Scott Flagel, MS
Scott joined Lighthouse of Collier as the Executive Director after completing a successful career in the Senior Living Industry. He spent 23 years with The Eddy Senior Living Communities in upstate New York. The Eddy is a comprehensive continuum of healthcare, supportive housing and community services that reaches 22 counties and serves more than 40,000 people yearly in the capital region of New York. Eddy services help maximize independence, quality of life and dignity of individuals, and help prevent the premature institutionalization of chronically ill, frail or disabled seniors.
Since moving to Naples, Florida in January 2015, Scott has been very involved in the Southwest Florida community. He completed the Bonita Leadership program and was a board member of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.
Scott has a passion for giving back to those less fortunate than him. He was very involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks for 10 years. He was a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters twice as a “Big Brother” and also as a board member and board President.
Scott received his Bachelor degree in Business/Accounting from George Washington University and his Master of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Massachusetts.
Director of Programs
As our current Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), Wendy brings more than 20 years’ experience in the field of education and rehabilitation for persons with low vision and blindness. She has worked with individuals of all ages, abilities/disabilities and cultural backgrounds. Her experience includes working as a: part-time Parent Advisor for blind/visually impaired babies/toddlers, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired in the various school districts, an Assistive Technology Specialist (performing AT Assessments and training on screen readers, notetakers and screen magnification programs), and Orientation and Mobility Specialist (babies to seniors) and a VR College Counselor. Wendy’s passion for travel and cultural exploration brought her to China, the Navajo Indian Reservation (in Arizona) and Ghana, West Africa, where she also worked as a TVI/COMS. Ms. Olson holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Teaching for The Blind/VI and a graduate certificate in Orientation and Mobility from San Francisco State University. She is also certified in the State of Florida as a TVI.
At the Lighthouse, Wendy is currently responsible for teaching independent living, orientation and mobility and braille skills to adults. She also organizes various recreation and leisure events, such as the Out and About monthly mobility group and the Unique Skills in Vision Workshops. Wendy finds great satisfaction in having the opportunity to participate in her clients’ journey towards gaining hope and independence, while adjusting to their vision loss.
Mentoring & Support Groups
Rick joined Lighthouse of Collier as a volunteer in February 2015 and it was known early that his services were invaluable. In working with Case Management, Hart works with clients on an individual basis assisting in meeting the changing needs of life as it relates to vision impairment. He targets specific individual goals as part of the plan in overall independence for each client.
Also working with Assistive Technology Instruction and facilitating support groups, Rick is a key member of the staff working with our transition students from ages 14-22 in preparing them for the work force or higher education.
Hart holds a Master of Arts in Community Agency Counseling from Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois. He is also a licensed Professional Counselor and a member of the American Counseling Association.
Office Manager / Bookkeeper
With over 20 years’ experience in bookkeeping, Sura brings her organizational skills, joy of numbers and knowledge to Lighthouse of Collier, Inc. Adept at streamlining day to day tasks and processes, she is a welcome asset. She enjoys helping others and being part of the team. Her love of accounting started in high school and continued through University of Phoenix. Sura is the proud parent of two sons.
My journey started in Minneapolis, where I attended public school. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from St. Catherine’s University in Information Management/Communication. I then went on to get an M.B.A. in Health Administration/Informatics. I have worked in the field of education for the last 20 years, specializing in special education compliance with regard to federally mandated laws within public schools. After moving to Bonita Springs, I taught in Lee County schools where I was Lead ESE (Exceptional Student Education) teacher, developing and adapting information in order to make it user-friendly for staff while servicing the needs of students who fell under the ESE umbrella.
I consider myself an active, life-long learner. I enjoy crossword puzzles and singing, and hold dear the years I worked as a back-up singer for Stevie Wonder. I consider myself to have a great sense of humor. I enjoy working with others. I understand the importance of a diverse outlook on life.
Donna Lee Brooker
Vision Rehabilitation Assistant
Born in the beautiful whaling city of New Bedford, Mass, Donna emigrated to Israel at the age of almost 16. There she finished her high school studies and settled into her life as a new immigrant. Once her 3 little ones grew, she began her career in education, working at Beit Izzy Shapiro school for special needs, in her home town, Ranana. Working side by side with the therapists in early intervention, where she cared for all the baby’s needs, including occupational and physical therapy. Once the therapy pool was built, she acquired a certification in hydrotherapy and swimming instruction, teaching all ages. This included stroke victims, visually impaired, cerebral palsy, injured soldiers etc.
She completed her bachelor’s degree while at the same time acquiring all her certifications and diplomas for shiatsu, licensed massage therapist, group and personal fitness trainer, blending both her work with special needs and fitness.
In 2008, upon returning to the United States, to care for her mother with post polio, she quickly began her search to get involved with the community.
Donna also works as a sports trainer at twin eagles, teaching yoga, pilates, toning, golf fitness, and aqua aerobics.
Upon meeting her loving husband, Jim Rigg who is visually impaired, she quickly learned to adapt and to arrange their home, making it safe and accessible to Jim and his service dog, Keebler.
Niki brings expertise and experience in helping the blind regain their independence by conducting functional assessments determining appropriate technology services. She evalutes needs and capabilities of services including screen reader programs. In our modern digital world of communications, Niki understands and leads our blind/vision impaired to accessing the Internet. This digital connection of community and information is a foundation block in providing independence and a passion for Dondero.
Niki has been associated with Lighthouse of Collier for 3 years. She graduated from Florida SouthWestern State College in 2014 with an Associate’s degree in general education.
Cindy Bello, MA, OTR/L
Director of Children’s Programs
Cindy Bello has joined the Lighthouse team serving all children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Susquehanna University and a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University. Cindy began her career in pediatrics, providing early intervention occupational therapy services to children from birth to three. Over the course of her 27 year career as an OT, Cindy has served individuals of all ages in a variety of settings, including outpatient rehab, acute care hospital, school, and home health. She received a Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2016, and enjoyed implementing low vision strategies in the home to help individuals maximize the use of their vision. Cindy began volunteering at the Lighthouse Summer Camp with children and also worked with adults assisting with Activities of Daily Living Classes.
Sandra Zimmerman MS, MEd
Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Sandy has joined us as a volunteer in our Children’s Program. She is retired from supervising Teachers of the Visually and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists in the Pittsburgh area and previously coordinating the Outreach Program and the Early Intervention Program at Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia. Sandy is a graduate of Salus University where she received a M.S. in Low Vision Rehabilitation and a M.Ed. in Education of the Visually Impaired. She and her husband have recently relocated to Naples from Pennsylvania and is enjoying the sunshine and her newest passion, Pickleball!
Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Andrea was born in Florida and has been raised in Immokalee her whole life. She moved to Tallahassee to attended Florida State University to pursue her career in teaching. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Disabilities Studies in 2013 and continued her educational career to receive a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2014. She has certifications in Early Intervention and Orientation and Mobility. Andrea has worked with children with visual impairments in all age ranges from birth to 21 years of age. Working with children has always been Andrea’s passion and she has 9 years of experience working with children of all ages. “Putting smiles on their little faces all while providing them with knowledge, is what I strive for. Teaching and molding them in to their future selves. It is an honor to know that I played a small role in creating future leaders, teachers, doctors, etc. I get so much joy out of being a part of their special lives.”