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Board Members

Curtis Arledge*
Sallie Bernard
Cuong Do*
Barry R. Feirstein
Nanci Fredkin
Philip H. Geier, Jr*
Matthew Higgins*
Dee Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger
Adrian M. Jones*
Tim Jones
Mel Karmazin*
Brian Kelly*
Billy Mann
Shawn Matthews
Gary Mayerson
Kevin Murray*
Valerie Paradiz, PhD
Herbert Pardes, M.D.
Jamie T. Richardson
Andrew Robertson
Chuck Saftler
Stuart Savitz*
Dan Schulman
Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
Laura Slatkin*
John B. Wilson
David M. Wittels
Steven P. Stanbrook
Joseph T. Coyle, M.D.
Bob Wright*

*Executive Committee Members
**Staff Officers

Curtis Arledge

Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BNY Mellon Asset Management

Curtis Arledge is Vice Chairman of BNY Mellon and Chief Executive Officer of BNY Mellon Asset Management. Additionally, Curtis is responsible for BNY Mellon Wealth Management, and is a member of BNY Mellon's Executive Committee, which is the senior-most governing body of the corporation. Prior to joining BNY Mellon in November 2010, Curtis was the chief investment officer for fundamental fixed income portfolios at BlackRock, Inc. He joined BlackRock from Wachovia Corporation, where he was the global head of the fixed income division within the bank's corporate and investment banking group. He spent 12 years of his career at Wachovia, and had oversight for various business lines in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including leveraged finance, investment grade, global rates, structured products, corporate loan and commercial real estate portfolios, and financial institutions investment banking. He and his wife, Diane, have a son on the autism spectrum.

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Sallie Bernard

Parent, Autism & Mental Health Advocate

Sallie Bernard has been a member of the Board of Autism Speaks since 2007 and serves on its Family Services Committee, Science Committee of the Board, and the Community Advisory Board for science.  She was formerly the Board President of Cure Autism Now and a co-founder of the CAN New Jersey Chapter. She helped start SafeMinds which focuses on the environmental causes of the increase in autism, and is currently the board president.

Sallie is a co-founder and board president of Ascendigo/Extreme Sports Camp, which has provided outdoor recreation and other positive life experiences for youth and adults across the autism spectrum in the Colorado Rocky Mountains since 2004. She led the team which created the Yellow House, a private residence for adults on the autism spectrum where Sallie's adult son with autism lives. She spent over 20 years in the marketing business before devoting herself full time to non-profit activities in 2005. She is Board Secretary of Valley Life For All, an Asset-Based Community Development organization for all disabilities. Sallie has an interest in mental health issues and serves on the boards of the Aspen Hope Center and the James Kirk Bernard Foundation. She graduated with honors from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, in 1979. Sallie has resided in Aspen, Colorado since 2002 and enjoys the Colorado outdoors.


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Cuong Do

Executive Vice President, Global Strategy Group, Samsung

Cuong Do is Executive Vice President, Global Strategy Group for Samsung.  Cuong is responsible for helping set the strategic direction and improve the performance of Samsung’s many businesses.  Prior to Samsung, he was the Chief Strategy Officer for Merck, Tyco Electronics, and Lenovo.  He was also a former senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he spent 17 years and helped build the Firm’s healthcare, high tech and corporate finance practices.

Between his roles at Merck and Samsung, he “retired” for a year to devote most of his time to addressing the challenges of autism. Between 500,000 and 1 million teenagers with ASD will transition to adulthood in the next decade.  However, there currently no tools, approaches, processes to help parents of these individuals understand what their children are able to do and are interested in – without which one cannot help put in place appropriate post-secondary education options, jobs and support for housing and transportation.  Cuong worked with his wife to launch Identifor (www.identifor.com) to develop new approaches to help these individuals identify abilities, skills and interests so that meaningful post-secondary educational and vocational plans can be pursued.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, U.S. and a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, New Hampshire, U.S. He serves on Autism Speaks’ Executive, Family Services, and Science Committees.  He founded Profectum Foundation as a non-profit working to train clinicians and parents on working with autistic children.  He currently or previously served on the boards of Celebrate the Children (school for children with special needs), Caring for Cambodia (non-profit working to establish the model schools for Cambodia); the National Youth Science Foundation, the Tuck MBA Advisory Board, and WuXi AppTec (leading pharmaceutical R&D outsourcing company).  He was co-founder and Chairman of Callidus Biopharma (a biotech company working in rare diseases) and Lysodel Therapeutics (company developing an innovative pharmaceutical product for obesity).


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Barry R. Feirstein

Barry R. Feirstein is the retired founder of Feirstein Capital Management, a private investment management firm.

He is a graduate of Brooklyn College and the Harvard Business School. Barry's current activities are focused on non-profits and the arts.

He has served two terms as the Chairman of the Brooklyn College Foundation. While serving at the foundation he founded the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. This state of the art school is located at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. It is to be one of the only film schools to be located in a working studio.

Barry is the chairman of the Anderson Foundation for Autism, he is on the board of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and he is a past president of the Friars Foundation.


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Nanci Fredkin

Nanci Fredkin is a former board member of Cure Autism Now, where she gave nearly $70,000 from 1999-2007. Nanci created Facing of Autism as a fundraiser in 1998. She redesigned and re-launched this highly successful fundraising event in March 2012 which took place in San Francisco, bringing in nearly $500,000 for Autism Speaks. Her personal connections and dedication in developing and executing the event was invaluable and she also gave $20,000 in donations to the event. Nanci is also a member of the Board of Directors of Telecare Corporation. The organization encompasses a family legacy that she is very proud to continue. Nanci worked in banking and was an account executive for the Estee Lauder Corporation. She has used her business experiences and brought her insight and judgment to various non-profit organizations as well as to Telecare. Nanci has a passion for and has made a commitment to children and healthcare issues. She sits on the Foundation Board of the University of California San Francisco and Theater Works Silicon Valley Board.
Nanci resides in the Bay Area of California with her husband Gary and three children.

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Philip H. Geier, Jr.

Chairman, The Geier Group LLC

Philip H. Geier, Jr., an advertising professional, became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc., in 1980. He retired from this position at the end of December 2000.
In February 2001, Mr. Geier formed The Geier Group to provide consulting/advisory services in the marketing, communications and venture capital areas.

Additionally, Mr. Geier is a Senior Advisor for Lazard Frères & Co. LLC and serves on the Board of Directors for the following companies: AEA Investors, Inc., Fiduciary Trust International, and Mettler-Toledo International, Inc. Mr. Geier's philanthropic relationships as Director or Trustee include: Autism Speaks, Columbia Business School, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Save the Children Federation, Inc., The Whitney Museum of American Art, and International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Mr. Geier holds a B.A. in Economics from Colgate University (1957) and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University (1958).

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Matthew Higgins

President and CEO of RSE Ventures

Matt Higgins is the President and CEO of RSE Ventures, a firm developed to foster innovation within sports, entertainment and technology. Matt co-founded RSE in 2012 with Miami Dolphins owner and Related Companies founder Stephen M. Ross.  In just a year's time, RSE has experienced explosive growth, breaking down boundaries across a space that is notoriously slow to innovate.  RSE has made investments in many emerging technologies and launched numerous startups: Derris & Company, a communications and brand strategy agency boasting over 30 clients in entertainment, media, technology, finance and sports; Insignia SE, a sports marketing firm representing top sports properties and leading consumer brands; and Relevent Sports, an international soccer agency that launched the International Champions Cup, featuring the biggest teams in the world competing across the United States. Early stage investments include cutting edge companies such as Preplay Sports, Thuzio and Poptip. Higgins also serves as a Vice Chairman of the Miami Dolphins.

Before co-founding RSE, Mr. Higgins served as EVP of Business Operations of the New York Jets, where he transformed the team’s business operations into one of the most innovative in sports. During his tenure, the Jets created a permanent home for the first time in franchise history by partnering with the Giants to build MetLife Stadium. Higgins also helped spearhead the effort to create the most state of the art practice facility in the NFL, building a headquarters for the Jets on 20 acres in Florham Park, New Jersey. His passion for innovation also led Higgins to elevate the Jets’ national profile through unorthodox brand extensions, including a partnership with Jet Blue to create a dedicated Jets’ jet flying routes around the country.  By making team operations transparent and increasing access to its players, Higgins used social media to give fans and press unprecedented access to the team.

Prior to his career in sports, Higgins helped lead the recovery effort in Lower Manhattan following 9/11. As COO of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency charged with rebuilding the World Trade Center site, Higgins helped implement programs and grants that revitalized Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the attacks. In addition, he helped oversee the 9/11 Memorial design competition, which became the largest design competition in history with more than 5,000 entries from 63 countries. Prior to the LMDC, Higgins served as Press Secretary under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, managing the City’s global media response to 9/11.  In 2011, Higgins was recognized in Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 as one of the most outstanding executives in sports. Four years earlier, Higgins was honored as one of the top 40 executives under 40 in New York by Crain’s New York.

Higgins holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Queens College, and a Juris Doctorate from Fordham Law. Higgins is a proud testicular cancer survivor who has taken up marathon running as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  He lives in New Jersey with his daughter Collette and son Matthew. He is the father of a child with autism.

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Tommy Hilfiger

For 25 years, Tommy Hilfiger has brought classic, American, cool apparel to consumers around the world. His designs give time-honored classics a fresh look, and his discerning taste has provided the foundation for the growth of a global brand.

Under Hilfiger’s guidance, vision and leadership as principal designer, the Tommy Hilfiger Group has become one of very few globally-recognized designer brands offering a wide range of American-inspired apparel and accessories.

Born the second of nine children in Elmira, New York, Hilfiger’s career in fashion began as a high school student in 1969, when he opened a small chain of stores called People’s Place with just $150. His goal was to bring “cool big city styles” from New York to his friends in their small town in upstate New York. Hilfiger soon began designing for the boutiques he had always admired, and in 1979 he moved to New York City to pursue a career as a full-time fashion designer. There, he caught the eye of Mohan Murjani, a businessman who was looking to launch a line of men’s clothing and believed that Hilfiger’s entrepreneurial background gave him the unique ability to approach men’s fashion in a new way. With Murjani’s support, Hilfiger introduced his first signature collection in 1985 by modernizing button-down shirts, chinos, and other time-honored classics with updated fits and details. The relaxed, youthful attitude of his first designs has remained a distinctive hallmark throughout all of Hilfiger’s subsequent collections.

As Hilfiger’s designs merged with popular culture, he began to extend his company’s distinct brand message across a variety of mediums and platforms, including the introduction of Tommy Hilfiger Collection, men’s tailored, Hilfiger Denim, men’s and women’s sportswear, childrenswear, bodywear, footwear, accessories and licensed products such as watches, jewelry, eyewear and fragrance.

Tommy Hilfiger launched The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation in 1995 to enrich the physical and intellectual well being of youth, with a major emphasis on education and cultural programs. In 2013, all Foundation activities around the world aligned under the global banner of Tommy Cares, to unite the brand’s philanthropic commitments, non-profit partnerships and employee engagement. Hilfiger is actively involved in supporting charitable causes including Autism Speaks and the MLK, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. He has also served on the board of directors for The Fresh Air Fund, a New York-based group that has been sending underprivileged children to summer camp since 1877. On a global scale, Tommy Cares supports Save the Children, the World Wildlife Fund, War Child, Breast Health International (BHI), and Millennium Promise.

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Adrian M. Jones

Co-Head of the Americas, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Adrian M. Jones is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in New York in the company's Principal Investment Area. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 as an associate of the Investment Banking Division. He has also served in the company's Communications and Media Department, on mobility assignments in Equity Capital Markets and in the Executive Office of Goldman Sachs International in London. Jones grew up in Ireland and served as a Lieutenant in the Irish Army. In 1987-88, he served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Southern Lebanon. Jones is a 1986 graduate of University College in Galway, and earned his MBA from Harvard in 1994. He is the father of a child with autism.

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Tim Jones

CEO, ZenithOptimedia North America

Leading The ROI Agency in North America, CEO Tim Jones is committed to ensuring that each agency client receives a better return per media dollar invested than any of their competitors. Managing ZO's industry-leading North American media brands, Tim also serves as a member of the ZO worldwide executive committee.

Under Tim's leadership since 2005, ZO has experienced unprecedented growth. Ranked by the Research Company Evaluating the Media Agency Industry (RECMA) as the second largest, fastest-growing agency, ZO has welcomed a world-class roster of new clients including Nestlé, Twentieth Century Fox, Payless Shoes, Ubisoft, Harrah's, Jenny Craig and Reckitt-Benckiser. ZO's new business success and the retention and expansion of existing client partnerships have also garnered RECMA's highest three and six-year agency performance scores.

Helming the charge into digital and diversified offerings Tim has been a leader of evolution. With the acquisition of Moxie Interactive and the strategic alignment of Performics, ZO's interactive billings total more than $550 million and represent one of the industry's largest digital units. The development and growth of econometrics, direct response, Newcast all-platform content and multicultural now offer agency clients a full complement of powerful diversified communication solutions.

Tim's career started in 1978 and has included service at Ogilvy and Mather, Bates and ZO International. Among other awards, in 2007 Tim was named an AdAge Media Maven.

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Mel Karmazin

CEO, SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Mel Karmazin served as CEO and member of the board of directors of SiriusXM from July 2008 until January 2013 when he retired.  Prior to that, he served as CEO and member of the board of directors of Sirius Satellite Radio from November 2004 until its merger with XM Satellite Radio.

Previously, he was President and COO of Viacom from May 2000 until June 2004. Karmazin served on the Viacom board of directors and was responsible for overseeing all of Viacom's operations.  Prior to that, he served as president, CEO, and member of the board of directors of CBS Corp. from January 1999 to May 2000. Before becoming chief executive officer, he was president and chief operating officer of CBS Corp. from April 1998 to January 1999.

He joined CBS in January 1997 as chairman and CEO of CBS Radio through a merger of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting. He had served as Infinity's president and CEO from 1981 until Infinity became a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom in February 2001. He was named chairman and CEO of CBS Station Group in May 1997. Prior to Infinity, Karmazin spent 10 years with Metromedia.

He is involved in numerous philanthropic ventures and has served on a number of boards throughout his career. Currently, he serves as a Trustee at NYU Langone Medical Center, a board member and Executive Committee member of Autism Speaks, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Paley Center for Media. He was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and has received the National Association of Broadcasters National Radio Award and the IRTS Gold Medal Award.

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Brian Kelly

Chairman, Autism Speaks
Principal, Eastern Real Estate, LLC

Brian Kelly was elected Chairman of the Board of Autism Speaks on May 1st of 2015. Kelly has long been an integral part of Autism Speaks as a founding member of the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Prior to his election, Kelly served as Chairman of the Audit and Family Services Committees.  Kelly is co-founder of Eastern Real Estate LLC, a leading commercial real estate investment, development, and asset management firm.  Eastern has orchestrated transactions of more than 25 million square feet of commercial real estate and developed more than 100 projects totaling over 12 million square feet with a value of over $2 billion dollars.

Brian Kelly has had a longstanding and deeply personal commitment to autism and autism related causes. In 2006, Kelly led the development and property acquisition of the Melmark New England school in Andover, Massachusetts. Melmark School services individuals with autism and other disabilities. In 2007, Kelly and his wife Patricia funded the construction of the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a $2.4 million dollar project that was completed in 2009. The Koegel Autism Center is world renowned for their Pivotal Response Treatment for individuals with Autism.  In 2008, Brian Kelly was the recipient of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School’s Thomas G. Haring Memorial Award which honors achievement in special education.  In 2013, the Kelly’s established the Brian & Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarship Fund at Autism Speaks to support vocational and educational opportunities for young adults on the spectrum.

Brian Kelly was raised in New York and spent most of his adult life in Boston, where he met his wife Patricia. In 1994, Kelly was honored as a recipient of the Gilda Radner Courage Award which recognizes a cancer survivor whose courageous public battles have given hope to people with cancer and focuses public attention on the fight against the disease.  Brian and Patricia Kelly now reside in Santa Barbara, California with their six children. Their eldest child, Patrick, has autism.

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Billy Mann

Music Producer, Songwriter
CEO of Green Bloom, Inc/BMG, a Joint Venture between Mann and KKR/BMG Chrysalis Rights Management

Billy Mann is a Grammy-nominated accomplished hit songwriter, producer, artist, executive and entrepreneur. Mann’s active discography includes P!nk, Cher, Sting, John Legend, Take That, Kelly Rowland, Hall & Oates, Martina McBride, Celine Dion, among others, and has written numerous Top 10 hits and achieved sales of over 125 Million albums.

Beginning as an A&M artist in 1994, after two albums, Mann’s ambition helped him pivot towards writing, producing and entrepreneurialism. In 2001, he founded Stealth Entertainment, a talent development company with special focus on brand partnerships. EMI acquired Stealth in 2007 Mann was soon-after appointed President of International/Global Artist Management, overseeing EMI's rosters in over 30 countries. In late 2010, Mann was appointed President of Creative-BMG North America before becoming CEO of Green & Bloom/Topline the following year. An aggressive, songwriter-led publisher, in only 3 years Green & Bloom/Topline has offices on both coasts, over 40 songwriters, 3,000 copyrights and chart-topping successes around the globe representing copyrights that vary from David Guetta to Eric Clapton to John Legend and more.

Mann is a national board member of Autism Speaks serving on the Advocacy and Digital Committees, co-founder of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and was an elected Governor of Songwriters in New York for the National Academy of Arts & Sciences (Grammys). In 2007, Mann helped draft the Autism Policy for the Obama/Biden Presidential campaign (also securing a dedicated “autism” destination on their digital platform) and later had the honor of watching his oldest son, Jasper, receive the first pen in the Oval Office from President Obama after he signed H.R. 2005, the Combatting Autism Reauthorization Act in 2011. In December 2013, The Manns were presented The Champion Award at The Autism Winter Ball at the Met by friend Senator Bob Casey (PA), original sponsor of the ABLE Act. Mann resides in Connecticut and is a proud husband and father of four children.


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Shawn Matthews

Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

Shawn Matthews is Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., appointed in March 2009, reporting directly to Chairman Howard Lutnick.   He has played a significant role in the substantial growth of the division over the past two years and in early 2009 assumed overall executive responsibility for the firm's Debt Capital Markets, Equity Capital Markets, and Investment Banking businesses. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is a full service fixed income broker dealer and one of 16 primary dealers of the U.S. Treasury, with a significant presence in mortgage, high grade corporate, agency, treasury, repo and asset backed securities trading and the firm is a global leader in institutional equity sales and trading.

Mr. Matthews has spent the last 20 years in a senior management role having run both desks and departments at several firms. He has also been the Managing Member of a broker dealer, West Side Capital as well as the Managing Partner of hedge fund, Alchemist Capital Management. Mr. Matthews holds a B.S. in Finance from Fairfield University and was awarded an M.B.A. from Hofstra University. He is also a member of SIFMA's Board of Directors.

Mr. Matthews and his wife Monica have four children (Erin, age 6, Maura, age 8, Ryan, age 10 and with autism, and Shawn, age 12).


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Gary S. Mayerson

Founding Attorney, Mayerson & Associates

Gary Mayerson, a board member since 2005, is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. In early 2000, Gary founded Mayerson & Associates as the very first civil rights law firm in the nation dedicated to representing individuals with autism and related developmental disorders. To date, Gary’s law firm has helped more than 1,000 affected families in more than 30 states.  Gary also consults internationally to military and other families living abroad.

Gary and his firm are responsible for more than 60 reported federal court decisions, including the very first autism case to ever reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Many of Gary’s federal court decisions are recognized as groundbreaking decisions that are shaping the way that the court system looks at autism. Gary also serves as the Director of the Autism Speaks Federal Legal Appeals Project (“FLAP”), a pro bono initiative at the national level.

Gary speaks regularly at national conferences and major universities and has testified before Congress on the subject of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (“IDEIA”). Gary is the author of How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child (DRL Books 2005), as well as the “Autism in the Courtroom” chapter appearing in the Fourth Edition of Dr. Fred R. Volkmar’s seminal treatise, Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (Wiley 2014) and the legal considerations chapter appearing in the Auditory Processing Disorders (2nd Edition, 2013).

Gary is married with three children and has a family member with autism.

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Kevin J. Murray

Managing Dir., BNY Mellon Investment Management

Kevin J. Murray is a Managing Director for BNY Mellon Investment Management. Mr. Murray is focused on strategic initiatives in alternative assets and non-traditional investments. The BNY Mellon Investment Management group currently manages over $1.6 trillion in assets for institutional and HNW clients globally. Formerly Mr. Murray was the Managing Director and Head of Business Development for G2 Investment Group/Forbes Private Capital Group. Based in New York, he was responsible for originating and marketing G2-sponsored private equity and hedge funds and third-party investment opportunities through its global institutional and ultra-high net worth network.

Prior to 2011, Mr. Murray was the Director of  Marketing at Federal Street Partners, a multi manager fund focused on emerging managers. In 2005 Mr. Murray Co-Founded Rock Ridge Advisors, LLC, a macro hedge fund with an institutional client base.  Mr. Murray was a partner and also served as COO, CCO for Rock Ridge Advisors. Prior to forming Rock Ridge, Kevin was a partner and managing director for Muirfield Capital Management, a $800 million hedge fund that launched in 2001 where he was involved with fixed income manager selection and distribution strategy. During that time Mr. Murray also formed and operated Pilgrim Foresight, a private investment vehicle, which offered insurance clients a tax efficient alternative investment option. From 1997 to 2001, he was a co-founding partner in Convergence Asset Management, LLC, a global fixed income fund launched with a team from Salomon’s proprietary trading unit.

From 1988 to1997, Kevin was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was responsible for managing the mortgage-backed trading operation.

In 1997, Kevin, his wife, Susan, and other interested parents formed the Autism Coalition for Research and Education which eventually became Autism Speaks in June 2005. They have three boys including Owen, who suffers from ASD. Kevin is currently an Autism Speaks Executive Board Member and holds a B.S. in Finance from Siena College.


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Valerie Paradiz, PhD

Director, Valerie Paradiz LLC

Dr. Paradiz is a longtime supporter of Autism Speaks having first joined the family services committee in 2012 while also serving on the Community Advisory Board. Dr. Paradiz is the director of Valerie Paradiz, LLC, a consultancy that provides technical assistance and strategic development to schools, universities, corporations and agencies that support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to joining the Autism Research Institute (ARI) in her part-time capacity as Executive Director of the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), Dr. Paradiz served as Director of Education at New York University’s Asperger Institute.

Dr. Paradiz developed the 2010 International Book Award finalist in education, Integrated Self-Advocacy ISA®, an evidence-based program that gives teachers, therapists, service providers, families and people with disabilities hands-on curricula and tools to foster their ability in self-advocacy and self-determination. She is the author of the book Elijah's Cup: A Family's Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

Dr. Paradiz is the 2015 recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Adam Heavner Memorial Award for promoting successful employment of individuals with autism. In addition to the Autism Speaks board, she also serves on the Bank Street College of Education’s Autism Annotation Board and is an NGO representative to the United Nations. She received her PhD in German Studies with honors from City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Before moving fully into the field of autism, Dr. Paradiz published translations of German literature (All I Need Is Love, Klaus Kinski, Random House, 1995), as well as narrative nonfiction (Clever Maids: A History of the Grimm Fairy Tales, Perseus, 2005) while teaching writing and literature at Bard College.

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Herbert Pardes, M.D.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Dr. Herbert Pardes after serving from January 2000 through September 2011 as President and Chief Executive Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System became Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.  Under his leadership, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital escalated to one of the highest ranked hospitals and comprehensive health care institutions in the United States.

Dr. Pardes has been an outspoken proponent for academic medicine, medical research, children’s health education, mental health, access to care, humanism and empathy in care delivery, Information Technology and medicine.

He has chaired three different departments of psychiatry at Downstate Medical Center, the University of Colorado and Columbia University.  He served from 1989 to 2000 as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Vice President for Health Sciences.  A noted psychiatrist, he served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and the United States Assistant Surgeon General during the Carter and Reagan Administrations.  He was also President of the American Psychiatric Association.

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received the United States Army Commendation Medal as well as being the recipient of the Sarnat International Prize for leadership in the field of mental health.

He has served on commissions related to health policy appointed by Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton including the Presidential Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry and the Commission on Systemic Interoperability.  He serves on the NYeC Board Executive Committee for Information Technology, and is Vice Chairman of the New York Genome Center.  He is former Chairman of the Greater New York Hospital Association, the Hospital Association of New York (which on whose Board he continues to sit), the Association of American Medical Colleges and the New York Association of Medical Schools.  

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Jamie T. Richardson

Vice President, White Castle System, Inc.

Richardson took his love of White Castle hamburgers to its logical extreme, joining the White Castle home office team in 1998. He serves as Vice President, White Castle System, Inc. with responsibilities for government affairs, shareholder relations, public relations and corporate philanthropy.

In recent years, Richardson has led White Castle’s involvement in entertainment projects like “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”, “Undercover Boss” and “Impractical Jokers”. Richardson is frequently quoted in major print and broadcast media on restaurant industry perspectives on current events and policy issues. He serves on the board of Family Enterprise USA, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the Ohio Restaurant Association where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Board.  In 2014, Richardson was named the National Restaurant Association’s “Advocate of the Year”. 

Richardson is active in his community, serving on a number of charity boards. He is Chairman of the Board for the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, Ohio, and serves on the YMCA of Central Ohio board, as well as the American Red Cross National Philanthropy Board.

Richardson has demonstrated a powerful passion and commitment to Autism Speaks over the past several years, spearheading the White Castle efforts that have raised over $3.5 million dollars. He has testified before the Ohio State House of Representatives and worked with Autism Speaks board member Laura Slatkin to create the “Original Slider” White Castle hamburger scented candle – an effort that has raised awareness and over $350,000 for Autism Speaks.

As a 4th generation family member “in-law” Jamie invests his time and passion in the White Castle vision of “remaining a family owned business for generations to come. Jamie and his wife Kate live in Mount Vernon, Ohio and have five children, Brendan, Chloe, Mary, Grace, Maggie and Finn. 

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Andrew Robertson

President and CEO, BBDO Worldwide

Andrew Robertson has been President and Chief Executive Officer of BBDO Worldwide since June 2004. 

BBDO Worldwide adds value to its clients’ brands and businesses through its focus on “The Work, The Work, The Work.”   It has been named Network of the Year at Cannes five times and is currently the world's most awarded agency network according to The Gunn Report and the Most Creative Network across all communications platforms in the Directory Big Won.  Since 2005, BBDO has been honoured as Global Agency of the Year in Ad Age, Adweek (two times) and Campaign (four times).  In 2011, BBDO Worldwide was also recognized as the Most Effective Network in the world by the Global Effies.

Andrew first came to BBDO in the UK in 1995, joining Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO where he subsequently served as Chief Executive.  In 2001, he moved to BBDO North America to serve as President and CEO. 

He began his advertising career at Ogilvy & Mather, London as a Media Planner.  He switched to Account Management and was appointed to the Board of Ogilvy & Mather in 1986.  In 1989, he joined J. Walter Thompson and in November 1990, was appointed Chief Executive of WCRS.

Andrew has a degree in Economics from City of London University.  He currently serves on the Boards of Autism Speaks, the Center on Media and Child Health, the International Rescue Committee and Wake Forest University Business School.  He is a past Chairman of The Advertising Council.  


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Chuck Saftler

President of Program Strategy and Chief Operating Officer, FX Networks

Chuck Saftler is President of Program Strategy and Chief Operating Officer of FX Networks and oversees programming strategies including scheduling and acquisitions, program operations, business operations and digital operations for FX, FXX and FXM. In addition, Saftler oversees special programs/hosted content including FX’s The Download, all award show coverage including FXX’s The Creative Arts Emmys and FXM’s Red Carpet coverage, FXX’s new late night Animation Domination block and, in conjunction with FX Digital Marketing, the new video-on-demand app FXNOW featuring Simpsons World. 

Saftler has the longest tenure of any FX Networks employee, having joined FX in December of 1993 as Director of Scheduling, seven months prior to the network’s launch.  In addition to being a member of the FX launch team, he also helped launch Fox Movie Channel in its original incarnation as fXM in October of 1994. He was promoted to Vice President of Programming in 1996, and then to Senior Vice President of Programming at FX in June 2000. He added General Manager of Fox Movie Channel to his responsibilities in July 2003, and was promoted to Executive Vice President of FX Networks in 2006.  Saftler assumed his current role in 2013.

Saftler has played an enormous role in the growth and expansion of FX Networks.  He has been responsible for assembling the most impressive movie library of any broadcast or basic cable network on television – a collection that includes the highest number of box-office hit films and the most commercial television premieres of any network. He is also responsible for acquired television series deals for FX Networks, including Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly and How I Met Your Mother.

Saftler spearheaded the transformation of FXM from Fox Movie Channel and has expanded its growing library of award-winning hit and prestige films. He also oversees the development of the network’s original programming.

In September 2013, Saftler helped launch FX Networks’ newest channel FXX.  He negotiated the landmark deal for the linear and non-linear rights to The Simpsons for FXX, including the groundbreaking 12-day “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon that helped make FXX basic cable’s fastest-growing entertainment network in primetime last year. Working with FX Digital Marketing, Saftler oversaw the creation of the acclaimed Simpsons World for FXNOW. He negotiated the rights to broadcast the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on FXX. He is also developed the late night animation block Animation Domination for the network with ADHD Studio.

Prior to joining FX, Saftler worked in various program research positions at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, as well as at Columbia Pictures Television, where he participated in the successful syndicated launches of Seinfeld and Married…With Children. He is a member of both the national and local Los Angeles Board of Directors for Autism Speaks. He is a graduate of Boston University and currently serves on the National Boston University Alumni Council.

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Stuart Savitz

Founder, Law Offices of Stuart M. Savitz, LLC Operating Board, CP Acquisition LLC

Stuart Savitz graduated from Michigan State University (James Madison College) with a BA in 1982, and received his JD from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1985. In 2001, Savitz founded the Law Offices of Stuart M. Savitz LLC, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance transactions and general corporate services. In 2004, Savitz was the lead investor in CP Acquisition LLC, which acquired the Coco Pazzo and Coco Pazzo Café restaurants in Chicago.

Stuart, and his wife Amy, live in Glencoe, Illinois, with their two sons, Tyler, who has autism, and Spencer. In 2007, Spencer founded Team Tyler to participate in the Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks. In 5 years, Team Tyler has raised over $600,000. In 2011, Spencer and the Savitz Family founded the North Shore Walk, which has raised almost $400,000 in its first two years.

The Savitz’ began funding autism research through Cure Autism Now in 2005, and have continued their funding through Autism Speaks. Mr. Savitz has also served on the Autism Speaks Family Services Committee since 2010.

Mr. Savitz served on the Foundation Board for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago from 2004 – 2009.

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Dan Schulman

President, PayPal and Chairmen, Symantec

Dan Schulman is President of PayPal and Chairmen of Symantec. He previously served as Group President of Enterprise Growth at  American Express from 2010 to 2014. He was responsible for the company's global strategy to expand alternative mobile and online payment services, form new partnerships and build revenue streams beyond the traditional card and travel businesses.

Schulman joined American Express from Sprint Nextel Corporation, where he served as President of Sprint's Prepaid group since 2009. Before joining Sprint, Schulman was the founding CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, a mobile virtual operator, acquired by Sprint in 2009. Prior to that he was CEO of priceline.com and spent the early part of his career with AT&T, where he ultimately led the company's consumer long distance business.

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Stephen Shore, Ed.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Ammon School of Education, Adelphi University

Dr. Shore is a clinical assistant professor at the Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University teaching courses in special education and autism. Before his election to the Board of Directors Dr. Shore served on the Autism Speaks Family Services committee.

Dr. Shore focuses his work on matching well-thought out educational practices to individual needs that promote fulfilling and productive lives for those with autism. It is because of his personal experiences when he was nonverbal and his parents refused to institutionalize him that Dr. Shore has become an advocate of intensive early intervention matched to the needs of the individual with autism. He speaks and consults throughout the world on educational and social inclusion, sensory processing challenges, bullying, as well as many other issues associated with successful transitioning into adulthood for those with autism.

Dr. Shore’s writings can regularly be seen in the media. He also shares his experiences in his autobiography Beyond the wall: Personal experiences with autism and Asperger SyndromeAsk and tell: Self-advocacy and disclosure for people on the autism spectrum, and the DVD Living along the autism spectrum: What is means to have autism or Asperger Syndrome

In addition to his work with Autism Speaks, Dr. Shore serves as President emeritus of the Asperger/Autism Network. He also serves on the board of Specialisterne-USA, the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, the United States Autism and Asperger Association, and is the President of the Asperger Syndrome Support Network of the Russian Federation.

Dr. Shore received his Ed.D. in Special Education from the Boston University School of Education in 2008.  

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Laura Slatkin

Founder and Executive Chairman, Nest Fragrances

After a 13-year career as a successful Wall Street executive, Laura Slatkin left the world of finance in 1992 to pursue a very different business venture: Slatkin & Co., a luxury home fragrance brand she founded with her husband, Harry Slatkin. Its high-quality, smartly designed collections established it as the most successful luxury home fragrance brand to-date, blazing a trail to a now-multi-billion dollar category in the beauty industry. In 2005, the couple sold the popular brand, even as Laura’s interest in fragrance continued to grow.

That same year, Laura founded her own company, NEST Fragrances, initially focusing on the production of private-label and licensed home fragrance collections for the world’s most important luxury brands including Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Jonathan Adler and NARS. In 2008, after three years of meticulous development, she launched a more personal collection of luxe home scents by the same name, the NEST Fragrances Collection. For this collection, Laura draws upon her own experiences, emphasizing the powerful emotional connection between scent and a sense of place: “As guests enter my home and they are greeted with a beautiful home fragrance, their faces light up, and their mood changes. An immediate emotional reaction takes place and they are impacted in a very positive way,” she said.  It is with this spirit and intent that all of NEST Fragrances’ scents recreate both faraway and familiar atmospheres.

Naturally, personal fragrance followed: In 2012, Laura launched the NEST Fine Fragrances Collection. Comprised of sophisticated botanical notes in unexpected combinations and exquisitely designed packaging, each eau de parfum in the collection continues to evolve the brand.

Outside of the fragrance world, Laura is committed to various causes, most notably autism, as her son was diagnosed with this life-altering disorder. Along with her husband and closest colleagues, she co-founded New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA), an organization dedicated to creating replicable programs that immediately address the needs of individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). To date, it has created the first charter school dedicated to autism; a training institute with Hunter College; a clinical research institute- the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in collaboration with New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weil Cornell and Columbia University.


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John B. Wilson

President and Chief Support Officer, Staples Europe

John B. Wilson joined the board of Autism Speaks in February 2007, following the merger with Cure Autism Now (CAN) and has been an active board member since 2000.   Wilson is the President of Staples Europe and is the owner and president of Hyannis Port Capital, Inc. He has held several other executive positions, including Chief Operating Officer and executive vice president of Gap, Inc.; Chief Financial Officer and executive vice president of Staples, Inc.; senior vice president of Northwest Airlines; and vice president/partner at Bain & Company. He serves on the board of several Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds as well as a number of private company boards.

Wilson earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1983 and his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude, from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in 1981. Wilson and his wife Leslie have been married for 25 years and have three children.

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David M. Wittels

Partner, Scopia Capital Management

David Wittels is a Partner and Head of Private Equity for Scopia Capital, a hedge fund based in New York. His primary areas of focus are growth equity and buyout investments across a variety of industries.

Prior to joining Scopia Mr. Wittels was a Senior Managing Director and co-founding partner of private equity firm Diamond Castle Partners and prior to that was a Managing Director at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, which he joined in 1986.

David is a Director of Pacific Child and Family Associates and PM Pediatrics Group. Previously he has served as a board member and board chair at a significant number of public and private companies. He holds a B.S., summa cum laude, from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

David lives on Long Island with his wife Cindy, daughter Gabrielle, and son Tyler who is on the spectrum. The Wittels family has the #1 walk fundraising team, not just on Long Island but in the entire country. They have raised over $1,000,000 for Autism Speaks since 2005 through their Walk Team, “Tyler W.”


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Steven P. Stanbrook

Former COO International, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Steven P. Stanbrook joined S.C. Johnson in November 1996 as President, Europe, and one year later, Africa & the Near East were added to his responsibilities. In July 2006, he was appointed President – Developing Markets and in September 2010 to Chief Operating Officer – International, where he covered 130 markets, representing roughly two-thirds of SCJ’s Global sales. Steven joined SC Johnson from CompuServe where he served as President of its International Division. Before CompuServe, Steven spent 17 years at Sara Lee Corporation, most recently as President & CEO of Sara Lee Bakery.

Steven also serves on the Board of Directors of Imperial Brands, the U.K.’s twelfth largest enterprise, and is a partner at the Chicago-based Private Equity firm Wind Point Partners. Previous Board roles have included Hewitt Associates and Chiquita Brands International, both NYSE listed businesses.

Steven and his wife, Judy, have 5 children aged 23-30 years.


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Joseph T. Coyle, M.D.

Director, Laboratory for Psychiatric and Molecular Neuroscience, Mclean Hospital

Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Joseph T. Coyle, MD, is the Eben S. Draper Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and was chairman of the Consolidated Department of Psychiatry at Harvard 1991-2001. A graduate of College of the Holy Cross, he received his MD from Johns Hopkins. He completed an internship in pediatrics, a residency in psychiatry, and a fellowship with the Nobel laureate Julius Axelrod, PhD. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 1975 and was named the Distinguished Service Professor of Child Psychiatry in 1985. Dr. Coyle is a member of the Institute of Medicine (1990), a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993), and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is past president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2001) and of the Society for Neuroscience (1991). He is the editor of JAMA Psychiatry.

Dr. Coyle and his wife, Genevieve, have 3 sons.


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Bob Wright

Co-founder, Autism Speaks
Senior Advisor, Lee Equity Partners

Bob Wright served as Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, of the General Electric Company and also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal. Bob joined NBC as President and Chief Executive Officer on September 1, 1986, and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal until May 1, 2007. Bob had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive, with more than two decades at the helm of one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. He has a strong history of philanthropy and community service, for which he has received numerous awards and accolades. He serves on the boards of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, AMC Networks Inc., and is a Trustee of the New York Presbyterian hospital. He is also Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association and Senior Advisor of THL Capital. Bob Wright is also the former member of the Executive Committee of Rand Corporation and a former Board of Director of EMI Group Global Ltd. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and of the Law School of University of Virginia.

The Wrights have three children and six grandchildren. 

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