Our mission just wouldn’t be the same without our amazing team members who inspire, guide, and collaborate each and every day. To learn more about this talented, creative, and professional group, reach out to us!
Special Events Coordinator
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes"
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Our Contributors have a drive to make a difference and a passion to help others. They share their experiences, stories, struggles, resources and expertise in the hopes of bringing togetherness and awareness.
Meet a few of our current contributors...
Chef Daniel is an Ohio native and graduate of the LeCordon Bleu Culinary Program at Brown College. He has worked in the food industry since 1997 and has been an Executive Chef since 2012. Daniel has served small dinners or two and coordinated events for up to 3,000. About Magazine’s Reader’s Choice/Best of the Best named Daniel the top chef in Stark County in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021! He was the runner-up in 2019. He was also the recipient of the Ystark & Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Twenty Under 40 award in 2022. Daniel and his wife Amanda founded Compassion Delivered in 2017, a nonprofit in Stark County serving meals to those coping with life-threatening or terminal illnesses at no charge.
Dr. Kristine Turko, BCBA, COBA
Dr. Turko is a professor of psychology and the director/founder of the Spectrum Education Center at the University of Mount Union. Kristine is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is licensed to practice in the state of Ohio. She joined the faculty at Mount Union in 2006, after earning MS and PhD degrees in Psychology at Lehigh University, and a BS degree in Psychology at Drexel University. Kristine’s work at the Spectrum Education Center includes autism intervention, undergraduate training in the field of autism, professional development, and supporting area school districts. Her research interests include: best practices for autism intervention in adult populations and effective autism intervention training and education for undergraduate students.
Kristine lives in Canton with her husband and daughter. She enjoys being outdoors and cooking.
James Warnken is a 24-year-old, visually impaired/legally blind online accessibility specialist with a deep background in digital marketing and design. He has recently obtained my IAAP CPACC certification and is currently pursuing the IAAP WAS certification to become CPWA. Over the last few years, working in marketing and online accessibility, James has realized that he has a unique perspective compared to most. Living with a visual disability, 7+ years in the tech/marketing space, and now almost 2 years in the digital accessibility space. His mission is to educate, guide, and connect organizations so that they can own their accessibility initiatives instead of relying on overlays, third-party providers, or hoping that it solves itself.
Certified Environmental Access Consultant
Jared Chevraux is a Certified Environmental Access Consultant and Vice President of JTEK Solutions Group, LLC. In 2018, Jared was announced as a Forty Under 40 award winner in Professional Remodeler Magazine. He has also been published in HME Business and Qualified Remodeler magazines. Jared received the Best of Houzz award in the Service category in 2019, 2021, and 2022. In February 2021, Jared and JTEK were awarded Best Independent Showroom from the National Kitchen & Bath Association for his design and construction of JTEK’s Home Access Design Studio in North Canton, OH. Jared teaches Home Modification as a Fieldwork Instructor for Walsh University’s Graduate OT program. He also serves as Board Vice President for The Golden Key School for Exceptional Children in Canton, OH, specializing in early intervention and education for K-8 students on the autism spectrum. Jared holds a BA in Management from Malone University. Jared lives in North Canton with his wife, Megan, and their three boys, Will, Cole, and Cohen.
Mother & Advocate
Kylie Zehnder was born and raised in Canton. Currently, Kylie is a mom to two beautiful girls Alaina and Avalynn. Kylie is the founder of Be Limitless and previously held a board of directors position with the KBG Syndrome Association which helps raise awareness and education for individuals with KBG Syndrome. Kylie’s mission is centered around her daughter Alaina who was diagnosed with KBG in 2016 at age 3. Kylie lives every day by the standard of simply showing kindness and doing what is right.
Mother & Communications Advocate
As a special needs mom, Rebecca seeks opportunities to connect with other parents on similar journeys. Her journey started nine years ago, when her daughter was born prematurely. She is a parent advocate, specializing in guiding parents through the challenges of IEPs, 504s, and school accommodations for children with disabilities. Rebecca jokes that she uses her Communication Degree, from Kent State University, as a navigation tool through thousands of medical appointments, therapies, and school meetings. She resides in Stark County, Ohio with her husband, two children, and three dogs. She loves Jesus, reading, boating, and spending time with family and friends. Also notable, she hates winter.
Vice President of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services
Ric Brown is the Vice President of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services and Corporate Compliance Officer at GentleBrook. Ric has worked in various roles in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities field for almost 30 years! Ric is a graduate of Leadership Stark County and has served on and continues to serve on numerous boards and committees locally, regionally and state-wide and holds memberships in numerous organizations within the Stark, Summit and Carroll County communities. Rich has been married to his wife Vicky, for 37 years. They have one daughter Taelor, a son-in-law Jamison, and 3 grandchildren Noah, Connor, and Julian.
Licensed School Counselor
Summerly Rowlands is a mom, licensed school counselor, and business owner. While raising a family of 3 in Jackson Township. She works full-time as a high school counselor and runs a website on the side to raise awareness for her daughter’s rare genetic condition, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. The website www.my22qt.com, shares the story of her daughter’s diagnosis while also sharing her journey along the way. The my22qt mission is to raise awareness, help families cope and find understanding, and to pay it forward to the genetic divisions of children’s hospitals. If you find her on social media, you will see that she might be obsessed with snapping photos every single day of her kid’s cute faces and everything they do!
Director of Operations
Sarah Heckert is currently the Director of Operations at Koala Kruizers where she manages all of the day-to-day operations of the organization. In addition to her two stepchildren, Sarah and her husband Ryan have adopted two daughters with Down Syndrome named Ava and Anna. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Kent State University and has been incredibly active with local organizations that support Individuals with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities including Gigi’s Playhouse Canton, Canton Area Buddy Walk, First Christian Day Services, HandPrints Sign Choir and many more!
Our Special Needs Living Magazine has one main goal in mind: helping people of all ages to overcome their individual challenges and achieve personal love and growth.
We believe that through building connections and sharing resources that every person can reach his or her potential.
Our team of professionals, parents and businesses are all here to help make a difference.
Get in touch with our team today to learn more.