red heartAt the OSEP Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2017, we celebrated the milestone anniversaries of 244 Parent Center Network people. From 5 to over 20 years, these dedicated individuals have worked tirelessly and from the heart to help support and even be the voices for thousands of children and families around the country.

That so many of you exist and continue to soldier on in your work is wonderful and worthy of acknowledgment. The following is a list of those who have been working in their respective regions for over 20 years. To all, a hearty congratulations, but more importantly,  THANK YOU for all that you have done over the years and will continue to do! You are the heart of the Parent Center Network, and the reason so many have been able to receive such incredible help.

Celebrating 10 to 15 Years of Service

Region 1

AFCAMP, CT — Cynthia Bentzion, Sheila Harris

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center — Adrianna Fontaine, Sherri O’Neal

Federation for Children with Special Needs, MA — Becky Rizoli

PIC NH — Mary Grillo

Association for Special Children and Families, NJ — Julie Rikon

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, NJ — Joanne Aidala, Myriam Alizo, Denise Bouyer, Wendy Broadbent, Maria Docherty, Donna Milanowicyz, Mercedes Rosa, Erin Seigh

Advocates for Children, NY — Kim Madden, Kim Sweet

Sinergia, NY — Godfrey Rivera

Starbridge Inc., NY — Laura Arrington

United We Stand of NY — Lourdes Figueroa, Amanda Haught

PEAL Center, PA — Cindy Duch

Vermont Family Network — Karen Price

Region 2

Advocates for Justice and Education, DC — Rochanda Hiligh-Thomas, Berta Mata

Parents Place of Maryland — Bonnie Larrimore, Kelly Meissner

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, NC — Shandra Umazar

FIRST Resource Center, NC — Theresa Lindsey, Janet Price-Ferrell

Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs, SC — Susan Clark

PEATC, VA — Suzanne Bowers, Nichole Drummond

Region 3

Alabama Parent Education Center — Jeana Winter

Family Network on Disability — Sally Dumas, Janis LaBelle, Joseph Labelle, Rich LaBelle

Parent to Parent of Miami — Lauren Bustos-Alban

Parent to Parent GA — Karen Addams, Patricia Lanaspa, Barbara McRay, Stephanie Moss, Yael Shaner, Debi Tucker

Mississippi PTI — Mickey Alford

APNI, PR — María Elena Cruz, Heily Gómez

Partners Resource Network, TX — Kristina Henning, Jon Howell, Charles Noe

Region 4

ASK Resource Center, IA — Susan Gill, Mari Reynolds, Paula Connolly

Family Resource Center on Disability, IL — Elliott Marks

PACER Center, MN — Jody Manning

MPACT, MO — Debby Loveall-Stewart

Michigan Family Alliance — Sherri Boyd, Jeanne Brakhage, Sandee Koski, Michelle Miller, Jessie Morton, Khalilah Obimba, Kelly Orginski

OCECD, OH — Marbella Caceres

WIFACETS — Sandra McFarland, Nelsinia Ramos, Courtney Salzer

Region 5

Raising Special Kids, CO — Dolores Rios Herrera

PEAK Parent Center, CO — Bronwen Buswell, Pam Christy, Patricia Maycott, Rob Schaffner, Jacey Tramutt

THRIVE Center, CO — Yvette Plummer Burkhalter

Families Together Inc., KS — Shannon Garrett, Laurie Gerber

PLUK, MT — Diana Tavary, Sandy Taylor, Libby Wolfe

Parents Reaching Out, NM — Andrea Leon

PTI Nebraska — Graciela Sharif, Connie Shockley

South Dakota Parent Connection — Lisa Sanderson

Utah Parent Center — Jodi Hansen, Michelle Murphey, Tina Persels, Amy Weyrich

Region 6

LINKS Mat-Su, AK — Amber Parker

Stone Soup Group, AK — Amy Westfall

DREDF, CA — Juliet Barraza, Ann McDonald Cacho, Robin Miller, Cheryl Theis

Exceptional Parents Unlimited, CA — Pam Miller, Henrietta Olveda, Nicole Stidham

Matrix Parents Center, CA — Ana Acosta

ParentsCan, CA — Marlena Garcia

Parents Helping Parents, CA — Debbie Drennan, Esmeralda Garcia-Martinez, Janice Tuber

Support for Families, CA — Dennis Lockett, Joe Goyos

Team of Advocates for Special Kids, CA — Karen Alfaro, Suzanne Galindo, Sandra Jimenez, Matthew Johnson, Erica Miller, Paula West Hernandez

NVPEP — Natalie Filipic

FACTOregon — Roberta Dunn, Christy Reese

Celebrating 15 to 20 Years of Service

Region 1

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center — Jane Hampton-Smith, Beth Reel

Federation for Children with Special Needs, MA — Rich Robison

Maine Parent Federation — Anne Bourque, Ann Long

PIC NH — Jennifer Cunha, Michelle Lewis

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, NJ — Carolyn Hayer, Shirley Johnson, Peg Kinsell, Roy Maynard, Geraldine Moore-Neill, Patricia Muhammad, Al Pelham, Michelle Puzio, Joyce Sykes

Advocates for Children, NY — Joanne Buccellato, Liliana Diaz-Pedrosa

INCLUDEnyc, NY — Jean Mizutani

Parent Network of Western NY — Sue Barlow, Kim Walek

United We Stand of NY — Martha Vizcarrondo

Vermont Family Network — Martha Frank, Christine Kilpatrick

Region 2

Parents Place of Maryland — Missy Alexander, Rene Averitt-Sanzone

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, NC — Doreen Byrd, Margaret Campbell

Hope Parent Resource Center, NC — Vickie Dieter

Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs, SC — Beverly McCarty

STEP, TN — Donna Jennings

West Virginia PTI — Brenda Lamkin

Region 3

Arkansas Support Network — Irene Clark, Patricia White

Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center — Laura Nata

Oklahoma Parents Center — Ellen Kimbrell, Sharon Coppedge Long

APNI, PR — Iris Rivera

Region 4

Family Resource Center on Disability, IL — Lynn Betts

OCECD, OH — Sandy Brickner, Angela Ferdinand, Connie Hudson, Barbara Rice, Jeanith Ryle

Region 5

Raising Special Kids, AZ — Joyce Millard Hoie

Families Together Inc., KS — Leia Holley

PLUK, MT — Theresa Baldry, Stephanie Luehr, Bobbie Thurston

Pathfinder Services of ND — Dan Griffith

Utah Parent Center — Cassandra Shaw-Myers, Roz Welch, Sherrie Wignall

Region 6

Matrix Parents Center, CA — Nora Thompson Parents

ParentsCan, CA — Hilda Gutierrez

Parents Helping Parents, CA — Loni Allen, Melanie Allen, Maria Avina, Janet Nunez, Mouna Raad, Rosa Solarzano

Support for Families, CA — Nina Boyle, Juno Duenas, Lisa Yee

Team of Advocates for Special Kids, CA — Elias Alvarado, Laura Martinez

NVPEP — Robin Kincaid, Stephanie Vrsnik

Celebrating 20+ Years of Service

Region 1

Association for Special Children and Families, NJ — Angela Abdul

Advocates for Children, NY — Ana Espada

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center — Kathy Whalen

HUNE Inc., PA — Luz Hernandez

Long Island Advocacy Center, NY — Linda Milch

Maine Parent Federation — Deborah Epperson, Susan Fairfield, Deborah Newcombe

PIC NH — Bonnie Dunham, Charlene Mayo

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, NJ — Diana Autin, Debra Jennings, Patricia Paraskevacos, Maria Rodriguez, Ivonne Santiago

United We Stand, NY — Lourdes Rivera-Putz

Vermont Family Network — Holly Brook

Region 2

KY SPIN — Roberta Alston, Paulette Logsdon, Rhonda Logsdon, Ava Stidham

Parents Place of Maryland — Suzie Shannon, Josie Thomas

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, NC — Rachel Bettis, Mary LaCorte, Cheryl Strupe

STEP TN — Karen Harrison

Region 3

Parent to Parent of Miami — Isabel Garcia

Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center — Mary Jacob

APNI, PR — Celia Galan, Diana Lebrón, Brenda Morales, Silka Santiago

Partners Resource Network , TX — Deborah Wilkerson, Gail Wright

Region 4

PACER Center, MN — Virginia Richardson

OCECD, OH — Margaret Burley, Lee Ann Derugen

WIFACETS — Jan Serak

Region 5

PEAK Parent Center, CO — Barbara Buswell, Beth Schaffner, Shirley Swope

Families Together Inc., KS — Tami Allen, Teresa Beaudry, Lesli Girard, Austin Hanson, Lynnea Laing, Darla Nelson-Metzger, Terri Norgren, Connie Zienkewicz

PLUK, MT — Molly Mills

PTI Nebraska — Nina Baker

Utah Parent Center — Jennie Gibson, Gina Pola-Money, Helen Post

Wyoming PIC — Terri Dawson

Region 6

DREDF, CA — Susan Henderson

Exceptional Parents Unlimited, CA — Vicki Benson, Sandy Calderon

Parents Helping Parents, CA — Jane Floethe-Ford

NVPEP — Karen Taycher

Washington PAVE — Sherry Mashburn, Vanessa Lewis

Keep up the amazing work, everyone—you are inspirations to the next group of Parent Center individuals who will follow where you lead!