Mary Smith, Executive Director
Smith fills a full-time salaried position, and she is responsible for overseeing the program, including staff, administration, and operations, with assistance and direction from the Board of Directors. She is a trained and certified Special Education Advocate; has completed a variety of trainings, workshops, and conferences in the field of disabilities; and continues to attend many more such events on an annual basis. She also has two young adults with significant disabilities, Down’s syndrome and autism. Her degree is in Business Applications and she worked in the private sector for many years in the field of computers and business management. In April of 2010 she completed and received a continuing education certificate in Leadership & Non-Profit Management from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the Nonprofit Resource Center. She is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Deb Monti, Program Facilitator
Monti has been involved with our organization since 2005. Monti is responsible for working directly with families that receive respite care services and she ensures that respite workers follow through on assigned respite visits. Monti is responsible for human relations pertaining to the respite care staff, which includes recruiting, interviewing and hiring with final approval from the executive director. At least twice a year, she is responsible for coordinating the attendance of all respite workers at their continuing education training. On a quarterly basis, she is responsible for the distribution and collection of our Family Satisfaction Survey in order to measure our required outcomes for the program. She completes any other daily administrative duties deemed appropriate to the operation of the respite program. Monti’s prior work experience is as a professional trainer in the insurance industry. She has a child with autism.
Susan Magers, Parent Mentoring & Support Program Trainer
Susan Magers has provided outreach services to a variety of non-profit organizations over the past eighteen years. She has served as volunteer coordinator at the elementary and middle school level, and she has chaired the parent and family engagement team for her school district. She has also worked as an education parent liaison for families of children with special needs. Susan is a graduate of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Partners in Policymaking Program and she has spent the past fifteen years cultivating strong working relationships with area school districts, as well as serving on many education and disability-related committees in the Manatee/Sarasota area.
Chosen Families Program
Michelle Lingle, Family Liaison Chosen Families Program
Lingle fills a part-time position. She is responsible for working directly with families of adopted children that receive respite care services, and she ensures respite workers consistently follow through on all assigned respite visits. She prepares and submits any billing and documentation needed for agency, county, state, federal, or other foundations and private grants that have been awarded. On a quarterly basis, she is responsible for distribution and collection of our Family Satisfaction Survey in order to measure our required outcomes for the program. She completes any other daily administrative duties deemed appropriate to the operation of the respite program. Michelle and her husband have 7 children, four of the children are an adopted sibling group, and each of the children have one or more disabilities including but not limited to being on the autism spectrum, Fetal alcohol syndrome, RAD and Mental illness.
Board of Directors
President: Deborah Hobson
School Counselor/Parent of a Child with a Disability
Vice President: Heather Zink
Parent of a Child with Autism
Secretary: Fran Padgett
Special Education Teacher and
Treasurer: Kim Ross
Whole Child Manatee Advisor
Parent of a Child with a Disability
Occupational Therapist/Yoga Instructor/Sibling
Dr. Stacie Herrera
Vice President of Early Intervention Services
The Florida Center for Early Childhood
Parent of a Child with a Disability