First In Families of North Carolina is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of at least fifty percent people with developmental disabilities or their family members.

Become a Board Member

If you are interested in learning more about membership on the Board of FIFNC, print and complete our board membership application. Postal mail the completed application to the address provided.

Current Board Members

Meet some of our board members.

photo of Peggy BalakPeggy Balak, Chair, has worked in the disability field for 45+ years in both the public and private sector prior to her retirement in 2021. During her career, she worked with all disability populations with a focus on advocacy, program planning and evaluation and policy development. She lives in Raleigh

photo of Duncan MunnDuncan Munn, Vice-Chair is retired from Early Intervention and is still active in early childhood learning and development. He lives in Raleigh.

photo of Katie LedfordKatie Ledford, Secretary/Treasurer, is an Audit Manager at Blackmon & Sloop, CPA's, P.A. She specializes in audits of nonprofit organizations, in addition to working with clients in the construction and education industries.

photo of Christopher Demetropoulos
Christopher Demetropoulos, is a Portfolio Manager with LFM Wealth Management, A Member of Advisory Services Network, LLC in Chapel Hill.

photo of Keiron DyckKeiron Dyck,, is a self-advocate, who is passionate about advocating for others with disabilities and feels that being on the First In Families board is a great way to do that!

photo of Tim FerreiraTim Ferreira, is the Director of Quality and Compliance at the Autism Society of North Carolina, Inc. and a graduate of the Advancing Strong Leadership in I/DD program through the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities.

photo of Niasha FrayNiasha Fray, MA, MSPH is a proud native of Raleigh, North Carolina. Her pride, joy, and primary motivator is her daughter who has Down Syndrome. She is currently Program Director at the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs on the Research and Advancement Unit. It is her honor to serve on the Board of First in Families of North Carolina to be a voice for parents, health equity, and social change.

photo of Lynn HegedusLynn Hegedus, PhD has worked in the disability field for 20 plus years in public education, Department of Defense programming, and the private sector, but her focus has always been and will be supporting individuals with varying needs. She is currently the Recreation Supervisor for the Town of Mooresville Parks and Recreation department and oversees inclusive and therapeutic programming. She resides in Mt. Ulla, NC.

photo of Toni James-ManusToni James-Manus, has worked for over 40 years in the field of developmental disabilities and advocacy. Toni has also consulted with and provided training to public and private organizations, including parent and consumer advocacy groups. As a certified special education and reading teacher, she taught elementary, middle, high school, and community college students with learning and/or behavioral challenges.

photo of Jean B. Mankowski, PhDJean B. Mankowski, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who specializes in working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. She is on faculty at UNC's Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and is the Director of Training for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NC LEND) training grant.

photo of Matthew Schwab
Matthew Schwab, is a 25 year-old North Carolina native who recently realized a life-long dream of living on his own, in an apartment with his younger brother. He is also a self-advocate and public speaker. Matthew is passionate about raising awareness about Down syndrome and the entire IDD community.

photo of Jason TuellJason Tuell is an MSW Student Social Worker at UNC Law Clinic. He lives in Carrboro.