Amanda is originally from Philadelphia, PA and currently resides in the Jacksonville, FL area. She graduated from Auburn University in 2009 with her Master of Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities. She became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2009. She has worked with young children, adolescents, and adults with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Amanda has experience working across clinic, in home, community, and school settings. Prior to opening Anchors Aweigh ABA LLC, she served as a Clinical Director providing early intensive behavior analytic therapy, supervision, and parent training. Her areas of expertise include sleeping interventions, problem behavior reduction, treating food selectivity, and functional communication training.
Kristie Thompson joined Optum in December 2008 and was initially hired as an autism care advocate on the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) team. This was a clinical position where she was responsible for completing utilization management reviews with various ABA agencies that were looking to receive an authorization for ABA services. Additionally, Dr. Thompson provided referrals and was a resource to families looking for assistance in locating all available supports that were geared towards individuals on the autism spectrum. After almost 10 years, she moved to the Practice Management team where Dr. Thompson educated providers on Optum’s clinical guidelines and documentation expectations as outlined in their network contract. After a year, she became a team lead and split her time between working with ABA providers and the other areas of Practice Management such as the outpatient team, public sector team, and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) team. Additionally, Dr. Thompson helped train and manage the practice coordinators who were instrumental to the flow of the team. In November 2020, Dr. Thompson became a Clinical Program Manager for up to 20 master’s-level clinicians who were hired in the care advocate position she once held at the beginning of her tenure at Optum. After almost two years as a clinical manager, Dr. Thompson moved to the national implementation team where she currently works to disseminate coverage standards and guidelines to the various UM teams (e.g., IOP, ABA, etc.) for new or expanding business. Dr. Thompson is a Licensed Psychologist in North Carolina and Virginia and a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has a background in providing ABA-based treatment to families and individuals on the autism spectrum both in-home and center-based, conducting training, and public speaking. Dr. Thompson received her bachelor’s from Western Michigan University, Master’s, and Ph.D., from the University of Kansas and is a diehard Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan. Dr. Thompson is married and has two children, Jack, aged 17 and Julia, aged 14. She foster cats and volunteers at a local animal adoption and rescue foundation (AARF) in her spare time.
Behavior Technician Intern, Center of Development Pediatric Therapies
Vandyck Adade-Yeboah, EdS, MEd, RBT graduated from East Tennessee State University in 2020 with a master’s in special education. In 2022, he graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a degree of Specialist in Education with a major in Curriculum and Instruction. Vandyck is currently in the Applied Behavior Analysis doctoral program at Tennessee Tech. Alongside being in the doctoral program, he is working towards the goal of becoming a certified Behavior Analyst. Vandyck is currently employed as a Behavior Technician with the Center of Development Pediatrics Therapies in Cookeville, TN. He is passionate about creating learning opportunities to help every child achieve their unique goals and providing support to their families.
Adrienne Bradley is Board Certified Behavior Analyst, graduate school professor, and a Behavior Analyst on a mission to promote Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to underserved communities. She graduated from Central Michigan University, in 2014 with a Bachelors in Exercise Science, and a minor in Psychology where she developed an interest in human behavior. It wasn’t until after her matriculation that she found a dire need to serve students with an Autism diagnosis in the public school system. This is where her love for ABA began. She later graduated from Wayne State University with a Master’s in Education Psychology, and a concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis. With her extensive experience working with children and adolescents within the home, school, and clinic settings, she has garnered a commitment to ethical leadership and high-quality therapeutic and parent services. She is a highly regarded speaker, focusing on using Acceptance and Commitment training within parent sessions and Leadership development. Additionally, Adrienne serves as the past President and current Partnership Liaison for Black Applied Behavior Analysts, Inc, an organization that empowers the Black ABA community through a variety of different avenues. Adrienne also has passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within ABA. She is the host of Shades of ABA, a podcast centering tough conversations to foster change and growth. She engages in equity and inclusion research practices, serving as a research consultant for the Michigan Interagency Coordinating Council which aims to reduce barriers to accessing ABA services in the state of Michigan through the development and implementation of a statewide, comprehensive, multidisciplinary system to provide early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. She is a master collaborator and bridge connector, using empathy and understanding to foster relationships with the purpose of advancing the science of ABA.
Jennifer Castellanos-Bonow earned her PhD in Behavior Analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), an experience that laid the foundation for her work with children with autism and other behavioral disorders. Jen has extensive experience leading clinical initiatives, designing training programs, maintaining best practices in the delivery of behavioral and psychological services, and developing and managing processes to support ethical and compliant service delivery. After serving for several years as the clinical director for Blueprints, based in Bellevue, WA, in 2019 Jen transitioned back to her hometown of Reno, Nevada. In partnership with a group of behavior analysts, she established The Learning Consultants which aims to provide behavioral support and services to children with autism and parents and families facing acute behavioral challenges. Jen serves as the managing partner and CEO, applying her experience administering performance management systems, designing processes and implementation planning, navigating healthcare funding of behavioral services, and developing and maintaining policies and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance. She is also actively involved in the behavior analytic community, serving as a past President of the Nevada Association for Behavior Analysis and current chair of the Practice Committee, and volunteering as a subject matter expert for the BACB. While her roots are in early intervention, Jennifer’s foundation from UNR and recent work have provided her with wide-ranging experiences applying the science of behavior.
Francesca graduated from Arizona State University with an M.Ed. in Applied Behavior Analysis, completed her practicum at UW, and became a BCBA in May of 2018. Prior to this, she spent several years in the ABA field as behavior therapist. During this time, she had the great fortune of working with families of different backgrounds, on a variety of different skills. In spring of 2018, she joined Yev Veverka of Mealtime Matters and ultimately assisted her in starting Prism Behavioral Consulting. Today, Francesca enjoys working directly with clients and their families in homes, schools, and in the community. Collaborating with other professionals, like teachers, SLPs, and OTs, to provide comprehensive services to clients is also a passion of hers. She has also had the pleasure of working with graduate students in the UW ABA program as a practicum supervisor! Her primary goal for Prism is to provide quality care and to support families in supporting their neurodiverse children! Because all families are so different, Francesca strives to tailor support plans to each family’s specific needs, with their child’s individuality, interests, and autonomy in mind. Francesca also serves on the CASP Autism Commission on Quality (ACQ) Accreditation Board and the current President Elect for the Washington Association for Behavior Analysis (WABA). When she isn’t working, she enjoys lifting weights and spending time with husband and daughter.
Katie Dzurec is a Regulatory and Policy Engagement Specialist for Regulatory Insurance Advisors, LLC. She served as Assistant General Counsel for the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority and Senior Advisor to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner. For over a decade, Ms. Dzurec has helped lead efforts to address health coverage access and compliance issues. In addition, Ms. Dzurec has directed inter-agency and inter-state collaboration on mental health parity enforcement and compliance efforts. She is regarded as a subject matter expert in the areas of healthcare reform, mental health parity, and health market conduct examinations. She holds a B.A. degree in linguistics from the University of Oregon, a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Maine. She is currently engaged in coursework toward a Master of Laws in Insurance at the University of Connecticut.
Assistant Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Behavior Analysis Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Online Campus where she teaches graduate courses, provides academic advising and support to students, and mentors student research. As a behavior analyst and utilization review clinician, she served children and adults with autism and other disabilities in variety of capacities, always with an emphasis on stakeholder collaboration. Prior to her career in behavior analysis, Dr. Garcia was a social worker in the child welfare system supporting families with children at risk of out-of-home placement. Her professional experience has directly informed research interests, which include the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior, improving student learning outcomes in online higher education, and addressing social issues, specifically in maternal-infant health and child welfare. All her work incorporates consideration for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and trauma-informed practices.
Chief Clinical and Administrative Officer, Blue Sprig Pediatrics, Inc.
As Chief Administrative and Clinical Officer of BlueSprig, Dr. Sharyn Kerr is passionate about providing unparalleled compassionate care, exceptional quality, and greater access to care for families and children impacted by autism. Dr. Kerr has more than 25 years of international experience in academic institutions and large, multi-site organizations working in autism and ABA. She has earned academic scholarships, honors, and multiple degrees from one of Australia’s elite and internationally recognized research universities. As a licensed child psychologist who holds a BCBA-D and an MBA, Dr. Kerr understands how to design and implement clinically excellent treatment programs with operational efficiency. Dr. Kerr is also a passionate educator, participating in the education of a new generation of BCBAs by teaching ethics classes at several post-graduate academic institutions. She also serves on the board of multiple international schools where she lends her corporate and educational experience to the non-profit education sector.
Director of Payer Relations, Easterseals Southern California
Ronald Moreno, M.A., BCBA, has been in the field of applied behavior analysis for 15 years. He has experience working with individuals from all ages and diagnoses in a variety of settings. He has done several presentations at state and national conferences on a variety of topics such as verbal behavior, safety skills, complex emotions, joint control, and crisis intervention teams. He takes a special interest in remaining up to date with changes in insurance laws and regulations for ABA services, organizational behavior management, and complex verbal behavior. He is currently the Director of Payer Relations at Easterseals Southern California. Prior to his work with Easterseals, Ronald was the Assistant Director at Center for Behavioral Sciences, an ABA provider with over 100 employees throughout California that was acquired by Easterseals in 2019.
Managing Director / Clinical Quality and Compliance, Intercare Therapy
Hannah Stauffer, MA, BCBA, COBA, is a behavior analyst with a passion for preserving the integrity and longevity of our field through the intersection of clinical quality and compliance. She graduated from Ball State University with a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis and was fortunate to gain experience as a behavior technician and BCaBA prior to becoming a BCBA. After holding a variety of clinical leadership roles in various states, she developed a particular interest in compliance work and found a “niche” in helping bridge the clinical and operational worlds. In addition to her current work as the Managing Director of Clinical Quality and Compliance with Intercare Therapy, Hannah serves as the Program Chair for the Ohio Association for Behavior Analysis and the Compliance Section co-chair with the Council of Autism Service Providers.
Dr. Bridget Taylor is co-founder and CEO of Alpine Learning Group and is Senior Clinical Advisor for Rethink Behavioral Health. Dr. Taylor has specialized in the education of children with Autism for over 30 years. She holds a Doctor of Psychology from Rutgers University, and received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Columbia University. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Taylor is past president of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and past Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She currently serves on the board of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (SEAB). Active in the Autism research community, Dr. Taylor has published numerous peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters, on innovative practices to improve the lives of individuals with autism. Her most recent work explores compassionate relationship-building with families in the provision of clinical services to individuals with autism. Dr. Taylor has been recognized by the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis International for her outstanding contributions and received ABAI’s Fellow designation.
Associate Professor of Communication Studies & Interim Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning, Marshall University
Jill C. Underhill serves on the ACQ as a parent representative. Jill’s introduction to autism occurred when her son Riley, now 9, was diagnosed. Riley has received Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services since he was 2.5 years old, and Jill has seen the transformative effects that high-quality, evidence-based services can have on the trajectory of a child’s life. Jill is also an Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Director of the Writing Across the Curriculum program, and Interim Assistant Director for the Center for Teaching & Learning at Marshall University. She serves on the West Virginia Autism Training Center Advisory Board, currently chairs the National Communication Association’s Disability Issues Caucus, and is the incoming Board President for CARES-Community Autism Resources & Education Systems.
Director of Client Services, Autism Partnership, LLC
Andi Waks is the Director of Client Services at Autism Partnership. She began working with children with autism spectrum disorder in the late 1970s at UCLA on the Young Autism Project, where she served as a Senior Therapist, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant. Andi has worked with Drs. Leaf and McEachin on the Young Autism Project, the Behavior Therapy and Learning Center, Straight Talk, and Autism Partnership. She earned her master’s degree in General Psychology at Pepperdine University and returned to school to pursue a law degree. She practiced special education law, representing families of children with ASD, before returning to Autism Partnership full-time. She consults with families and school districts both locally and nationally and currently serves on the Board of Autism Partnership Foundation.
Executive Director, The Autism Community Therapists
Cory Whelan, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, CCC-SLP serves as a Lead Consultant at FTF Behavioral Consulting and as the Executive Director at TACT where he works to build capacity among behavior analysts and technicians who provide high-quality ABA services to children and adults with autism. He oversees the clinical, operations, and professional development departments. Dr. Whelan is passionate about the delivery of compassionate ABA services and making meaningful differences. His research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, training staff to implement Practical Functional Assessments and Skills-Based Treatments, and evaluating strategies for delivering effective services that result in long-term, generalized effects. His research has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Child and Family Behavior Therapy.