Mrs. Maria Zondervan is the Founder and Executive Director of Valhalla Villas. She spent 26 years as a public servant, working for St. Johns River Water Management District, as a wildlife biologist. In her role, she restored populations of endangered species and fragile Florida ecosystems.
Mrs. Zondervan has two sons, Carl and Alex, the oldest of which (Carl) has autism. Out of concern for Carl’s future, she retired from her biology career and founded Blue Vikings Capital and Valhalla Villas. Through Blue Vikings Capital, Mrs. Zondervan offers opportunities for everyday people, especially those in her circle with special needs children, to partake in high yielding investments normally reserved for the wealthy, so they can assure a stable financial future for their families. These investments are generally in workforce housing and re-use projects such as hotel-to-apartment conversions.
Solving the financial issues of families with special needs is just the first step. Parents also need the security of knowing there will be a safe place for their children to live after they leave their parents’ home, or after their parents are no longer able to care for them. These types of communities exist for a variety of special needs, but none that specifically catered to the unique needs of autism. With the staggering number of new diagnoses of autism (now 1 in 44 children in the US), she felt it was time to develop housing specific to this population. Housing that allows for independence and growth through continual support, while also providing a friendship-oriented community. For this purpose, she founded Valhalla Villas.