Become a Member

Help us advocate for children & adults with unique abilities in our community!

What does it mean to be a member of The Arc Gateway?

A strong membership results in more leverage and a stronger

voice to influence state legislators and policy makers. 


Your membership helps provide more individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families access to programs and services through fundraising and advocacy efforts. 


Membership helps recruit needed volunteers. As more volunteers are attracted to our work and mission, The Arc Gateway’s leadership base for the future grows and develops. 


Your membership increases awareness leading to a better informed public. This is a critical step in creating society-wide acceptance of people with disabilities.

Membership Benefits

Your membership not only supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community, but it comes with a few perks—our way of giving back and thanking you for your support.

  • A Flower Shop – 10% (3709 Mobile Hwy | 850.438.1609)
  • Apple Market (1021 Scenic Highway | 850.433.4381)
  • Cat’s Cradle Candles – 15% ( |
  • Costello’s Butcher & Deli – 5% (8190 W Fairfield Dr | 850.741.2823)
  • Gateway Cafe – 10% (SCI Building, 220 W Garden St | 850.857.8600)
  • Native Cafe (45A Via De Luna Dr | 850.934.4848)
  • Navarre Bakery & Creamery – 10% (9914 Navarre Pkwy | 850.844.9705)
  • Perfect Blend Coffee Co. – 10% (7552 Navarre Pkwy Ste 33 | 850.710.7210)
  • ShredWorks – 10% (The Arc, 1000 E Fairfield Dr | 850.438.5577)
  • SmallCakes Pensacola – 10% (5046 Bayou Blvd | 850.332.5245)
  • Store 54 – 10% (West Florida Hospital, 8383 N Davis Hwy | 850.494.4129)
  • Sweet Frog (3749 Gulf Breeze Pkwy Ste D | 850.583.6405)
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe – 20% (5147 Bayou Blvd Ste C | 850.332.6601)
  • The Tuscan Oven – 10% (4801 N. 9th Ave | 850.484.6836)

Annual Bobby Tronu Membership Drive

For more than 50 years, Bobby Tronu played a special part in The Arc Gateway’s efforts to improve the lifestyles of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From his early days as organizer of the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive to his longtime service on the Board of Directors, Bobby was part of the heart and soul of The Arc Gateway and believed in the organization’s mission of building a future for others. His generous spirit and commitment to family, friends, and the community lives on through The Arc Gateway’s mission.


Please join us in remembering Bobby Tronu by becoming a member or renewing your membership today!

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.

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


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.

Lea Farrington

Chief Financial Officer

Lea joined The Arc Gateway in 2021, bringing with her over 18 years of experience in finance and accounting.  Lea earned her Bachelor’s degrees in accounting, finance and management at the University of Mobile in Alabama and a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of West Florida. Lea is also a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Florida. For several years, she has worked in the nonprofit industry, both domestically and internationally. As a Pensacola native, Lea is passionate about meeting the needs of the Northwest Florida community. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and living up to her “boymom” title.

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.