Consultants of SoDP

Experience.  Expertise.  Excellence.

Robert Luna

President & Founder at Luna Middleman Architects and Chief Architect & Co-Developer of the only Ultra-Accessible Amusement Park in the world 

Tim Blank

President & Founder at Urban Farm Design Company; Inventor/US Patent Holder US10,136,594 B2

Board of Directors

Jamie Peniston Vann

President & Founder

Jamie Peniston Vann is the CEO and Founder of St. Louis Recreation Development Group, Inc., doing business as, Spirit of Discovery Park.  "My passion for this project was sparked by a conversation, in March 2011. My friend with 3 children, one with Downs syndrome, expressed that she would never take her family to Disney World, "the happiest, most magical place on earth," and was interested in Morgan's Wonderland, the ONLY ultra-accessible amusement park. This conversation ignited my core belief; to bring great value and create equality, fairness and inclusion to others.  Five years later, in February 2016, this same friend shared her family's memories created at the amusement park in San Antonio.  I saw the need for families with disabled individuals to have the same experiences of fun, discovery, and community involvement as those which are available to able-bodied individuals so I made one phone call and the rest is history.  Through Spirit of Discovery Park, my passion, calling and core belief are being executed, daily; giving the gift of "ordinary" to the extra-ordinary by providing memories through an experience of joy, laughter and love for people with all abilities."

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Jeff Vann is supported by his wife and 2 children and is currently the Regional Sales Manager at Zimmer Biomet. He is a medical sales professional, with nearly 20 years of experience who works with orthopedic surgeons and hospital staff to deliver the highest level of patient care. These qualities have been seen through his Orthopedic Trauma Implant career with Synthes U.S.A. and with Aegis Sciences Corporation and St. Jude Medical. Jeff is also an active volunteer within his community. Jeff is the President and Founder of St. Louis Blind Hockey Association, D.B.A., St. Louis Blues Blind Hockey Club, SoDP's sister nonprofit and serves on various committees with the Kirkwood Youth Hockey Association. Currently, he is a Level 4 USA Hockey Certified Coach currently coaching an A2 PeeWee team, a Midget AA team, the Blues Blind Hockey team and enjoys a pick-up game on Wednesday mornings.   Jeff attended Missouri State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Sales and Sales Management, A.A.C.S.B. Accredited.

Jeff Vann

Vice President

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Terry Richards

Board Treasurer

Director of Finances

Terry Richars is a husband, father of an ever-growing family. He primarily works with privately-held and middle-market organizations across various industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and the legal community. His assistance in reporting on realistic prospective financial statements has contributed significantly to the financial success of a number of start-up and expanding entities. In addition, he has performed business valuation services for gift and estate tax reporting, management planning, ESOP, marital dissolution, and other purposes and has rendered litigation support services relating to personal injury, breach of contract, marital dissolution, and various business-damages cases including lost profit analysis and business valuation issues. Terry has also provided expert witness testimony in the state of Missouri and Illinois. He received his Bachelors in Accounting, Emphasis in Management Information Systems from St. Louis University, is accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) with the American Society of Appraisers.

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Matt Chambers is a husband, father of 3 children, including an autistic child. "I saw first hand how public spaces, crowds, noise, lighting and even food selection had a huge impact on my first daughter's day to day life. Even though she's a very high performing autistic child, she couldn't handle public schools. She could handle Disney World with quite a bit of planning, but I thought about those children with far more severe conditions and how this must impact their lives. Some years later, friends called me one day to introduce Morgan's Wonderland and their idea to bring this plan to St. Louis. Sometimes life presents you with something so obviously GOOD for so MANY that you don't hesitate to say yes, and I did."

Matt Chambers

Director of Marketing

& Advertising

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Heidi is native to St. Louis and spent the first 16 years of her career in the corporate world. Today, Heidi is a freelance consultant, a mother and proud wife of a United States Marine. Inspired by her grandfather’s service to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Heidi quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work. She’s committed to improving childhood experiences through volunteer work and support of the adoption and foster care communities.

Heidi Keen

Events & Planning

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S. Eric Westacott, is an idealist - driven to help people and to break down societal/community barriers.  "In both my professional and personal life, I strive to these lofty goals. So, it flows naturally that I’d jump on board to such an audacious project as Spirit of Discovery Park - to build an international destination of ultimate joy; for families to come together and celebrate; where EVERY body is welcomed and accepted.  Wow! And, to use my experiences as a consumer - power wheelchair user - and as a counsellor - attorney – to help make this a reality…that excites me! I’m truly honored to be a part of this fantastic endeavor." 

S. Eric Wesacott

Chief Legal Officer

"Our daughter is my "why".  Born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, her first three years of life were challenging.  She underwent 13 surgeries and even more hospitalizations.  Our family felt like we were in survival mode.  

After working through her various health issues, she became healthy!  And our family wanted to do things that typical families do!  We soon discovered that many family friendly venues are not wheelchair friendly, let alone inclusive.  I stumbled across a Facebook post that mentioned Spirit of Discovery Park, and I instantly felt joy.  To have a destination so close to home that our whole family can enjoy without hesitation...THAT is a game changer for us!"

 

Becki Uccello

Special Needs Advocate

Tim Buening is supported by his wife, 3 children.  "I enjoy helping others experience Joy in life, and I believe this park can bring joy to a lot of people who have challenging lives.  Definition of joy is different than happiness: while happiness is a fleeting, shifting emotion, joy is a state of mind. It is not easy, and it is not common - It is a choice and it changes lives.  I went through 8 years of a Jesuit Education (St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati and SLU for college), where I learned the true meaning and expectations of “Men and Women for Others”. My grandfather spent a large part of his life in a wheelchair, so ever since I was a young child I was aware of the challenges someone faces with disabilities.  I’ve been blessed with good health and having kids without any major special needs or disabilities, so I am compelled to help build this park as a way to serve others who struggle and live with special needs or disabilities, or have children with special needs or disabilities, and help bring them Joy."

Tim Buening

Board Secretary &

Sales & Marketing

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Piloting Managers

John Barada

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President, CEO, Certified College Planning Specialist, College Planning Consultants, LLC

Alysia Kerkove

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Senior Property Manager at Balke Brown Transwestern & SoDP's Online Bidding Consultant

Todd Thomas

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Professional MC, DJ, On-camera host, Actor, Keynote Speaker, Small Business Owner, & Official Emcee for SoDP

Board of Advisors

Melanie Maynor 

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President & CEO of Aging Gracefully,

a Geriatric Care Company

Ryan Claunch

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Business Development, REPCO Solutions, Inc.

Sarah Gentry

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Compliance and Asset Management

Coordinator at Sugar Creek Capital

Kristin Seymour

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Cardiovascular Advanced Practice Nurse, ADHD Consultant & Speaker

Joe Nadreau

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Managing Director at

Wells Fargo Advisors

Will Foy

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Co-founder, Director of Operations at Warrior Transition Network

John O'Leary

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President, Speaker & Author, John O'Leary - Live Inspired.

Mary Kay Sheets

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Strategic Business Developer, Fractional

Executive & Catalyst for Industry Pioneers

Ken Bower

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CEO and Managing Director at Clayton Financial Group. Best in Client Satisfaction WealthManager, St. Louis Magazine, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Travis Thomas

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Creator - Live Yes, And!

"I inspire companies, sports teams, and individuals to discover their inner brilliance through performance coaching."

W. Thomas

Smith

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Manchester University College of Pharmacy, Natural and Health Sciences

 CONTACT US 

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