top of page



Denise G. Fanning

Regional Director

Denise Fanning is a Marine combat veteran, moved to Gainesville in 2008 from her native state of Texas and graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in psychology. She began her nonprofit career in 2011 and has gained experience from every position she has held, from medical and dental case management, program development and management, and budgeting. She joined the Catholic Charities family in November of 2020, as the first director for our Emergency Assistance programs.  “Catholic Charities is one organization that truly embodies an ethos of providing compassionate services to our communities. I am fortunate to be a part of such an amazing and caring organization.” D. Fanning

Geralyn Mackritis 

Director of Adoptions

Geralyn Mackritis is a licensed clinical social worker and is the director of the Caring Choices pregnancy and adoption program. Being a member of Catholic Charities mission for the past 22 years motivates her each day to support others through life’s ups and downs.  She has personally experienced the journey of adoption within her own family and is passionate to help others as they go through this life changing choice.  Her belief is that with accurate information and a supportive non-judgmental ear, the right decisions come to light.

Laurie Porter 

Director of Development

Laurie Porter has been a Gainesville resident for 25 years. She has over 17 years of fundraising, event planning and marketing experience and has been with the Catholic Charities Gainesville regional office since 2011. “We live in challenging times; Catholic Charities offers a variety of programs that help so many people in our community. I am proud to work in an environment that truly puts compassion into action.” L. Porter

Michelle I. Wilson

Director of Finance

Michelle Wilson was born in Maryland but moved to Lake Butler at a year old and has been in the Union/Alachua County area ever since.  Michelle started off working in accounting at the age of 19 and after a few years decided to return to school where she received a diploma in Accounting.  She has been at Catholic Charities for almost eighteen years now.  “I’m dedicated to helping those in need and being a part of the Catholic Charities family allows me to do that on a daily basis.” M. Wilson

Brianna Godwin

Pregnancy Counselor. Post Adoption Services, Information and Referral

Brianna started as a Counselor for Caring Choices in October of 2022. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She has over 9 years of experience in leadership and assisting underrepresented, justice involved individuals to overcome their challenges. Her passion is helping others realize their own potential so they can utilize their unique skill sets to overcome obstacles and accomplish their goals. She believes in the power of women helping women, and the importance of having someone to support and encourage you throughout your journey.

Meg Van Velsor 

Caring Choices & Adoption Specialist

Meg Van Velsor is an avid quilter, She loves her redbone coonhound (Pluto) and traveling with her husband. She recently moved from Illinois for her husband’s residency at Shand’s; they both love Florida but she is still a Midwest girl through and through! She is so excited to work at Catholic Charities where she hope to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve and those around her!

Rev. James Dixon

Bridges to Prosperity Coordinator

James H. Dixon, Jr. is a lifelong Gainesville resident aside from a few years of military and career developments elsewhere, and has been employed with the Gainesville, FL office of Catholic Charities since August of 2011. He was consecrated as Bishop in a multi-denominational religious organization on April 7, 2016 and serves as Pastor of Greater Faith Baptist Fellowship in Gainesville, FL. The biggest lesson he has learned is to “take people where they are and not where you want them to be.” J. Dixon

Sabrina Miller

Emergency Assistance Director

Sabrina was born in Pennsylvania but moved to the Gainesville area when she was 5, however she’s still a Northern girl at heart.  She is the mother of two little girls. She started volunteering for Catholic Charities when she was in High School and knew this is a place that she wanted to work. Sabrina has been with Catholic Charities for 18 years and has served in several roles. She has a bachelor’s degree in human services. “I am excited to work in the heart and soul of Catholic Charities, which is Emergency Services.” S. Miller

Pat Rayos

ESOL Coordinator

Patricia Rayos, a native of Pennsylvania who lived around the country and internationally with her military family, has made Gainesville her home for more than three decades. In her vocation journey, she began as a volunteer ESL teacher at Parkview Baptist Church in 2006, advancing to ESL teacher trainer in 2016 through the State of Florida Literacy Missions. In 2017, she initiated the ESL program at Catholic Charities to serve families in Alachua County. Living her call to love God and people, she serves as Pastor of One Way Filipino Christian Fellowship in Gainesville and has been appointed Director of International Ministry by Christian Baptist Fellowship International. "My heart's desire is to know Him and to make Him known."  P. Rayos

D'Amato Hopkins

Rural Mobile Food Outreach Coordinator

D’Amato Hopkins was born In Tampa FL but raised in Gainesville. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Florida in Health and Human Performance. Go Gators!.. "I chose this job because I have a passion for helping others and love what this organization does for the community. It is a pleasure to work here..”  D. Hopkins

Susan Frizzell

Program Coordinator, HOPWA

and Eligibility Program

Susan Frizzell has been an employee with Catholic Charities since June 2001.  She has over 25 years’ experience working with low-income individuals needing assistance.  Susan coordinates two programs that provide support services for clients with certain disabilities.  “I am very proud to work with the staff at Catholic Charities and be able to provide assistance for those in need.” S. Frizzell

bottom of page