Sarah Palin –  Executive Director

Sarah Palin has came to Grow Associates with over 20 years of experience working in the Autism and Developmental Disability field. After receiving her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sarah worked at a private special education school and a non-profit organization with children and adults with developmental disabilities. She then joined the Department of Developmental Services in the Autism Division for over 12 years. In this role, she was a leader in the statewide program supporting children with autism. She later joined a Massachusetts non-profit organization as the Chief Program Officer. She spearheaded the organization’s mission to become a multi-service organization by opening a DDS adult services program, an afternoon center-based ABA services, an ABA-based preschool program, and established family services. Sarah is also leading the expansion of the Autism Society by establishing a Massachusetts chapter. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to Maine.

Brian Jadro, Ph.D., LABA, BCBA-D –Director of Operations

Brian is a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in Massachusetts. He holds a master’s degree in the field of Human Behavior and Organizational Psychology, completed post-graduate coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Brian has spent the last 20 years working in various roles and with a diverse population of individuals. He began his career as a classroom aide and teacher, and later as a behavior analyst in both adolescent and adult residential settings, in adult day programs, in both private and public schools, and as a Clinical Director of both for-profit and non-profit service agencies providing insurance- and school district-funded services. He has worked with individuals with autism, ADHD, and other developmental disabilities, psychiatric conditions, auditory and visual impairments, as well as individuals with emotional and behavioral concerns. Along with his clinical work, Brian also teaches graduate level courses at colleges and universities in Massachusetts and is extremely passionate about the application and dissemination of the principles of ABA, to not only the field of autism treatment, but also to those fields of study not typically associated with ABA. He has conducted and published research in the fields of Behavioral Medicine and Sustainability and is the Director of the New England Behavior Analysts for Sustainability.

Marge Cycan, Director of Finance and Business Operations

Marge has served Grow since 2005. In her role, she is involved with day-to-day accounting operations, the direction of the organization’s financial operations as well as all aspects of significance related to business operations. Marge also plays a key role in the organization’s fundraising events. Marge is a native New Yorker and has worked in nonprofits for over 19 years. She received her B.S. in Accounting from St. John’s University. Marge’s past experiences with nonprofit organization have given her a deep appreciation for improving the quality of life on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities.

Jill Tompkins – Director of Development and Marketing

As the Director of Development and Marketing, my priorities are to further advance Grow’s visibility and impact.  2023, Grow’s 50th Anniversary, will be a great year to celebrate Grow and the people we serve! With over 15 years of fundraising experience, and several multi-million-dollar capital campaigns completed, I will drive the effort to broaden Grow’s donor base in support of expanding our services in the 50,000 sq. ft. facility we now own. My fundraising career, which includes annual appeals, capital campaigns, grants and events, has largely centered on the South Shore, as Director of Development – Capital at South Coast YMCA, Institutional Giving Manager at Plimoth-Patuxet Museums, Director of Development at Talking Information Center and as Sr. Development Officer at South Shore Habitat for Humanity. l earned a Certification in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.

A Falmouth resident, I dabble in the visual arts, walk our dog daily, enjoy cross-country skiing, and love most of all, time with our adult daughter and son who both live in the Philadelphia area.  And yes, I am happily married to Jack.

Wanda Soto, Director of Alternate Hours Program

Wanda has been with Grow for over 20 years serving in a variety of roles including Manager of the Vocational and Community Based Day Programs, Director of Transportation, Director of Bistro services and now serves as the Director of our Alternate Hours Program. Wanda has over twenty years of experience working with children and adults with mental health, behavioral, and developmental disabilities. Before coming to Grow she was a Residential Manager and nursing home care provider

Jerson Pereira – Director of Information Technology

Jerson has over 20 years of experience in the field of human services. He has been with Grow Associates for over 15 years. His educational background is in computer science, programming, network engineering. In his role he is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of Grow’s information technology systems, creative use of adaptive computer equipment and the continued development of our I.T. system. In addition, he advises management and trains staff on information technology systems and on best practices of application to service delivery.

Kamal Peterson –Director of Transportation

Kamal ignited his passion for helping others over 13 years ago while volunteering at his local church. Kamal has been with Grow for over seven years. He has served in various roles at Grow from driver, support staff, to Bistro coordinator until being promoted to Director of Transportation. Uniquely Kamal attended Bridgewater state for Chemistry but chose to make his career advancements in human services. 

Carmen Peabody – Director of QA/QE

Originally from the great state of Michigan, Carmen graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Michigan State University in 2015.  After focusing on mental health for the beginning of her career, she moved to Massachusetts in 2016 and quickly discovered her passion for working with individuals with disabilities. Carmen joined Grow’s management team in the beginning of 2020 with experience in multiple areas of service provision, including case management, program leadership and oversight, human rights advocacy, and staff training.

She is committed to ensuring all Grow service elements are in full compliance with state, federal, and other applicable regulations, and to protecting and promoting the human rights of all individuals served. 

Shawna Sullivan

Director of Community Based Day Supports

Shawna joined Grow in November of 2021 as the Director of Community Based Day Supports. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling, and has been working in the human service field for 10 years. After completing Graduate school, she worked as a sexual assault therapist and then worked as a family therapist for teenagers and families in crisis for many years. She worked in several settings including outpatient therapy, a child advocacy center, in-home services, school districts and group home settings. Shawna is certified in trauma focused therapy and continues that work when not at Grow. She has a passion for working with underserved populations and providing tools and skills for those with emotional and behavioral needs. She is committed to providing programming that is person-centered, engaging, and focused on increased independence.

Emily Shea – Director of Supported Employment

My name is Emily Shea, and I am the Director of Supported Employment! I grew up in Franklin, MA, and continue to reside there today with my dog, Brownie. I earned all three of my degrees from Bridgewater State University and previously worked as a classroom teacher.

This educational background, coupled with my experience working for the State of Massachusetts, provides me with the expertise to ensure that all our Individuals receive the proper job training and skills they need to best prepare themselves for gainful employment. I am passionate about the people we serve and look forward to coaching all of our Individuals in both skills training and employment!

Deanna Mahan – Director of Day Habilitation

My name is Deanna Mahan. I am pleased to announce that I am the Director of Grow Day Habilitation. I have eleven years of experience in the Human Services field and firmly believe that working in this field is my calling. I graduated from Elms College with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Social Work. I started my career interning at Lorraine’s Food Pantry. Soon after, I became a Shelter Advocate for a nonprofit emergency shelter organization, Hap Housing. As my career furthered, I was given the opportunity to work as a caseworker for another nonprofit organization, The Key Program. After I graduated from school I became a paraprofessional mental health assistant at the Judge Rotenberg Center working with adolescents. In the five years that I have worked at Grow, I have had experience as a case manager, Day Habilitation service manager, Assistant Director and now Director. During my experiences over the years I have learned how to build a strong rapport with individuals/families/DDS and many other supports in order to provide the best level of care. I have collaborated with treatment teams as well as different agencies to ensure progress in the individuals lives and to be able to provide person centered services. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be the Director of Day Habilitation and to be able to ensure strong communication to reach sufficient goals. 

Linda Downey – Director of Human Resources

Linda joined Grow in January of 2024 as the Director of Human Resources.  She has spent the last 25 plus years in the nursing home/long term care environment, working at several nursing homes in Massachusetts.  Linda started in the nursing home field as a C.N.A (certified nursing assistant) and 12 years ago moved to the administrative side in the business office, payroll, benefits, and recruiting. For the last six years she has worked as the director of human resources.  She loves working with an organization whose mission is to help others reach their full potential.


Margaret Scholl,  Board President

Margaret Scholl is the President of the Board with over 8 years of service on the Board. She is a retired Facilities Director St. Joseph’s Nursing Home.

Weymouth, MA

Cheryl Adams, Board Treasurer

Cheryl Adams is a retired community banker, AVP Branch Officer of South Shore Bank. Cheryl serves Grow as the Treasurer of the Board of directors. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2007..  Cheryl is committed to supporting Grow and its mission of supporting adults with disabilities. Cheryl also serves West Bridgewater as Clerk of the town’s Finance Committee. When not volunteering, she loves music, gardening and being out in nature.

James Horner

James Horner has been involved with Grow for over twenty years, serving on a myriad of Committees as well as the Board of Directors. Jim has served on Grow’s Board of Directors since 2014, is currently a member of the Finance Committee and is a past President of the Board. Prior to joining the Board, Jim served on Grow’s Human Rights Committee for six years. After a successful career in Engineering, Jim retired from the Management team of Dominion Energy.

Peter Waszkiewicz 

Peter Waszkiewicz serves on the Board of Grow Associates, a non-profit organization for special needs.  His eldest daughter Kathleen has been attending Grow Associates for over 25 years.  His love and passion for Grow Associates is what continues to drive his desire to be involved, to support Grow operationally, while strategically planning for the future. 

Peter Waszkiewicz is President & CEO of Randolph Engineering, Inc., a mid-sized globally recognized eyewear brand that designs, manufactures, markets, and sells American made sunglasses and optical frames worldwide.  In 2007, Waszkiewicz was promoted to his current position as President and CEO.  While working at Randolph, Waszkiewicz attended school at Northeastern University in Boston in the field of Business Management.  His strong business-aptitude across all areas of the firm, supports his understanding of the industry, and has been instrumental in guiding the business during substantial growth periods.   

Waszkiewicz has a love for the outdoors.  He enjoys camping and fishing with his daughters and is a member of a New Hampshire White Mountains hiking group.  Hiking is what soothes the soul and allows me the solitude and time to reflect on my life, past, present and future.

Waszkiewicz resides in Wrentham, MA.

Mary Williams, Board Secretary

Mary Williams has served on the Grow Board of Directors since 2009. She brings a person-centered point of view to the table due to her background in Special Education. Mary has worked as both a special educator and in Special Education Administration for over four decades.  During her free times, she is involved with providing travel experiences to adults with disabilities. Her son, Corey has been attending Grow since 2007.  

Abington, MA 

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