Steven is Second Sense’s chief executive officer. He oversees Second Sense’s programs, fundraising and administration with a goal of providing superior services to as many people with vision loss as possible.
“I am privileged to be part of this incredible organization as the executive director. I am extremely impressed by the board and staff’s dedication to the mission. The staff treats each person’s needs individually, and that is one of the foundations of our success. I am honored to be a part of this wonderful staff of dedicated professionals.”
Steven earned his degree from Syracuse University and has worked in the non-profit sector for 24 years.
Community Engagement Specialist
Kathy coordinates the marketing and community outreach for Second Sense services and assists in program development. She is the editor of our monthly client newsletter, Making Sense. As volunteer coordinator, she oversees over 35 Second Sense volunteers who assist in the delivery of Second Sense programs and services.
“It is tremendously rewarding to me to reach out to someone who is coming to grips with their vision loss and to be able to provide the support and encouragement that is sometimes hard to find.”
Kathy earned her Certification in Volunteer Administration in 2014. She coordinated Second Sense’s process to earn designation as a Service Enterprise organization — the first in Chicago.
Cody Froeter, CVRT
Director of Programs, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Cody Froeter is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist. He meets with clients on an individual or small group basis at Second Sense or in the community. Cody works with clients in the areas of independent living skills and assistive technology.
“I truly enjoy the opportunities Second Sense has granted me to work with clients. I find it very rewarding to work collaboratively with clients to develop the skills they need to enjoy independence. My position not only allows me to meet with clients at Second Sense, but also to travel out into the community. This allows me to meet my clients’ needs in the most effective means possible.”
Cody earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Monmouth College, a master’s degree in vision rehabilitation therapy, and received his certification in 2016.
Amanda Hetzel, COMS, CVRT
Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Mandi is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist. Her primary focus is training our clients to travel safely and independently using a white cane. Mandi also has several years experience working at Guide Dogs for The Blind, training clients to work successfully with their new guide dog.
Mandi graduated from Northern Illinois University, with a master’s degree in special education. She earned her certification as an orientation and mobility specialist and a vision rehabilitation therapist from ACVREP in 2023.
Cheryl Megurdichian, CFRE
Director of Development and Communications
Cheryl oversees the fund-raising and communications for Second Sense. She enjoys matching the needs of our members with our donors’ desire to make the world a better place.
“Second Sense’s size allows me to have many opportunities I would miss at a larger organization. I not only get to know the donors, I get to interact with all the great people we serve. So, I can see the impact of my work on a daily basis — there is nothing more rewarding than that.”
Cheryl is a certified fund-raising executive, earning this designation from CFRE International in 2005. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing communication from DePaul University and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University.
Taurus Smith, CVRT
Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Taurus is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist. He meets with clients on an individual or small group basis at Second Sense or in the community. Taurus works with clients in the areas of independent living skills and assistive technology. Taurus is our Mac specialist.
Taurus has a bachelor’s degree in Audio Arts and Acoustics from Columbia College. He earned his master’s degree in special education from Northern Illinois University in 2023. Taurus also has 30 years of experience as a braille reader and writer.
Richard Stauder, CVRT, CATIS
Assistive Technology Instructor
Richard is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified Assistive Technology Instruction Specialist. He provides assistive technology training to our clients on a wide range of devices — from smart phones to PCs.
Richard earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Illinois State University in 2011. He went on to earn his master’s degree in vision rehabilitation therapy from Northern Illinois University in 2020, as well as a certificate in graduate studies as an assistive technology instruction specialist. He earned his certification as a vision rehabilitation therapist in 2021 and as an assistive technology instruction specialist that same year.