Elevations is fortunate to have a dedicated team that works tirelessly to provide funding to elevate children with special needs to reach their full potential.
Board of Directors
Kelly Lynch, President
Kelly worked as a therapist before choosing to stay at home and raise her two children. As a therapist, Kelly often ran into roadblocks finding financial coverage for therapies or equipment that would improve outcomes for the children she worked with. Determined to address this need, Kelly helped co-found Elevations to provide funding for children with special needs to get what they needed that could make or break the child’s success. She knows that the families that request help from Elevations are doing everything they can to provide the best care for their child and finds that emotionally powerful. Kelly considers it an honor to be a part of that. Originally, from Grand Forks, North Dakota and now living in the Spokane Valley, Kelly is a runner and enjoys reading in her spare time
Brian Price, Vice President
Brian is the parent of special needs children, an Executive Coach at Ignition Academy Coaching and an entrepreneur. Having personally experienced the challenges that families face, Brian brings his passion and commitment to supporting other families to get the services and help they need. Brian was honored to be invited to help co-found this amazing organization and be part of such a compassionate mission as he knows first-hand the impact that support like the kind Elevations provides can have on the entire family. He is committed to increasing the mission capacity of Elevations so that every child with special needs receives the resources they need. Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Brian lives in Spokane, is married to his beautiful wife Dotti, father of twins, love’s serving his community and other people in the most powerful way possible, enjoys family time, watersports, travel, fishing, and playing the drums with local bands.
Julie Hannan, Secretary
Julie works as a therapist and is another founding member of Elevations. She feels very fortunate and blessed in her own life and wanted to give back in a meaningful way. In her work, Julie sees parents who are struggling to do the right thing for their child and wanted to help them continue to get their child the support they need regardless of cost. Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Julie lives in the Spokane Valley and enjoys spending time with her family. With two boys, it is usually something sports related.
David Owan, Treasurer
David Owan is the owner of Youthful Horizons Therapy and the founding member of Elevations. In his practice, David worked with many families to be sure their child received the services they needed. The need far outpaced his ability to reach all of the children needing services. Working with other clinic owners, David recognized that many clinics were facing the same challenges. Elevations was created to assist families by helping to relieve the financial stress for families of special needs children in Spokane County, regardless of diagnosis, to get the therapy and equipment needed to reach their full potential.
Chanda Neu, Director
Chanda joined the Elevations board in 2016 to help families struggling financially with outrageously high insurance deductibles, multiple co-pays, and lack of insurance coverage. As the owner of Milestones Pediatric Therapy, she has had many heart-wrenching conversations with parents and worked with families to find solutions, but there is a limit to what any one clinic can do. Chanda is committed to the success of Elevations so that families can get the support they need without resorting to drastic measures. One family considered divorcing so that mom could apply for state assistance. Chanda has three adopted children who bravely face many lifelong challenges. They remind her every day what it means to be resilient, kind, and loving. Chanda is originally from Plentywood, Montana and enjoys almost anything outdoors.
Grace Thompson, Director
Grace is a small business owner and mother of four young children making free time a rarity. Grace found herself in a desperate situation while pregnant with her second child, Owen. Owen had become deathly ill and was taken by emergency five weeks premature. After five weeks in the NICU, he finally came home with his family. Once home, he immediately started therapy for a host of issues. With multiple therapy sessions each week, even with great insurance, benefits expired only months after starting. Grace experienced first-hand what so many parents of special needs kids face every day and brings that rich experience to the board of Elevations to help other families. Grace is from Spokane and enjoys spending time with family and the Seahawks.
Jeff Thompson, Director
Jeff is the owner of Panic Button and supports Elevations with IT services. He shares a common story with his wife, Grace. When the Thompsons were told to say goodbye to their newborn son only hours after he was born, Jeff was forced to grow in indescribable ways. He developed the ability to relate to parents of sick or disabled children. Jeff is all-in with Elevations and the mission to provide funding to help children to reach their full potential. He finds it ludicrous that money should stand in the way of children getting the help they need. Jeff is from Spokane and enjoys playing the drums and teaching his kids the same appreciation of music. God and family inspire Jeff.
Lora Norton, Director
Lora joined the Elevations board in 2016. She has been working with families of children with special needs or developmental delays for more than 25 years and appreciates how a challenge given to a child affects the whole family. She believes families deserve emotional and financial support. As a therapist, she sees how therapy, knowledge, support, and equipment for good home programs make a difference in children’s lives and the way a family can function. She also sees firsthand how the medical and educational systems do not provide enough support and she feels a need to do something more to help families in need. Born in California, Lora has lived in the Northwest for most of her life. Lora has a large family and is inspired by her children and enjoys Gonzaga basketball.
Molly Everson, Director
Molly wanted to be a part of Elevations after she saw first-hand the positive effects Elevations has on children and their families. In her work as a therapist, Molly realized the significant need in our community and was pulled to contribute time and resources to support and further this great cause. She admires and is inspired by the perseverance towards success of the children and families she works with. Molly is a Spokane native who enjoys reading and trying new recipes from Pinterest or Bon Appetite magazine. She is a huge Washington University Husky fan, which does not go over too well in Cougar Country! Molly and her husband, Bobby, like to spend summers at Priest and Loon Lake.
Brad Messerschmidt, Director
Brad is a parent of children with special needs and has experienced first-hand the trials and tribulations that families can often face. Brad brings his experience, compassion and commitment to supporting families that are going through similar experiences. While he knows that the support of friends and family go a long way, he also recognizes that families/children often need additional resources. Brad is honored to be on the board of Elevations and help in bringing these resources to the families in need. Brad is a Financial Representative with Thrivent Financial and loves spend time with his family and being in the outdoors
Mary Anne Ruddis, Executive Director
Mary Anne has a deep passion for children and a unique understanding of the obstacles that families face as they navigate the healthcare system. Having had two medically fragile children, she is committed to assisting others and working to help children receive the services they need to live up to their fullest potential. Mary Anne has worked professionally in the non-profit sector since 2004 after five years of volunteer service. She officially joined the Elevations team in August 2016 and is excited to be working together with the board, volunteers, and the community to ensure that children with special needs get the services and resources they need to thrive. Mary Anne is a proud graduate of Gonzaga University and happy to call Spokane Valley home.