In 2000, upon moving back to her hometown, Janet’s life mission centered on improving the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Her son, now age 26, has epilepsy and developmental disabilities. As a parent, she found that resources were limited to support families, and although services were available, there was one group or agency to connect all the dots. With that as a goal, she worked with other interested parents and professionals to start what is now known as FIRST. In 2003, the Department of Education funded the organization as a Community Parent Resource Center. FIRSTwnc has increased programming to include early intervention services, parent coaching, and support around community resources and services with various funding sources.
Janet and her husband, Woody, have two sons. Her eldest, Rush, and his wife, Caroline, live in Asheville, and Austin lives in his own home with the support of FIRSTwnc’s supported living program, My FIRST Key. Janet loves her job but also loves sitting on the beach or looking at the mountains when she can!