MEET THE STAFF
"They are such interesting and talented employees! Although the consumers are the heart of our program, the staff is its soul. I know that parents and care providers of prospective new consumers, as well as people making donations, will find the ACE-IT I staff a good reason to bring their consumers and donations with confidence to Easter Seals." -Niki Renna, Program Director
CATHIE PHELPS ELZE
I have been with Easter Seals ACE IT I since 2006. After graduating from USIU School of Performing Arts, I enjoyed a career in musical theatre and television where I performed with Anthony Geary, John Travolta and Ben Affleck. All of this was before I came to Easter Seals ACE IT I where I was finally able to fulfill my vision of teaching performing arts to adults with disabilities. There is an enormous reward in helping our consumers discover their talents. As director of the ACE IT I “Splish Splash Theater”, I am living my dream, and my enthusiasm continues to be fueled by the eagerness and flair of our talented consumers.
I have lived in the beautiful City of Trees (Sacramento) all my life where I am raising my adorable daughter Alanna. I absolutely love music. I play the drums and I’m self-taught on the bass guitar. I really enjoy my job at ACE IT I. It is inspirational to watch the consumers learn, grow and blossom. I especially enjoy our “drumming days” when we gather in a circle, and with a variety of different drums, we beat rhythms which spontaneously come together as a beating heart.
I was born in Yuba City where I was raised by my mom with the help of my uncle. Growing up, I played sports from sun up to sun down. I moved to Lincoln, California where I attended high school and joined the wrestling, football and track teams. After high school I went to Sierra College and pursued an interest in becoming an EMT. I worked in construction for about two years and then got into health care working with adults with disabilities. Working with people with disabilities fills my heart with joy and I love to see them happy, enjoying life and reaching their personal goals.
I am called Salama which means PEACE in Swahili. As a “people person” I have customer service experience which I have practiced for many years in both Kenya and the U.S. I have worked for Easter Seals ACE IT I since 2007, and I give my best with a smile on my face. I love working at ACE IT I because every day the consumers and staff give me a reason to come back the next day with an even bigger smile on my face.
I’ve been working at Easter Seals since 2004. In the past I was a professional actor (including one gig as a singing, dancing fried egg!), a studio potter, a cartoonist, an estate administrator and a standardized assessment test scorer. I enjoy writing poetry, and I play tennis and exercise my dog to keep in shape. I love working at Easter Seals ACE IT I because I find it so inspiring. Each day brings a new challenge and a fresh reason to appreciate the many little joys in life that most of us take for granted.
I was raised in the lovely City of San Francisco and received my B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences from Sacramento State University in 2006. I am currently pursuing my certification as an occupational therapist assistant at Sacramento City College. I have designed a clothing line called "Malaya" which is geared for consumers with physical limitations. I find joy in helping others gain more independence and love my wonderful job at Easter Seals where I can contribute to broadening the horizons of others.
My hobbies include dancing, rollerblading, rafting, watching Anime, hockey and playing video games. I have been at ACE IT I since September 2010 and this is by far the most wonderful job I have ever had. I love helping the consumers enjoy their lives to the fullest and I especially enjoy helping the consumers unfold the world of music, current events and academics on the internet. I look forward to many more years at Easter Seals ACE IT I.
I am from Kenya and have been studying the medical field since 1999. I started working for Easter Seals ACE IT I in 2007 and in 2010 I started prerequisites at American River College to become a nurse. I like my job at ACE IT I because I love helping others to become more independent. I look forward to work every morning knowing I will learn something new from the consumers.
I am excited to bring my experience as a studio potter and tile sculptor to the ACE IT I program. I enjoy working with the people we serve creating bowls for the Sacramento Empty Bowls Project and creating large scale tile projects in which everyone contributes their creativity. I am also delighted to participate in the many opportunities our consumers have for volunteer work and employment as well as my involvement in expanding these opportunities. This is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. I work with a group of amazing and talented people.
I was born in the great State of Louisiana and moved to California in 1945 where I went to school in Merced. I moved to Sacramento in 1980 and worked for Kaiser Permanente Hospital as a nutritional aide until my retirement in 1999. Retirement wasn’t my cup of tea, so I applied for work through the Senior Companion Program which led me to the wonderful opportunity at Easter Seals working with adults with developmental disabilities. I was very sad when I had to leave my position and move to Muskogee, Oklahoma to fulfill a family obligation, but I didn’t like that part of the country and I missed my work with Easter Seals. I am now back on the job doing what makes me happy; being with the consumers at ACE IT I and enjoying every moment of every day!
My name is Osman and I was born in Freetown Sierra Leone, West Africa. I started working for Easter Seals in 2007. Working with people with special needs is a thing I love to do. I am very happy each day to step in the door and see my clients. We have a lot of activities we do each day. We are doing our best to make our clients independent, use good judgment and have fun. I enjoy the consumers and appreciate all my co-workers. We work as a team.
I was born in the wonderful land of the Fiji Islands and came to the United States in 2005 when I got married. I am a CNA medical assistant and am working toward achieving my nursing credentials. I love to cook and enjoy helping ACE IT I clients practice the art of cooking to achieve independence. Every day at ACE IT I is a joy. I am fortunate to have such a delightful job to come to.