The Autism Society’s Board of Directors is composed of dedicated volunteer representatives, many of whom are parents of persons with autism. The Board, chaired by Joseph P. Joyce, CPCU, CWCA, serves as the governing body of the organization and sets the vision for the Society’s future. Through active use of standing and ad hoc committees, the national Board carries out its goal of fulfilling the Autism Society’s mission while also being responsive to the needs of its members and the autism community.

Click here for an application to join the Autism Society’s Board of Directors.

Board of Directors 2017-2018:

Joseph P. Joyce, CPCU, CWCA, Executive Chair
Lori A. Ireland, Vice Chair
Tracey Staley, Treasurer
Lars Perner, Ph.D., Secretary, PSA Chair
James Ball, Ed.D., BCBA-D, Immediate Past Chair
Scott Badesch, President/CEO
Donna G. Andrus, P.E.
Jon Basinger
Andrew Bauman
Richard Bohne
Michael J. Brown, Esq.
Catherine Purple Cherry, AIA, LEED AP
Barbara Becker Cottrill
Andres Filippi
Benjamin E. Hodgin
John Hussman, Ph.D.
Terry Murphy
Kate Palmer
William Parker
Alison Petersson
Kristyn Roth
Pete Schwarz
Richard Wolf


Honorary Board Members:
Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
Ruth Christ Sullivan, Ph.D.


 joejoyceJoseph P. Joyce, CPCU, CWCA, Executive Chair

Joseph P. Joyce is currently the executive vice president of property & casualty insurance for Keystone Insurers Group Inc. (KIG), a franchisor of independent insurance agencies and the fifth-largest privately held independent insurance agency in the United States. Mr. Joyce has been with KIG since 2000, during which time he has also served on the Board of Directors of Keystone National Insurance Company and the American Society of Environmental Professionals.

Mr. Joyce’s experience in his 30-year career in the insurance industry includes tenure as vice president of commercial lines underwriting for W.R. Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group, Richmond, Va, and various marketing, underwriting and management positions for the Ohio Casualty Group in Southern California and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Joyce graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and finance from LaSalle University, and received his Master of Business Administration from Penn State University. Mr. Joyce holds the CPCU and CWCA professional insurance designations.

Mr. Joyce and his wife, Elise, reside in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and have one daughter and two sons. Daughter Tara is a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Pennsylvania.  Sons Matthew and David are both teens with special needs. Matthew has Down syndrome and David is significantly affected by autism.

Mr. Joyce and his wife are very proud that David has been the source of inspiration for Keystone Insurers Group to adopt autism awareness and acceptance as its corporate cause. The company has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for autism charities in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

In his spare time, Mr. Joyce is a tennis enthusiast, serving as an officer of the Harrisburg Capital Area Tennis League and playing in United States Tennis Association-sanctioned leagues.

Mr. Joyce is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Autism Society and will work hard to help make a difference in the lives of people and families affected by autism.

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Lori IrelandLori A. Ireland, Vice Chair

Lori A. Ireland earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. She was vice president of Capital Research Company and president of The Arc of Orange County and the local affiliate of the Autism Society of North Carolina. She was co-chair of the Advisory Board of FPG Child Development Institute and executive board member of The Educational Foundation and Rams Club (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). Lori is a founding board member at Extraordinary Ventures. She is on the Autism Society of America Board of Directors, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Visitors, the CESA Advisory Board and the Arc Housing Board in Orange County, North Carolina.

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Tracey_StaleyTracey Staley, Treasurer

Tracey Staley is a business focused Human Resources leader with a track record of success based on solid problem-solving skills, a collaborative leadership approach, strong relationship development skills and a proven ability to effectively lead organizations during periods of dramatic change. Currently she is VP and Chief HR Officer for Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. In this role, Tracey is responsible for APN’s people strategies, programs and processes with a focus on helping the organization realize their vision of making Ainsworth Pet Nutrition a leading firm where the highest caliber, pet passionate people aspire to work. Ms. Staley earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from American University in Washington, DC and a Master of Science degree in human resources leadership from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Throughout her career, Ms. Staley has been a leader in many non-profit organizations, including serving as the chair of the board for the Prince William County, VA chapter of the American Red Cross. She currently is an active supporter of the Autism Society of America affiliate in Pittsburgh, PA. Ms. Staley and her husband, Mike, live in Sewickley, PA and have one son. Their son, Jeff, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is a sophomore at Marshall University.

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Lars_PernerLars Perner, Ph.D., Secretary, Panel of People on the Spectrum of Autism Chair
Past Board Member, Autism Society of Los Angeles

Lars Perner is an assistant professor of clinical marketing at the Marshall School of Business of the University of Southern California, where specializes in consumer behavior, international marketing, and electronic commerce. He holds a Ph.D. in marketing from USC and an MBA and B.A. in political science and psychology from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and has previously taught at the University of Maryland, George Washington University, University of California at Riverside, and San Diego State University. His main research interests center on consumer behavior, nonprofit fundraising, “win-win” deals, and autism subtypes. Lars became interested in the autism spectrum after being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 1996 and has since written extensively on this topic.

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 jimballJames Ball, Ed.D., BCBA-D, Immediate Past Chair

Dr. James Ball, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral, is the President/Chief Executive Officer of JB Autism Consulting. He has been in the field of autism for more than 25 years, providing behavioral, educational, residential and employment services to children and adults affected by autism. Dr. Ball is an appointed community member to the Interagency Autism Collaborating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee established by the Combating Autism Act of 2006. He is also the director of clinical services for New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC), sits on the advisory board for the Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine and has been a featured author for the magazine for the past several years. Dr. Ball has lectured nationally and internationally on various topics related to autism, such as early intervention, inclusion services, functional behavior assessment, social skills training, behavior management, direct instruction, sensory issues and accountability. He has published in many of the above areas and authored the book Early Intervention and Autism: Real-life Questions, Real-life Answers.

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scottbadeschScott Badesch, President & CEO

A father of a young adult with autism, Scott led his local Autism Society affiliate before joining the national office in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Development and Operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, particularly in fundraising, chapter outreach, advocacy and public policy, and transformation of organizations.

Before joining the Autism Society national office, Scott served as President and CEO of the Autism Society of North Carolina. Other experience includes 14 years as President and CEO of the United Way of Palm Beach County, and six years as President and CEO of the United Way of South Carolina. Scott lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and has four children.

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 donnaandrusDonna G. Andrus, P.E.

Donna Andrus is a registered Petroleum Engineer with 30 years’ experience in the areas of reservoir engineering and acquisition and disposition analysis. Her career has been spent working in the Gulf of Mexico, onshore in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming. She is an active member of the Autism Society of Acadiana, and has served on its Board of Directors, holding the positions of treasurer and president. She currently sits on its advisory board. Ms. Andrus also serves on the Lafayette City-Parish Mayor’s Committee for Citizens with Disabilities and the WorkPays Job Fair Committee. In 2010, she was awarded the Disability Awareness Committee’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Ms. Andrus and her husband, Buddy, live in Lafayette, Louisiana. They have two daughters, one with Asperger’s syndrome, and four grandchildren. Their free time is filled with family, church, gardening and travel.

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jonbasingerJon Basinger
Board Member, Autism Society of Greater Georgia

Jon Basinger is a business broker in the Southeast and based in Atlanta where he puts together buying and selling deals for owners and purchasers of businesses. His expertise is in the fuel delivery category, investment properties, hotels, owner operated businesses and more. Previously, he was the owner of an advertising, marketing and public relations firm for 18 years. Before joining the Autism Society National Board, Jon sat on the advisory and national boards of the Devereux Foundation, a nonprofit behavioral health organization. He also served with the Atlanta chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Jon likes to swim and hike in addition to his other favorite pastimes of golf and cooking. He also likes to spend time with his three grown children.

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Andrew Baumann

Andrew Baumann has been in the Human Services field for more than 25 years. He currently serves as President and CEO of New York Families for Autistic Children (which he and his wife, Pamela, along with four other sets of parents, founded in 1998). Andrew has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Education Department at Manhattan College in the Bronx and as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Queens College. He is also a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association and a retired Internationally Credentialed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC).

Andrew, together with his wife Pamela, in the year 2000 founded ACES (Autism Coalition of Empire State), which represents 46 community-based organizations throughout New York State and more than 50,000 families. Andrew also served as the chairman of the NYC Autism Task Force created by the NYC Council.

Andrew is a civic-minded community leader who has been honored by both Queens Borough President Claire Shulman and her successor Helen M. Marshall and has received citations for his community service from the NYC Council, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate and US Congress. Through his work with children affected by autism Andrew continues to forge partnerships and collaborations with community-based organizations to enhance the quality of services offered to our population. These organizations include the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Queens, YMCA, US Tennis Association, JCC of Manhattan, W.O.R.K.S. Little League, Flushing Meadows Aquatic Center & others.

Most recently, Andrew, a proud member of the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach, and his fellow Kiwanians launched the Aktion Club of Howard Beach at NYFAC. It is “the only service club for adults with disabilities, with more than 12,000 members worldwide.”

Andrew has co-authored Project IMPACT, a peer-based program within a Long Island School District, and is the author of the first training manual for entry-level professionals in autism entitled Working With Someone Who Has Autism.

Andrew is the proud father of twin boys Andrew & Anthony, (Anthony has autism) and a daughter, Amanda.


Rich_BohneRichard Bohne

Rich Bohne is the CEO of Mendability, the creator and telehealth providers of Sensory Enrichment Therapy for autism. Prior to Mendability, Rich had a 25-year career in software sales and sales management. Most recently he was the VP of Software Sales for the Americas at Dell, but left in 2014 for the opportunity to market and be involved with a new evidenced-based autism therapy. Rich has a daughter with autism and has been active in the autism community in Utah, serving at one point on the Utah Autism Board. Rich lives in Highland, Utah and has four children, three daughters and one son.

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 michael-j-brownMichael J. Brown, Esq.     

Michael Brown is the principal at Michael J Brown Law Office LLC, a law firm based in Livingston, New Jersey, focusing on intellectual property issues, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and licensing. Michael is a registered patent attorney and assists individuals and companies of all sizes in registering and protecting their creative works, inventions and brand identities. Michael also assists in the licensing and enforcement of intellectual property assets. He is an active member of the International Trademark Association and is on a subcommittee team addressing issues involving international trademark registrations.

Michael has been providing pro bono legal advice to the Autism Society of America since 2002. He also provides pro bono legal advice to The Glaucoma Foundation.

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 cathypurplecherryCatherine Purple Cherry, AIA, LEED AP

Cathy Purple Cherry, principal of Purposeful Architecture and Purple Cherry Architects, began her architectural studio in 1995. Based in Annapolis, Maryland, the firm provides commercial and custom residential design services with a dedication to the enhancement of daily life and community through architecture. Cathy’s passion for Purposeful Architecture has set her apart in the field and made her the leader in designing spaces that foster thoughtful living and learning environments and inspire creativity, individuality and independence for children and adults with special needs. She is personally connected to the special needs community by her life experiences with her adult autistic son and Down Syndrome brother, and she strives to connect these experiences with the incredible design skills of her firm. Cathy currently works as a Special Needs Architect on many projects being designed and constructed throughout the country to better serve the special needs population. In addition, she lectures nationally and writes regularly on the topics of environmental design and the impact architecture has on individuals with special needs.

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Barbara Becker-Cottrill, Ed.D
Autism Society of America Board of Directors

Barbara Becker-Cottrill received her doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been involved in education and developmental disabilities for more than 35 years and served as the executive director of the statewide West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC) at Marshall University for 23 years. The WV ATC continues to implement a service delivery model for West Virginia families of children with autism spectrum disorders that incorporates a positive behavior support approach. Dr. Becker-Cottrill was a key developer of this model, entitled “Family Focus Positive Behavior Support.” She has served as the principal investigator for the West Virginia Autism Monitoring Project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a co-founder/developer of the College Program for Students with Asperger Syndrome at Marshall University. Dr. Becker-Cottrill is a co-author of the book Autism Spectrum Didorder: A Primer for Educators.

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Andres Filippi

Andres Filippi is a program manager with expertise in business transformational change, strategic planning, developing program management capabilities for IT capital investment portfolios, and enterprise integration for large scale systems utilizing multi-tier architectures. As a nonprofit, MITRE operates federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) in strategic partnership with government agencies. Andres currently is a Enterprise Services Program Manager for the Center for Veterans Enterprise Transformation (CVET), U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs where he directs a cadre of senior information system technologists, management advisors, and subject matter experts providing strategy, program management, systems engineering, organization transformation and thought leadership to senior VA executives implementing VA Enterprise Transformation programs and Major Initiatives. He previously held a position at the Center for Enterprise Modernization where he was responsible for improving federal agency programs focused on stability of the financial services industry, security, transparency, taxation, revenue and effective use of federal resources.

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Benjamin E. Hodgin

Ben Hodgin is a mortgage banking professional. He has over 30 years residential mortgage banking and financial services experience. Ben is currently a Vice President – Mortgage Production Manager with Regions Bank in Indianapolis, IN.

Ben and his wife Beth live in Noblesville, IN. They have a son, Ben William (BW), who is challenged with ASD and is transitioning into early adulthood. Ben William has received the Autism Society’s – Self-Advocate of the Year Award. In addition, the Autism Society’s – Friendship Award, honoring a shining example of a friendship between an individual with ASD and an individual without autism, was named in the honor of Ben William and his friend professional race car driver Bryan Clauson. Tragically, Bryan was fatally injured in a racing accident on August 7, 2016 and is forever missed.

The Hodgin and Clauson families have continued to work together promoting support, awareness and acceptance for transitional adults challenged with autism. These efforts have been focused on fund raising through an organization originally created by Bryan Clauson known as “Racers For Autism”.

Ben is a lifelong Hoosier and a proud graduate of DePauw University. His personal involvement with the Board of Directors is focused on assisting with fundraising efforts for the Autism Society and honoring the friendship without conditions forged by Bryan and Ben William.

LinkedIn Profile:

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John_HussmanJohn P. Hussman, Ph.D.

John P. Hussman, Ph.D., is one of the largest private funders of autism research in the country. Since the 1990s, John has helped to establish the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami, the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism at Towson University, projects on communication and inclusion at Syracuse University, and a major program to advance inclusive education in the Howard County Public School System. He established the Hussman Institute for Autism, located adjacent to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2014. As a researcher and advocate for autism, John has authored and co-authored research on the genetics and neuroscience of autism while encouraging an approach toward autism that embraces differences, presumes competence and emphasizes improving lives rather than finding “cures.” John is president of Hussman Strategic Advisors and Director of the Hussman Foundation.

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Kate Palmer

Kate Palmer is the President/CEO of GRASP, a non-profit organization providing services, programs and support to the ASD Community. Kate has worked with ASD individuals and families for 20+ years in academic, residential and therapeutic settings. Kate specializes in ASD women, trauma and PTSD, educational standards, and employment.


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William J. Parker

William J. Parker is the Chief Executive Officer of GrandView Asset Management, a firm which offers fee based money management headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The firm has been family run since 1962. William is also the Chief Executive Officer of GrandView 401k Advisors. Grandview 401k Advisors is an independent consulting firm that creates qualified and nonqualified retirement programs. GrandView 401k Advisors sets itself apart by educating the business owners as well as the employees so they may retire successfully.

With over three decades of experience, William Parker understands the gamut of investments, markets, and services that are available to help individuals, families, and businesses plan for their financial needs. He understands the various vehicles, both qualified and non-qualified, available to help businesses structure benefit plans in order to retain current employees as well as attract and recruit new employees. William Parker is also the creator of what is now know as the ABLE Account.

William served as the Mayor of Paxtang from 2000 to 2004. William is the host of an investment radio program on WHP-580 every Saturday morning from 6 to 7 am. William expanded to Clear Channels stations in both Harrisburg and the Lancaster market place in March of 2011.

He is the father of five children, three of whom are living with Fragile X and Autism. William Parker primarily concentrates his philanthropic efforts on children with disabilities. Demonstrating his commitment to give back, he has served on several national and regional boards including the MIND Institute at UC Davis (California) and The National Fragile X Foundation, and founded the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Philhaven. William also serves on the National Autism Society Board. In addition, he also advances the cause by working with officials at both the state and federal levels to increase funding for research and services on behalf of individuals with special needs.

William Parker and his wife, Deborah, reside in Palmyra, Pennsylvania with their children.

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Terry Murphy photo from LinkedInTerry Murphy

Terry Murphy is the founder  Monarch Teaching Technologies, the developer of VizZle® software for interactive visual learning for autism education. His company is an affiliate of the Monarch Center for Autism in Cleveland, a not-for-profit specialty charter school with more than 100 full-time pre-K-12 students with autism. Designed to bring the efficiencies of technology to special education classrooms, VizZle has been widely adopted by specialty schools, autism providers and public school systems. Previously, Terry founded three health-care companies and co-authored a book on collaboration strategies in health care published by the American Hospital Association. He received his MBA in finance and health services administration from Cornell University and serves on the Alumni Board of Advisors of Cornell University’s Sloan Graduate Program in Health Services. Terry resides in Cleveland, is father to 2 young adult children and brother to a 53 year old individual with autism who lives and works independently.

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Kristyn Roth

Kristyn Roth is President of The Roth Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that empowers and supports individuals with autism to fulfill their potential as meaningful, productive, and vibrant members in their communities. Specifically, the Foundation aims to support organizations focused on innovation within the workplace, employment opportunities, and independent living programs.

In 2016, Kristyn founded Make Waves, a DAF within The Roth Family Foundation, and strives to educate, engage the community, and fight social stigmas surrounding the autism community. She shares her story as a sibling advocate within the autism world, and hopes to inspire others to find their voice as well.

Kristyn is the Co-Founder & CMO of KoaWare, an easy-to-use website builder for Real Estate professionals. Originally from Boston, and a proud BC grad, she now lives in sunny Southern California chasing the endless summer.

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Pete Schwarz

Pete Schwarz is a Senior Manager and Environmental Engineer at GHD, an international engineering firm, and served as Tucson’s Branch Manager for over 10 years. Pete has over 20 years of experience serving a diverse range of clients in the areas of compliance, permitting, assessment, and remediation projects, but his expertise lies in managing EPA Superfund sites (>$20M cleanups), overseeing the assessment, design, operations, effectiveness, reporting, and assisting clients in negotiations with state and federal regulators.

Pete has been involved in board leadership positions at several Arizona non-profits for more than a decade, including a 3-year term as the Board President of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona. He accepted the 2016 Affiliate of the Year Award on behalf of the Southern Arizona affiliate. He enjoys hiking, skiing, all sports, and spending time with his teenage daughter and son.

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richard_wolf_smallRichard Wolf

Richard Wolf has been a USA TODAY reporter and editor for more than 25 years, specializing in government and domestic policy. He has covered the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary since 2012; he covered the White House during the Bush and Obama administrations; and he spent a decade reporting on Congress. His specialties have included the federal budget and economics, health care and welfare policy, state and local governments, and national politics. Before joining USA TODAY, he was a Washington correspondent for Gannett News Service and a reporter and editor at Gannett newspapers in New York. He and his wife, Mary, have two grown children, Jonathan and Julie.

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