The Board & Staff

Board of Directors 2022

Nick Skenteris, President
Michele Reeves, Vice President
Brooke Schmidt, Secretary
Riku Oinonen, Treasurer
Jay Blankenship
Matthew Collins
Marion Elliott
Amy Hallasy
Jimmy Kimbell
Dana Gantt Moore
Elizabeth Piper
Lee Sowell
Audra Vellucci
The Honorable Nick Theodore, President Emeritus


Lara Ceisel, Executive Director
Lashaun Scott, Bookkeeping
Chris Sparrow, Greenville CAN Program Manager
Hadlee Hoeksema, UP Employment Initiative Job Liaison
Robin Blackwood, PR/Marketing Coordinator
Lara Ceisel

Lara Ceisel

Executive Director

Lara is the Executive Director of the Barbara Stone Foundation which operates several programs and initiatives, including Greenville CAN and the UP Employment Initiative. Providing opportunities and support for the disability community has been Lara Ceisel’s work and passion for more than two decades. “The journey continues to be life-changing. In college, things took an extraordinary turn when a Chicago suburbs elementary school principal suggested that I apply for a teacher’s aide position in a Special Education classroom.”

While pursuing her degree in Special Education from Arizona State University, Lara worked as a ABA therapist for children with Autism, and participated in a graduate level Anthropology program. She moved to the Upstate in 2008 to work for YMCA Camp Greenville as a Program Coordinator and Outdoor Educator. In 2010 she began to work for Greenville County Rec as Area Director of Special Olympics Greenville, administrator for Camp Spearhead and supervisor to Spearhead’s Camper / Worker Program, where she lived and worked for 10 and a half years. Throughout her career, Lara has gained multi-faceted experience focused on the disability community, including accessibility, case management, education, employment, service provision, and recreation – and continues to collaborate with the many advocates, service providers, families, caregivers, and business professionals working in support of individuals with disabilities. Today, one of the things that motivates her is the importance of more options and equitable opportunities for people with disabilities. 

Lara is also a 300-level certified yoga instructor. During her time off, she teaches yoga and loves adventuring, whether hiking, going to concerts, or traveling to San Diego, CA to spend time with family, especially her niece and nephew.  

Chris Sparrow

Barbara Stone Foundation Greenville CAN Program Manager

Chris is the Program Manager for Greenville CAN. Chris is a native to Greenville, SC, and is dedicated to making Greenville, SC a better place to live and visit for people with disabilities. He graduated from Eastside High School and USC Upstate with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication. In 2012, Chris experienced a rare neurological event which left him paralyzed from the waist down. From that point Chris knew he was meant to serve a large purpose in life. Shortly afterwards, Chris became active in the local disability community, and began working in the disability advocacy field. Chris is especially interested in improving accessibility, adaptive sports and building a more engaged disability community in Greenville.

Hadlee Hoeksema

Barbara Stone Foundation UP Employment Initiative Job Liaison

Hadlee is BSF’s Job Liaison for the Upward Professionals (UP) Employment Initiative. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor Special Needs Population, from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, MI. Hadlee previously worked as a case manager for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities in both Illinois and South Carolina and has always had a passion for working in the disability field. Hadlee’s oldest brother has a rare genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome and she is motivated everyday to help educate, support, and advocate for him and others in the disability community. 

Robin Blackwood

Barbara Stone Foundation PR/Marketing Coordinator

Robin has been a volunteer for Greenville CAN since its formation serving on the Leadership Team and various workgroups. Robin has over 25 years of experience in Public Relations and Marketing and has expertise in strategic PR planning, media relations, social media and marketing campaigns. She serves as a champion for the disability community and is a former Commissioner for SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. She is currently a board member of Disability Rights of SC and chair of PAIDD Advisory Council, a member of Prisma Upstate Community Advisory Council, a League Academy PTA board member and on the school’s Student Improvement Council. She also is a member of the Washington Center’s Student Improvement Council. In 2011, Robin completed the Partners in Policymaking program, which is run by the Developmental Disabilities Council of SC. She grew up in Orangeburg, SC, has lived in Greenville since 1997 and is a graduate of University of South Carolina. Robin enjoys the beaches of SC, spending time with friends and family, and helping others understand thechallenges of those living with an intellectual disability.