Our board members work hard to fulfill the New Directions Mission!

Meet Our Board Members

Robert Habush - Chairman of the Board

Machelle Brazeau - Board Secretary

Virginia Palmer - Vice President

Yusuf Balogun - Board Treasurer

New Directions for people with disabilities, inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. All donations are tax deductible. Federal Tax I.D. #77-0147768

New Directions, Inc. is a registered Seller of Travel in the State of California, Reg. #2113686-40.  We are also a participant in the California Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation, Member #601444.

Wallis Annenberg - Board Member

Kathleen Fannon - Board Member

Eddie Glassgold - Board Member

Joan Rosselle - Board Member

Deborah Rogers - Board Member

Josephine Tassi - Board Member

Daniel White - Board Member

Virginia Palmer

Vice President

Machelle Brazeau

Board Secretary

Yusuf Balogun

Board Treasurer

Wallis Annenberg

Member of the Board

Kathleen Fannon

Member of the Board

Eddie Glassgold

Member of the Board

Roy Kite III

Member of the Board

Joan Rosselle

Member of the Board

Deborah Rogers

Member of the Board

Josephine Tassi

Member of the Board

Machelle Brazeau, former First Vice President and Management Reporting Manager at Community Bank, headquartered in Pasadena, was elected to serve on the board of directors in July, 2013. Ms. Brazeau resigned her position at Community Bank in 2012 after ten years, and relocated to Santa Barbara to provide full-time care for her developmentally disabled sister until her passing in June, 2017. She continues to be actively involved with New Directions, Alpha Resource Center, Slingshot Art Forum and Special Olympics, and finds it very rewarding to be a part of the special needs community.

Robert L. Habush, a devoted supporter of New Directions since its inception in 1985, recently retired as the Chairman of the Board of Habush, Habush & Rottier S.C.  He received his undergraduate degree and his juris doctor from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Habush was Order of the Coif and a member of the Law Review. Mr. Habush is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, where he served on the Board of Directors.  He is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers and the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys.  He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates.  He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Trial Advocates and was the first President of the Wisconsin Chapter.  He is certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.  He is presently teaching Law at Marquette University located in Milwaukee. Mr. Habush and his wife, Mimi have been substantive contributors to the Milwaukee Jewish Family Services Campaign.  The Jewish Family Services has honored them with the naming of the JFS Robert and Mimi Habush Family Center.  In addition, the Habush House was established with a gift of an eight-family unit apartment building to the Jewish Family Services.  He is a devoted father to two daughters and enjoys spending time with his four grandchildren. The American Bar Association has recently published a biography about Mr. Habush, titled Courtroom Avenger, which is available on Amazon.

For 32 years, Deborah Rogers was a partner at the boutique copywriting firm Rogers & Lee, creating advertising for thousands of films and television shows from the Harry Potter series to Titanic to The Big Bang Theory. Her professional career outside of advertising includes positions as a litigator at the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers and as a National Board-certified teacher of English. She is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and Harvard Law School. Her pro bono activities include serving as outside counsel for the Blind Children’s Center, as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children, as a patient advocate in the Acute Psychiatric Service emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital, and as a long-time volunteer at DAWG (Dog Adoption and Welfare Group). She resides in Santa Barbara with her husband Thomas.

Virginia Palmer, is a partner and Co-Chair of the Trusts & Estates Practice at the Oakland law firm Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP.  Her practice focuses on estate planning, trust administration, probate and elder law, as well as mediating matters in these areas. She has particular expertise in estate planning for LGBTQ families. A frequent author and speaker on estate planning related issues, she is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estates Lawyers. She loves to travel and takes vicarious pleasure in all of our travelers’ adventures.

Yusuf Balogun, CPA, MST, is a partner of Walople & Co., LLP, a full service accounting firm located in Santa Barbara.  He is one of sixteen siblings to whom his parents promised a College education.  He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from UCSB, his Accounting Certificate from UCSB Extension.  He also has a Masters Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University.  He currently also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Society of CPAs.  He is married and is a proud father of two daughters.

The philanthropy of Wallis Annenberg, Vice President of the Annenberg Foundation, focuses organizations and institutions dedicated to enriching and enhancing the quality of the arts, education, and culture throughout greater Los Angeles.  Ms. Annenberg’s philanthropic efforts include: The Wallis Annenberg Scholars Program at USC, a four-week residential summer program for 60 inner city high school students; and The Annenberg Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences at USC.  Wallis is the longest serving trustee at the University of Southern California. In recognition of her philanthropic work throughout the years, Ms. Annenberg has received a long and impressive list of honors and awards.  She serves on a number of boards in addition to New Directions for people with disabilities, inc., MOMA, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, LA Philharmonic Orchestra, and several others.  She is a proud mother of four children and five grandchildren.

Kathleen Fannon is the Director of Women's Footwear for Ugg, brand of Deckers Corporation.   She moved to Santa Barbara four years ago with twenty five + years experience as a retailer buyer in footwear working for Nordstrom, Marshall Fields, Macys and DSW. Kathleen received her BA degree from University of Pacific, Stockton, CA.Chicago is her second home and she is a Cubs fan thru and thru!  She is committed to the New Directions Mission, while growing up she was close to her Aunt with Downs Syndrome. She loves golf, hiking and the outdoors.

Eddie Glassgold was raised in New Jersey and attended Ohio University majoring in Business and Journalism.  His interest in 'helping others" developed at college tutoring disadvantaged children in Appalachia focusing in on Math and English.  He graduated with honors and started working with a major advertising agency in NYC and then with Procter and Gamble.  In 1975 he decided to enter a small family business dealing with textiles products. Eddie built up a strong marketing team and expanded the product line immensely growing the business from under $ 1,000,000 annually to over $20,000,000 at its peak.  Early in his career he was on a board of directors for a charity dealing with mentally and physically challenged children.  He has a passion for staying in shape and started doing triathlons and 70.3 Ironman events in the early nineties.  Eddie has two grown children and now resides part time in Santa Barbara with his Fiancé, Joanne.

Roy Kite III - Board Member

Dr. Roy Kite’s professional career began at Vanderbilt University where he did his undergraduate and medical school training.  He also did an internship and residency in Pediatrics there as well. He had a private practice in Pediatrics for 4 years before doing a second residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  In New Orleans he started his own group and did the radiology for a community hospital and several outpatient-imaging centers for 25 years.  In 2012 he retired, first moved to Flagstaff, AZ but now lives in Santa Barbara.  Life in Santa Barbara has been enhanced greatly by involvement in New Directions and "Newcomers", (a large social club in Santa Barbara).

Joan Rosselle is retired Director of Distinguished Giving for the American Cancer Society, where she established major giving task forces in Monterey and Santa Clara Counties. Her main efforts with ACS involved recruiting major donors, bringing them an awareness of and a willingness to give to cancer research. Prior to that, she was Director of Major Giving at El Camino Hospital Foundation in Mountain View. Joan coordinated the capital campaign for a new hospital building, established a thriving women’s philanthropy circle and directed the major giving program.  Joan earned a BA at Bethany College in Bethany, W.VA, a Certificate in Marketing at the University of California, Berkeley and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction at Mercy Center in Burlingame. Currently, Joan volunteers with her church. She is a golfer and sings with a chorus in her community. Joan's daughter, Carey loves traveling with New Directions.

For more than 20 years Josephine Tassi has been directly involved with, and supportive of the New Directions’ mission.  In 2011, in loving memory of her son, Joseph Tassi, Josephine established the “Joseph Tassi Memorial Scholarship Fund” which generously sponsors three people to participate in New Directions tours each year.  She was born and raised in San Francisco, and her father, Anthony Morabito, was the sports pioneer of the West, bringing San Francisco its first major league professional team, the San Francisco 49ers, in 1946.  She attended several prestigious schools, including Notre Dame in Belmont, Santa Catalina in Monterey, Marymount in Santa Barbara, and went to Marymount College located on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.   While attending College, Josephine was introduced to the son of an old family friend, and they married in 1961.  They had two developmentally disabled children, Joseph (passed away in 2011), and Stephen who lives and works in Southern California. Ms. Tassi devotes much of her time to philanthropic organizations and enjoys traveling to Santa Barbara from her home in Alhambra.  She enjoys attending many of the New Directions events.  

Daniel J. White, Jr. received his undergraduate degree from Centenary College where he excelled at collegiate track.  Mr. White is Managing Director and Private Wealth Advisor within the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch.  He joined the firm in 1996.  As a leader of the McNamee White Group, he focuses on corporate executive services, estate planning services and money management. Mr. White is actively involved in several philanthropic organizations and is still active in sports, both in coaching and participating. Daniel lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife and three children.

Robert Habush

Board President

Dee Duncan - Executive Director


  • Founder and Executive Director 1985-present of New Directions Travel, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which provides holiday and travel vacations for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Founder and Director, Ashley House Supported Living, 2004-present
  • Residential Supervisor, The Devereux Foundation, Santa Barbara 1977-1985

Public Recognition

  • Non Profit of the year, Santa Barbara Mayor’s Award 2015
  • Trailblazer of the Year, Women’s Economic Ventures 2004
  • Goleta’s Finest: Human Services Professional of the Year, City of Goleta 2004
  • Honored Professional, National Register of Who’s Who 2002
  • Community Hero, Santa Barbara Independent 2001
  • Special Recognition, Santa Barbara Special Olympics1998
  • Outstanding Alumnus, University of California, Santa Barbara 1994
  • Award of Commendation for Special Education Exchange, President Bill Clinton 1993
  • Building International Relationships, President Jimmy Carter 1992
  • Mark of Innovation Award, Travel & Leisure Magazine 1992
  • Woman of Distinction in Education, Soroptimist International 1991

Community Involvement

  • President, Bungalow Haven Neighborhood Association
  • Pearl Chase Society


  • Lived in Santa Barbara since 1974
  • Married for 21 years to Steven Dowty, Principal Kruger, Bensen, Zeimer Architects
  • One step-daughter, Mariette Dowty

Graduated with honors in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, 1976

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Daniel White

Member of the Board