Activity Centers for Excellence (ACE)

You are the activity professional! You are the lifeline that brings people quality to their life. We know a life without purposeful activity leads to boredom, hopelessness, helplessness, depression and in general a decline of cognitive and physical abilities. What you do can stop and reverse these losses through involvement in life by offering options of enjoyment, usefulness, relationship, and being part of a community. What you do is so important in assuring people have the opportunity to function at their fullest, physical, mental and social potential honoring their individuality through person centered programming. YOU give quality of life daily to each individual you serve.

In an effort to support your endeavors IAPA has created individual Activity Centers for Excellence (ACE). Each ACE contains information, programming ideas, how too’s and resources that will aid you in your goal of providing person centered programing. The ACE centers shown on the home page have a smattering of info for the general public. If you enjoy what you see here you can get many more ideas and resources under the Members Only sign-in.

Jackie Shaffer
Member Support Services

Jackie retired in 2011 as a self employed Process Engineer and Project Manager. Her clients included a major communications corporation, a world wide health insurance company and a nation wide package delivery company, as well as several small privately owned Mom and Pop concerns. Ms Shaffer is well versed in managing projects from A to Z. Her professional career includes Information Technology and public management (of state and local government offices and concerns).

After retirement in 2013 Jackie moved from Atlanta Ga. to Dixon Il to spend time with her daughter and other family members. For the next 6 years, 2014 – 2020 she volunteered with Kreider Services in Dixon assisting the Activities Coordinator in providing activities to a host of individuals with special needs, developmental delays and disabilities. Jackie served her community as an Americorps volunteer for 4 years and as an emergency responder volunteer for the State of Illinois for three years running.

Today Jackie provides families and individuals with quality respite services. With several members of her family having various special needs including Asperger’s syndrome , mental illness, and developmental delays, she is well aware of the needs for quality stimulating and age appropriate activities that enhance the quality of life for all individuals.

As the newest IAPA Board member we are looking to Jackie to bring her technical expertise and insight to the business end of the IAPA Organization. Among other things Jackie will support IAPA as our Web Master. As such she will provide direct support IAPA members with regard to web page usage and Members Only sign-in. Jackie may be contacted by text, phone or email. For a quicker and more immediate response please send a text or call her at (815) 973-2996 (between 7:00 am and 10:pm only). Email to (will be answered twice weekly, mid week and end of week).

Deb Greiner
Memory Care

With over 40 years of experience working in the home health care and long-term care industry, Deb has served as director of Alzheimer’s services, developing and training staff in a variety of venues including Corporate, Social Services, Private and County facilities. She has experience as a consultant and trainer for numerous long term care and assisted living environments and holds UDC, AD,CDP and CNA certifications. Deb I has been chosen as a speaker at various national education conferences and has made a variety of educational films for Joint Commission and Terra Nova Films on The Special Care for People Who Have Dementia.

Her many accomplishments include serving on the committee that developed and wrote the Sub Part U regulations for long term care facilities to create a regulated environment for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. IIn her spare time she Is also a dog trainer and has trained and certified three therapy dogs to be used in pet therapy for people with cognitive impairment. IAPA is proud to have Deb currently serve as our President and look forward to her helping shape the future of this organization.

Kathy Clark
Skilled Care

Kathleen, “Kathy”, Clark serves as Treasurer for IAPA. – She has worked in healthcare for over 50 years and in longterm care for almost that long. Kathy started as a CNA at Franklin Grove Living and Rehabilitation Center and then became their Activity Director serving them in that capacity for many years. Her next position was Resident Services Coordinator, supervising Activities and Social Services.

Kathy has 3 children and 4 grandchildren who bring her “much joy”, as she will tell you. She is active in her church and plays many community roles. She loves music and plays the organ and keyboard. Kathy says, ”I have learned so much working with so many dear people and I continue to learn each day. It has been very special to serve as a mentor to many staff through the years and I look forward to continuing this role though IAPA’s new programs.”

Kim Mead
Assisted Living

Kim has 32 years of experience in Long term Care, 30 of those specifically in the field of recreation and activity programming. Kim is an Activity Director certified through NAAP, a Certified Dementia Practitioner through NCCDP and a Certified Activity Professional through IAPA. She currently serves as the Marketing/Social Media Chair for IAPA as well as the IAPA Board Secretary.
Kim is the Corporate Director of Engagement for Gardant Management Solutions. Gardant has over 20 years of industry acclaimed operational history in developing and consulting for Senior Living and Memory Care Communities. Gardant operates 59 Assisted Living Communities within 5 states.
Kim is passionate about the purposeful recreation needs of individuals. In her free time, she volunteers for the River Valley Special Recreation Association and is the past recipient of the 2018 Volunteer of the Year for that organization.

Victoria Stoye
Long-Term Care

Victoria Stoye is the Activity Director for the Villa Senior Care Community in Sherman, IL.  She graduated from Lanphier High School in 1992, and  started out as a housekeeper in 2013.  In 2016, she was given the opportunity to be an activity assistant, so she left housekeeping and headed to this new adventure.  Since she was raised by grandparents after her mother  died,  she figured that, because she was raised by grandparents, she would have a little more empathy for seniors than most. She has always said that being around these residents is like having a lot of grandparents, as hers have passed. Every day she learns a little bit more about them – what makes them smile and laugh, what they like, and dislike.  She connects with their families, which in turn are her family.  She loves to watch them do things in activities that no one ever thought they could.  In 2020, she was given the opportunity to become the Activity Director, and she hasn’t looked back since!  She feels that everyday is like a new adventure – you never know what will happen.

Misty Duncan
Blind/Visually Impaired

Misty began working in the Activity field at age 17. As an employee of the Mary Bryant Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Springfield, IL, since 2001 (fifteen years as the Activity Director and five as the Director of Community Outreach), she is still very involved with the Activity Department, and values the relationships that she has built with her residents over the years.

Misty has been involved with IAPA since 1999, serving on the Conference Committee and Certification Board for many years. Misty is a Certified Activity Professional and received the Dorene award in 2014, as well as the Larry- Madge award in 2019. She has met many great people, learned so much from IAPA conferences, and feels honored to serve as the Vice President of IAPA.

Lisa Olson
Developmental Disabilities
Brain Injury
Deaf/ Hard of Hearing

Lisa is a nationally certified Activity Consultant working in the field of Human Services. She has been described as an “all around, in touch with her inner child” person who is knowledgable, fun and  energetic. Lisa’s personal philosophy is “The best way to learn is through laughter”. She holds a BA in Religious Studies, and a BS in Sociology . Her many  professional certifications in the realm human services includes:  dementia, gerontology, and communications.


Lisa has 30+ years of experience working with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as people with mental health and aging issues. She studied music at VanderCook College of Music with hopes of becoming a music teacher, however, due to a hearing loss her dreams were not possible. Her hearing impairment has, however, blessed her with a personal connection to people who have difficulty communicating due to hearing impairment, speech problems or who have other communications issues. Lisa teaches Sign Language at Sauk Valley Community College and Kreider Service inc where she has been employed for 20 years. Her creative and fun approach to teaching has brought much enjoyment to the participants of her classes as well as her clients and professional colleagues.


Lisa’s creative endeavors include facilitation and presentation of many seminars and workshops including topics such as: Sign Language, Dementia Communications, Passive Activities for Cognitively and Physically Challenged Individuals, Music and Motion, Activities geared towards men, Cosmic Cafe’, Drum circles 101, Creative Story Telling, Healing Through Imagination, Sensory Integration/Deprivation and the Client with Dementia, The $10.00 Tech:Homemade Switch Activation Systems. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to activities for people who have disabilities including,: arts, crafts, sports, Music, Weather watching, adapting games to align with individual’s capabilities such  as Dungeons and Dragons, Lets Make a Deal and Deal or No deal. Her technical savvy has lead her to create online/youtube experiences for use by  clients, coworkers, and other support individuals.

Agnello, Joe

Joe Agnello

For the past eight years, Joe has passionately used his gifts of teaching and coaching as a chaplain and bereavement coordinator to help hospice patients experience a good death; trained volunteers to companion hospice patients; coached bereaved family members of deceased hospice patients find peace and contentment.  

Hospice – For eight years, he coached patients at the end of life and their families to grieve naturally. Conducted presentations on grief and spirituality and facilitated grief support groups.

  • 2014 – 2017 Transitions Hospice, part time chaplain and bereavement coordinator
  • 2017 – 2020 Divine Hospice, part time chaplain and bereavement coordinator
  • 2020 – Present Transitions Hospice, full time bereavement coordinator and presenter

Long Term Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities – For twenty-two years, he managed long term care facilities that were failing with the goal of restoring these facilities to organizational effectiveness.

 Organization Development – For twelve years he used leadership and management development strategies to improve organization effectiveness with human service organizations through The United Way of Chicago and George Williams College

Vocational Rehabilitation – For twelve years, he helped homeless seniors, combat veterans, ex-offenders, disabled adults, and people with mental illness to overcome the barriers to employment.  

Education & Certification

  • Northern Illinois University, Master of Public Administration, focus in Human Resources
  • Northern Illinois University, Master of Science Adult Education, focus in HRD
  • Northeastern Illinois University, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in counseling
  • Certified in Human Services – Elgin Community College
  • Certified Life Coach, William Glasser Institute

Christina Jones
Camping Activities

Christina is a CTRS.  She went to Western Illinois University where she majored in Recreation Park Tourism Administration. She has a background in camping in long-term care.  Although she is currently staying home to raise her daughter, Savannah, she stays very active in both camping and long-term care. She helps out local nursing homes as a Volunteer Consultant to make sure their programs are the best they can be.  She is also active in IAPA.