Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Robert Heine, Jr.


Robert W. Heine Jr. has been a resident of the City of Arcadia for 53 years.  He has been married to Lois Clemons Heine for 35 years and they have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Robert graduated from DeSoto County High School in 1970.  He obtained his Associate of Arts degree from South Florida Junior College in 1972 and graduated from the University of South Florida in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.  Robert also completed the Certified Public Manger program through Florida State University.

Robert started his professional career as a teacher with DeSoto County School District for 6 years.  In 2010, Robert retired from the Florida Department of Corrections after 29 years of service.  At the time of his retirement he was an Assistant Warden at Hardee Correctional Institute.

Robert’s civic experience included serving on the DeSoto County School Board from 1992-2004.  In 2015, he was appointed by the Florida Governor to serve on the DeSoto County Hospital District Board of Directors and is currently serving.  In 2016, Robert was elected to a 4 year term on the Arcadia City Council.  Robert remains active with Arcadia Main Street.

Kenneth Hancock

Vice Chair

Kenneth was born at DeSoto Memorial Hospital on July 24, 1979 a full 4 minutes ahead of his twin sister, Dana, at the capable hands of Dr. Kayum Mohammadbhoy. Having satisfied his desire in the womb to be the oldest sibling, He immediately moved on to his next goal of being his parent’s favorite son. His twin sister and younger sister will freely admit that he achieved this goal very early in life despite their best efforts to hold him back in this regard. 

He spent the next seventeen years in Arcadia doing various and sundry normal things, including but not limited to playing baseball, playing football, fishing, going to school, being the favored son, and trying to stay alive with a below-average level of maturity and common sense. Despite these shortcomings, he graduated from DeSoto County High School in 1997 in one piece and with slightly above average grades.

After high school, he attended Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Having been quite the Lego builder as a small child, he decided it would be “cool” to be some type of engineer. Thus he began his college career with a major in Physics. One of his sophomore year classes by the name of “Theoretical Mechanics” taught him that there was more to saying “I’m a physics major” than just sounding smart. Upon learning that his first test in Theoretical Mechanics was not, in fact, theoretical, he decided that a career in something not so black-and-white as math might be more fitting for one of his temperament and abilities. His pencil had barely hit the desk after that very real Theoretical Mechanics test when he was on my way to see his guidance counselor. He changed his major to Pre-law, also known as Political Science to his guidance counselor, and started the journey of becoming a lawyer.

Leading up to graduating with a B.S. degree from Florida Southern in 2001,he was wisely advised by his college guidance counselor to apply to several law schools in light of his not-so-theoretically low GPA that resulted from his not-so-theoretically low grades as a physics major. Never one to let sound advice get in the way of big dreams, he, of course, applied to only one law school. Cursing my guidance counselor and her crystal ball, he crumpled that law school’s rejection letter with a newfound drive to “make it.” While working two jobs and listening to the advice of his betters, he retook the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and applied early to several law schools. he began his law school career at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center in Davie, Florida, in 2002 and graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 2005.

His first job was in Miami working for a firm based out of Birmingham, AL. He and his wife moved back to Arcadia in 2006 just one month after the birth of their first child. Local attorney David Carlton, Esq. hired him as an associate attorney in 2006, a position he held until opening his own practice in 2011.


Although he considered passing the Bar exam on his first try and opening his own law practice to be among his biggest achievements, it is several steps behind a few others. His first and greatest achievement is having the good sense to marry his high school sweetheart and fellow Arcadia native Lacy Shelton Hancock. After 4 years apart from each other during their college careers, they just happened to meet up during that post-college/pre-law school “break.” It was love at first site all over again. Second on his list of greatest achievements is becoming a father (x3). Third on his list of achievements is being able to maintain a high enough level of maturity as befits an attorney, while also maintaining a low enough level of maturity so as to be considered by his wife as her fourth child.

Kenneth was appointed to serve on the DeSoto County Hospital District Board of Directors by the Florida Governor to serve a term beginning on February 17, 2017.

Pamela Vowels


Pamela Vowels was born in Arcadia, FL on May 1, 1964.  She graduated from DeSoto County High School in 1982.  Pamela has been married to Timothy Vowels for 29 years; together they have one son Brandon who is 24 years old.

Pamela currently serves on the DeSoto County Chamber Board of Executives as the Vice President.  She serves as the Board Secretary for Sunny South Packing Company.  She also serves as the Secretary for the Morgan Foundation Board.  Pamela was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve a four year term on the DeSoto County Hospital District Board of Directors in August 2017.

Pamela has previously held the Secretary and Treasurer position on the DeSoto County Chamber Board of Executives as well as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Peace River Valley Growers Association for four years.

Pamela and her husband Tim purchased McDonald’s – Vowels Inc. in May of 2014.  Pamela also works for Sunny South Packing Company, a company her family has half ownership in.

Ernest Hewett


Appointed to serve on the DeSoto County Hospital District Board of Directors by the Florida Governor to serve a term beginning February 17, 2017.

Janie Watson


Appointed to serve on the DeSoto County Hospital District Board of Directors by the Florida Governor in October 2010.

Bartley Arrington


Bart is the land manager with The Mosaic Company.   He oversees acquisition, divestiture and leasing of Mosaic lands. In addition to those duties he is responsible for Mosaic’s agricultural operations which include citrus and sod.  Prior to his current role at Mosaic, he work in Mine Permitting.  


He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.  Prior to joining Mosaic, Bart was a county engineer for DeSoto County.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering and Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Florida. 


Bart was born in Coral Gables, FL and the family moved to DeSoto County a year and a half later.  Bart grew up in DeSoto County and graduated from DCHS in 1988.  Bart has been married to Jayne Bellamy for 23 years and has two children. 

Bart was approved by the DeSoto County Hospital District Subagency Board of Directors to serve a four year term as the Community Member effective Sept. 2017.

Rafael Pita, M.D.

Medical Staff Representative/Director

Dr. Rafael Pita is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician.  After pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Florida International University School of Nursing,  Dr. Pita earned his medical degree in 2012 at St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman Island. He completed his Family Medicine Residency and served as chief resident at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS-West). He went to Sarasota from Fort Smith, Ark., where he spent several years caring for patients with traumatic injuries and acute conditions in an Emergency Medicine fellowship at Sparks Regional Medical Center.  He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Pita currently serves as the Medical Representative/Director for the DeSoto County Hospital District Subagency Board of Directors effective December 13, 2018.

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