Anton Cardinal – Co. Founder/President
Anton Cardinal is the face of the organization and represents F.V.R.T.C in the community, assumes responsibility for major projects, is responsible to the Board of Directors, and assumes responsibility for the entire organization. As President, Anton works collaboratively with the Board of Directors leading the transformation of the organization from its current stage to a more mature organization capable of delivering on its long term vision.
Responsible for the management and administrative oversight of the Board of Directors, Anton’s key responsibilities are working with the executive staff to formulate policies and strategic plans to meet the organization's short- and long-term objectives
Strategic Vision and Leadership
· Collaborate with the board of directors and staff to refine and implement the strategic plan, ensuring that the budget and priorities are aligned with organization’s core mission
· Provide leadership and direction to all staff, ensuring the development and management of the organization.
· Establish an effective decision-making process that will enable the achievement of long and short term goals and objectives.
· Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board ensuring open communication.
· Build a diverse and inclusive staff that is representative of the community and are highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.
· Ensure that the flow of funds permits the organization to make continuous progress towards the achievement of its mission.
A Life of Service
At twelve years old Anton’s heart lead him to participate in his schools’ holiday baskets can goods drive for less fortunate children in the Lake Alfred Community. This was the start of a passion he developed to serve. During summer breaks Anton, along with other family members, prepared hot food for distribution to homeless individuals throughout the city of San Fernando in Trinidad and Tobago. After the devastating earthquake disaster in Haiti, Anton and his father Anthony Cardinal partnered with Haines City Grace of God Church to contribute new clothing and shoes to Haitian residents.
When Anton Cardinal was fifteen years old he took allowance and donated that money to an organization that helped fund food drives and supported kids who were fighting against the ravages of cancer. His selfless actions inspired his father to follow his heart and pursue helping those in need by founding F.V.R.T.C , 1st Veterans’ Kids Care and established Y.E.S. (Youth Eye care Services) Vision and Literacy Initiative. When asked why he decided to give more than the $20 asked of him during the donation drive, Anton, an Honor graduate, a JROTC Battalion Commander of Ridge Community High School and Captain of the Haines City Police Explorers answers, easily and straightforward. “As long as you have you should give to others”.
For those who know Anton Cardinal this type of behavior is a reflection of his solid upbringing and instilled values. Besides being a scholar and a leader Anton is also an accomplished athlete. As captain of his wrestling team he received All District and All Regional awards. An avid martial arts student and instructor and Sensei Anton is a three time Taekwondo regional, state and national black belt champion and, after receiving martial artist of the year he was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.
Anton believes that the positive results from these disciplined activities are ideals he would not want to live without. “Yes, it is hard work but it is what drives me every day. My vision is to create a foundation that includes thousands of kids in our community who are as motivated as I am about their future as I am about martial arts.”
Anton is currently attending college, pursuing a degree in Business. As President, Anton is motivated to use the skills he is learning to enhance his role in the organization and wants to focus on developing a positive atmosphere where individuals in the community can be confident that their urgent needs will be met. He envisions playing an intricate part in the growth of the organization and believes that the services and programs provided will make the nonprofit so large that it would get the attention of communities and organizations at the national and international levels.
Anton Cardinal, in his own words.
What I have done. Leadership Training – Junior Reserve Officers Corps (JROTC) Training. As a cadet in Ridge High school JROTC, I obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the position of Battalion Commander, I participated in change of command parades, Physical Training, Cadet Challenges conducting inspections and preparing cadets for army JROTC Annual Formal Inspections (AFI) which culminated in our corps receiving a Gold Star rating.
Contribution to 1st Veterans Kids Care, Inc.
1st Veterans Kids Care, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that allows me the opportunity to be a part of something that is greater than me. Serving as a board member gives me the ability to apply all of the leadership skills I learned in JROTC, Police Explorers, instructing Martial Arts and coaching wrestling. I believe I can change lives by what I am able to give to the community.
Why I care about the Y.E.S. Eye Care Services Vision and Literacy Initiative
I know from firsthand experience how it feels to sit in a classroom not being able to see the board due to vision problems. Unfortunately I also saw many other students in classes with their heads down, off task, unable to compete with other students because they could not see what the instructor was presenting. I care about the Y.E.S. Eye care Services Vision and Literacy Initiative because it provides a solution to a problem that can be fixed.
Why I care about Veterans and their children
Often military veterans and their family members are unable to support themselves due to circumstances beyond their control. These men and women, who have performed some of the most courageous, selfless acts to protect our country, are often left behind to fend for themselves. During the years of service to our veterans and their families 1st Veterans Kids Care discovered a large number our veterans and their families have visual problems. Y.E.S. (Youth Eye care Services) was created with the goal of identifying veterans and their families with visual impairments, to eliminate or correct them and promote literacy among children through outreach efforts, community partnerships and rehabilitative services.