About Us

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

We are a national non-profit organization committed to helping family-led organizations and individual families acquire the knowledge and skills needed to effectively “sit at the table” and influence the policies and decisions that impact the lives of children, youth, and families, including families that face the greatest challenges due to disability, special healthcare needs, poverty, and discrimination.

We are a coalition of non-profit family driven organizations. National PLACE is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors who are advocates with extensive experience in educating and supporting the participation of stakeholders, especially parent organizations.

Take Your PLACE at the Table

There are many notable national groups working diligently and having a powerful impact on specific causes or disabilities. These existing networks can be strengthened by joining together, eliciting input from constituents, and coalescing and collaborating with other committed groups, to form a voice that cannot be minimized or ignored by policy-makers.

The parent voice is critical to the work of many national organizations, we need to help keep that in focus. National PLACE has one priority: serving as a single site where effective parent engagement is nurtured and promoted to support diverse family leaders in advocating to improve all the systems that serve children and families, from education to healthcare, from child behavioral health to juvenile justice, from child welfare to family support.

Executive Director:

Diana Autin, Co-Director/ Director for Policy
Rene Averitt-Sanzone, Co-Director/ Director for Membership

National PLACE Officers:

Debi Tucker, President: Chief Executive Officer of Parent to Parent of Georgia (GA)

Joe LaBelle, VP: Director of Programs Impacts & Director FND Social

Family Network on Disabilities (FL)

Terri Leyton, Secretary: Early Intervention Project Manager of Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (NC)

Carolyn Hayer, Treasurer: Executive Director SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (NJ)

National PLACE Board Members:

Maria Daane, Executive Director, Parents Helping Parents (MA)

Lynda Gargan, Executive Director, The National Federation of Families

Pam Nourse, Executive Director of Federation for Children with Special Needs (MA)

Courtney Salzer, Executive Director, Wisconsin FACETS (WI)

Meedra Surratte, Executive Director of Parent Information Center of Delaware (DE)

Karen Thompson, Executive Director of Access for Special Kids (ASK) Resource Center (IA)

Nora Thompson, Region D Technical Assistance Project Specialist of PEAK Parent Center (CO)

Michelle Williers, Executive Director, PEAK Parent Center (CO)


How to Contact Us:

Phone: 1 862 772 8776

Email: nationalplace@parentsatthetable.org