Alain Beret, JD
Alain J. Beret, C.E.O and in-house counsel, came to My Choice Programs in June of 2013. As head of the organization, Alain believes that his role is to provide an environment for talented, self-motivated, and engaging people who can think “outside the box” to create something new. He states: “My goal is to collaborate with our Board and talented staff to deliver services that are dynamic and relevant for anyone with intellectual challenges who is striving for a more meaningful, self-directed life”. He is committed to making My Choice Programs the “first choice” for staff and consumers alike.
Chief Operating Officer
John Lazzaro, started with the agency in 1984 as an Outreach Specialist. John assumed the position of Chief Operations Officer in 2017. He states: “My greatest satisfaction is the experience of observing individuals gaining independent living skills to the extent that they grow to require less, not more services from paid supports. This is a true hallmark of successful service.”
Chief Financial Officer
Chris Eckman began working at My Choice Programs in July 2014, serving as the Executive Assistant. Knowledgeable and skilled in the area of accounting, contracts, and information technology, the My Choice staff widely considers Chris as the in-house “info tech guru” and computer troubleshooter. Moreover, his artistic and graphic design capabilities add to Chris’ multi-dimensional contributions to the My Choice team.
Director of Community Supports
Jennifer came to My Choice Programs in June of 2016, bringing with her more than 15 years of experience in Human Services Administration. Her specialization is working with individuals and their broader support networks, with the goal of creating cohesive teams to facilitate the needs, hopes, and dreams of every individual served by her department.
Jennifer says, "When I came to this agency, I knew right away that working in Community Supports was the right niche for me, and that My Choice Programs was a perfect fit. I find so much joy in working with this diverse team of creative and compassionate people, to implement individualized plans for success, which meet people where they are and assist them, on their terms, to achieve their goals and deepen their relationship with their community."
Sherri Duquette, MS
Director of Employment Services
Sherri joined the team in October of 2017 and has over 20 years of experience in teaching, counseling, mentoring, and vocational rehabilitation. As Sherri sees it, “...my role as a teacher and job coach has exposed me to people who learn in a variety of different ways. This has given me the skills and patience to get the task complete despite the learning styles of students.”
Assistant Director of Employment Services/Human Rights Coordinator
Shannon joined the team in November 2021. She is a graduate of Grand Canyon University with her Master's Degree in Legal Studies. She serves as the Assistant Director of Employment Services and the Human Rights Coordinator. She also and has created her own theatre company.
Eduardo Batallas, MSW
Director of Shared Living
Eduardo joined the team in 2017. With a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and over 15 years’ experience in mental health and human services. Eduardo brings a wealth of knowledge along with a level of empathy and caring that allows him the ability to understand and support our individuals with the upmost dignity and respect. Eduardo is also bilingual in Spanish, which enhances the organization’s ability to support individuals who only speak Spanish. As Eduardo says “We have to meet every individual where they are. No matter race, gender, background or disability so that we can better understand and support them in every way we can. So that everyone can work towards meeting every single individualized goal that is identified and succeed.”
Wendy Amado, M.Ed.
Shared Living Placement Coordinator
Wendy comes to My Choice Programs with a Master’s degree in School Adjustment, Mental Health with Trauma Studies from Cambridge College. With over 8 years’ experience in working in Mental Health and Human services, Wendy brings a wide range of experience and knowledge to our organization and the individuals we support. Wendy is also bilingual in Spanish, which enables the organization to continue reaching further into the community we serve.
Debra Aharonian, MSW
Human Resources & Quality Assurance
Debra Aharonian joined the team in 2017. She has over 30 years’ experience as a licensed Social Worker in the medical and social services fields. Debra says that her experience as a former Vice President and Director for larger organizations has given her a real appreciation for the familial atmosphere of My Choice Programs. She says, “It’s a quality that can be difficult to cultivate in larger organizations.”
Cindy joined the team in 2016 and has many years of experience in the field of social services. She says that, “over the years at My Choice Programs, I’ve been able to excel and expand my skills doing a job that matters, with people that matter.”
Autism Spectrum Coordinator
Amanda joined the team in 2020. She has over 15 years’ experience in human services, teaching, coordinating, and direct care services. She is currently the ASD coordinator, serves on the Human Rights Committee, and supervises several outreach staff. Working closely with a myriad of people she utilizes her strengths to help empower others, facilitating a work environment of positive relationships and independent growth. Amanda says “she is fulfilled by witnessing the people we support grow into the lives they desire through identifying what is important to them, exploring possibilities, and building skills that will carry them into their future.” She feels that uplifting people is the greatest gift one can give.
Individual Supports Coordinator
Erika joined the team in 2018. She has 15 years' experience in the Human Service field and has a real passion for coaching and supporting individuals to achieve their goals. She says that, “Giving back to the community is something I know I need to do.”
Kat Hastings, BS
Senior Outreach Specialist/Community Resource Coordinator
Kat joined the My Choice Team in January of 2019 and has over 15 years of Human Services experience. Kat remains committed to education, empowerment, self-development, advocacy, and leadership for everyone. Kat’s beliefs are deeply rooted in a can-do positive attitude.
Essence joined My Choice Programs in August of 2022. She comes to My Choice Programs with 9 years’ combined experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant and working with children and parents in the behavioral health industry. Essence says she has a passion for people and assisting them in achieving their highest goals.
Joel joined the team in 2020. He enjoys fitness, wellness and helping individuals find ways to be more active in their day. “I enjoy finding creative ways to help individuals set goals and embrace self-care.” Joel is a big fan of Red Robin’s and Ben and Jerry’s!
Senior Outreach Specialist
Danielle began working as a Senior Outreach Specialist in July of 2022. She has a wide range of knowledge and experience within the health and medical field as a Phlebotomist, Medical Scribe and Medical IT Consultant.
Danielle says her position is the perfect way for her to do what she does best, coaching and encouraging others.
Outreach Specialist, Community Support Services
Nicci joined the team at My Choice Programs June of 2021. She has 25 years’ experience in the field working in group homes, day programs and home care.
Nicci says that working at My Choice Programs “has been a great experience, with amazing co-workers, and the individuals I have been honored to meet.”
Outreach Specialist, Community Support Services
Barbara joined My Choice Programs in August 2021; she has 5 years' experience working in social services and 25+ years working in healthcare. Barbara is very dedicated to coaching others to find creative ways to use their strengths, to improve their lives, and gain the confidence needed to become more independent.
Our Support Staff!
Meet the teams' pets!
Romy & Sassy
Romy is a 15 year old English Setter who is pictured here with Sassy, her 17 year old girlfriend.
(Alain is our pet).
I’m a 7-year-old gal that loves take her owners for a walk. I’m a Bishon Poodle they call Ginger, but deep down I know I’m the Duchess of Sutton.
(I share Alain with Romy and Sassy).
Jennifer would like to introduce you to Kusala. He is an 18-year-old male who is famous for his theatrical poses and regal demeanor. He’s well aware that he is beautiful.
Smokey Baker Dubay
I'm a 7-year-old boy. I bite, scratch and do other fun things to humans. When no one is around I stalk the dog. (I share Cindy with Brutus).
Brutus Batman Dubay
I’m an 11-year-old boy. Don’t let the size fool you, I have a big attitude. Life is good.
(Cindy is my pet and Smokey the cat is our roommate).
Pepe is a 13-year-old Toy Poodle who enjoys following Eduardo around the house into every room. He loves sleeping, sitting on the porch, and going for car rides. Pepe’s favorite thing to do is make himself cough for attention so that he can get a treat! Eduardo says he is the best dramatic actor out there, and on his way to winning an Oscar!