Meet the SPAN Staff

We Live What We Do!

SPAN’s staff members don’t just work here—about 70% of our employees first received support for their children through SPAN workshops, trainings, conferences, and other events before coming to work with us. Many started as SPAN Resource Parent (SRP) volunteers before becoming part- or full-time employees. So when families call on SPAN for help, they can know they are working with people who not only care, but who have “been there” and have the desire to help others as they were once helped themselves.

Executive Co-Directors

Diana Autin

Diana Autin

Executive Co-Director for Health & Family Support

Diana is an attorney who has used her legal knowledge to help train and support parents and parent leaders as advocates for their children and families as they navigate the education, health, mental health, child welfare, and other systems. Diana brings the voices of parents, families, and communities to the table on a number of state and national advisory committees on health and education. Diana is a graduate of University of Michigan Law School and studied economic development and management/ organizational leadership at Columbia University as a Revson Fellow. Diana has participated in several national leadership programs including serving as an Advocacy Institute Senior Leadership Fellow. She is the adoptive mother of four children, from diverse cultures, and also a proud grandmother. A Cajun and Native American, Diana is deeply committed to cultural reciprocity and language access.

Debra JenningsDebra Jennings

Executive Co-Director for National Projects & Parent Leadership Development

Debra leads SPAN’s national efforts promoting the capacities of the approximately 100 Parent Training & Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) assisting families with children with disabilities in each state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and Palau. These projects provide Parent Centers with the information and materials that support their individual parent advocacy efforts and systemic improvement activities across disabilities and across age spans from birth to 26. Debra’s experience as an advocate and leader includes organizing and supporting grassroots parent advocacy organizations and efforts around general and special education issues. She joined SPAN in 1997 to lead its “Parents Engaged in Public Policy Project.” On several state and national advisory committees, Debra is committed to ensuring that the voices of parents/families and communities representing the diversity of the state and nation are not left out of discussions of policies and practices impacting children and families. Debra is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Economics and has completed coursework in business, finance, public administration, and nonprofit management at the Kellogg School of Management and Seton Hall University Center for Public Service. Debra’s eclectic professional experience prior to joining SPAN in 1997 includes construction, economic development, finance, and constituent affairs. Debra also served on a local school board. She is the mom of two adult daughters, one of whom received special education services and the other who participated in Title I Basic Skills. Both are college graduates. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a middle school administrator.

Management Team

Carolyn Hayer

Director of Parent & Professional Development

Peg Kinsell

Director of SPAN Public Policy

Roy Maynard

Fiscal Manager

Al Pelham

Director of Human Resources

Support Team

Ayo Bajomo

Executive Assistant

Melvina Baskerville

Intake Coordinator

Ivor Knight

Fiscal Coordinator

Rosslin Mensah-Boateng

Administrative Assistant

Maria Rodriguez

Administrative Assistant

Joyce Sykes

Office Assistant

Family Resource Specialists

Heroina Beras

Spanish Language Family Resource Specialist
Warmline Support-Statewide

Wendy Broadbent

Family Resource Specialist-Bergen County
Warmline Support-Statewide

Jaya George

Family Resource Specialist,
Family WRAP: Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Warren Counties
FASD

Garima Jain

Multilingual Family Resource Specialist,
Family WRAP: Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean Counties

Janet Martinez

Bilingual Family Resource Specialist,
Family WRAP: Atlantic, Cape May, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem Counties

Sharon Melahn

Family Resource Specialist,
FASD Prevention

Ewelina Mickiewicz-Szram

Family Resource Specialist-Burlington County
Warmline Support-Statewide

Donna Milanowycz

Family Resource Specialist-Ocean County
Warmline Support-Statewide

Geraldine Moore-Neill

Family Resource Specialist
Child Welfare Family Advocacy Program-Essex County
Warmline Support-Statewide

Patricia Paraskevacos

Family Resource Specialist
Warmline Support-Statewide

Kim Rivers

Family Resource Specialist
Warmline Support-Statewide

Lola Sims

Family Resource Specialist
Autism Medical Home-Hackensack University Medical Center

Henry Tejada

Bilingual Family Resource Specialist, Family WRAP: Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Union Counties
Warmline Support-Statewide

Cathy Waldron Balto

Family Resource Specialist-Monmouth County
Warmline Support-Statewide

Health & Family Support

Jeanne McMahon

Director of Health & Family Support Programs

Pamela Aasen

Director of EHDI Mentoring & Family Engagement

Lauren Agoratus

State Coordinator of Family Voices NJ

Connor Ames

Snapshots Deaf Mentor Coordinator

Alyssa Buchholz

NJ Deaf Mentor Program Coordinator

Kasey Dudley

Regional Coordinator, Family to Family Health Information Center

Rachel Jean

Community Doula Liaison

Shirley Johnson

Northern Project Coordinator-Essex Family WRAP

Arelis Martinez

Community Doula Project Assistant

Michele Puzio

Northwest Regional Associate, Parent to Parent

Rachel Ruel

Director, Sister to Sister Community Doulas of Essex County

Deepa Srinivasavaradan

Southern Regoinal Coordinator, Family-to-Family Health Information Center

Early Childhood & Education

Including Special Education and Bilingual Education

Myriam Alizo

Resource & Product Coordinator

Stefanie Babits

Parent Group Specialist-Middlesex, Monmouth, Union, Ocean

Josie Badger

Co-Director, National RAISE Center

Denise Bouyer-Hargrove

Director of NJ Inclusive Child Care Project

Tatsiana DaGrosa

Co-Director of START-EPSD–Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland

Kathy Demarco

Early Childhood Inclusion Coordinator-Middle

Maria Docherty

Director of Technical Assistance

Monique Dujue

Parent Group Specialist-Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Somerset, Warren

Debbie Esposito

Co-Director of START-EPSD–Camden, Gloucester, Salem

Nicole Harris

Early Childhood Inclusion Coordinator, NJ Inclusive Child Care Project

Jamirah Heyward

Early Childhood Inclusion Coordinator, NJ Inclusive Child Care Project

Jeannette Mejias

Director, Special Education Volunteer Advocates (SEVA)

Sharon Melahn

Program Coordinator-NJLEND

Dawn Monaco

Co-Director, REACH for Transition

Fanny Ochoa

Parent Group Specialist-Bergen, Essex, Sussex

Nicole Pratt

Coordinator, FASD Project/Trainer

Kim Rivers

Technical Information Specialist/Essex Family Resource Specialist

Erin Seigh

Transition Coordinator

Michele Tyler

Parent Group Specialist & Literacy Coordinator

Jessica Wilson

Director of Communication & Dissemination

Meet Our Board Members

OFFICERS


 

John Pennett

Board President

Partner
EisnerAmper LLP

John Morel

Board Secretary-Treasurer

Vice President, Strategic Business Development
Berkley Life Sciences, a Berkley Company

Barbara Glazewski

Former Professor
Kean University
Former Coordinator
Graduate Speech Pathology Program

BOARD MEMBERS


 

Kaleena Katea Berryman

Director, Abbott Leadership Institute
Rutgers University–Newark

Nekia Lewis

Program Manager, Global Health and Wellness Strategy
Verizon

Nancy Romanyshyn

Director, Talent & Rewards (HR)
Willis, Towers, Watson

Alia Suqi

Owner
Next Wave Web Graphics/Printing

Elizabeth Shea, Esq.

Of Counsel & Vice-President
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman PC

Diana Autin & Debra Jennings

Executive Co-Directors
SPAN Parent Advocacy Network