The Arc Blog

Keep up with all of our programs, events, and activities!


Test Post 3

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum at ex pretium, fermentum nunc sed, tempus orci. Curabitur dictum porta lacus, in varius magna congue eget. Etiam et congue nisi, sollicitudin egestas velit. Nunc malesuada tortor ut leo aliquam dictum. Donec at nisi ligula. Fusce eget nisi hendrerit, rhoncus tortor viverra, porttitor ex. Nam semper dapibus eleifend. Etiam rhoncus, sapien et faucibus pellentesque, ipsum velit scelerisque mauris, id dictum elit velit vitae magna. Nulla ut velit eu velit consectetur dapibus ut accumsan felis. Aenean porttitor convallis sapien, interdum pulvinar magna vestibulum id. Aliquam imperdiet condimentum libero, at tincidunt libero sollicitudin eu. Integer interdum semper mauris non finibus. Nullam tincidunt aliquam nibh auctor elementum.

Donec faucibus nisl felis, sed efficitur metus elementum in. Sed aliquet orci nunc, id vestibulum quam lobortis quis. Quisque scelerisque leo vel elit rutrum tincidunt. Pellentesque lacinia sodales leo non suscipit. Sed dapibus, ligula in semper tempus, tortor justo mollis ipsum, a egestas odio mauris vitae enim. Pellentesque eleifend felis pulvinar nisi fermentum, non gravida purus luctus. Praesent consectetur tortor ipsum, consectetur aliquam enim consequat eu. Aenean auctor et lorem mattis vulputate. Donec id elit lobortis, convallis sem eget, pretium nisi. Nunc ac orci purus. Aliquam nec ullamcorper diam, vel tempor tellus. Proin tempor turpis ut eros congue finibus. Sed dignissim lorem et velit molestie, ut euismod ipsum porta. Praesent sed lorem fermentum mi ornare dapibus. Praesent aliquam quis lectus eu commodo.

Sed sem odio, porttitor quis pretium gravida, aliquet non ex. Aenean elementum nunc in ex imperdiet pulvinar. Vivamus a ipsum sed nisl vehicula scelerisque in eu velit. Mauris nec gravida ex. Nam faucibus gravida ipsum, quis venenatis mi congue in. Nulla tincidunt volutpat velit, et iaculis nisi ultricies sollicitudin. Nullam volutpat arcu commodo, sagittis ex id, congue purus. Ut hendrerit mi id lobortis feugiat. Fusce tincidunt risus eget suscipit condimentum. Integer et libero nisl. Nulla viverra eros nec augue molestie dignissim. Sed vestibulum, mauris ac fringilla egestas, est leo posuere est, ut porta nunc leo nec neque. Vestibulum interdum ex non pellentesque ultricies.

Nunc faucibus quis mauris a bibendum. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Pellentesque tincidunt odio vel sapien luctus, in rhoncus velit egestas. Morbi egestas ante vel feugiat convallis. Phasellus ultricies tincidunt quam eget porta. In commodo dui ipsum, et rhoncus erat condimentum eget. Quisque felis lacus, posuere at malesuada eget, malesuada in nisi.

Aliquam sed porta nibh. Integer at tortor et mauris viverra tempor. Proin enim justo, semper at lacus vitae, scelerisque pharetra nibh. Maecenas in purus blandit, placerat erat eget, vulputate ante. Quisque id est nec purus pellentesque luctus vel ut libero. Suspendisse blandit elementum nisl in pulvinar. Ut maximus feugiat hendrerit. Etiam facilisis orci quis tincidunt semper. Vivamus consectetur massa commodo lectus fermentum, placerat ultrices risus blandit. Quisque facilisis dictum est vitae vehicula. Aenean finibus, sem at condimentum sagittis, neque erat dictum velit, condimentum sollicitudin sapien leo nec nisl. Vivamus arcu ex, lobortis nec turpis in, semper hendrerit tellus. Praesent tincidunt arcu vestibulum scelerisque bibendum. Etiam vel est vel orci consectetur tempus. Praesent blandit, ex quis tincidunt accumsan, risus orci consequat lectus, ut consectetur est felis nec eros.


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


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


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


related posts

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.

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


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.