The crowdFunnit Project operates under the 501(c)3 nonprofit Cherab Foundation
Lisa Geng ~Florida
Director of Development
Jolie Abreu ~Florida
Jude Clough ~New Jersey
Nina Wolgelenter ~Kentucky
crowdFunnit Project Team
Lisa Geng ~Florida
Jolie Abreu ~Florida
Richard Stripp Sr~ New Jersey
Jude Clough ~New Jersey
Nina Wolgelenter ~Kentucky
Katie Peters Larson Esq. ~Oklahoma
Staci Greenwald Esq. New Jersey
Jeanne Buesser~New Jersey
Laurie Rinker LPGA ~Florida
Lisa Geng 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 currently serves 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 is also extremely instrumental, in large part thanks to the folks as Reddit, in helping another child’s 10th birthday party become a success, which inspired her to create the crowdFunnit 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 for Hologic in Connecticut.
Richard Stripp Sr For his entire life, the man affectionately known as “Mr. Rick” has been selflessly giving his all to help others. His empathy, understanding, and compassion have combined with his natural ability to make people smile to form the perfect mix of tools for him to use toward his goal of making this world a better place. He has endured many hardships in his life, and while some might use them as a crutch, Mr. Rick has used them as motivation. For Mr. Rick, who is a minister, a retired special police officer and a person who has worked with special needs children for the past 15 years, bullying hits close to home. Bullied as a child, he’s made a career out of protecting the underdog. “Lonely is bad enough but to tack on fear to that, the fear of getting bullied, no person, especially a child, should ever have that feeling,” he said.
Over the last decade, Mr. Rick has turned his efforts toward helping children with disabilities. After many years, he authored the emotional and educational book “Mommy I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did To Me At School Today” in an attempt to use his experiences as both a precautionary tale and a guideline for the future. The book “Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did To Me In School Today” has enabled Mr. Rick to become a voice for the voiceless. He has already touched, changed, and helped so many lives; through his book, and he hopes to continue to do so through crowdFunnit as well. “Coming together just to show that the good people in the world outnumber the bad, that’s what crowdFunnit is all about.”
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.
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 need for continued research.
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 remember and celebrated with friends. (despite the fact her husband is quick to point out she’s terrible at remembering their anniversary).
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 from her son’s diagnosis and her family’s challenges, Katie developed a passion of 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.
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 parent 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.
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.