Ruth Kartalis, Founder

Ruth has extensive experience in both education and technology. At Nike she was a key developer and the project leader for RepNet, a Sales Force Management system that was one of the first of its kind. In education, she held several positions including teacher, High School House Principal, Assistant Director of Special Education and Assistant Director of Technology. Ruth received a BS degree from the University at Albany, majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. She also has Master’s Degrees in Education and Leadership from Canisius College and St. Bonaventure University.

Ruth and her husband Nick live in East Aurora and have 2 daughters, Krista and Kathryn, and 1 son, Michael. Michael’s diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Delay and he is on the Autism Spectrum. Mike hopes to some day live in his own apartment among his peers.

Deborah Flynn, Founder

Deborah is currently the Director of Gourmet Specialty at The Cookware Company. Deborah was a founding director of Home of My Own of WNY and was its President until September, 2022. She helped bring Lose the Training Wheels to WNY, now known as I can Shine Bike riding camp, helping hundreds of local kids with I/DD learn to ride a two wheel bike. She was actively involved and was Board President for Bornhava, an early childhood center for children with developmental disabilities. Deb has worked in the Housewares Industry for over 25 years. She has an MA in Interpersonal and Public Communication from Bowling Green State University.

Deb and her husband Mike live in East Aurora, NY, and have two daughters, Courtney and Kaleigh. Kaleigh has Down Syndrome and fuels the passion for this project.

Nicholas Kartalis, Founder

Nick has extensive experience in business and education. He was a Senior Vice President of the Nike Corporation, President of the Danskin brand and Vice President of Dick’s Sporting Goods along with other corporate management positions. Nick also spearheaded two major corporate acquisitions in both the wholesale and retail trades. Nick is a graduate of Springfield College and is a permanently certified Health and Physical Education teacher. While in the Master’s program for Guidance and Personnel Services at the University of Albany, Nick worked as a graduate assistant initiating the football program there.

Deb Flynn, Ruth Kartalis and Nick Kartalis

Ruth, Mike and Nick Kartalis

Kaleigh, Mike and Deb Flynn