MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS
After graduating with a degree in Banking from the Saint Joseph University in Lebanon, Rita worked at one of the leading banks in the country. She quickly advanced in her career to become a Senior Credit Officer for the Bekaa region before she came to the United States in 2007.
She began her transformation journey to become an advocate for children with autism and other developmental disabilities shortly after her youngest son was diagnosed with autism.
She earned several certifications in Special Education Advocacy, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Self-Center Planning and Self Determination support.
She recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Justice Studies and plans on continuing her masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.
Armed with her knowledge in Business Administration and Finances and her passion for fighting for the developmentally disabled, Rita started Blissful Seeds in 2020.
In her capacity as an Executive Director, she works to create a thriving business for her contractors for them to be integrated in their communities as Equal Productive citizens.
Fady Nasrallah, MD
Fady Nasrallah, MD is a Trauma and Emergency General Surgeon and Surgical Critical Care Specialist of the Scripps Clinic Medical Group. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biology and Medical School at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) before moving to the US for residency training in General Surgery at Waterbury (CT) Hospital General Surgery Program then Fellowship training in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma at University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
He is happy to be known as Chris's and Michael's dad!
Co-founder of Blissful Seeds, as inspired by Michael, to help Adults with Autism showcase their abilities rather than being judged by their disability. If he ever has free time, he enjoys swimming and fixing/problem solving things. Watching SciFi movies (with Chris) is another outlet to enjoy.
Dr. Zahra Ghorishi
Dr. Zahra Ghorishi is board certified neonatologist with over 20 years of experience. She considers it a privilege taking care of some of the world’s smallest infants and infants who require intensive support at birth. She has been involved in scientific research as well as teaching medical students and residents.
She is passionate about providing quality care for her patients and their families by being an advocate, a listener, and a teacher. As an experienced neonatologist, she understands the unique needs of premature infants and complex medical conditions which require special attention during this critical period of life.
She also founded a non-profit organization to help families with children on the autism spectrum have access to resources and support. The organization provided educational support, social activities, counseling services, and financial assistance for those who needed it. She is passionate about helping others understand autism better and has been an advocate for the rights of individuals on the spectrum.
Vanessa Scarbrough is Partner at APR Construction, Inc., a family-owned commercial general contractor for 14 years. Her duties include formulating the strategic direction and oversight of day-to-day company performance, monitor financials and revenue margins, litigation management, risk management, contracts, regulatory compliance, and relationship preservation.
She is a graduate from National University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in strategic communications. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Arizona Global Campus pursuing a PhD in organizational development and leadership.
Vanessa has two amazing boys with Autism age 9 and 5. They are her world. One of her passions is helping the special needs community through volunteering, spreading awareness, sharing resources, and educating others on seeing individuals with Autism for their abilities and not disability.
Originally from London, UK, I combined my love of science and travel and ventured to the USA as an exchange student as part of my BSc in Biochemistry. I received my Ph.D degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Toledo followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Neuropharmacology at the National Institutes of Health (NINDS). I began my industry career at Eli Lilly in Neuroscience Discovery Research. I am currently Director, Scientific Licensing Neuroscience at Janssen based in San Diego, CA. My career path has provided extensive experience that spans ‘bench to bedside’- from inception of molecular targets/pathways to strategic business development and the healthcare professionals that treat the patients. My driving force throughout my career is the patient and helping others achieve their goals. I am honored to be a part of the Blissful Seeds community and empowering individuals with autism achieve their potential.
Kara is a self-motivated, positive person. She is also a serious business-minded professional and like a lot of women out there, wears many hats. She is an adviser, educator, strategist, mentor, entrepreneur, mother, wife, sister and friend.
She spent half her life on the east coast and half on the west coast. So, she has an East-Coast work ethic with a Southern California vibe.
Her personal mission is to serve, support and empower women in business. I firmly believe “who you are is more important than what you do” and my passion is to help other entrepreneurial women realize “who they are” whether it’s by providing a community in support of female entrepreneurs, strategizing to help an entrepreneur lay a firm foundation for a new business or helping another woman jumpstart her dreams.