Our Team

Ashton J. Hayward III

Ashton J. Hayward III joined AREF as President in January 2019. A native of Pensacola and a graduate of Florida State University, Hayward previously worked in New York as an executive at the AT&T Corporation and the Financial Times. In 2003, Hayward and his wife An returned to Pensacola to raise their son, Aiden. Hayward founded a successful real estate development company, which he managed until taking office as Mayor of Pensacola in 2011.  Hayward led regional economic development by working to create a cultural environment where businesses grew and thrived.

Active in public service on a local, regional, and statewide level, Hayward was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Commission on Community Service, also known as Volunteer Florida, and is a member of Leadership Florida’s Cornerstone Class XXXVI. Locally, Hayward has actively supported organizations including Autism Pensacola, the Gulf Coast Kids House, and the PACE Center for Girls. Hayward also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Achieve Escambia and as a member of the Escambia County Infant Mortality Task Force, and has previously served on the board of directors for the Florida League of Mayors and as a member of the Northwest Florida Transportation Corridor Authority.

Having a vast repertoire in leadership and financial development, Hayward now utilizes his experience to further the goals and mission of world renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. James R. Andrews. Through his work as President of AREF, Hayward will continue to lead his team into the future of health education and research to promote sports medicine.



Jen Mostert, CPA

Jen joined AREF in 2019 as Finance Director before moving into the Executive Director role in 2021. A University of West Florida graduate, Jen started her career in Public Accounting, obtaining her CPA license and gaining experience providing audit and assurance services to companies across numerous industries, moving into management before joining AREF.

Jen has a passion for leading teams and helping people and organizations achieve success. Jen is also passionate about serving her community and has served on several Boards including Pensacola Young Professionals, The Choral Society of Pensacola, the West Florida Chapter of the FICPA, and OnBikes Pensacola, and has supported these organizations as well as Gulf Coast Kids House and Ronald McDonald House charities.

Jen enjoys spending time with her family, husband Brad and sons James and Daniel, and her dog, Lucy.


Ashley Mixson

Ashley Mixson joined the team as the Fellowship Manager in January 2020. Ashley was born and raised in Pensacola, FL and earned her BS in Healthcare Administration from Capella University in 2018. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of West Florida. In addition to managing the fellowship programs, Ashley is the Institutional Coordinator for AREF, ensuring ACGME compliance.

Her experience over the last decade includes: healthcare executive assistance, residency program coordination, office management, project administration and Graduate Medical Education. In addition to her professional roles, Ashley is Lean Green Belt certified, a notary public and an avid recreational softball player.  With a passion for the quality Graduate Medical Education and the ever-changing world of healthcare, Ashley continues to support today’s rising physicians by bringing structure, care, understanding and a passion for lifelong learning to the team.


Jessi Truett, BCBA

Jessi joined AREF as a Manager, Research and Development in July 2021. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and obtained her Masters degree at The University of West Florida with studies of Applied Behavior Analysis. Jessi has extensive experience in establishing and maintaining high quality practice to ensure adherence to quality standards across healthcare practice. Before joining AREF, Jessi established Applied Behavior Analysis services at Lakeview Center and continues to serve as adjunct professor at The University of West Florida’s Center for Behavior Analysis.

At AREF, Jessi ensures professional development of the research team to promote research practice across all Andrews Institute clinical divisions. Jessi is passionate about facilitating Good Clinical Practices and serving at the liaison with IRB to promote quality research outcomes at AREF.


Nathan Thrower

Nathan Thrower joined the AREF team in April 2021 as its Accountant. Nathan was born and raised in Pensacola, FL, and he graduated from the University of West Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in both Professional Accountancy and Finance. Nathan plans on pursuing his Master’s in Accounting and obtaining his CPA license.


Joshua J. Cook, BS

Josh joined the AREF team in May 2021 as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Josh is a Pensacola native and is an alumni of the University of West Florida with an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences following the Kugelman Honors 4-Year Pathway. Josh previously worked in various teaching roles at UWF before entering both laboratory and clinical research positions, where he worked in the field of clinical research for several years.


Chandler Bridges, MS

Chandler earned her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science with a minor in Coaching from Chowan University in Murfreesboro, NC. Then continued on to obtain her Masters of Science from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. While attaining her master’s degree she was a graduate assistant coach for the Lady Blazers softball team. Chandler is a local from Navarre and found her passion for sports science and research through her years of playing and coaching softball.


Victoria Williams

Victoria joined the AREF team in January 2021 as an intern. As she balanced school and her internship, she found a love for research during her time with Andrews Research and Education Foundation.

Now, as of September 2021, she has joined the team as a Research Assistant. She is currently enrolled at the University of West Florida pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences following the Kugelman Honors 2-year pathway. Victoria hopes she can interconnect her studies and experiences to help the research team drive the future of medicine.