Meet the Staff at Our Center for Blindness & Vision Loss in Naples FL

Scott Flagel, MS Chief Executive Officer

Scott Flagel, MS Chief Executive Officer

Scott joined Lighthouse of Collier 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.

He is currently on the board of the Florida Agencies Serving the Blind which is a provider network of comprehensive rehabilitation services for Floridians living with blindness and visual impairments.

Wendy Olson Director of Programs

Wendy Olson Supervisor of ILS and Mobility Services

Wendy Olson is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). She brings more than 20 years’ experience in the field of education and rehabilitation for persons with low vision and blindness. Wendy 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), an 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.

Aria Lobl

Aria Lobl Supervisor of Children's Services

Aria is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist due to her passion for empowering people to be independent and confident in their daily lives.  After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation, she went on to receive her Master’s in Vision Science degree from University of Montreal. Aria has experience with instructing groups and individuals in independent living, home management, braille, cooking, optical aids, communication, adjustment to blindness, adaptive technology, indoor orientation & mobility, and other elements of the field.

Rick Hart Assistive Technology Instructor Mentoring & Support Group Facilitator

Rick Hart Supervisor of Assistive Technology Services

Rick joined the Lighthouse of Collier in February 2015. Helping people who are blind or visually impaired is Rick’s passion. He knows firsthand what it is like to live with vision loss as he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at age eight. He knows how difficult it can be to get along in a sighted world.

Rick holds a Master of Arts in Community Agency Counseling from Saint Xavier University (Chicago, Illinois). He is certified to teach screen reading and magnification software through the Florida Division of Blind Services. He also facilitates the support groups and provides individual peer counseling. His aim is to help clients (of all ages) gain confidence and skills needed to adjust to living with vision loss. Rick’s overall goal is to help clients enhance their quality of life by teaching adaptive skills which enable clients to continue to be productive and self-reliant.

Stephany Estremadoiro, Intake Specialist

Stephany Estremadoiro Intake Specialist

Stephany prides herself on having excellent interpersonal communication skills. She is bilingual and enjoys living in Naples. Stephany has worked in customer service positions that have allowed her to assist people which she enjoys very much. She is currently working on her Associates Degree in Psychology from Florida Southwestern State College.

Cindy Bello, MA, OTR/L, Parent Advisor

Cindy Bello, MA, OTR/L Rehabilitation Instructor

Cindy Bello received a Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and enjoys working with children of all ages at the Lighthouse. 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 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. Her experience at the Lighthouse began with volunteering at the Children’s Summer Camp and assisting adults with Activities of Daily Living Classes. Currently, Cindy works with the children and is committed every day to helping them reach their full potential through activities that are meaningful to them.

Misty Phillips, Assistive Technology Assistant

Misty Phillips Assistive Technology Assistant

Misty is visually impaired, but nothing stops her from learning and assisting others. She has joined the team at Lighthouse of Collier to instruct clients with assistive technology. She has recently become certified in JAWS (Job Access With Speech) software.

picture of Maggie in front of a lighthouse painting

Magali Saldana Receptionist

Maggie has been a Lighthouse client for almost three years. She suffers from glaucoma and damaged corneas, causing a great deal of pain and extreme light sensitivity. She administers eye drops multiple times a day and attends frequent eye appointments. Compounding these challenges, Maggie was recently let go from her job due to COVID-19.

Despite her circumstances, Maggie always sees the glass half full and never seems defeated. She shows up with a smile and a “can do” attitude. Maggie frequently networks with other Lighthouse clients to help them cope with their vision loss. She leads by example by lending a hand to those in need.

Maggie started as a volunteer at the Front Desk to learn and hopefully become a Receptionist. Maggie’s determination made her a strong candidate thereby earning a part-time position as receptionist. Maggie brings sunshine to the office and is a wonderful icon showing others how hard work and perseverance pays off. As she often says, “This is my new normal, so I’m going to have to figure out how to get it all done, but in a new way!”

Nicole Lopez Aguilar Office Manager/Bookkeeper

Nicole is an Accountant who believes in the power to serve others. She began her journey in finance at a young age, and now dreams of being the best version of herself, professionally and personally.

She was educated at the La Salle University with a bachelor’s in Actuarial Science. She’s worked as an Accountant at companies in Mexico and in Naples. Nicole also has a bachelor’s in Classical Dance by the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City. She loves the culture and believes in the importance of the arts for the creativity of each person.

While she was studying, she volunteered in some orphanages and skilled nursing facilities providing them with food, clothes and entertainment.

She moved to Naples a year ago from Mexico and she is very grateful to all the people who have supported her. That is why she decided to join Lighthouse of Collier to continue to support people with needs.