Michelle Staab: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:27 p.m.

Michelle Staab has been a very visible, highly energetic source of community momentum in Gainesville for over fifteen years through her tireless efforts to provide better education and medical care for children. She averages 30+ hours per week working with the schools and with the medical foundations noted below, and has turned her house into “command central” for much of the activity.


Michelle Staab


Category: Community Service

About Michelle Staab

Occupation: Mother, housewife, Board Member of Tyler's Hope

Years in Gainesville: 20+

Spouse: Richard A. Staab

Children: Tyler (14), Sam (11) Luke (8)

As a mother of three, she is actively involved in each of her children’s schools, and seems to never decline a project or request for support. She is the current President of the PTA for Howard Bishop Middle School, and remains in active roles with her other children’s schools as well. She has provided hundreds of hours of support and advocacy for special programs for children with disabilities, and her efforts have charted paths for parents with similar challenges.

Her most important impact has come in the past seven years as the Co-Founder and key leader of Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure Inc. A 501c-3 charity based in Gainesville, Tyler’s Hope has raised over $3 million, all of which has been spent on medical research and awareness of dystonia. Michelle works very closely with the doctors and administrators at the UF Movement Disorders Center (UF MDC) and at the newly named Tyler’s Hope Center of Excellence. As a direct result of these efforts, the UF MDC has become the third largest dystonia research center in the world, and Michelle’s (and her husband Rick Staab’s) efforts have made Tyler’s Hope an international story with Gainesville in the center.

By combining her warrior approach to attacking problems and bureaucratic challenges with a graceful sense of balance and sensitivity, she makes an immediate and measurable impact on all those around her. Her commitments are clearly long-term, and her ability to motivate new teammates will benefit Gainesville for many years to come.

Michelle will be flattered by this opportunity, but will be more excited about the visibility this will bring to Tyler’s Hope and as a message of encouragement to other parents to get more deeply involved with their children’s schools and PTAs.

Submitted by Ken Staab

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