Our Team

Administration

Stuart James
Executive Director

Stuart James

Stuart joined the independent living movement as the Executive Director at the historic Center for Independent Living in Berkeley (TheCIL). During his seven-year tenure, he renewed TheCIL’s commitment and vision for a truly inclusive world and nearly tripled the organization’s endowment.

TheCIL adopted the “Be Your Own Normal” slogan and reorganized its services, communications, and operating philosophy around the idea that “normal” is everyone and that we all possess talents, skills, qualities, and responsibilities that contribute to our community. Stuart led the organization in developing and updating programs, including an expanded AT program, new Lifestyles events, a life-changing Residential Access program, and the evolution of TheCIL’s Youth programs. Additionally, he brought new corporate partnerships and attention to TheCIL through the PowerOn! web series and its annual Ed Roberts Day event.

Before his tenure at TheCIL, Stuart spent more than twenty years as an executive in the sports and entertainment industry, living and working across four continents. He is an avid sports fan with allegiances to his childhood teams—the New York Giants and Knicks—but he’s vowed to be a die-hard fan of the Toledo Mud Hens and University of Toledo Rockets.

Stuart has a master’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology and was a graduate assistant in their nationally ranked lacrosse program.

Raven Headshot
Assistance Dog

Raven

Raven is the oldest of nine siblings, born in Toledo on July 3, 2020.

Reven’s education began at ten weeks with Smart Start, followed by Puppy Curriculum, Foundations, and the Red, White, and Blue Series. She completed the first and second semesters of final training with ease and graduated from The Ability Center’s Assistance Dog Program at the top of her class.

It’s no secret that Raven loves to work. She excels at problem-solving, retrieval, finding keys, attending—and sleeping through—meetings, and public speaking, where she can showcase what she’s learned.

Swimming, dock diving, and agility running are some of Raven’s favorite activities when she’s not working. She also treasures family time and cuddling.

Raven currently resides in Maumee with Executive Director Stuart James.

Ash Lemons
Associate Director

Ash Lemons

Ash Lemons has worked at The Ability Center for over 20 years and is currently the Associate Director. Prior to working at The Ability Center, Ash served eight years on active duty in the US Air Force.

As the Associate Director, Ash provides guidance and direction for several programs, including Home Accessibility, Assistive Technology/Durable Medical Equipment, Assistance Dogs, Youth & Transition Services, Grants, Data, Compliance, and Advocacy.

Ash currently lives in Swancreek Township with his wife (Marianne) and two sons (Brady and Carsen). He enjoys watching baseball, being outdoors, and listing to music.

Lisa Justice
Grant Administrator/Office Manager

Lisa Justice

Lisa’s association with The Ability Center began at age five when she attended Opportunity Kindergarten. After graduating from Lourdes College with a degree in management in 1992, she worked a few secretarial jobs in the for-profit sector but always knew something important was missing.
In 2001, a want ad caught her eye. It contained the line: “Personal experience with a disability preferred.” After years of showing up for interviews only to find the office on the third floor of a building with no elevator, it was a relief to see these words. She had not been involved with Ability Center programming since her early teens but walking in the front door, she knew she was home.

Lisa adds, “Although my position is purely administrative, I know that, by keeping this office running smoothly, I am making a difference for all people with disabilities.”

Amanda Trease
Human Resource Associate

Amanda Trease

Amanda received her Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources (HR) from the University of Toledo. She worked in HR in the banking industry in Ann Arbor before moving to the Los Angeles area with her husband. There she worked in HR at a museum that shared the stories of diverse cultures.

After their fun in the sun, Amanda and her family returned to the Toledo area to be closer to relatives. Having experienced the passion of non-profits, Amanda hoped to again find a role with a mission-driven organization and felt fortunate to have found a position with an essential and meaningful organization.

Audrey Johnson
Consumer Survey Associate

Audrey Johnson

Audrey had been in various roles at The Ability Center for four years before being named Volunteer Coordinator for the Assistance Dogs program.

Audrey shares her thoughts about working at The Ability Center, “I feel The Ability Center is a natural fit for me. I’m a very easy-going person, and I love helping others. I like volunteer coordinating because of the volunteers! They each bring different strengths, talents, and wisdom to our program. Together they help us achieve our goals. It’s a joy to watch the process of new puppies and fosters to graduation. Each milestone for the dog and volunteer leads to a purposeful life and rewards the dog and the individual receiving the dog.”

Audrey enjoys camping, exercising, church activities, and spending time with her family in her free time.

Cheryl Murphy
Data and Outcomes Manager

Cheryl Murphy

Cheryl is a graduate of the University of Toledo with a BA in Geography, with an emphasis in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She has over 20 years of experience in site spatial analysis, having been the GIS Project Manager for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a global quick-service restaurant company. During her time with Popeyes, Cheryl worked with the Development Department to conduct site analyses and manage their spatial data. She created custom maps and performed market optimization analyses to identify areas of opportunity for new restaurant growth.

She enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys away from the office, training and showing her dogs, or enjoying a good book with a strong cup of coffee.

Debbie Andriette
Director of Human Resources

Debbie Andriette

Debbie grew up in Cuyahoga Falls in Northeast Ohio. She started her career in Human Resources shortly after graduating from the University of Akron. After working for many years in the employment industry and non-profit organizations, she began working at The Ability Center in 2007. It was her first experience working with people with disabilities. She quickly learned to appreciate and recognize the abilities of the disability population and the significance that work makes in their lives. The position has allowed Debbie to create a top-notch organization of qualified people with and without disabilities.

“Over the years, we’ve developed a strong team continually working toward a common goal of building and supporting inclusive communities.”

Debbie has her PHR and SHRM-CP certifications.

Tammi Davis
Administrative Assistant

Tammi Davis

After starting her career in retail management, life led Tammi to discover a passion for advocacy and social services. She has worked with homeless and elderly populations in positions ranging from case management to administration and program development.

Tammi shares, “I’m happy to be working at The Ability Center, knowing that I am a small part of big changes happening in my hometown. The opportunity to volunteer with our assistance dog program and make friendships with the other volunteers and consumers in the program is so rewarding.”

Cathy Quinones
Consumer Survey Associate

Cathy Quinones

Born and raised in New Jersey, Cathy received an associate’s degree in Legal Assisting and has over ten years of experience in customer service and administrative roles. In 2004 she relocated to Sylvania, Ohio, with her husband, where she was fortunate enough to stay home with their son, Marc. Marc was born with multiple disabilities, and he changed her life in ways she never expected. Cathy shares, “There are no words to describe the lessons he taught me in the four short but precious years he was with us.”

Cathy says, “Marc is why I am at The Ability Center today. I was seeking to join an organization that made a difference in the lives of others. I started volunteering with The Ability Center in 2009 and officially became an employee in 2010. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people who are passionate about the individuals we help on a daily basis.”

In her spare time, she loves to travel, and above all, she enjoys spending time with my family and friends.

Nick Vargas, Director of Development
Director of Development

Nick Vargas

Nick Vargas recently joined The Ability Center as Director of Development. He has worked in development for over ten years in Toledo with non-profits focused on health and education. One of the many reasons Nick joined The Ability Center is his belief in the mission to make the community the most disability friendly in the nation.

Nick is a lifelong Toledoan who received his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship from Brown University. As Director of Development, he will design and execute the overall fund development vision and strategy to provide for the current and future needs of The Ability Center with an emphasis on major gifts and corporate sponsorships.

Nick and his son Bryce live in Sylvania with their dog Jack.

Assistance Dogs

Stacie Baumbarger
Assistance Dog Program Director

Stacie Baumbarger

Stacie has been a lifelong dog enthusiast. She started in the dog world at age nine, training her first cocker spaniel as a 4-H project. Over the years, her love and passion for dog training have continued to grow. Because of this, she has spent almost 15 years professionally training dogs and looks forward to many more. She has competed in agility from coast to coast and has obtained many titles in obedience, rally, field training, and dock diving. She has enjoyed having the opportunity to train with some of the world’s top dog trainers and is always looking for ways to expand her knowledge.

Stacie resides in Perrysburg with her husband Chad and their 2 Cocker Spaniels. She is also an active member of the American Spaniel Club.

Meredith Daugherty
Lead Trainer

Meredith Daugherty

Meredith is a life-long dog lover who first was interested in assistance dogs after writing a research paper in her 7th grade English class. Meredith went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education from Bowling Green State University. After teaching at the middle school and high school levels for a few years, Meredith pivoted her career to focus on assistance dogs. She pursued an associate’s degree in Assistance Dog Education from the prestigious school, Bergin University of Canine Studies in Santa Rosa, California.

In addition to dog training, Meredith coaches high school golf at St. Ursula Academy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and walking the dog with her husband.

Kim Holmes
Training Specialist

Kim Holmes

Kim grew up in Sylvania, Ohio. Her love of animals led her to a career in the veterinary field, where she worked and managed Reynolds Road Animal Hospital for 33 years. She taught obedience classes for the Toledo Kennel Club, Karnik Inn, and Pups & People during that time. She eventually opened her own training facility called “A Breed Apart.”
In June 2008, Kim and her close friend Melissa Voetsch started Agility Angels. This program uses the sport of dog agility to help individuals diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder develop social skills, physical abilities, and self-confidence.

Kim has a daughter and son-in-law, two flat-coated retrievers, and an Irish Setter. The dogs have performed competitively in various events, including conformation, obedience, agility, field, nose work, and dock diving. Kim joined ADAI in the summer of 2017 as a Training Specialist. Training dogs to help others is a dream come true for her.

Janell Crockett
Training/Kennel Coordinator

Janell Crockett

Janell grew up in Perrysburg, OH. She attended Penta Career Center’s small animal care program in high school and found a career choice that fulfilled her love of dogs. After graduating from the National K-9 Dog Trainer School in Columbus, Ohio, she had an opportunity to train dogs in Austin, Texas. Janell relocated and trained dogs and worked as a Kennel Manager. Unable to travel home to visit family during the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided it was time to move back to the Toledo area.

Janell is now back in Ohio with her five dogs, Zena, Mabel, Trixie, Daphnee, and Nugget. She looks forward to using her dog training skills in the Assistance Dogs program at The Ability Center.

Ross Michalski
Kennel Assistant

Ross Michalski

Even at an early age, Ross always loved dogs. He started in the dog world 12 years ago when he first joined Agility Angels. He later got a job working for Assistance Dogs, where he received his therapy dog, a smooth-coated collie named Denver. Ross currently runs Denver at Agility Angels. He hopes to get Denver involved in agility competitions.
Kristina Meyers
Community Resource Associate

Kristina Meyers

“A friend told me years ago that The Ability Center is a great place to work; so when I decided that I needed a change, The Ability Center was the only place I considered. Before coming to the Center, I worked with a local charter school. I enjoyed helping children and families reach their full potential,” Kristina shares her experience.

Kristina is a 2002 graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She worked in product research for a couple of years before realizing she missed interacting with people. Thankfully, a friend suggested The Ability Center, and Kristina joined the organization in November 2012.

In her free time, Kristina and her husband Darren enjoy going to county fairs, attending auctions, and taking in the beauty of the Metroparks. Two adult sons and a black lab named Kane round out the family.

Tabatha Zemenski
Volunteer Coordinator

Tabatha Zemenski

Tabatha joined Assistance Dogs as the Volunteer Coordinator in April 2021. She is responsible for recruiting, onboarding, and training all volunteers. Her background includes retail work and volunteer management. She took pre-vet courses in college in hopes of becoming a veterinarian. Tabatha came to Assistance Dogs after working as a Community Development Manager for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Civilizations from Bowling Green State University.

Tabatha and her husband live in Oregon with their rescue pup, Daisy. Her hobbies include taking Daisy to different parks, gardening, working out, traveling, antiquing, and reading.

Emily Sulka
Training Assistant

Emily Sulka

Emily grew up in the Kalamazoo, MI area. She went to college at Cedarville University, where she volunteered for four years as a foster and onsite volunteer for the 4 Paws for Ability’s service dog program. That experience helped her discover her love of working with dogs, so she was hired as a Training Assistant at 4 Paws after college. When offered the opportunity to work as a Dog Program Intern at Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, she relocated to Maui for six months to work with their program. Her next move was to Indiana to work with a pet dog training organization; however, her passion led her back to the service dog world with The Ability Center. She is happy to be able to apply her varied experience to the Assistance Dogs program.
Jordan Kwapich
Client Services Coordinator

Jordan Kwapich

Jordan has been involved with The Ability Center since 2009 while working as a summer camp counselor for Camp Cricket. In college, she was a part of The Ability Center’s Mentor Program for two years. Jordan also has two years of experience working at Wood Lane Residential Services as a Residential Aide for consumers with developmental disabilities. It was a job that she loved.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University, Jordan learned of the position of Program Assistant for ADAI. She was very excited about the opportunity to not only work with individuals with disabilities but also with dogs. She has owned and loved dogs her entire life. Jordan has also kept several horses and has about eight years of experience working with young consumers in a hippotherapy program sponsored by Mercy Children’s Hospital.

Her current role at ADAI includes interviewing potential clients, different kinds of follow-ups, certifications, and coordinating pet home adoptions for the dogs from our program. Jordan shares, “It is so rewarding to experience the amazing impact our dogs have on peoples’ lives, and I am so happy to be a part of it.”

Julie Abbott
Client Services Coordinator

Julie Abbott

Julie joined Assistance Dogs as the Client Services Coordinator in October 2022.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and while there, she worked as an Adapted Recreation Assistant for the Office of Disability Services and volunteered with 4 Paws for Ability – it was these opportunities that allowed her to discover her passion for working with both individuals with disabilities and dogs. Julie has also earned her Animal Assisted Therapy certificate through the Animal Behavior Institute and has 9 years of experience working at Anne Grady Services as a Recreation Coordinator and as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional.

Julie and her husband live in Liberty Center with their Australian Shepard, Izzy. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, travelling, reading, and gardening.

Advocacy

Katie Hunt Thomas
Disability Rights Attorney and Director of Advocacy

Katie Hunt Thomas

Katie Hunt Thomas is the Ability Center’s Disability Rights Attorney. Katie received her Bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Xavier University in 2005 and her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Toledo in 2009. Her work history includes Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. and Murray & Murray Co. LPA before joining The Ability Center.

She has a sister living with Down Syndrome and has been interested in Disability Rights law since law school, where she earned the highest ranking in her Disability Law class. Through her work history, she has gained experience with the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Brittanie Maddox
Disability Rights Advocate, Healthcare and Public Access

Brittanie Maddox

Brittanie Maddox is the Ability Center’s Disability Rights Advocate specializing in Healthcare and Public Access. She comes to the Center from the Washington, DC area and now calls Toledo home. Brittanie graduated in 2021 from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Originally an intern at the Ability Center in 2021, she now fills a permanent role within the Advocacy team. Her research interests involve parents with disabilities, healthcare access, and social determinants of health.

Brittanie likes to go to baseball and hockey games in her free time, visit the Zoo and Toledo Metroparks, and attend all of her son’s sporting activities.

The Ability Center Icon
Advocacy Information and Resource Associate

Angie Goodnight

Throughout her years with The Ability Center, Angie has served in many roles and is passionate about assisting individuals with disabilities to self-advocate. As a frequent public speaker for The Ability Center, she shares her personal experiences with self-advocacy following a sudden illness that left her blind. Angie is the Chair of the Lucas County Commission on Disabilities, which serves as the advisory committee to the Lucas County Commissioners, the Mayor of the city of Toledo, and the City Council relative to needs, problems, and other concerns of people with disabilities.

Angie serves as a board member of The Toledo Area Alliance to End Homelessness, whose member organizations work collaboratively to help people at risk of or experiencing homelessness by providing leadership and advocacy.

Community Living

Assistive Technology/Medical Equipment/Adult Independent Living Services

Tim Broud
Durable Medical Equipment Manager

Tim Broud

Tim grew up in the small town of Wellington, Ohio, then moved to Toledo after graduating high school. The plan was to attend the University of Toledo. But plans often change. After spending 18 years in the textile industry, Tim returned to school. He received his Associate’s Degree from Owens Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Pre-Art Therapy, and a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from Lourdes University.

While obtaining his education, his world again took a turn. After discovering he had a large tumor, he faced his life’s most significant change. Tim reflects, “Waking up and finding that I could not use my leg, wondering, “How do I go on?” Finding the strength and support of my family and friends, I did. While learning who this “New Tim” was, I worked with Campus Ministry at Lourdes University, where I found my drive to help others while participating in outreach programs such as Helping Hands Soup Kitchen and Collegiate Challenge with Habitat for Humanity. I also rode my bike 300+ miles to raise money for MESA (Medical Equipment and Supplies Abroad), a Rotary project. In my spare time, I like to camp and spend time with my family, friends, and my dogs.”

The “New Tim” might have limits to what he can do, BUT they do not limit him from living his life.

Gavin Dailey
Assistive Tech and Medical Equipment Coordinator

Gavin Dailey

Gavin grew up in the Toledo area and attended The University of Toledo. He received a degree in Marketing and Management. After traveling for a few years after graduation, he returned home. His career at The Ability Center began with an internship as a member of the Strategic Engagement team.

He loves traveling, music, sports, and motorcycles when not working. Gavin also enjoys helping people, especially those with similar challenges he faced growing up with a disability. This organization allows him to be an advocate by changing people’s perspectives on disability.

David Ervin
Medical Equipment Coordinator

David Ervin

David is currently a student at the University of Toledo working on a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies. During his first few years, he worked at the University’s Student Disability Services, helping people with visual impairments and learning disabilities find accessible materials for their courses. He now works at The Ability Center as a part-time maintenance assistant.
Becky Kimble
Independent Living Manager (Bryan Office)

Becky Kimble

Becky graduated from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, with a Master’s in Business Administration. Her career began in insurance as an underwriter. After moving to Williams County in 1995 and raising two sons, she started work as a community volunteer and then in a wide variety of agencies, including Hospice, United Way, and NOCAC (Community Action). In 2023, Becky will start her first term as a volunteer board member for Sarah’s Friends, which provides services for all Williams County residents who have been victims of crime.

Sharing her thoughts, Becky states, “With my position at The Ability Center, I have a job that is less like work and more like living my purpose. I have a passion for advocating for people in my community who are underserved and in need of support to live an independent lifestyle. It is an absolute privilege to help remove barriers to equal opportunity and community inclusion.”

Away from the office, Becky is an advocate for local community members who have been victims of crime and AIM, The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. She also enjoys reading, gardening, walking, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two grown children.

Community Living

Home Accessibility

Mindy Metzger
Home Accessibility Manager

Mindy Metzger

Mindy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Toledo. Mindy has worked as a Pharmacy Technician, interned with the Department of Youth Services, and worked for Lucas County Children Services. Mindy loves working with and for others.

After having her daughter, she worked in the family business to spend as much time with her as possible. Now that her daughter is older, Mindy feels fortunate to return to work full-time in a rewarding position at The Ability Center.

When she is not working, she loves hanging out with her daughter and husband, playing tennis, shopping, reading, and exercising. Mindy also enjoys backpacking and would love to travel around Europe, as she did after graduation.

Becky Strieff
Community Living Resource Associate

Becky Strieff

Becky has been a long-time employee at The Ability Center. She is passionate about assisting people in nursing facilities to live independently in the community. Through the Home Choice Program as a Transition Coordinator, Becky assists individuals in finding a community setting they choose with the support they need to ensure an opportunity for them to live in their home and not in a nursing facility. She is passionate about assisting people in living independently in the community.

Becky enjoys spending time with family and friends and finding tranquility in her flower garden when not at work.

Brittany Schneider
Consumer Engagement Coordinator

Brittany Schneider

Brittany has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Bowling Green State University with a focus on Child Life. She has been doing advocacy work for the disability community since 2018.

Brittany enjoys spending time with her friends and family in her free time. She likes reading, trying new coffee shops, and snuggling with her cat Bo Peep.

Terry Lanning
Construction & Housing Supervisor

Terry Lanning

Terry is a lifelong resident of Lucas county. He grew up in the Shoreland-Point Place area but has resided in west Toledo, Sylvania Township, and Springfield Township. After graduating from Whitmer High School, he attended Owens Community College. After working in various sales positions, Terry changed direction and started a career in carpentry. He worked in a family business with his brother for almost 20 years before starting his own company.

Terry shares, “With nearly thirty years of experience as a carpenter-remodeler, I hope to bring a good deal of expertise to the ramp building program.”

Terry likes to spend his spare time with his wife Kim, his daughter Kirsten, and two grandchildren. He is also a big sports fan and enjoys many types of music.

Shane Stevenson
Carpenter

Shane Stevenson

Mike Bockey
Carpenter

Mike Bockey

Finance & Operations

Jack Perion
Director of Finance and Operations

Jack Perion

After living in many different areas of the country, Jack’s family settled in Dundee, Michigan, when he was in middle school. Jack comes from a large family and parents that taught him a strong work ethic and community involvement. Jack is a graduate of Siena Heights University.
Jack joined The Ability Center with more than 25 years of accounting experience.
Curtis Jackson
Accountant

Curtis Jackson

Curtis is a Michigan native who grew up in a small country town. Curtis says, “Even though the town is small, I have a huge Michigan heart.” Curtis enjoyed multiple roles, including construction worker, truck driver, and nursing assistant, before beginning his career as an accountant for The Ability Center. Working as a nursing assistant caused Curtis to move to Ohio to pursue a degree in Nursing. However, he switched directions and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Forensic Accounting. Curtis first graduated from Owens Community College, then completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, the second-largest school in Columbus.
Amanda Bell
Payroll/Accounts Payable Administrator

Amanda Bell

Amanda’s role is Payroll/Accounts Payable Administrator. After graduating in 2005 from Owens Community College with an Associate of Business Degree in Office Administration, she joined the Center in 2007. She began working as a receptionist before transitioning to the finance department. Being born with a disability and living her entire life in Toledo, The Ability Center seemed like a natural fit for Amanda. She finds being part of an organization that promotes independence rewarding. Amanda currently resides in Toledo with her husband Ron and rescue dog Liberty. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and watching her favorite TV shows.
Johnathan Bowen
Maintenance Coordinator

Johnathan Bowen

Johnathan has an Associate’s Degree from Owens Community College with a major in Building Maintenance Engineering and a minor in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Johnathan worked maintenance for Country Inn and Suites before coming to The Ability Center. He has a gift for helping and communicating with people. Johnathan is married and has three children.
Matt Whitmore
Building Maintenance Assistant

Matt Whitmore

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Matt moved to Toledo with his family in 1987. He is a Whitmer graduate and an Eagle Scout. For his Eagle Project, he took a group of kids from The Ability Center camping at Camp Miakonda for a weekend. Matt also attended Camp Cricket in the early 1990′s. He loves sports, and his favorite teams and players include the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Green Bay Packers, Jeff Gordon, and, because he likes watching Tiger Woods, golf. He recently took up golf and Putt-Putt. Matt loves boogie board in the ocean off Florida and enjoys the Cedar Point and Busch Gardens coasters. Hiking is another passion; he has backpacked Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Yosemite.

Matt says, “I love my job at The Ability Center and enjoy talking sports with my friends and fellow staff members.”

Marketing & Outreach

Mallory Crooks
Public Relations Manager

Mallory Crooks

A proud Toledo native with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Toledo (Go Rockets!), Mallory joined The Ability Center after three non-profit internships in college and a year of advertising agency experience.

While in college, she was involved in Delta Delta Delta sorority, where she was Vice President of Public Relations as well as Vice President of External Affairs on the Panhellenic Council, the governing body of all sororities on campus. Mallory says, “These leadership roles paired with internship and real-world experience have brought me here and allowed me to give back to the community through my love of marketing communications.”

Mallory lives with her husband John in Sylvania.

Will Mellon
Digital Resource Specialist

Will Mellon

Will Mellon has been in Toledo since he was nine and grew up in West Toledo. His professional path began in March 2010 as a graphic designer with the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye, where he spent ten years before joining The Ability Center team. Building a better community is important to him, and he is grateful for his role in executing The Ability Center’s mission and vision.
Beth Stutler
Community Outreach Specialist

Beth Stutler

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Science from Ohio University, where she studied Commercial Interior Design. After working and volunteering for several years, she shifted to the not-for-profit arena. Beth has worked in Development and Advancement for various grassroots and national organizations throughout the area.

As a native Toledoan, Beth takes great pride in northwest Ohio and the many opportunities offered to strengthen the community. When the prospect came along to join The Ability Center, she knew it was the perfect chance to work with a dedicated group of folks to promote the many programs and services offered to people with disabilities.

Beth and her husband Mark are the parents of three grown children and are blessed to include spouses and two grandsons in their family. When not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, biking, traveling, reading, and relaxing at the beach!

Youth & Transition Services

Ann Patronik
Director of Youth and Transition Services

Ann Patronik

Ann began work for The Ability Center in the Recreation Department as the Youth Services Coordinator and Camp Cricket Director from 1987 to 1992. The experience of learning and working in the Independent Living Culture fresh out of college shaped her professional and personal value system as it related to the importance of inclusive opportunities and communities for all people.

She moved with her husband to Metro-Detroit in 1992 and continued to work in the non-profit world, developing and managing programs for youth and teens with disabilities. However, she never found a culture that promoted Independent Living to the same degree as The Ability Center. She and her husband have two adult children, one of who happens to have Autism. The experience of parenting a child with a disability has highlighted the importance of the early lessons she learned.

Ann was excited to return to The Ability Center as the Director of Youth and Transition Services. She hopes to use all she has learned throughout her career to manage a robust program that embraces the best practices to positively impact the lives of youth, adolescents, and young adults in the community while learning from the Center where she started her career.

Ann enjoys endurance sports in her leisure time, including biking, hiking/backpacking, and cross-country skiing. Other favorite pastimes include knitting and spending time with friends, family, and her dog, Ziggy.

Lisa Broseke
Youth Services Manager/Employment Coordinator

Lisa Broseke

Lisa is a lifelong resident of Northwest Ohio, growing up on a farm in Perrysburg Township. She is a 2008 graduate of Bowling Green State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. After substitute teaching post-grad and impatiently waiting for a permanent position, she transitioned into the customer service field for several years. In 2014, Lisa began working for a local behavioral health agency and immediately knew this was the industry in which she wanted to work. For four years, Lisa provided job development services to individuals with disabilities, assisting them with seeking, obtaining, and maintaining employment. Lisa is proud to be a part of the Ability Center and contribute toward its mission.

Lisa resides in Toledo with her husband, Steve, and step-daughter, Marley. Lisa and her husband are members of the Toledo Potter’s Guild, where they teach kids’ classes and work in the studio. They enjoy taking road trips, hiking, skiing, biking, and anything else outdoors!

Leah Whitacre
Youth Transition Coordinator

Leah Whitacre

Leah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Miami University of Ohio in 2012. During college, she volunteered for the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities and became a “Buddy.” After college, she returned to her hometown of Toledo and taught kindergarten for four years and third grade for one year. She is passionate about helping children succeed in school and life.

Leah became involved with The Ability Center when she was a camp counselor for Camp Cricket in 2007. She participated as a counselor for the Summer Golf Camp program in 2009, as well as a counselor for the YMCA camps and Maumee Valley camps in the community. Leah was also a job coach for the summer of 2018 and 2019. She is excited to be a part of The Ability Center’s Life Skills program, where she can help students transition out of high school and prepare them for their future, whether it is going to college or finding a job.

Leah currently lives in Haskins, Ohio, and enjoys spending time with friends and family. She loves to be outside doing anything from playing catch, riding on the boat with her brother, or fishing at her parent’s lake house.

Jennifer Engelmann
Youth Family Services Coordinator

Jennifer Engelmann

Jennifer is originally from Kansas, but Toledo is now home. She always had a passion for helping children, which started as a teacher and grew when she became a foster parent. Jennifer and her husband have seven children and two dogs, including one ADAI dog. Her now adopted daughter had many overlooked needs and disabilities, which opened up a new world. She encountered many challenges trying to locate resources and services for her daughter.

Says Jennifer, “I love helping families with children, and I hope my experience can make the journey easier for others. We can all share our experience to help others.”

Her favorite pastimes are going to the Toledo Metroparks and Mudhens games with her family.

Jennie Gelman
Youth Independent Living Coordinator

Jennie Geiman

Jennie has lived in the Greater Toledo area for her whole life. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Early
Childhood Education from Lourdes University and Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from BGSU.
Jennie was K-8 teacher for 8 years before joining The Ability Center as the Youth Independent Living
Coordinator.

Jennie lives in Maumee and enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and reading. She also loves
animals and currently has 4 cats and 2 dogs.

Connor
Recreation Coordinator, Youth and Transition

Connor Galvin

Connor has lived in Kenton, OH all his life and studied Recreational Therapy at the University of Toledo. His college experience included two clinical rotations at The Ability Center. As a disc golf enthusiast and a lover of the outdoors, Connor enjoys spending time with family and friends when he’s not at work. He currently lives in Bowling Green with his fiancé.