Meet the Team

Administrative Staff Members

Teamwork makes the DREAM work!

The Administrative team works together to ensure that the Core Members continue to have a place to call home. Between loads of paperwork and pulling the strings behind the scenes to keep the engine running smoothly, the team understands that the Core Members are the driving force behind everything they do. It is because of this that each team member finds time to devote and nurture their own loving relationships with the core members, as daily little reminders that the Core Members are the heart of L’Arche.

Amy Finn-Schultz

Community Leader/Executive Director
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Amy was introduced to L’Arche in college.  After her first visit, she knew L’Arche was a very special place and that it would somehow be an important part of her life.  Over the last two decades, Amy has served as a live-in assistant, house coordinator, grant writer, accompanier and friend.  She was the Community Leader from 2007-2015 and is happily the Community Leader again!   

Amy and her husband Patrick have two school-aged daughters, Celeste and Grace, who have been raised in the greater community of L’Arche.  As a family, they enjoy the beauty of nature, camping, kayaking and spending time with friends. Amy comes from a family that lived and embraced difference and understood the notion of every person having unique gifts. Having grown up with a sibling with disabilities taught her a lot about how to live and lead in L’Arche. 

She has a Master’s degree in Ministry from the Franciscan School of Theology (Berkeley) and a Bachelor’s degree from University of Florida in English and Religion.  Amy is actively involved in Pax Christi, the Catholic peace movement.  She believes that L’Arche is one of the many small movements that help make the world a better place – one closer to God’s kingdom of peace and justice on earth.

Nora Santamaria

Rainbow Workshop Director
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I was blessed to be born in a country called Venezuela, to have a husband named Eduardo, two children, Andrea and Guillermo, and three wonderful grandchildren, Natalie, Noah, and Nathaniel! I had the blessing of graduating as an architect, and working in the navy several years before I worked at the Central Bank of Venezuela. I was blessed with the opportunity to emigrate to this beautiful country – one which has opened its arms to me and my family. That adventure led me to discover my second family: L’Arche Jacksonville in Florida. Rainbow Workshop has been my inspiration since 2013. Here, I have been able to share all the gifts that God has given me with the most wonderful human beings in the world, the core members.

Patty Baker

Community Care Director
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Patty Baker joined L’arche Jacksonville as the Community Care Coordinator in September 2021. Patty had worked in Ohio with children and adults with intellectual disabilities for 29 years. When she took the interview with L’Arche she knew right away that it was a great fit for her; and God made the way possible for her and her husband Eric to make the big move to Florida from Ohio.

Patty is a graduate of Ohio State University with an MA in Music Education  and University of Dayton with a BM in Music Therapy. She and Eric have 2 dogs and 2 cats that made the move with them from Ohio. They also have 2 grandchildren and 5 adult children between them who unfortunately remain in Ohio and Michigan. Eric and Patty enjoy traveling, going to concerts, and watching Ohio State University Football (Go Buckeyes!). They also are becoming comfortable in their new life in Florida and their home in the L’Arche community.

Verquishala (Vee) Lott

Community Life Director
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Bio coming soon!

Karla Smith

Business Manager
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Karla Smith has been with L’Arche Jacksonville since 2013, but worked at United Way of NE Florida and BASCA before coming to L’Arche. She is our Business Manager extraordinaire. Really, she is the question lady. Everyone goes to her with all their questions. She grew up in Orange Park, FL. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.

She has one handsome son, Michael. Krista, her sister with intellectual/developmental disabilities, is her most favorite person ever.

When not working, Karla and her husband, Jeremy, enjoy hiking and kayaking with their dog Sable.

We know Karla loves working at L’Arche Jacksonville because she makes the drive from Middleburg 5 days a week.

Lorie Strange-Paylor

Development Director
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Lorie: A catalyst for positive change, dedicated to uplifting communities. With a wealth of experience in marketing, public relations, development, fundraising, and special education, Lorie has been serving Jacksonville and the surrounding areas for decades. Armed with a moral mission to build and maintain strong, fulfilled lives within our community, Lorie’s passion extended beyond the First Coast to West Virginia and circled back to Jacksonville. As a relentless advocate for others’ well-being, she continues to dedicate herself to helping individuals thrive. 

Lorie’s educational journey includes Stetson University, Florida State University, University of North Florida, and Marshall University – a testament to her unwavering commitment to personal growth and making a lasting impact. Together with L’Arche, let’s create an inclusive world where everyone’s potential is realized.

Lorie resides on Cedar River with her son, Luke.

Nancy Smith

Development Advisor & Graphic Designer
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Over the years, Nancy has worn several hats within the L’Arche community. First and foremost, she is the proud sister of core member Tommy!  Since 1998, she has been a member of the Auxiliary Committee; a volunteer Development Assistant; Golf Committee member; Chairman of the Family Support Committee; Development Director from 2008-2011; and Development Advisor since 2017. As a career Graphic Designer, Nancy is involved in marketing for L’Arche and directs the design of L’Arche print and digital communication materials including brochures, fundraising appeals, website, and email.

A Florida State grad with a BA in Communication Design, Nancy has been married to Jeff Smith since 1975 and has two wonderful children, Adam and Erin, plus a fantastic granddaughter Ansley.  Adam lives in Jacksonville Beach; Erin and husband Ben live in Atlanta with their two large, lovable dogs, Brody and Gus.

Fr. Tom Poth

Pastoral Minister
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Bio pending

Lois Morris, RN

Community Nurse
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Originally from Boston, Lois has lived in Jacksonville for over 30 years.  She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and taught for 11 years. She returned to school to earn a Nursing degree and has been an RN since 2009. Before coming to L’Arche in 2020, Lois worked in pediatric home health, a hospital, long-term care facility, and corrections nursing.  She loves her work with the core members, and considers it a privilege to hold this position.

Lois has one son, Thomas, who also lives in Jacksonville. She loves to travel and read, but her greatest passion is animals – she is currently the ‘mama’ to 5 cats!  Since 2009 she has provided foster care for both the Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care & Protective Services.  She still does some rescuing and helps to get stray cats spayed and neutered to aid in the terrible problem of homeless animals.  It is a very rewarding “hobby”!

She is proud and happy to work with all the core members, to always advocate for them within the healthcare setting, and just have great fun with them!

Shannon (Shae) Williams

Development Coordinator
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L’Arche welcomed Shae to the team in late 2021 and her passion and love for the community has grown since Day 1. In her role as the Development Coordinator, she works closely with, and supports the Development Office.  Her organizational skills are a perfect match for the primary responsibilities of maintaining and managing the L’Arche database, supporting donor relationships formed through fundraising campaigns/appeals, and actively participating on the Golf Committee. Shae graduated with honors from St. Johns River State College with a Bachelors degree in Business Healthcare Administration.

Shae is eternally grateful for her wonderful husband Justin and two young children, Selah and Zion. She lives a full and joyful life by helping others, being a part of her community, spending time with her family and friends, paddle-boarding, shopping, and cooking. Shae loves Jesus and hopes to shine His light in the world through authentic living and loving. Being a part of L’Arche Jacksonville has profoundly contributed to her spiritual, personal, and professional growth.

Mallory Koch

L'Arche Jacksonville Photographer
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Claire McGrath

Community Project Manager
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Claire was first introduced to L’Arche in college, and was excited to join L’Arche Jacksonville as a live-in assistant after she graduated in 2015. What started out as a “gap year” became a longer-term calling, and Claire’s time in L’Arche has been filled with joy, growth, and lots of laughter with the core members she considers family.  Since 2015, Claire has been a live-in and live-out assistant, House Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, Community Life Coordinator, and now Community Project Manager.

Claire lives in Atlantic Beach with her husband, Pete, and their pets: a dog, cats, and a parrot. They enjoy surfing, backpacking, hiking, camping, traveling, and spending time with family. Claire’s parents, sister, and adorable nephew, Malcolm, live just a few blocks away from their Atlantic Beach home.

Claire graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is grateful to the core members for creating a community of belonging and celebration at L’Arche Jacksonville.