Colleen Allen, President and CEO
Colleen Allen joined the Autism Alliance of Michigan on June 1, 2012 as their full time President and CEO after acting in this role on an interim capacity during 2011 and 2012.
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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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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Casey McFeely, Volunteer and Events Director
Casey’s information will be coming soon!
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Rhonda Welday, Financial Director
Rhonda’s information will be coming soon!
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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!