Karen joined Special Friends Foundation in March of 2021 as the Executive Director. She has extensive experience in developing and overseeing group homes, day programs, and rehabilitative programs for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Autism as well as rare syndromes and traumatic brain injuries. Karen earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from York College of PA, her Master's Degree in Human Services Administration from Springfield College in Wilmington, DE and her Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology from Immaculata University. Karen grew up in Delaware County, PA and currently lives in West Chester, PA.
Nick joined Special Friends as a consultant in January of 2021 and was hired as the full time Director of Residential Services in March of 2021. He has 10 years of experience in developing and managing residential programs throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. Nick joined Special Friends because he was impressed to be a part of a family run organization that places its focus on quality of life for the individuals. Nick earned his Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Temple University and his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of work he is interested in traveling, live music, and the outdoors.
Heather has been serving the disability community since 1996. Originally from Lakewood, Colorado, she has family members with disabilities, including her father. Heather has a Bachelor's of Organizational Management from Ashford University and a Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Saint Joseph’s University. She is a licensed Behavior Specialist, and holds credentials in ACRE, Dual Diagnosis, Person-Centered Services, and Trauma-Informed Care.
Heather’s passion for her work stems from an abiding philosophy that all people deserve dignity, compassion and access to choices, regardless of labels or ability levels. She has won local and international awards for program design. Heather is delighted to be part of the Special Friends and contributing to the growth of creative, personal, and accessible services for our individuals.