Meet the Team

Get to know the dedicated group of people behind Our Stomping Ground. Each brings a passion for the disability community and many are parents of adults or kids with disabilities. As a team we believe that empowering these young adults by giving them the opportunity for independent living with the support of a strong community, will lead to more fulfilling lives.

Paula Manion


Founder and Chair

Joe Manion


President and Co-Founder

Jacqui Winters


Founding Director, Strategic Planning

Bruce Finland


Director, Housing

Donna Budway


Director, Programming and Community Outreach

Fredda Hurwitz


Director, Strategic Marketing

Kris McHarg


Secretary

Stephanie Cohen


Director, Digital Strategy

Caroline Cunningham


Digital Marketing Specialist

Anna Araujo


Social Media Strategist

Elaine Halchin


Photographer

Michael Croteau


Lead Developer

Mike Keppler


Strategic Advisor

Rosie Perdue


Programming

Inclusive Communities

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Board Members

Paula Manion

Founder and Chair

Our Stomping Ground

Paula Manion is the Founder and Chair of Our Stomping Ground – Inclusive Communities.  She is a strong and passionate leader of the mission to create affordable, inclusive communities and meaningful lives for adults with disabilities. Paula’s belief is that the greatest barriers adults with disabilities face are not their disability–they are the barriers to housing, employment and meaningful social experiences.  When not wearing her ‘Our Stomping Ground‘ superhero’ outfit, she serves the community as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Primary Care Mental Health Specialist with a special focus on advocacy and care of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and mental health issues.  She and her husband reside in Northern VA where they have raised their three children, the oldest of whom has autism.

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Board Members

Joe Manion

President and Co-Founder

Our Stomping Ground

Joe led the effort to organize Our Stomping Ground into a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a Board of Directors, by-laws, and committees. He works with the Board to ensure OSG accomplishes long-term priorities and overall mission. In particular, Joe seeks to change how the public perceives adults with disabilities, that “different” has a vital place in our neighborhoods. Joe’s previous experience includes military aviation, military assistance programs with US allies, and defense acquisition programs.

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Board Members

Jacqui Winters

Founding Director, Strategic Planning

Our Stomping Ground

Jacqui is a Board Member and one of the Founding Directors of Our Stomping Ground and a Principal at Deloitte Consulting.  She and her husband, David have two sons – Henry and Luther. Henry was identified as autistic at the age of four, after he started preschool and it was noticed that his communication and social skills were less developed than the other children his age. Since that time, Ms. Winters has been active in school advocacy and ensuring her kids are included in classroom and extracurricular activities. Both of her boys are very active in theatre and music, including school musicals and a local rock band. Jacqui has been a management consultant since 2001, serving clients in the Government. Prior to her experience in consulting, Ms. Winters led non-profit management for a healthcare services provider in rural Northwest Colorado. At Deloitte, Jacqui leads Deloitte’s Change Strategy & Analytics practice where she helps leaders to systematically influence their organization to perform better and to achieve their goals. She has a B.A. in English from Lenoir-Rhyne College and an M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary.

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Board Members

Bruce Finland

Director, Housing

Our Stomping Ground

Bruce oversees the organization’s initiatives in the area of real estate development, with a focus on special-needs housing.  He is currently Managing Director of MED Developers LLC, a real estate development firm that develops and manages multi-family properties in the area.  Bruce and his wife Glen raised three sons in McLean, VA, the youngest on the autism spectrum.  Glen is the author of the book “Next Stop”, about the summer she spent teaching David how to navigate the DC Metro System and achieve some of his own independence.

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Board Members

Donna Budway

Director, Programming and Community Outreach

Our Stomping Ground

Donna has served as a community organizer in Arlington for the past two decades.  She is active in autism advocacy, LGBTQ teen supports, and tutoring for at risk students.  Donna and her husband Robert have three children, their youngest Emma, a non-speaking autistic, lives with her friends in Our Stomping Ground’s first community, Gilliam Place in Arlington.  Donna manages our programming and is instrumental with her outreach in sharing the mission and the importance of making community.  Her passion is in developing and sustaining inclusive settings and ensuring  the well being for adults of all abilities. 

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Board Members

Fredda Hurwitz

Director, Strategic Marketing

Our Stomping Ground

Fredda brings 25+ years of global brand strategy and marketing to Our Stomping Ground, having spent the better part of her life living and working in Europe before returning to the states 2.5 years ago, where she is the Founder & Chief Nut of her own strategic marketing consultancy, Gingernut Thinking. As a mom to two rather awesome (human) children and one furry one, Fredda feels strongly that OSG found her at just the right time in her life vs the other way round. It’s simple really: her younger son is on the spectrum and down the line, may very well need the type of support and access that OSG provides. Who wouldn’t want to get involved with a cause that can help make a child’s life better? 

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Board Members

Kris McHarg

Secretary

Our Stomping Ground

Kris joined our organization in the Fall of 2019.  With a career in healthcare spanning over 40 years, she has served both the Navy and the community as a nurse and  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  She is a close friend and colleague of Paula Manion.  Kris believes strongly in the mission of Our Stomping Ground. She serves as Secretary on the Executive Board and assists the team in research and development associated with programming for OSG members.  She is an outstanding team member, always willing to help out wherever needed.

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Board Members

Stephanie Cohen

Director, Digital Strategy

Our Stomping Ground

Stephanie Cohen is a digital strategist with expertise in e-commerce, content creation and marketing. She worked for AOL for more than 13 years and then went on to work for several small companies overseeing their e-commerce site and marketing efforts. She helped City Center NOVA get their website and e-mail marketing launched, and worked on the 2.0 version of the website. Stephanie lives in Vienna, VA, with her husband, daughter (who is on the spectrum) and two furry felines.

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Staff Member

Caroline Cunningham

Digital Marketing Specialist

Our Stomping Ground

Caroline Cunningham brings Our Stomping Ground’s email marketing to life and also contributes to the social media, website, and content creation side of things. She brings passion to her work through seeing how independent living has deeply impacted her older sister’s life who has a disability. Before joining OSG, Caroline’s background has been in the mental health field and as an ABA therapist to children with autism. Outside of work, she loves to explore new places and has even started her own travel blog.

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Staff Member

Anna Araujo

Social Media Strategist

Our Stomping Ground

Anna helps create and disseminate social content for Our Stomping Ground (OSG) alongside Caroline and Marisa. She joined OSG in October but has been working with us since August. Anna was a part of the rebranding team and helped develop a social media plan for our new look! She’s created graphics, posts and helped develop the overall aesthetic for OSG on social media. Since officially joining the team, she has continued that process, as well as help create a smooth transition for our rebrand. In her off time, Anna likes to dig into a good book or spend time with her family.

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Volunteer

Elaine Halchin

Photographer

Our Stomping Ground

Having been bitten by the photography bug during a family trip when she was in high school, Elaine enjoys taking photos of a variety of subjects. Combining her love of travel and photography, she has taken photos at a family wedding in India, strived to capture that perfect image of a Hawaiian sunset, and documented a wintertime trip to Vermont. Elaine is also busy taking photos closer to home; notably, she takes photos for her church and a couple of nonprofit organizations and is delighted to have the opportunity to photograph the members, team, and volunteers of Our Stomping Ground. Elaine is an analyst with a legislative branch agency.

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Michael Croteau

Lead Developer

Our Stomping Ground

Michael is the founder of CrowToes Custom Development and the lead developer for Our Stomping Ground. He brings over 10 years of experience in custom wordpress development and marketing automation to the team helping us achieve our online goals. When he’s not tinkering in PHP, building new things in React or making the web beautiful with CSS, Michael and his wife Tamara enjoy jeeping in the Rocky Mountains, soaking in their local hot springs and taking long walks with their cuddly, and completely spoiled fur-baby, Morphy.

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Board Members

Mike Keppler

Strategic Advisor

Our Stomping Ground

Mike Keppler comes to OSG as a strategic advisor to the organization and board to assist in implementing the strategic plan and fund development.   Mike is a former Marriott executive, a prior Chair and Board leader with Melwood, and has supported and advised other non-profits providing day programs and employment services.   Mike and Patti, his wife, have lived in Fairfax, VA with their three children, Ross, Christian and Graciela, since 1990.  Their oldest son is a person with autism.   Mike coaches Challenger baseball with Fairfax Little League for special needs individuals ages 5 to 30.  Mike and Patti have established a ministry for adults with special needs called “Love is All You Need” at St Stephens Church in Burke that is focused on being part of a church family and providing community activities including supporting a food bank, hosting dances, and learning to kayak.

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Volunteer

Rosie Perdue

Programming

Our Stomping Ground

Scotch and Rosie Perdue are new to the Our Stomping Grounds team along with their adult daughter Maggie. They are a Navy family who moved around quite a bit over the last 30 years, but Rosie retired from the Navy Nurse Corps this past spring, and Scotch will retire from the Judge Advocate General’s Corps next spring. They all three plan to settle in the local area and are looking forward to being active with Our Stomping Ground in myriad ways including helping to plan meetings and events to help young adults develop independence and engage socially.