Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Ann Foyt, President

I moved to Tampa in 1989,  met and married my husband Paul and we have two awesome boys, Zachary, who has Down Syndrome,  and his younger brother Ethan. We live in Brandon florida and I work full-time as an R.N. Case Manager in the ER at Brandon Hospital.  In 2014, I was given the opportunity take over FDSWF.  Our FDSWF team is constantly striving to make things better for our members and families. We have grown to over 1400 families in the Tampa Bay area and serve Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.  For the 2018-1010 term I plan to focus on strengthening our relationships with our local hospitals and physicians, increasing our exposure in the community, making valued partnerships with other special needs agencies and community leaders, and advocating for FDSWF and our Down Syndrome community. I love volunteering my time to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and I can’t wait to meet you and your family. Thank you for supporting FDSWF and our Down syndrome community.

Liz Johnson, Vice President/Pinellas Lead

My name is Liz Johnson. I was born in Florida and raised in Pinellas county.  I graduated from Seminole High School in 1996.I am a Associate Recruiter with HCA West Florida. I have been recruiting nursing support roles since I started in 2007. Before working at HCA I was in the HR department at a telemarketing company in Largo for 5 years. My husband Evan and I have have been married since 2003 and have one amazing daughter Hannah who is 10 years old, and happens to have Down Syndrome. I started volunteering with FDSWF in July 2017, I have also been team mom for Hannah’s Challenger Baseball team for 3 years. I have been room mom for Hannah school class for 2 years.I am very excited to be involved with such a great team at FDSWF. My goal is to bring events to Pinellas county so that we can develop friendships and a strong community.

Contact me at liz@friendssupport.org

 

Kathy Boisseau, Playgroup Director, Baby F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

I am the Playgroup Director for Baby Friends.  We meet monthly at LoLo’s Playplace and We Rock the Spectru. m in Brandon.  We know that its important for new and expectant parents to share experiences  to form friendships, explore their environments, to gain confidence and self esteem, and to learn how to advance our mutual goal of strengthening supports for people with the Down syndrome. FDSWF is always on the look out for other moms to host a Baby Friends in their neighborhood, if you are interested please contact me.   I am married to Jim Boisseau and stay at home mother to Ava and Finnegan . We have 5 amazing little dogs that complete our very blessed family.

Sylvia Costa, VP of Spanish Outreach

My name is Sylvia Costa and I am the VP of Spanish Outreach. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have an Associates Degree in Office Systems from la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Humacao. I moved to FL and got a Pre-Bachelor of Arts at Miami Dade College, where I met my husband. Larry and i have been married for 11 years and have spent 10 1/2 of those with him as an active duty member of the US Coast Guard. We have two beautiful sons. Our oldest is Nathan and he is 6 years old. He was born in Maine and just so happens to have DS. We also have a little blessing named Lucas and he is 8 months old.

Belinda Romero, VP of Spanish Outreach/Hillsborough

Hello, I am Belinda Romero. I am married and mother of three. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in New Jersey. I am PROUD to be the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Vice President of Spanish Outreach. My goal is to bring together the Spanish speaking Down syndrome community together.  I am here to help answer questions, help guide the Spanish speaking community and hopefully soon have a Spanish Play group…ZUMBA?? SALSA?? We’ll see!

I am the Program Director for Traditional Taekwondo Center, which is currently creating  Martial Arts classes for individuals with Down Syndrome. I am also the Representative for the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce. I am bringing awareness to the community regarding Down Syndrome and all the great things that the FDSWF does for the community.  I believe that “Life is What YOU make It!” So together, lets make it GREAT!

Contact me at belinda@friendssupport.org

Brenda Wando, Treasurer

Brenda Wando is a stay at home mom that doesn’t stay home much. She and her boys moved to the Tampa area in the summer of 2013 from Southern California. As a footloose and fancy free mom and of two growing boys, she does her best to keep up with a creative high schooler and a rambunctious middle schooler. She is excited to be a part of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and looks forward to continuing to advocate for her youngest son and helping other DS families. As a military spouse in a previous life, she considers herself an expert household logistician, having lost count of the number of times they have moved from coast to coast and overseas. In her spare time Brenda likes to keep busy cutting paper and gluing it back together and may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with Legos, the color purple, running even when not being chased, and all things Wonder Woman. Brenda also spends a lot of time opening the refrigerator door looking for answers.
Brenda has worked as the Treasurer for her local PTA so she brings all of her past Treasurer experience with her.  Her duties will require her to work closely with our licensed accountant, Matt Cooper, preparing monthly expense/profit reports/Quick book reports. Brenda will also be in charge of FDSWF records for our members/volunteers.

Jill Pettengil

My name is Jill Pettengil. I was born and raised in Yonkers, New York. I received my Bachelors degree in Behavioral Science from Mercy College in 2000. I have over 18 years of clerical and office support experience from Roymar Shipping Services,  Sara Lee and Valpak. In 2003 after too many snowy and freezing winters, I decided moved to Pinellas County with my family. Here is where I met my amazing husband Travis. We have been married since 2009 and reside in Clearwater. We have two rambunctious children, Lucas who is 7 years old with Down Syndrome and his younger sister Lilly who is 5. I am a stay at home who keeps busy being a active level 2 volunteer for Pinellas County schools and have been the room mom to Lucas’ class for two years now. I am excited to be FDSWF Secretary, I will be fostering communication and and keeping important records such as the FDSWF meeting minutes and our organization’s bylaws.  I look forward to meeting new families and friends and foster relationships with them.

Julie Mckenna, Executive Director

Julie Mckenna was elected as our new Executive Director.  She has been working with nonprofits for over 15 years in various positions including President, Vice President and treasurer and have chaired multiple committees dedicated to community outreach. I am the mom of Dylan, Tyler and Kate.  Julie will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.

The Executive Board Committee
This group includes the Board President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Spanish Outreach, Secretary, and Playgroup Director. This group sets direction in terms of agendas for the complete board.

Executive Board

Ann Foyt – President/Tampa Lead (813) 245-2782

Liz Johnson – Vice President/Pinellas Lead (727) 463-1707

Jill Pettengil – Secretary (727)688-7129

Belinda Romero – Vice President Spanish Outreach (813) 233-6395

Brenda Wando –  Treasurer (813)750-3949

Kathy Boisseau – Playgroup Director (603) 438-2886

Julie Mckenna – Executive Director/Media (631) 335-8464

Advisory and Ancillary Board Council – The purpose of the Advisory Council is to advise the Board, Buddy Walk Committee, Development Committee, and the executive leadership with regard to fundraising initiatives, public relations and programming issues.  The Advisory Council does not have any authority to govern FDSWF; such authority resides with the Executive Board.

ANCILLARY BOARD
Laurie Ohall – Special Needs Attorney Hillsborough (813)417-5920
Matt Cooper – FDSWF Accountant (636) 248-9636
Julie Hirsch – FDSWF Photographer (813) 765-2697
Natalie Killebrew – IT Specialist (813)948-8808
Cheryl Moscal – Vendors (813)803-0839
ADVISORY BOARD
Debbie Long – Pasco Advisory Board
Dana Reinhardt – Pinellas Advisory Board
Evan Johnson – Pinellas Advisory Board/Buddy Walk Committee
Paul Foyt – Hillsborough Advisory Board/Buddy Walk Committee