Pastor, Elders and Ministry Leaders
Mike Avato Senior Pastor
After attending Florida International University, Mike worked in Construction Management and as a youth volunteer for several years with the hope of entering full-time ministry. Mike and his wife, Susan, met while serving in youth ministry together in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and married in 1990. Shortly after this he pursued theological education, attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he grew a passion for church planting.
At the founding of Tradewinds Church, Mike and Susan began by inviting people to Bible study in their living room. During that time Mike worked bi-vocationally as a pastor; a counselor to those in recovery; and/or a licensed General Contractor of his own company. He later became an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP).
As Tradewinds' Senior Pastor, Mike's primary goal is seeing lives change through the power of the gospel by leading others to Jesus, whether through leading worship, preaching/teaching, or through one-on-one ministry. To this end, he leads this staff and seeks to implement God's vision and strategy for developing biblically-relevant communities, anchoring lives in Christ, and generally equipping both staff and volunteers for ministry.
Mike and Susan live in St. Pete Beach and take great joy in homeschooling and raising their sons, Luciano and Nathanael. They also enjoy various water sports, co-ed softball, beach volleyball, playing guitar, and reading.
Chad Sadorf Associate Pastor of Discipleship
Chad was born in Lubbock, Texas but grew up in Seminole, Florida. Chad has an A.A. degree from SPC, a B.A. degree from USF and an M.Div. degree from RTS Orlando. He currently is a very part-time D.Min student at RTS.
Chad was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1996 in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) where he served as a church planter and also in pastoral ministry in three different Orthodox Presbyterian Churches until 2009. He comes to Tradewinds Church (ARP) after having served for seven years as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
As Tradewinds' Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Church Life, Chad longs to help God's people mature and grow as true disciples through the power of the gospel. Chad desires to see God's people drawn into the church to worship, serve and use their gifts to edify the church body. Chad, along with the leadership of Tradewinds Church, desires to see spiritually mature Christians anchored in Christ and making a kingdom difference, especially in the lives of those among whom they live and work every day.
Chad takes great joy in his family and enjoys biking, golf, music, reading and making his family stop at weird roadside attractions. Chad also enjoys making a difference where he lives through community service. In 2015 Chad was given the key to the City of Villa Rica, GA.
John Butler Elder
John was born in New Orleans and is one of four children. John met his wife, Laree, in 1981 while living in Tampa. They married in 1984 and moved to Tierra Verde in 1987, where they reside today. John and Laree have two children, Jackson and Jamie, along with their dog, Skipper.
John is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. in Business Administration in 1981). John also has B.S. (1985) and Master's degrees (1991) in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida. He has had a rewarding career in engineering for over 28 years. He is currently serving in a Systems Engineering role as a network security architect.
John and his family started attending TC in early 2005 and became members in 2007. John has a passion for logistics and planning, coming from a long career in planning and execution of engineering projects for the DoD. John likes to apply these skills to church administration and event planning. John has recently enjoyed leading the adult Sunday school discussion in rotation.
In his spare time, John enjoys handyman projects, college sports, crossword puzzles, cooking and visiting family.
Harry Bernet Elder
Harry was born and raised in New York City where he attended St. John's University, earning his B.A. in 1969. He received his M.B.A. from Wheaton College in 2008. He has worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years, and brings his knowledge of business and finance to our leadership at TC.
Harry married his wife, Genny, in 1983 and they reside on St. Pete Beach. They have a son, Chris, and four grandchildren. A charter member at Tradewinds, Harry was elected as an Elder in 2007.
He has a passion for teaching adult Sunday school, Bible study, and discipleship training. His wife Genny sings with the Worship Team and assists Harry when he teaches. Harry preaches several Sundays each year and is the leader of the Education Team at Tradewinds.
J.R. Strang Elder
J.R. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, and later moved on to New York University where he majored in Art and Interior Design. After two years in the military, J.R. met his wife while attending church. They married and began a family of their own shortly after that.
J.R. found his new church home when he moved to Florida in 2008 and began attending Tradewinds Church. He feels honored to serve as an Elder at Tradewinds. J.R. has over 50 years of experience serving as an Elder in Presbyterian Churches.
David Perron Elder
David was born and raised in a northern suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. He was educated at Merrimac College in the field of mechanical engineering, and for the past 25 years has worked as the R & D Engineering Manager for a medical device developer/manufacturer in Largo, Florida.
David has been married to Dede since 1979. They have two adult children, Tylere and Mikaela. The family moved from southern New Hampshire to Brandon, Florida in 1987. Prior to moving across the Bay to St. Petersburg in 2002, David served as a ruling elder in a Brandon church for six years, where he served in the church's Home Group Ministry, pastoral care, and administration. Since becoming a part of Tradewinds he has served as a Lifeboat leader and in the Greeter ministry. David and Dede have been a part of Tradewinds Church since 2010.
Dillon Alderman Elder
A native of Florida, with family roots in citrus and construction, Dillon grew up in beautiful Lake Placid, Florida. He has lived in the Tampa Bay area for many years, and attended the University of South Florida where he studied engineering. He began working during high school and worked for a series of engineering, surveying & construction firms.
Dillon met his wife Leah through mutual friends while working in Nashville, Tennessee. Luckily it was love at first sight as a job offer from a family friend, and local builder brought them back home to Florida. Dillon manages his own architectural design company which he began seven years ago. Also, Dillon volunteers his time with the City of St. Petersburg Code Enforcement Board.
They are happy to be members of Tradewinds since moving to Northwest St. Petersburg a couple of years ago. Dillon previously served as an elder in two other Bay Area Presbyterian churches as well as chairing Property and Christian education committees. His special interest is Christian education for the young members of the congregation, and he currently leads the High School Sunday school class.
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife, taking their dogs to one of the parks in the area, getting together with friends, reading, and working in the garden.
Scott Naden Elder
Scott was born and grew up in America’s heartland, Illinois and Iowa. Childhood was like a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting, blessed with a loving family (except older brother Greg who did not always so love in those days). In 1972, Scott began his spiritual journey to seek after Christ at Honey Rock Camp in northern Wisconsin.
Scott’s mid-western roots were tested a bit when he moved east to Ohio to attend the University of Cincinnati. Much heart examination took place and Christ began to take first place in his life. On the academic side, Scott earned three undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music. But those hard earned degrees paled in comparison to his earning something far greater: the love and respect of his future wife Ardi. For only her great love would allow Ardi follow and support Scott over the next 27 years through five different church ministerial positions in five different states. Scott wore many different hats during his full time church ministry years, but music and missions were always the biggest and ones he was most passionate about.
Scott and Ardi have two beautiful (but not perfect) adult children, Rachel and Taylor who live in Ft. Collins, Colorado. In January 2014, Scott and Ardi moved for what they hope is the final time to St. Pete where Scott works for his good friend in the food exporting business. He also keeps his competitive sport juices flowing by refereeing baseball, football, and basketball, mostly at the High School and College levels.
Scott and Ardi became members of Tradewinds in March of 2015. He is honored and humbled to serve as an Elder and looks forward to getting to know his church family better and continuing his serving on the Vision, Worship, and Missions Teams.