Meet Our Team
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Thea Flaum, President of the Hill Foundation, is the creative leader of the website. She comes to the foundation after a 35-year-career as an Emmy-award-winning television producer. So it’s no surprise that she created a website that took what she knew about the power of video and used it to connect families who suddenly have to deal with a spinal cord injury with people like them who have “been there” and “done that.”
Robert A. Hill is co-founder of the Hill Foundation, and the moving force behind its creation. Bob is the founder and chairman of Floor Covering Associates (FCA) and a major figure in the floor- covering industry, highly respected for his leadership as well as his business accomplishments.
Bob Hill and Thea Flaum understand the needs of families facing spinal cord injuries because their own daughter, Vicki Hill, was injured in 1986 after diving into a swimming pool. Thea and Bob created the foundation and the website in the belief that connecting with the life experiences of others who have been down the path ahead of you often helps people find their own strength and support.
Annie Hambleton, Director of the Hill Foundation, has been deeply involved in every aspect of the creation of FacingDisability.com. She works behind the scenes in the production of every video on the website. She administers the blog, forums, peer counseling and resources sections of the website, and also oversees development and outreach. She is the day-to-day problem solver for the foundation. Annie is a graduate of Trinity College (CT).
Stephanie D. Lollino, Vice President of the Hill Foundation, is a Chicago-based writer and veteran television producer, and has been working with the website since its inception. She oversees the structure and the overall tone of all writing and video production for the site.
She also heads the newsletter team and writes articles for major disability publications, such as “New Mobility” and “Exceptional Parent,” on various SCI subjects. She says her extensive background in research, media and creative communication turns the task of improving the lives of others into a dream job. “Making people aware of SCI, and everything that goes along with it is something I’m really proud of.” Stephanie enjoys outdoor sports and fitness — especially with her husband and two daughters.
Dan Lombardi is the chief architect of all video production for the website. A highly experienced TV professional who has made hundreds of television shows, Dan designed the entire production plan for FacingDisability.com, including equipment selection, background design, shooting schedules and workflow. He began working with the foundation at the start and remains an integral part of the website’s think-team. Dan is president and Executive Producer of Grand & Noble Productions, an independent production company based in Chicago.
Brian Sharpe is the sensitive and talented director/editor who has created the visual identity of the website videos and a communication style that connects with viewers. He has edited all of the more than 1,000 video excerpts on the site, shaping the comments of more than 100 people to make sure they communicate effectively. Brian is Senior Producer at Grand & Noble Productions, and an invaluable member of the website team.
Kristine Cichowski, our Resources Consultant, has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years. She was the founding director of the Life Center at what is the new Shirley Ryan AbilityLab who developed their extensive collection which provides a vast array of disability information. She has developed systems and processes to help rehabilitation clinicians, physicians, and nurses better understand the results of patient care and what is needed to successfully resume key life activities. Click here to read more about Kris.
Rona Talcott, who created the compelling images on our website, is known for “photographing people from the inside out.” An award-winning photojournalist whose assignments took her all over the world for almost 40 years, she has photographed people in every conceivable lifestyle and profession. Rona’s work focuses on relationships and captures the interior lives of her subjects. Her work has appeared in countless major magazines and commercial publications worldwide.