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Neuro Challenge Foundation Staff

Dr. Sara Grivetti

Chief Executive Officer

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Dr. Sara Grivetti comes to the organization with nearly 30 years of experience with neuro challenges. She has both personal and professional experience working with an array of issues related to disabilities and chronic health conditions. Sara is delighted to be a Florida resident after spending the bulk of her career in Michigan. She is new to the Sarasota area and looks forward to meeting people with Parkinson’s, care partners and the donors that so graciously support Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s.

 

Sara holds both a master’s degree and doctorate from Michigan State University in the field of Rehabilitation Counseling. Her focus of research has been adjustment to disability and health conditions and the impact of the diagnosis on the family and care partners. Sara is known as a leader in public policy, advocacy, and education that betters the life of the person affected by disability or chronic health conditions. She is dedicated to helping the Parkinson’s community and Neuro Challenge achieve its vision, and looks forward to leading the organization in their growth strategies.

Mary Jo Heider

Development Director

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Mary Jo brings a passion for nonprofit service and decades of fundraising experience to the Neuro Challenge Foundation as the organization's first Development Director.

Drawing on her years as a nonprofit leader, Mary Jo connects The Foundation to community members and corporate philanthropists who will invest in and support our mission, making progress and lasting change for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

Prior to joining the Neuro Challenge Foundation, Mary Jo held local and national senior development positions with The Circus Arts Conservatory, Children’s Miracle Network, Freeman Healthcare Foundation, The National Association of Manufacturers and The Metropolitan Economic Development Association.

She attended Florida State University and Missouri Southern State University, is an alumna of Leadership Minneapolis, a member of The Association of Fundraising Professionals and serves as an Advisory Board member for The Life of Riley Foundation. She is the mother of two college students, enjoys travelling with her family and recently discovered a new passion for growing orchids.

April Spagnuolo-Moschini

Program Director

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April joined Neuro Challenge in 2021 as the new Program Director.

April is a visionary leader, known for her creative innovations which inspire programs that encourage Full Life Engagement.  Specifically, she is credited with creating a Multi-Sensory room with experiences benefiting people with Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Vision Impairment, MS, Down Syndrome, Autism, and more.

April has several years of experience as a Certified Activity Director in Long Term Care Settings and leads by example while serving as the President of Florida Health Care Activity Coordinator’s Association for District VI.   Her dedication to best practices and customer service resulted in the pursuit of an Assisted Living Administrator’s License.  

April’s commitment to non-profits allowed her to focus on writing and administering grants, while developing programs that improve the Quality of Life for seniors or people with disabilities.  April received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education and began her career as a High School Teacher.  She continues to be driven by the love of learning, discovery, and motivating others.

In her “me” time, April enjoys time with family, gardening, kayaking, and creating art.

 

Traci Willingham

Marketing and Communications Manager

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Traci joined the Neuro Challenge Foundation team in 2018 as the Office Manager and was recently promoted to Marketing and Communications Manager. She believes in our mission and exemplifies the spirit of Neuro Challenge by supporting those through their journey with Parkinson's. She is excited to to share the programs and services provided to the local Parkinson's community and beyond.

Traci is a Sarasota native and has chosen to raise her family here as well. In her spare time, Traci enjoys spending time with her husband and children and taking family vacations to the mountains. 

Donita Pace

Office Manager

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Donita joined the Neuro Challenge Foundation team in February 2021 as the new Office Manager. 

Donita spent 20+ years in higher education running residence halls.  She helped build $30 million worth of new dorms here in Sarasota.She has lived all over the country working with college students at Wright State, Oberlin College, Northwest Missouri State, New Mexico State, and New College of Florida. 

Donita has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  Growing up there, her parents and two sisters still live in that area. 

Donita has been in Sarasota for 17 years and loves the Florida LIfestyle  such as beaches, sunsets, flamingos, shells, and still enjoys being a tourist in her new hometown.  Most recently she was with Meals On Wheels of Sarasota.   

 

Ellen Schaller

Care Advisor

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Prior to joining Neuro Challenge as a Care Advisor, Ellen’s spent over thirty years as a physical therapist. She began her career at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and most recently, managed the rehabilitation services department at a life care community outside Chicago.

Ellen’s career has been dedicated to gerontology and helping others achieve wellness through her positive can do attitude.

In her spare time, Ellen plays in the handbell choir and enjoys tap dancing. She is also a Deacon and Stephen Ministry Leader at her church.

Stacey Carlin

Care Advisor

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Stacey is the newest member of the Neuro Challenge Foundation team joining us in August 2020 as the new Care Advisor. Stacey has dedicated both her professional and educational endeavors to help improve the quality of life for people as they age.

Stacey earned an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontological Studies. She has worked in various capacities in the field of long term care and was a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in the State of Ohio. Stacey has worked with both for-profit and non-profit continuing care retirement communities, where she managed everything from the daily administration of the facilities to marketing and developing new programs. Stacey has worked to enhance activities in memory impaired units by incorporating Montessori Methods and developed strategies for caregivers to utilize with family members with cognitive impairments. She has a strong interest in bringing different generations together through intergenerational programming to enhance the sharing of skills and knowledge between the old and young.

In her spare time, Stacey enjoys staying active with her family and spending time at the beach. She helps to lead a morning bootcamp workout near her home.

Kristen Lessig-Schenerlein

Parkinson's Expo Consultant

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Kristen is excited to remain involved with Neuro Challenge in support of the mission and ensuring the continued success of the ongoing programs & services by stepping into a consultant role to lead the efforts on the 2021 Expo.

Photo Credit: Lynn Elkes/Selwin Photos, Inc.

Administrative Office and Mailing Address: 722 Apex Rd. Suite A, Sarasota, FL 34240

NEURO CHALLENGE FOUNDATION FOR PARKINSON'S IS A 501(C)(3) CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. CH26789.
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