Staff


Sally DePalma

DIRECTOR


Sally founded The One Roof Initiative in 2013 and serves as it’s executive director. Prior to The One Roof, Sally launched and led Special Connections, a ministry serving those living with disabilities and their families at St. James United Methodist Church in Tampa.

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Sally founded The One Roof Initiative in 2013 and serves as it’s executive director. Prior to The One Roof, Sally launched and led Special Connections, a ministry serving those living with disabilities and their families at St. James United Methodist Church in Tampa.

As the mother of a daughter with autism, Sally can appreciate the joys and challenges that come with raising a child with special needs. A challenge that was not expected and came soon after Leah’s diagnosis in 2000 at the age of two, was being told by their home church that, due to her behaviors, the Sunday School class that Leah attended could not accommodate her. With no place for their daughter, Sally and her family eventually stopped attending church. Soon it was realized that her family’s story was not isolated and that many families could not find a church to accept their child with disabilities, thereby foregoing attending church or worse, giving up on their faith altogether and turning their back on God.

Viewing this as a fundamental wrong, Sally was motivated to make church accessible for all and Special Connections came into being.

Special Connections grew to be large and multi-faceted. In mid-2013, the continued growth of the ministry as well as the practical needs of the disability community dictated that a regional ministry be established to educate, equip and mobilize The Church of the Tampa Bay region. The One Roof Initiative is following the Lord’s lead building on the momentum of the seven years of ministry that preceded it to offer spiritual, emotional and practical support to those impacted by disability.

Sally earned her Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She, her husband Rich and two daughters live in New Tampa.

When she can carve the time, Sally loves to hike the trails and paddle the waterways of Florida.



Phyllis Guthman

Chief Marketing & Content Director


Phyllis provides disability information, resources, communications and marketing for multiple organizations including VSA Florida, the Statewide Organization on Arts and Disabilities. Phyllis is the founder of ©Disability Resource Hub, ©Disability Resource Diva and ©Tampa-Hillsborough Disability Update.

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Phyllis has provided disability information, resources, communications and marketing for
three different Statewide organizations on disability, for the past 18 years, including CARD-USF, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) and currently, VSA Florida, the Statewide Organization on Arts and Disabilities.  She has developed a Faith-Based Parent Support group and served in Special Needs Ministries.  Phyllis is the founder of  ©Disability Resource Hub, ©Disability Resource Diva and ©Tampa-Hillsborough Disability Update.

Phyllis is a graduate of Partners & Policymaking, a leadership and advocacy training program that teaches individuals with developmental disabilities and parents to become community leaders.  She co-founded a special needs parent support and information group (Keys for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, now known as Keys for Individuals with Disabilities – K.I.D.S) that remains a school district parent outreach program.

Phyllis has created and given presentations for educators, therapists, college students and parents at the national, state and local level, including conferences such as TASH, Council for Exceptional Children, Family Café, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Conference, Family Network on Disabilities and the Florida Inclusion Network as well as the University of South Florida – College of Education and Family as Faculty.  She has organized and facilitated support groups, training’s and award ceremonies, providing multi-media presentations and programs. She has also provided communication services for Radio and other media.  Additionally Phyllis has served and continues to serve on a variety of boards and councils for special needs ministries, autism, education, recreation, and the arts, such as the Superintendent’s ESE Advisory Council, Buddy Baseball and Winthrop Arts, Inc.

Phyllis earned her degree in Fashion & Merchandising in California.  She and her husband Ed, have lived in the Tampa Bay area for 21 years and have two active children that keep them very busy. As a parent of a child with special needs, Phyllis strives to maintain a healthy and balanced well being by Keeping the Faith! (Family, Appreciation/Advocacy, Inclusion, Transition and Hope!) which she communicates through her online platforms Disability Resource Hub, Disability Resource Diva and Tampa-Hillsborough Disability Update. 



Susan Triggiano

TRAINING & EQUIPPING TEAM CONSULTANT


Susan has taught in the Special Education field for over 20 years and has twice been awarded Teacher of the Year. Currently, she is a Trainer and Coach for Special Education Teachers and a Tutor for students with various learning difficulties in Hillsborough County Public Schools.

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Susan Triggiano has a B.S. in Special Education and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the Special Education field for over 20 years and has twice been awarded Teacher of the Year. Currently, she is a Trainer and Coach for Special Education Teachers and a Tutor for students with various learning difficulties for Hillsborough County Public Schools and a Training and Equipping Consultant for The One Roof Initiative.  She has also written curriculum and magazine articles for LifeWay Christian Resources.  Her passion is to train and empower churches in establishing vibrant Special Needs ministries that meet the spiritual needs of the whole family. She is married to her wonderful husband Tim and a homeschool mom to her two beautiful daughters.



Dineen Paris

Administrative Assistant


Dineen has been working with individuals with disabilities for several years via Special Needs Ministries.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Sally asked me to become her Administrative Assistant for Special Connections at St. James United Methodist Church, Tampa. Since then I have learned a lot from her and love helping and having an impact on those with special needs and their families.

I like to read, cook, travel, and visit with friends over a nice lunch or dinner, and go to Rays baseball games – GO RAYS!!!  Cooking is a creative outlet for me and is a fun way to fill my spare time.

I like using my career skills to give back to The One Roof Initiative. I was in training and development, and wrote and designed training materials. I use these skills to write, format, and create documents needed for applying for our 501c3 status and other things as needed.

I am originally from L.A. – Lower Alabama…Mobile.  My husband, is my best friend and we have been married for 41 wonderful years! We don’t have children, but having been a teacher, I had lots of “Mom Moments” with my students.

My husband’s job took us around the world, where we lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 3 ½ years and traveled extensively.