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Founders

Founders2018-12-10T16:48:29+00:00
Jim EvangelistaExecutive Director / Founder
Jim earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Oregon and worked in Lane Educational Service District classrooms in both middle school and transition programs prior to co-founding Reality Kitchen Nonprofit. Committed to changing how established agencies and the larger community perceive individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities and the benefits of supported employment, Jim has worked to create meaningful jobs experiences and skills training opportunities with life changing outcomes for these valuable members of our community.

Before his work in special education, Jim has spent a lifetime professionally working as a scenic artist and designer with credits in film, theater, ballet and television. He gained a deeper insight into the dynamics and character of Lane County businesses and local government by freelancing his skills and producing many public and private murals. Jim’s knowledge of the uses of technology, video and documentary production, as well as stop motion animation as empowering communication tools earned a BFA in Visual Design from the University of Oregon. He previously owned and operated a 24-hour coffeehouse in Gainesville, Florida and gave Jim the experiences and background to organize and manage a community based facility open to diverse groups and organizations. 

Catherine PickupProgram Director/Board Member
Catherine has worked closely with students of all abilities in a variety of workplace settings. A native of Vancouver, B.C. Catherine worked with children in the Squamish Nation program, as well as for the North Vancouver Outdoor School and North Vancouver School District, supporting students with extreme behaviors and disabilities. While in B.C. she took the pilot Special Education program, and since moving to Oregon, she has worked for eight years as a classroom educational assistant for Lane Education School District and for Autism Support Services. Catherine co-founded Reality Kitchen Nonprofit and serves on the Board, as well as the Academic Program Director. She coordinates curriculum development and Supported Staff kitchen, baking and customer service activities.