Colleen Allen, President and CEO
Colleen was instrumental in drafting and supporting the autism legislation bills that became law in March. She provided expert testimony during legislative hearings and is now following through on the implementation of the service model for the insurance benefit. She maintains oversight of the Michigan Autism Safety initiative which has resulted in thousands of Michigan law enforcement, fire/rescue/EMS, educators, community members, and families being trained in autism safety. Colleen is also facilitating the creation of the Autism Navigator program that is currently being developed to support families maneuver services in Michigan. Additionally, she is a part of the team advising on the Michigan State ASD Plan, oversees the AAoM Advisory Committee, administered the very successful First Annual Autism Gala, and has been responsible for developing vital relationships and partnerships on behalf of AAoM throughout Michigan and the U.S.
She joins AAoM after being employed at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) where most recently she was the founder and Director of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Pediatrics. Additionally, she was a Senior Staff Speech-Language Pathologist, Division of Speech-Language Science & Disorders, and Department of Neurology at HFHS. She also serves as adjunct faculty to Oakland University and Wayne State University. She has developed numerous programs around autism diagnosis, given multiple workshops and trainings, and is recognized as an autism expert who is highly sought out in our state.
Colleen is married to Wayne County Circuit Court judge David Allen and they have three sons, Thomas, Joseph, and Francis.
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Stacie Rulison, Operations Director
After working in for EDS/HP for over 20 years, and most recently as a global delivery leader, Stacie decided to pursue a career in the field of autism. Witnessing the “miracle” of ABA with their son (diagnosed with classic autism at 3 years) it became the catalyst for this new direction. This coupled with the frustration of finding adequate cross-discipline supports and access to the needed evidence-based treatment, no infrastructure in Michigan to support families and children with ASD, and seeing other family’s struggle with similar issues, she developed a vision and passion for making positive change for families in Michigan affected by autism.
Previously attaining a master’s in business, in 2011 Stacie finished a master’s degree in education with a major in special education and a focus in autism consultation and applied behavior analysis. She is also completing the field hours for the Board Certification Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential. She plans to sit for the exam by winter 2013. Stacie oversees operations at AAoM, publishing the monthly e-newsletter, coordinating administrative and organizational activities, leading the statewide autism safety initiative, working on the autism insurance benefit and advocating for the recently passed autism insurance bills; and presenting on autism topics at numerous conferences and workshops across Michigan.
Stacie worked on the development committee for the Michigan Autism Sate Plan; serves on the Central Michigan Autism Collaborative (CMAC) as part of the STatewide Autism and Resources Training (START) project; designed the AMCHP grant’s Birth-6 year old Autism Spectrum Disorder Roadmap (published by the DDI at Wayne State University) and served on that development committee; and is the Board Secretary for Mid-Michigan Autism Association. Stacie additionally serves on the Board of Education for her children’s school district and chairs the Michigan 4-H Horse Judge’s Advisory Committee for the State of Michigan.
Stacie lives in St. Johns, MI, just north of Lansing. She is married to Rob. Ryder is their 7-year old with ASD and is doing amazing across environments. He is in an integrated, mainstream classroom and thriving. Ryder has minimal supports in school—which was truly made possible by effectively implemented ABA and incorporating many behavior-based principles into their daily interactions at home with Ryder. They also have a 12-year old son, Mason—who is a fabulous brother to Ryder, excellent student, and loves all sports!
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Pat Kemp, Chief Development and Marketing Officer
Pat Kemp joined Autism Alliance of Michigan as Chief Marketing and Development Officer on March 25, 2013. He recently left Autism Speaks where he served as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Corporate Relations and Development after 3 ½ years to come home to Michigan and continue his advocacy efforts for individuals and families dealing with autism every day.
Pat has been involved with autism for 25 years. He served as the President of the Oakland County Autism Society and was a Board member the State of Michigan Autism Society. He was one of the founding Board members of Jack’s Place for Autism and has been very active in OUCares at Oakland University.
Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Pat enjoyed a successful marketing career at General Motors where he served in a number of executive positions. He was responsible for the General Motors sponsorship with the Bicentennial Olympics in Atlanta, as well as a multi-year multi-million dollar sponsorship with Disney. As Brand Manager of the Cadillac DeVille, Pat led the marketing efforts to reestablish Cadillac as a high demand luxury brand that brought substantial profits to GM.
At Autism Speaks, Pat led the efforts to implement the “Light It Up Blue” initiative. This has evolved to having landmarks and households turning the lights on blue throughout the world on World Autism Awareness Day each year. Pat was a zealot in building the Autism Speaks brand into the most recognized autism charity in the world. He also led the social media team that grew the Autism Speaks following to 3 million people during his tenure. Pat’s leadership enabled the Autism Speaks cross-functional fundraising team to more than double their revenues.
Pat is the father of Ryan, a 29 year-old man with autism; as well as a son Steven and a daughter Shawn. He lives in Clarkston and is committed to improving the lives of individuals with autism.
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Mary P. Sharp M.D., Development Officer
Dr. Sharp joined the Autism Alliance of Michigan after twenty years of advocacy at the grass roots level. She is a co-founder of the Mid-Michigan Autism Association. She has worked with her regional collaborative network of the START project for several years as well as serving on the development committee of the State ASD plan for the last 3 years. Her book, An Unexpected Joy, the story of her family’s adjustment to autism was published in 2003 by Pinion Press.
She is excited to help develop efficient humane multi disciplinary service systems that combine the scope of governmental human service agencies with the economies, relevance and flexibility of a non profit …truly the unprecedented collaboration… envisioned by the Autism Alliance founders.
She is enjoying watching her son Nic, 22 and on the spectrum trying to get his first date. She retired after 30 years of family practice in April 2012. She and her husband Dr. Rafael Javier live in East Lansing, Michigan.
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Rhonda Welday, Financial Director
Rhonda’s information will be coming soon!
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Suzi Macaluso, Operations Support Specialist
Suzi Macaluso joined the Autism Alliance of Michigan in July 2012 as the operations support specialist. She has a background in business, education, and non-profits and has excellent organizational skills and has a very diverse skill set. In the job of operations support specialist Suzi serves many roles. Suzi works with the coordination of safety trainings, has taken a lead role in planning AAOM’s 2013 gala, works with volunteers, and also serves as the office administrator. Suzi lives in Howell with her husband Pat. They have two daughters and 2 granddaughters.
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Ann Green, Website Design/Technical Specialist
Ann Green is responsible for providing technical support to the Autism Alliance of Michigan. Her responsibilities cover a variety of things, including enhancing the website, maintaining the resource directory, researching possible solutions for new projects and making recommendations for future enhancements.
Ann Green has a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Northern Iowa University. She worked at Electronic Data Systems for 14+ years supporting customers in both the insurance and manufacturing industries. Ann is returning to IT work after taking a hiatus to raise a family.
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Scott Schuelke, Safety Specialist
Scott’s information will be comng soon!
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Anthony Ianni, AAoM Anti-Bullying Public Awareness Advocate
AAOM feels so fortunate to have Anthony on board…and he is already making an impact on the autism community in Michigan. Anthony was diagnosed with autism at 4 years old while living in Ohio. At that time his parents were told by medical specialists and professionals that he would never be successful academically, that he would likely not graduate from high school much less go to college, and most likely would live in a group home in the future—and that being an athlete was out of the question. HE PROVED THEM WRONG! Anthony’s family relocated to mid-Michigan when he was a young child where he graduated from Okemos High School. He went on to graduate from Michigan State University in 2012 with a bachelor of arts in sociology. He is a former MSU basketball player for MSU and Tom Izzo and receiving an athletic scholarship in 2011-2012. He was a member of the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams in addition to being part of the 2010 Final Four Team. He is the 2011 MSU winner of the Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award Winner and 2012 MSU Unsung Player Award Winner. Anthony also played basketball at Grand Valley State University for 2 years prior to transferring to MSU and went undefeated in the regular season.
Although Anthony has many accomplishments in his life, it has required his hard work and committed parents. Anthony endured significant bullying as a child. He has also met a number of challenges along the way and continues to face obstacles—but is determined to overcome them. Anthony is scheduling speaking engagements with schools, state and national conferences, and other venues to deliver his message of hope, inspiration, and dedication. Anthony is extremely personable and immediately draws kids and adults alike to his message! Contact email@example.com to schedule Anthony for your event!