Variety’s qualified and dedicated staff are the core of our charity, their hard work and ingenuity is what ensures our success.
Director of Educational Programs
Jean Merkl joined Variety in 2007 as the Extended School Year Director and since that time has added directing the Vocational Program, Worcester After School Programs and the Saturday Program to her responsibilities. Jean has a Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and almost 40 years’ experience in the ID field providing services to children and adults with disabilities.
Joan Smallwood Pryor joined Variety in 2014 as the Accounting/HR Manager. Joan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from LaSalle University. She has over 30 years of experience working in the for-profit and non-profit sectors in accounting, operations management and human resources.
Eric Perry first became associated with Variety in 1979. At that point, Eric was a seven year old child who used a wheelchair to ambulate. He spent nine summers as a camper at our fully accessible 80-acre facility, drastically increasing his mobility with help from the dedicated staff. In 2002, Eric returned to Variety as an employee and has held numerous positions across recent years. He currently serves the charity as its Business Manager, de facto IT Guy, and resident Variety Historian.
John Paterna joined Variety as Grants Director in 2012. He is a seasoned grant writer with over thirty years of experience in all aspects of grant development: Prospect research, grant writing, grant management and report writing. He has worked for educational institutions, a medical center, public television, and nonprofit organizations.
Special Events, PR, & Marketing Director
Mary joined the Variety staff in the fall of 2014. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications/Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and minor in government from Shippensburg University. Mary has been planning special events in her local community for nearly 20 years.
Director of Development
Harry joined Variety in October 2016 as the Director of Development. Harry has a Bachelors in Marketing from Drexel University. He has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership.
Director of Camp Programs
Angela joined Variety in 2014 as an assistant working in our Extended School Year Program, Vocational Club, and Saturday Arts Program. Angela graduated from Gwynedd Mercy University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Services. She is currently attending Arcadia University for her masters in Special Education and Behavior Analysis.
Director of Programs
Heather became the Director of Programs in January 2017. She has a B.A. in Organizational Management with minors in counseling and philosophy and a Masters of Arts in Behavior Analysis. Heather has been working with individuals with disabilities since she was 12 years old, in many positions including Assistant Camp Director, direct care, Behavior Therapist, job coach, recreation specialist and supports coordinator supervisor.
Events and Development Coordinator
Kristin joined Variety’s Camp Program in the winter of 2017. Kristin graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and Mount Saint Vincent University with a Masters in Child & Youth Studies. She has 16 years experience working with individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.