Meet the SDA Team

Michael Smull has been working with people with disabilities since 1972. His extensive experience covers nearly all aspects of developing community services. Michael is the Chair of The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLC-PCP) and a senior partner in Support Development Associates (SDA). He is the co-developer of Essential Lifestyle Planning and has worked in 48 states and seven countries. He has helped found three (3) community agencies, assisted existing agencies with the conversion from programs to supports, and helped states, regions, and counties change their structures in order to support self-determination. He has helped people leave institutions in the US and the UK. 

Michael has written extensively on issues relating to supporting people with challenging behaviors, person centered planning, and the challenge of changing our system to one that will support self-determination. From 1982 through 1997 he worked at the University of Maryland.

When he left in 1997 he was a Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services at the College Park Campus and a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University Of Maryland School of Medicine.


Michael and Mary Lou Bourne are the co-designers of efforts to develop person centered systems. His current efforts are focused on helping organizations and systems make the needed changes in skills, practices, and policies that result in supporting people to have self-directed lives. This work has taken place in over 50 agencies and 10 states. Mr. Smull is the recipient of the 2015 Compass Award from the National Association of Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services and the 2006 American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities service award. Michael lives in Annapolis, MD with his wife Andy and their four dogs.

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Bob Sattler’s career for the past 30 years has focused on building community supports. He began his career as a direct support professional and went on to redesign residential programs that create opportunities for fewer people to live together. Bob developed supported employment programs for a sheltered work center, which eventually led to establishing a service agency to support people with co-occurring needs (developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges).

Bob also worked as a case manager, was Director of Community Support for a county program, and most recently served as Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Private Providers. His experience is grounded in providing person centered supports, while supporting self-determination, which has helped him redesign services at individual, organizational and state levels. Bob’s work has provided him unique

opportunities to work and train in partnership with professionals from the fields of mental health, law enforcement and criminal justice, and state operated Intermediate Care Facilities, in order to better support people with complex support needs. Bob has worked with Support Development Associates since 2007, consulting across the nation to help people move from state operated facilities to their community and State and Provider systems to build person centered practices into their operational structure.


His work assists twenty three (23) states in the development of person centered systems. When he is not traveling, Bob lives in Denver, CO with his family and energetic dog. He enjoys spending time outdoors biking, hiking, and camping. He holds a BS in Special Education with a minor in psychology.


Tanya M. Richmond, MSW, LCSW, has over 22 years of experience working as a licensed clinical social worker. She has expertise in direct practice with older adults; adults with mental health and behavioral health concerns; children and their families; people who are deaf or hearing impaired; children and adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities; and with individuals who are in crisis due to rape. She has directed program coordination and evaluation in both community service agencies and university settings.

A former Assistant Clinical Professor at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work, Tanya was the Jordan Institute’s Center for Aging Research and Educational Services (CARES) Program Coordinator. She is a certified person centered thinking trainer, a mentor for Person-centered Thinking trainer candidates, and is an officer on the board of directors for the international Learning Community for

 Person Centered Practices. Tanya is also a Grove-certified graphic facilitator and graphic recorder and has created specialized hand-drawn large-scale graphics for over 60 events. Her specialized professional areas of interest are Geriatrics, Leadership and Coaching, Person Centered Practice, Outcome Evaluation and Research, and Ethics.


Tanya earned a BA in Psychology with a triple minor in Spanish, Anthropology, and Astronomy and a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) from Louisiana State University. She has been licensed to practice social work as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) since the mid-1990’s. She currently lives in Greensboro, NC, where she also teaches tai chi and is an avid seamstress and dollhouse builder.

Sherrie has worked in the field of disability services for over 35 years. A passionate interest in person centered and person directed living is at the heart of all her efforts. Starting in the early 1990’s, Sherrie received her training and mentoring from a variety of internationally recognized practitioners, including learning Personal Futures Planning, MAPS, and PATH from John O’Brien, Judith Snow, Marsha Forest, and Jack Pearpoint.  Sherrie also worked with Jack, John, and Lynda Kahn to bring the time-honored Summer Institute to Australia and New Zealand as The Down Under Institute just a few years ago.


Her connection with Michael Smull began in the mid 1990s, when closing Fairview Training Center, Oregon’s largest institution for people who have disabilities. Sherrie led the team that developed the plans that were used to help people move during transition and afterwards provided technical assistance as people settled into new community homes. Working collaboratively with Michael and others nationally, Sherrie and her team organized and hosted the first Portland Gatherings. This annual event that continues to this day to support and promote work of The Learning Community for Person Centered Practice (TLCPCP).  As a mentor trainer in The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices, she supports potential trainers to develop their skills and practices in training others.  

Sherrie’s work history includes roles as a direct support professional, vocational trainer, secondary special education teacher, residential group home manager, and various training and statewide technical assistance roles. Sherrie’s work has largely been Oregon-based, but she recently spent a decade in Australia, working within agencies to provide training on using a variety of person centered thinking and planning processes in a number of states as Australia moves towards a nationwide self-directed disability support system.


Since returning to the US, Sherrie has worked at Support Development Associates (SDA) in a variety of projects. The largest included providing person centered thinking training to over 2200 people who are direct support professionals and service coordinators in Colorado. She is currently working with service providers in Georgia to develop person centered thinking coaches and with the state office in Washington to support facilitators working to help people move from the state’s regional habilitation centers. Sherrie is looking forward to continuing to work with individuals, families, groups, and organizations in the work of visioning, creating, re-creating, and pursuing people-empowered supports, services, and communities.


Brytnee has been working for Support Development Associates since August 2016. She graduated from the University of Maryland University College in May 2017.

Brytnee has worked as a contractor for the Social Security Administration's Court of Appeals. She has also worked as a Court Reporter for the Department of Justice, Department of Labor and Veteran's Affairs. Brytnee has a passion for working with Veterans. 


She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resources Management and a minor in Accounting. Brytnee is also a Notary Public for the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.