2022 SFN Dads Virtual Conference
Lenn Boston of Kalamazoo, MI, is a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, real estate agent, and father of four, including a daughter with Angelman Syndrome. He is also a board member of Parent To Parent a national non-profit dedicated to serving parents raising children with special healthcare needs. Lenn is also a SFN Mentor Father and featured in episode #185 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast.
Mary Anne Ehlert
Dr. Al Freedman
Dr. Al Freedman, a licensed psychologist, has provided child, adolescent, adult and family psychotherapy, as well as consultation to schools, health care organizations, rare disease advocacy organizations, and biopharmaceutical companies for over 20 years. He specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families, and has a special interest in families affected by disability and complex medical conditions. Dr. Freedman has written and spoken widely on the topic of caring for children with special health care and educational needs. He has served as a Consulting Psychologist at Westtown School, Delaware Valley Friends School, BAYADA Home Health Care, and Novartis Gene Therapies. He is a member of many professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.
An award-winning Fortune 500 team builder, Sean Farrell’s professional skills include the development of national sales teams for the healthcare companies he serves. Serving as the VP for Sales and Strategy, he came to RDx BioScience after tenures at Sagenex Labs, where he led the diagnostics division of Townsend Treatment Centers, and Addiction Labs, where he launched a national brand and sales team for American Addiction Centers. At LabCorp, Sean’s teams earned back-to-back #1 national rankings, a first for the world’s largest laboratory. Before LabCorp, Sean led a national team for HospiScript Services, and co-founded CyberMarket, a partner of America Online and early pioneer in internet marketing.
Sean is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and he admits he can be a loud fan when the Vols are playing.
Sean, his wife Jenee, and sons Sam and Joshua have lived in Franklin since 2016. The entire family is grateful for the programs at GiGi’s Playhouse, where 12-year old Sam especially enjoys classes in music and cooking. Jenee has been active in GiGi’s Gala Committee, and Sean previously served on the Board of Directions for the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads. Sean is also a SFN Mentor Father and was featured in episode #59 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast.
Duncan Keya of Nairobi, Kenya, is the father of four children and works as a Designated Migration Officer at the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi. He and his wife, Faith, have been married for 6 years and are the proud parents of four children including Luka (5), who has Autism and Khalayi (2) who has Albinism. Duncan also leads the SFN Nairobi Dads Meetup Group, is a SFN Mentor Father and was featured in episode #201 of the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast.
Damion started working in the environmental business at the age of 19. In 1999 he opened his own business, NES Environmental, which has had exponential growth since it began. In October 2020, he purchased a 5-acre farm and intended to use it for his business’ storage needs. However, God planted a seed in his life for the farm to take a different course. Inspired by his son, Carter who was born with Down syndrome, Navarro Farm was born as a place to grow for individuals with special needs. In March of 2021, the transformation began and proceeded at an incredible pace. The barn and farmhouse were gutted inside and out, eighty–four raised planter beds were built for vegetables, a fruit orchard was planted, a grape vineyard was established, beehives installed for harvesting honey and improving crop production, a custom chicken coop was built to house forty chickens, and a goat barn which houses six Nigerian dwarf goats. All of the Farm’s goods are sold in their very own mobile farm stand, Carter’s Corner. In July of 2021, while seeing the increased interest and more so the immediate need in the community, Navarro Farm opened to provide programming for the special needs community. With just less than 9 months in operation, Navarro Farm has served nearly 100 individuals with specials needs and looks to more than double that number in its second season.
Damion lives in Frankfort, Illinois with his wife Sherri and their three children, Autumn, Carter, and Selah.
Kevin Phillips was born and raised in Florida and, throughout his life, has also lived in North Carolina, Connecticut, Hungary, and now Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University where he majored in History. Kevin and his wife Joy have celebrated 34 years of marriage and have two daughters: Christiana, an alumna of Taylor University, and Briana, a high school graduate with Down syndrome who is planning to attend Shepherds College in the fall of 2022.
Prior to joining our team, the Phillips served as missionaries with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism for eleven years; seven of those in Hungary.
Kevin enjoys spending time with family, fishing, running, and watching sports.
Sarah Putt, MA, OTR/L
My name is Sarah Putt and I am a licensed and certified occupational therapist.
I am the founder and clinical director of a private practice in Los Angeles, California and have over 12 years experience as an OT. My company specializes in therapy interventions in the home environment and typically works with children from birth to 3 years of age.
I am the host and creator of OT 4 Lyfe, a podcast and website dedicated to sharing the amazing field of occupational therapy. I also co-host two other occupational therapy podcasts, The OT Roundtable and The Real OTs of Early Intervention. It is my hope that I can connect and inspire OT practitioners, students, and people interested in occupational therapy across the globe.
I am an avid world traveler, scuba diver, craft beer enthusiast, and mom to an amazing one year old girl named Abigail, with baby number 2 coming July 2022. Having worked in early intervention and now becoming a parent myself, my perspective and lens for helping children and families has shifted as I have gained a deeper appreciation for what it is really like to be a parent.
Jarell, his wife Kinesha, and four children are natives of Nebraska. Presently, he serves a 19 year combat veteran with the Air National Guard and missionary with Youth for Christ; ministering both locally & in South American countries. Jarell can be heard encouraging others daily on 100.7 KGBI, one of the premiere Christian music radio stations in the midwest, as well having shared more than 4000 presentations in churches, schools, jails, corporate America and more. He is the founder of Hopehood. Currently, he and his team host speaking and standup comedy workshops to empower the communicator from within each participant served.
A retired United States Marine, he attended Marine Corps Boot Camp upon completion of high school in 1994 and served for over 24 years in North Carolina, Washington DC, Virginia, California, Okinawa, Africa, Korea, Norway, and is a veteran of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Co-host of the “Together, We Shall” podcast, join us weekly for a little conversational dance!
Tom is President and founder of Symmetry Benefit Solutions, which started in 2015. He has 40+ years of Employee Benefits experience where he has been helping working Americans save money. During that time, he kept seeing employees not able to save for their American Dream of buying a home, educating their children, and retiring with dignity.
Tom is also a husband and father including a daughter with Autism. He and his family make their home in Lawrenceville, GA.
Dr. Ruslan Vasyutin
Better Special Education Results. Less IEP Stress. More Teamwork and Less Conflict between Parents, Teachers, and Schools.
For over 20 years, Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed has been sitting at IEP tables helping parents, teachers, and teams create IEPs that work! Inspired by her brother with Down syndrome, she became a special education teacher with Masters degree and five teaching certificates. She was determined to change the special needs community from the inside of her classroom. After just a few years of teaching, Catherine was in high demand for special education consulting and speaking. She left the classroom and dedicated herself to changing special education by helping hundreds of families every year. When districts experienced her collaborative, common sense approach to solving even the toughest problems, they soon started hiring Catherine to help their special education teams “from the inside”.
As an International speaker and Founder of online training programs; The Master IEP Coach® Mentorship + Network, Catherine serves thousands of parents & teams, from around the world. She’s determined to change the special education experience for everyone who sits at an IEP table. She’s always ready to jump into all the hot topics, sticky conversations and share the solutions that are needed for all children to be prepared for further education, employment and independent living.
Catherine both travels the country and works virtually. She LOVES to guide and empower every member of the IEP team to be a leader. She uses proven strategies and real world experiences to bring NEW special education solutions to the table.