I have been a part of the I/DD community for over 25 years, I often like to tell people that I have been part of the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for my entire life. Every member of my immediate family has or is in some way working in the field of human services. I am also proud to say that I had 2 foster brothers, whom had developmental and intellectual disabilities; their lives had a substantial impact on shaping my perspective in how people with I/DD should be treated. Their perspective and mine is quite simple they wanted to be treated…no different than anyone else. I believe the people we support have dreams, wishes, and desires for their own life and I want to be here to help them achieve those dreams, wishes, and desires.
Prior to coming to Loveland I served in Senior Management roles at both Suburban Adult Services Inc. and Claddagh Commission Inc.; during that time, I focused on program development/expansion and gained an extensive knowledge of regulatory and corporate compliance. I started my professional career as a direct support staff member working in the day program for Aspire of WNY, then progressively moved to a number of professional roles including Service Coordination and management of residential services.
Working in this field has truly become my vocation I care about the people that I support and strive to advocate for both individuals and the staff members with whom I work. I try to understand the needs of the individuals, staff, and families and the balance needed to ensure the requirements of the agency are also being met. There is a great team here at Loveland and I am excited to continue the work here as we move forward helping the people we support live their lives to the fullest.
Equality Through Opportunity means to me; that everyone has the opportunity to live their lives in the manner in which they desire. I am not in the position to place a limit on that person but to give them the opportunity to reach their own dreams.
Jennifer Bushinger-Ortiz, Chief Philanthropy Officer
Before joining Loveland Center, Jennifer spent over 15 years in professional theatre at over 50 theatre companies in nearly 200 productions across the country. She has performed in two national tours taking her to 42 of the 50 states, taught children's theatre, directed Off-Broadway, costumed and wardrobed on and off- Broadway, and danced her way across two Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades on Santa's float. Her eclectic background has focused heavily on marketing, public relations, and donor and event management through Dramatists Guild of America, Cirque du Soleil, Street Meet Promotions, Big Apple Circus, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She has had the privilege to write and direct two original pieces for the United Nations World Religion Conference and the United Nation/National Global Organization's International Commission on the Status of Women Summit.
After relocating to Venice, FL several years ago, she is inspired daily by the possibilities to impact countless lives and raise awareness throughout the community on all that Loveland and its participants have to offer the world. She is a proud member of the American Fundraising Professionals (AFP), graduate of the Inaugural Leadership Class of Venice 2019, and a member of Gulf Coast Women in Networking, as well as several chambers of commerce.
“Equality Through Opportunity” means that each individual, regardless of their abilities, deserves the chance to be seen, to try new things, and experience anything the world has to offer.
Karen joined Loveland in May 1997 and was hired as Comptroller. She has had many title changes but still retains her original position, currently Chief Financial Officer. During her 21 years with Loveland she has overseen all aspects of the corporations finances, including the development and management of budgets, preparation of financial statements for the board and the public, Human Resources and has received clean audits for the agency every year since her arrival. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the College of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN.
What does ‘EQUALITY THROUGH OPPORTUNITY’ mean to me. To have the opportunity to identify the needs and ‘gifts’/strengths of individuals and provide the various training through life skills classes, employment training and supports so they can enrich and adapt their abilities to live the best life possible at home and in the community.
I’ve worked in this field for 28 years. I started as a DSP and I have worked every role to get to where I currently am, I am currently the Director of Quality Management and Administration at the Loveland Center. Equality through Opportunity: Means understanding that the individual’s we serve have the same rights that you and I have, and they have a right to lives that are meaningful to them, regardless of their diagnosis. Our job is to provide meaningful opportunities based on our individual’s life choices.
I am the Program Manager for the Venice Adult Day Program. I have over 15 years experience working with individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. My background is in residential services, personal supports, supported employment, coaching Special Olympics, and adult day training. Beyond my experience working with adults I also have experience in teaching autisic young adults with behavioral challenges, as well as college bound young adults. I have a passion for ensuring that full inclusion is what we strive to achieve, all individuals no matter their presumed ability should have the ability to dream big and work towards achieving those dreams.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CHAIR — Mr. David Williams
VICE-CHAIR — Ms. Laurie Huebner
TREASURER — Ms. Sydney Young
SECRETARY – Mr. A. Gary Johnson
PAST-CHAIR — Dr. Jim Woods
Mr. Johnny Britton Mr. Cordell Jeter Mr. Robert Lewandowski Mr. Donald Cogswell Ms. Elizabeth Skinner Mr. Justin Taylor Mr. Jack Drew Mr. Robert Keller Mr. Walter Pawlowski Mr. Brent Pinkerton
Emeritus Members: Sen. Nancy Detert Michael Harkins Karen Hough David Hunihan Mr. Robert Lewandowski Gregory C. Roberts