Our Team

Meet Our Team!

We are a team of special needs moms that knew there had to be a better way. 

Focused on providing better solutions to our own families became a mission to serve families just like ours. 

Our kids deserve a life where they are empowered to live their best lives, to the best of their abilities, with support provided when necessary.

We deserve a village of compassionate experts, providing planning and support when we need it. 

We came together to forge a lifetime of brighter tomorrows – for our own kids, for your kids, and for families everywhere.

Kristin Carleton

Chief Executive Officer

As a fierce advocate for her own children and all people with disabilities, Kristin’s core belief is that all families deserve to be the hero of their own story. She has dedicated her life to building plans to help ensure that every family, regardless of their situation, can enjoy fulfilling and capable lives. Kristin has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. She was led to her life’s purpose when, in her 19th week of pregnancy, she received her son’s diagnosis. Says Kristin: “I look forward to learning your story, and the future story you would like to be told.” Away from the office, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family, watching Duke basketball, and reading.

Mary McDirmid

Chief operations officer

When Mary isn’t helping families navigate the world of special needs financial planning, she is being a wife to Jay and a mom to Charlie and Ruth. In addition to her leadership role at Special Abilities Network, she is also a volunteer advocate for kids with rare diseases. She takes the title “Mom Boss’ seriously, just ask her! Mary understands the emotional and financial aspects of caring for a loved one with special needs because she is the parent of a child with a rare disease. She is honored to be your guide in making planning decisions for your unique family situation.

Dr. Kathy Matthews

Chief clinical officer

Dr. Matthews brings both her personal experience as a special needs mom and her professional credentials as a clinician, educator, advocate, and administrator to Special Abilities Network. She is committed to helping families live better lives today and prepare for better lives tomorrow. Dr. Matthews’ ability to develop plans tailored to the care needs of every member of the family is what makes the work she does so exceptional.