MEET THE TEAM


DEE DUNCAN - Executive Director

Dee has worked with people with developmental disabilities since 1977. She founded the New Directions organization in 1985 and continues to inspire others and dedicate her efforts to accomplishing our mission. When not immersed in ND work, Dee enjoys traveling with her husband (they have a house in Italy!), restoring their 1920’s California bungalow, gourmet cooking, gardening and is actively involved in the Santa Barbara community as founder of the Santa Barbara Bungalow Haven group and a member of the Pearl Chase Society.



JEANNE MOHLE - Director of Operations
As Director of Operations Jeanne is responsible for the day to day functioning of the office and the daily operations of the organization as a whole. This is especially helpful to NEW DIRECTIONS and to Dee Duncan personally since Dee's fundraising activities requires her to be out of the office more and more. As you may recall, Jeanne started with ND as a tour guide in 1995. Due to her many talents, intelligence and dedication she has steadily advanced to positions of more responsibility as Program Manager and Senior Program Manager. Any of us here at the office will tell you that, "Jeanne makes this place tick!"

DANNA MEAD - Program Director
Danna has been in the full time Program Manager position with ND since 2000. She has consistently provided perfectly outstanding service and produced exceptionally high quality tours. No matter what, she always produces the desired result! Danna is extremely bright, a wonderful team player, has a delightful personality, and is fiercely capable. For example, just some of what she does in her "spare" time is scuba dive, travel all over the world, and leads workshops on Women Traveling Alone! As Program Director, Danna is directly in charge of all program staff, she is responsible for the overall success of all tours, day excursions, events and all other program activities.


COLETTE PIACENTINI - Business Manager
Colette came out of retirement in 2000 to work for ND after many years of involvement in accounting and administrative activities for non-profits serving people with disabilities. She likes the challenges and rewards of her position and loves to witness the joy and excitement of the travelers departing on tours. She has lived in Santa Barbara with her big family for over 45 years and if she is not working in the office or her garden at home, she is probably hiking the hills with her dogs. She is also the one with the lovely French accent!


NANCY SAMSON - Executive Assistant
Nancy originally became aware of New Directions' fabulous travel programs when her son, Dave Samson, went on New Directions tours to Hawaii, Disneyworld, and Harry Potter World in Orlando. Upon returning from each tour Nancy noted that Dave had a new smile on his face and a spring in his step! In 2010, Nancy retired from the Santa Barbara County Ed Office and became an 'empty-nester' (she raise her five children as a widow since 1998). After volunteering for just a few months at the New Directions office, Nancy realized she had found her 'second career' and became a part-time employee. She is now the executive assistant to Dee Duncan. "Everyday I see first-hand that New Directions' mission to bring people with developmental disabilities out into the world of travel is very powerful and successful. I am truly blessed to be part of this amazing nonprofit."


DAWN COVEY - Administrative Assistant

Most of you are familiar with Dawn as the cheerful voice greeting you when you call the office. Beginning in the entry level position of part time Receptionist in 2006, Dawn has learned a great deal and in the process taken on more and more responsibilities. In addition to her reception duties, she now manages the Office Assistant’s Program, assists the Executive Director with supporting the board of directors, public relations, special events, marketing and fundraising duties, and assists the Program Managers by maintaining the vehicles, organizing tour supplies, and is directly in charge of the Holiday Happiness Secret Santa, Wish List, and Stocking programs. When her duties allow, she also fills in as a tour guide and has shown a very special talent in this area. She loves hanging out with her family and friends, horseback riding, hiking, and cooking. We look forward to more of the ways that Dawn will contribute to the success of ND!

 

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