Lisa Kimball, Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Kimball received her undergraduate degree in Humanities from Upsala College. Having spent her career as a Woman in Technology, for twelve years prior to joining The Arc of Loudoun, Ms. Kimball served as Vice President, Identity Management Solutions at Telos Corporation. Ms. Kimball comes to The Arc with a wealth of knowledge and extensive background working in the non-profit industry, including serving as the Chairperson for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Identity Management Standards Advisory Council (IMSAC), as a Board Member of Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers (LVC), as First Vice-Chairman and currently as Chairman for the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Kimball is also an Advisory Board Member of the Loudoun County Medical Reserve Corps and formerly served as a Board Member and Business Advisory Council Member to Every Citizen Has Opportunities (ECHO). Through both her for-profit and non-profit experience, Ms. Kimball has extensive knowledge in strategic planning, directing non-profit Boards, writing grant proposals, and designing and achieving organizational development programs. Ms. Kimball joined The Arc of Loudoun in August 2018, but has volunteered with The Arc since she was child. She is honored to work for an organization that has grown into an amazing resource for people with special needs and their families.
YaTonya Abdullah, Chief Operations Officer
Ms. Abdullah holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Emotional Disability/Learning Disability from Hampton University. She has taught in self-contained classrooms for elementary-age students and worked with the preschool population, as a liaison between school, families and school districts coordinating special education services for students with disabilities. She obtained her master’s degree/P-3 Certification in Early Childhood Education from New Jersey City University. At the Aurora School, Ms. Abdullah combined her experience in Special Education and service coordination for children with disabilities to fulfill the position of Program Support Coordinator, transitioning into the position of Chief Operating Officer after a few years. She now has the great pleasure of working in conjunction with all of the programs at The Arc.
Denise Daffron, Chief Development Officer
Ms. Daffron has championed people with disabilities since she was in grade school and is passionate about fundraising and marketing for causes that support families raising children with special needs. Originally from Texas and after graduating from Hardin-Simmons University with a BA in Public Relations, she began her career in promotion and advertising agencies working with such clients as Snapple, Chick-Fil-A, and Labatt USA. Her career in nonprofits began when she joined Special Olympics International, managing their national cause marketing partners and campaigns for Procter & Gamble, Kodak, M&Ms, and Coca-Cola. She continued her career in nonprofits where she directed corporate partnerships and strategic events for the American Red Cross of the National Capital Region, the American Heart Association of the Greater Washington Region, and most recently, served as Vice President of Advancement for Jill’s House, a respite center for children with special needs headquartered in McLean, VA. Ms. Daffron has generated over $42 million for nonprofits and their missions. She also owns her own event marketing and production company and serves as a technical production volunteer at her church. She joined The Arc of Loudoun in July of 2017 and is honored to be leading the charge of generating the resources needed to help create a lifetime of opportunities for people with disabilities.
Eileen Shaffer, Administrative Director of ALLY Advocacy Center
Ms. Shaffer received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Mary Washington College where she was awarded the Jean Donovan Award to promote human rights. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Health from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in group homes with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. As the Resident Services Director of a large Continuing Care Retirement Community in North Carolina, she worked with individuals across the spectrum from independent adults, assisted living, skilled nursing, adult day care and dementia. Ms. Shaffer has experience providing social work in both hospital and home care settings. She has also been trained as a Mediator. After returning to Virginia, she worked as a Care Manager in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties with older adults as well as individuals with developmental disabilities. She has experience coordinating care and services for her clients with community and healthcare resources. While working in care management, Ms. Shaffer began volunteering at ALLY and was later hired as the Advocacy Coordinator. As the Administrative Director of ALLY Advocacy Center, she provides resources and referrals to families and clients; empowers families to advocate for their children in the IEP process; works with self-advocates and supports a variety of educational outreach programs to educate families and caregivers. ALLY Advocacy Center fills an unmet need in Loudoun County and Ms. Shaffer is able to walk families through the process of supporting a child with a disability and understanding the array of resources available and how to access them. Ms. Shaffer has been an active volunteer in Loudoun County, initiating volunteer programs with Backpack Buddies, Girl Scouts and the Loudoun Homeless Shelter.
Penny J. Lewis, Administrative Director of Open Door Learning Center
Penny Lewis is a graduate of Adelphi University with majors in both Biology and Psychology. She received an MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work and took thirty graduate credits in Education at Long Island University. She trained for a year at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit where she worked with the parents of patients as well as the youngsters. Penny has been the Director and Executive Director of private, non-profit, Special Education Preschools in New York for over 23 years.
A Licensed Master Social Worker in New York, she also has School Administrator/Supervisor and School District Administrator Certificates there. She is certified as an Early Intervention Case Manager as well. As a Special Education Director, Penny has worked with children on the Autistic Spectrum as well as children with all types of physical, cognitive, language and adaptive delays. A supporter of ABA principles, she also advocates a multi-modal educational approach that would utilize services such as Speech and Language Pathology, Occupational and Physical Therapies, Art and Music Therapies to enhance language, physical, communicative and adaptive development. She advocates undertaking a thorough assessment before a child begins a preschool program. After ascertaining the child’s strength and weaknesses, teachers and therapists can address those areas which need support. She embraces a philosophy of following the child’s lead, that is to integrate intervention plans with the children’s immediate interest and ongoing activities. She feels that preschool education for all children should be inclusive and the school environment should be structured so that children learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children, and a wide variety of materials.
Kendra McDonald, Director of Clinical Services for The Aurora School and the Aurora Behavior Clinic
Ms. McDonald began her career in behavior analysis after her son was diagnosed with autism in 2002. Following the successful implementation of his home program, she worked as an in-home ABA therapist for other families affected with autism. Ms. McDonald completed her behavior analysis coursework at UMASS Lowell and has a master’s degree in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She earned her BCBA in June 2014. Ms. McDonald emphasizes the principles and teaching procedures of verbal behavior modalities across all teaching opportunities including communication, social skills, and academics.
Amy Metaxa, Administrative Director of The Aurora School
Ms. Metaxa began her career as a Special Education Teacher in 2005 in Somers, Wisconsin as a teacher for students with severe cognitive disabilities. In 2012, she moved to Northern Virginia and continued her career with Prince William County Schools as a Special Education Teacher for students with learning disabilities and autism. Ms. Metaxa has a master’s degree in Special Education from the Cardinal Stritch University-College of Education and Leadership, graduating Magna Cum Laude. During her time as an educator Ms. Metaxa has earned the designation of Highly Qualified Educator, served on numerous committees at the district and local levels, mentored new teachers, opened a new school, functioned as the Team Lead for a Special Education Department and has been the recipient of numerous accolades based on student performance. Her philosophy has always been that all students can learn and find success.
Helen Parker, Clinical Director of Ability Fitness Center
Ms. Parker graduated from Columbia University in 1998 with a master’s degree in Physical Therapy. She received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Marymount University in 2003. She completed her NeuroDevelopmental Training (NDT) in 2001 and has been a board-certified Neuro Clinical specialist (NCS) since 2006. Ms. Parker is a Certified Clinical Instructor Affiliate (CCCE/CI) through the American Physical Therapy Association and has been an instructor at Mercy College Physical Therapist Assistant Program. She has spent her career as a physical therapist focusing on people with neurological conditions working in acute-care, inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient facilities. Ms. Parker has been actively involved with the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA), with the Stroke Comeback Center (SCC), and with her stroke support group “The Survivors.”
Matt Smith, Director of Facilities
Mr. Smith joined The Arc of Loudoun team in 2010 as a volunteer on the very first haunted house fundraiser. Prior to joining the team as the Director of Facilities in 2011, Mr. Smith owned his own home improvement business and worked as a general contractor. In addition to his contracting experience, he started his professional career as a mechanic. Mr. Smith keeps the The Arc of Loudoun buildings and grounds looking its best, and supervises new construction projects. Mr. Smith also continues what he started as a volunteer and is now the creative genius behind Shocktober. However, Mr. Smith’s favorite part of his job is working with the employees with disabilities at The Arc. He has learned so much about people with disabilities and the challenges they face in life since joining The Arc. Mr. Smith works hard in supervising some of our employees with disabilities, so that they enjoy their jobs. He hopes coming to work is the best part of their day.