ready to better serve her community. She is currently employed by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence as the Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator (SART) in Monroe County where she serves as a community advocate working with survivors of sexual assault, and coordinates interdisciplinary meetings to coordinate services for survivors in the Keys.

SHAL Secretary and Past Chair Alan Teitelbaum had a diverse career a medicine and psychiatry in California. For over 30 years he also actively participated in a number of medically and psychiatrically-related nonprofit organizations. He has been a part-time resident of Key West since 1990 and a full-time resident since 2008. Alan graduated from the City of Key West Ambassador’s Academy in 2010. He joined the SHAL Board in 2011 and credits joining the Board to his desire help our efforts to improve the lives of the Homeless members of our community. He is also a Board Member of the Rural Health Network of Monroe County. He is committed to improving health care and reducing medical expenses for everyone in Monroe County.



Meetings of the Board of Directors are normally scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month and are open to the public (although portions of meetings dealing with sensitive personnel or other matters may be closed). The Chair may schedule special meetings at any time.

The next meeting will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15th via teleconference. Members of the public who wish to attend should notify the SHAL Executive Director at 502.876.5092 or at least two days prior to the meeting to receive teleconference connection details. 

 This schedule is subject to change without notice.

2020 Meeting Schedule (subject to change)
  • September 15
  • October 20
  • November 17
  • December 15