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Our Staff

Sherry Houston

Sherry is an expert nonprofit development professional with extensive fundraising, marketing, public relations, and event planning experience. She comes to the Ronald McDonald House from Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, where she served as Senior Vice President for Advancement. Sherry is actively involved both in the community and a variety of charitable organizations. This is evidenced by her active involvement in the Rotary Club of Gainesville, the Junior League of Gainesville, the Women’s Giving Circle, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Gainesville Women’s Forum. She is a well ­known and respected member of the Gainesville community. Her networking success is attributed to her lighthearted, humorous and authentic style. What you see is what you get with her, and everyone that meets her will know her enthusiasm for Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. Sherry has a BA in Sociology from Franklin & Marshall College and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh. She and her husband, Joel, have two grown children, Christopher and Meredith.

James Hartzog

James first joined us as a guest here while his son awaited a successful heart transplant giving him a first-hand account of what some of our families go through during our time with us. James is married with 3 children and is also a state certified security officer. At one point in time, James was a traveling musician who has toured all throughout the United States. He enjoys spending time with his family, music, & training Mixed Martial Arts. James’ goal is to keep our families safe with a smile.

Wandra Presley

Wandra takes pride in making sure our House always looks its best for our guest families and has been on staff for over five years. She is from High Springs and is the devoted mother of five children. Wandra is an active volunteer at her church, Showers of Blessing Harvest Center.

Harold Strom

Harold comes to the Ronald McDonald House after an almost forty-year career in the Horticulture industry. During that time, he has worked for nurseries located in Quincy and Apopka, Fl. and even San Pedro Sula, Honduras for a short while. He finally moved to Gainesville in the mid ’80s and shortly thereafter, he met his wonderful wife of over thirty years. They are the proud parents of one adult son. Harold has been fixing things his whole life. That started on the North Florida farm where he grew up and continued as he helped his five uncles who all had businesses related to the construction industry. Ronald McDonald House holds a special place in his heart because some of his own family were able to stay at a Ronald McDonald House to be close to their newborn son who spent several months in NICU. Harold enjoys fishing on the area’s lakes and rivers and traveling with his beautiful wife. He also loves to watch the Gators play ball.

Emily Pridgen

Director of House Operations & Programs

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Emily Pridgen joins the Ronald McDonald House as the Director of House Operations and Programs. Emily’s true passion is serving children and families. Before coming to the House she created and was the owner of a small family-focused business for 6 years. Prior to her business, Emily was the Associate Director of Children’s Ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church. Emily was born in West Virginia, and at the age of 5, moved to Gainesville, Florida with her family. Emily is married to Andrew Pridgen, and they have 3 children: Jacob, Grace, and Liberty. The family lives on a 5.5-acre farm where they have over 30 animals. In Emily’s spare time, she enjoys trips to the beach with her family as well as spending time on her family farm.



Storey Helton

Manager on Duty


Storey joins the Ronald McDonald House team as the evening manager during the week. Born in Arkansas, she has spent most of her life here in Florida. As a Certified CNA and EKG technician, she worked at North Florida Rehab Center specializing in geriatrics. Additionally, with training in DCF Childcare and experience at Sunshine Day Preschool as a teaching assistant, Storey brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the team. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, hiking, and loves to spend time at the beach.


Teresa Alfieri
Manager on Duty

Teresa Alfieri joins the team at Ronald McDonald House as Manager on Duty.  Before coming to the House, she taught Early Childhood Education for 38 years. Teresa was born and raised in Florida.  She has three children; Jeffery, Samantha and Jeremy, and four grandchildren; Lilly, Ryleigh, Kinsley, and Robert Joseph.  Teresa has a true passion for serving others, and has spent the last six years working with the Homeless Community.


The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates; McDonald's, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Ronald McDonald House Charities Logo, RMHC, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

RMHCNCF is recognized as a 501(c)(3) and therefore contributions to RMHCNCF may be tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Donors should consult their tax advisor for questions regarding deductibility.