We are seeking passionate, committed folks to join the Matrix Board of Directors. The role of the board is to provide oversight and governance to the work of Matrix. Are you a parent who understands the challenges that families face? Or maybe you are a professional who sees the importance of the work we do. We would love to have your experiences and perspectives as part of our board.
For more information:
Letter From the President
Board Job Description
OUR Dedicated BOARD OF DIRECTORS…
To meet the requirement as federally funded Parent Training and Information Center, the majority of our board members are parents of children who experience disabilities.
Denise LaBuda, Board President
Denise is a seasoned marketing expert with over 30 years of experience and accomplishments in a variety of settings including small and large-scale businesses. She has extensive domain expertise in personal finance and investing for children and adults. She is an entrepreneurial and innovative leader with a proven track record achieving bottom-line results.Denise was drawn to serve on the Matrix board based on her many years serving as a volunteer in Marin with children and adults with special needs. Denise wanted to offer more to support members of her community and the fantastic mission, broad range of valuable programs for families and outstanding and committed staff made her decision to join the board pretty easy.Denise holds a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Sarah Ponsford, Board Treasurer
Sarah lives in Santa Rosa, California and is a mother to three daughters ages seventeen, fourteen and nine. Before becoming a parent Sarah worked as a teacher and a family outreach worker with Head Start. She has an Associate Degree in early childhood development. Even with this work background and the experience of having two children behind her, she felt completely overwhelmed with the decisions in front of her when her third daughter Ella was born with special needs. Nine years later, Ella is thriving and brings joy to all around her. Sarah continues to learn how to advocate for Ella and learns new lessons from Ella everyday. Sarah has found the help and training she has received at Matrix invaluable. She is excited to give back as a board member and help keep these services available to others.
Colleen Arnold, Board Secretary
Colleen has worked as an education specialist in Marin County for over ten years. She has her general education and special education teaching credential, as well as her Master’s Degree from Dominican University. Currently, Colleen is pursing her Doctorate in Special Education at University of San Francisco. She is also a professor at Dominican University, with wide teaching experience at the university level specializing in special education and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She acts as a supervisor for new and beginning teachers, which keeps her connected to the special education classrooms and school environments across Marin County.
Rhonda is a wife and a mother to three children ages 18,17 and 12. After her youngest son was diagnosed with Autism at 4, navigating through the special education world was overwhelming. She says that finding Matrix and using the tools provided by Matrix helped her advocate for her son and have been an enormous help to her. She is looking forward to helping other families gain the confidence and tools they need to advocate for their children. She is also excited about opportunities to host events for special needs families in Sonoma County. Her hope is to bring special needs families together, so they don’t feel alone, and to give the kids a sense of community and friendship with one another.
Eli Gelardin serves as the executive director of Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL). Mr. Gelardin has more than a decade of experience working in disability services and advocacy. During his leadership at MCIL, the small grassroots organization has grown to an annual budget of approximately $900,000 with 11 staff members and serves more than 800 individuals with disabilities each year. In 2013, MCIL was recognized as a California Center of Excellence by its peers. Mr. Gelardin also serves as the co-creator of QuickMatch.org, an innovative web application that blends the high tech capacity of an online personal care registry with the high touch services of local nonprofit community-based organizations. QuickMatch.org was recently featured as a model for homecare innovation at the National Home and Community Based Services Conference in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gelardin translates his personal experience as an individual with a disability into his professional roles. He currently serves as the Chair of the California State Independent Living Council (CA SILC), Chief Financial Officer of the Mission San Rafael Rotary Foundation and a board member of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and the World Institute on Disability (WID). Mr. Gelardin lives in the Bay Area with his wife, Christina, and their two children. They are a multi-generational disabled and proud family.
Alexis is a Marin native who attended the Mount Tamalpais School in Mill Valley and The Branson School in Ross. After graduating from UCLA, she taught elementary school with Teach for America in the Compton Unified School District followed by some time as the Director of an after-school educational center and as a private tutor for students struggling in reading. Alexis’ philanthropic side led her to a job in the Community Relations department at Macy’s where she assisted with the philanthropic endeavors of the Macy’s 13 western states.Alexis left Macy’s to attend the University of San Francisco School of Law where she focused on estate planning. Upon graduating, she worked for Sterling L. Ross, Jr. (“Terry”) in Mill Valley. Terry is the originator of the Special Needs Trust and an experienced estate planner. While there, Alexis worked with individuals that have developmentally disabled family members on their estate planning and conservatorship needs.Working with families to ensure their developmentally disabled family members were protected through conservatorship proceedings became Alexis’ passion. She launched her own practice to focus solely on this need.