Former Board Members

We have been fortunate to have talented individuals serve on our board for many years to support our efforts to promote access, quality and leadership in parent to parent support across the country. If you are a former board member and would like to submit an update, please email us.

Lisa MaynesLisa

Lisa is the Director of Family Support at Vermont Family Network. Lisa graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1987 with a B.S. in Business. In 2012, she earned her Master’s degree from the University of Vermont in Education Leadership. This program is designed for leadership not only in education but also human service fields. Lisa is the first family fellow graduate from the Vermont LEND program (formerly VT-ILEHP), completing this program in 2007. Lisa has many years of experience with various boards and committees in Vermont. She served two years on the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council, one year as President. She continues to offer the consumer and family voice as a member of the Medicaid Exchange and Advisory Board of which she has been a member for over 10 years. Show More Lisa’s past employment includes the University of Vermont Center on Disability and Community Inclusion – Vermont’s UCEDD and Vermont’s Homeless Children and Youth Program. She is the former Chair for the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs Family and Youth Leadership Committee. Lisa is the parent of two children: Meghan, age 26, and Patrick, age 21. Meghan battled depression and anxiety and subsequent opioid addiction that she bravely rallied back from and has been clean for over 6 years. Patrick was born with a rare genetic condition which involves global developmental delays and a complex array of medical needs. She spent ten years working from home as a medical transcriptionist while he was young.

RobinRobin Dodds, Ph.D

Robin is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Special Education in the Charter College of Education at California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her doctoral degree in Special Education, Disability and Risk Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2015. Robin is a credentialed early childhood special education teacher and developmental therapist with nearly 20 years of experience working with young children and their families. Robin is the mother of two talented children, one of whom has Autism. Her experience as a parent of a child with a disability revealed the importance of connecting parents with each other for information and emotional support. Show MoreRobin values the expertise of parents and it is her mission to support them as they work toward positive outcomes for their children and families. She conducts research as head of the Parent Education and Support lab at Cal State LA.

CandiCandi Bush

In 2014, Candi Bush was hired as the new Director of the Michigan Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (Family Center). Candi is responsible for leading and implementing a statewide comprehensive family resource center utilizing a family-centered care model. Her professional and personal experiences as a parent of two children with special health care needs has prepared her with the necessary skills and passion to lead the Family Center. Candi’s youngest son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2, and then with a primary Mitochondrial Disease at the age of 12. Her oldest son also has a primary Mitochondrial Disease, an mtDNA Mitochondrial Disease, and a Connective Tissue Disease. Show More Candi currently serves on multiple boards and committees throughout the State of Michigan, as well as the national Parent to Parent USA Board of Directors. Candi was accepted into the 2015-2016 Leadership Lab through the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Family Leadership Cohort. In 2014, Candi was named as the Family Delegate for the State of Michigan. Prior to 2014, Candi served as the Executive Director for Parent to Parent of Southwest MI. Candi was also the recipient of the 2012 Exceptional Parent of the Year through the Michigan Council for Exception Children. In 2006, Candi obtained her B.S. from Western Michigan University in Family Life Education and is a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations.

Moe SchroederMoe

Moe is currently the Parent to Parent Director at Family Voices of North Dakota. She is the mother of two children. With her family’s second pregnancy, they were given a prenatal diagnosis that their child would be born with Congenital Heart Disease. Through parent to parent support, Moe and her family were able to make educated, informed decisions about their child’s birth, ongoing care, and supports that were available to them within their community. Moe is a 2013 graduate of the AMCHP Family Scholars Program, and a current member of the ND Children Special Health Services Family Advisory Committee and the AMCHP Family and Youth Leadership Committee.

Janice FitzgeraldJan

Janice first came to parent to parent in NYS as Executive Director from 2002 – 2013. She is the parent of a young man who has intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked to support her son, John, to reach his potential.
Janice has often asked one question: how do I know what John can do unless I help him try? To help John create and live a comfortable life, she has kept a focus on his abilities and strengths including helping John learn by life experiences.

Nancy DiVenereNancy DiVenere

Nancy DiVenere, BA, St Michael’s College, is co-founder and past president of Parent to Parent USA. Nancy is also the founder and former Executive Director (1987-2004) of Parent to Parent of Vermont, a statewide family support and leadership organization she founded in 1987. As Director, Nancy introduced Family Faculty into the University of Vermont, College of Medicine preparing and supporting a cadre of experienced families to teach patient- and family-centered care to medical students and pediatric residences. Vermont’s Medical Education Program was recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges as the first Family Faculty program in the country. Show MoreIn 1998, Nancy was honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with a Community Health Leadership Award as one of ten individuals in the country “changing the shape of health care in America.” In 2003 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nancy and colleagues created Parent to Parent USA serving as President until 2011. Nancy remains a member-at-Large of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care in Bethesda, Maryland. Nancy was inspired by the birth of her son Brett whose early years were compromised due to a birth injury.

Joni Bruce

Oklahoma Family Network

Laura Warren

Texas Parent to Parent

Dana Yarbrough

Parent-To-Parent of Virginia

Andrea Leon

Parents Reaching Out, New Mexico

Robin Mathea

Parent to Parent of Wisconsin

Debi Tucker

Parent to Parent of Georgia

Janna Murrell

Raising Special Kids, Arizona

Tribute to Polly Arango

(January 23, 1942 – June 26, 2010)
By Nancy DiVenere

Personal Reflection: Polly and I first met at an Association for the Care of Children’s Health (ACCH) conference in Nova Scotia, in the late 80s. Polly was then director of New Mexico’s parent to parent organization, Parents Reaching Out. Directed by Bev Johnson, ACCH was the first national health organization to invite families as colleague to a national conference – and there was Polly– welcoming, mentoring, leading – galvanizing the voices of parents whose children had special health care needs and disabilities. A visionary like no other, Polly lead the creation of Family Voices, a powerful national voice on behalf of families. Polly was a magical, passionate, fearless story teller, standing before crowds that included Presidents, first ladies, national policy advisors, hospital administrators, leaders in countries far outside the USA – and her favorite audience, families.

Polly’s loyalty and love for the parent movement meant that whenever invited, no matter how busy her schedule – she would do all in her power to be where she was needed. Gratefully, Polly traveled to Vermont on several occasions, sharing her wisdom as keynote speaker at Parent to Parent of Vermont’s Partners in Care Conferences. Polly helped to create Parent to Parent USA as a national organization. Polly traveled to Phoenix, Arizona in January, 2005 to celebrate P2P USA’s 1st anniversary. Polly encouraged, supported, and offered wise council to our emerging national organization. Polly spoke passionately about the role of parent to parent support in leadership development, stating that “parent to parent support is the cradle of parent leadership”. Polly’s gift of friendship and love, and legacy of leadership is embodied within the parent to parent movement – we are all forever grateful.

Polly was the founding Director of Family Voices where the Polly Arango Memorial Fund has been established to support emerging parent leaders.