Board Members

Sarah Hall

Chair


Sarah Hall, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Inclusive Services and Exceptional Learners at the Columbus Center of Ashland University. She teaches graduate courses in special education assessment, classroom and behavior management, communication and collaboration, and transition. Her research includes the social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities as well as the sibling relationship of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has presented her research at state, national, and international conferences.
Sarah has an older brother, Charlie, with multiple disabilities including Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and severe intellectual disabilities. Growing up with Charlie has influenced her career path as well as the volunteer activities and advocacy in her personal life. Throughout her life, Sarah has worked at group homes for people with disabilities, gave fencing clinics to people who use wheelchairs, started a Bible study for young adults with developmental disabilities, and taught as a special education teacher at Columbus High School in Nebraska. Sarah plans to advocate for people with disabilities and their siblings through her involvement in Ohio SIBS.

Dana McTigue

Secretary


Dana McTigue, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the Wexner Medical Center at the Ohio State University. She teaches neuroanatomy to graduate and medical students and her research focuses on spinal cord injury. Her laboratory studies mechanisms that exacerbate the injury processes and potential treatments to enhance repair. She has presented her work both nationally and internationally, including in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan.
Dana has a younger brother, Ronnie, who was born with intellectual disabilities. Dana and Ronnie grew up in a small rural town in central PA where there was very little help and next to no services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Ronnie moved with their parents to Grove City, OH in 2004 to be closer to Dana, her husband and their son. At that time, Dana began investigating services in central Ohio and became familiar with the Ohio SIBS organization. She recently joined the Board for Ohio SIBS and is looking forward to helping to help advocate and provide support for individuals with developmental disabilities.

John McHale

Treasurer


John’s affiliation with individuals with developmental disabilities began in 1994 as a community activities volunteer working through the Rocky River Adult Activities Center and still continues to this day. John is also a member of two monthly recreational social groups, runs bocce league for people with DD, and coaches children with developmental disabilities in the Avon Challenger Baseball league. He does not have any family members with developmental disabilities but felt that he needed something in his life other than work and chose this field.
John was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and moved to Cleveland in 1981 after graduating from Youngstown State University. He is a CPA and worked in public accounting for 29 years before taking an accounting position with the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) working with SAW, Inc. in 2010. SAW was formed in 1969 and its mission is to train and employ adults with developmental disabilities. Before taking his current position, he served on the SAW, Inc. Board of Trustees for nine years, the last two as President. SAW is a vitally important organization that has trained and employed thousands of individuals with disabilities.
John is single and does not have any children. Much of his spare time is devoted to volunteering and following his favorite sports teams, the Indians, Cavs, Browns, and Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ben Bevington


Ben Bevington has been a board member for Ohio SIBS since 2013. Ben has an older sister with special needs which lead him to volunteer for and work with the developmental disability population from an early age. During high school he started volunteering with the Special Olympics and found enjoyment from working as a teacher’s aide in the special education class. After high school Ben spent several years as a direct care staff for a provider agency in Columbus. In 2006, Ben helped his sister, Angie, start her own document shredding business as a way to develop a job she enjoyed and could personally grow from. Through the process Ben saw a need for provider agencies and co-founded Vision Mentors the following year. Along with sitting on the Ohio SIBS board, Ben also a board member of SafeHaven, a non-profit mental health agency that serves several counties in his area. Ben, along with Angie, has had the privilege of participating as speakers at conferences, talking about their experiences especially related to Angie and starting her own business.

Tom Fish


Tom Fish, Ph.D. is the Director of Social Work and Family Support Services at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center on Disabilities. He received his B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Michigan University in 1969, his M.S.S.S. from Boston University in 1971, and his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Services from The Ohio State University in 2003. He manages a DD Council grant on sibling outreach and also directs projects dealing with community inclusion, autism, adult literacy, and community service. Dr. Fish is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and serves as an adviser to the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO). He is the Principal Investigator for the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council-funded Project Support of Siblings (SOS) housed at The Ohio State University, Nisonger Center. He teaches at The Ohio State College of Social Work and is a founding member of the National Sibling Leadership Network. Although Tom does not have a family member with a disability he is determined to improve the lives for individuals with disabilities.

Terry Ryan


Dr. Ryan is pictured with his younger brother Neil who provided the inspiration for his work in the field of developmental disabilities. Dr. Ryan is the former superintendent of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University while a graduate student working at the Nisonger Center. Prior to completing his Ph.D., Dr. Ryan received degrees from The State University of NY and Manhattan College.
In addition to his 40 years of service to the DD community, Dr. Ryan served on the board of education of the Avon Lake City School for eight years. Dr. Ryan also taught at Cleveland State University and Notre Dame College. As a long-time supporter of Ohio SIBS, Dr. Ryan joined the Ohio SIBS Board in January 2016.

Debra Shumard


Debra and Michael Shumard grew up in Mingo Junction, Ohio. Debra is the oldest; Michael is the youngest. They have a brother, David, and sister-in-law, Maria, as well as three step sisters, Karen, Kristin, and Lauren.
Debra has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Mount Union College, and a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Kent State University. Deb is a former ballroom dance and adapted dance instructor (1984-2004), a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, and the founder/director of Beyond Our Boundaries in Canton, Ohio, offering chaperoned “Trips of a Lifetime” for adults with developmental disabilities.
Michael is an adult with autism, who was diagnosed in the 1960’s. He attended the School of Bright Promise in Jefferson County. For the last five years, Michael has been living in Massillon, Ohio, in a beautiful community home with three housemates who are welcoming to Deb for frequent visits! Michael enjoys swimming at the rec center, camping, going to movies, and dining out. Michael has a winning sense of humor, and is employed in the community.
Debra and Michael have always enjoyed a close relationship with their parents. Their late mother, Mary Kay Buchmelter, was a successful public interest lawyer who had a part in writing the ADA. Michael and his father keep in touch by phone, visit on skype, and enjoy Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, and shopping at the mall together.
Debra has been Michael’s guardian for thirty-three years; Michael has been photo-bombing the family since 1968.

Tabitha Woodruff


Tabitha Woodruff is a special needs and elder law attorney at the Columbus office of Hickman & Lowder, Co. LPA. She focuses her practice on the legal needs of older adults and people with disabilities. Tabitha has spent most of her professional career in the nonprofit sector in various roles. She has served as a nonpartisan lobbyist on consumer protection issues, director of a workforce development program, and support staff in the social work department at the Salvation Army. She has been deeply involved in Ohio’s anti-human trafficking movement since 2009 and currently chairs the Legislative Advocacy Committee of the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition and provides training to professionals across the state on the issue. She graduated summa cum laude from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts. She received her law degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association. Tabitha grew up in rural northwest Ohio with her five younger siblings. Her sister Katrina has autism and severe intellectual disabilities and lives with their parents in their hometown. Tabitha has been honored to be able to assist her parents in planning for Katrina’s education and long term care and is grateful to be able to help other families like hers.

Yvonne Conrad


Yvonne Conrad is legal guardian of her brother Noel who was born with autism and intellectual disabilities. Their formative years were spent in Jamaica, where there was absolutely no help or support services for individuals with disabilities, so her parents shouldered the complex day-to-day responsibilities of caring for Noel without respite. Upon assuming his responsibility, Yvonne became more laser sharp about her brother’s daily habits and needs. It has served her well as she sought out and advocated for him to receive available services to participate in community life. Today he is more independent than ever, and thriving in a supported living environment.
Yvonne is currently a certified substitute teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District where she instructs K-12 students of varied academic levels and diverse cultural backgrounds, including those with cognitive disabilities. She spent the previous twenty-plus years at KeyBank as an Asst. Vice President in the roles of regional trainer, project manager and program management.
Yvonne received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from David N. Myers University, and an American Bar Association approved post-baccalaureate certificate in Legal Studies from Ursuline College. Her goal is to continue to help illuminate the lives of others like her brother, through Ohio SIBS promoting quality supports to siblings and family members.

Jacqui Schmotzer


Jacqui Schmotzer is the Information Technology Director of Aultman College. Her professional expertise in project management, programming and application support. She worked in IT in the Cleveland area for many years before relocating to the Canton area in 1996. Jacqui received her BA in Management and Labor from Cleveland State University and her MBA from Malone University. Jacqui has 3 adult children. Her son lives in Cincinnati and her daughters are attending Ohio State University. She volunteers as a Cuddler for Aultman Hospital’s NICU program.
Jacqui is the middle child of five siblings – three sisters and one brother. One of her sisters and her brother have multiple disabilities from PKU (phenylketonuria) and other health issues. Growing up with special needs siblings provided Jacqui with insight, understanding, and compassion for individuals with disabilities and for their caretakers.

Amanda Trump


Amanda Trump joined the board in May 2017. Amanda’s older sister, Natalie, has special needs and led Amanda to seek volunteer opportunities to work with people with developmental disabilities and their families. Natalie and Amanda also have two brothers. Natalie lives with their mother in Canton, Ohio, while Amanda resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Amanda earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University and is currently enrolled at Kent State University to earn a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications and Journalism. Natalie was one of the driving forces for Amanda to choose a career in politics and public service. She currently works with a power utility company performing community outreach efforts and most recently worked in local government performing media relations, social media management, community outreach, and internal communications.