President: Patrick Boxall
Vice-President: Donald M. Barrick
Treasurer: James W. Curran, III
Secretary: Jennifer May
Immediate Past President: Theresa Ballinger
Theresa 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.
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.
Catherine Bedolla, member of the Howard County Economic Development Authority since 2013, works hard every day to support the businesses in Howard County as the organizations Director of Business Retention and Expansion. She actively serves on the ECP board of directors, was a Leadership Howard County 2018 Graduate, is a member of the BGE Community Advisory Committee, and volunteers in support of Howard County Library’s Choose Civility campaign. In 2016, Catherine was nominated by the community for distinguished recognition from Governor Hogan and Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman for her involvement in the response to the 2016 Ellicott City flood. Since then, Catherine continues to work with the businesses in Ellicott City to assist in their recovery.
Brad has worked in education for nearly twenty years as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. In addition to counseling at a Baltimore middle school, he currently is a mental health therapist in Columbia at Crossroads Psychological Associates. Brad has experience working with children who are on the autism spectrum and their families in both school and clinical settings. He lives in Columbia with his wife and daughter.
Originally 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.
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.
Originally from Liberia, West Africa, Jackie Robinson-Cooper resides in North Laurel, Maryland with her husband and 3 children, youngest daughter, who has Autism and is non verbal. Jackie is a Team Lead at Capital One Bank Call Center for 15 years, while also serving as a Membership committee member for Saints-Friskies Alumni Association. Fluent in French, Jackie appreciates diversity. Since joining the Howard County Autism Society, Jackie realized she has found her “comfort place,” where families from all backgrounds can come together and help each other navigate through the Autism world.
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.
Bio and photo coming soon!
Nora 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.
Bio and Photo coming soon!
Marianne is a long-time member of HCAS and previously served on the Board. Her daughter, Meaghan, is 20 and is on the spectrum. Meaghan is currently a super senior at Marriotts Ridge High School. Marianne is a veterinary epidemiologist. She serves as a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and is stationed at the FDA. She is dedicated to helping families and individuals find a sense of community and independence. Working with HCAS, Marianne championed the Sensory Friendly Films at AMC Theatres across the country. Marianne lives with her husband Rick, Meaghan, son Gavin, and her Dad Jim, in Sykesville.
Jennifer 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.
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.
Sabina 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.
I was born in Towson, Maryland on October 24th 1997 to my Argentine parents Roxana Caruso and Luis Tirigall. I am the descendant of Jose Marzano, a loyal best buddy of Jose De San Martin, the Liberator of Argentina, Peru, and Chile. I was the on camera talent for my father’s home videos. In middle school years and my freshman year or high school, I was bullied because of my achievements and because of my autism. This was a period of depression and sadness where I was suffering from constant bullying. These years were not nice for me. In high school, my life was changed when I joined Best Buddies. In August 2013, I joined the Reservoir High School chapter of Best Buddies to enrich my social skills. I graduated from Reservoir High School in 2016 and the rise of my leadership in the Best Buddies organization was born. In November 2016, I became the first and only member with autism of the Best Buddies Maryland Friendship Walk Committee. On March 7th 2017, I was compelled to speak alongside my mother, Dianne Nagel of Project Access, Kathy McSweeney, Director of HCC Disability Support Services and Melissa Rosenberg, Executive Director of HCAS discussing Autism in Howard County. I shared my inspiring journey to adulthood as a person with autism that was not always easy but continues to be flavored with humility and kindness. In July 2017, I traveled to Indiana for the Best Buddies Leadership Conference and talked briefly to Anthony K. Shriver, the Founder of Best Buddies International and the nephew of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. In December 2017, I became a Best Buddies Ambassador where I was trained by Amber Yates and Vince. 2018 was the year that I joined e-Buddies, the Best Buddies Jobs program, and the Best Buddies Alumni program. In 2019, I created the Best Buddies Maryland Ambassador Committee of which I am the Co-Chair. In addition, I received the 2019 Young Trailblazer Award from the Howard County NAACP and the Partners In Policymaking award from The Arc Maryland, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, and People On The Go.
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.
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. ”