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Autism Speaks Announces New Staff Structure for its National Walk Program

Organization Names New National Director of Field Operations, National Walk Director and Senior Regional Director--Mid West

(NEW YORK, NY – November 21, 2006) – Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research, today announced the re-structuring of its Walk for Autism Research staff to establish multi-functional chapters. The organization has promoted three staff members to new leadership positions: Lisa Gallipoli has been named national director of field operations; Susan Gloor has been appointed national walk director; and Susan Boylan will become senior regional director–midwest.

“Part of Autism Speaks' strategic plan is to be in every state with fundraising, awareness, advocacy and outreach. The Walks for Autism Research serve as the base for developing the grassroots support of the organization,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “With this new leadership structure, we will have three incredibly talented people directing our existing walk efforts and our ambitious expansion plans.”

As the national director of field operations, Lisa Gallipoli will be focusing on the development of the chapter and walk structure for the organization. Gallipoli started as the national walk director for the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) in September 2001. Under her tenure the Walk for Autism Research program grew from $3 million in annual revenue to over $11 million in 2006. Currently, over fifty annual events take place across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Gallipoli started her career with Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey and the American Diabetes Association. She worked as regional vice president in northern New Jersey for the American Heart Association for five years.

In Susan Gloor's new role as the national walk director, reporting to Gallipoli, she will focus on working with the field staff to ensure they are appropriately trained and that best practices are consistently applied.

Gloor is a 20-year veteran of the not-for-profit world. She has served as Autism Speaks' tri-state senior regional director since August 2004. In that role, she oversaw seven walks in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that raised more than $4 million this year. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Gloor was the executive director of Jersey Cares and was with the American Heart Association. She began her tenure in the non-profit field spending ten years in higher education.

Susan Boylan been promoted to senior regional director–midwest, reporting to Gallipoli. In this position Boylan will be directly responsible for the current, and to-be-developed, Autism Speaks chapters and walks in the midwest.

Boylan has served as the interim walk training manager since May 2006. While serving in this position, Boylan worked with walk staff in Chicago, Texas, Missouri and the Carolinas, and participated in the creation of the Walk Best Practices.

Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 166 children, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of the growing autism epidemic and to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for a cure. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, General Electric, and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal. Autism Speaks and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) recently combined operations, bringing together two of the leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism spectrum disorders; to increasing awareness of the nation's fastest growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit