Susan Ventura, President & Chief Executive Officer

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Susan Ventura, President and Chief Executive Officer has been a part of the Easterseals Florida family for over 36 years where she has led with a deep personal commitment to the communities we serve, and the donors who support our work. Under her direction as CEO, Easterseals Florida effectively fulfills its mission to make profound, positive differences in people's lives every day. Since Sue became CEO in 2005, Easterseals has more than doubled in size financially and exponentially grown in the innovative programs we offer. Sue proudly leads an experienced and successful executive team with an average tenure of 17 years. 

After graduating with her BS in Rehabilitation Service, Sue received her Certified Rehabilitation Counseling credential, as well as designation as a sign language interpreter. Sue earned her Master of Science Degree from Florida State University in Rehabilitation Counseling and is a graduate of the Florida International University’s Leading Decisions leadership program. Professionally, Sue has received some of the highest honors including being recognized in 2010 as one of the top Women-Led Businesses in Florida, was nominated as a Woman of Distinction in Central Florida, and in 2016 Easterseals Florida was honored as an outstanding nonprofit in Tampa Bay. 

As an active member of Easterseals Affiliate Leadership Network (ALN), Sue was peer-elected to serve two consecutive terms as Chair of the ALN and an ex-officio member of the Easterseals National Board of Directors. She has also been appointed to Easterseals National workgroups such as Strategic Realignment, Brand Renaissance, Unified Fundraising Team and she assists with new CEO orientation. Sue enjoys traveling, to Iowa to visit her daughter, Rachel, Son-in-Law, Ross, and grandchildren Dillon and Ellie. A golf enthusiast and avid tennis player, Sue lives in booming Lake Nona, Orlando with her husband, Gary.


Rob Porcaro, Chief Administrative Officer

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Rob Porcaro joined the Easterseals Florida team in April 2005 as the Executive Director of Monroe County operations. Currently, as the Chief Administration Officer, Rob oversees a variety of functions including: Early Steps contract, Managed Care contracting, Risk Management, Strategic Planning, Facility Maintenance, and Contract compliance. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology, Rob pursued a career in healthcare. He worked with Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Cigna, various hospital systems, and multi-specialty physician groups. He applied his knowledge of the healthcare industry to the non-profit sector, in an effort to further the mission of Easterseals. Rob currently resides in Palm Beach County and is actively pursuing additional credentials in the field of training.

Rikesha Blake, Chief Financial Officer

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Rikesha Blake is the Chief Financial Officer of Easterseals Florida. As CFO, Rikesha is responsible for all the organization's financial functions including accounting, audit, the development and management of budgets, tax reporting, and insurance administration. She joined Easterseals Florida in 2012 and has over 15 years of accounting experience. Before she was named CFO, Rikesha was VP of Accounting where she oversaw the organization's financial reporting, accounts receivable & payable process, managed the general ledger, cash management, and the preparation of financial statements. As the most recent Corporate Compliance Officer, Rikesha is committed to maintaining the high level of integrity and transparency for which Easterseals Florida is known. Rikesha also serves on the Easterseals Florida State Board of Directors as staff liaison to the Audit, Endowment, and Fiscal Committees. Rikesha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Managerial Accounting from Kaplan University as well as a Master of Business Administration (Summa Cum Laude). Rikesha has also received her Nonprofit Accounting Certification and completed the Nonprofits First Rising Leader program. Rikesha lives in Lake Mary with her husband and three sons. She enjoys music, dance, and theater.

Stephanie Wallace, Chief Program Officer

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Stephanie Wallace, Chief Program Officer, joined the Easterseals Florida team in 2016. She started her Easterseals career in West Palm Beach as an Associate Vice President of Programs and has served as Vice President and Sr. Vice President of Programs.  Stephanie has an extensive background in both program and grant development and administration. Before coming to Easterseals, Stephanie spent her career furthering educational opportunities for individuals of all abilities at the secondary and post-secondary levels. In her current role as CPO, she oversees the center and community programming throughout the state including early intervention, child development, mental and behavioral health, vocational and life-skills training, workforce development, autism, and senior services. Stephanie earned her Bachelor's degree from Wesleyan College, and Master's degree from Florida Institute of Technology. Stephanie is an active volunteer and board member of the Treasure Coast Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America group. She lives in Port St. Lucie with her husband of 30+ years, Tim, a veteran of the US Army. Stephanie is also a proud mom to a daughter - a Navy veteran currently working as an Astrophysicist for the defense industry, a son - active duty Marine Aviation Tech, and a daughter-in-law who is a surgical ICU Nurse. In her free time, she enjoys participating in a monthly book club and spending time at the beach.

Suzanne Caporina, Senior Vice President of Operations

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Suzanne Caporina, Senior Vice President of Operations, has been advocating for children and adults with disabilities and their families for more than 24 years. Suzanne started her Easterseals career in Transportation Services in Brevard County. Her strong leadership and passion for our clients and families led her on a career path in adult programs and services. Currently, as part of the Senior Leadership Team, Suzanne oversees a variety of functions including, Safety and Risk Management, Program Data Analytics, Contract Management, Facility Operations, Program Compliance, and Camping and Recreation. Suzanne was recognized as the 2016 winner of the Rhoda and Bert Ventura Leadership Award and is often caught providing her support and mentorship to new staff and colleagues. Suzanne has a love for Florida's beautiful coastal areas and spends lots of free time on one of its sandy beaches or beautiful golf courses.

Marissa Barrera, Senior Vice President of Early Intervention Services

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Marissa Barrera, Senior Vice President of Early Intervention Services, has more than 35 years of experience in early intervention services working with and advocating for young children with disabilities and their families. She is a subject matter expert on IDEA Part C regulations and funding opportunities related to a broad spectrum of programs at the federal, state, and local levels. Her leadership of this high-quality state-funded program has set examples for others across the state and nation. She has extensive program knowledge including that of Service Coordination Supervision, local quality assurance, procedural safeguards, and staff training that ensure appropriate oversight and accountability for the implementation of the Early Steps Program. Marissa lives in Boca Raton with her husband and 2 children. She is an avid reader and absolutely loves animals.

Cynthia Pagan, Vice President of People & Culture

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Cynthia Pagan joined the Easterseals Florida team in June 2019 as the Vice President of People & Culture. Cynthia oversees the Human Resources department, including recruitment, onboarding, benefits, health & safety, performance management, and employee relations. She has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, with 5 of her most recent years in the nonprofit sector. Cynthia received her Masters in Human Resources Management from Devry's Keller Graduate School of Management. She was introduced to the nonprofit industry in Milwaukee, WI, where she was born and raised. Her leadership includes comprehensive experiences in advocating for organizational talent with a special focus on supporting and coaching supervisors on employee relations, managing employee retention programs, supporting organizational diversity, and advancing the HR code of ethics. Cynthia currently resides in the Central Florida area with her husband and son. She enjoys the beach, reading, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, spending quality time with her family, and raising her son by teaching him about their Hispanic roots in the Puerto Rican and Mexican culture.

Maria Shorkey, Vice President of Development

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Maria Shorkey is the Vice President of Development for Easterseals Florida. She is responsible for providing supervision and leadership of the development team, coordinating fundraising and stewardship activity as well as encouraging the sharing of resources and strengths to ensure the meeting of fundraising goals. Maria has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She was recognized as a 2020 "Super Woman" by Orlando Family Magazine for providing education and opportunities to youth experiencing homelessness. Her background includes planning and implementing effective initiatives to steward long-term relationships with individual donors, corporations, and foundations. She started working in the nonprofit sector shortly after obtaining her bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton. Maria has been a resident of Orange County since 1999, when she moved here from her hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Maria enjoys spending time with her family, hiking in nature, relaxing at the beach, and reading.

Michael Slaymaker, MHR, Vice President of Grants & Planned Giving

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Michael Slaymaker joined Easterseals Florida in August 2010. Mr. Slaymaker has over 30 years of experience in the fundraising and administration of nonprofit organizations. Michael has raised over $35 million for charities. He earned his Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources from Rollins College. Michael is an active board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Central Florida Chapter. He holds the distinction of Certified Fundraising Executive Emeritus. In 2011, he was honored as the Outstanding Fundraising Professional for Central Florida. Michael is noted by the Orlando Sentinel as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Central Florida for his expertise in the nonprofit sector and his highly regarded activism work for LGBTQ rights. Individuals wishing to learn more about Michael's skills and accomplishments can view his LinkedIn profile.

Jill Gentry, Vice President of Programs

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Jill Gentry joined Easterseals Florida in June 2018. Currently, as Vice President of Programs, Jill oversees several Central Florida programs including adult and senior services, employment training for youth and adults, BCBA therapy, and disability navigation services. She has 30 years of non-profit management experience and an MS in Health Administration from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining Easterseals, Jill had a consulting company.   Her previous experience includes: Executive Director for CBC of Central Florida, where she was responsible for the Seminole County child welfare diversion, case management, adoptions, and independent living services and a Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) systems of care grant. Executive Director of PACE Center for Girls where she managed all Orange County programming, fundraising, grant writing, human resource, board liaison, legislative advocacy, and Center quality assurance. Senior Vice President & Vice President for Human Services Associate where she was responsible for Juvenile Assessment Centers, a Community Assessment & Intervention Center, an Addiction Receiving Facility, and substance abuse and mental health programs that served @16,000 clients annually.  She managed SAMHSA, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) grants. Jill resides in Winter Park with her husband.

Jenn Siffermann, Vice President of Programs

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Jenn Siffermann has been with Easterseals Florida since 2013. Jenn earned a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction for Early Childhood Education from the University of South Florida. Jenn comes from a background in education and school administration prior to joining the Easterseals team. She taught young children from age three to Kindergarten as a certified teacher and spent several years as an Early Childhood Coordinator and Assistant Principal in a local Catholic School. She joined the Easterseals team as a Respite Care Coordinator overseeing the Military Respite Program in the Tampa Bay area in 2013, and moved into her current role in 2017. She has spent over 25 years working and advocating for children and families in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, Jenn oversees the School for Limitless Learning, The Incredible Years, The Early Learning and Intervention Program, The PLAY Project, and the Naples LEAP Program. She resides in the Tampa Bay area with her husband and two daughters and enjoys all things Harry Potter, Cocoa Beach, and traveling with her family as much as possible.

Olabisi Baruwa-Castro, MBA, Vice President of Programs and Program Director

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Vice President of Programs and Program Director for Southernmost Coast Early Steps, Olabisi Baruwa-Castro has a career spanning over a decade in early intervention services. Olabisi has dedicated herself to providing vital services to young children and families in need. From 2005-2014, Olabisi was a Service Coordinator for the University of Miami's Early Steps Program. Drive by a desire to expand her knowledge and impact, OIabisi pursued a master's degree in Health Care Administration. Armed with this additional expertise, she embraced a leadership role as the Director for the Family Services Component of the Early Coalition of Miami and Monroe Counties' Early Head Start Program. In this capacity, she played a pivotal role in ensuring that families received comprehensive support, including health services, educational resources, and social-emotional assistance. In 2018, Olabisi came full circle when she was appointed as the Program Director for the Early Steps Southernmost Coast. This role allowed her to leverage her vast experience and expertise to lead a team dedicated to providing early intervention services in the region. Olabisi oversees the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring that every child in need receives the support necessary for their optimal development.

Christy Gillette, Associate Vice President of Programs

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Christy Gillette joined the Easterseals Florida team in 2022 as an Associate Vice President of Programs.Christy earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida and her Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Webster University. She is certified as a Field Traumatologist. Currently, Christy oversees the Palm Bay Adult Day Training Program, Workforce Development, and the Igoe-Amar Child Development Center in West Palm Beach. Before joining Easterseals Florida, she served as a Program Director for an Adult Day Training Program, Human Resource Director, and Mental Health Therapist for Children and Families. Christy resides with her husband, son, and dog. She enjoys spending time with her family, music, and reading. 

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