Board of Directors

Meet our supportive board of directors!

Kristine D'esterhazy

Chair

Mohammed Touheed

Vice Chair

Melissa Johnson

Secretary

Ritche Redondo

Board Treasurer

Lisa DiFranza

Director

Board of Directors

Mainspring Academy strives to recruit the most qualified candidates for our academic and support staff.

Opportunities for growing our school, expanding our programs, serving our students and families, and offering real leadership within the special needs community have never been greater. Board service is a vital key to our aspirations and for our success. You may be a good candidate to serve on Mainspring Academy’s Board of Directors if you are willing and able to:

  • Serve on at least one committee.
  • Attend meetings
  • Support events
  • Make Mainspring your primary philanthropic cause by making meaningful, financial contributions

Please call us at (904)503-0344 to speak to Head of School Dina Parisi for more information, fill out our contact form, or email her directly at [email protected].

Support Mainspring Academy

Join us in supporting the amazing students we serve at Mainspring Academy.

Melissa Johnson

Board Secretary

Melissa has worked in the financial and fitness industries for over 20 years. She currently serves as a Program Manager at a financial institution. In her free time, she volunteers at a local farm that provides therapy for veterans and people with disabilities, helping to upkeep the grounds and therapy horses (one of which she has sponsored). Melissa also provides instruction for CPR, First AID and childcare classes. She enjoys reading, walking her dog on the beach, traveling, and staying active.

Ritche Redondo

Board Treasurer

Ritche is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors and serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee that oversees the annual budget review and financial reporting for Mainspring. Additionally, he is the Director of Program Governance at Federal National Mortgage Association Fannie Mae, where he is responsible for the overall internal controls over financial reporting. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Ritche was the head of SOX, FDICIA, and Finance Risk Management functions at CIT Group, where he was responsible for overall internal controls over financial reporting, risk and control assessments, communication and reporting to the audit committee of the Board of directors.

Ritche is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA with multiple bachelor/master degrees, graduate certificates and executive management programs around Accounting, Information Technology, and Statistics from UNLV, Stevens Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Harvard Business School. He was originally from New Jersey but has lived in St. Augustine since 2013 with his wonderful wife, Tracy, and their two adorable dogs, Bailey (Chocolate Lab) and Maui (Basset Hound).  In his free time, he loves to play and watch golf, enjoy wine and whisky tastings, and study the engineering and art of horology.

Lisa DiFranza

Director

Lisa DiFranza is a solo practitioner attorney whose practice focuses on guardian advocacy, guardianships, elder law, probate, and estate planning. She started her practice in 2014 serving in the area of guardianships and guardian advocacy by volunteering with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA) and she continues to work in the community volunteering with JALA. Ms. DiFranza was awarded the 2018 Small Business of the Year, Beaches Division of the JAX Chamber. She served as chair of The Florida Bar Consumer Protection Law Committee for the FY 2019-2020. She serves on the Jacksonville Bar Pro Bono Committee, Elder Law Committee and Estate Planning and Tax Committee, and the 4th Circuit Pro Bono Committee. Ms. DiFranza earned her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Florida Coastal School of Law and is admitted to practice in Florida and the U.S. Middle District Court of Florida.