MassFamilies Staff

Get to know our team

Co-Executive Directors

Photo: Sherraine Glover Diaz

Sherraine Diaz

Phone:
508-510-0337

Email:
sherraine@massfamilies.org

Bio
I am an immigrant from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies and a citizen of the United States. A graduate from Bentley University in Business Management and I am the Comptroller to the Disability Policy Consortium (CPC). For the past 20 plus years I have worked providing accounting and fiscal services to public/private nonprofit corporations and foundations. Both my professional experience and educational training gives me the advantage of bridging the gap between health and human services policies, and business and financial sector. I am adept in financial management, documentation, collaboration and resources coordination, and regulatory compliance. In addition to my experience and personal qualities, I am extremely enthusiastic about the field and welcome the opportunity to contribute to the work of MassFamilies 

Photo: Rania Kelly, MFOFC board member

Rania Kelly

Email:
rania@massfamilies.org

Bio

MassFamilies has challenged me to imagine better, taught me how to advocate for my family, how to access resources to support my family, and pushed me to dream big for my little guy. I am passionate about disability and chronic illness rights, as well as architectural/design accessibility (physical, intellectual, sensory).

I am new to the word of nonprofits but believe that my 20-years of professional experience in the private sector (specifically architecture, engineering, and marketing) brings valuable skills to the board and organization.

Currently I serve on the Commission of Disability in my town, completed The Commonwealth Seminar’s six-week program on legislative and state budget process for community leaders, and am enrolled in INP’s certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Tufts University.

I am inspired by the board’s talent, passion, and commitment, each bringing unique talent and skills. My colleagues have shown unwavering commitment to the families we serve, and the ability to rise to the challenge. It is an honor and pleasure to work beside them to help our families imagine better.

Statewide Coordinators

Photo: Ebony Flint, MFOFC board member

Ebony Flint

Outreach Coordinator

Email:
ebonyf@massfamilies.org

Bio
Ebony Flint teaches strategies to help others navigate and address mental health challenges. She is very passionate about this work, as a parent of a child with special needs and a person who has overcome traumatic experiences. Ebony is a Certified Peer Specialist, a Peer Group Facilitator for Alternatives to Suicide and Hearing Voices Network, and a Wellness Recovery Action Plan Facilitator for adults, young adults, and trauma survivors, working with populations both within the community and in hospital settings.  She is a graduate of Massachusetts Leadership Academy, which focuses on bridging the gaps between the mental health community and the disability community. Ebony has been a facilitator and trainer for Advocates, Inc., Central Mass Recovery Learning Community, and The Transformation Center.  She now works for Advocates, Inc as the Peer Program Coordinator for The Living Room. The Living Room is a 24 hour peer run crisis alternative located in Framingham, MA.

Photo: Keila Torres, MassFamilies Outreach Coordinator

Keila Torres

Outreach Coordinator

Email:
keila@massfamilies.org

Bio

My name is Keila Torres. I currently reside in Western Massachusetts. I’ve been a Special Education Advocate for over twelve years, focused on Autism, I/DD, and other areas. I studied Deaf Studies at Holyoke Community College and later expanded my studies to Associate of Arts with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. I recently joined MassFamilies as an Outreach Coordinator for Spanish-speaking families. I want to help families to find their voice in their community and advocate for changes that make them inclusive in services and support for their loved ones with disabilities. I am fortunate to have the support of my husband, my two sons, and my daughter, who have multiple (dis)-abilities. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family, listen to music, read and watch superheroes movies with them.

 

Mi nombre es Keila Torres. Actualmente resido en el oeste de Massachusetts. He sido defensora de la educación especial durante más de doce años, enfocado en el autismo, I / DD y otras áreas. Estudié Cultura y lenguaje de Sordos en Holyoke Community College y luego amplié mis estudios a Asociado en Artes con una concentración en Educación Infantil. Recientemente me uní a MassFamilies como coordinadora de alcance para familias de habla hispana. Quiero ayudar a las familias a encontrar su voz en su comunidad y abogar por cambios que las hagan inclusivas en los servicios y el apoyo para sus seres queridos con discapacidades. Tengo la fortuna de contar con el apoyo de mi esposo, mis dos hijos y mi hija, quienes tienen múltiples (dis)capacidades. En mi tiempo libre, me gusta pasar tiempo con mi familia, escuchar música, leer y ver películas de superhéroes con ellos.

Regional Coordinators

Regional Coordinators serve as volunteers on the Board of Directors and liaisons to the agencies that host the Family Leadership contracts in agreement with the Department of Developmental Services. Regional Coordinators and their respective Outreach Coordinators are responsible for facilitating training workshops and advocacy efforts within their respective regions.

Photo: Kathleen Amaral, MFOFC Regional Coordinator

Kathleen Amaral

Southeast Coordinator

Phone:
508-999-4436

Email:
kathleen@massfamilies.org

Bio
Kathleen is a 2008 graduate of the Southeast Family Leadership Series. She lives with her family in Dartmouth and is the proud mom to Emma, Liam and Mae. Her passion for advocacy and supporting families began in 2005, when her son received a rare diagnosis of Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation. Navigating life for him, and his complex needs, ignited her passion for assisting families who find themselves on a similar journey. She instinctively held a vision for her son to live a life as natural and typical as his sisters, and it was her experience in the Family Leadership Series that added a level of credibility to her vision.

In addition to her role as Southeast Regional Coordinator, she works to support families eligible for DDS in the greater New Bedford area. Kathleen remains current on disability initiatives by attended trainings, conferences, workshops and professional development courses on a large variety of topics offered within.

When she’s not working, or spending time with her family, watching sports or other recreational activities; she enjoys serving her community and being a part of effecting positive change locally. For several years Kathleen has been a Dartmouth town meeting member, and held a seat on her local Disability Commission. She’s volunteered her time on school council boards, chaired the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). She currently holds a seat on the Dartmouth School Committee. Statewide, she was appointed as a citizen member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) in 2015, where she’s able to contribute to addressing the most important issues affecting people with developmental disabilities.

Kathleen is committed to continuing the effort in the Southeast Region to provide sustained advocacy and leadership training in pursuit of high quality, individualized community support and service options, including family support, for people with disabilities and their families

Photo: Sue Crosby, MFOFC coordinator

Sue Crosby, MSW

West Coordinator

Phone:
413-782-2500 ext. 321

Email:
sue@massfamilies.org

Bio

I am a mother of two 18 year-old sons with autism, a former paraprofessional and parent advisory council member, and an active Parent/Caregiver Group member at the United ARC in Franklin County. I have also organized and attended numerous legislative events to discuss the needs of those impacted by developmental disabilities.

As a licensed social worker, I enjoy helping caregivers recognize their unique strengths, and discover ways to use them to help advocate for their families. I am always inspired by the spirit, resilience, and determination of parents and caregivers. I look forward to every opportunity to support and learn from them.

Lauri Medeiros

Metro – Boston Coordinator

Phone:
617-605-7404

Email:
lauri@massfamilies.org

Bio

I began my journey as an education, family and systems change advocate for children with disabilities and their families after attending the MFOFC Family Leadership Series in 1998. My real life journey continues to this day advocating for children with disabilities and their families to embrace, navigate, improve and integrate all systems including the educational, health care delivery and agency provider systems so that we can all work collaboratively toward a common goal. Equally important, I believe that the family’s voice should be heard and that the family’s expertise be valued and fully integrated in decision making at all levels including the level of care as well as in local, state and federal policy decisions. I believe that every child and their family should be able to live, play and easily access community, health care, family supports, a meaningful education and independent life options.

Photo: Haran Phaneuf, MFOFC coordinator

Haran Phaneuf

Central Coordinator

Email:
haran@massfamilies.org

Bio
I have always had a passion for education, empowerment, and advocacy. Before becoming MassFamilies’ Central Regional Coordinator, I worked in higher education for 15 years developing synergistic leadership programs for university honors students from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, I served for seven years on the National Honors Collegiate Council’s Education of the Gifted Committee promoting awareness within higher education about how to identify and educate gifted students with learning differences.

As an individual with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a parent of a child with autism (ASD), I know firsthand how important it is to connect with other families in order to cultivate a caring, informative, and responsive support system. As a past participant in the Family Leadership Series, I was inspired by hearing other families’ stories and motivated by our shared journey, igniting a desire to empower and support others navigating the challenges and complexities of having a special needs family member.

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