LeeAnn Stayer, President
LeeAnn Stayer is a dreamer whose dreams make the world a better place for others. She helped to start and define Covenant Community Church as a cultural shaper in 1993. Her role as Minister has led the church to look toward the horizon as she develops ministries that meet the needs of the community. She has gained the reputation as a leader in developing community relationships within the corporate world. LeeAnn is the creative force behind the Magic 107.7 Easter Egg Hunt which she developed with Clear Channel Communications. This community event has grown to be the largest and longest running event of its kind in Florida. Her skills in navigating and blending the cultures of churches and corporations has allowed the partnership with Clear Channel to create a model for how egg hunts are organized and led both in the United States and internationally. Ms. Stayer has been sought out by city leaders in New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, and California among others in developing community events in their jurisdictions. LeeAnn has been able to mobilize volunteers, work with media outlets and navigate city governments to provide high impact events that entertain, enhance, and strengthen families.
LeeAnn has developed, implemented, and led other ministries designed to meet the needs of those in the community. These include but are not limited to the Covenant Christmas Store (providing gifts for teens at Christmas in a way that restores dignity to those who have fallen on rough times) and working with the Hubbard House (a home away from home for those whose family members are unexpectedly hospitalized). Churches and other non-profit agencies have patterned ministries based on her innovative ideas to meet the needs of those they serve. She has a passion for helping those who are hurting that leads her to take action. A graduate of the University of Central Florida and with a Masters degree from Reformed Theological Seminary she is a highly regarded leader who has been able to find a way to create and accomplish what few have dared to attempt. Her experience as a foster parent enabled her to identify with parents who have limited time with their children and birthed the idea of Christmas Dreams.
Dave Piper, Vice President
Dave is a 30+ year veteran of the family entertainment industry with experience in live show production, attractions, museums and the themed environments. With a background that includes design, project development, project management and business management he is a highly skilled leader who is focused on making dreams become a reality and ensuring that projects are successful on all levels. Over his career Dave has worked with such prestigious clients as Kennedy Space Center, Miami Children’s Museum, Delaware Children’s Museum, Glazer Children’s Museum, Wizard of Oz Educational Exhibition, the World of Innovation, The Imagination Workshop, Las Vegas Springs Preserve, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Chickasaw Cultural Center, the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast, California Adventure, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Walt Disney Imagineering, Sea World, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. With a reputation as a thought-leader in the realm of family entertainment, Dave has had multiple articles published and has been a guest lecturer for professional organizations, associations, design schools, universities and colleges.
Jeff Dixon, Vice President
Jeff Dixon is the innovative founder of Covenant Community Church, a prototype church in Central Florida. An equipper who passionately pours his life into people, he teaches and mobilizes individuals to chase their dreams and impact the world they live in. Jeff is a gifted speaker and motivator who is seen and heard in 138 countries each week, his teaching is viewed and downloaded by thousands more each week, and the international ministry has continued to expand through the podcasts he is featured on.
As a leader Jeff helps people to maximize their effectiveness through discovering and using their personal gifts, talents, and abilities. His visionary ability to navigate, shape, and create culture has made him an in demand conference speaker where he brings his own unique flair, style, and approach to enabling people to develop pathways for transformational success in life. With a reputation for creative thought he has taken his Masters Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and bolstered it with numerous leadership certifications from nationally recognized organizations. A trained and certified First Responder allows Jeff to be on the front lines of helping people move through and survive in crisis situations. An author who has written two books and currently is under contract for a third, Jeff also has been a featured writer for PROCLAIM!, Let’s Worship, and Pastors EXTRA published by Lifeway Publishing. Additionally his work is seen in numerous on-line resources and he spends a great deal of time working as a coach and consultant for various organizations.
Jeff is also the author of two mystery thriller, Key to the Kingdom and Unlocking the Kingdom that take place inside Walt Disney World. He spent hours researching and understanding Walt Disney’s ideas and philosophies of running a theme park. Jeff’s creativity and insider’s view on theme parks is an asset to the Christmas Dreams Board. With a love for Christmas, a heart for ministry, and desire to make dreams come true, Jeff brings to Christmas Dreams a passion and determination that is infectious.
Matt Armstrong, Board Member
Matt Armstrong is President and CEO of the restaurant franchise Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders founded 2004. This unique restaurant prides itself on providing not only a quality dining experience but also a quality environment for families and friends to gather. In just a few short years the franchise chain has become a anchor point for families within the Central Florida area. Huey Magoo’s is a true community partner as Matt works in area schools, with various city and civic groups, and nonprofit organizations to support and “plus” the community they are a part of. One of the most amazing events in Central Florida is the Very Magoo Christmas event where they provide free meals from each of their restaurant locations as a gift to Central Florida families. As a part of this event, Christmas Trees are given to families in tough financial situations in the area.
Matt has a wide and successful background in banking, finance, and management. He serves a number of advisory boards in the Central Florida area and is known for his wisdom, steady leadership, keen insights on management, and integrity. Matt is a 1998 graduate in finance from at the University of Mississippi where he attended on a golf scholarship. He is also an avid outdoorsman enjoying bow hunting and bass fishing. Matt and his wife Brittany keep their faith as a centerpiece of their lives, teaching Sunday School to children and participating in various ministries at Covenant Community Church in Sanford, Florida.
Brooke Dixon, Board Member
Brooke Dixon is an actress and drama teacher who has worked in the youth theatre realm for over 10 years. A current student at NYU in the elite Drama Therapy Graduate Program, she is an aspiring Drama Therapist who will be on the cutting edge of this powerful field. She has been passionate about children and making their lives better for as long as she can remember. God has blessed Brooke in so many ways, one of the biggest being bringing her through many health challenges as a child. The many hours of hospital time logged and emotional and physical challenges that were endured have given her a small dose of what the children who will be coming to Christmas Dreams have been through and she brings this insight to the table as a board member. She has also had the privilege of being on staff at Camp Boggy Creek, a summer camp experience for chronically and terminally ill children ages 7 to 17. During her experience at Boggy, Brooke worked alongside professionals to create a theatre experience for children from all walks of life who were facing cancer, HIV/Aids, epilepsy and other conditions that rocked their everyday existence. The lessons learned and the encounters from her summer camp experience have played a role in helping to create Christmas Dreams. Above all else, Brooke brings her passion for children to the table and drawing from her experiences with children and families facing the ins and outs of illness and hurt, tries to put a name and a face to the many who will come and be changed by Christmas Dreams.
Michael Simmonds, Board Member
For the past twenty years Michael has served the congregation at Covenant Community Church as lead worshipper and minister to children. During that time he has presented thousands of lessons and services all built around the theme of making positive, eternal change in the places people find themselves. For Michael that has meant providing key leadership as a senior manager, offering foundation development assistance and direction as a board member for numerous 501-c3 organizations, and sharing insight and encouragement in the areas of coaching and leadership and team development for business leaders and their organizations throughout the country.
Michael is a graduate is Stetson University in Deland, Florida. He lives is Central Florida with his wife Gretchen and their three children.
Richard Israel, Board Member
For the last 25 years Richard has worked to keep the world safe as a Manager in Finance at the Lockheed Martin Corporation. His Bachelor’s Degree in Finance prepared him for his role at Lockheed where he works with the United States Air Force in negotiating multi-million dollar contracts. He is responsible for the creation of cost proposals, corporate reviews and lead negotiations. His passion is working with students to enlighten, equip and encourage them for their lives in the present, the future and hereafter. As a minister to students he has served in numerous churches and brings a vast wealth of experience. He serves as the Minister to Students of Covenant Community Church and is a founding Board member of Christmas Dreams.
Leroy Johnson, Board Member
Leroy has been in management positions for more than 30 years and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. He has served as Warehouse Manager, Production Manager, Retail Sales Account Manager, and Regional Manager in numerous companies that have locations throughout the United States. He has been trained and is a certified Disaster Recovery Volunteer for the North Carolina Baptist Men and has spent time in Oklahoma and the Carolina Coast in recovery efforts. Leroy has held many leadership positions in churches in Florida, North Carolina and Texas. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Covenant Community Church.
His experience in his career has given him the tools to help build teamwork among his peers as well as lead others to help reach established goals. His personal experiences have given him the heart to see the needs of others and the compassion to be a part of those willing to serve those needs.
Gail Johnson, Board Member
Gail has a passion for people and seeks to ease their suffering in any way she can. She has had a variety of work experiences that include account handling, medical records, front desk manager, medical receptionist and triage alongside an RN. Her work has given her insight into the needs of those who are hurting and those who are unhappy. Her positive attitude approach to life led her to work with the Carolina Baptist Men to help flood victims along the Carolina coast. She has been a leader in churches in Florida, North Carolina and Texas as she has taught young adults and participated in leading worship. She developed a ministry while in Texas that provided more than 150 blankets baby blankets to newborns whose mothers were in shelters.
Over the years her experience with her jobs and training has shown her that no job is too small. With teamwork and pressing forward you can achieve anything if just keep your mind open and never say never.
Now with a Baker’s Dozen of years of experience, Brad Baker has worked in the truss and structural component industry. This experience was fueled by his teenage interest in drafting and residential design. Brad’s passion for this industry makes his work much more than a job. It is an extension of his ability to create something from nothing. This visionary outlook mixed with a strong understanding of the importance of details allows Brad to be a vital part of his industry. He is a dreamer whose passion has led others in his field to be part of this Dream with us. Add in his experience in residential real estate investments, renovations and repairs and Brad brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership.
Brad was part of the original Christmas Dreams conceptual development and has shared in the experience since day one. Being the father of two young sons, he has revisited some of his childhood passions through experiences they have shared. He has brought this relived passion to the Christmas Dreams project. Brad is driven by a strong desire to listen to God, to be who God has called him to be, and be involved in ministries that impact the world around him.