Meet the Team

Leadership Team

Luanne Welch

President and CEO

Luanne Welch

Luanne Welch, President and CEO, ESUCP

“I am passionate about the culture and people of ESUCP – those we serve, the families who love them and our team members who support them. That passion drives my commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, authenticity and learning!”

Luanne Welch is the President and CEO of Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). Her view of disabilities was informed early in life by first grade friends, family and neighbors. Each relationship taught her to see the world through the lens of others, to hear and lift up their voices. Those experiences shaped her career. Luanne continues to be a thought leader, change agent and powerful voice within the national health and human services industry. In addition, Luanne is recognized as a turnaround leader with an ability to reorganize financially challenged organizations and reposition them for sustained, healthy growth.

Luanne is devoted to positive change. She actively engages an employee Council around inclusion, diversity, equity, authenticity and learning. This rewarding and humbling journey has deepened her understanding, strengthened her leadership style, and provided meaningful insight for business decisions.

Prior to leading ESUCP, Luanne was the President and CEO for Easterseals South Florida. She has also held various Easterseals leadership positions with both the North Carolina affiliate and the National Office.

Luanne is a graduate of North Carolina State University. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Benchmarks NC (a non-profit advocate for quality and accountability among human service providers), is Board Secretary of i2i Center for Integrative Health, is Vice Chair of UCP Regional Affiliate Council and an Advisory Board Member at Open Minds (an award-winning source of information, executive education and health and human service business solutions). She enjoys spending time with family and has a special place in her heart for her grandson.

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Jim Hilty

Chief Financial Officer

Jim Hilty

Chief Financial Officer

“It’s good to help an organization grow. However, I have the GREAT privilege of expanding ESUCP’s mission and maximizing the positive impact on the individuals and families we serve.”

Jim is the Chief Financial Officer at Easterseals UCP (ESUCP), a role he has held since June 2015. Jim has direct responsibility and management oversight for several critical functional support areas that include Finance, Information Technology, Cyber Security and Contracts.

Prior to joining ESUCP, Jim held several financial reporting, corporate development and strategic planning roles with a multi-national for-profit business for more than two decades. In all of his roles, Jim has supported and contributed to the growth and transformation of the business. Prior to that, he spent ten years supporting entrepreneurial clients while working for Ernst & Young, one of the “big four” of the largest public accounting firms in the United States.

Jim received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Gannon University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Denise Mannon

Chief Compliance Officer

Denise Mannon

Chief Compliance Officer

“My mom was diagnosed with MS at the age of 32. Watching her mentally and physically fight against her own body taught me grace and kindness in helping others that are living with disabilities.”

Denise Mannon is the Chief Compliance Officer for Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). As part of the organization’s executive leadership team, she leads Compliance, Quality Management and Credentialing throughout the organization.

At an early age, Denise learned the value of being part of a strong team. Through hard work and perseverance, she was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in high school and again at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. The lessons she learned on the court formed her character as a great player/coach in the workplace.

Prior to joining ESUCP, Denise was the Provider Network Manager and then Corporate Compliance Officer for CenterPoint Human Services. She helped build their provider network capacity to address substance use disorders in youth with legal involvement and was also the Treatment Fellow for the Forsyth County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. Denise also served as the Program Integrity Liaison to the state while at CenterPoint.

Denise received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and an Associate’s degree in Health Information Technology from Pitt Community College. She is an Accredited Healthcare Fraud Investigator and is also Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance. She enjoys spending time with her family.

Maribel Anaya-Hammer

Chief People Officer

Maribel Anaya-Hammer

Chief People Officer

“I have the great privilege of guiding our people in feeling empowered to leverage their differences in delivering on our purpose and contributing to the greater good of those we serve.”

Maribel Anaya-Hammer is the Chief People Officer for Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). She is responsible for the organization’s comprehensive human capital management, policies and strategic direction. In addition, she and her team create, support and work to sustain a diverse, equitable, inclusive and innovative work culture.

Maribel and her team know it’s all about the people. They partner with other functional leaders and the operational program teams in recruiting, retention, benefits and compensation, training and developing people initiatives that align with ESUCP’s mission and values.

Maribel received her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from Mercy College. She is AIRS trained and has also earned certifications in human resource management, labor relations, compensation and benefits management. She has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusiveness. She enjoys learning about international cultures and speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and conversational Italian. Her current hobby is learning Korean and Asian studies.

Marta Quintana

Chief Development Officer

Marta Quintana

Chief Development Officer

“I’m passionate about connecting individuals to our mission to drive engagement and support for the children, adults and families we serve every day.”

As Chief Development Officer at Easterseals UCP (ESUCP) and more than 17 years of non-profit experience, Marta Quintana manages the development team that is responsible for raising support from corporate and individual contributions, grants and fundraising events. Marta excels in strategic planning. She also has a proven track record for cultivating strong relationships with individual donors, corporate sponsors, partners and key stakeholders and sharing ESUCP’s mission and funding needs with prospective donors. With 30+ years of management experience, Marta fosters a team environment and inspires her team to meet annual goals by successfully executing annual events, fundraising campaigns, volunteer activities and community engagement.

Before joining ESUCP in 2022, Marta was Vice President of Development at Easterseals South Florida for 12 years. Prior to that, she spent five years as a Senior Development Officer at United Way of Miami Dade, where she led the fundraising efforts for the legal and real estate division, co-led the new business development team in growing the corporate donor pipeline and was part of the team that produced the renowned Annual United Way Women’s Leadership.

Marta is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the proud mom of two aspiring artists, an alumna of Miami Dade College and a graduate of the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale.

Cheryl Tuning

Chief Marketing Officer

Cheryl Tuning

Chief Marketing Officer

“I have the best job at ESUCP! I get to share stories about our team members while bringing the impact of our programs to life for the kids, adults and families we support.”

Cheryl Tuning is the Chief Marketing Officer for Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). As part of the organization’s executive leadership team, she is responsible for upholding the ESUCP brand and bringing their marketing strategies to life. As CMO, Cheryl’s team is responsible for creating unified messaging and storytelling opportunities, web development, social media and working directly with internal teams to promote and attract new funders, new hires and new families to support.

She is both innovative and entrepreneurial, with a reputation for building meaningful relationships, exceeding expectations but most importantly, identifying and developing great Marketing talent. Cheryl and her team have the privilege of working directly with ESUCP’s frontline programs in accelerating a playbook of marketing plans that promote the agency’s purpose of helping individuals living with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and mental health challenges live their best life.

Cheryl received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Illinois State University. She enjoys reading, writing and traveling with her husband.

Mark Germann

Executive VP, Business Intelligence

Mark Germann

Executive VP, Business Intelligence

“I have a personal connection to ESUCP’s mission and I love the work we do. It’s a gift to work with an incredible team with such great passion for improving the lives of our neighbors and the communities we support.”

Mark Germann is the Executive Vice President of Business Intelligence for Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). As the leader of both the Business Intelligence and Health Information Technology teams, he has responsibility for the organization’s continuous improvement monitoring, outcomes and results delivery. His team also provides the internal operational, clinical and functional teams with big data access coupled with analysis to drive actionable strategies that support positive client outcomes and sound decision making.

Mark started his career in Disability and Behavioral Health services. He entered the industry as a case manager and in the past 20 years, his career has steadily progressed through a variety of operational support roles within Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) services.

Mark has five children and lives with his wife, Suzanne. Outside of work Mark is an avid hockey fan, especially when his kids are on the ice.

Bryant Edgerton

VP, Financial Operations

Bryant Edgerton

VP, Business Operations

“I truly believe that kids and adults living with disabilities and behavioral health challenges can contribute tremendous value, unique gifts and real strength to their families and their communities with the right support. I want to offer my experience, strengths and skills to that cause.”

Bryant Edgerton is the Vice President of Business Operations for Easterseals UCP (ESUCP) and is part of the Finance team. Bryant plays an integral role in convening and facilitating cross-functional problem solving among ESUCP’s various teams: Programs, Information Technology, Business Intelligence and Finance. In addition, he tracks and analyzes operating data and trends to assist the CEO, Chief Financial Officer and the internal executive team with program portfolio analysis and management. In addition, Bryant is responsible for leading ESUCP’s real estate strategy and reimagining how the organization efficiently utilizes its office space.

Bryant has 17 years’ experience in working with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) and Behavioral Health services. He joined ESUCP as the coordinator of an advocacy training program for parents and adults living with IDD and since then has held a variety of management and leadership roles within the organization.

Bryant enjoys spending time with his wife, two children and extended family. He’s an avid basketball and football fan and enjoys reading and listening to audiobooks.

Robin D. Henderson-Wiley

VP, Behavioral Health

Robin D. Henderson-Wiley

VP of Behavioral Health

As a servant leader, my why is simple, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

Robin D. Henderson-Wiley is the Vice President of Behavioral Health for Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). She has more than 30 years’ experience in managing behavioral health and substance abuse services for profits, non-profits, hospitals, commercial insurance and multi-site clinics. Prior to joining ESUCP, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of SouthLight Healthcare. She also led a team in the onboarding of a Behavioral Health Urgent Care. Robin has diverse leadership experience which spans the behavioral health continuum and includes inpatient, outpatient, crisis and enhanced services.

Robin manages her career with three core beliefs: integrity, integrated wholeness and a strong sense of self. She is also driven by Titus 2:7, which reads, “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching”.

Robin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Adelphi University and a Master Degree in Public Administration with a Healthcare concentration from Long Island University Post. Robin enjoys retail therapy, the beach, traveling, reading and spending time with her friends and family.

Liz Hill

VP, Home + Community Based Services

Liz Hill

VP Home and Community-Based Services

“I love connecting, learning and empowering people to be their best possible selves. ESUCP makes this dream a reality!”

Liz Hill currently serves as a Vice President of Home and Community-Based Services at Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). She has worked for ESUCP for 18 years. Throughout her professional journey, Liz has held a wide variety of leadership roles within Home and Community Based services programing.

As part of the Easterseals UCP leadership team, Liz develops, mentors and empowers more than 1,700 team members to provide compassionate, individualized and family-centered supports for individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She fosters a culture where client and family engagement, understanding and advocacy are at the forefront of the success in service delivery. She believes in the unique talents and abilities of her team and works hard to ensure team members have opportunities for promotion and always feel valued.

Liz has a personal connection with the developmental disability world. Seeking opportunities to positively improve the lives of those we support and all others, keeps Liz motivated each and every day.

Liz holds a Bachelors in Social Work and Social Policy from Saints Kiril & Metodij University in Skopje, Macedonia. She also has more than 20 years of professional and lived experience. Her CliftonStrengths are Developer, Belief, Responsibility, Context and Harmony.

Dima smiling at work

Dima Khatib

VP, Organizational Learning + Change Management

Dima Khatib

VP of Organizational Learning + Change Management

“An organization’s greatest strength is its people. We have an amazing team that’s committed to serving kids, adults and families living with disabilities and behavioral health challenges. For me, it is such an honor and a rewarding experience to help our team members build their skills and coach them through their career journey.”

Dima Khatib is the Vice President of Organizational Learning and Change Management for Easterseals UCP. She and her team are responsible for building a culture of continuous learning and knowledge sharing. They support the people side of organizational change initiatives.

Dima’s passion and professional work focuses on three key areas: Human Resources, Learning and Development, and Change Management. During her work at companies such as Accenture and Clarkston Consulting, she has successfully leveraged her expertise to assist clients in managing their change journeys through the design and development of individual performance and organizational change. She also has extensive U.S. and international experience in establishing learning organizations with a focus on career progression and leadership development. Dima’s last role prior to joining Easterseals UCP was the Vice President of Human Resources for Al-Bahar, a Caterpillar dealership, where she managed People Operations for the organization across five countries and 11 facilities.

Dima earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics from Elmhurst University and a Master of Science in Management degree from North Carolina State University. She is married and a proud mom of two. Outside of work, Dima enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Tristan Robertson

VP, Early Childhood Programs

Tristan Robertson

VP of Early Childhood Programs

“After 25 years, helping children living with cerebral palsy take their first step or hearing a child with Down syndrome say her first word still motivates me today!”

Tristan has more than 25 years’ experience in providing services and life-changing support to children and families living with disabilities. Her professional experience includes working directly with infants and toddlers in providing early intervention services in home-based and early childhood settings; facilitating play-based social skills programs; supporting youth led service-learning projects and providing management oversight to afterschool services, recreation programs and crisis intervention programs. For many years, Tristan has also personally fostered many at-risk children as a specialized foster parent.

Tristan also successfully leverages her vast experiences, analytical skills and passion for developing programs that support the ESUCP mission as one of the agency’s lead grant writers.

Tristan holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She also holds teaching licensure through the Virginia Department of Education and Infant-Family Specialist Endorsement from the Virginia Infant Mental Health Association. Tristan is an adjunct faculty member with Radford University and has helped shaped the next generation of educators by teaching courses like Medical and Neurodevelopmental Aspects of Teaching Children with Disabilities.

Board of Directors

Sam Eberts

Board Chair

Sam Eberts

Board Chair

“The ESUCP family is my brother, sister, children and friend. I believe in supporting, nurturing and helping everyone in my family grow without leaving anyone behind.”

Sam Eberts is an accomplished senior executive and board member with more than 25 years with Fortune 500 companies in health care, consumer and industrial services. He was recently re-elected as Board Chair of Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia.

Sam chairs the Daerter Group, an advisory and venture firm in North Carolina and New York which he founded in 2013, working with start-ups in health care and IoT technology. He is also a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law teaching Law and Business Strategy. He recently retired as the Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary and Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings. At LabCorp, Sam led the Global Corporate Affairs group, with enterprise-wide responsibility for the global Legal, Compliance, Corporate Secretary, Shareholder Services, Public Policy/Government Relations, Communications, Community Affairs/Philanthropy, Privacy and Security functions.

Sam is an independent director and chair of the compensation committee of VB Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company focused on the healthcare sector and is an independent director and chairman of the board of Synergy VetPet, Inc., a consolidator of veterinary hospitals and practices in the United States. He also serves as a director of Duo Technologies, Inc., an innovative technology reducing greenhouse emissions and improving efficiency for transportation and energy generating systems.

Sam serves on the Board of Trustees for Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. He also serves on the advisory board for the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C., a non-partisan policy forum chartered by Congress. Sam is a member of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, one of the largest entrepreneurial networks in the United States and is an active mentor working with entrepreneurs providing practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching.

Previously, Sam was a partner and served on the Investment Committee for MedCap Funds in Boston, Mass., an early-stage health care technology fund. He has served on the board of Alpha Marketing, a channel marketing firm, the Alamance Community College Foundation, and the World Policy Institute in New York, non-partisan think tank for global policy analysis. Sam has also served on the Health Care Policy Leadership Council at Harvard’s Kennedy School and the Corporate Governance Forum at Harvard Law School.

Sam is a frequent speaker on healthcare and leadership and has served as a lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Duke and Wake Forest University Schools of Law, Baylor University School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He has also served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Division of Management, Policy and Community Health.

Elizabeth DeBiasi

Vice Chair

Elizabeth DeBiasi

Vice Chair

“Easterseals UCP allows me to be an advocate and a change agent for the 61 million adults and 3 million children in this country living with disabilities including my son, Harley.”

Elizabeth DeBiasi is the owner of Elizabeth DeBiasi Consulting, LLC. She has over 20 years’ experience in the banking industry. Elizabeth’s vast experience includes building and implementing marketing processes, business measurements and technical capabilities in Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, Business Banking, Wealth Management, Treasury Management, Capital Markets and Investment Banking.

Prior to owning her own company, Elizabeth was Vice President of CLB Advisory and was National Manager in the financial advisory training group and Commercial Banking Client Manager at Bank of America. Elizabeth’s wide range of industry experience includes manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, general contracting, financial intermediaries and service industries. Elizabeth developed and lectured case studies at Babson College and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Elizabeth earned her MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and holds BA degrees in both Spanish and Economics from the University of Virginia.

In 2007, Elizabeth joined the Board of Directors of Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia and currently resides as Vice Chair. Elizabeth was also named to the National Board of Easterseals in 2014 and served through 2021.

Gonzalo Checa

Secretary

Gonzalo Checa

Secretary

“I want to make the world a better place and ensure my neighbors living with disabilities have access to the support they need to live their best life.”

Gonzalo Checa is Vice President of Procurement & Category Management at Delaware North. He is an entrepreneurial expert, with a proven track-record in exceeding revenue, profit and cost savings targets for major Consumer Goods (CPG), food service and franchising organizations.

His experience includes P&L management both for products and services companies ranging from $30M to $500M. He has experience in private, public and private-equity backed companies.

Gonzalo’s core competencies include value-based leadership, developing strategies and driving flawless execution, business development and scaling-up organizations, customer and supplier management, collaborative and effective relationships with customers, suppliers and/or franchisees, managing P&Ls to deliver or exceed targets, leading transformational change, managing complex negotiations, building and leading highly engaged teams.

Gonzalo’s prior experience in North Carolina includes BNI Business Network International, Compass Group USA and The Steritech Group, Inc. He has also worked as Marketing Director for Kimberly-Clark in the Greater Atlanta area and as a Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble in Peru.

He is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and his education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration Degree from Harvard Business School and the designation of Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) from the International Franchise Association.

His volunteer experience includes a Business Development and Marketing Committee Member and Board of Director Member for the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool Inc. He is also involved with the Autism Strong Foundation in Charlotte: https://www.autismstrong.org.

Mike Waters

Treasurer

Mike Waters

Treasurer

“I’m honored to play a role in positively impacting independence and fewer constraints for individuals living with disabilities, especially those living in under-resourced communities.”

Mike Waters recently retired after 21 years as Founder and CEO at DSD Partners in Richmond, Virginia, a successful technology and software provider to food retailers and vendor communities. Mike started his career in the high-tech business, then transitioned to the food industry as Division Manager for Frito-Lay and Vice-President and General Manager of GT Foods, where he managed food licensing and marketing for entertainment. In 1999, Mike started his own company and participated in the acquisition, sale or startup of four companies.

Mike earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and his MBA from the University of Southern California.

Mike served for more than ten years on the Board of Directors for several Apple hospitality REITs, as Chair of the VA Council for Day to Serve. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Easterseals UCP NC & VA.

Michael O’Donnell

Immediate Past Chair

Michael O’Donnell

Immediate Past Chair

“ESUCP inspires me as a powerful enabling force, in my neighborhood and local community, that enriches the lives of individuals living with disabilities.”

Michael O’Donnell is a Founder, Managing Director and General Partner at Hawthorne Capital Partners.  Michael is responsible for Executive Committee leadership, firm operations, deal sourcing, investment analysis and management. He has more than 35 years of executive management roles throughout global industrial, transportation and technology businesses.

Michael has extensive experience across multiple companies and industries in guiding organizations through various stages of growth and business transformation. In the course of these activities, he has raised more than $5 billion in support of growth programs, acquisitions, initial public offerings and business restructurings.

Prior to joining Hawthorne, Michael served as director and member of the Advisory Board for Lookout Capital, strategic adviser and Chief Financial Officer at WasteZero Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Electromotive Inc. in Chicago Illinois and Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors at Xerium Technologies Inc. in Boston Massachusetts.

Michael earned his BSBA from Franklin University and MBA from Ashland University.

Rick Anicetti

At Large Member

Rick Anicetti

At Large Member

“Easterseals UCP magically blends a deep passion for their life-changing work and clients to produce amazing results and outcomes. It is an honor to serve on this board and personally contribute to creating more and more opportunities for those we support.”

Richard A. Anicetti is a business executive, teacher, mentor and motivational speaker with more than 39 years’ experience, almost a third of which he has spent as corporate Chief Executive Officer.

Today, Rick is a senior consulting partner at the Overfield Leadership Group, whose portfolio of services include executive leadership assessment, development and coaching, C-suite team assessment, leadership transitions and change management leadership. He is also Chairman of the Board (and minority owner) of Cielo Global Holdings, an information technology organization.

Most recently, Rick was President and CEO of The Fresh Market, which is an intimate, small box premium, specialty and gourmet food retailer based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Prior to The Fresh Market, Rick was President and Founder of The Anicetti Leadership Group LLC based in Charlotte, NC.

Prior to that, Rick was Co-Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize America, an international food retailer present in six countries on three continents. Rick is also past President and chief executive Officer of Food Lion LLC, where he led the retail operations of more than 1,200 Food Lion LLC stores and six distribution centers across 11 states.

Rick also spends considerable time providing leadership for nonprofits. He is a former member of the US Advisory Board for Duke Children’s Hospital, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the Board of Trustees for Bennett College (one of two historically black colleges for women in the United States).

Rick serves on the Board of Easterseals UCP, where he previously served as Board Chair. A native of Oakland, Maine, Rick graduated from Bowdoin College.

Sandra Bouwman

At Large Member

Sandra Bouwman

At Large Member

“Former Easterseals CEO, Adele Foschia, introduced me to the agency she loved so much. After 33 years, I’m delighted to remain connected to such a mission-based organization that fits incredibly well with my own life’s work.”

Sandra L. Bouwman is a former health care executive at the Carolinas Medical Center (now Atrium Health) in Charlotte, North Carolina where she held several positions including Administrator of the Charlotte Rehabilitation Hospital (now Charlotte Institute for Rehabilitation.) Prior to retirement, she worked as an executive recruiter.

Sandra has a long-term connection to the Easterseals family. She was a member of Easterseals North Carolina’s Board of Directors from 1989 to 1994. Relocating for a short time to McAllen, Texas, she served on the board of Easterseals Rio Grande Valley, Texas in 1995 and 1996. Upon her return to Charlotte in 1997, she rejoined the Easterseals North Carolina board and has been a member ever since.  Over the years, she has served as Board Chair, Treasurer, Chairman of the Program Committee and a member of numerous board committees. Sandra served on the committee that oversaw the merger of Easterseals North Carolina and United Cerebral Palsy of North Carolina.

At the national level, Sandra has served as a member of the Easterseals National House of Delegates and the Affiliate Services Committee. She was elected to the Easterseals national board of directors in November 1995 and re-elected in November 1998. In addition, she has held the national board positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Chair. She also served as Chairman of Affiliate Services, Fiscal, Pension and Audit Committees; served as a member of the Executive, Audit, Fiscal, Human Resources, MRSR, Pension, Board Nominating, House Nominating and ad hoc Bylaws Committees; and Chairman and Secretary of the headquarters operational board of Easterseals Gulf Coast, Texas.

Sandra earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Hospital and Health Care Administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She is a past board member of the Programs for Accessible Living in Charlotte.

Mihali Stavlas

At Large Member

Mihali Stavlas

At Large Member

“Two of the most under-served populations in the world are individuals living with disabilities and mental health challenges. It’s been an opportunity of my lifetime to play a role in shaping and impacting positive change for those ESUCP supports.”

Mihali Stavlas is the founder and CEO of Mellōnaid, an analytical and creative-driven agency in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more than 15 years at Mellōnaid, Mihali has helped clients capture and recreate their brand’s story, build brand experience and online platforms by encompassing the full spectrum of all its touchpoints: identity, collateral materials, advertising, marketing, user experience and interactive media. Mihali oversees all strategy and brand experience efforts that help clients convert prospects into advocates.

In addition to overseeing Mellōnaid, Mihali currently serves as President of the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Professional Chapter Council. He previously served as President of the AMA Triangle, an advisor to North Carolina Center for Nonprofits and an advisor to AIGA Raleigh (American Institute of Graphic Arts). In addition, Mihali has hosted a radio talk show out of California called This Week in Marketing and is a national speaker on the topics of marketing, design and leadership.

Mihali graduated from one of the nation’s top design schools, Virginia Commonwealth University, with a Bachelor of Communication Arts. The marketing community has recognized Mihali as one of the Triangle AMA’s Volunteer of the Year and with one of the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards.

When not at work, Mihali can be found jumping out of planes, flying a Boeing-Stearman Model 75, or partnering with local organizations to help bring transformation in North Carolina. Mihali is married to his best friend, Laura and they have two children.

Jonathan Shapiro

At Large Member

Jonathan Shapiro

At Large Member

“I believe LESCO and Easterseals UCP’s shared experience in employing individuals living with disabilities can be a shining example of how businesses can unlock amazing hidden talent waiting to be shared with the world.”

Jonathan Shapiro is the CEO of LESCO Manufacturing, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a social impact entrepreneur, business leader and mentor. After graduating high school without plans for college and clear direction at the time, his dad put him to work at LESCO, the family’s electrical manufacturing company. He cleaned the warehouse, packed boxes and rearranged stalls before being promoted to the assembly line. The true lesson under his dad’s guidance was an understanding and appreciation of what it feels like to be an employee. This lesson transformed Jonathan into an incredible leader who possesses authenticity and empathy.

LESCO’s transformational business model is successful because of its unique, inclusive and purposeful commitment to maintaining a workforce where up to 70% are individuals living with disabilities. LESCO’s assembly process is designed using manual technologies that are fast, efficient and avoids assembly errors. In addition to being profitable, LESCO’s business model successfully enables the traditionally unemployed to gain meaningful employment and opportunities for advancement.

Jonathan received his diploma in Accounting and Marketing from Boston College. He is the CEO of the South African Israel Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he is a proud participant in the Ben-Gurion Leadership Initiative, a prestigious opportunity for forward-looking visionaries who not only possess vision but also possess sound plans for bringing them into reality.

Jonathan enjoys swimming, boxing, traveling and drone photography.

Donald Thompson Headshot

Donald Thompson

At Large Member

Donald Thompson

At Large Member

“My life’s work is dedicated to nurturing inclusion across the many dimensions of identity including race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic origin, veteran status, age, generation and acquired experiences. Easterseals UCP does critical work in supporting inclusion and families living with disabilities…if I can be a part of furthering that incredible mission, I’m here to do what I can.”

Don is an entrepreneur at heart, driven by the win and determined to succeed. He treats every day like it’s game day and every challenge as an opportunity to demonstrate excellence. He is a dynamic, innovative leader, public speaker and inclusion expert. He uses his own life lessons to help organizations and executives unlock workplace excellence.

As a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), Don focuses on the business advantage of comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programming in all of his companies. In his current role as CEO of The Diversity Movement (a technology-driven diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy), he has led several companies from conception to commercial viability to exit for companies such as Adobe, KPIT and Beringer Capital, the private equity firm that owns Adweek.

Don is the author of UNDERESTIMATED: A CEO’s Unlikely Path to Success, a story about hustle and humility that follows his unique path of life lessons, inspirations and habits to help others realize their dreams. He is also the dynamic host of The Donald Thompson Podcast, a weekly podcast where business leaders share cheat codes for unlocking workplace excellence, lessons learned along the way and insider tips for future generations of next-level professionals.

Above all, Don is motivated by an intrinsic desire to give back and inspire dream chasers. He loves to help others grow, innovate and reach their full potential. He selectively serves on a few boards and invests in startups and companies focused on technology, marketing and e-commerce. His investments are not limited to money as he graciously makes himself available for coffee and helping others to pursue their goals more effectively.

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