Deborah (Deb) Buitenveld is our Co-Founder and Program Director, she has lived on Bainbridge Island since she was a first grader. She loves the Pacific Northwest and her home, she has raised her two grown children here and is commited to a healthy community and environment.
Deb has her B.S. in Food Science, while in college she studied American Sign Language for two years, as well as worked with her friend, who is blind to adapt Algebra class problems into a brailled system. After college, Deb had an active 20-year career in Seattle’s food industry and has many fabulous memories of the time spent at Etta’s. Restaurants gave her the flexability to serve as a first resonder with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, to drive an ambulance, and work part time for the BI School District in the health room.
In 2001, Deb volunteered in the special ed classroom at Woodward Middle School where she met an amazing group of young women with whom she started Girls Club to provide a safe and fun environment to socialize. By 2009, Girl’s Club had grown in number and focus. Deb collaborated with her friend and special ed teacher, Holly Patton, to create ITA and obtain its nonprofit status. Since it’s inception, Island Time Activities (ITA) has grown to over 40 members with 12 part-time staff. ITA empowers people with intellectual disabilities to lead lives of meaning and self-determination.