Autism Speaks elects two new members to its national board

July 22, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ - Autism Speaks, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the life span for people with autism and their families, announces the election of Bill O’Connor and Subriana Pierce to its national board of directors, effective July 22, 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome two industry leaders with extensive business and philanthropic experience to join our commitment to the autism community and steward our mission further,” said Autism Speaks Board Chairman Brian Harper. “Bill and Subriana both bring unique perspectives and individual success that will help us achieve our vision of a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential.”

Bill O’Connor

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.  

“As a parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, I well know the challenges children and families like ours face every day,” says Mr. O’Connor. “In joining the board, I appreciate the opportunity to advocate for and make a positive impact in the lives of the many families who benefit from Autism Speaks essential programs and services”.

Subriana Pierce

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.

“As a parent through the autism journey myself, I'm so excited to be in a position to help so many others by serving on this prestigious board,” says Pierce.