Family Forum

This event has been postponed. Please check back to this page for updates.

You’re Invited! Forum on Tools and Supports for Caregivers

Date: TBD

Time: 10 a.m. to noon

Location: Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (Community Room), 206 Ridge Drive, Naples, FL 34108

Please join us for a Family Forum focused on Tools and Supports for Caregivers. Learn how to nurture and support your role as caregiver through coping strategies, online support groups and respite opportunities.

We’ve invited a panel of leaders on these topics to present and take questions, followed by time to visit their information tables and network.
The forum is open to the public, free and includes light refreshments. Please RSVP here.

Have a question or example scenario for one of our experts to discuss during the presentation? Submit it for consideration to Cayla Childs at Please notate if you would like to remain anonymous.


  • Marjorie Appleby, Author, Speaker, Brain Injury Advocate and STARability Parent – M. A. Appleby. Appleby is a national award-winning author, speaker and brain injury advocate. Her son David is a participant in STARability’s Trailblazer Academy.
  • George Drobinski, Licensed Mental Health Counselor – George R. Drobinski MS, LMHC, PA. Drobinski specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, relationships, addiction, trauma and hypnosis. He has extensive nonprofit experience, having served as Director and Chief Operating Officer for Catholic Charities and also served on executive boards including but not limited to NAMI of Collier County.
  • Susan Ford, Program Coordinator – STARability Foundation. Ford has been with STARability since February 2018. Prior to joining the organization, she worked as a personal support coach and companion for a service-providing agency for Medicaid Waiver services. She additionally has experience as a life coach and job coach for individuals with disabilities.
  • Susan J. Ryan, Author – Our Journey of Love: 5 Steps to Navigate Your Caregiving Journey. Ryan has been in a variety of caregiving roles for more than 30 years. She published her book, which details lessons, tips and tricks to help people positively navigate their roles of caregiving, in 2019.


Thank you to everyone who attended our October Family Forum on Housing Options & Emerging Solutions!

A special thank-you to our panelists:

Sheryl Soukup, Executive Director, Residential Options of Florida (ROOF)
The mission of ROOF is to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to successfully obtain and maintain affordable and inclusionary housing of their choice.

Falon Alo, Executive Director, Noah’s Ark of Central Florida
Noah’s Ark of Central Florida currently offers two low-cost residential rental communities for more than 140 residents that promote independence and quality of life for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

Libet Romero, Co-Owner/Operator, Home Services of Southwest Florida
Home Services of Southwest Florida operates four group homes in Naples, with a fifth currently in the works.

Whitey Ellis, STARability Parent
Whitey will share the story of how he and his wife, Pat, recently got their 49-year-old son Dennis into a Protected Harbor group home in Fort Myers and how the whole family is adjusting.

Please click below to view STARability’s presentation slides:

STARability FAMILY FORUM Housing Options



About STARability Family Forums:

At STARability Foundation, we’re a family bound together by having someone very special to us with a developmental disability. Families started the organization more than 30 years ago to support one another and create opportunities for their loved ones. In continuing that tradition, we invite you to participate in our quarterly FAMILY FORUM, featuring engaging presentations, open discussion and valuable takeaways.

Each forum will feature different topics of interest involving different areas of community resources, information, and opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. These topics came about after an online survey of our members, families and caregivers in May 2018.

Engaging presentations, with fun refreshments, will be followed by Q&A/networking sessions. Together, we’ll explore community resources, issues and pathways to enhance the quality of life.

Please send any ideas for future Family Forums to

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