Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the establishment of the Governor’s Faith and Community-Based Initiative. Under the direction of Erik Dellenback, the initiative will serve to collaborate between state government and Florida’s faith-based institutions and community organizations, enhancing agencies’ existing work to support Florida citizens.
In addition, the Governor announced the appointment of Mr. Dellenback to the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Council, which serves as a formal advisory council to the Executive Office of the Governor and the Florida Legislature. The goals of the council are to enlist, enable, empower and expand the work of volunteer faith-based and community-based organizations.
“Florida’s faith and community-based groups have a longstanding history of intervening to help meet the needs of all Floridians,” said Governor DeSantis.
The Governor’s Faith and Community-Based Initiative is the primary point of contact for all faith-based institutions and community organizations in Florida. Through the initiative, Dellenback will work with each state agency to identify mutually beneficial partnership opportunities and help fulfill their needs with available resources.
“An important initiative of my Hope for Healing Florida campaign is that it brings together all sectors of the community, including the public, private and faith-based sectors, to the table to help forge meaningful solutions to the substance abuse and mental health challenges facing our state,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Faith-based partners serve a critical role as our ‘boots on the ground’ within our towns and cities. Only with their support and ingenuity can we truly achieve the best results for our most vulnerable citizens.”
“Our communities are rich in organizations that are actively searching for opportunities to uplift Florida’s children and families,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell. “In fact, I‘ve heard from several faith-based leaders that are ready to mobilize their congregations to support vulnerable children. With the Governor’s Faith and Community-Based Initiative, I am confident that we can make this important connection and ensure DCF is streamlining access to Florida’s foster and adoptive families.”
“I feel incredibly blessed to serve the State of Florida in this capacity,” said Erik Dellenback. “It is my prayer that God will use my experience and passion to allow the state and faith-based community to work together to more efficiently care for Florida’s vulnerable citizens. The truth is, both groups already care deeply about lost and neglected people, but through this initiative, we will increase communication and identify ways that we can support each other’s missions.”
Erik Dellenback leads the Governor’s Faith and Community Based Initiative after spending the last two years as a consultant to some of the most well-known non-profits and the philanthropy arena.
Prior to that, Erik served as the President and Executive Director of the Tim Tebow Foundation (TTF) for seven years, from its inception to 2017. During his time at TTF, Erik began many domestic and international ministry programs, including Night to Shine, a prom for individuals with special needs. Night to Shine became a worldwide movement and currently takes place in all 50 states and 24 countries while representing over 32 different denominations of the church.
Prior to his time at TTF, Erik spent more than 11 years working with the Gator Bowl Association as the Director of the ACC Football Championship and the Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer.