AFO Board Of Directors

President

Deborah Selsavage

Debbie Selsavage was introduced to dementia when she became a caregiver for her husband. Like many in her situation, she found it almost impossible to find information, support, and resources to deal with her difficult and exhausting task.

She believed there has to be a better way.

Debbie entered the field of memory care when she took a job as an administrative assistant at an assisted living facility, memory care in 2012.  Within 18 months she became a certified administrator, earning a Deficiency-Free rating at a memory care facility.

She became a Certified Trainer in Teepa Snow’s highly respected Positive Approach to Care, and in 2015 launched her own company, Coping with Dementia LLC.  A company aimed at education, training and bringing awareness to the community of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It’s mission is to make life better for individuals and families living with dementia.

She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, certified in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, and President of the Alzheimer’s Family Organization Board of Directors, has a monthly column in the Citrus County Chronicle. Has been a member of The Alzheimer’s Family Organization since 2005.

 

Vice President

Cheryl Courtright

Cheryl attended Ray Vogue School of Design in Chicago, Il. After graduating she joined Ethan Allen Furniture as an Interior Designer. She then became a National Trainer for Ethan Allen and spent several years traveling and training the Retail Store Network. Cheryl later joined Bassett Furniture as their Director of Training. After her Husband retired she found herself in the Villages, FL. Cheryl has been working with seniors since she moved to the Villages over 10 years ago. She currently the Executive Director of Mission Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care. She has two stepsons, one son, and two wonderful daughter in laws and six grandchildren ranging in age 23 years to 3 years. She loves spending time with her family and camping, boating and golfing.

Treasurer

Secretary

Bernie Fitzgerald

As owners of Senior Helpers in The Villages Home Health, Bernie and his wife, Bette, are committed to helping others by providing the highest quality of in-home care possible. Bernie was born in Michigan and grew up north of Detroit in Bloomfield Hills. He served in the Army and has a degree in Industrial Management from Lawrence Institute of Technology. Florida became home in 1980, and his business for 25 years, Fitzgerald Advertising, taught him many lessons, good and bad, with great accomplishments and valuable mistakes from which he learned and grew. The Fitzgerald’s have opened two Senior Helpers In Home Care offices specializing in care for folks that have Dementia/Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s along with other specialty care needs. Bernie serves on the AFO board of directors.  Bernie isn’t shy when he says, “The most important lesson my years have taught me is that God, family and business come in that order.”

Board Member

Glen Scharfeld

Senior Helpers owner/ CEO, Glen Scharfeld, M.S. is a Home Health Agency Administrator and Senior Care Specialist of several years, who also possesses over 20 years’ experience as a veteran law enforcement officer. As a Sheriff’s patrol supervisor, Glen conducted and oversaw multiple police investigations involving elderly victims. Glen has several years of experience in assisting, supporting and developing important daily solutions for our vulnerable, aging and frail population and their families. Glen works diligently with his team of Nurses and Client Care Team to ensure the safety and protection of Senior Helpers' clients and personnel. Senior Helpers also does very important work in educating Veterans about various types of home based benefits that are available to them. Glen is certified through the State of Florida to teach Alzheimer’s education for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) to various professionals in the medical community.

Board Member

Rick Wiggins

Rick is a native Floridian from Sanford, Florida. After becoming a firefighter and working with Orange County Fire Rescue for 10 years Rick married and moved to Lake County where he and his wife Pam now live. During the 22 years they have been together they raised their 3 children who all live here in Central Florida. Rick is currently employed in The Villages with the Vascular Vein Centers of Central Florida and continues to enjoy working in a position that allows him to help others maintain a healthy life.  Rick has an Aunt who struggled with Alzheimer’s disease until her passing and his wife Pam’s Grandmother also struggled with AD. Rick has a passion for anyone suffering with the difficulties of the disease and especially those providing care. He became an AFO support group facilitator in 2011 and continues to provide support for anyone in need.  He was voted to the board of directors for the AFO in 2015 and has participated as a volunteer/chairperson in the annual AFO fundraiser walk since 2013. Living on 5 acres in north Leesburg allows Rick and his wife time to enjoy their horses and chickens. They also love fishing, boating, camping, and spending time with friends around a bonfire.

Board Member

Kathleen Mengle

As a native of New Jersey, Kathleen moved to Florida in 2000. She attended Burlington Community College, Pasco Hernando College and Rasmussen College. She has spent a lifetime caring for the needs of the elderly community. In 1984, while volunteering for hospice, her passion in caring for others bloomed. Kathleen worked as a caregiver from 1988 to 1992. After a promotion as office staff member, she quickly moved up to regional manager for the state of New Jersey handling 3 offices and approximately 400 clients. Kathleen opened Elder Assistance, a privately owned agency, in 2002. She has been servicing the local elderly community for the past 14 year. In 2003, she was awarded a National Leadership Award by President Bush. As the primary caregiver of her 92-year-old grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s, Kathleen has firsthand knowledge on the toll the disease takes on the families and caregivers on both a professional and personal level. Because of this, she has a special interest in the study and supports of the Alzheimer’s population due to the personal involvement her family and herself has with the disease and the process the patients face on daily basis. She has devoted herself to the Alzheimer's community to ensure that no one is left to face this horrible disease alone.

Board Member

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins, was born in Detroit and raised in Utica, Michigan. He and his lovely wife Cindy have been married 40 years and live in Spring Hill now. Greg and Cindy have three great children and now their first grand-baby. Greg holds a Master’s Degree from Oakland University, his background is Psychology, and he worked for over 30 years in the field of Human Services. This included working with developmentally delayed adults, foster care, and adoption, emergency hotlines and 15 years with individuals with dementia. Greg has trained many in the field of parenting, cognitive loss, and dementia. He is now retired from Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County in Michigan. His volunteer work includes Crime Watch and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT – a nationwide, Federal, FEMA program), and he served on the Board of Directors for Southeastern American Indians. Greg loves to travel, read, and help others. He has a rare depth and capacity for compassion (which you will feel when you read the article he wrote for this newsletter), and I can tell you this… with all of his education, experience, and diverse interests, we are counting our blessings that he chose to help govern the AFO.

Board Member

Kathy Postiglione

Kathy Postiglione joined the Board in November of 2016. Kathy has been the Chief Operations/Sr. VP of Business Operations for Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care, located on Collier Parkway in Land O’Lakes since 2014. In this role, she oversees the clinical operations for patients. Kathy began her career with Gulfside Hospice in 2004 as their Director of Nursing, and then moved into the position of VP of Operations & Chief Operations Officer. Kathy was born in Colonia, New Jersey and moved to Florida because she and her husband had always dreamed of living her, so they decided to make that happen. Kathy and her husband John live in Lakeland and they have three children and one grandchild. Kathy has an AAS in Chemistry, a BS in Nursing, and a MBA in Healthcare Management. She is also a certified healthcare compliance professional. Kathy serves on the fundraising sub-committee on the Board and assisted on the Fashion Show fundraising committee which was held on June 21st. Kathy brings several wonderful ideas to the fundraising sub-committee. Kathy has always had a passion for caring for the ill and the elderly and for community education. She feels very blessed to have met a variety of different people throughout her life and has had so many wonderful experiences that have shaped her and influenced her values. We are grateful for Kathy’s passion and desire to serve on our Board and allow us to gain from her experience with the mission to make the AFO a better, stronger organization with all efforts to provide quality services to our caregivers and their loved ones.

Board Member

Karen Mercer

Karen was born and raised in Bethany, Connecticut and relocated to Florida as a newlywed, residing in Fruitland Park since 1991.  She has two children, Dana who live locally and Cason who went home to Jesus in 2015. She has three beautiful grandchildren whom she adores.  Karen’s hobbies include boating, kayaking, Gator football and spending time with family. Karen is the Community Outreach Director at  Parady Life & Annuity in The Villages Florida. She is also the administrator of the Parady Cares Foundation, Inc. a 501c3 organization that focuses on the needs of Seniors, Children, Veterans and less fortunate individuals. The Foundation provides her the perfect platform to fulfill her passion of serving others. Karen is an energetic and happy person who loves people and strives to help others.  In 2008 when Pastor Sidney Brock asked her to help “birth” Project Legacy, a 501c3 organization in Fruitland Park, FL, Karen immediately accepted and has played an active role ever since.  Karen pursued a degree in Marketing at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, she was the Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A The Villages for five years and has been very active in the senior market since 2009. In 2017 Karen joined the AFO Board.

Board Member

Michael Benetto

Michael was born in Princeton, New Jersey and relocated to Florida as a child where he grew up in the New Port Richey area. In 2003 he and his wife, Louisa built a home.  Michael and Louisa have been married for 18 years and have one son, Christopher who is 17 years old.   They have 2 (high energy) Beagles named  Baxter & Chelsea. Michael has worked for BB&T for 13 years (9 of which have been in Spring Hill.) His wife is an office manager for Brooks Health and Rehab in Bayonet Point and their son is completing his senior year at Weeki Wachee High School. The Bennetto’s hobbies include spending time with their close circle of friends (whom they consider family), camping, trail riding on 4 wheelers, and many other outdoor activities. Michael also enjoys spending time in his community and making a difference where he can. Michael has been a Board member of AFO since 2017.

Board Member

Katrina Butler