Mary Sturm, MD – Board Chair
Sarah White – Vice Chair
Sue Freiburger – Board Secretary
Joshua Zellers – Board Treasurer
Jeanne Lippert – Board Member
Tim Burns – Board Member
Claudio Capone – Board Member
Stephanie Fera – Board Member
Gary Fernando – Board Member
Lou LaVecchia – Board Member
Jeffrey Mills – Board Member
Lincoln Purdy – Board Member
John Wilson – Board Member
Ruth Stoeckel – Board Member
Alyson Taylor – Board Member
Angela Grimm – Executive Director
Angela Grimm joined Apraxia Kids in October, 2017 as the Executive Director. Prior to joining Apraxia Kids, Angela was a member of the senior leadership team at the Alzheimer’s Association for 12 years, serving on various committees and strategic plan work groups at the local and national level. She also led various development roles within the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania, including serving as the Director of Project Bundle-Up, a joint fundraising venture with WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Through her 26 year career in the non-profit sector she has continually built valuable relationships between organizations and key constituents to further the mission. Angela has a personal connection to CAS and is committed to the mission of Apraxia Kids.
Heather Vallone – Executive Assistant
Heather graduated Carlow University with a degree in Art History. She has spent much of her 20-year career in administrative support and marketing roles with such local non-profits as the Carnegie Museums, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh before joining Apraxia Kids in June of 2017. Outside of work, Heather enjoys hobbies like knitting and coloring, and spending time with her husband, son, and 2 cats.
David Hammer – Vice President of Programs
Dave Hammer is the Vice President of Programs for Apraxia Kids. As the only Speech Pathologist on staff, he oversees the many programs that Apraxia Kids offers including the Speech Tablet Program, Boot Camp Intensive Trainings, Live and On-demand Webinars, and the new Outreach Coordinator Program. Prior to this position, Dave had 35 years of pediatric clinical experience at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA. Dave received his Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1979 after completing a Bachelor’s in Speech/Hearing Science and Psychology. Dave was a member of the ASHA AdHoc committee on CAS. He has been invited to present over 300 workshops on childhood apraxia and speech sound disorders throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. Dave is known for his practical and therapy-rich presentations. His passion at Apraxia Kids is helping children “find their voices” and families find the support services they desperately need. Outside of work, Dave enjoys reading, making music, walking, attending musicals and plays, and spending time traveling.
Brandice Wilburn – Program Manager
Brandice Wilburn is the Program Manager at Apraxia Kids. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, though she developed her passion for children while observing her father’s dedication for teaching children with language-based learning differences at The Lab School of Washington (D.C.).
Brandice attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Studies. Prior to joining Apraxia Kids, Brandice spent much of her professional tenure at the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. She began her work there as a coordinator for homeless programs and provided support and outreach services to homeless children and families in Pittsburgh. She then progressed to Regional Program Manager for the Keystone STARS program, Pennsylvania’s quality rating and improvement system for early care and school-age education programs. She has also provided professional development and operations management consultation throughout the early childhood community. Brandice received her Master’s degree in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her desire has always been to be an advocate and voice for children, which lead her to Apraxia Kids in May 2018. Her primary role is to support and develop programs and engagement initiatives that extend our reach and enable parents and professionals in all geographic areas, access to appropriate and dependable resources. Brandice believes that building and sustaining positive relationships among children, families, and community stakeholders is essential for the growth and development of every child and that inclusion, diversity, and respect should always be embedded in our work to serve the needs of children families & communities.
Chrissy Welsh – Program Assistant
Chrissy graduated Mercyhurst University with a degree in Business and a concentration in management. Chrissy began her professional career in Naples, Florida where she started as an assistant was promoted after a few short months to firm administrator. Completely new to the CPA firm world Chrissy worked closely with the Partners on firm policy setting, problem solving and decision making with her core responsibilities in planning, organizing, directing and controlling day to day operations of the firm. Upon her return to Pittsburgh, Chrissy came to Apraxia Kids as a part time temp and found a permanent home. Currently the program assistant, she is excited to have a career in a growing non-profit. Her primary responsibilities include supporting the national conference, supporting education programs/outreach, managing the professional directory, supporting research grants, managing the summer camp national listing for the website, serving as liaison for the VP of Programs’ talks and presentations. Outside of work, if Chrissy is not spending time with friends and family, she is enjoying a lazy day with a good book or binge-watching a TV show.
Justin LeWinter – Director of Fundraising
Justin LeWinter is the Director of Fundraising for Apraxia Kids. He was born and raised on Long Island, NY and attended Penn State University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Recreation and Park Management, and a minor in Sociology. Staying in Pennsylvania after college he spent his first stint in Pittsburgh coordinating an AmeriCorps federal grant. After later relocating to New York, he obtained his Masters in Education from St. Johns University while teaching mathematics at both the middle and high school levels in New York City public schools. Prior to coming to Apraxia Kids he worked as the Director of Teen and Family Services at a YMCA in North Carolina. His latest move brought him back to Pittsburgh where he joined the Apraxia Kids family. He oversees the Walk for Apraxia, builds relationships with donors, and provides guidance to over 80 volunteer Walk Coordinators and support to countless team leaders and donors across the country. When not at work he enjoys spending time with his wife, son and dog outdoors – hiking, camping, gardening and enjoying live music!
Tara Olexa Madoni – Walk Manager
Tara Olexa Madoni is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa, she accepted a position as an AmeriCorps member with the Brashear Association in Pittsburgh, PA where she coordinated after school and summer programs for at-risk youth. Upon completion of her service, Tara continued with the Brashear Association managing self-sufficiency programs for individuals and families. Before arriving at Apraxia Kids, Tara was working as a Service Coordinator for Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Early Intervention Program. At Apraxia Kids, Tara supports volunteer walk coordinators with their efforts in creating memorable walk events to celebrate children with apraxia, build communities of support, and raise funds for the mission of Apraxia Kids.
Molly Kestner – Donor Relations Manager
Molly Kestner came to Apraxia Kids upon completing a Masters in Public Administration focusing on Nonprofit Management at the University of Pittsburgh. She spent two years serving at local and national nonprofits through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps where she grew her love of building community. Molly also serves on the board of directors for the Allegheny Family Network. Molly works on our Be the Voice program, grant writing and individual donor relations. She enjoys getting to know our supporters and letting everyone know how much their donations are appreciated. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, spending time outside, and hanging out with family and friends.
Heidi Murray – Data Analyst
Brené Brown once said that ”Maybe stories are just data with a soul.” Heidi’s work revolves using numbers to tell the Apraxia Kids story, and to help drive the organization forward through informed decision making. She received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, and completed a 1 year graduate fellowship at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs as an Imagining America Engagement Scholar. Outside of work, Heidi is an aspiring aerialist, avid reader, and a lover of all things tech, food, and health related.
Earnie Sotirokos – Director of Marketing and Communications
During his four years with the organization, Earnie has worked to develop and implement strategies to help ensure everyone who is searching for information about apraxia of speech has access to it. He oversees website maintenance, public relations, social media and email marketing.
Kara Bayer – Social Media & Analytics Coordinator
Kara Bayer is a graduate of the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied Customer Insights. She is passionate about digital marketing and social media strategy, as well as nonprofit communications. She previously managed social media strategies for several small businesses, and writes her own blog about all things Pittsburgh! In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, yoga, and watching the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Kara’s role at Apraxia Kids involves all things social media. She creates content for our social media pages and facilities discussion in our Official Support Groups on Facebook. Additionally, she provides support to volunteers promoting the Walk for Apraxia on social media.
Allison Breisinger – Marketing Assistant
Allison Breisinger is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is studying Marketing and Studio Art. Additionally, Allison is pursuing two certificates Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Digital Media. Prior to working with Apraxia Kids, she interned abroad with Media Trust of London England, which is a non-profit that works with the media industry to help other charities and community groups to develop their voice and be heard. In her free time, she is usually studying in the library, playing guitar, listening to music or watching a TV show or movie her friends have recommended.