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Our Team Members

The Board and Management of the center have raised the bar and have recruited the best in the field to serve consumers in Pinellas and Pasco counties. The Disability Achievement Center seeks dedication, determination and expertise from those who join its team. Each person has personal as well as professional experience with disability. Many are living examples and mentors to the centers consumers of what people with disabilities can achieve.

Arlene Petrunich

Office Manager

Arlene joined the Disability Achievement Center team in March 2021 after she and her husband, Mike, moved to Florida from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Julia Michalka

Program Services Coordinator

Julia returned to her old stomping grounds at DAC in the fall of 2016. Since then, she has been promoted to programs supervisor. She has worked in the disability field since 2003 serving in various roles: Ticket to Work manager for a local deaf service agency, coordinator and supervisor for a sister Center for Independent Living and as a facilitator at DAC. She is a mother of 5 children who are all grown and leading productive, independent lives. She is now a proud "Babi" of a beautiful grand-daughter.

Richard DeOrsey

Accounting Manager

Richard joined the Disability Achievement Center Team in November of 2017. He and his wife, Donna, relocated to Florida from their lifelong home in Rhode Island to be closer to their son and grandchildren.

Vickie Penkuhn

Consumer Service Specialist

After retiring from my position as an ILF with DAC 10 months ago, I’m back. I was offered the opportunity to return as the Consumer Services Specialist and jumped at the chance of being part of this amazing organization again. I look forward to supporting our Consumers and Staff in this new adventure.

Christine Sears

Receptionist / Administrative Assistant

Christine has spent her career as an advocate for people with disabilities in New York State. For over twenty years Christine was the Director of Development and Public Relations for The Arc of Madison Cortland working on capital campaigns, planned giving, grant writer, special events and state and federal government liaison.

Kim Dittman

Independent Living Facilitator

Kim joined our team in June 2016. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Shannon Lensing

Independent Living Facilitator

Shannon Lensing has over 14 years’ experience working in social services. She worked for several nonprofits that include Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services and the Area Agency on Aging Pasco Pinellas. Shannon has extensive history working in case management. Shannon has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas at Rock. She is passionate about working with disabled and elderly consumers. Shannon has volunteered with the Red Cross and recently helped with Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief. When she is not working she spends time listening to live music, gardening and playing with her dog Hobbes.

Jody Armstrong

Director of Outreach

Jody has been a Pinellas County resident since 1999. She graduated from University of Central Florida with a degree in Adult Education while working as a Training Instructor for USAirways.

Nicole Reed

Executive Director

As Executive Director Nicole oversees all Center Operations with the goal of increasing the access and independence of people with disabilities.

Ulysses Alexander

Independent Living Facilitator

I have been in the helping professions (human/social services) for 10 plus years to include Directions for Living, Early Learning Coalition and AMI Kids. I graduated from under grad in 2000 earing a B.S. in Corrections/Criminal Justice and started my career as Probation Officer. I also ran a business providing various services to people with disabilities. After gaining extensive work experience, I decided to attend graduate school where I earned a M.S. in Human Services with a specialization in family studies and intervention strategies

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