Who We Are

Ruben speaking at ADA Event on June 5th.

The Barbara Stone Foundation pulled a cohort of service providers and stakeholders together in 2013 with a belief that working together would improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities. This collaborative effort grew and is now call Greenville CAN (Collaborative Action Network).

The Barbara Stone Foundation has provided financial support for Greenville CAN since 2013 and made the decision in 2018 to serve as the official home for the Greenville CAN coalition providing additional financial and staff support.

Ruben speaking at ADA Event on June 5th.
  • Greenville CAN is not a formal organization; instead, it is a coalition of self-advocates, service providers, families, caregivers, and professionals committed to making Greenville a better place to live for individuals with disabilities.
  • Our strength comes from individuals and organizations working together to create change.
  • We believe the best way to increase services, programs, access, opportunities, and resources in our community for individuals with disabilities is through collaboration and partnership.
  • Instead of creating new organizations to fill perceived gaps in our community, we address community needs by linking organizations together, leveraging available resources to expand capacity, and advocating for system and policy change.

GREENVILLE CAN Coalition Management Team

Our Coalition Management Team consist of strategic priority team chairs plus other key community stakeholders.  Project Teams include: Transportation – Civic Engagement – Healthy Relationships – Transition – ADA / Access – Recreation.

Greenville CAN members posing in front of the ADA tour bus.

Coalition Management Team Members:

  • Chris Sparrow – Barbara Stone Foundation
  • Sean Tuck –  Self-advocate
  • Robin Blackwood – Parent
  • Josh Wall – Greenville County Parks and Rec
  • Marion Elliott – Barbara Stone Foundation Board
  • Ruben Alvarez – Self-advocate
  • Jennifer Ferguson – Self-advocate
  • Allison Fleahman – Project SEARCH
  • Dana McConnell – Center for Developmental Services
  • Mike Jank – City of Greenville
  • Tyler Rex – Thrive Upstate
  • Sandy Jordan – Able SC
Mike Teachey

Executive Director – Lara Ceisel

Lara Ceisel serves as the Lead Facilitator / Director for Greenville CAN, as well as, the Executive Director for the Barbara Stone Foundation.  Before her involvement with Greenville CAN, Lara Ceisel was the Area Director for Special Olympics Greenville County and a supervisor at Camp Spearhead.  

Greenville CAN Program Manager smiles at the camera.

Program Manager – Chris Sparrow

Chris is the Program Manager for Greenville CAN. Chris is a native to Greenville, SC, and is dedicated to making Greenville, SC a better place to live and visit for people with disabilities. He graduated from Eastside High School and USC Upstate with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication. In 2012, Chris experienced a rare neurological event which left him paralyzed from the waist down. From that point Chris knew he was meant to serve a large purpose in life. Shortly afterwards, Chris became active in the local disability community, and began working in the disability advocacy field. Chris is especially interested in improving accessibility, adaptive sports and building a more engaged disability community in Greenville.

Partnership Engagement / Communications Coordinator:  Robin Blackwood

Robin Blackwood is the Engagement /Communications Coordinator for Greenville CAN. Robin has been a volunteer for Greenville CAN since its formation serving on the Leadership Team and various workgroups. Robin has over 20 years experience in Public Relations and Marketing and has skills in strategic PR planning, media relations, social media and marketing campaigns. She serves as a champion for the disability community and is a member of Protection and Advocacy For People With Disabilities PAIDD Advisory Council, a GHS Children’s Hospital Community Council member, on Stone Academy’s Student Improvement Council and The Washington Center’s Student Improvement Council and a graduate of SC Partners in Policymaking. Robin is an Orangeburg native, lived in Greenville since 1997 and a graduate of University of South Carolina.

Legacy Circle Members: (Former Leadership Team Members)

Greenville CAN’s ability to affect change is a direct result of the vision, leadership, and effort of all of the individuals who have participated in a leadership capacity with Greenville CAN.


  • Muriel Taylor – Family Connection
  • Susan Leiby – Autism Society
  • Jeff Dezen – Jeff Dezen Public Relations
  • Bill Welch – Broken Wing Farm
  • Dr. Desmond Kelly – Greenville Health System
  • Susan Sachs – Project Hope Foundation
  • Sandy Hanebrink – Touch the Future
  • Carolyn O’Connell – Community Advocate
  • Alex Garvey – Bon Secours St. Francis
  • Susan Kastner – Family Connection
  • Susan Howard – Greenville County Schools
  • Cheryl Johnson – Greenville County Schools


  • Skeeter Powell – David’s Table
  • Linda Marlow – Community Advocate
  • Rhonda Mumford – Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
  • Princella Lee Bridges – Bridges from Augusta
  • Randy Risser – Shriners Hospital Greenville
  • David Turnipseed – SC Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Kerry Reese – SC Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Chris Neeley – Meyer Center
  • Ken Dority – NAMI
  • Sally Wills – Livewell Greenville
  • Amy Hallasy – Barbara Stone Foundation
  • Steve Hand – Greenville Tech
  • Mari Steinbach – City of Greenville Parks and Recreation
  • Paula Carnahan
  • Mindy Ramsey – Family Connection
  • Vickie Kilbride – Down Syndrome Alliance of the Upstate
  • John Cocciolone – Colonel Consulting
  • Joy Ivester – Center for Disability Resources
  • Chris Moylan – Prisma Health

Participating Organizations

ABLE SC, Advanced Institute for Development and Learning, Advanced Therapy Solutions, A Head Start, Applied Theater Center, Amazing Young Adults, Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, Arc of Midlands, Arc of SC, Arc of Pickens, Babynet, Barbara Stone Foundation,  Bolda Communications, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Boost, Bridges from Augusta, Brilliant Beginnings, Broken Wing Farm, Camp Spearhead, Carolina Adaptive Golf, Carolina Dance Collaborative, Carolina Drive In, Center for Family Services, Center for Developmental Services, Center for Disability Resources, CHIPS, City of Fountain Inn, City of Greenville, City of Greer, City of Mauldin, City of Simpsonville, City of Travelers Rest, Clarity, Clemson LIFE, Community Foundation of Greenville, Community Resource Solutions, Converse College, Community Options, CP Daily Living, CRD Autism Group, David’s Table, Down Syndrome Alliance of the Upstate, Einstein Academy, ExepApps, Family Connections, Family Footprint, Goodwill, Greenlink, Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Greenville Civitan Club, Greenville County, Greenville County Care Collaborative, Greenville County Department of Social Services, Greenville County Rec, Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, Greenville County Schools, Greenville County Workforce Development Board, Greenville Housing Authority, Greenville Medical Society Alliance, Greenville Society of Human Resource Managers,  Greenville Tech, Greenville Works, Harvest Hope, Heather’s Ride, Help Me Grow, Hidden Treasure Christian School, ICAN Bike, Institute for Child Success, InDwellings, Kidnetics, Kidventures, Kitch Legal, Kroc Center, Livewell Greenville, Meals on Wheels, Mentor Upstate, Meyer Center for Special Children, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Natural Health and Yoga, Northwestern Mutual- Special Steps Planning, Piedmont Health Foundation, Pro-Parents, Probate Court (Greenville), Project Hope Foundation, Project Search St. Francis, Rebuild Upstate, Roger C. Peace, S.A.F.E., SC Autism Society, SC Department of Disabilities & Special Needs, SC First Steps, SC School for the Deaf & Blind, SC Vocational Rehabilitation, SC Works, SC Youth Advocacy, Shape of Behavior, Shriners Hospital, Spearhead Legacy Board, Special Olympics, Springbrook Behavioral Health, Ten at the Top, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Thrive Upstate, Touch the Future, United Way of Greenville County, Upstate Circle of Friends, Upstate Forever, Upstate Transit Coalition, Upstate Warrior Solution, Washington Center, West Greenville School, YAP Inc., YMCA, Yoga-2-Go, Young Life

If your organization has been involved and is not on this list please contact Lara Ceisel:  lara@barbarastonefoundation.org.

People under 65 in Greenville County with a Disability: Census 2012 - 2016

Your Opportunity to Make a Difference has never been better…

Every donation, large and small affects positive change.

Within our generation, people with disabilities were locked away from society with a belief that they had nothing useful to contribute.  Although much progress has been made in the past fifty years, individuals with disabilities still struggle to be seen, heard, valued, and included.  Your donation to the Barbara Stone Foundation supports the work of Greenville CAN.

YOU can be the difference.  Please make a contribution today.

Thank you for being a champion for individuals with disabilities!

The Barbara Stone Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law.