Tom Cooper, Vice President

Tom was officially introduced to the ECCAC in 2007 when he toured the facility and met Mark Lunsford, the father of 2005 child murder victim Jessica Lunsford. At the time, Tom was running for Walton County Sheriff. Although Tom lost the race to current Sheriff Mike Adkinson, his path with the Center would cross again.

Alan Wood, Treasurer

Get to know Alan Wood, a member of the ECCAC Board! A career banker with 35 years in the industry, Alan has been the Florida President for CCB Community Bank since 2009. He is a big believer that bankers should be active in the communities that we serve. Alan has been a board member with the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center since 2011. During his time on the board, he has served as finance chair, treasurer, past Chairman, along with serving as the Chair of the Kieran May Memorial Golf and Gala, alongside his wife Tracy.

Eric Aden

Captain Eric Aden, with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, recently joined the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s (ECCAC) board of directors.Born on Eglin AFB, Aden is the son of an aerospace engineer, pilot and teacher. He has lived in Shalimar his entire life with the exception of attending Florida State University where he graduated with a BS in Criminology. Joining the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office in 1995, Aden has served as a patrolman, resource officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and now as captain.

James Jaquess

Jim Jaquess was elected to the ECCAC Board in 2016.  He is a Director of the Northwest Florida State College Institute for Senior Professionals, has served as a Director of USA Water Ski, a member organization of the USOC for 25 years, and is a Director of the Walton County Taxpayers Association.  He is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the State of Kentucky in 2015.

Velia Lala

From Louisiana, Lala permanently moved to this area in 2011. With a background in sales and management, Lala is now the artist/owner of Velia Lala Art & Design based in Shalimar. She knew that moving here would lead her to her first love – art.

Katrina Puri

Katrina Puri has joined the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s (ECCAC) board of directors. She is an administrator for her husband, Dr. Kapil Puri’s urology practice, and is active in raising money, toys and awareness for ECCAC throughout the community.

Artie Rodriguez

Artie Rodriguez

Rodriguez has over 18 years of Walton County government experience. He is currently the Director of Administration with the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office. Previously, he served the citizens as a law enforcement officer with the Walton County Sheriff’s Department. He is a Certified Police Applicant Background Investigator and a 2014 graduate of the Certified Public Manager’s Course offered through the Center for Public Management at Florida State University. Rodriguez is also a Certified Forensic Polygraphist through the Academy of Polygraph Science, which he studied under Dr. Richard R. Poe.

Audie Rowell

With an extensive career in law enforcement since 1986, and the recipient of numerous awards, Major Rowell has worked with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department and now the Walton County Sheriff’s Office

Michael Thompson

  • Founder of Thompson Family Wines, LLC
  • Founder and CEO of ITS Technical Services (ITS), an Electronics Manufacturing Services company based in Alpharetta, GA, since 2000
  • Founder and CEO of Eclipse Leasing, LLC
  • Senior Director with North American Philips, Vice President  of Sanmina Corporation and Vice President of sales & marketing for K*Tec Electronics

Dr. Lalitha Vadlamani- Simmers

Dr. Vadlamani-Simmers came here via the United States Air Force, where she served as Medical Director of the Pediatric Clinic at Eglin AFB from 1998 to 2001.  The doctor then began practicing general pediatrics in the Niceville community, and even served as a Child Protection Team Medical Examiner for the ECCAC for three years.  Now, Dr. Vadlamani-Simmers practices at the Sacred Heart Hospital Pediatric After Hours Clinic in Pace, FL. She has also been a volunteer with the Junior League of the Emerald Coast and the Impact 100 chapter of Northwest Florida.