Meet Our Team

Shannon Zisa

Executive Director

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• Where are you from and where do you reside now?
I was born in Dunedin, FL and currently reside in Altamonte Springs, FL.

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?
Yes, I have a little girl named Adalyn. She lives in Heaven.

• What is your current career?
Founder/Executive Director of Acts For Adalyn Foundation

What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Survive the loss of my daughter, Adalyn, when she was 17 months old.

• What was the happiest day of your life?
New Year's Day 2018! On that morning at 5:15, I laid eyes on the little girl who made me a Mommy. She was just perfect, and my heart exploded with love like I had never known before. Adalyn Nicole Zisa was born weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and she was 19.5" long.

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn?
I founded Acts for Adalyn Foundation after I lost both my daughter and (essentially) my husband/Adalyn's Daddy on the same night. Adalyn's Daddy suffered a catastrophic brain injury to his left frontal lobe. Losing your child without having the support of your spouse is absolutely unimaginable pain. I longed for another mother to tell me that she understood my pain and to tell me how I was going to survive this soul consuming sorrow. It was then that I discovered that there weren't any resources that focused on toddler loss mothers. Toddler loss has been grouped into infant loss or child loss, both traumatic and awful, but they are not the same. In life we go through stages, newborn, infant, toddler, preschooler, and so on. Yet, in death we seem to have done away with these stages to make them fit into one or the other. It is my personal belief that each loss is different at different stages in life. None of them better or worse than another, just different. I made the decision that there needed to be a place for toddler loss mothers to turn to for support in their darkest hour.

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?
My purpose in life is to create a living legacy for my daughter. To remind the world that she was here and that her life held so much meaning. I want to provide other toddler loss mothers face with the support that comes from the words "I understand".  Child loss is a grief like no other in this world.

Tamar Pegram

Support Services Director

• Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I was born in Orlando, FL and currently reside in DeBary, FL.

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?

I have a four year old daughter, Emerson, and a two year old son, Grayson.

• What is your current career?

Stay at home mom. 

What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Tell my daughter that her best friend went to heaven and she’ll have to wait a long time to see her again. 

• What was the happiest day of your life?

Meeting our daughter for the first time. She was a week over due and completely worth the wait! The second happiest day was when her brother arrived 19 months later!

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn?

I’ve been friends with Shannon for 10+ years. We became friends fairly fast and we clicked. We experienced years of ups and downs, firsts and lasts with each other and made some great memories. We were in each others weddings and had our daughters 10 months apart. I knew our daughters would be friends and that they were! Adalyn and Emerson clicked like they’d been friends for years. They were little but they sure loved each other. I can still hear them laughing together. After Adalyn was taken from us and Shannon informed me she was going to start a foundation to help parents who’ve lost their toddler I knew I wanted to be apart of it. 

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?

I hope to continue being a support for Shannon while sharing Adalyn's legacy and helping provide support for families who endure the loss of their child.

Tiffany Schaefer

Foundation Development Manager

• Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I was born in Upstate NY, grew up in Tulsa, OK before moving to the Orlando area in 2004. I moved back to OK 8 years later to care for my parents but have hopes of becoming a part-time FL resident again very soon!

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?

I unfortunately never had children which lends me the opportunity to spoil and spend time with my nieces and friend’s children.

• What is your current career?

I work in healthcare imaging part-time, and I am a recruiter for a staffing agency.

What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Losing my mom and godmother a month apart has been the hardest thing I have done.  However, supporting my closest friend from across the country during a monumental loss was no easy task either.

• What was the happiest day of your life?

I have many happy moments, I have been very blessed…..the happiest is to be determined!

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn?

I met Shannon many years ago at our community pool and we became instant friends (I didn’t give her a choice!) We have seen many changes together, life’s joys and tragedy.  When Adalyn was born I promised Shannon and Dane I would be involved in their lives as much as Hotel Zisa could accommodate! 

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?

I hope to contribute to the success of the organization by assisting the the mother's family and friends as they navigate the loss as well.  By sharing my own experiences, what was helpful and what wasn’t, with these very key people I hope to give the mothers the support that is desperately needed not just at the beginning but throughout their entire journey.

Kathy Kenahan

Case Management Director

• Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I was born in Lancaster, PA but have resided in Florida since 1955. Currently I live in New Smyrna Beach.

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?

I have four children: Sooni Kunkle, Shannon Zisa, Ryan Kenahan, and Jonathan Kenahan. 

• What is your current career?

Prior to retirement in 2018, I was employed by the Volusia County School Board.

What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Undoubtedly the hardest moments in my life were saying  goodbye to our oldest daughter after she fought a long battle with cancer and being with out youngest daughter's little girl, our youngest granddaughter, waiting for the Medical Examiner to come. It was a difficult time but a privilege  to have been the one chosen to be with her.  

• What was the happiest day of your life?

The happiest day for me was when I became a mom for the first time.

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn?

I am Adalyn's proud Granny and Shannon's Mom. When Shannon asked me if I wanted to be part of Acts For Adalyn it was an absolute yes! Adalyn had the sweetest heart....she loved everyone.

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?

There is not a more difficult time than losing a child. My hope for being part of Acts For Adalyn is to be able to share kindness and love during a time when people need it the most. To assure them that they are not alone in what seems like an endless time of grief and unimaginable pain.