Who We Are

Mission

To provide gap funding to any individual living with disabilities and special needs for services, support and other opportunities through the Disabilities Board of Charleston County.

Vision

We hope to redefine abilities by meeting needs, providing a path to pursue dreams, achieving goals, and maximizing independence and contributions to the community.

Meet Our Executive Director

Janet T. Shaver

Executive Director

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Janet T. Shaver serves as the Executive Director of the Able Life Foundation, formerly known as the Disabilities Foundation of Charleston County. The Able Life Foundation provides gap funding for the Disabilities Board of Charleston County.  Janet received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 1998.  She spent 20 years of her career in the Financial Industry.  Her early years were spent doing wealth management with Wachovia/First Union and later with Morgan Stanley and Regions Bank.
In 2009, she and her husband, Blake, welcomed twin daughters, Samantha and Anna Blake. When the girls were 6 months old, Anna Blake was diagnosed with severe global developmental delays.  At 2 years old, Anna Blake was also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
Upon moving her family to Charleston in Spring of 2011, Janet joined the board of the Disabilities Foundation of Charleston County (now known as the Able Life Foundation).  In her first year of service on the board, she established “Team Anna Blake” for the Avondale 5K, a race that benefits the Charles Webb Center (a childcare facility that  which falls under the Disabilities Board), a childcare center serving children with disabilities and special needs.  Over the course of 4 years, in honor of her daughter, Janet and her team were able to raise nearly $40,000 for the center through the Avondale 5K.
In 2016, due to the Foundation’s growth and need, and with thought and consideration, Janet accepted the Executive Director position for the Disabilities Foundation.  She could not be more excited for the opportunity and is committed to the ever changing and growing needs of this great community.  In June 2016, through a desire to focus on what the special needs community can do and not on what they can’t – the board voted unanimously to rename and rebrand the Foundation.  Janet is very proud to announce that we are now called the “Able Life Foundation.”  She is excited to educate the community on the mission and vision of the Able Life Foundation and invite them along for the journey.

“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”  -Henry Ford

Meet Our Board

Kate Taylor

Chairman

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Kate Taylor, MS, is the research manager for the Thoracic Oncology Research Group  at MUSC. She has a B.S. in Biology from USC and a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston.  She received training from the Lovaas Institute in 1993 and subsequently operated an ABA (applied behavioral analysis) program out of her home for her two sons, both diagnosed with autism.  One of her sons is currently served by the Disabilities Board of Charleston County.  Kate serves on the Foundation because of her desire to give back to the organization that provides so much support for her son, and to help the DBCC expand and improve its services to help more individuals in our community with disabilities.  Kate also has an adult daughter and is married to Micheal J. Taylor, PhD.  Kate and Mike live in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Edward “Skip” Condon

Vice-Chairman

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Edward “Skip” Condon owns a number of popular restaurants in Charleston, SC, and Arlington and Richmond, VA, including the Triangle Char and Bar which anchors the annual Avondale 5k benefitting the Charles Webb Center.  He has served on numerous boards and civic organizations including the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Hospitality Association (President 1994), Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, and City of Charleston Land Use Plan and Market Advisory Commission.  He is a veteran of the US Army and served in Vietnam.

Robert M. Baldwin

Treasurer

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Robert M. Baldwin CPA is a Member of Baldwin and Associates, LLC, a certified public accounting firm. Mr. Baldwin previously served on the Disabilities Board of Charleston County.

Blaine Ewing

Board Member

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For the last twenty-five years, Mr. Ewing has worked with individual and institutional clients on setting investment policy, establishing asset allocation with risk guidelines, selecting investment managers and monitoring those managers and their performance against established criteria. Held position of vice chairman and member of the SC Retirement Commission. Served as Chairman of the Able Life Foundation and is serving currently as an active board member.

Bryan Christopher

Board Member

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Bryan Christopher currently serves as a volunteer board member of the Able Life Foundation. He also serves as the Director of Sales/Vice President of Operations for Carolina Office Systems, SC Division, a Xerox company.  He oversees offices in Charleston and Columbia with Sales and Service throughout the state.  Professionally, he has been in the office equipment/technology industry for 20+ years, working in executive roles for Lanier Worldwide, Inc. and Ricoh Americas Corporation, now with Carolina Office Systems/Xerox.

Bryan’s career in sales started with the best sale of his life, marrying his wife of 16+ years, Annmarie.  He and his wife live with their son, Nicholas, in Mount Pleasant, SC.  Bryan has been recognized for his leadership in the business world and his volunteer work serving the community, but his time spent with his family is what he values the most.

Donald Evans

Board Member

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Bio Coming Soon!

M. Richardson Hyman, Jr.

Board Member

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M. Richardson Hyman, Jr. is currently an attorney in private practice in the local area. After graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, and being admitted to the practice of law in 1992, Mr. Hyman entered the United States Judge Advocate Generals Corps and was on active duty for five years as a JAG officer and in the reserves for a number of years after that. After having been senior partner in a local firm, Mr. Hyman became a solo practitioner in 2008. In addition to serving as a Director on the Board of the Charleston County Disabilities Foundation, he has served on numerous boards and governing bodies in the local area. Mr. Hyman has a brother with a developmental disability.

Warren Mersereau

Board Member

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Bio Coming Soon!

Michael Royal

Board Member

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Michael Royal is the owner of Pareto Group, a real estate asset management, development, and consulting firm in Charleston. Formerly, he was VP of Investments and Strategy at CNL Financial Group in Orlando, Florida. Michael holds a JD and MBA from the University of Virginia and a masters in finance from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Urban Land Institute. Since 2010 Michael has been a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia Law School where he founded the Human Rights Study Project, a nonprofit research organization. Having grown up in Charleston, Michael is serving with the Foundation because he deeply supports its mission to enhance the lives of disabled individuals in our community.

Ben Rogers

Board Member

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Ben Rogers currently serves as IT Director of the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina.  In addition to serving on the board of the Disabilities Foundation of Charleston County, he also serves as chair of the board at the Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special needs, which serves the Tricounty area.  He is a parent of an individual with a developmental disability.

Merle S. Tamsberg

Board Member

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Bio Coming Soon!

Preston Wilson

Board Member

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Bio Coming Soon!

Phillip Anderson

Board Member

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Phillip Anderson is a Commercial Banker and Senior Vice President at ServisFirst Bank, serving the Charleston Market.  Originally from Macon, Georgia, Anderson received his bachelor’s degree from Mercer University. Anderson is involved locally with the Disabilities Board of Charleston County Foundation Board and the Coastal Carolina Executive Board for the Boy Scouts. Anderson enjoys spending time with his wife Mary Beth and daughter Caroline, attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church downtown, playing golf and reading.

Disabilities Board of Charleston County

The Disabilities Board of Charleston County (DBCC) is the leading provider of services and supportive programs for children and adults with specials needs in Charleston County. The Board offers early intervention, service coordination, a developmental child center, adult day programs, and residential supports to individuals with severe, lifelong disabilities, such as intellectual disability, autism, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. Extensive services and supportive programs are provided both in the form of in-home care as well as through dozens of facilities in Charleston County and neighboring counties.

Functioning as the sole provider of care and resources for those with special needs in Charleston County, the Board relies heavily on The Able Life Foundation for gap funding. These monies assist with everything from maintenance of the Board’s many facilities and homes to basic household and education supplies.

History of the Disabilities Board of Charleston County

Originally founded as the Hope Center for the Retarded, Inc., services began in 1958 through efforts of the Charleston Civitans and The Council for the Retarded Children of Charleston. In 1974, the SC General Assembly created the Mental Retardation Board of Charleston County to coordinate and administer services to people with mental retardation and related disabilities. In 1988, The Mental Retardation Board of Charleston County assumed operation of the Hope Center for the Retarded, Inc., a sheltered workshop for persons with developmental disabilities which had 35 employees and 10 vehicles.

In 1993, the agency was renamed the Disabilities Board of Charleston County, and assumed the operations of the Charles Webb Center, a non-profit organization providing supports for children with disabilities and special needs that was founded in 1919. The agency moved its administrative offices to the current location at 995 Morrison Drive in 1997. Today, with an annual budget of over 18 million dollars, this community-based agency serves nearly 2000 individuals and has 450 employees.

Meet Our Partners

R U Running?

www.RURunning.com

R U Running? promotes the health and wellness of the disabled and special needs community as well as able bodied individuals and was formed to create awareness of the Able Life Foundation.

Avondale 5K

www.Avondale5K.com

Created in 2010, the Avondale 5K  helps fund the Charles Webb Center, which is a developmental child care center operated by the Disabilities Board of Charleston County, serving children with special needs from age 6 weeks to 10 years old.

Racers For Pacers

www.RacersForPacers.org

Racers for Pacers is dedicated to raising funds to provide running chairs for disabled individuals who cannot run on their own. Pacers provide the individual an opportunity to “run” once or twice a week and in local competitive runs held in and around Charleston.