Wednesday, July 15, 2015

LifeROOTS Launches New Community Garden

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on August 26th Provides Opportunity to Celebrate New Garden Cultivated by Individuals with Disabilities and Community Partners  

LifeROOTS, the central New Mexico-based not-for-profit organization serving the needs of children and adults with physical, developmental and/or behavioral challenges, is launching a new community garden at the organization’s headquarters in Albuquerque.  The LifeROOTS Community Garden has been created as place where LifeROOTS members can work together with others in the community to plant and cultivate flowers, fruits and vegetables – providing a source of learning, a source of pride and a source of community involvement as together LifeROOTS members partner with the community at this very special Garden located right in the LifeROOTS courtyard.

To celebrate the completion and launch of the LifeROOTS Community Garden, a Community Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Community Event will be held on Wednesday, August 26th at LifeROOTS.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at LifeROOTS, located at 1111 Menaul Boulevard NE in Albuquerque.  The Ribbon Cutting and Community Event will be attended by numerous community leaders, and will feature activities for both adults and children to experience some of what the garden has to offer both LifeROOTS members and individuals throughout the community.

“We are thrilled that the vision that we have had for the LifeROOTS Community Garden is now a reality, and so excited that our members will be able to experience the excitement, and pride, of cultivating their own garden and enjoying the fruits of their own labor,” says Kathleen Cates, LifeROOTS CEO, who began developing the idea of a LifeROOTS garden a number of years ago and has worked to help raise funds and secure donations to launch the garden.  “The LifeROOTS Community Garden will be a place where our members can work together with others in the community to plant and nurture beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables and where we can all watch the miracle of nature as new “roots” take hold and the garden thrives in the months and years to come.”
In addition to working and cultivating the garden, the LifeROOTS Community Garden will also provide LifeROOTS members with a beautiful new space to eat and interact with each other in a communal environment.  Through their hands-on work in the garden, LifeROOTS members will also have the opportunity to learn nutritional information and absorb practical gardening techniques, learning the skills of planting and cultivating vegetables and discussing nutritional benefits and ways to prepare vegetables for healthy consumption. 

For more information about LifeROOTS and the LifeROOTS Community Garden, including additional details about the LifeROOTS Community Garden Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Community Event on August 26th, visit or call 505-255-5501.

Monday, June 29, 2015

LifeROOTS Announces Three New Board Members

Lewis Reade, Jill Tatz and Susan Iliff Join Board of Not-for-Profit Serving Individuals with Disabilities

LifeROOTS (, the central New Mexico-based not-for-profit organization serving the needs of children and adults with physical, developmental and/or behavioral challenges, has appointed three new members to the organization’s Board of Directors. The organization has announced that Lewis Reade, Jill Tatz and Susan Iliff have been named to the Board – bringing a wide range of both professional and personal experience to the Board of Directors of the growing not-for-profit organization.

The appointment of Mr. Reade, Ms. Tatz and Ms. Iliff to the LifeROOTS Board of Directors continues to strengthen the role of LifeROOTS in providing important programs and services to help those with disabilities throughout the community. Members of the LifeROOTS Board of Directors provide guidance and oversight of the organization’s strategic initiatives, work to ensure that the organization meets its mission and objectives, and help in fundraising initiatives.

Mr. Reade, Ms. Tatz and Ms. Iliff each bring extensive experience to the LifeROOTS Board of Directors:

Lewis Reade brings a wealth of business expertise and valuable experience in the not-for-profit sector to his position on the LifeROOTS Board of Directors. An International Development Professional with decades of experience in private business, government and non-profit organizations, Mr. Reade has held senior career positions in the U.S. and overseas toward national economic growth promotion in the Middle East, Caribbean and Southeast Asia, and has led programs in economic development throughout the world. He has held executive positions through Chairman of the Board and CEO in a variety of high tech and services businesses, and has twice served as the CEO of major non-government organizations. His work in the U.S. includes having spearheaded and directed many important initiatives in the non-profit arena, including merging Big Brothers of America and Big Sisters International in the first merger of national youth servicing programs.

Mr. Reade’s work in the non-profit sector also included creating and managing programs for families, including child development, mentoring, single parent support, delinquency, prevention and court diversion. He has been named to the National Board of American Humanics, Inc., the national oversight group for all countrywide youth-serving organizations, and has a life-long history of volunteering at all levels in major national organizations, including Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Junior Chamber of Commerce, INTEL International Engineering and Science Fair-2007 in New Mexico, as well as numerous local groups (including Placitas Artists Series, Albuquerque Council for International Visitors, Sandoval County CIVITAN Club, Rebuilding Together Sandoval County and KUPR Community Radio Station.) He was named to the Big Brothers Big Sisters “Hall of Fame” in 2004 as part of its first "Class", and, in addition to his role on the LifeROOTS Board of Directors, continues to be active in numerous not-for-profit organizations throughout the region. He is a former Electrical/Electronics Engineer with the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, and also served as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Business Development at Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.

Jill Tatz, MA not only brings more than 30 years of experience in education to the LifeROOTS Board, but also brings the important perspective of the mother of four children, two who have significant disabilities. She is currently the Director of Congregation B’nai Israel Preschool, and is also Family Faculty for the LEND Scholars Program at the Center for Development and Disability. Ms. Tatz has served as Disabilities Coordinator for the Pueblo of Isleta Early Head Start/Head Start Program, as well as served as Instructor and Clinical Supervisor at the University of New Mexico, where she taught various classes in the departments of Early Childhood and Special Education. She has held Adjunct Faculty positions at the University of New Mexico and Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, as well as Northeastern Illinois University and Erickson Institute in Chicago, IL and National Lewis University in Evanston, IL and Harper College in Palatine, IL. In her role as an advocate for children with disabilities, she is very involved in Special Olympics, City of Albuquerque Therapeutic Recreation Services and Advocacy in the area of Disability and Special Education.

Susan Iliff, MA, OTR/L brings a great deal of direct experience in healthcare and occupational therapy to her role on the board, and has worked as an OT in several settings for more than 15 years. She is an Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Lecturer for the UNM Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, and serves as a liaison for the OT community and university. Ms. Iliff, who is currently pursuing a PhD in Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman’s University, teaches and facilitates Problem-Based Learning groups with students, in addition to her work doing site visits in her role as OT. She has more than a decade of teaching experience; in addition to serving as a Faculty Leader/Instructor at the lecturing at the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program at UNM, she also served as Adjunct Faculty, Lab Facilitator and Lecturer for at a UNM/Albuquerque Public Schools Collaborative Program and a Clinical Fieldwork Educator for Albuquerque Public Schools. In addition to her role as a new Board member at LifeROOTS, she is a Fieldwork Advisory Board Director, where she leads monthly meetings with Fieldwork Educators from the Albuquerque community.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lewis, Jill and Susan to our Board, and welcome their valuable experience in business, education, healthcare and not-for-profits as we continue to work to help those with disabilities in our community,” says Kathleen Cates, LifeROOTS CEO. “Each of our Board members brings a unique perspective to their role on the Board, and we look forward to working with them at this important time for LifeROOTS as we continue our mission to empower the lives and shape the futures of those with disabilities.”

For more information about LifeROOTS, including a complete listing of the organization’s programs and services to help children and adults with disabilities, visit

Monday, April 13, 2015

We Got Creamed … While Raising Awareness And Funds!

On March 26th, LifeROOTS gave the community the opportunity to have some fun, and to show "management" how they really feel ... by throwing a pie in the face of several different LifeROOTS Managers, CEOs and even an attorney, who all volunteered to be part of the first ever "Throw a Pie In The Face of Management Event" held at Village Inn on San Mateo. 

Paul DiPaola, Regional President of US Bank and Cristin Heyns, Corporate Counsel and Director of Human Resources at Blake's Lotaburger, were great sports as they "got creamed" for a great cause ... helping to raise money, and raise awareness, of the work LifeROOTS is doing in the community.  In addition to Paul and Cristin, the event also featured members of the LifeROOTS Board of Directors, managers of different divisions within LifeROOTS and our very own LifeROOTS CEO, Kathleen Cates. 

In conjunction with the day's "Throw a Pie in the Face of Management" event, customers who visited the Village Inn that evening had the opportunity to have a percentage of their bill donated to LifeROOTS.  For each customer who mentioned that they support LifeROOTS, the Village Inn donated 10% of their bill directly to LifeROOTS.

"We came up with this idea as a really fun way to engage both our employees and the community as we work to raise money for LifeROOTS to help us enhance our programs and services that we provide to those with disabilities throughout central New Mexico," said Kathleen Cates.  "The concept of throwing a pie in the face of management is something that we think takes on a very timely angle in today's workforce and a fundraiser that has never been done with local companies here in Albuquerque. We thought it would not only be an event that all will enjoy, but a very successful way for us to raise money for LifeROOTS."

The event also featured a variety of other activities for employees and attendees at the fundraiser; including a pie-eating contest, and special relay races where participants make and carry pie boxes around the restaurant.  We also arranged for an on-site LifeROOTS information booth providing information to customers about LifeROOTS programs and services.

This first-ever event was a success in many ways ... and we're looking forward to building on this successful event as we begin thinking about next year's "Throw a Pie in the Face of Management" Event.   We've already received interest from local business leaders in the community eager to get involved in helping to raise money for LifeROOTS through this fun and unique event ... and we have a feeling that even more pies are going to fly in 2016!

Mother’s Day Plant Sale At LifeROOTS

We have an upcoming fundraiser that is sure to bring smiles both to all the moms out there, as well as our LifeROOTS clients! 

Our clients are busy at work in decorating beautiful Mother’s Day Flower Pots – a perfect gift for moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and all of the special people in your life.  Each one of these handcrafted flower pots – made with love from clients in our Day Habilitation program –are individual and unique.  Clients will plant a flower in each decorated pot, and they will be sold for $25.00 each.

For more information about the LifeROOTS Mother’s Day Flower Pot sale, call Lily at 505-255-5501 for more information about how to pre-order.

LifeROOTS Early Intervention Program Recognized by the State!

LifeROOTS Invited to Participate in Two Pilot Programs Over the Next 3 Years

We are thrilled to announce that
LifeROOTS has been recognized by the State for our quality services in our early intervention program, and invited to participate in two exciting pilot programs that will be of value to both our staff and our clients. It is an honor to have been selected for these two pilot programs, and we’re excited to be part of both of them over the next few years.

In the first program, which is training, we are being provided with video cameras and min iPads for five of our providers so that they may learn how to video tape for providers who cannot be sent into the field. Not only is this a great skill to have, but the equipment is a very valuable investment into our organization. For the second program, we are one out of only 8 agencies selected (from 38 in the State) for a pilot program related to IFSP (Individual Family Services Plan) development. In noting why LifeROOTS and the other seven organizations were selected, FIT Program Quality Assurance Manager Patti Ramsey noted each organization’s reliable data and strong leadership - a great testament to the skills and hard work of our early intervention team.

For more information about the LifeROOTS Early Intervention programs and services, click here >>>