William Hudson, President
J. Brian Nuss, Vice President
James Clarke, Treasurer
Karen M. Clark, Secretary
Dr. Varleisha D. Gibbs PhD, OTD, OTR/L
Dr. Aisha Lord Ryan MSPT, DPT, CMTPT
Natashia Sanders MBA, MHA
Jeffrey A. Smith
James Clarke, Board Treasurer
Jim recently retired after working in accounting and finance for over 30 years. His most recent position was as Controller for Artesian Water Company. Prior to that he was employed by Bank of America (previously MBNA) and Columbia Gas System in different managerial capacities. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in 1983.
Mr. Clarke has been married to Patty Clarke for 35 years. They have a son and a daughter. Their daughter Amanda attends C.E.R.T.S., Inc. Adult Action Center in Newark. They have lived in Hockessin, DE since 1984.
Karen M. Clark, Board Secretary
In 2014, Karen M. Clark rejoined the C.E.R.T.S. Board of Directors after having previously served on the Charter Board for seven years, during the planning and opening of C.E.R.T.S. She graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a dual certification in Special Education. She received her Master of Science in Education Degree from Wilmington University.
Karen worked for the Colonial School District from 1974 – 2009 taking time off to have 3 children with her husband, Alan, who is also an educator. During her tenure, she taught in both regular and special education classrooms from first through 9th grade. The latter half of her career was spent in quasi-administrative positions.
After 32 years of service, she retired from the Colonial School District and worked for the University of Delaware as an Education Consultant with the Department of Secondary Education. She and her team provided on-site training to inclusion teams of teachers in an effort to improve inclusive education practices in middle and high school settings. She retired fully in June 2013 and is enjoying her time with family and friends.
Varleisha D. Gibbs PhD, OTD, OTR/L, Board Director
Dr. Gibbs received a baccalaureate degree from University of Delaware and continued her studies by choosing the field of Occupational Therapy. In her continued scholastic pursuits, she acquired professional degrees from Columbia University, Thomas Jefferson University and Seton Hall University. Dr. Gibbs founded Universal Progressive Therapy in 2003. Located in New Jersey, the company was established to provide interdisciplinary and quality therapeutic services to families. This provided opportunities to provide education, treatment and studying in the areas of sensory integration. Her doctoral studies encompassed family centered care, autism spectrum disorders and the use of telerehabilitation. This innovative topic led to the publication of “Family-Centered Occupational Therapy and Telehabilitation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” found in the journal of Occupational Therapy in Healthcare.
Dr. Gibbs continues to lecture and provide training on sensory processing strategies and self-regulation throughout the country. As author of Self-Regulation and Mindfulness and co-author of Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders, she has provided families with strategies to understand and care for children. She is a full time chair/director and associate professor in the Masters of Occupational Therapy at Wesley College which is Delaware’s first professional degree granting program in this field. Her passion is to provide individuals with tools to assist them and the family system.
Bill Hudson, Board President
Bill (William) Hudson joined the board at C.E.R.T.S., Inc. in 2015. He earned a B.S. in Business and Accounting from Delaware State University. Bill has been an employee of the Internal Revenue Service since 1988 the same year he graduated from college. Bill passed his CPA exam in 1993 when he joined the International Tax Division becoming a manager in 2006. Today, he holds the position of Transfer Pricing Specialist. Married 28 years, Bill has three children. His oldest son was diagnosed with PDD/Autism in 1993 spending his school career in the Delaware Autism Program. He currently attends a day program and resides in a group home. Bill has two daughters as well, one graduated from college in 2014 with the other still attending. His wife is a Human Resources Generalist for Corporation Service Company (CSC), Inc. Bill is committed to advocating for people with special needs and enjoys sports and traveling.
Cindy Jenkins, Board Director
Cindy Jenkins was a DuPont Company employee for 20 years where she began as a secretary and then transitioned to IT services. When this service was outsourced in 1997 to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Cindy continued to work on the DuPont account as well as projects for the government and a mid-sized company. Retiring from CSC in 2011, she then became the lead person in a partnership that started a fast-casual chain restaurant in Millsboro, DE. In this position, she ordered and received all equipment for start-up and set up payroll and accounts payable/receivable. Cindy managed this business for 5 years until it was sold then was tasked with the charge of shutting down the business in 2016.
Cindy has three children. The oldest is her son, who is a participant at C.E.R.T.S., Inc.’s Newark location. She has a long history of service with this agency. Cindy was a Board member from 2004 to 2012, holding positions as Vice President and Treasurer. She has been a member of the Fund Development Committee, which focuses on fund raising events, since she left the Board in 2012. Cindy organized the 5K Run/Walk for 5 years and was instrumental in the success of the Piggin’ Out dinner that took place annually from 2010 to 2016.
Dr. Aisha Lord Ryan MSPT, DPT, CMTPT, Board Director
Dr. Ryan is an entrepreneur and Physical Therapy practice owner of ALL Therapy Physical Therapy & Wellness located in the Middletown Delaware area. She is a licensed Physical Therapist in Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Aisha is passionate about enriching the lives of others through physical therapy, rehabilitation and movement. She received her Doctorate from Columbia University and Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Delaware.
Along with previous positions as a physical therapist in homecare, inpatient/outpatient services and ergonomic consultant, Dr. Ryan was also a teaching assistant at the University of Delaware, head teaching assistant at Columbia University and an adjunct instructor at Delaware State University. She has been a guest lecturer at University of Delaware, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, George Washington University and Howard University. Currently through seminars and workshops, Aisha educates various dance companies, schools and senior groups on injury prevention.
As part of her professional accomplishments, Dr. Ryan was a speaker for the University of Delaware Health Sciences Summer Program Culmination and a recipient of the University of Delaware’s Kinesiology Department’s Outstanding Alumnae Award, both in 2018. She has been featured on the cover of the Third Quarter Publication of the New Castle County’s Women’s Journal for the 2015 July/Aug/Sept edition and was additionally featured in this publications in the 2015 Oct/Nov/Dec. edition as well. In 2014, Aisha’s business was voted New Castle County’s 1st State Favorites’ Best Physical Therapy Practice. From 2013 to 2015, she served on the PTA Program Professional Advisory Board at Montgomery College in Maryland in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. She was also Capstone Advisor for the 2012 Doctoral class at Howard University. Dr. Ryan was recognized for serving as a clinical instructor and role model for students pursuing Doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy from Columbia University, George Washington University and Howard University and for students pursuing Physical Therapy Assistant degrees from Montgomery College.
Aisha has been professionally affiliated with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science and the American Physical Therapy Association. She was a provider and contractor for Physical Therapy at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. When Dr. Ryan was part of Backstage Physical Therapy Services, she offered physical therapy services and education for dance and theatrical performance groups at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
J. Brian Nuss, Board Vice President
Brian Nuss attended the University of Delaware and West Chester University majoring in Business Administration. In 2008, he acquired a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. He started his career at MBNA but after 19 years managing a wide range of operational positions, he decided in 2008 to move into a new role. He became COO of ACT or Advanced Call Center Technologies. In 2014, he joined Bridgeforce Inc. as an independent consultant focused on the financial services industry. Brian is married to Lisa Prettyman and has three children: Demi (22), Kala (22) and MacKenzie (15). Demi attends the C.E.R.T.S., Inc. day habilitation program in Newark.
Natashia Sanders MBA, MHA, Board Director
Natashia Sanders is the Director of Pharmacy Accounts at Anthem, Inc. where she is responsible for development and implementation of the strategy and business plan for the new Medical Standalone PBM. She spent the previous 11 years at PerformRx as Director of Account Management. Functions in this position affected organizational services internally and externally and included contract negotiations, RFP support, client implementations, project management, strategy development, revenue generation and cost savings. Natashia also held positions as Director of Account Management, Director of Implementation, Director of Relationship Management and Senior Account Executive at PerformRX. Before this, Natashia worked in specialty neuroscience sales for Eli Lilly & Co. and MedPointe Pharmaceuticals in primary care sales. She entered healthcare out of college as a research scientist for DuPont Pharmaceuticals and then worked in the same capacity at Bristol Myers Squibb. When employed at AstraZeneca, Natashia worked in compound management and Leads Discovery for new drug development.
In additional to her full time employment, Natashia started her own business in 2018 called 360Innovations, Inc. “From Start to Finish” to offer solutions in branding, marketing, contract negotiations and operations management.
Natashia received her Bachelor of Arts (Spanish minor) from the University of Delaware. She went on to earn a Master of Health Care Administration from Wilmington University where she is currently a doctoral candidate anticipating graduation in 2019.
Natashia is a mother of four with her oldest attending The Pennsylvania State University and her remaining children in 8th, 6th and preschool grades. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority where she serves as Public Relations & Marketing Committee Chair; President of the F.A.M.E. Parent Council; Worthy Matron of Myrtle Chapter No.90 of the Eastern Star, Deborah Grand Chapter P.H.A.; and active in other community service and philanthropic organizations. In her spare time, Natashia loves to read, teach, mentor youth, and travel.
Jeffrey A. Smith, Board Director
Jeff has been an employee with the DuPont Company for 35 years. He is currently Global Director of Indirect Materials and Services for the Sourcing and Logistics function. He oversees a global staff of 125 employees responsible for approximately $5 billion that is spent on goods and services that includes human resources, information technology, professional services, fleet, travel and site services. His responsibilities have allowed him to travel the world but he attributes his success to being genuine, transparent, collaborative and most importantly, demonstrating servant leadership.
Jeff has been married for 31 years to Chrissy Smith and has a grown son and daughter. His daughter, Jessica Henne is married to Jake Henne who is a Captain in the US Army stationed in AZ. Austin Smith is a Nurse’s Aide at Pocopson Home in West Chester PA.