The Arc Gateway provides life changing programs and services for more than 1,200 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Programs & Services

Our programs deliver services directly to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from infancy through adulthood, as well as families in need of support.

Living

Giving individuals the opportunity to lead a more independent life.

Learning

Offering encouraging environments to learn new skills, make friends and create memories.

Working

Earn a paycheck while learning valuable skills for continued career growth.

Growing

Providing children with the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve great things with the help of our pediatric experts at Pearl Nelson Center.

Our mission is to provide the best possible life experiences for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Every little bit helps.

With the help of our members, supporters and volunteers, we are able to sustain our services and develop innovative ways to help children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities reach their full potential.

Memberships

A strong membership provides a powerful voice in addressing funding and legislative issues for those we serve.

Sponsorships

Corporate sponsors help us provide the people we serve, their families and our community with valuable resources and services.

Donations

Make an impact in the lives of more than 1,200 children and adults by donating today.

Fundraising Events

We have several different fundraising opportunities throughout the year… check our calendar to learn more.

Wish List

Help make our program wishes come true by donating one of the requested items on our 2020-2021 Wish List!

Art & Gifts

Whether it’s abstract artwork, festive fashion jewelry, or charming home decor accents, the proceeds from all sales from our Gift Shop go to benefit our programs and services.

ways to give

The Arc Blog

Red Wagon News – November 2019

Taste, Buds. The first 12-week series of Taste Buds came to an end October 4th. Providing this service for the first time, we were excited to see the results ofthe

News

100+ Days Quarantined

According to a recent Syracuse University study, people with intellectual and develop-mental disabilities are four times more likely to contract COVID-19, and twice as likely to die from it. Since

News

Artists who inspire

Artist Keith Bishop has been inspired to do a series of drawings that reflect our current, pandemic world. Since the return of our art instructor, Rowena Levy, who has a

News

Over the Edge

Anyone with a desire to support a worthy cause and enough courage to step Over the Edge is welcomed to participate! There are a few requirements: Participants must be 16

Sep 4th, 2021

2021 Wreaths of Joy Gala

The Arc Gateway Foundation’s Wreaths of Joy Gala is our largest annual fundraising event. Every year businesses, organizations and individuals gather during this highly esteemed event to enjoy a three-course dinner, entertainment, auctions, and more!

Dec 2nd, 2021

EVENTS

our sponsors

Our community is making an impact.

We are proud to recognize our corporate sponsors!

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@thearcgatewayinc

You can make a difference.

Become a Member

Becoming a member of The Arc Gateway strengthens our presence as advocates for continued funding and legislation that benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A strong membership provides a powerful voice in addressing issues for those we serve.  Make an impact and secure your membership today! 

Schedule a tour!

Take a tour and learn more about what we do and meet some of the amazing people we serve!

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Dawn VonStein

Pollak Training Center Program Manager

A native of Pensacola, Dawn VonStein graduated from the University of West Florida with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education.  She began working at The Arc Gateway in 1993 as a support specialist for the Women’s Training Center where she felt she could use her teaching background to help teach daily living skills to the women at the group home. When asked why she has made her career at The Arc Gateway she says it is, “because there are few other places I could work where every day is different, I feel like I’m making a difference in someone’s life, and I am truly loved by those I serve.”

Dondie Roper

PALS Program Director

Dondie is an innovator with more than 15 years’ experience driving results in program management, marketing, and media production. In addition to her studies in Journalism and Communication Arts at the University of West Florida, Dondie has received certification in Nonprofit Management. Dondie is very active in the community serving on board of directors for area nonprofit organizations, secretary/treasurer for UWADA, Loaned Executive with United Way, and volunteer with Special Olympics.

Brittany Houghton

Events Manager

Brittany graduated from Pensacola State College in 2014 with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies. She is currently enrolled and working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management. Before starting at The Arc Gateway in 2018, Brittany worked as the Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager for the Flora-Bama Lounge & Package. There she gained professional experience assisting the Events Department organizing many charity events. Brittany enjoys raising needed funds for our clients and giving tours of the organization to spread awareness. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her fiancé and supporting Downtown Pensacola with her pup.

Natalie Hurd

South Santa Rosa Associate Program Manager

Natalie began her journey with The Arc Gateway in October 2018.  She came on board with 20+ years of customer service experience in multiple platforms to include Walt Disney World and Gulf Power Company. She earned three college degrees to include an Associate of Science in Legal Assisting, a bachelor’s in Business Administration and a master’s in Public Administration.  Natalie has 6 furry four-legged children and enjoys attending and volunteering at Community Life United Methodist Church. 

Jennah White

Special Projects Manager

Jennah began her journey with The Arc Gateway in the fall of 2016 as an assistant to Human Resources. During her time with the agency, Jennah has acquired her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology along with a Certificate in Human Resources both from The University of West Florida.  Jennah can be considered a “jack-of-all-trades” thus securing her role as the Special Projects Manager (Office Manager). She also takes an active role in her community as a member of Pensacola Young Professionals.

Níta J Hooks

Senior Adult Program Manager

Níta started working at the Arc Gateway in January 2019 as the Senior Adult Program Manager. She began working in the Developmental Disabilities field in 2015 as a Support Coordinator and has worked as Supportive Living Coach and a QMRP. Níta earned an Associate Degree in Pre-Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling. She also worked as a Licensed Clinical Mental Therapist in Mississippi with all populations. “It is a joy to get up each morning, come into the program and work with such a wonderful group of people who keep me on my toes. I wouldn’t trade this job for anything in the world.”

Amanda Holtzhower

Human Resources Manager

Bio 

Rebecca Baron

Residential & Community Service Director

Rebecca is a Pensacola native who graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has been a part of The Arc Gateway team for over 2 decades, starting her career with us in 1997. Rebecca’s first position with The Arc Gateway was a Support Specialist in the Pal/Ace program. From that role she became a Group Home Manager with one of our female group homes, then moved into her current position as Director of Residential and Community services. “I love making a difference in the lives of people we serve and assisting them to achieve their goals and gain skills toward independence.”

MaryAnn Bickerstaff

Children’s Services Director

MaryAnn Bickerstaff began her career at The Arc Gateway in 1986 as an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist soon after completing an internship with the Pearl Nelson Center’s Early Intervention and Preschool programs at the completion of her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education at the University of West Florida. After working in this role for four years, MaryAnn became the Early Intervention Coordinator and in 1990 assumed the position as Children’s Services Director. During this time, she is proud of the program’s growth and diversity in funding, including grants and fundraising activities, but she is most proud of the impact her team is making in the lives of children every day. MaryAnn is very engaged with community partners and serves on the Board of the Early Learning Coalition and the Operational Support Team of Achieve Escambia among others. MaryAnn is a proud to be a native of Pensacola.

Chip Henderson

Chief Advancement Officer

Chip graduated from the University of West Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts in 1989 and has spent his career in marketing communications, fundraising and special events. He’s worked in a variety of industries and nonprofits, including The Arc Gateway in the mid-1990s. He founded and managed his own brand intelligence firm, Emagination Unlimited, for 18 years before deciding to follow his passion and “return home” to the nonprofit world. Mission-focused work is in his DNA.

Dan Buryj

Chief Financial Officer

Dan Buryj joined The Arc Gateway in 2017, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge about the non-profit and financial industries. Dan has over two decades of service in the non-profit sector.  He has held several operational and financial leadership positions within diverse organizations focused on social change through human services, the arts, and technology. Dan has also served on several nonprofit boards including Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – San Diego and FoodRaising Friends.  Dan is a graduate from Bentley College in Waltham, MA with an undergraduate degree in Public Policy & Social Change, and holds his Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Cathy Lauterbach

Chief Operating Officer

Cathy Lauterbach has shared her talent with The Arc Gateway for over two decades. A California native, Cathy obtained a bachelor’s degree in management from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. She began her employment with the agency in 1995 as an employment specialist. From that role, she became the program manager at the Pollak Training Center before moving into the position as director of Residential and Community Services, and now her position as COO overseeing adult programs at The Arc Gateway. 

Melissa Rogers

Chief Executive Officer

Missy has been working in the field of developmental disabilities since 1997.  Throughout her career she has performed in a variety of roles including direct care, case management, fundraising and administration.  Her extensive knowledge base and experience allows her a unique perspective and understanding of issues facing the disabled community.  Missy’s passion and dedication can be felt in her decision-making process as she always puts the best interests of those being served by the agency first.  In her spare time, she can be seen acting with a local dinner theater acting troupe. Missy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Elon University in North Carolina and is originally from Virginia.