This page is dedicated to our members who took the faith to do what most don’t. They are becoming employable!
Bob Hachey , Director Operations, Team Lead and Board Member:
Bob is a U-Mass Boston, MBA graduate. He is a life long scholar who studied on scholarship all throughout his life despite being blind . He is also Lead for the Customer sales/service/virtual admin and content writing team. Apart from managing the team he trains the whole team on Linkedin/Social media/ Business research etc, and manages internal operations. His skills lie in Sales/Marketing/Social media marketing/ management / Operations /Business Research and Customer service. Bob lives in Waltham, MA with his wife Donna who is a school teacher. Bob loves to travel, and in his spare time volunteers for several non-profits adding to his leadership skills.
Please read more about Bob under the “Board Members” section.
Sunish Gupta has a Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engg. Post that he got his MBA from MIT Sloan. Sunish is a board member and has experience in several electronics companies in the Silicon Valley. Sunish heads the consulting division that only works with management consultants in the small business space. Sunish’s skills lie in Management, Project Management, Business process design, Business analysis. Read more of his Bio under the Board members section.
Laura Legendary is an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Writer and school curriculum builder. She owns a Braille jewelry market place which she wants to expand internationally. Laura is exceptional! She has been an advisor to Project Starfish from inception. She has believed in the philosophy right from start when it was just an idea. She has interviewed over 50 candidates till date and continues to do so every Tuesday. She is an exceptional conversationalist and can gauge a persons talents in minutes.
Project Starfish is beholden to Laura’s contribution. If you need a speaker, or an exceptional writer please reach out to Laura at <email@example.com> and her website for buying Braille Elegant Jewellery is : http://elegantinsightsjewelry.com/
Ricardo Walker is the Team Lead/Manager for the Business Research team. He is a certified computer technician, an ace at IT and technology, and avid reader and researcher. Ricardo is an exceptional manager and perfectionist. Everything he does has an objective and an end. He is great at managing projects and is currently managing our most prestigious client Experfy, a startup from Harvard Innovation Lab.
Ricardo is a resident of New York City.
William James, member of the Management Consulting Team
Wil is a graduate of St. Petersburg College with an Associates’ degree in criminology and Augusta Technical College with an Associates’ degree in Microcomputers. He has spent his professional life working with assistive technology and has worked for several industry leaders. He specializes in tech support and conducting tests on products. Wil is also skilled in audio production and has lent his voice to a couple games, Judgment Day from L-Works.net and Swamp from kaldobsky.com. He has also done internet radio shows since 2000 and has run his own internet radio station. Wil lives in Augusta, GA with his wife Denise, two Leader Dogs and two cockatiels. He enjoys reading, the outdoors, charcoal grilling and listening to and playing music.
Melanie Peskoe holds a BA in Communication and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Louisville. Her professional interests include promotion, outreach, fundraising and grant writing. Some of her passions are grassroots advocacy, community-building, health and wellness initiatives, and empowering blind and visually impaired people to create the lives they desire. Melanie serves in leadership roles with nonprofit and professional organizations and enjoys new challenges. Melanie’s life philosophy is “when others ask why, ask why not.” Melanie is an avid reader and lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and two children.
Melanie joins as the Director for Outreach. He work is to promote the project, establish relationships with Rehab agencies, Veteran orgs, and other similar activities.
George graduated from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with a Masters in Instruction and Curriculum. He loves to learn and pass knowledge onto others. In addition to his work with Project Starfish George works as an Adaptive Technology Instructor and helps with financial management. When he isn’t studying markets or the latest technology George enjoys tandem cycling, rock climbing, and sky diving.
Randi became a member of the blind community in April of 2008 when multiple sclerosis unexpectedly took her sight. Living without accessible technology for several months in this technologically centered world was extremely difficult. After a challenging adjustment period, she decided to make the most out of her new life and taught herself how to use an Apple computer with its built in screen reader, Voiceover. She now enjoys life in Arizona with her husband and guide dog and is incredibly passionate about baseball. Randi is new to the business world, having been a phlebotomist in her old life and she is grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills with Project Starfish. Randi is a a phenomenal researcher at Project Starfish.
Amanda Berkley, member of the management consulting team
Amanda Berkley is a Tarleton State University graduate. She has a bachelor degree in business administration and is currently working on a MBA and in leadership. She also has a certificate of basic management skills. Amanda is a member of two honor societies, Delta Mu Delta and Delta Epsilon Iota. Her current skills are in business research and international business and management. Amanda currently lives in Cleburne, Texas with her long-time boyfriend, Taylor. Her interests include reading, playing fetch with her guide dog Leah, handling her two pet snakes, and spending time with friends and family.
My name is Desiree Sturdevant and I am in Austin Texas. I live here with my husband and our 2 daughters, who are 10 and 2 years old. I have been home schooling my oldest daughter for the past 4 years and enjoying all that I am learning in that role.
I have 8 years of experience as an Accessibility Specialist and website tester, as well as blog writing and Screen Reader training and demonstrations to local businesses. I have also worked in customer service and have a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Texas at Austin.
I am thoroughly enjoying working with Project Starfish, learning a lot from my colleagues there. I look forward to the future with this organization! I love the idea of partnering very capable blind workers with small businesses who can really benefit from our willingness to work and our experiences.
Tangela Mahaffey is a student of English Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her skills lie in research, social media, and outreach.
Tangela is ambitious, dedicated and hardworking. She is exceptionally fast and accurate at her work. She is part of the Harvard i-Lab startup Experfy, and is truly a valuable player.
Bob Branco graduated from Bristol Community College with an associates degree in business administration, and received his Bachelor’s in Finance from Southeastern Massachusetts University. After college, Bob held several jobs in a variety of fields, including customer service, health benefits counselling, reception and car parts manager. He has also written several books, publishes his own consumer magazine, and has written op-ed columns for the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind. Bob is also a community organizer, an advocate for persons with disabilities, and has had many years of experience in broadcast radio and television. Currently, he serves on the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Regional Advisory Council, and organizes several conference calls and telephone chats on a regular basis.
Antoinette Suchenko currently resides in the historic City of Philadelphia near the Delaware river where George Washington and his troops made history when they crossed the river during the Revolutionary War.
Antoinette is an active member of Project Starfish and specializes in communications. As a multi-lingual speaking person she has held positions as an interpreter, Director of Communications and public relations. Antoinette can speak 6 languages and has worked as an interpreter. Her skills lie in “Appointment setting” , which is highly regarded in the market. Her classy tonality, articulation and friendly voice creates rapport with even the toughest customers.
Antoinette is also involved in diabetes awareness and cutting edge research in finding a cure for type I diabetes. Antoinette also has a passion for animal rescue .
Hi my name is Everett O’ Neal and I am a Marketing/Sales/Customer Service talent for Project Starfish. I also am currently employed with UMASS Boston with a group called Mass Advocates Standing Strong. As
- A vital member of a collaborative team teaching the people in the disabled community strategies to apply and prepare for employment opportunities. And full inclusion in the lives of their communities. Develop strategies that linked members of the disabled community o support services. Led both family & self-advocate meetings and fostered relationships with like-minded organizations, families, educators, community activists, the media and volunteers. Assisted in the design of the community participation processes.
- Offered support, technical assistance, and information to collaborating agencies, community based organizations, schools, youth groups, parent groups, business organizations, and other stakeholders. Prepared monthly reports, communications and other documentation. Participated in community meetings, visibility/events, and conferences as needed; and assisted in developing and updating training protocols and tools.
My name is Jennifer Duval and I reside in Townsend Massachusetts. I graduated Cum Laude from Fitchburg State College with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies which included a minor in Spanish and concentrations in French and Education. In 2009 I completed a Master’s in Vision Education from U Mass Boston and am licensed as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. I’m a Research and Outreach Specialist for project starfish.
In my spare time, I enjoy knitting, baking, reading, writing, the outdoors, volunteering at Townsend Ecumenical Outreach’s food distribution, and singing with a local group. I also host a blog where I share my interests and experiences, review products, and discuss topics that prompt critical thinking and personal reflection. In addition, I’m hard at work on my first novel.
Jim ONeil has the following role/experience
Sales/access Technology, Business Development with project Star Fish America.
Arcogent, Sales and Marketing. Virtual Vision Technology Director of sales
Access Technology Project Support Specialist Free Library of Philadelphia
Lincoln Invest Planning Sales. Pennsylvania Ballets. Comcast Cable TV.
Market Place Insurance Center. Vending Stand Operator.
Rose Waagan is originally from New Jersey, but she relocated to the Seattle area of Washington two years ago. She has been an assistive technology consultant for the past five years with an emphasis on Apple products. Rose believes that all blind people should learn how to cook. To this end, she is currently in the process of writing a cookbook for the blind. Her skills with Project Starfish are business research and customer service.
Amanda Heal, Country Lead, Project Starfish (Australia)
Amanda has been totally blind since birth, and graduated from the Australian National University in 1996 with degrees in Commerce and Law . Amanda has worked for the Australian government in various legal capacities for the last 17 years, most recently as a legislative drafter. Amanda also runs her own business as an independent Arbonne consultant.
Amanda’s skills lie in plain English writing, technical writing, Australian legal research, business research, customer service, and multilevel marketing.
Amanda lives in Canberra, Australia, and loves to knit, read, eat out and travel in her spare time.
I am Malavika Vasudeva. I am a University of Illinois at Chicago graduate. I have a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and communications Engineering. I also have an MBA in Marketing. I have worked with HP and Oracle in the past for 4 years. I am currently working with Next Generation Technology as a Business Analyst.
My skills include Account Management, Business Analysis, Project Management. I am from Bangalore, India and currently reside in Chicago. My hobbies include wildlife photography, reading, singing and listening to music, philately and love spending time with family.