Providing Support
Promoting Awareness
Advocating for Change

Board of Directors

President: Theresa Ballinger

Vice-President: Patrick Boxall

Treasurer: Eric Cha

Secretary: Jennifer May

Immediate Past President: Roger E. Thibaudeau Jr.

Directors:

Theresa Ballinger

theresa_ballingerTheresa is a longtime member of HCAS. She is a CPA and MBA and brings accounting and auditing expertise to the Board’s finance committee. Theresa also helps the public relations committee with autism awareness activities. Theresa and her husband reside in Ellicott City with two sons. Her oldest is on the spectrum and currently attends Wilde Lake High School.

I believe it “takes a village” to raise a child and prepare them for life. This is especially important for children on the autism spectrum. What better place to garner that support than at the Howard County Autism Society where you can benefit from its collective past experiences and expertise; and, help others that may also be traveling on this journey.

Donald M. Barrick

Having done business in and around Howard County for more than 20 years, Don is well aware of the resources available in the area for the HCAS constituency.  He has been involved in Commercial Real Estate and Business Brokerage throughout that time, but his previous experience was in Health Care Management and Marketing. Don is attempting to bring all of that experience together in an effort to contribute in an aggressive manner, for the benefit of HCAS. 

My reason for becoming active with HCAS can be summed up by the words of American Philosopher, William James:  ‘Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. 
 

Patrick Boxall

patrick_boxallOriginally from the United Kingdom, Patrick has lived in the United States since 1985 and Howard County since 1997. Patrick’s two youngest sons are both on the spectrum and currently attend Glenelg High School. Patrick is VP & COO at KRA Corporation, a workforce development services firm based in Fulton. Patrick has been a board member since 2007. He currently serves as Chair of the Governance Committee.

I agreed to serve on the Board because I thought I could add value to theBoard’s activities, at the time in the area of overall organizational development and management. HCAS was and is important to me personally due to my two sons who have autism.

Eric Cha

Eric is the father of three boys, the oldest of whom is on the spectrum. Eric is a CFA charterholder and is employed as an equity analyst for Brown Advisory, a Baltimore-based financial services firm. He and his wife Kate have been Howard County residents since 2007 and HCAS members since 2011. Eric joined as a board member and treasurer in 2016. He is an avid pro football fan and enjoys playing basketball in his spare time.

There is a lack of awareness on two fronts. First, while autism awareness is growing, our experience suggests that the condition remains widely misunderstood. Second, many families with children who are on the spectrum are not fully aware of the support and resources available to them.  As a board member and treasurer, I hope to contribute to the Society’s continued financial management success and growth–critical to enabling the Society’s mission of serving individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, and raising overall awareness.

Alisa Kobrinetz Chernack

Alisa lives in Howard County and is a mother of two boys, one who has autism. She currently has a law firm located in Ellicott City, which concentrates in areas relating to the elderly and individuals with disabilities. She sought to serve on the HCAS Board to help families “navigate the maze” as Howard County children age out of the public school system. She has been a member of the HCAS for many years and looks forward to continuing her involvement as a board member.

I joined the HCAS board to help support the community members who share similar issues in raising children with autism. I am interested in providing more options for housing and awareness for community health providers as to how the meet the needs of our children with disabilities.

William “Bill” Cheuvront

Bill Cheuvront is a lieutenant in the Howard County Police Department and commander of the Operational Preparedness Division. He has served for more than 25 years in law enforcement. A former watch commander and sergeant in the Special Operations Division, he was directly involved in serving individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and co-occurring conditions. As the police department’s liaison to the autism community, Bill was trained on Project Lifesaver and subsequently managed the Rapid Return tracking program to assist those at greatest risk of wandering or elopement. In collaboration with HCAS, he developed Maryland’s first 911 Address Flagging Program for people with developmental disabilities, a program that has received statewide and national attention, and he continues to advise other agencies on the program’s implementation and management. Bill has served as a consultant to the Maryland Commission on Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, providing input on training materials for mandated recruit and veteran officer trainings. He is a member of the Crisis Intervention Team program within the Howard County Police Department and teaches the CIT and recruit courses on autism, as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. Bill is a member of Athletes Serving Athletes and volunteers his time with the Beyond the Badge Foundation. His significant other, Beth, has a young adult son with autism.

James W. Curran, III

Jim is a Certified Financial Planner who, with his partner, Monty Knittle, has a focus on Special Needs Financial Planning.  While he does not have a child with autism, he served as a trustee for a close friend’s Special Needs Trust.  He is also currently a board member of Make Studio, an art studio for adults and individuals in transition with autism.  Jim lives in Lutherville with his wife, Andi.  They have three grown children and two grandsons.

Having worked with families impacted by autism for over seven years, I’ve come to have a great admiration for them given the unique challenges they face.  My hope is with my background and experience, I can contribute to the wonderful work Howard County Autism Society is doing to enrich the individual families of our community.

Nora Hart

nora_hartNora is the mother of a son named Danny who has autism. As a member of the Howard County Autism Society, Nora has become familiar with the organization’s mission and her family has enjoyed participating in HCAS events. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mother, her work experience was as a fundraising and development professional for non-profit organizations. During her career, she worked at a teaching hospital, a think tank, and a historic home. Nora grew up in Montclair, New Jersey.

From my first monthly support group meeting, HCAS has provided support, education and understanding for not only me but my entire family. As a parent of a child with Autism, HCAS has helped me to advocate more effectively for my son. Serving on the HCAS board has empowered me to help not only my son but also other people with Autism.

Victoria Martin

Victoria Martin will graduate from Towson University in May 2017 with a major in Family and Human Services. She works with individuals with autism through various companies; Howard Country Recreation and Parks, Trellis, Richcroft, and Kennedy Krieger. Victoria has background in American Sign Language as well as supporting the Deaf community. She hopes to bring a unique perspective to the board through her experiences thus far as a student and exposure to people of different cultures. In her spare time she loves to read and spend time at the beach during the summer.

Tracy Miller

Bio coming soon.

Jennifer May

jenn_mayJennifer was raised in Howard County and now lives in Highland with her husband and two sons. Her older son is on the spectrum. She is a CPA and healthcare consultant. Jennifer enjoys travel, running and hiking, cooking and photography. She likes to attend Orioles, Ravens and UMD basketball games with her family.

HCAS fills a need for me as a parent to find acceptance and support. Raising a child on the spectrum is a challenge and sometimes you need to share and learn from others who truly understand. As a member of the HCAS board, I want to ensure that all parents have a nurturing environment available when they need it.

Erik Kristopher Myers

Erik Kristopher Myers is a filmmaker based out of Baltimore, MD, and an accomplished writer and film theorist. His first feature film, ROULETTE, is an award-winning thriller that was released in 2013. His follow-up, the faux-documentary horror film, BUTTERFLY KISSES, is currently touring the festival circuit, and is due to be released in the fall of 2018. In addition, Myers has been a popular online writer on the subjects of film and genre theory for over a decade.
Following his son’s diagnosis in 2014, Myers became actively involved in the autism community. He has mentored filmmakers on the spectrum, guiding them toward realizing their vision for receptive and inspired audiences. He has also been a volunteer for HCAS since 2015, MC-ing the 2017 One Step Closer Walk & 5K, and directing the 25th anniversary video retrospective.

Matthew Plantz


Hey, my name is Matthew Plantz. I’ve lived with autism for 36 years. I am currently living in a home supported by The Arc of Howard County. I have had the pleasure of serving on the Community Advisory Committee for Kennedy Krieger, the Commission for Disability Issus of Howard County (serving as chair for two years), and currently serve on the Board of Directors for People on the Go. I am honored to be on this board look forward to working with you the other members.

Sabina Sambat

sabina_sambatSabina lives in West Friendship with her husband and 2 boys, the older of which is on the spectrum. Trained at Johns Hopkins where she received her masters degree as a nurse practitioner, Sabina has taken a break from practice to advocate for her son and volunteer at his elementary school on a regular basis. She looks forward to continuing to work with the gala planning committee and further promoting HCAS.

The society is important to me as it provides a connection between parents (and families) in the same boat as I. It’s not just an emotional support, but it’s the sharing of information and the interest in helping each other. I so appreciate other parents who tell me what helped and what didn’t, what to pursue and what to push aside. I know I am that person too, and love that we can be a resource to one another.

Heather Stanley

Heather received her Undergraduate  Degree at Salisbury University and Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  She is a Maryland Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C) and Advanced Certified Autism Specialist (ACAS), working in her own private practice in Catonsville, Maryland.  Heather also lives in Catonsville with her husband and two sons.  Her 10 year old son was diagnosed with Epilepsy at 15 months and then Autism at the age of 3.  Her six year old son also has Epilepsy.  Heather has a particular interest in awareness and acceptance of Autism as well as how Autism affects family members.  In her spare time, Heather is an avid runner and Baltimore Ravens fan.

I hope to bring my personal and professional knowledge of Autism to the Howard County Autism Society.

Roger Thibaudeau

roger_thibedeau

Roger is an engineer originally from Dundalk, Maryland. Roger currently lives in Laurel with his wife and two sons, the youngest of whom is on the spectrum. When not shuttling the kids around to various activities, Roger enjoys running and playing softball as well as attending Ravens and WVU football games.

We were already living in Howard County when Ryan was diagnosed in 2005, and therefore were able to take advantage of the great resources available to us in large part through the work of HCAS and its advocacy in the school system. As a member of the board of directors, I want to help continue, and strengthen, the advocacy, education and support that HCAS brings to the community.

Mia Williams

Mia Williams is the mother of two sons, the oldest of whom is on the spectrum and is in high school. Mia works as an administrator in the Budget office of Howard County Government. She has served on the Parent Panel of Towson University’s Autism Education Series, as the Parent Liaison for Special Needs students at her son’s school, and is a strong advocate for her son. She became involved with HCAS through its Yoga Classes and Transition Symposium, then served as a volunteer on the Walk/5K Run Committee in 2017. Mia resides in Baltimore County and is very excited to serve on the board.

I look forward to improving the opportunities, rights and futures of individuals on the spectrum. I also look forward to connecting with other parents in the autism community to work with them in achieving the ever changing goals for our children.

Lisa Wilson

Lisa Wilson, RDH, MS Clinical Dental Hygienist originally hails from just outside the Boston area. She and her husband Stephen live in Fulton, Maryland and have two children. Their youngest son who is on the spectrum. Lisa is an avid runner and enjoys her career as a clinical dental hygienist at the University of Maryland. Lisa looks forward to increasing the community presence for the organization and creating meaningful opportunities for the youngest of our members. ”

Autism is my marathon; long and challenging. It allows you to reach deep inside and find the spaces that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It provides the opportunity of overcome and achieve. As with any race…. you plan, prepare, and pray for the best. Knowing all the while that it’s all about the journey.