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.

Board Members

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

Mike Keppler


Strategic Advisor

Inclusive Communities

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Board Member

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 Member

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 Member

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 Member

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 Member

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 Member

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 Member

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 Member

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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Board Member

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.

Staff Members

Claude Thomas


Coordinator, Programming and Community

Josue Amaya


Community Builder

Inclusive Communities

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Staff Member

Claude Thomas

Coordinator, Programming and Community

Our Stomping Ground

Claude coordinates Our Stomping Ground’s event programming and community outreach. As a neurodivergent individual with a background in public health, she has both lived and learned the impact of inclusive communities on individual and population well-being. Claude is now pursuing graduate studies at the University of Maryland School of Social Work with a focus on clinical behavioral health. Claude also enjoys watching historical dramas, hosting a queer book club, attending live shows, and sharing delicious South Indian cuisine with her family.

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Staff Member

Josue Amaya

Community Builder

Our Stomping Ground

Josue (Ho-Sway) joins Our Stomping Ground as our first Community Builder. Josue assists by being at our properties and supporting our adults while also assisting with OSG events. Prior to joining OSG, Josue held a number of positions that were all focused on helping others including refugees who were preparing their applications for legal entry into the United States, homeless men, substitute teaching, coaching high school rugby, and assisting people in affordable housing. When he’s not saving the world, Josue can be found at concerts, art exhibits, riding his bike, eating way too much KBBQ, and roaming his hometown of Washington DC.

Volunteers

Elaine Halchin


Photographer

Rosie Perdue


Programming

Beth Romano


Event Volunteer

Christi Nichols


Fundraising & Events

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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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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.

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Volunteer

Beth Romano

Event Volunteer

Our Stomping Ground

My name is Beth Romano. I am the “It’s Time For Trivia” leader. I have lived in 7 states and for the past 20 years, I have lived in Wisconsin with my husband. I have 3 sons who are grown and live nearby. The oldest is married and has a Labra-Doodle puppy named Stella. I am a retired nurse. I love to read, garden, draw, go for walks, and travel. I have been to over 40 countries. My favorites are France, Italy, and Spain. The most memorable things I’ve done were safaris in South Africa, staying in the Amazon Jungle, walking the Great Wall of China, entering King Tut’s tomb and experiencing the Holy Land of Israel. I am learning to speak French because it is a beautiful language and it’s so fun to go to France and talk with people!
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Volunteer

Christi Nichols

Fundraising & Events

Our Stomping Ground

Christi Nichols has recently joined OSG as a volunteer to organize fundraising opportunities and event planning.  She has experience in advertising and public relations and has also worked in the development office at the Lab School of Washington for many years.  Christi and her husband, Bob, have raised 3 children, 2 daughters and a son, Baxter, who was diagnosed with a learning difference and attended the Lab School of Washington from kindergarten through graduating High School. He will be graduating College this year thanks to the extended “community” of support and advocacy that we experienced as a family.  Christi is excited to continue that extension of  support and enrich the inclusive communities of OSG!