We Say Thanks to some Brevard Dads
Relative newcomers to the Space Coast, James Holz and family have spent their first five years here blazing trails and clearing paths for special needs education and interventions. They are helping to further raise community awareness about autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays.
In 2014, Pamela and James Holz founded Puzzle Box Academy to provide individualized, science-based education to children with autism and other developmental delays. Additionally, the two opened Kaleidoscope Interventions Children’s Therapy Center in 2014 to treat and assist children with developmental delays using applied behavior analysis, the preferred therapy among health care professionals.
Holz, a successful businessman, left the financial industry after 9/11 to pursue a legal career in Florida, where he attended and graduated law school at Florida A&M University. He has since shifted his career focus to the Holz Foundation, a religious-based non-profit foundation that was established in 2015 and is self-funded.
Although quite modest about his accomplishments, Holz is laying a strong foundation of philanthropy, outreach, community service and faith. “The center was created to help other families with specially-abled children, the school to help the children receive the education they deserve, and the clinic so they receive the best therapy possible,” he said.
The Holz Center will open in May at 125 E. Nasa Blvd. as a resource to help families identify and access the programs in Brevard that align with their special needs and circumstances.
When Holz and his family spend time together, they alternate from quiet nights of playing family games to jam-packed days attending theme parks at Disney and Universal Studios.
Holz has a lot on his plate, but he is juggling it all with resolve. He is motivated to leave the world a better place, and tackles the obstacles as they appear with a balance of shrewd business acumen, legal expertise and heartfelt dedication. “I just want to see the world become a better place for future generations,” he said.
Steve Henderson had every intention of following in his father Hardee Henderson’s footsteps and going to law school after graduating from Florida State University, but a different path spoke to him as he earned the community service hours required for his criminology degree – coaching and working with kids.
Henderson recently completed his 12th season as head coach of boys varsity basketball at Holy Trinity, where he also serves as dean of students. In 2016, he took this team to the Class 4A state championship, but it’s not the victories he holds most dear; it’s the players. Each boy he’s ever coached receives a text from him on their birthday each year. “It’s like having a second family,” he explained. “Even though I’m just coaching basketball, I try to play a role in their lives as well.”
He and his high school sweetheart, Melissa, have been married for nearly 14 years and have two children, Isabella and Damien. As Melissa works nights as a nurse, the kids are often at the gym with dad and the team. “Ever since they were in diapers, my kids have been coming to practice with me. They love it. They really enjoy being around the boys. They’ve been a big part of my coaching,” Henderson said.
Henderson also considers himself blessed to have an “outstanding” stepfather in Gary Baxter, who comes to each of his games and keeps the scorebook.
Whether parenting or coaching, Henderson takes a play from his late father’s playbook. “My dad was a very big, strong man but always gave (my siblings and me) hugs, even into our 30s, and was always very affectionate, making sure his kids knew he loved them.” Henderson strives to do the same. “On a daily basis I tell my kids and my players how much I love them and care for them. I think it’s important that they know we’re here to support them.”
That can sometimes be challenging when the “children” are 6’5″, but in Henderson’s eyes, “Even though they’re big, they’re still kids.”
He started young, enlisting in the Navy when he was just 17. And after serving as a medical corpsman,
David Ross knew he wanted to pursue a career as a physician. “I am [the] first Ross to go to college. My father is a retired Air Force communications tech and my mom worked in a deli,” he said.
After completing studies in biology from Florida State and graduating from the American University of the Caribbean Medical School, Ross concluded his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Florida.
He has known his wife of 15 years, Millie, since he was 9 years old. The two grew up in the same neighborhood in Orlando. They now share their lives (and love) with 11-year- old twins Annabel and Adam. The family spends as much time as they can enjoying the waterways here, said Ross. “Our greatest passion is offshore fishing. We also enjoy traveling, scuba diving, snorkeling and cooking seafood.”
When he’s not on the water with his family, Ross specializes in hematology/oncology for
what most of us know as Cancer Care Centers of Brevard (the business recently partnered with U.S. Oncology/McKesson Network, which consists of more than 1,400 affiliated physicians in 400 locations across the U.S. delivering care and treatment at the local level). “I joined the CCCB family three years ago. We provide care for all types of cancer, whether it is radiation or systemic treatment (including targeted immunotherapy).”
Ross credits his family and Catholic faith as his main sources of strength.
From his children, he has learned to loosen up a bit: “They …see life through simpler terms. They teach me to keep it simple, to play more, laugh at myself and even be silly sometimes.”
From his father, a woodworker, Ross says he learned the value of keeping a sense of humor, measure twice/cut once, and the world is what you make of it.
Born in Key West, Jack Jeffcoat is a seasoned real estate agent (for both buyers and sellers) with deeply planted roots in Brevard. But this family that plays together spends most weekends on the road, crisscrossing the state and the U.S. for lacrosse, rugby, football and dance competitions.
“We could be in Las Vegas with Dance Mania or in Maryland with the Palm Beach Revolution on any given weekend,” he said of his children’s activities.
Jeffcoat and his wife, Stacy, both enthusiastic fans, are happy to oblige the sometimes-hectic schedules: “Emily dances for a competitive team called Dance Mania All-Stars and has been on as many as five competitive teams over the past eight years. She also plays lacrosse for two elite travel teams.
“Jack plays lacrosse locally for Team 321 The Renegades (his coach is a former major league lacrosse coach), as well as for two elite travel teams: Palm Beach Revolution and one out of upstate New York called Sweet Lax. He also plays flag football for the Melbourne Ducks (Ascension Catholic School) and rugby for the Cape Coast Pirates,” Jeffcoat said.
The youngest, Landon, is following closely in his siblings’ footsteps. “He loves going to HIT Sports (High Intensity Training Sport) and playing lacrosse, soccer and T-ball. He recently started practicing on an indo board for balance,” he said.
Jeffcoat said he and a group of partners developed High Intensity Sports, the only indoor sports facility in Brevard, as a place for kids to practice and play when the weather is not amenable to outdoor play. The facility features hybrid box lacrosse, indoor soccer, speed, agility and strength training, and four 1,000-square- foot hitting cages for baseball.
In 2016, Jeremy Bradford and his family returned to Titusville after a work assignment in his home state of Kentucky to take on the responsibilities of vice president of operations, outpatient services and business development for Parrish Medical Center.” He had previously served as vice president of Ambulatory Services for Parrish Medical Center from 2013 to 2015.
When not handling the day to day responsibilities of his new role at PMC, Bradford and his wife, Ginny, share the responsibilities of raising two young children, daughter Maggie Beth and son Turner, both students at Park Avenue Christian Academy.
Bradford credits his father, Bob Bradford, with life lessons that reinforced the faith he and his family hold so dear. “Some of the most important lessons my father taught me were giving back to the community in which I live, and making a positive impact on whatever I do.”
With their two small children, Bradford and his wife reinforce that they can do anything and be anything they put their minds to. “I often have conversations with my daughter and explain to her that life is about learning, determination and treating others with respect. Turner is still [so] young and full of energy!”
An active family unit, the Bradfords are enthusiastic fans of community sports. “Maggie Beth currently plays tennis at La Cita Country Club, and Turner is playing T-ball for Indian River City Little League. Both children also swim for the Titusville High School youth swim team.”
As a young boy, Bradford remembers watching his father dedicate two decades of time as a volunteer Little League coach, learning firsthand “the importance of investing in others, hard work, confidence, determination and integrity,” he said.
It’s a lesson he strives to pay forward every day: “I try hard to be a good example to our children through my daily actions as a parent, father and friend.”