Our Board of Directors is a group of volunteers who devote their time and expertise in service of the agency. The Board is responsible for hiring and supervising the Executive Director, reviewing all aspects of the agency, and approving all policies governing the agencyâ€™s operation. All Board members serve three-year terms, with the opportunity to serve additional terms.
2012 Board Members
(Left to right: Bonnie Jackson, John Manuel, Hank Sullivan, Paula Champagne, Jerry Garcia,
Maria Distler, Melanie Terrell, Maryann Dresner, Matthew Millspaugh)
We are currently looking to expand our Board, and are especially interested in adding individuals with backgrounds in marketing and/or public relations. If anyone is interested, please contact the board recruiter.
At the present time the Board is composed of the following individuals:
Matthew has served as a part of the Stepping Stonesâ€™ Board of Directors since 2006. Having worked for over twelve years as an ILS Instructor and Case Manager for persons with developmental disabilities, Matthew brings invaluable hands on experience with developmentally challenged individuals to our strategic leadership team. Additionally, Matthewâ€™s rich background in policy shaping and budget rolls within the Department of Developmental Services has proven to be a helpful contribution to our board. Matthew enjoys serving with Stepping Stones as it allows him to give back to the community and serve an important segment of society even though he is no longer professionally involved with the developmental services field.
Stepping Stones is lucky to have loyal board members such as Maryann on our team. Maryann has been a part of our Board of Directors since 1981 and is a former Board President. As a community attorney with years of history with Stepping Stones, Maryann is in a unique position to link community constituents with our staff and consumers while having the ability to remind our board and staff of what we are working towards and where we have come from. Maryann has chosen to continue as a part of our board year after year because she believes that the work we do makes a tremendous difference in the lives of our consumers, helping them to become productive persons in their neighborhoods, and in turn, enrich the entire Bay Area community.
As President of Strategic Solutions, Hank brings managerial development and organizational coaching to the Stepping Stonesâ€™ Leadership team. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2008. Hank is incredibly active in the East Bay community and is a member of several Chambers of Commerce in the area. Hank chooses to serve on the Board of Directors for Stepping Stones because he desires to be a part of helping us get closer to meeting our organizational goals and expanding our services to persons with developmental disabilities.
Attorney at Law, Paula Champagne has been a part of the Stepping Stonesâ€™ Board of Directors since 1996. For almost fifteen years, Paula has brought imperative legal insight to our leadership team. A partner at Littler Mendelson with a specialty in employment law, representing management her extensive background in this area has tremendously helped us in our policy making and internal and external relations throughout the years. Paula chooses to stay with us and help lead this organization because she considers it a joy to contribute her time and finances to an organization that she feels is so worthwhile.
Charles DeSantis has been a member of Stepping Stonesâ€™ Board of Directors since 2000. As an Associate Vice President of Faculty and Staff Benefits at Georgetown University, Charles helps drive our staff policies and bring logistical strategy to our programs. Charles chooses to serve on our board because he believes deeply in the importance of the ability to provide access to a mainstream life for the developmentally disabled through empowerment, guidance and support.
As Stepping Stonesâ€™ former Executive Director for sixteen years, Maria is an invaluable component to our Board of Directors. She has served on our board for over ten years and brings not only her experience as captain of the Stepping Stones ship to the leadership team, but also has a rich background in executive level positions with organizations working on behalf of and with children with special needs. She has chosen to stay as a part of the Stepping Stones family for so many years because her experience in development strategic planning, knowledge of state and local legislation, and understanding of programming for underserved populations is a distinct combination of assets that can be of much help to our organization as we assess our programs and plan for the future.
After contributing financially to Stepping Stones for several years, Bonnie took on a more strategic role for the organization in 2009 by joining the Board of Directors. As a sales and marketing professional in the telecommunication and high-tech industries, Bonnieâ€™s background brings extensive corporate donor engagement expertise, with a focus on relationship management, contract negotiations, and new business development, to the Stepping Stonesâ€™ board. Bonnie chooses to share her time and funds with Stepping Stones because she believes in the cause and would like to help make a difference in todayâ€™s world as a member of the Stepping Stonesâ€™ team by helping us to increase our reach within the community and beyond.
John has been an active member of Stepping Stonesâ€™ Board of Directors since 2005. As a building and construction contractor in the community, John brings a remarkable number of connections and a â€ścommon senseâ€ť approach of business leadership to our board. Johnâ€™s goal as a part of our team is to help promote the Stepping Stones name and cause in the community as much as possible.
Melanie has served on the Stepping Stonesâ€™ Board of Directors since 2006 and was our Board President in 2008-2012. As a Strategic Marketing Consultant, Melanie brings her experience in a variety of marketing disciplines, including managing multi-functional, complex organizations and projects, and has a proven track record in management, capabilities, processing, and translating consumer insight into actionable business strategy with both start-up companies and established brands. Melanieâ€™s other philanthropic endeavors include working with the SFMOMA Matches program for High School students as well as Children Uniting Nations (CUN). Melanie chooses to volunteer for Stepping Stones because she believes that we strengthen our community, as our programs foster inclusion and break down barriers of fear and misunderstanding.