OFFICERS

Ron Newson

Ron Newson

President

Ron owns a State Farm Insurance agency that serves all of Louisiana. He has been married to his wife Debbie for more 30 years, and they have two children. Ron has been an active board member for many prestigious LA organizations, including the LA Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Rotary Club of Slidell Northshore, Louisiana Home Care of Slidell, East St. Tammany Chamber and Northshore Community Foundation. Ron is an avid reader, runner, and cyclist.

Chris Kaufmann

Chris Kaufmann

Vice-President

Chris is the Fire Chief of District 1 in Slidell. He has a special place in his heart for the individuals STARC serves. Chris joined the STARC board in 2006 and is dedicated to helping those with special needs.

William "Bill" Butcher

William "Bill" Butcher

Treasurer

Bill is the President/CEO of Custom Benefits Solutions, established in 2012. He has been married to his wife Tamara since 1981, is the father of three sons and a grandfather of two. In his spare time, Bill enjoys barbecuing and camping with his family. He is very excited to be involved with STARC by serving on the board of directors.

Karin Songy

Karin Songy

Recording Secretary

Karin is a retired preschool teacher. She became involved with STARC in 2010 when her son began attending STARC’s Adult Day Program and is committed to STARC’s mission as a member of the board of directors.

BOARD MEMBERS

Batina Breaux

Batina Breaux

Board Member

Betina is a graduate of LSU with a BS in Medical Technology. She worked at the Blood Bank at Charity Hospital, and has been married to her husband, John, since 1984. They have lived in Slidell since 1996, and have twin sons and a daughter, who are all married. Betina worked as office manager for her husband in a clinical setting and as a medical assistant for 20 years, and is currently pursuing serving as a Spanish and German language translator.

Eric Giroir

Eric Giroir

Board Member

A parent of a child with disABILITIES, Eric serves on the Board of STARC to give back to an organization that is near and dear to his family. As a board member, Eric is inspired to do as much as he can for those with disABILITIES.

Bruce Javery

Bruce Javery

Board Member

Bruce is a customer service technician for the Atmos Energy Corporation and became involved with STARC because he admired the organization’s service to the community.

Linda Larkin

Linda Larkin

Board Member

Linda K. Larkin is a resident of Slidell, Louisiana for over forty years.  She is the Marketing Director for Patriot Title, LLC.  She is a 1997 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelors degree in Merchandising and Consumer Studies and a 2001 graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University in Business Administration. In October of 2018, she was named one of the “Best Volunteers in Slidell” by The Slidell Independent. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for her community and spending time with her family, especially her two nephews and niece.  Linda is honored to serve as a STARC Board Member!

Susan Munster

Susan Munster

Board Member

Susan serves as the Assistant Supervisor of Special Education for St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Orleans and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University.  Susan has dedicated her career to serving students with diverse needs – as a teacher, special education high school coordinator at Slidell High School, Principal of St. Michael Special School in New Orleans, IEP Facilitator and now Assistant Supervisor.  She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.  She is honored to serve on the STARC Board of Directors.  

Lori Pausina

Lori Pausina

Board Member

A banking industry professional, Lori is the sales and service leader at Fidelity Bank. She is grateful to serve on the Board of STARC. “Sometimes I need to be reminded of my blessings as well as things I may take for granted. Visiting the clients of STARC helps keep things in perspective.”

Melissa Penzato

Melissa Penzato

Board Member

Melissa has been an Allstate agency owner for over 7 years and has locations in Covington and Hammond. With over 20 years of experience in the insurance and financial industries, Melissa has also been involved with STARC, Active Partnership, and Special Olympics in St. Tammany Parish for several years, recognizing the need for our community to honor those with disABILITIES. She is looking forward to her time as part of the STARC Board of Directors.

Charles "Chuck" Preston, M.D.

Charles "Chuck" Preston, M.D.

Board Member

“Dr. Chuck” became a physician in 1985 and since that time has practiced, taught and performed research in clinical Emergency Medicine. In 1988, Dr. Chuck moved to Slidell and in 1993 married Dr. M. Lisa Leonard. They now have 2 daughters.

After retiring from practice in 2013, he was elected St. Tammany Parish Coroner.

Dr. Chuck’s interest in STARC began many years ago treating patients with disABILITIES and participating in the Special Olympics through the Knights of Columbus. His interest has more fully blossomed since becoming Coroner, working with the Sheriff on projects such as an annual fishing rodeo and a float to throw back beads at Mardi Gras for recycling.

It is with much enthusiasm and excitement the he joins the Board and looks forward to promoting the mission of STARC.

Tatem Ruiz

Tatem Ruiz

Board Member

Tatem is a partner at Rock Ruiz Insurance & Retirement Services, LLC.  Tatem is a graduate of Ben Franklin High School and the University of New Orleans, with a degree in Business Management.  Following in her father’s footsteps, she began her insurance career in 2007. In 2008 she received NAIFA GNO’s New Agent of the Year award and served on their board for several years.   Tatem has received her CLTC designation from The Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification, Inc. and her LUTCF from the American College of Financial Services. Tatem is active in her community, a lieutenant governor for her local Kiwanis district and a past president of the Northshore Mandeville Kiwanis. She is excited to be serving on the STARC Board of Directors.

Frances Strayham

Frances Strayham

Board Member

Fran is a native of Biloxi, Mississippi. She attended St. Mary’s Dominican College and Loyola School of Law in New Orleans and has practiced in Mandeville since 1986. Throughout her legal career, Fran has offered her talents to pro bono organizations which focus on the needs of underserved communities in the area. She has also served on the Bar Association Committee created to address the legal needs of disABLED citizens and their families. The primary concern of Fran’s law practice is adoption, both private and agency adoption.

Kay Taylor

Kay Taylor

Board Member

An LSU graduate and lifelong Tiger Fan, Kay is married to Dr. Robert Taylor. A dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, sister and community volunteer, Kay finds it very rewarding to help enable the disABLED, even in the smallest of ways.

Michael F. Weiner

Michael F. Weiner

Board Member

Michael is an attorney on the Northshore. He and his wife Monique have two children, Alex and Kate. Michael enjoys riding his motorcycle and spending time outdoors. He chose to serve on STARC’s Board because of the importance of STARC’s work and because he feels that it is important to give back to the community.