Neuro Challenge Foundation Staff
Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s team is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.
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. 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.
Jennifer Bushinger-Ortiz, originally from the metropolitan Manhattan area, has an eclectic background with over 15 years in professional theatre in the performing, administrative, and educational arenas. She performed in two national children’s theatre tours, directed Off-Broadway, and wrote/directed two original pieces for the United Nations World Religion Conference and the United Nation/National Global Organization’s International Commission on the Status of Women Summit. Her expertise expanded to marketing and public relations work with Cirque du Soleil, Street Meet Promotions, Big Apple Circus, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
After relocating to Venice, FL nearly six years ago, she served as the former vice president of philanthropy for the Loveland Center before settling into her new role as the development director for Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s. She is a proud member of the American Fundraising Professionals (AFP) serving on its programming and diversity, equity and inclusion committees, graduate of the Inaugural Leadership Class of Venice 2019 and Gulf Coast Leadership Institute Class of 2022.
Business Development Director
Megan is thrilled to be part of the Neuro Challenge team. With her diverse background in the Arts, Sales, Events and Development, being the Director of Business Development is a natural fit. Megan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the performing arts. From there, she moved on to live her dream as a professional dancer in NYC until injuries changed her trajectory. She began an amazing career path in sales for over 15 years. While in her time in sales, she found her greatest gift was networking and forming personal relationships with her clients . . . which in turn led her into Development in Sarasota. She was the Director of Development for the Roskamp Institute, which conducted research to discover safe and effective ways to treat diseases of the mind, and prior to joining the team, her most recent role was the Director of Community Outreach and Special events for the Out of Door Academy.
Megan is not only a new employee, but she has also been a longtime supporter and donor because of the amazing work it does in our community. Parkinson’s has personally affected people close to her, and she is thrilled to help make a difference on the ground as part of this amazing team.
Megan is originally from New Orleans, LA and proud to be a New Orleanian as well as a devoted Saints and LSU fan. She juggles a myriad of friends and activities, but her most important personal roles are as a wife to husband Kevin and as a mother to two rambunctious boys, Luke and Carter.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Traci joined the Neuro Challenge Foundation team in 2018.
Traci is passionate about working with the Parkinson’s community. She is excited to share about 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 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.
Diane joined the Neuro Challenge Foundation Team as a Care Advisor in August 2021.
Diane has an extensive background working with nonprofit agencies in Illinois and Florida. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and is dedicated to helping individuals and their families through their journey with neurologic conditions.
Diane’s passion for serving the neuro challenged community was fueled by personal experience with her father-in-law’s traumatic brain injury and her work with medical clinics. Diane understands the important role that community resources, education, and support systems play for people with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as their care partners. She enjoys empowering others to achieve their goals.
Diane loves spending time with family and friends, sunsets, traveling, and a good book.