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Speakers

Below is a list of speakers from the 2014 Autism Investment Conference.

Stay tuned for a list of 2015 speakers.

  • Ankit Agarwal
    SpecialNeedsWare
    COO and Co-Founder
    Company Showcase
    Ankit Agarwal
    SpecialNeedsWare
    COO and Co-Founder

    Ankit Agarwal co-founded SpecialNeedsWare in early 2012 with the mission of developing innovative technologies that could transform the special education landscape. The company is partnered with a leading research institution, Harvard's Boston Children's Hospital and launched their first mobile product AutisMate in 2013. He leads strategy and operations for the company and has experience in strategic planning, channel strategy, product development and sales. Prior to launching SpecialNeedsWare, Ankit was a consultant with L.E.K. Consulting where he focused primarily in the healthcare, life sciences and medical devices sectors. Ankit also sits on the board of the McCarton Foundation, a nonprofit known for its renowned McCarton School serving students with autism and developmental disabilities in New York City. Ankit received his B.A. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania

  • Saul Bienenfeld
    Trackimo
    President & General Counsel
    Company Showcase
    Saul Bienenfeld
    Trackimo
    President & General Counsel

    Saul Bienenfeld serves as a General Counsel and President of Trackimo Inc. he was a founding member of Forum Telecom Inc. a member of the Forum Group. In addition, from 2005 Mr. Bienenfeld serves as a member of Bienenfeld and Associates P.C., International Prepaid Cellular LLC; and Pop2Call LLC. Mr. Bienenfeld also serves as a director of the following non-profit organizations: the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, and Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst where Mr. Bienenfeld also serves as its General Counsel. Mr. Bienenfeld graduated from Cardozo School of Law January 1990 with a JD degree, he began his law career at the New York County District Attorney's Office and after completing his commitment to them he formed his own firm. While practicing law Mr. Bienenfeld saw a niche market in the prepaid phone business and opened All US Communications in 1996, selling prepaid phone products at various kiosks throughout the United States. In 2006 he formed International Prepaid Cellular and then Pop 2 Call to continue to offer similar prepaid services. Mr. Bienenfeld was a pioneer in the prepaid internet industry and was featured in the October 2008 edition of the Prepaid Press. As the VP of Business Development Mr. Bienenfeld was able to combine his talents in the prepaid industry and his knowledge of VOIP to make cellular services available to the travelling public at costs lower than their own mobile providers and with greater ease in obtaining handsets and SIMs.

    Mr. Bienenfeld used his knowledge of the mobile phone industry, GSM and GPS to assist in developing a low cost tracker that can be used by the general public, but specifically for the Autistic child who may wander. The Trackimo™ Universal device is small and light enough to go anywhere, including a child's bag or belt, and can easily be clipped to clothing. A caregiver can receive text, email, and app alerts the moment a child crosses a user defined 'geo-fence'. Alerts can be sent to parents, schools, and emergency responders. Mr. Bienenfeld hopes that this device will give parents the peace of mind they so need and deserve to rest assured that their children are safe.

  • John Bischoff
    National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    Executive Director
    Company Showcase
    John Bischoff
    National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    Executive Director

    National Center for Missing and Exploited Children John E. Bischoff III is currently the Executive Director of the Missing Children Division for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Within this role, he is responsible for the oversight of all missing children's cases, both in the United States and those children taken aboard. He is responsible for all Case Management and Hotline operations (800-THE-LOST), with locations across five (5) regionally based offices. In addition, he provided oversight for the establishment of the federally mandated National Emergency Child Locator Center. This program is designed to expand NCMEC resources in support of a national disaster response and/or a large-scale child reunification effort.

    Prior to NCMEC, John Bischoff was a Mass Care Program Specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington DC. In this capacity, he was responsible for coordinating with Federal, State and local governments and private sector partners to develop effective evacuation & reentry plans, strategies and policies. He identified and coordinated evacuation support resources, as well as developed and launched the National Emergency Mass Evacuation Tracking System.

    Prior to FEMA, John Bischoff was the Technical Director of Public Safety and Criminal Investigations for AOL located in Dulles, Virginia. During his thirteen years at AOL, Mr. Bischoff was directly involved with hundreds of Federal, State and local law enforcement investigations involving financial fraud and child sexual exploitation. He was considered an expert by Federal, State and local courts in the area of AOL networks, email platforms and data transfer technologies.

    Mr. Bischoff received a Masters in Business Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Management of Information Systems and a Bachelor in Business Management from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He received an Associate of Science in the Administration of Justice from the Northern Virginia Community College.

  • George Braddock
    Creative Housing Solutions
    Special Needs Housing Consultant
    Company Showcase
    George Braddock
    Special Needs Housing Consultant
    President & General Counsel

    George Braddock is President of Creative Housing Solutions, LLC, pioneered the application of person-centered planning principles to the design and construction of homes for people with disabilities. In addition to developing welcoming and inclusive single and multi-family homes for people with Intellectual Disability/Developmental Disability (ID/DD), George's recent work involves developing inclusive, authentic communities for all citizens and assisting families by creating living situations that allow individuals and their families to remain together and flourish for as long as they choose.

    Further, he has recently published Making Homes That Work: A Resource Guide for Families Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring Behaviors, by Inclusion Press.

  • Jan D'Alvise
    Pediatric BioScience, Inc.
    CEO
    Company Showcase
    Jan D'Alvise
    Pediatric BioScience, Inc.
    CEO

    Ms. D'Alvise is a seasoned life science executive with more than 30 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices and drug discovery research tools. She is the CEO of Pediatric BioScience (PBI), a development stage diagnostic company with a proprietary set of biomarkers for the diagnosis of a major immune-mediated subtype of autism. Ms. D'Alvise is currently serving on the boards of several privately held companies, including PBI, Precision Through Imaging (PTI), a San Diego dental imaging device company, MEC Dynamics, a revenue stage clinical diagnostic company, and Physician Retraining and Re-entry, a revenue stage physician retraining and placement service company.

    Previously, Ms. D'Alvise was the CEO of Gish Biomedical, a cardiopulmonary medical device company in Orange County that she turned around and then sold it to the Sorin Group in 2010. Prior to Gish, Ms. D'Alvise was the interim CEO of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC), San Diego, where she quickly improved operations and completed a successful acquisition by the Sanford-Burnham Institute in 2009. Prior to SKCC, Ms. D'Alvise was the co-founder and President/CEO/Chairman of NuGEN, Inc (drug discovery tools) and the co-founder, Executive VP/COO of Metrika Inc. (point of care diagnostics). Ms. D'Alvise built both companies from technology concept through to successful regulatory approvals, product introduction and sustainable revenue growth. She has raised more than $50M from institutional and angel investors, and completed dozens of corporate transactions to fund her companies. Metrika was acquired by Bayer Pharma in 2006.

    Prior to becoming a serial entrepreneur, Ms. D'Alvise was a VP of Drug Development at Syntex/Roche and the General Manager of their Pain and Inflammation Business Unit. She was VP of Commercial Operations at SYVA (clinical diagnostics), and began her career with Diagnostic Products Corporation (DPC), where over 10 years she held positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, business development, and global sales and distribution management. She was part of the senior team that took the company public.

    Ms. D'Alvise has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan Technological University. She has taken post-graduate programs at Stanford and Wharton Business Schools, and has been a guest lecturer at Stanford University on business planning and entrepreneurship. Ms. D'Alvise is an active angel investor and was on the board and a member of Tech Coast Angels, where she is the Chair Emeritus of their BioMed Track Screening Committee. She is an advisor to the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Institute at UCSD, and is an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Springboard Entrepreneurship Program at CONNECT San Diego.

  • James Emmett
    Poses Family Foundation
    Vice President of Workplace Initiatives
    Company Showcase
    James Emmett
    Poses Family Foundation
    Vice President of Workplace Initiatives

    James Emmett is a national leader in the development of employment services for persons with disabilities (PWD). He was born with a physical disability and is a father to two daughters with developmental disabilities. Drawing from personal, business and educational experience, James empowers persons with disabilities to succeed in job as well as life skills, and trains corporations in outreach efforts to the disability community. James is currently the Vice President of Workplace Initiatives for the Poses Family Foundation where he oversees strategy development & implementation of projects that impact the area of disability & inclusion.

    After earning a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, James Emmett became involved with grant-funded community-based projects in Chicago to provide employment services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Later he worked on national initiatives to hire hundreds of people with disabilities, many with ASD, at Walgreens distribution centers in South Carolina & Connecticut, Best Buy distribution center in Shepherdsville, KY and Midway Moving & Storage in Chicago, IL. Also working through APSE HR Connect, James served as the lead consultant for TIAA-CREF's "Fruits of Employment" project. For the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry, James hosted a video entitled, “"Improving Customer Service for People with Disabilities.

    James has served as the Project Director for three award-winning research/demonstration projects. These projects examined career development and transition strategies for individuals with autism and other disabilities, and included the Vocational Alliance Autism Project (VAAP), the Business Approach to Social Integration & Communication (BASIC) Grant, & the EmployAlliance Employment Within Business Project. James was the featured guest on Little City TV - CAN TV (Channel 21) in Chicago discussing autism & employment.

  • Bill Evans
    Center for Discovery
    Vice President for Development
    Company Showcase
    Bill Evans
    Center for Discovery
    Vice President for Development

    Bill Evans serves as the Vice President for Development and Head of the Endowment Office for this national specialty center for the care of children and adults with significant disabilities, medical frailties and autism. He is a senior member of the administrative team overseeing this private, non-profit corporation with more than 1,500 employees and a total economic impact of $184 million in New York State. He possesses more than twenty five years experience securing philanthropic resources and developing strategic communications to promote prominent health, education and social service agencies.

    Prior to The Center for Discovery, Bill served as Chief Development Officer for such organizations as St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center, Pace University, the New-York Historical Society, the Archdiocese of Newark and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. He directed the $100 Million Capital Campaign that resulted in the expansion of the Rudolph W. Giuliani Trauma Center.

    He holds a Masters Degree in American Studies from New York University as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Fordham University.

  • Dave Friedman
    Autonomy Works
    Chairman & CEO
    Company Showcase
    David Friedman
    Autonomy Works
    Chairman & CEO

    David is the founder and CEO of AutonomyWorks – an innovative social business start-up that hires, trains, and manages a team of people with disabilities to deliver marketing operations work. Since starting the company in 2012, Dave has been directing the development of the concept and the day to day operations.

    Prior to AutonomyWorks, David spent over 25 years assisting retail and consumer organizations in building brands through great customer experiences – digitally, online and in-store. Most recently, David served as President, Marketing for Sears Holdings. David was responsible for the Marketing business unit including customer loyalty programs, branding, market research, advertising and promotion, public relations and creative services.

    Prior to Sears Holdings, David spent 11 years as an executive with Razorfish, one of the world's largest interactive marketing and technology companies. Most recently he served as President, Americas leading the Razorfish business in North and South America. Earlier in his career, David spent 10 years with Accenture as Associate Partner in the strategy practice.

    David earned an MBA from the Booth School of Business and holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.

  • Tony Gentry
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Director, Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory
    Panelist
    Tony Gentry
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Director, Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory

    Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/L is an associate professor in the occupational therapy department at Virginia Commonwealth University. A graduate of Harvard College (BA), New York University (MA OT) and the University of Virginia (PhD), Dr. Gentry is a specialist in neurological rehabilitation whose research career has focused on assistive technology for cognition. Dr. Gentry has developed and directed innovative programs for individuals with neurological impairments, including a vision rehabilitation clinic, a multi-disciplinary, community-based brain injury day rehabilitation program and an online clinical training curriculum for brain injury practitioners. He is the director of the Assistive Technology for Cognition laboratory at VCU, which conducts research into the development and utilization of smart homes, electronic cognitive aids, computer games and telehealth applications to support individuals with brain injury, autism and other neurological conditions. Dr. Gentry has created a prototype interactive social skills game played by super hero avatars, called Super School. He has established smart homes for people with brain injury at Virginia's Department of Rehabilitative Services and at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Richmond. He is currently conducting a NIDRR-funded multi-year study of mobile devices as vocational support aids in autism and a TATRC-funded, multi-year study of smartphone-linked biofeedback coaching for veterans with mTBI and PTSD. Dr. Gentry is on the full-time faculty of VCU's occupational therapy department, where he teaches courses in adult physical disability, supervision and management and assistive technology. In partnership with his wife, he owns and operates Neurological Expert Therapies, LLC, a rehabilitation therapy company.

  • Matthew Goodwin
    Northeastern
    Assistant Professor
    Panelist
    Matthew Goodwin
    Northeastern
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Matthew S. Goodwin is an assistant professor at Northeastern University with joint appointments in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and College of Computer & Information Science, where he co-administers a new doctoral program in Personal Health Informatics and directs the Computational Behavioral Science Lab (CBSLab). He is a visiting assistant professor and the former director of Clinical Research at the MIT Media Lab. Goodwin serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Autism Research, is chair of the Autism Speaks-Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative, and has adjunct associate research scientist appointments at Brown University. Goodwin has 20 years of research and clinical experience at the Groden Center working with children and adults on the autism spectrum and developing and evaluating innovative technologies for behavioral assessment and intervention, including telemetric physiological monitors, accelerometry sensors, and digital video/facial recognition systems. He is co-PI and associate director of the first large-scale collaborative effort by computer and behavioral scientists addressing early diagnosis and interventions for people with autism spectrum disorders, a research project supported by a National Science Foundation Expeditions in Computing Award. He is also co-PI on a Boston-based Autism Center of Excellence exploring basic mechanisms and innovative interventions in minimally verbal children with autism, recently funded by the National Institutes of Health. Previously he received a National Endowment for the Arts Access to Artistic Excellence Award for his research on autism spectrum disorders and its relationship to advanced technology. Goodwin received his B.A. in psychology from Wheaton College and his MA and PhD, both in experimental psychology, from the University of Rhode Island. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Affective Computing in the Media Lab in 2010.

  • Lenny Greenberg
    TapToTalk
    CTO
     
    Lenny Greenberg
    TapToTalk
    CTO

    Lenny Greenberg is founder and Chief Technology Officer of Assistyx, the developers of TapToTalk. For over 20 years, Lenny has led organizations in planning and developing advanced technology-based products. He is a serial entrepreneur whose career has been in both consumer and enterprise technology companies. He has assisted many early stage companies in refining their product vision and getting their first release to market, Lenny was also founder and CTO of Pathlore Software Corporation, where he was in charge of product strategy, and was a recognized leader and pioneer in the development and implementation of learning management systems and e-Learning industry standards. Before Pathlore, Lenny managed many new technology initiatives at Computer Associates, Legent, Goal Systems, Sigma Imaging Systems, and Arthur Andersen (now Accenture).

  • Chad Hahn
    Mindspark
    Principal
    Moderator
    Chad Hahn
    Mindspark
    Principal

    Chad is an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in the information technology sector. He is the founder of MindSpark and sees the company as an opportunity to drive tremendous social change by bettering the lives of people with disabilities. He is also the co-founder and principal of Square One Solutions, Inc., a 7-year old professional services firm that acts as the sister company to MindSpark. Chad graduated Magna Cum Laude from Trinity University in San Antonio with dual degrees in Finance and Computer Science. His career has been firmly centered in information technology consulting, working first at Arthur Andersen to see how large complex projects are managed, then moving to an incubation firm called Avante Global, where he learned how to manage startups in the IT space. Everyone deserves an opportunity to contribute in this world – the key is finding your niche.”Of the various endeavors Chad has embarked on over the 15 years he has been in IT, MindSpark gives him the biggest smile. In 2011, he founded the organization based on the simple idea that people with developmental disabilities could excel in technology. Chad oversees the strategic vision and business development for the company, working closely with the executive management team to drive the company forward.

  • John Harris
    eTrak
    CEO
    Moderator
    John Harris
    eTrak
    CEO

    John is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of eTrak. eTrak designs, develops and markets a broad mix of location tracking devices utilizing their patent-pending and proprietary "Hybrid Tracking Technology". It is the world's first hybrid tracking system incorporating GPS, Cell ID and WiFi access points to deliver a more accurate location position. eTrak's product portfolio includes consumer tracking and emergency response systems for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, as well as a wide variety of commercial products for enterprise asset tracking. John was formerly a Sr. VP at Mitsubishi Electronics, Executive VP at Uniden Electronics, President of Miracle Systems, Inc. and CEO of RangeStar Wireless. As the son of a parent with Alzheimer's and the uncle of a child on the Autism spectrum, John knows firsthand the responsibilities and challenges that come with caring for people with special needs.

  • Panda Hershey
    TIAA CREF
    Portfolio Manager, Global Private Markets
    Moderator
    Panda Hershey
    TIAA CREF
    Portfolio Manager, Global Private Markets

    Panda Hershey is a Senior Director with TIAA-CREF and is based in San Francisco. She is the Portfolio Manager for the Global Private Markets portfolio, comprising $40 billion of private placements, private equity, private high yield, distressed, and natural resources and infrastructure investments .In addition, she manages TIAA's Fruits of Employment Program whose mission is to provide a reliable labor solution for its farmland investments by creating tools, process, and support to leverage people with disabilities. Prior to joining TIAA-CREF in 2006, Ms. Hershey was a Portfolio Manager in the Alternative Investments Management division of CalPERS. At CalPERS, she managed investments in U.S. and international venture capital, buyout, distressed and special situation private equity funds. She graduated from Mills College and earned a PhD in immunology and an MBA from the University of California at Davis. She is a CFA charter holder.

  • Stan Lapidus
    SynapDx
    Founder & CEO
    Panelist
  • Paul Lipkin
    Interactive Autism Network
    Director
    Panelist
    Paul Lipkin
    Interactive Autism Network
    Director

    Dr. Paul Lipkin is the Director of Medical Informatics and Principal Investigator of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. IAN is a patient- and family-powered online community and research platform with more than 48,000 participants that connects individuals on the autism spectrum and their families with researchers nationwide. He is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His clinical and research careers have focused on the early identification, evaluation, and treatment of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, including autism, learning, and attention disorders. Dr. Lipkin has provided national leadership on autism and other developmental disorders through his work with the American Academy of Pediatrics, who awarded him with the Arnold J. Capute Award in 2011 in recognition of his contributions to the field of developmental disabilities. He was also honored as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in 2010-2011, where he gained experience shaping national health and disability policy.

  • Manuel López-Figueroa
    Bay City Capital
    Vice President
    Panelist
    Manuel López-Figueroa
    Bay City Capital
    Vice President

    Manuel López-Figueroa, PhD, is a Vice President at Bay City Capital and has been with the firm since July 2001. He specializes in evaluating investment opportunities with an emphasis on CNS. In addition, Dr. López is the Scientific Liaison for the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a collaborative research enterprise comprised of a group of leaders in psychiatry, neuroscience and genetics from Stanford University, University of Michigan, Cornell University and the Universities of California at Davis and Irvine. The consortium aims to discover the neurobiological and genetic determinants of mood disorders and schizophrenia with the goal to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Dr. López is responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the consortium including strategy, R&D, legal (IP & contracts) and financial, to facilitate the commercialization of discoveries to fund additional research. Dr. López has over 15 years of experience in the field of Neuroscience, has won numerous awards during his academic research career, and has published extensively. He completed post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan and at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. López received a PhD in Medicine and Surgery, and a MS in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Universities of Las Palmas and La Laguna, Spain, respectively.

  • John Lyman
    Google for Entrepreneurs
    Head of Partnerships
    Moderator
  • John Maltby
    Westchester Institute for Human Development
    Director of Community Service Programs
    Moderator
    John Maltby
    Westchester Institute for Human Development
    Director of Community Service Programs

    John Maltby spent 36 years on Wall Street as a proprietary trader and hedge fund manager, before leaving the industry in 2007. He was graduated with an M.S. from the Columbia University School of Social Work in May 2009, and currently serves as the Director of the Community Support Network at Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. WIHD's community supports include resources for Early Childhood, School Age and Adult support with a strong emphasis on helping young adults to make an effective transition from school to post secondary education, employment, housing and a full life in the community.

    He is Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice, Center on Disability and Health at New York Medical College, and is an Adjunct professor of Social Work at Columbia University School of Social Work and an Adjunct professor of Finance at Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

    As a parent Mr. Maltby has long been an advocate for people with I/DD at the local and national level, in particular in re-allocating resources to more integrated and smaller housing and employment settings. He joined WIHD in May 2009 to help expand its role in providing support to people with I/DD who seek to live as independently as possible.

    Mr. Maltby is currently a member of the board of “Another Step” inc. a service provider for people with I/DD and is the founder of “Pendennis” a housing support agency for individuals with I/DD. He has served as a board member of local and national disability organizations for many years, and currently serves on several NY state committees helping to shape policy and the new Medicaid Waiver.

  • Jim McClafferty
    Brain Parade, LLC
    President
     
    Jim McClafferty
    Brain Parade, LLC
    President

    Jim McClafferty is the Founder and President of Brain Parade, a developer of learning and assessment solutions for children with special needs. He has over 25 years of technology and management experience across many industries in both large and small companies. When Apple released the iPad in the spring of 2010, it was apparent to Jim that the iPad was a truly transformative device that would have a major impact on millions of people and many industries. He saw that it was an almost perfect device for teaching and communicating with children and adults with autism. In September of 2010 he founded Brain Parade with the goal of using his experience to build applications that help people with special needs. He created See.Touch.Learn.®, a visual learning and assessment app for the iPad that has received numerous awards and accolades and has been downloaded over 390,000 times in 104 countries. Since 2011 Jim has partnered with Autism Speaks and has provided over $30,000 worth of software apps as part of Autism Speaks iPad grant programs.

  • Jessica Owens
    Acumen
    Founder & CEO
    Moderator
    Jessica Owens
    Acumen
    Founder & CEO

    Jessica is the CEO and Founder of Acumen, a start-up company developing mobile tools to improve the diagnosis and management of pediatric developmental delays. Jessica founded Acumen as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Versant Ventures, a leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm. Prior to Versant, Jessica held operating roles in business development, strategy, and finance at Genomic Health and Genentech. She was also a Partner in the Life Sciences practice at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. She began her career in biomedical research at the Centers for Disease Control in the Special Pathogens Branch. Jessica received an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS from the Department of Cancer Biology at Stanford University, and a BA in Biology from Agnes Scott College.

  • Gahan J. Pandina
    Janssen
    Senior Director | Venture Leader
    Panelist
    Gahan Pandina
    Janssen
    Senior Director | Venture Leader

    Gahan J. Pandina, PhD, is a Senior Director, Venture Leader in the Janssen Research and Development, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, in Titusville, New Jersey. He is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey, where he teaches in the psychiatry residency and psychology internship programs. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

    Dr. Pandina is a licensed clinical psychologist, and a member of several international societies including the American Psychological Association, Association of Clinical Research Professionals, and the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials Methodology. He is the author of numerous publications in both pediatric and adult psychiatry, psychology, and neuroimaging research in psychiatric disorders. He has a particular interest in clinical research on the efficacy and outcomes of psychiatric and psychological treatments. He serves on the board of two non-profit organizations focused on mental health needs.

    Dr. Pandina received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Vermont, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, and completed doctoral fellowships in both Neuropsychology and Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey.

     

  • Michael S. Paul, Ph.D.
    Lineagen
    President & CEO
    Company Showcase
    Michael S. Paul, Ph.D.
    Lineagen
    President & CEO

    Dr. Paul is the President, CEO, Director, and a founder of Lineagen, Inc., a genetic testing company focused on the genetic diagnostic evaluation of Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disorders of childhood development. During the founding of Lineagen, Michael worked as a Venture Partner with vSpring Capital and Mesa Verde Venture Partners. Prior to founding Lineagen, Inc., he was the COO and President at LineaGen Research Corporation, a Utah non-profit organization formed by then-Governor of Utah Michael O. Leavitt, to advance Utah's initiative in personalized health care. Michael served as the Chair of the Organizing Committee for 2008 National Summit on Personalized Health Care convened by Governor Jon Huntsman and key-noted by Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt, Dr. Clayton Christensen, and the Honorable Senators Orrin Hatch and Robert Bennett. Michael currently serves on the Board of Trustees, and previous Vice Chair of the Utah Technology Council (UTC), and was a Governor of Utah Appointee to the Steering Committee for the Utah Technology Industry Commission. Michael is a licensed patent agent of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and received his B.A. in Biology from Colby College and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Utah.

  • Srinivas Rao
    Retrophin
    Executive Vice President, Head of Neuroscience
    Company Showcase
    Srinivas Rao
    Retrophin
    Executive Vice President, Head of Neuroscience

    Dr. Rao has more than 13 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, in both R&D and senior management positions. Prior to joining Retrophin, Dr. Rao was the Chief Executive Officer of Kyalin Biosciences, itself a spinout of Cypress Bioscience, Inc. where Dr. Rao spent approximately 11 years as the company's Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to its sale to Royalty Pharma in 2011, Dr. Rao played key roles in both preclinical and clinical drug development. In addition, he was integral to business development at Cypress, responsible for all aspects of technical diligence, as well as negotiating and financial modeling on a select number of opportunities, including intranasal carbetocin for the treatment of autism. Further, while there, Dr. Rao was also responsible for the development, prosecution, and maintenance of Cypress' patent estate and was the inventor on over 30 patents and patent applications filed at Cypress for a range of indications.

    Dr. Rao earned a M.S. and B.S. in electrical engineering, as well as an M.D. and Ph.D., from Yale University. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His Ph.D. research focused on the neuropharmacology of working memory. Dr. Rao has published 17 manuscripts with topics ranging from original, basic science and clinical research to invited, topical reviews. He currently serves as an advisor to the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

  • Denise D. Resnik
    First Place
    Founder
    Company Showcase
    Denise D. Resnik
    First Place
    Founder

    Denise is the founder and president of the marketing and communications firm, DRA Strategic Communications. The agency was founded in 1986 and has been serving clients in a variety of fields including real estate, economic development, health care, education, hospitality and entertainment.

    The mother of a 22-year-old son with autism, Denise is also the founder and board chair of First Place AZ, a nonprofit dedicated to developing new housing options for adults with autism and related disorders. She is the co-founder and board development co-chair of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to autism research, education and community outreach and the support of individuals with autism and their families throughout their lifetimes.

    Denise also co-founded The Real Arizona Coalition, representing business, multi-cultural and faith-based leadership organizations and civic leaders across the state dedicated to S.A.N.E. solutions to federal immigration reform.

    Other nonprofit leadership includes serving as a member of the Arizona Community Foundation Board of Directors, Autism Speaks Family Housing Committee, Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) Leadership Council and National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism (NARPAA). Denise has also served as a federally appointed member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) of the National Institutes of Health.

    Denise is the editor of Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, a collaborative study by SARRC, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona, the Arizona State University (ASU) Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family and the ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

    Denise has been recognized by the Arizona Republic as one of the 13 Arizonans to Watch in 2013, by The Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Valley's Most Admired Leaders and by AZ Business magazine as one of Arizona's Top 50 Women Leaders. Her list of accomplishments also includes the 2010 Phoenix Theatre's Women Who Care Award; 2009 National Jae Davis Community Service Award by the Organization for Autism Research; 2008 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year Award; 2008 Golden Heart of Business Volunteer Executive of the Year; 2008 Kappa Kappa Gamma National Alumnae Achievement Award; 2007 Human Relations Award by the Arizona Chapter of the American Jewish Committee; 2007 Evening of Champions Award by the Autism Society of America; named one of L'Oreal's 2006 Women of Worth; 2005 Golden Heart of Business recipient by Arizona Woman magazine; 2001 Athena Award by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; 2001 Small Businessperson of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; 2001 World of Well-Being recipient by the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council; and 1998 Arts Advocate of the Year by the Business Volunteers for the Arts of Phoenix. She graduated from Arizona State University cum laude and received her bachelor's degree in business.

    Denise's greatest accomplishment is her family—her husband Rob of 30 years, and adult children Ally and Matt.

  • Erin Riehle RN, MSN
    Project Search
    Founder and Director
     
    Erin Riehle RN, MSN
    Project Search
    Founder and Director

    Erin is a recognized authority and national leader in promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She is a founder and Senior Director of Project SEARCH, an employment and transition program that has received national recognition for innovative practices.

    When she started Project SEARCH, Erin was a nurse manager at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center with no particular expertise in disability issues beyond the strictly medical. Her motivation was to offer people with disabilities—who made up a significant portion of the hospital's patient volume—the same opportunities for training and employment that were available to everyone else. She brought a business perspective to the field of disability education, as well as an ability to bring organizations together for a shared purpose.

    Erin is regularly invited to present at national and regional conferences and has co-authored numerous publications, including a book on the Project SEARCH model: High School Transition that Works! Lessons Learned from Project SEARCH (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.). She has served on many national committees and is a past board member for the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), the Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities, and the U.S. Business Leadership Network. Project SEARCH was the Inaugural recipient of Dartmouth-Hitchcock's 2010 James W. Varnum National Quality Award, received a 2013 APSE Best Practices Award, and was recognized by the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, with a 2013 'Employment for All Ten Best Practices Award.'

  • Dennis Robinson
    Houlton Institute
    Co-Founder
    Company Showcase
    Dennis Robinson
    Houlton Institute
    Co-Founder

    Dennis Robinson has redeveloped large-scale online educational programs for major colleges and universities, logging over 2,000 hours in online classrooms. Houlton was created to a forge a groundbreaking new direction in global online education. Houlton has partnered with ASPCA, Visual Media Alliance, the New York City, United Way, the Autism Research Institute among other leading organizations.

    A graduate of Northwestern and the University of Chicago, Dennis received the Sterling Prize at Yale and was named a Galbraith Scholar at Harvard. Robinson's present research focuses on practices in translational neuroscience, public/private partnerships and neuroethics. He is finishing his dissertation as a Presidential Fellow. Robinson's research has received acknowledgements from the Institute for Humane Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, The Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Science, and L'Institut de Recherches cliniques de Montréal. Dennis is finishing his doctoral dissertation at Princeton University as a Presidential Fellow.

  • Jonathan Rubin
    Alcobra
    Chief Medical Officer
    Company Showcase
    Jonathan Rubin
    Alcobra
    Chief Medical Officer

    Dr. Jonathan Rubin joined Alcobra in August of 2013 as the Chief Medical Officer. Previously Dr. Rubin worked at Shire Development for over six years serving as Medical Director in Global Medical Affairs supporting multiple products within the ADHD portfolio. As a Medical Director in Global Medical Affairs at Shire, Dr. Rubin developed and implemented Global Medical Affairs strategic plans, planned and supervised medical launch activities in the United States, and assisted with the design, execution and interpretation of Phase II, III and Phase IV studies. Dr. Rubin also served as the Director of Scientific Licensing Assessment at Shire from March to December 2011 where he identified and evaluated new opportunities for business development. Dr. Rubin began his pharmaceutical industry career as a medical consultant for Noven Pharmaceuticals in 2002. He cared for children and adolescents with ADHD for 15 years at his General and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric practice in Margate and Coconut Creek, Florida.

    He graduated with a BS from Yale University, an MD from the University of Connecticut, completed a Pediatric Residency at Albert Einstein/Montefiore, completed an Ambulatory Pediatric fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital and received an MBA from Columbia Business School.

  • Gene Saunders
    Project Lifesaver
    Founder & CEO
    Company Showcase
    Gene Saunders
    Project Lifesaver
    Founder & CEO

     

    Captain – retired, Chesapeake, Virginia Police Dept.

    Married to Jeanne, with 4 Children and 8 Grandchildren

    Education and Training

    • General Studies, Old Dominion University/ Tidewater Community College, Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville.
    • Extensive military and law enforcement Special Operations training and experience.

    Career Experience
    Captain - Chesapeake Police Department (Virginia). Retired February 2001 with 33 years of service:

      • Founded Chesapeake PD SWAT Team; established training, certification and operational procedures; commanded for 23 years in over 800 successful operations ranging from Search and Rescue, Hostage rescue, barricaded subjects, high risk raids, snipers, et. al. Rated as a Master Special Operator.
      • Trained, consulted and operated with the following SWAT Teams; Los Angeles Police Dept.; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office,; Philadelphia Police Dept.; Miami-Dade Police Dept.; Virginia Beach, Virginia Police Dept.; Norfolk, Virginia Police Dept.; Ft. Eustis Military Police SWAT Unit; Hampton, Virginia Police Dept.
      • Trained, consulted and worked with numerous military Special Operations units including; Naval Special Warfare(SEAL), Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Army Special Forces, Marine Reconnaissance, Army Rangers, Army Marksmanship Unit 1 (sniper).
      • Initiated and served as Chief Investigator on several high profile, multi-jurisdiction, organized crime and drug investigations to include the international drug conspiracy Hubert Hoffler Investigation and International Operation SnowCat Cocaine conspiracy.
      • During career served as Patrol Officer, Detective –Vice; Detective – Narcotics; Detective – Homicide/Robbery; Sergeant – Communications; Sergeant – Patrol; Sergeant – Training; Sergeant – Narcotics; Lieutenant(Platoon Commander) – Patrol; Lieutenant -Communications/Records; Lieutenant(Commander) – Narcotics/Special Investigations; Captain(Watch Commander) – Patrol; Captain(Commanding Officer) – Detective Bureau; Captain(Commanding Officer) – Narcotics/Special Investigations; Captain(Director) – Training Division.
      • Certified Instructor in firearms, emergency vehicle pursuit and driving; General Police Instructor, Raids and Special Operations.
      • Alzheimer’s Trainer – Department of Criminal Justice Services – Virginia.
      • Directed and manage various large scale tactical operations involving criminal manhunts, hostage situations, and other special incidents/events.
      • Chief Instructor for Advance Group Special Operations Training Unit.
    • Served in National and State Guard commanding Aviation and Ranger Units, rank of Major
    • United States Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol); Lt. Colonel, commanded Senior Squadron-Ranger (5 years), Commandant of Middle East Region Staff College (4 years)
    • Certified Master Flight Officer for Helicopter Operations and Master Mission Specialist for Search & Rescue (SAR) Fixed Wing Operations
    • Master Flight Officer, Helicopter Unit, Virginia Beach Police Dept. (4 years)
    • Shift Commander, International Security Team, 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia (Soccer Venue)
    • 1992- 2009 – Chief of SAR, 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue Company, Chesapeake VA Sheriff’s Office
    • Supervised and directed numerous  SAR missions for downed aircraft, missing persons, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance
    • Certified Static Line and Free-fall Parachutist
    • Master/Instructor/Airborne Electronic Search Specialist
    • Master Operator – Special Operations
    • Founder of Project Lifesaver: An innovative nonprofit program employing creative strategies and the application of state-of-the art electronic transmitter technology to swiftly locate and rescue lost/wandering persons enrolled in the project
    • Author of several articles for health and trade magazines and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows for interviews, at local, national and international levels.
    • Member – International Chiefs of Police Missing Alzheimer’s Patient Initiative Board
    • Member – Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease Committee (LEAD)
    • Consulted with National Council on Missing and Exploited Children
  • Mitul Shah
    Senior Director for Autism Research
    West Health Institute
     
    Mitul Shah
    Senior Director for Autism Research
    West Health Institute

    Mr. Mitul Shah is a Senior Director for Autism Research at the West Health Institute. Mr. Shah leads a multi-disciplinary research team with the objective of developing innovative approaches to provide therapy to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is the co-inventor and patent author of three technology solutions produced out of the Institute.

    Mr. Shah joined the Institute in 2010, having been the Senior Director of Technology Partnerships at the United Nations Foundation since 2005. He was responsible for directing a $30 million partnership between the Vodafone Group Foundation and the UN Foundation. The partnership invested in several wireless and mobile health programs and organizations in over 18 countries. He is founder of the mHealth Alliance. Prior to his work at the UN Foundation, Mr. Shah worked with Nokia, Pearson and the International Youth Foundation in launching an innovative wireless education program in the Philippines and Tanzania called Text2Teach. The program has scaled to over 200 schools globally. Mr. Shah was also a senior consultant at Inforte Corporation, an information technology and strategy consulting company.

    Mr. Shah is frequent and notable advocate for wireless and mobile health featured as a speaker at wireless health conferences and quoted in several reputable publications. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree at the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Riverside. He served on the Advisory Board for the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3IE) and is currently advising a start-up company called Sproxil.

  • Dan Smith
    DELSIA
    President
     
    Dan Smith
    DELSIA
    President

    Dr. Smith holds a dual role as the president of DELSIA and senior director of discovery research at Autism Speaks. He oversees DELSIA's strategy and operations and a research portfolio focused on diagnostics, biomarkers and therapeutic interventions for autism. Daniel joined Autism Speaks in 2012 after leading discovery research laboratories in the pharmaceutical sector, most recently as senior principal scientist and laboratory head in the Neuroscience Research Unit at Pfizer.

  • Marc Schneebaum
    Stemina
    Head of Stemina Diagnostics
    Company Showcase
    Marc Schneebaum
    Stemina
    Head of Stemina Diagnostics

    Marc Schneebaum brings over twenty years of demonstrated success in broad corporate finance, business development, technology development, sales & marketing and general management in life sciences (biotherapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics). Mr. Schneebaum served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Predictive Biosciences from 2011 to 2013. He led the Company through commercial introduction of two proprietary molecular diagnostic products, achieved sales growth of three to four times in consecutive years, reduced cost of sales by more than 50%, divested a business segment, and obtained additional venture capital financing. Mr. Schneebaum spent the previous 13 years with Sensors for Medicine and Science, Inc., where he served as President and CEO, and a member of the Board. During his tenure, he led the Company from concept through human clinical studies, successfully grew the Company valuation from $6 million to over $90 million, and raised over $56 million in venture capital. Previously, he served as CFO and Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Development at Genetic Therapy Inc. (GTI), where he completed a successful IPO and three additional public stock offerings, and raised over $100 Million prior to participating in the negotiation and implementation of its merger with Sandoz AG (now Novartis). Prior to his tenure at GTI, Mr. Schneebaum was a Vice President at Alex Brown & Sons Incorporated, a leading investment banking firm (now part of Deutsche Bank). Mr. Schneebaum has also served as a director of GenVec, Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company, since April 2007. Mr. Schneebaum is a member of the Compensation Committee and the Chairman of the Audit Committee.

  • Rob Tedesco
    HandHold Adaptive, LLC
    Co-Founder & CEO
     
    Rob Tedesco
    HandHold Adaptive, LLC
    Co-Founder & CEO

    Rob Tedesco is Co-Founder and CEO of HandHold Adaptive, makers of the leading research-based autism application suite, iPrompts PRO. He has led the company since 2009, additionally serving as Principal Investigator of four Small Business Innovation Research contracts awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Previously, Rob was Director of Intellectual Property at the R&D laboratory Walker Digital, where his innovations in health care, e-commerce and gaming resulted in more than 200 pending and issued U.S. patents. Rob holds an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

  • Lauren Thierry
    Independence Day (ID) Clothing
    Founder
     
    Lauren Thierry
    Independence Day (ID) Clothing
    Founder

    Lauren Thierry is the founder of Independence Day/ID, a technology and fashion convergence designed to address a myriad of safety and dressing issues for the special needs population. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Thierry was a TV Anchor in local, national and business news for more than a decade before she left her job at CNN Financial News to care for her autistic son, Liam.

    She became a driving force behind numerous autism education initiatives. Among them, she created Autism Awareness Day at Shea -- then at Citi Field -- for which the New York Mets devote one game a year to autism fundraising. She brought in strategic partners Hess Oil, Prudential Elliman, Bear Stearns, Royal Bank of Scotland, BNY Mellon and various hedge funds to the effort.

    Thierry produced the documentary, "Autism Every Day," described as "The shot heard 'round the world for autism," when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Shooting the film, she saw that wandering/elopement were major issues for autism families. She also noted that the simple act of getting dressed for these families was a grueling obstacle course of "fronts and backs," "insides and outs," zippers, buttons and tags.

    That was Thierry's first "focus group," all down on film. Independence Day/ID Clothing was started to address all those issues.

    Independence Day/ID is an American Express Passion Project winner for 2013.

  • Tom Toronto
    United Way
    President at Bergen County's United Way
    Company Showcase
    Tom Toronto
    United Way
    President at Bergen County's United Way

    Tom has 32 years of experience working for local United Ways in Bergen, Burlington and Hudson counties in New Jersey.

    Tom serves on the Board of the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership, driving implementation of the 2-1-1 helpline on behalf of New Jersey's local United Ways and New Jersey State Government.

    He also serves on Fairleigh Dickinson University's Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy Advisory Board, Bergen County Government's Board of Social Service, the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey Board and the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board.

    Tom is active in his local community having served as a member of the Leonia Governing Body, the Leonia Library Board and chair of the town's Planning Board.

    Tom holds a BA from Montclair State University and MA from Columbia University.

  • Theresa Tribble
    SynapDx
    Vice President of Commercial Strategy
    Company Showcase
    Theresa Tribble
    SynapDx
    Vice President of Commercial Strategy

    Theresa started her career at Putnam Associates, consulting to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She graduated from Wellesley College and holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Massachusetts Act Early Taskforce and Autism Speaks New England Chapter Board of Directors.

  • Mark Tuomenoksa
    Ilumivu
    Co-Founder & CTO
    Company Showcase
    Mark Tuomenoksa
    Ilumivu
    Co-Founder & CTO

    Mark has 30 years of experience in software, communications research and development and has been granted eleven U.S. patents for software and systems development.

    Mark Tuomenoksa is one of those rare individuals who are neurologically ambidextrous, equally comfortable with both left-brained and right-brained thinking. Schooled at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music, Mark is an accomplished musician who also spent seventeen years at Bell Laboratories where he was a Principal Investigator in the research division and a protégé of Nobel Laureate, Arno Penzias. At Bell Labs, Mark worked on everything from the development of the first 32-bit microprocessor to the commercialization of the UNIX operating system to the creation and operation of advanced interactive-voice services for companies like United Airlines and Charles Schwab. Mark left Bell Labs in the mid-nineties to join Boston start-up Shiva Corporation where he was both chief technology officer and vice president of marketing. At Shiva, Mark directed product management and marketing activities and was a central component in efforts that led to a successful merger with Intel Corporation.

    After the merger, Mark founded OpenReach Inc, an Internet-security company that provided virtual private networking (VPN) services. The OpenReach service was the first credible replacement for expensive frame-relay networks. Since OpenReach, Mark has split his time among pro bono work for organizations in human-development and autism-treatment and music. Mark has personally developed embedded algorithms for implantable medical devices, web platforms for autism research, and iOS and Android applications that integrate biometric, environmental and observational monitoring.

  • Krishna Yeshwant
    Google Ventures
    General Partner
    Moderator
  • Larry Yost
    IntegraGen, Inc.
    General Manager
    Moderator
  • Marc Zimmerman
    The Social Express
    CEO
    Company Showcase
    The Social Express
    Marc Zimmerman
    CEO

    In 2003 Marc's two-year-old identical twin boys were both diagnosed with autism. From that moment on he was driven to not only make a difference in the lives of his boys, but also across the entire autism community. At the time, Marc was running his Real Estate Brokerage, PineappleHut. He moved his office into his home to actively participate in all aspects of the twin's therapy.

    By the time the twins entered kindergarten, Marc had successfully navigated the public school system and transitioned them into a mainstream classroom. With the transition, it became painfully obvious that both boys suffered a deficit in their social-emotional skills. When a therapist brought a laptop to the house, Marc immediately observed how the computer captured his sons' interest and attention. He also noticed that the therapist's dated software program didn't keep the boys engaged for long. In fact, the outdated software prevented the twins from learning from the lesson. That was the 'aha' moment that inspired The Social Express™.

    Marc realized that engagement was the key to learning success with educational applications. He determined that high-quality graphics were required to capture and retain the children's attention. After all, today's kids are accustomed to Hollywood-movie quality animation, characters, and music.

    As a former rock star, composer and touring musician, Marc was excited to harness his creative energy into the new social learning project. Using his entire savings, and with help from family and friends, Marc brought The Social Express to the market in November 2011.

    The Social Express software targets core social deficit areas that stand in the way of school, social, and life success for children and young adults with social learning challenges such as autism, Asperger's and ADHD. Kids ask for it everyd ay because of movie-quality graphics. Teachers see accurate recall in social situations. Parents thank us for helping kids to learn how to get along with others.

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  • Lisa Goring
    Autism Speaks
    Executive Vice President of Family Services
    Moderator
    Lisa Goring
    Autism Speaks
    Executive Vice President of Family Services

    Lisa Goring is Executive Vice President of Programs & Services at Autism Speaks. Lisa first joined Autism Speaks as Director of Family Services in May, 2007; she was promoted to National Director of Family Services in January, 2010, and then to Vice President, Family Services in July, 2013, and most recently to Executive Vice President of Programs and Services. Under Lisa's leadership, Family Services became the fourth pillar of the organization's mission in 2007. In order to meet the needs of individuals with autism and their families, Lisa and her team have developed a wide array of resources and tools for families including a Resource Guide of over 60,000 local resources across the United States; an Autism Response Team to answer phone calls and emails from families looking for resources; and a variety of tool kits such as the 100-Day Kit for newly diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit, a Transition Tool Kit for families of individuals entering adulthood, an Employment Tool Kit to assist adults on the spectrum with finding a job, and more. In addition, Lisa has implemented several grant programs totaling over $7,000,000 to expand services for people with autism and to increase the field of providers serving the autism community. Lisa is also one of the founding members of Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) a coalition of organizations to further adult services throughout the United States. Most recently, Lisa led the Family Services team in establishing the wandering partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and in offering families advice about wandering, an Autism Speaks priority.

  • Dave Kearon
    Autism Speaks
    Assistant Director of Adult Services
    Moderator
    Dave Kearon
    Autism Speaks
    Assistant Director of Adult Services

    Dave is the Assistant Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. In this role, he helps manage the organization's mission to promote supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders throughout the country. He works to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities and resources available to adults with autism related to employment, housing and residential supports, postsecondary education and community integration. Prior to joining the Adult Services team in January 2012, Dave worked at Autism Speaks in the role of Psychometrician for the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) for 2 years. In that position, he visited children and families across the United States and collected clinical data. Previously, Dave attended the graduate program in School Psychology at Queens College in New York and spent 8 years working with children and teens with developmental disabilities in public schools on Long Island.

  • Leslie Long
    Autism Speaks
    Director, Adult Services
    Panelist
    Leslie Long
    Autism Speaks
    Director, Adult Services

    Leslie is Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. In this role, she manages the organization's mission to promote supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders throughout the country. Leslie has over 20 years of professional experience in leading federal, state and local advocacy efforts to benefit people with developmental disabilities. Her expertise includes supported employment, school to adult life transition issues, residential supports and Medicaid, specifically home and community-based waivers for individuals with developmental disabilities. Most recently, Long served as a consultant to both New Horizons in Autism, Inc. and the North Ward Center's Center for Autism. Working with New Horizons in Autism, Long helped shape public policy efforts affecting constituents, including facilitating partnerships with key federal and state legislators. In addition, she wrote and implemented a grant to employ adults with autism in the area of digital imaging, and provided overall guidance and advocacy to the organization's board, staff and families. Long assisted the North Ward Center's Center for Autism in the development and implementation of its initial program serving adults with autism spectrum disorders -- one of the first adult programs specifically serving an urban community. Previously, Long was director of public policy and director of adult resources for Autism New Jersey. She served on the governor's New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force, where she was successful in making recommendations for an Office of Autism Services that were later adopted in 2009. In addition, she was instrumental in passing a package of autism-related New Jersey bills that included first responders training and self-directed services protection.

  • Michael Rosanoff
    Autism Speaks
    Associate Director, Public Health Research & Scientific Review
     
    Michael Rosanoff
    Autism Speaks
    Associate Director, Public Health Research & Scientific Review

    Autism Speaks Michael Rosanoff, MPH, is a member of Autism Speaks science team and manages the organization's epidemiology and public health research grants. Since joining the organization in 2007, Michael has been the staff lead on the pressing topics of autism prevalence and costs in the US and internationally. He is part of the development team for the Global Autism Public Health Initiative, which aims to increase capacity for research and services among underserved populations worldwide. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Michael conducted research at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, a clinical, epidemiological and genetic research center at Columbia University Medical Center focused on developmental disorders of the nervous system. His research background is in genetic and psychiatric epidemiology as well as behavioral neuroscience, with publications in the fields of epilepsy and depression. Michael earned his Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in 2007, and is now a doctoral candidate in Columbia's Department of Epidemiology. Michael and his wife currently reside in Jersey City, NJ.

  • Robert Ring
    Autism Speaks
    Chief Science Officer
    Moderator
  • Paul Wang
    Autism Speaks
    SVP, Head of Medical Research
    Moderator
    Paul Wang
    Autism Speaks
    SVP, Head of Medical Research

    Paul Wang, M.D., serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Medical Research at Autism Speaks. He is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, trained at Harvard College, Yale University School of Medicine, the Salk Institute, and Children's Seashore House/CHOP. During his academic career, Dr. Wang engaged in research on the development of language and memory in children with genetic syndromes. He also worked as a clinician, providing care for many children with developmental disability diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

    Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Wang worked in the private sector, at Seaside Therapeutics, a biotech company that was founded to translate the science of learning and memory into targeted treatments for fragile X syndrome and ASD. Dr. Wang continues to serve in professional and academic leadership roles at organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and he works as a reviewer and consultant for the NIH, the CDC, and other federal and patient advocacy organizations.