Board of Directors

Board Members

Curtis Arledge

Treasurer, Autism Speaks
Secretary, Autism Speaks
Chief Executive Officer, Mariner Investment Group 

Curtis Arledge, treasurer and secretary of the Autism Speaks board, is the chief executive officer of Mariner Investment Group. Prior to that, he was the vice chairman and chief executive officer of BNY Mellon Investment Management. Additionally, he was responsible for BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Before Mr. Arledge joined BNY Mellon in November 2010, he 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.

Tom Bernard

Tom Bernard had a 30-year career in global finance before retiring in Aspen, Colorado to devote himself to writing and philanthropy. He has served on several corporate and nonprofit boards, and was board president of Aspen Words, the literary arm of the Aspen Institute.

In 2004, Mr. Bernard and his wife Sallie founded The Extreme Sports Camp, which provided summer and winter recreational opportunities for children on the autism spectrum. The nonprofit organization expanded to include adults and year-round programs beyond recreation, including job training, life skills and the arts. In light of the broadened mission, the organization was renamed Ascendigo.

Mr. Bernard purchased and remodeled a home in Carbondale, Colorado called The Yellow House, which is now home to three young men with autism, including the Bernards’ son, Bill, and a host couple. The Yellow House Operations, LLC staff rotates to provide 24 / 7 supervision, and the residents participate in Ascendigo programs along with non-residents. The house features state-of-the-art safety and supervisory technology, and is a model of supervised community living for adults who are more significantly impacted by autism.

Scott R. Carpenter

President and Chief Executive Officer, Savor Street Foods

Scott R. Carpenter is the president and chief executive officer of Savor Street Foods (formerly The Bachman Company), a contract manufacturer of baked and extruded food products for private brands. He joined the Bachman Company in 1992, becoming vice president of sales and marketing in 1996 and later serving as president from 2000 to 2012. Mr. Carpenter purchased the company in 2012, and repositioned it as a contract manufacturer focused on baked, gluten-free, and organic convenience foods.

Mr. Carpenter, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lehigh University, has served on various industry and community boards.

He and his wife Suzie reside in New Jersey and have two daughters. Their younger daughter, now a young adult, was diagnosed at an early age with autism spectrum disorder.

Since 2005, Mr. Carpenter has been an active supporter of Autism Speaks. In 2009, he helped found the annual Autism Speaks Fall Classic fundraising event at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. 

Jennifer Caserta

Chief Transformation and People Officer, AMC Networks

Jennifer Caserta is AMC Networks' chief transformation and people officer, charged with driving and facilitating organizational structures and strategies that best position AMC Networks for successful innovation in storytelling, story formats, new products, distribution and advertising, and strengthen and grow its portfolio of assets.

Previously, Ms. Caserta was president and general manager of IFC, where she spearheaded the evolution of the brand from a niche indie film channel to a fully advertiser-supported destination for sharp, smart comedy and exclusive broadcast home to the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Through her 14-year tenure with IFC, the brand attracted top-tier talent and cultivated the success of original series including Portlandia, the Emmy, Peabody and WGA-winning sketch comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein; Emmy-nominated docu-parody Documentary Now! starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, written by Seth Meyers and hosted by Helen Mirren; critical darling Brockmire, starring Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet; and musical variety sketch show “Sherman’s Showcase” created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, and executive produced by John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co.

Ms. Caserta was also a key architect in AMC Networks taking on a minority ownership stake in leading comedy brand Funny or Die as well as Levity Live, a leading player in live comedy with an extensive network of premium comedy venues in the U.S., including The Improv. In addition to sitting on both boards, Ms. Caserta is responsible for the oversight of leveraging these investments for AMC Networks.

Among her many accolades, Ms. Caserta has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” and listed in “The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100.” Variety has included Ms. Caserta in its “Power of Women: New York Impact” list, Adweek named her a “Person of the Moment” and Fast Company recognized her as a “Who’s Next” leader. Ms. Caserta sits on the executive board for the New York Television Festival and the CTAM Education Foundation at Harvard Business School while also serving on the CTAM board of directors and on the Investments and Benefits Committee for AMC Networks. In addition to serving on the board of directors for Autism Speaks, she is member of the Event Committee for the annual Autism Speaks Celebrity Chef Gala and recently was the grand marshal, with her son, of the Westchester/Fairfield Autism Speaks Walk.

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, M.D. holds the Eben S. Draper Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.

From 1991 to 2001, he was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he did post-graduate training in pediatrics and psychiatry. He was Distinguished Service Professor of Child Psychiatry at Hopkins from 1982 to 1991.

Currently, he directs the Laboratory of Molecular and Psychiatric Neuroscience at McLean Hospital. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (1990), a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993), and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Chair of the Section on Neuroscience, 2013).

He was elected president of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) in 1991. He has received numerous awards including A.E. Bennett Award from the Society of Biologic Psychiatry, the John Jacob Abel Award from The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), the Daniel Efron Award from American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the McKnight Scholar in Neuroscience Award, the Lieber Prize for Research on Schizophrenia from National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) and the Julius Axelrod Award for Neuropharmacologic Research from SFN.

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 currently serves on the board of Autism Speaks.

He has served two terms as 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 one of the only film schools located in a working studio.

Mr. Feirstein is a member of the Weill Cornell Deans Council and a former trustee and former chairman of the Anderson Foundation for Autism. He has served on the boards of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Independent Film Project and the Friars Foundation.

Adam Frazier

Vice President and Head of New York Leasing, Oxford Properties

As vice president and head of New York leasing at Oxford Properties, Adam Frazier is responsible for all of the company’s leasing in New York City. His career primarily has been focused on leasing and real estate development in New York City and Washington, D.C., where he has leased more than 10 million square feet of property and has been part of New York City’s most notable developments including The Mosaic District, 510 Madison, 250 West 55th Street, Hudson Yards and St. John’s Terminal.

Prior to joining Oxford, Mr. Frazier was a development manager for Boston Properties. It was during his nearly seven-year tenure that he managed the development of 250 West 55th Street, a 1 million square-foot office tower in Midtown Manhattan, just steps from Carnegie Hall and Central Park. Then, as vice president of leasing at Boston Properties, Mr. Frazier was responsible for developing and implementing a successful leasing strategy across the firm’s 10 million square-foot portfolio, which included developing projects from the ground up and repositioning assets in the existing portfolio.

Previously, Mr. Frazier was the development manager at Edens responsible for developing the Mosaic District in Fairfax County, Va., a 2 million square-foot mixed-use center, among other projects. He began his professional career as an equity trader, trading NASDAQ-listed technology stocks for Salomon Smith Barney/Citibank from 1999 to 2004.

Mr. Frazier earned a BSBA degree from Bucknell University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a member of the Bucknell University Real Estate Advisory Board, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Young Men’s and Women’s Real Estate Association of New York, where he served on its board as treasurer and governor. He earned REBNY’s 2011 Most Promising Salesperson of the Year Award and was the New York Cares Honoree in 2014. Mr. Frazier, his wife Erin and their four sons live in Manhasset, N.Y.

Darren Goode

Chief Marketing Officer, Zumper

Darren Goode is the chief marketing officer of Zumper, the third largest, fastest-growing rental platform in North America—supporting over 90 million people a year and helping one in three Americans find their next place. Appointed in July 2020, Mr. Goode oversees all aspects of marketing across brand, digital, PR & communications, advertising, creative, social media and market research.

Prior to that, Mr. Goode was the president, chief marketing and commercial officer of Elvie, a women's health technology companies. During his tenure, he launched the world's first silent wearable breast pump, created iconic advertising, and helped raise over $42M in venture capital funding. Mr. Goode also served as a Board Observer.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Goode has served in senior leadership marketing and general management roles with Apple, L'Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and Elvie. His industry experience spans consumer technology, real estate, health and entertainment and he has worked in the United States, Canada, Latin America, UK, Europe and China. 

In addition to serving on the Board of Autism Speaks, Mr. Goode is a member of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA). He and his wife, Jennifer Peters, are the proud parents of a child with autism.

Brian L. Harper

Chairman, Autism Speaks
President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee, RPT Realty

Brian L. Harper was elected chairman of the board of Autism Speaks on April 1, 2020. He has been a member of the board since 2017 and has championed the work of Autism Speaks to provide research, advocacy, services and support for the autism community.

He is president, chief executive officer and trustee of RPT Realty. Prior to joining RPT, Mr. Harper served in various executive leadership roles within the retail real estate industry, most recently as the chief executive officer of Rouse Properties.

Throughout his 18 year career, Mr. Harper has won several awards including Chain Store Age's "10 Under 40 in Real Estate," recognizing his expertise in real estate operations, redevelopment/site densification, marketing and leasing.

In addition to Autism Speaks, Mr. Harper is active in many professional and charitable organizations, including YPO.

Inspired by his son who has autism, Mr. Harper has become increasingly committed to seeing that each person with autism spectrum disorder has the same opportunities.

Matthew Higgins

Co-founder and CEO, RSE Ventures

Matt Higgins is a noted serial entrepreneur and growth equity investor as co-founder and CEO of private investment firm RSE Ventures, as well as vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins and guest Shark on four-time Emmy-Award-winning TV show Shark Tank.

Mr. Higgins began his career in public service as a journalist before becoming the youngest mayoral press secretary in New York City at 26, where he managed the global media response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. He became one of the first employees – and ultimately chief operating officer – of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the federally funded government agency created to plan the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. Mr. Higgins helped organize the largest international design competition in history, culminating in Reflecting Absence, the September 11th National Memorial, and the development of the 1,776 -foot-tall One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the northern hemisphere.

Mr. Higgins co-founded New York City based RSE Ventures in 2012, amassing a multi-billion-dollar investment portfolio of leading brands across sports and entertainment, media and marketing, consumer and technology industries – including several of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.

RSE has successfully backed many challenger brands from inception, including RESY, an Open Table competitor that American Express acquired in 2019; the world's premier drone racing circuit, the Drone Racing League; and the International Champions Cup, the largest privately-owned soccer tournament featuring Europe’s top clubs. Higgins is also co-owner of VaynerMedia, founded by digital marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk, and a partner in early-stage venture fund Vayner/RSE.

In 2013, Mr. Higgins cofounded Derris, a brand strategy and communications firm that has helped grow many leading brands such as Warby Parker, Harry’s, Everlane and Glossier. In 2016, he broadened RSE’s investment focus to rapidly expanding fine dining and fast casual concepts, including David Chang’s Momofuku and Fuku, Milk Bar, &pizza and Bluestone Lane.  

Mr. Higgins received his BA in political science from Queens College and his JD from Fordham Law, where he was a member of the Fordham Law Review. He was named a Top 40 Under 40 executive by Crain’s New York and by Sports Business Journal. In 2019, Mr. Higgins received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor – joining the ranks of seven former U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners and others who have made it their mission to share their knowledge, compassion and generosity with those less fortunate.

Mr. Higgins is a longstanding board member of Autism Speaks and is the father of a child with autism.

Adrian M. Jones

Vice Chairman, Autism Speaks
Managing Director, Merchant Banking Division, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Adrian M. Jones serves as the vice chairman of the Autism Speaks board, and he 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.

Mr. Jones grew up in Ireland and served as a lieutenant in the Irish Army. In 1987 to 1988, he served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Southern Lebanon. He is a 1986 graduate of University College in Galway, and earned his Master of Business Administration from Harvard University in 1994.

He is the father of a child with autism.

Tim Jones

Chief Executive Officer, Americas, Publicis Media

Tim Jones is currently the chief executive officer for the Americas at Publicis Media.

Prior to that, he led ZenithOptimedia The ROI Agency in North America, where he was committed to ensuring that each agency client received a better return per media dollar invested than any of their competitors. Under his leadership since 2005, ZO experienced unprecedented growth and welcomed a world-class roster of new media clients, including Kering, Coty, Reckitt Benckiser, Liberty Mutual, Kohl’s, JPMorgan Chase, 20th Century Fox, SONIC, Nintendo, Oracle, Farmers Insurance, Pizza Hut, Bridgestone, Liberty Mutual, DreamWorks and GoPro.

Mr. Jones has been a leader in the development and growth of Moxie — an interactive agency which is part of Publicis Groupe — and he is responsible for Performics — a performance marketing agency also a part of Publicis Groupe —and its worldwide roll out to some 40 countries.

In addition to being an Autism Speaks board member, Mr. Jones also sits on the executive board of the AdCouncil and Advertising Education Foundation.

He lives in the New York area with his wife Shelley and his three children, Dominic, Benjamin and Olivia.

Aidan Kehoe

Co-founder, CEO and Board Member, Skout Secure Intelligence

Aidan Kehoe is co-founder, CEO and board member of Skout Secure Intelligence, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in New York. Mr. Kehoe has been actively involved in all aspects of the firm's development and expansion since its founding in 2012, with the goal of making cybersecurity accessible to all companies.

Prior to Skout, Mr. Kehoe founded several other enterprises including Oxford Global, a global risk management company, which was acquired by Willis Towers Watson in 2013. He also has many years of experience working in an investment capacity with an institutionally sized private family office.

Mr. Kehoe is also the chairman of the U.S. Leaders Council of Cordaid, serving the most vulnerable people in the most fragile places in the world. Originally from Ireland, he has served as a board member to both public and private equity-backed companies throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has extensive experience in leading and building teams.

Billy Mann

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

William “Billy” Mann, a Philadelphia native, began his career as a singer-songwriter, signing to A&M Records in 1994.

During that same period, he began writing, arranging and producing records for what became a string of releases with many of the biggest music artists in the world, reaching sales of more than 125 million albums that earned Grammys, Grammy nominations, Juno Awards and more.

P!nk, Robyn, Art Garfunkel, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, Take That, Sting, Joss Stone and Martina McBride are among the long list of prestigious artists in his discography.

In 2001, Mann established a development company, Stealth Entertainment, which went on to build multi-platinum, award-winning, chart-topping songwriters, artists, producers and mixing engineers, with special focus on brand partnerships.

In 2007, Mr. Mann joined EMI Music as creative advisor and a member of the board. He was subsequently appointed chief creative officer before taking on the roles of president of New Music A&R International and president of Global Artist Management. While at EMI, Mr. Mann oversaw EMI’s rosters in more than 30 countries around the world and led the development of some of the company’s most successful international artists, including David Guetta, Bebe, Helene Fischer, Tiziano Ferro, Robyn, Pablo Albaron and Empire of the Sun, among others.

In 2010, Mr. Mann was named president of creative for BMG Rights Management, North America, and founded Manncom Creative Partners and Green & Bloom/TOPL1NE Entertainment — a new hybrid development/publishing company, which he chairs in partnership with BMG.

In 2015, Mr. Mann founded The Colors You Like with filmmaker Torre Catalano, a Los Angeles-based company that meets the creative, strategic and marketing needs of corporations, brands, artists and events.

In addition to being a member of Autism Speaks national board, Mr. Mann is a 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, Mr. 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 Winter Ball at the Met by the honorable U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), one of the original sponsors of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE). Mr. Mann resides in Connecticut and is a proud husband and the father of four children.

Kevin J. Murray

CEO of Entoura, LLC.

Kevin J. Murray is the CEO of Entoura, LLC. Entoura is an industrial scale hemp processing and manufacturing business located in Tennessee and Kentucky. Entoura endeavors to use the whole plant for wide range of benefits for consumers and patients. Sustainability and innovation are the cornerstones of Entoura’s company values. From highly researched cannabinoids for health and wellness to innovation in hemp fiber and seed, Entoura has become a true leader in this exciting new industry.

Mr. Murray has a 30+ year finance career that includes leadership positions at BNY Mellon Investment Management, G2 Investment Group / Forbes Private Capital Group, Muirfield Capital Management, Convergence Asset Management, and Cantor Fitzgerald.

In 1997, Mr. Murray, his wife, Susan, and other parents formed the Autism Coalition for Research and Education, which became Autism Speaks in June 2005. The Murrays have three boys, including Owen, who is on the autism spectrum.

Jacquelyn "Jakki" Nance

President, Philanthropic Solutions, Ltd.

Jacquelyn "Jakki" Nance is an attorney and president of Philanthropic Solutions, Ltd., where she advises nonprofits on strategic planning, resource and board development, and event planning. She also works with executives and athletes to help them achieve their philanthropic objectives.

Previously, Ms. Nance served as chief operating officer for Swin Cash Enterprises and the charity Cash for Kids, both founded by Swin Cash, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time WNBA champion.

Ms. Nance also served for three years as the executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. During that time, she oversaw its bikeathon, developed a partnership with Nickelodeon, worked with corporate partners and built playgrounds around the country.

Her clients have included the WNBA; the cancer charity Flashes of Hope, and State Farm Insurance, where she worked with the 50 Million Pound Challenge's grassroots initiative to establish simultaneous health walks around the country. She also was featured in an "Ebony" magazine profile, "Women in the NFL." 

An Ohio native, Ms. Nance was a senior planned giving attorney with The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where she also served as the event coordinator for Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton's annual fundraising ice show and gala. She has been honored by The Arthritis Foundation's Northeast Ohio Chapter and Cleveland Public Theater.

Ms. Nance has more than 20 years of nonprofit board service for organizations including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Ohio Arts Council and the Thomas Moyer Ohio Judicial Commission. Causes she has championed include children's health, education, diversity and inclusion, and planning for the special needs of adults with disabilities.

She graduated from Spelman College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Ms. Nance and her husband, Fred Nance, have two teenagers with autism.

Bill O’Connor

CEO of O’Connor Capital Partners

Bill O’Connor serves as CEO of O’Connor Capital Partners, a leading real estate investment and development firm headquartered in New York City with offices in Mexico City and Palm Beach. O’Connor Capital Partners invests in a wide range of properties and developments across North America. Mr. O’Connor has been with the company since 2003 and has served in his current role since 2010.

Prior to O’Connor Capital Partners, Mr. O’Connor led investments for The Peabody Funds, a London-based joint venture of JP Morgan and O’Connor Capital Partners, for over ten years. He has also held roles at Retail Property Trust, the Argo Fund and Merrill Lynch.

Over the years, Mr. O’Connor has committed himself to several philanthropic endeavors including Catholic Relief Services. In 2012, Bill traveled to Haiti with Catholic Relief Services and Partners in Health to oversee the installation of clean water filtration systems. Access to clean water is an initiative the O’Connor family has prioritized for many years, supporting efforts in several African villages as well. The family are also generous supporters of the Adaptive Sports Foundation in Windham, New York which provides children and adults with varying physical and cognitive disabilities the opportunity to participate in outdoor sports activities.

Mr. O’Connor and his wife Eileen have been married for 22 years, reside in Rye, New York with their four children, one girl and three boys. Erin,19, their oldest, has an autism spectrum disorder.

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, the 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 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 the Sarnat International Prize for leadership in the field of mental health. 

He has been president of the Scientific Council of The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for some 30 years and is also the first recipient of The Pardes Humanitarian Award in Mental Health.

He has served on commissions related to health policy appointed by Presidents George W. 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 (on whose board he continues to sit), the Association of American Medical Colleges and the New York Association of Medical Schools.

Subriana Pierce

Managing partner and co-founder of Navigator Sales & Marketing

Subriana Pierce is the managing partner and co-founder of Navigator Sales & Marketing, a boutique food and beverage broker that represents specialty, ethnic, organic, niche and emerging brands in the grocery industry based in Orange, California.

Prior to co-founding Navigator with her husband, Ms. Pierce served as Senior Vice President, Sales and Merchandising for Albertsons Southern California Division where she controlled merchandising and sales operations for 250 stores in California and Las Vegas. She has also held roles at PepsiCo’s FritoLay Division, Campbell Soup Company and Jewel Osco.

Throughout her career, Ms. Pierce has been recognized for outstanding achievements which most recently include being named the 2020 Woman Entrepreneur to Watch by Insights Success magazine and leading Navigator to being named 2021 DEI Industry leader by the Shelby Report. She was honored by the Food Industry Management Club of LA as “Woman in the Industry” and has been recognized by Spelman College as a Distinguished Alumnae in Business. Ms. Pierce sits on the Food Industries Circle Board of City of Hope and is also a board advisor for the Illuminators which is an organization of vendors/suppliers focused on education and scholarships in the grocery industry. She also sits on the board of directors for the California Grocers Association.

Ms. Pierce and her husband Allen reside in Southern California and have been married for 30 years. They are the proud parents of six children. Two of their sons are on the spectrum.

Jamie T. Richardson

Vice Chairman, Autism Speaks
Vice President, White Castle System, Inc.

Jamie Richardson joined the White Castle home office team in 1998. He serves as vice president of White Castle System, Inc., with responsibilities for government affairs, shareholder relations, public relations and corporate philanthropy.

In recent years, Mr. Richardson has led White Castle’s involvement in entertainment projects including “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” “Undercover Boss,” and “Impractical Jokers.”

Mr. 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 is chairman of the board.  In 2014, Mr. Richardson was named the National Restaurant Association’s Advocate of the Year, and in 2016, the National Council of Chain Restaurants’ Ambassador of the Year.

In addition to serving on the Autism Speaks board, Mr. Richardson is active in his community, serving on several charity boards. He is vice chairman of the YMCA of Central Ohio Board, and serves on the American Red Cross National Philanthropy Board.

Mr. Richardson has demonstrated a powerful passion and commitment to Autism Speaks over the past several years, spearheading White Castle efforts that have raised more than $4 million.

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 more than $350,000 for Autism Speaks.

As a fourth generation “family member-in-law,” Mr. Richardson invests his time and passion in the White Castle vision of remaining a family-owned business for generations to come.

Mr. Richardson and his wife Kate live in Mount Vernon, Ohio and have five children, Brendan, Chloe, Mary, Grace, Maggie and Finn.  

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, Mr. Saftler oversees special programs and 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. 

Mr. Saftler has the longest tenure of any FX Networks employee, having joined FX in December 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 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. Mr. Saftler assumed his current role in 2013.

Mr. 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.”

Mr. 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, Mr. 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, Mr. 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 also developed the late-night animation block “Animation Domination” for the network with ADHD Studio.

Prior to joining FX, Mr. 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 serves on the National Boston University Alumni Council.

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 Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982 and received his Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1985.

In 2001, Mr. Savitz founded the Law Offices of Stuart M. Savitz LLC, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance transactions and general corporate services. In 2004, Mr. Savitz was the lead investor in CP Acquisition LLC, which acquired the Coco Pazzo and Coco Pazzo Café restaurants in Chicago.

Mr. Savitz 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 nine years, Team Tyler has raised over $1 million. In 2011, Spencer and the Savitz Family founded the North Shore Walk.

The Savitz family 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 and Science Committees.

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

Jennifer Seidel

Digital Partnerships at Mastercard

Jennifer Seidel has spent more than 20 years in advertising industry leadership roles spanning from Executive Vice President of the American Association of Advertising agencies to tenures as Senior Vice President and Vice President at global advertising networks including WPP, BBDO and AKQA.

As Chief Value Architect for WPP’s Enfatico, Ms. Seidel directed global strategy and integrated marketing campaign creation for Dell’s consumer division across Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America. At BBDO, Ms. Seidel led brand initiatives and business development efforts for AOL, Motorola, Bank of America and Monster.

Ms. Seidel left the workforce for five years following her daughter’s autism diagnosis to focus on therapy and educational programming. During that time Ms. Seidel was deeply involved in local philanthropies including serving on the board of the American Red Cross Metro New York North chapter and the Parent’s Association board of The Greenwich Country Day School. 

Recently, Jennifer joined the Digital Partnerships team at Mastercard where she leads account management and business development initiatives for digitally native brands like Lyft, Wayfair, goPuff and HelloFresh.

Ms. Seidel and her husband Martin live in Connecticut with their three children.

Stephen Shore, Ed.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Ammon School of Education, Adelphi University

Dr. Stephen Shore is a clinical assistant professor at the Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University, teaching courses in special education and autism. He 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 Syndrome,” and in “Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum,” as well as the DVD “Living Along the Autism Spectrum: What It 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 is on the board of Specialisterne-USA, the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, the United States Autism and Asperger Association, and he 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.  

Steven P. Stanbrook

Former Chief Operating Officer International, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Steven P. Stanbrook joined S.C. Johnson in November 1996 as president, Europe, and one year later, Africa and the Near East were added to his responsibilities. In July 2006, he was appointed president of developing markets and, in September 2010, chief operating officer, international, where he covered 130 markets.

Mr. Stanbrook joined S.C. Johnson from CompuServe where he was president of its International Division. Before CompuServe, Mr. Stanbrook spent 17 years at Sara Lee Corporation, most recently as president and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Bakery.

Mr. Stanbrook also serves on the board of directors of Imperial Brands, the U.K.’s 12th largest enterprise, and he is a partner at the Chicago-based private equity firm, Wind Point Partners. Previous board roles include Hewitt Associates and Chiquita Brands International, both NYSE listed businesses.

Mr. Stanbrook and his wife Judy have five children.

Cheryl Vitali

Worldwide General Manager, Kiehl’s Since 1851

Appointed in 2010, Cheryl Vitali oversees Kiehl’s worldwide strategy, new market development, product innovation and retail marketing plans from the global home office in New York City. Under Ms. Vitali’s leadership worldwide, Kiehl’s doubled in size in a two-year time frame.

Ms. Vitali joined L’Oreal USA in 2003 as senior vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York-Garnier. In her role with the $1 billion cosmetic and hair care division, she achieved 19 percent growth in a zero-growth marketplace and helped to launch the Garnier brand in the United States. Within L’Oreal, Ms. Vitali went on to head marketing for Lancôme, stabilizing the third-ranked luxury brand in 2009 and ultimately returning the brand to market share growth in the U.S. via new category product launches in skincare and makeup.

Prior to joining the L’Oreal family, Ms. Vitali held various positions of increasing responsibility at Revlon and Procter & Gamble. She began her career in advertising, but soon realized that she wanted to be the client.

"I have always been drawn to marketing strategy, managing the complexity of brand 'personalities' in business, and making great products for consumers," Ms. Vitali says.

She is keenly focused not only on business but also helping women build their careers while managing work / life balance. In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Cosmetic Executive Women Achievers Award, honoring women in the beauty industry who have broken through barriers to success and inspire young executives to do the same.

Ms. Vitali lives in Weston, Connecticut, with her husband James Shapiro and their two sons, the younger of whom has autism. In addition to Autism Speaks, her philanthropic efforts include the Giants Steps School, American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development.

Lisa Yang

Lisa Yang retired from a successful career in financial services and investment banking and became an advocate for people with disabilities and learning differences. She and her husband, Hock Tan, made a kickoff commitment of $20 million to set up the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. In 2016, the couple donated $10 million to The K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University.

Two of the couple's adult children are on the autism spectrum.

A native of Singapore, Ms. Yang earned degrees from Cornell University and Columbia University Graduate School of Business. During her tenure at Lehman Brothers and The First Boston Corp, she supported numerous nonprofit organizations. Her leadership and service earned awards from the Center for Autism, in Philadelphia; the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Devereux Foundation; Cornell University ILR School and Asian Alumni Association.

Director Emeritus

Mel Karmazin
Brian Kelly
Phil Geier*

*deceased

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