Leadership

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Pamela A. Ayres, President

"Being the President of FAR is an honor. I love to receive calls or emails from parents sharing success stories about their children. The stories almost always are a thank you to FAR’s therapists who made these breakthroughs possible. I am so proud to be part of it all."

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Pamela has been in non-profit management for over 15 years and with FAR since 2012.  As President, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of FAR with a focus on programs, organizational growth, and fundraising.

A graduate of The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program at Oakland University in Non-Profit Management.  Pamela is Certified as a Protocol and Etiquette Consultant by the Protocol School of Washington, DC and studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Pamela has a strong commitment to the community and is involved with:

  • Joe Kocur Foundation For Children—Board Member
  • Ted Lindsay Foundation For Autism—Advisory Board Member
  • Orchards Children’s Services-Advisory Board Member
  • Project Giving B.A.C.K (Building A Classroom In Kenya)—Board Member
  • Career Dress-Board Member
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Barbara R. Darga, C.P.A., CGMA, Director Of Finance & Business Management

"I have come to appreciate how much FAR gives to the special needs community. FAR therapists are incredibly gifted and their connections with our clients are so inspiring.  I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization and to work with such great team members." Barbara has 30 years experience in the field of finance and business management and has been with FAR for 2 years.

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She is responsible for all financial information, including coordination of the annual audit, government filings, and insurance. She also manages human resources, IT and offsite contracts.

Barb holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan.

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Valorie Fisher, Administrator, Bookkeeper

"I’m very thankful to work at FAR as I see the hard work of our therapists and instructors resulting in greater confidence and joy in our clients. Working in the front office, I get to greet everyone who visits FAR and try my best to make them all feel welcomed and comfortable."

Val has been in the field of administration and bookkeeping for 25 years and with FAR for four years. She is responsible for client program registration, accounts payable and administrative support.

 

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Patricia Karle, MT-BC, Director Of Therapeutic Services

"I believe in music therapy because I believe in music. More and more, science supports what we in the field have long understood about how music influences growth and encourages change from the inside out. Working at FAR and seeing firsthand the difference music makes in the lives of others never ceases to amaze me!”

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Patty has practiced Music Therapy for 25 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb and at offsite locations, providing private music therapy and adaptive music instruction. Patty is also FAR’s Director of Therapeutic Services, working with our administrative staff to ensure the integrity and development of our therapies now and into the future.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. She also holds an AAS (associate of applied science) degree in Manual Communications and Deaf Studies from Sinclair College and provides sign interpretation at Rejoicing Spirits services offered at First Presbyterian Church Birmingham.

Patty is a member of the AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION (AMTA), AMTA Great Lakes Region and MICHIGAN MUSIC THERAPISTS (MMT).

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Renae Murphy, MT-BC, Director Of Volunteers

“I believe that each and every person has the ability to be musical. Within the sessions I am able to uncover the client’s music preferences and talents. Working with the clients and seeing their progress throughout the year and how their musicality develops is one of the highlights for me.”

Renae earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. She conducts Music Therapy and adaptive lessons at FAR.

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Mary Beth Seefelt, MA, ATR, Director Of Training & Compliance

“Art surrounds us in the colors of our landscape and homes, in the music we listen to, the books we read, and even the clothing we dress ourselves in. It’s all in your perspective and willingness to take the time to see it. I believe that there is an artist within each and every one of us and Art Therapy is a way to express and explore our innermost thoughts and feelings through the creative process.

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Therapeutic art making is a way to non-verbally foster self-awareness, develop social skills, lower anxiety and increase self-esteem, and more.”

Mary Beth has practiced Art Therapy for over 20 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb, and at offsite locations, providing art therapy to individuals at FAR and through FAR in local schools. Mary Beth is also FAR’s Director of Training and Compliance, working with both our administrative and therapeutic staff to ensure consistently high levels of compliance with established regulations while supporting the growth of FAR and the quality of our therapeutic service delivery now and into the future.

Mary Beth completed her Masters degree in Art Therapy at The University of Illinois – at Chicago and also has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is a professional member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy (MAAT).