Home / News / Current News

Current News

ROOF Adds Lee Board of Trustees, Expanding Service Reach

Residential Options of Florida (ROOF) is excited to announce the creation of a Lee County Board of Trustees. The new Board of Trustees will allow the Collier Board to focus on county-specific initiatives, while the newly created Lee Board will focus on beginning work in the neighboring county. Both local boards are appointed by ROOF’s statewide Board or Directors.

The three members of the Lee Board of Trustees are Debbie Kays, Michael Thakkar, and Paul Saad. All three have previously served on the Collier Board, so their experience with ROOF’s goals will align perfectly with new expansion into Lee, according to Executive Director Sheryl Soukup.

“Debbie, Michael, and Paul complement each other perfectly, and have the ability to create inroads for us to create affordable housing options for those who need it.”

Meanwhile the Collier Board of Trustees will remain intact, with Jesse Larsen, Dennis Slabaugh, Frank Nappo, Nicole Coratti, Kelly Stevenson-Crews, and Ann Del Pero on hand to provide oversight for county properties and direction for local activities. Frank Nappo also serves as a director and officer for the statewide Board of Directors, the governing Board of ROOF.

ROOF’s mission is to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to successfully obtain and maintain affordable and inclusive housing of their choice. The Board of Trustees in each county provides direction, oversight, and resources for ROOF’s activities in the local community in which the Trustees serve.

The nonprofit recently opened two supported living homes in Immokalee, signaling to Southwest Florida that it is time to expand the reach and vision to secure housing in neighboring counties. Lee County will be the next target.

“In every community in which we are providing housing, we want to have a leadership team on hand,” Sheryl said.

Paul Saad studied finance at Lehigh University and furthered his proficiency in finance through programs at Yale University, Julian Krinsky Business School, and Wharton. In 2011, Paul moved to Florida where he has been working in the banking and finance industry. Paul’s drive to help people extends to his community where, in addition to his involvement with ROOF, Paul is a Rotarian, volunteers locally, and serves on the Board of the Bonita Springs Historical Society.

ROOF’s cause is near and dear to Debby Kays, who has a son with autism. She is a realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Naples. In addition to their real estate business, Debby and her husband, Terry, started Tigertoes Herbs and Teas LLC. Debby is the former Chair of Creating a Future for Adults with Autism and Adonis Autism. She and her husband spearheaded Osprey Village in Naples, a co-housing project designed to create community living opportunities for people with disabilities. She remains passionate about inclusive housing for people with disabilities. Debby’s son, Walter, lives in a group home in Tampa because she couldn’t find a home in Southwest Florida that could serve his behavioral needs.

Michael Thakkar is a Certified Public Accountant for HBK CPAs, along with his role as a manager for the multidisciplinary financial services firm. They offer the collective intelligence of hundreds of professionals committed to delivering exceptional client service across a wide range of tax, accounting, wealth management, and other support services from offices throughout the country. Michael is committed to giving back to the community and his volunteer service with Special Olympics as a youth paved the way for his involvement with ROOF.