The Cherab Foundation Team
Cherab Foundation Team
The Cherab Foundation is 100% volunteer based. Our most popular initiatives include crowdFunnit anti-bullying events, and the Late Talkers documentary, and multimedia project
Lisa Geng President and Founder got her start as a designer, patented inventor, and creator in the fashion, toy, and film industries, but after the early diagnosis of her young children, she entered the world of nonprofit, pilot studies, and advocacy. As the mother of two “late talkers,” she is the founder and president of the nonprofit CHERAB Foundation, co-author of the acclaimed book, The Late Talker, (St Martin’s Press 2003), and is instrumental in the development of IQed, a whole food nutrition meal replacement. Lisa recently served for a number of years as a parent advocate on an AAN board for vaccines and is a member of CUE through Cochrane US. Lisa is currently working on a second book, The Late Talker Grows Up and serves as a Late Talkers, Silent Voices executive producer.
Lisa saw a need for a proactive way of fostering acceptance to bullied children who had trouble finding friends after helping one of our member’s find guests to attend his 10th birthday party The huge success was in large part thanks to the folks at Reddit, and the initiative crowdFunnit was created by Lisa to help others in the same situation. Together the Cherab Foundation team has now helped numerous children find friendship through the program.
Lisa resides with her husband Glenn, their her Tanner, as well as their yellow nape Amazon parrot Woodstock, and dogs, Simba and Sandy, on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Her son Dakota graduated from SCAD with a degree in game design and is currently working full time in technology on the west coast of Florida.
Jolie Abreu currently serves as the Vice President of the Cherab Foundation bringing her genius to the organization’s projects and activities while also serving on the board of directors for the Florida High School Model United Nations. In real life, she and her husband have a 3 ½ -year-old daughter and she has worked as a REALTOR® for the past 14 years. Prior to that, she has a background in public relations and marketing for non-profits.
Nina Wolgelenter and most of her family live in Lexington, KY. Her older daughter lives in New Orleans, working as a special education instructor. A circuitous route from California via New Orleans brought her family to Kentucky as New Orleans, post-Katrina, didn’t offer any services or a knowledgeable doctor to help diagnosis their non-verbal son. Her now 10-year-old apraxic son, although still mostly non-verbal, is thriving with a host of knowledgeable teachers, therapists, school administrators, sports coaches, friends and a precocious little 3-year-old sister who likes to serve as his voice. Nina is a published writer, having worked for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and most recently writing about environmental issues for various print and web outlets. She is also currently working on a book with Lisa Geng, helping parents navigate the world of speech disorders in older children.
Nina is the secretary for crowdFunnit and is responsible for all the written content on the crowdFunnit site. She’s delighted to lend a hand with the simple belief that birthdays should be remembered and celebrated with friends. (despite the fact her husband is quick to point out she’s terrible at remembering their anniversary).
Staci J. Greenwald, Esq. is a partner at Sussan and Greenwald & Wesler, a New Jersey law firm which dedicates its services exclusively towards advocating for children with special needs. Holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Douglass College and her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School, Ms. Greenwald is also a certified teacher of the handicapped. Her pedigree along with her passion leaves her eminently qualified to advocate on behalf of her clients in forums ranging from the Office of Administrative Law to the federal courts.
Ms. Greenwald handles special education matters and offers advocacy in cases involving the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), guardianship, and estate planning for families of special needs students. Along with practicing law, Ms. Greenwald is a frequent lecturer throughout the state. She and her firm are thrilled to be able to help children through crowdFunnit.
Jeanne Buesser has devoted her life to helping and advocating for her family and others. As the president and founder of the nonprofit Apraxia Network, Jeanne has spent the last 15 years assisting parents of children with speech impairments, providing extensive resources and support. Her middle child is diagnosed with apraxia and ADHD, and her youngest son has autism. Never one to sit idle, Jeanne has authored a special needs book called, He Talks Funny, an anti-bullying book explaining the neurological implications of apraxia, helping to raise awareness of speech impairments. Jeanne has been interviewed by radio stations, blogs, and TV stations.
Jeanne also volunteers with Compassionate Friends, a nonprofit organization assisting parents who have lost a child. Jeanne’s first born son sadly lost his battle against cancer at just 4 years old. Jeanne’s other books; Moonlight Till Dawn and Journey From Darkness to Light are inspirational poetry books helping families cope with grief.
Jeanne Buesser lives in New Jersey, with her two sons and is thrilled to be part of crowdFunnit, helping children find friends that need a bit of help.
Lewis Nelson volunteered to help redesign the Cherab Foundation website in 2008. He has since been a technical consultant on not only the website but also social networking such as Facebook and Twitter. Lewis is the father of an Apraxic son, Benjamin, and along with his wife Holly, credit the information provided by the Cherab Foundation with identifying their son’s condition. Lewis and Holly live in Charlottesville, VA, with their three children.
Julia Muggia Ochs is no stranger to speech and language impairments having grown up with her own share of struggles. She went on to a successful career as a field producer of behind-the-scenes footage for feature films and television including such hits as “Chicago,” “The Producers,” “Baby Mama,” and “New Year’s Eve,” to name a few, and founded her own agency, Orso Films LTD. Mother to two young boys with special needs, she currently serves as co-president of the Special Education PTA in New Rochelle, NY and is a Late Talkers, Silent Voices executive producer.
Jude Clough is a single mom of two incredible children, a beautiful 16-year-old daughter, Ashley, and a heartwarming 4-year-old son, Connor. Both of her children were born small due to hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy but were perfectly healthy. As Connor turned 2, the word apraxia was introduced to their family as they watched this sweet toddler show no interest in communicating with the people around him. Researching all she could, starting with information and support groups within the Cherab Foundation, Jude’s whole world opened up as did that of her son’s. She truly welcomes this journey of bringing joy to other children and in-turn helping to spread the awareness of Apraxia and the need for continued research.
Katie Peters-Larson lives with her husband and two kids in Oklahoma. Their 5-year-old son has resolved verbal and oral apraxia along with SPD and their 10-month-old daughter has a seizure disorder. Inspired by her son’s diagnosis and her family’s challenges, Katie developed a passion for ensuring other parents know there is hope in apraxia. In her concurrent life, she serves as a State’s Attorney for the State of Oklahoma.
Professional Athlete Volunteer
Laurie Rinker Graham maneuvers her way around a golf course with the same zest she brings to her philanthropy work. As a professional golfer with the LPGA since 1982, Laurie has amassed an impressive list of championships. Off the course, she has helped raise millions of dollars for various causes and has made many friends who share her vision of helping others. Married with two boys, who she has raised to be compassionate individuals, she believes in the mission of crowdFunnit, stamping out bullying at the root while helping children that need a little boost finding friends.