Jan Alderman, Program Director

Jan began working at St. Louis School in 1987 and was there until 1992. She left to pursue her career as a hair stylist and owner of her own shop for a few years. She returned to work at St. Louis School in 1998 and stayed there until 2005. Jan left St. Louis and went to work for Breckenridge Village as a teacher in the Day Program in 2005. She loves Breckenridge as she loved St. Louis but was ready for a new chapter in her career.

While she was employed at the school and the village, she was also very active in various other activities in our community. She was involved with Walk a Mile for a Special Child and she worked for 24 years as staff at Camp Heyday and has been the camp director for two years. She was a head coach with Special Olympics from 2006-2013 and was a Therapet owner from 2002-2007. She has been hired as the ARC Adult Performing Arts director effective September.  Jan started as Program Director for Achieving Dreams August, 2014. Jan is an asset to our program, and she enjoys sharing her experiences, enthusiasm, and love with our Achievers.

Sandi Richards, Program Director

Sandi was born in Anchorage, AK at Elmendorf Air Force Base to K.D. and Anita Chrietzberg.  She is the daughter of a retired United States Air Force fighter pilot and his late wife, who was a homemaker.  She enjoyed living and growing up in Alaska, California, Kansas and Missouri with her sister and brother.

Sandi was a paraprofessional educator who worked with special needs students for five years.  That experience was a blessing to her as she made a positive impact in the lives of her students.  Helping her students become successful academically as well as socially was particularly fulfilling for her. She as been active on church committees, volunteering for the Humane Society, Girl Scouts and various school and community activities. She feels very blessed and excited about being a Program Director of Achieving Dreams and enjoys working with all of the Achievers and wonderful volunteers. She began with us in 2016.

Lazara Gutierrez, Program Assistant

Laz joined the Achieving Dreams team in July 2019, and she immediately connected well with the Achievers and  everyone.  In addition to a work history which includes serving as a teacher's assistant in Special Education with TISD, she has many years of experience in case management and administrative work which proves beneficial in her organizational and supportive role.  As a parent and a family caregiver, her sensitivity and warm personality helps enhance a welcoming atmosphere for Achievers and our other valued personnel including volunteers whom she coordinates. Dependable and dedicated to serving others, her heart matches our mission.

Ana Gaffney, Administrative Assistant

Ana is married with three children. She previously worked in retail for the Disney corporation in the DFW area. While living in Seattle, she worked in banking before moving back to Texas. In Tyler, Ana became involved with the PTA at her children's schools. This reignited her passion for serving others. She also serves at her church, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Laura Mattheis, Executive Director

Laura began volunteering with Achieving Dreams in June 2017, while working as an independent non-profit consultant/researcher following many years of service in various executive roles. However, upon accepting a part-time position with the United Way of Smith County, her schedule was too full to continue. Later, upon a friend notifying her of Achieving Dreams seeking an Executive Director, she felt called to apply. God's plan and the decision of the Board of Director's opened the door to an unanticipated blessing to serve in the role starting February 2019. She deeply appreciates working with respected visionary community leaders/board members, valued caring staff and the many generous collaborative community partners who join together in supporting the wonderful Achievers.

Board of Directors