A community working to reduce substance abuse among Indian River County Youth
The purpose of the Coalition is to develop, implement and promote environmental strategies to reduce substance abuse in Indian River County. The Coalition operates under these guiding principles:
- Develop long and short-term goals to reduce substance abuse and strategies to achieve goals.
- Encourage collaboration among all key leaders in the community in reducing substance abuse.
- Disseminate current and trending issues surrounding substance abuse-related issues to the community.
- Ensure adequate sustainable funding for programs and services to reduce substance abuse.
Who We Are
- Law Enforcement
- Religious or Fraternal Organizations
- State, Local or Tribal Governmental Agency with expertise in the field of substance abuse
- Healthcare Professional
- Civic Group or Volunteers
- Youth Serving Organizations
- Other organizations involved in reducing substance abuse
Meet Our Team
SAFIR Coalition Director
Michele Buldo began her experience in the prevention field more than 15 years ago. In her first position, she worked for RWJBarnabas Health in Toms River, NJ where she was the Finance Manager for 10 years. For the past 5 years, she worked as the Coalition Coordinator for the DART Coalition of Ocean County, NJ.
Michele has advocated and established several ordinances and policies surrounding underage drinking; trained over 1,000 servers and bartenders in TIPs (Responsible Beverage Server training); advocated additional Rx drop boxes in the county; and coordinated several county-wide events and initiatives surrounding underage drinking, the illegal use of marijuana, and prescription misuse.
She relocated to Vero Beach in November 2018, where she was hired as the Director of the SAFIR Coalition. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Montclair State University and a master’s degree in Administrative Science from Farleigh Dickinson University in NJ. Michele has 2 children and enjoys the beach and traveling.
SAFIR Coalition Chair
Phil has been a member of the Vero Beach Police Department for over 18 years, currently serving as a Detective Sergeant in the agency’s Detective Division, overseeing General Crimes and the Special Investigations Unit. One of his many responsibilities is alcohol and drug prevention among juveniles and adults. He is also an agency instructor, in various disciplines and a team leader on the agency’s Critical Response Team. Phil also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Treasure Coast Public Safety Complex (Indian River State College), in the areas of Crisis Intervention and Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
SAFIR Coalition Vice Chair
Barbara is the Executive Assistant at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center. She has a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University and is a 2016 graduate of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program. She is a board member for the Circuit 19 Advisory Board and Visiting Nurse Association Hospice Board, and the Chairperson for the Racial Ethnic Disparity Committee (RED) for Circuit 19, member of the African American Achievement Community, African American Core team and the Moonshot Community Action Network (MCAN).
SAFIR Coalition Coordinator
Shelley Stuart has been working in the field of Public Health and Prevention since 2006 when she became the tobacco coalition coordinator for four years at the Center for Prevention and Counseling in Newton, NJ and later took on the role of program manager for the Coordinated School Health grant in the northern seven counties of NJ. She then took a position at Children’s Aid and Family Services in Bergen County, NJ where she served as director of Coalition and Community Services, overseeing both a countywide coalition and a Drug Free Communities coalition in the city of Garfield, NJ. Most recently, Shelley worked in Palm Beach County overseeing sub-grantees of the Overdose Data to Action grant at the Health Council of Southeast Florida from 2020 to 2022. She recently relocated, with her son, to Indian River County and happily took on the role of Coalition Coordinator at the Substance Awareness Center. Shelley is a native of Massachusetts and raised her three children in NJ where she received her degree in Public Health from William Paterson University and her Certified Health Education Specialist credentials. She enjoys traveling in her spare time.
Lauren Folds has been raised in Vero Beach, Florida and is a graduate of Indian River Charter High School. She has been an active member of her community, working for many well-known businesses in their Administrative departments. While continuing her degree in Psychology, she will be the Coalition Assistant for the SAIFR Coalition and aspires to make a difference with the youth and families of Indian River County. Lauren has a passion for helping others and making a difference in the lives of her communities’ youth and families. In her spare time she enjoys being a mom, time with her family, traveling and being outdoors.