Eleanor Saunders

Executive Director

Eleanor Saunders moved to Brandon from Dallas, Texas in 2004. She found ECHO and came on board as a volunteer in 2006. By 2007 she was the Center Director. She has worked exclusively in the non-profit sector. Her past employers have included: The Children’s Home, ECHO of Brandon, Junior Achievement, and most recently, Bay Life Church.

Eleanor received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. She has received certifications with the National Parents as Teachers Association as well Volunteer Management through the Points of Light Foundation.

Her community involvement in Brandon has included directing the Brandon Cold Weather Shelter, partnering with Family Promise, volunteering at I Am Hope Café, as well as pioneering the creation of the Seeds of Faith Community Garden. Eleanor is also a graduate of the Leadership Brandon, Class of 2009.

She was recently recognized as the Hometown Hero by the Tampa Tribune (12-14) as well as Fox 13 News (3-15).

Eleanor is excited to continue her service to the community as the Executive Director of ECHO.

She resides with her family in Brandon, Florida.


Paulina Zaritski

Center Director

Bio Coming Soon


Sharmaine Burr

Director of Social Services


Sharmaine Burr has worked as ECHO’s Client Center Supervisor since September 2012. In July 2014 Sharmaine was promoted to the Director of Social Services.  Sharmaine has a passion to serve, educated and empower while promoting self-sufficient. Her focus is to help build, strengthen and inspire each client that she encounter. Having grown up in a single parent household Sharmaine empathize, and identify with her client’s needs, wants and desires. Sharmaine brings a passion and love to her job that is evidenced by both her leadership skills, people skills and personal life experiences. In addition to her personal experiences, Sharmaine’s professional experience makes her the perfect fit for ECHO.  Before coming to ECHO Sharmaine worked for five years at Tampa General Hospital as the Coordinator in Trauma ICU.

Sharmaine is a Native of Tampa, FL with strong ties to the community. She attend Tampa Bay Tech High School. Sharmaine graduated from Hillsborough Community College in with her Associates Sciences degree in Counseling/Human Services. She is currently working on her Bachelor of Social Work at St. Leo University. Sharmaine is an active member of Miracle Temple Inst. Church of God In Christ, Sharmaine is also a Certified Signing Agent Notary Public, Certified in CPR and First Aide trained, Certified Volunteer management.

Sharmaine is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations in the Client Center.  She is in charge of supervising numerous Interns and volunteers as well as networking and making relationship within the community. She also oversees and coordinating classes and outreach programs at ECHO such as GED, Healthy Living, Mommy & Me, Career Transition program, financial literacy & Basic computer.




Laura Young

Donor Program Manager

Laura Young joined ECHO in November 2014 as the Donor Program Manager. A second generation Tampa native, she moved to Brandon in 1988 and has volunteered in various roles at several non-profit organizations. Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida and worked in marketing, sales and volunteer management. She left her career to raise and home-school her children.

In this new position at ECHO, Laura will develop and coordinate the new funding program which includes cultivating donor relations and implementing a plan to attain sustainable funding. This will allow ECHO to offer more services to a larger population in a bigger facility. “The needs of our community continue to grow and we need to grow along with it. I am excited and honored to help take ECHO to the next level,” said Laura.

An avid college football fan, Laura spends her Saturdays cheering for Florida State, Clemson, and Colorado State.  She and her husband Ed have three sons, one in high school at home and two attending college in Colorado and Sarasota.  She enjoys traveling, baking desserts and hiking.


Zuleyka Castro

Communications Manager


Bio Coming Soon


Yvonne Villafuerte

Administrative Assistant

Bio Coming Soon