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Meet The Board

Bluegrass Parkinson's Alliance

Non-profit organization

In November 1995, the Lexington Area Parkinson’s Support Group officially became a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The original bylaws and Articles of Incorporation were signed on December 11, 1995. In 2020, because of the group’s growth and expansion, the Board of Directors renamed the organization Bluegrass Parkinson’s Alliance.

Laura Soldato

Executive Director

Laura Soldato has been the Executive Director of the Bluegrass Parkinson’s Alliance since October of 2019. Before that, she served as Director of Development for Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School. Laura earned her BA in Government & Journalism in 2002 and her Master of Education in 2004, both from the University of Notre Dame. She brings experience of event planning, fundraising and grant writing, but especially loves interacting with BPA members to learn how to best serve the Parkinson’s Community in Kentucky. When she isn’t serving as BPA’s Executive Director, Laura is busy raising four daughters with her husband Dan.

Megan Holley-Slaughter

Board President

Megan Holley-Slaughter has served as the Board President of the Bluegrass Parkinson’s Alliance since 2019.  She is the President and Owner of Sutherland & Associates, a Lexington-based consulting firm specialized in strategic planning and leadership development.  She graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy and spent most of her career as the Director of Operations for a Los Angeles based strategic marketing firm.  She serves on several local boards and is passionate about helping Lexington continue to be an amazing place.  In her free time, Megan enjoys reading and spending time with her family and dogs.

Elaine Keith

Board Vice President

Elaine Keith first came to a BPA meeting with her Mom in the summer of 2007. Her Mom was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and her Dad had recently passed away from his nearly 30-year PD journey. Elaine serves as Board Vice President for BPA but has been volunteering in different capacities since joining the Board in 2010. She is passionate about being of service to the Parkinson’s community and derives great pleasure from connecting with our members. She especially enjoy offering a listening ear to those who simply need someone to talk to who has been a care partner of a loved one with PD.

Diane Vance

Board Secretary

Diane Vance has been the Secretary of the Bluegrass Parkinson’s Alliance since February of 2016.  She earned a PhD at the University of Kentucky doing research related to Alzheimer’s Disease. Her husband John was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2009.  After he passed away, Diane began volunteering with BPA and with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide information to people dealing with these challenging neurological conditions.  In this way she honors John’s memory and his courage in living fully with LBD.

Dylan Schneider

Board Treasurer

Dylan Schneider has served on the board of directors and Treasurer for the Bluegrass Parkinson’s Alliance since 2021.  Dylan earned his BS in Accounting in 2010 and his MS in Accounting in 2012, both from the University of Kentucky.  Dylan has been a Certified Public Accounting in Kentucky since 2013 and has a full-time position at a public accounting firm in Lexington where he is primarily focused on business and individual taxation.  When not working or volunteering with BPA, Dylan enjoys spending time with his wife Christa and daughter Sophia.

Sandra Rice

Board Member and former Board President

Sandra Rice has served on BPA’s Board of Directors for 10 years, including a term as Board President. Sandra was drawn to volunteer with the Bluegrass Parkinson’s Alliance because her late father had Parkinson’s Disease, and also her best friend from high school. She has been serving since retiring as a dietitian nutritionist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Sandra began volunteering with BPA because there was a great need for help and stayed because of the wonderful people, both on the board and BPA members. She and her husband Larry have 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren.

Stephanie Hamilton

Board Member

Stephanie Hamilton has been a volunteer board member since 2015. She became involved with the board after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  After attending a few BPA events with her father, Stephanie was approached by a board member about joining the board in an official capacity.  She was happy to accept the invitation.  Stephanie’s past job experience as an event planner with Liberty Mutual Insurance has served her well on the board.  She lends her expertise to the Board, helping to coordinate some of the larger annual events and fundraisers. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her four grandchildren and advocating for animal rights.

David Smith

Board Member

Mr. Smith was a three-generation newspaper editor who worked in senior editor capacity in newspapers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and California. Following his newspaper career Mr. Smith worked for 13 years as Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Ventura County (California.) Mr.Smith is a past president of the Illinois and Michigan Associated Press editors association who matriculated at Northern Illinois University and the University of  Wisconsin- Oshkosh.

Austin Robinson

Board Member

Austin is a board-certified music therapist and visiting lecturer of music therapy at the University of Kentucky. Austin is a doctoral student in Rehabilitation and Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky and the owner of Edge Music Therapy in Lexington, KY. Austin serves as a board member and conference coordinator for the Southeast Region of the American Music Therapy Association. He also serves as a board member with the Bluegrass Parkinson’s Association. Austin believes music can contribute to health and wellness. His primary areas of interest include utilization of music therapy in interdisciplinary treatment and the intersection of music, aging, and the brain.

Maria Hoctor

Board Member

Maria graduated from Western Kentucky University and Vanderbilt University with degrees in Communication Disorders.  She has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for the past 36 years serving adults with a wide variety of communication, cognitive, speech and swallowing disorders. She currently works part time at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. She and her husband, Ron, have raised 4 children and are currently working together to navigate the journey of Ron’s Parkinson’s Disease. The relationships made as well as the programs offered by BPA have been tremendous.

Cliff Feltham

Board Member

Cliff Feltham is a retired media relations manager for Kentucky Utilities Company.  He was with KU for 20+ years.  Prior to that he worked 16 years as a street reporter for WKYT-TV, Channel 27.  He has served on the board of several organizations including United Way, the Bluegrass Sports Commission, the Bluegrass State Games, The Nest – The Center for Women, Children and Families and the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.  He was diagnosed with Parkinsons in July 2021 and enjoys the Alliance’s many offerings including the group meetings with others who are in different stages of dealing/coping with the disease. He has been married to his wife Cathy for 50+ years.  They have two grown children and two grandchildren.

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