MEET THE TEAM
NORA CARROLL, Founder
Nora is leading a new team to design and launch this new program for the Richmond special needs community. She plans to utilize her non-profit organization management experience as a member of the Board of Directors for Mercy Mall, as well as her 30 years of leadership skills in corporate business and marketing to fill a large gap in the Richmond Special Needs Community. Nora identified this need while searching for a fun and inclusive environment for her high school graduate son Christopher, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and his peers can thrive.
Her years of study at Carnegie Mellon University have provided her with the analytical skills necessary to launch and manage a business. Her heart as a mother inspires her to create a fun and inclusive program for those with severe intellectual and physical disabilities.
CINDY RICHARDS, Physical Therapist
Cindy has been a physical therapist in the Richmond area since 1999. Cindy has been dedicated to being a pediatric physical therapist since the day she read about this specialty. She changed careers and has been in the pediatric environment since her second year in her PT program. Cindy's love of her job is evident in daily interaction with the children, and her perspective in pediatrics is certainly heightened as a mother of four.
Cindy was inspired to pursue intensive suit therapy techniques when she realized that several of her patients had traveled long distances to receive this therapy. Patients would return to therapy after a three-week session with new skills and increased functional potential. It was evident that patients were benefiting from intensive therapy. Richmond Hope Therapy Center was founded to allow patients access to this type of treatment program in Richmond.
Cindy received her undergraduate degree at the University of Richmond and her Master of Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. Cindy is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. She has most recently been trained in the TheraSuit Method, under the direction of Izabela Koscielny.
Richmond Hope Therapy - (https://www.bonsecours.com/locations/specialty-locations/pediatrics/richmond-hope-therapy-center)
Suzanne is a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist and owner of wee communicATE, LLC. She has spent her 39-year career primarily working with children who have neurological deficits. Suzanne co-authored a feeding book for educators, served on the Board of Directors for DSAGR for 3 years, was a consultant for the Virginia Department of Education through TTAC for 25+ years, taught at VCU in the Department of Early Childhood Special Education for 7 years, and is partial owner of Treehouse Pediatric Therapy. She is passionate about her life’s work and in helping meet the needs of families throughout the Richmond community. (Treehouse - http://www.treehousepedstherapy.com/)
SUZANNE MCKEEVER, Speech Pathologist
DONNA HAYES, Director of Communications
KIMBERLEE AMES, Donor Relations Manager
Kimberlee is the mother of 22 year-old Stefan Ames, who recently graduated from high school. Stefan has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, dystonia, a seizure disorder, apraxia, and orthopedic impairments.
Kimberlee has 20+ years of legal/business experience and 22 years of hands-on advocacy for Stefan with insurance companies, medical providers, and the public school system striving to provide the best experiences for Stefan.
Kimberlee has an English degree from Virginia Tech and has done graduate work in Forensic Science at VCU.
Donna is the mother of 18 year old Alexandra, diagnosed with Grin2B, Lennox Gastaut & Cerebral Palsy. Alexandra is non-mobile, non-verbal and g-tube dependent. Donna graduated from business school in New York City and has over 20 years of business experience in the HR field. Donna currently serves on the We Heart Harlie and Friends Foundation Board as their Family Liaison and has served on other non-profit Boards benefiting people with disabilities. Donna has a personal passion for serving the special needs community.
THERESA FINK, Finance Manager
Theresa's daughter, Reagan suffered an anoxic brain injury (TBI) from complications following her adenoids being removed. After Reagan's injury, Theresa became a full-time caretaker and advocate for Reagan. Reagan is cognitively aware and understands her surroundings despite her physical limitations and limited communications. Reagan is active in the community through programs like Inclusive Racing which allowed her to participate in her first Monument 10K.
With a BS degree in finance from VCU and a class A business license, Theresa worked in the HVAC commercial industry for 14 years. On December 23, 2010,
Theresa is truly excited to be a part of Nest Academy because this another opportunity for her to give back for those who deserve so much more.
AMANDA COOK, Exceptional ED Teacher
Exception Education teacher in Henrico County public schools for 12 years and for 1 year in Wilmington, NC. Most of her career has been in the integrated services classrooms at the high school level. She wanted to be part of the Nest Academy because students with disabilities deserve the same opportunities to continue their education after transitioning from high school as their same age peers.