The Forward Journey staff and Board of Directors are dedicated to providing a safe, positive experience for participants and peace of mind for caregivers. We’re here to answer your questions and support your family.
Forward Journey Administrative Staff
Vivian J. Turner, MPA
Assistant Executive Director
Erin Chandler, BSN, RN
Director of Nursing
Michelle Shorter, SHRM-CP
Operations & HR Manager
Melissa MacCord, MS
New Castle County Program Manager
Darlene Myers, RN
Kent County Program Specialist
New Castle County Assistant Program Manager
Jessica Paynter, LPN
New Castle County Program Nurse
Forward Journey Board of Directors
Cindy Jenkins worked for DuPont for 20 years where she began as a secretary and transitioned to IT services. When this service was outsourced in 1997, Cindy continued to work on the DuPont account as well as projects for the government and a mid-sized company. In 2011, she led a partnership that started a restaurant. In this position, Cindy managed all equipment for start-up and set up payroll and accounts payable/receivable. She managed this business for five years until it was sold in 2016. Cindy has three children, one of whom is a participant at our New Castle County location. She has a long history of service with Forward Journey. In addition to serving on the Board for over ten years, Cindy served on the Fund Development Committee. She organized the 5K Run/Walk for five years and was instrumental in the success of the Piggin’ Out dinner that took place annually from 2010 to 2016.
Jessica is a Lean Leader with 15+ years of experience working in multiple industries including healthcare (Hospital and Private Practice), life sciences, and the arts, skilled in supporting value-based initiatives across all levels of an organization with sustainable outcomes and action-focused results.
Through her passion for purpose, Jessica volunteers discretionary effort, facilitating initiatives and improvements with various nonprofit organizations. Committed to providing support today for the leaders of tomorrow, Jessica serves as the Advancement Committee Chair for the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Board of Directors as well as serving as the Vice President of the Forward Journey Board, helping to lend a hand in supporting those who enrich the lives of adults with multiple, severe disabilities and their families through an active, personalized day program.
Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts from DeSales University, her Masters in Science Management through Wilmington University, and is a Fellow in Leadership Delaware’s Class of 2022.In her free time, she can be found at home with her husband, two amazing kids, and several dogs leading the pack.
Jeff recently retired from a position at the DuPont Company where he was an employee for 35 years. His most recent position was as Global Director of Indirect Materials and Services for the Sourcing and Logistics function. He supervised a global staff of 125 employees responsible for approximately $5 billion spent on goods and services that included human resources, information technology, professional services, fleet, travel and site services. His job responsibilities allowed him to travel the world but he attributes his success to being genuine, transparent, collaborative and most importantly, demonstrating servant leadership. Jeff is married to Chrissy Smith and has a grown son and daughter.
Elijah was a 13 year employee with Discover Bank with positions as a Collections Representative, New Accounts Credit Analyst, Unit Coordinator and New Account Analyst focused on college student applications and the prevention of fraudulent activity regarding these applications. He then joined the Happy Harry’s Management Training program and spent 10 years there in Retail Pharmacy before being promoted to Pharmacy Store Manager. His role then expanded to include front end operations after becoming a part of Walgreens. In 2006, Elijah and his husband became foster parents of a sibling group of five, adopting them the following year. Four of the five have mild special needs. They have adopted two additional sons both with significant special needs. One of their sons attends our program in New Castle County. Now with seven children, Elijah made the decision to leave the corporate world and become a primary caregiver.
Amy has held a number of professional roles in educational settings. She served as Assistant Director of Edgemoor Community Center, J. Fran Dell (an educational consultant) as an educational supervisor for several programs, and then taught for Colonial School District for two years in the alternative school she helped start. Amy began working for the Smyrna School District in the 2002-03 school year where she created and ran the Level IV behavioral program at Smyrna High School (SHS) for several years, then switched to teaching English/Language Arts. She currently serves as both district Transition Coordinator as well as the 504 Compliance Officer for SHS. Amy is a member of the Council of Exceptional Children and the Division of Career Development and Transition for CEC. She is currently a member of the state planning team in the Community of Practice on Transition. Amy participated in the Capacity Building Institute in Charlotte, NC as a part of the Delaware State team in order to help plan the state transition community’s goals for the upcoming year.
Bill Hudson is an International Examiner for the Internal Revenue Service, a position he has held for 19 years. Other positions he has held include International Tax Manager and Revenue Agent. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Delaware State University and earned his Certified Public Accountant certificate in 1993. Bill served on the board from 2015 – 2020 and held the positions of Treasurer and President. He returned to the board in 2022.
Mr. Hudson is married to Susan Hudson and they have three children. Their son, Max, has a significant disability and receives services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services and Chimes. They live in north Wilmington.
Brian Nuss attended the University of Delaware and West Chester University majoring in Business Administration. In 2008, he acquired a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. He started his career at MBNA and spent 19 years managing a wide range of operational positions. He was asked to serve as the Chief Operation Officer of ACT (Advanced Call Center Technologies) and was there for six years. He then joined Bridgeforce Inc. as an independent consultant focused on the financial services industry. Brian is currently with AFLAC. He is married to Lisa Prettyman and has three daughters, one of whom attends our program in New Castle County.
Maryanne Payne joined the Board of Directors in the Spring of 2022. She has been a paraeducator at the John G. Leach School since 2006, serving students with physical disabilities, moderate to severe cognitive disabilities and other health impairments. She started this career working with preschool-aged students and is currently working with the upper school students. Maryanne’s first career was as a corporate litigation paralegal for Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnel (for about 2 years) and Smith Katzenstein & Furlow (for about 18 years). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Ursinus College. Maryanne and her husband Mike live in Middletown and have two daughters. Their daughter, Christine, is a participant at the New Castle location and is thriving in the day program.
Blerta Profiri has 20 years of banking experience, focused on Risk Management. Currently she is an Executive Director for JP Morgan Chase & Co. She is a committee member of the Diversity & Inclusion for Consumer and Community Banking organization. Prior to JP Morgan Chase & Co., Blerta served as Senior Vice President at TD Bank and Wells Fargo Bank in various Risk Management roles in Consumer & Community Banking organization. She is an advocate of driving change, developing her team and supporting diversity and inclusion. Blerta lives in Kennett Square, PA with her husband Artan and two sons, Kevin and Connor.
Natashia Sanders is the Sr. Director of Account Management – Commercial and Managed Markets at Elixir Solutions (Rite Aid, Inc.). She serves as the Executive Advisor to a book of business collaborating with internal stakeholders, building and supporting operational projects and system enhancements, measuring the effectiveness of service delivery for routine and complex client matters, liaising with consultants and brokers, and leading a team of direct reports with health plan subject matter expertise (Medicare, Medicaid, Exchanges, ACA, EGWP, Commercial, Encounters, PDEs, etc.). Natashia formerly spent two years as the Director of Pharmacy Accounts at Anthem, Inc. and 11 years prior at PerformRx, LLC as Director of Account Management – CST Lead. Functions impacted organizational services both internally and externally which included contract negotiations, RFP support, client implementations, project management, strategy development, revenue generation and cost savings. Natashia also held positions as Director of Account Management, Workers Comp Administrator, Director of Implementations, Director of Relationship Management, and Senior Account Executive at PerformRx. Before this, Natashia also worked in specialty neuroscience pharmaceutical sales and entered healthcare out of college as a research scientist. In 2018, Natashia formed 360Innovations, Inc. to offer consultation and solutions in branding, marketing, contract negotiations and operations management.
Natashia received her Bachelor of Arts (Spanish minor) from the University of Delaware. She earned two master’s degrees in Business Administration and Health Care Administration from Wilmington University. She is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Business Administration (Spring 2023). She is a mother of four – two boys and two girls – with her oldest having both a mental and physical disability. Natashia is active and a member of various community service and philanthropic organizations holding various leadership roles and responsibilities. Natashia is currently in the June cohort of the McKinsey Academy Management Accelerator Program: Black Leadership Academy.