AFO Board Of Directors
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Katrina Butler, Community Outreach Manager for Meridien Research, has been in the medical field for 17 years. Dedicating the last 4 to Alzheimer's Clinical Trial awareness and caregiver education. Her experience ranges from patient care to education. Focusing on educating the community about patient advocacy and promoting positive conversations with patient's providers.
Meridien Research is an independent research facility in the Tampa Bay area that has been servicing the Bay area since 2000. 5 of their 6 clinical research sites are actively enrolling patients in dynamic Alzheimer's clinical trials. Katrina is dedicated to educating the community on how to participate in clinical trials and changing the stigma associated with clinical research participation.
Katrina joined the AFO in 2017 and she serves on the Board of Directors with the Alzheimer's Family Organization. Working closely with the medical and clinical education components of the caregiver education events.
Ron was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania and moved to Florida after earning his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Penn State University. Ron has been married to Danielle for over 10 years. They have on daughter, Hayden and one son, Noah. Ron is a Financial Adviser with Edward Jones where he focuses on serving the financial needs of individual investors of all ages and financial means. He has built his business by treating clients as he would want to be treated, a simple idea that still makes sense in today's complex marketplace. Ron serves clients of all backgrounds throughout the country.
Ron was exposed to Dementia at a young age. After watching his great grandmother suffer through the disease, and the impact it had on his family, he has always admired the caregiver's strength and perseverance. Ron joined the Alzheimer's Family Organization Board of Directors in 2017 and works closely with the financial, medical and educational aspect of the organization.
Bill was born in Alexandria, Virginia and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Bill began his career in the home health industry in 2011 first with Comfort Keepers and has been with Senior Helpers in Hernando, Citrus and East Pasco since 2014. In his role as Client Service Manager has made countless partnerships with many facilities in the service area. He has been married for seventeen years. He has one son and one daughter. His son has four children, ranging in ages 3 years to 20 years in age.
Bill joined the Alzheimer’s Family Organization Board of Directors in July of 2017. Since joining us, he has been a very active participant on the Board. He ensures the Virtual Dementia Tour is available for our events in the service area of Senior Helper’s. Bill has also jumped in with positive feedback on changes we could make to become more successful. He has become the Editor of The Caregiver’s Companion, and serves on the Marketing Sub-committee. Bill brings enthusiasm, knowledge, and commitment to his role on the Board.
Tyler was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, until moving to Florida with his family as a teenager. He and his family relocated to the Sunshine State so his ill grandfather could be in a better environment to enjoy his remaining time on earth. Tyler became committed to the health care field after learning the struggles of his grandfather and developed a passion for serving others in the health care arena. He went on to work in medical practices, hospitals, and rehabs and is currently growing with Concierge Home Care as a Senior Care Liaison since 2015. In 2017, Tyler graduated from Rasmussen College in Ocala with a Bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration and is currently on scholarship at the Mitchell-Hamline School of Law to complete his certificate in Law & Leadership in Healthcare. In his free time, Tyler enjoys fishing, boating, running, and working with his animals on the farm in Lady Lake, Florida. As a board member since March 2018, Tyler hopes to grow awareness for Alzheimer's and help others navigate the complexities of health care.