Autism Deserves Equal Coverage Foundation
Kristin is a founding member and has served on the Steering Committee of the Alliance of California Autism Organizations (ACAO) since its inception in 2008. ACAO represents more than 40 autism organizations around the state. Kristin has served as the statewide Advocacy or Policy Chair for Autism Speaks since 2007. She is a Council Member on the Statewide Coordinating Council of the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders and Chair of its Bay Area Autism Regional Task-force (BAART). She also is a member of the Consumer Advisory Panel to the California Department of Insurance under Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. She has been featured as an autism insurance expert by many news organizations, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, KQED, KGO, ABC, NBC and Fox News.
Kristin received an AB from Dartmouth College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar. After starting her career as a management consultant at Bain & Company and McKinsey and Company, she has spent her career in health care marketing, with a specialty in health insurance reimbursement. She held various marketing, sales, executive and consulting positions at several medical device and pharmaceutical companies such as Heartport, Cardiogenesis, Guidant, and Threshhold Pharmaceuticals. Select accomplishments include securing FDA approval for a novel medical device, establishing a national Medicare coverage policy for a new medical procedure, and coordinating publications in major medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine.
Kevin Epstein: Board of Directors and Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Epstein is a Silicon Valley marketing executive with several technology patents in his name, founding experience at three successful small-business retail ventures, and almost two decades of subsequent experience in guerrilla marketing tactics at such software industry high-flyers as Netscape, RealNetworks, Inktomi, and VMware. Kevin also holds an undergraduate degree in high-energy nuclear physics from Brown University, an MBA from Stanford, where he teaches the occasional course, authored Entrepreneur Magazine's book "Marketing Made Easy", and serves as an outside advisor to various venture-backed and individual entrepreneurial start-up companies.
Kathleen M. Berry: Board of Directors and Secretary
Kathleen has been an active volunteer for the autism community for more than 15 years. In 1996 she joined FEAT as a Director. She became a Vice President in 1998 and has served in various Officer and VP roles since then most recently VP & CFO for the last 5 years. Through FEAT she has worked on teams that have raised significant amounts of money for the community, run parent conferences for thousands of parents and professionals, educated hundreds of parent mentors, and provided collective and individual advocacy services to the community. Since 2001 she has served on the Steering Committee of the UC Davis Center for Children Environmental Health (CCEH). She is a member of CCEH Community Outreach and Translation Corps for both the CHARGE and MARBLES studies and is a Community Advisor for the EARLI (Early Autism Rick Longitudinal Investigation) network through the NIH Autism Centers of Excellence Program at Drexel University. Kathleen has been a member of the Sacramento Autism Regional Taskforce (SART) under the Senate Select Committee on Autism since 2009. Kathleen Participated with DDS in Development of ASD Guidelines for Effective Interventions in 2006-2009 and served on Stakeholder groups for the Department of Developmental Services budget process in 2009 and 2011. Kathleen was a panelist for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee in Washington DC in 2002. A Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was recently presented to Kathleen to honor her being a recipient of the 2012 Hero Award for the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Sally Brammell is the mother of a 12- year old son with autism and a 15-year old daughter. She left her career as an attorney specializing in capital markets transactions in Silicon Valley in 2007 to seek diagnosis and treatment for her then undiagnosed son. Sally joined ADEC as an autism insurance advocate in 2010 after having spent years fighting for insurance coverage for her own child's occupational, speech and ABA therapies and experiencing the difficulty that all parents of children on the autism spectrum confront in obtaining medically necessary services for their children. Sally worked for ADEC through the end of 2012, reentered corporate law as an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission and now is Corporate Counsel for Hyperion Therapeutics. Sally holds a J.D. from Tulane Law School and an A.B. from Brown University.
Dr. Lynn Koegel and her husband are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment which focuses on motivation and have published many articles and books together on that topic, including the PRT Pocket Guide in 2012. They were the recipients of the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for “Brightening the Lives of Children” and the first annual Autism Speaks award for “Science and Research.” Their work has been featured on NBC, CBS, PBS, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, Newsweek, Parents Magazine, Psychology Today, and many others. In addition, Dr. Lynn Koegel appeared on ABC’s hit show “Supernanny” working with a child with autism. The University of California, Santa Barbara received a $2.35 million gift to expand the physical space of the Center, which was renamed the Koegel Autism Center in recognition of the Koegel’s work on behalf of children with autism and a large gift from the Eli and Edythe Broad foundation to start a Center for Asperger’s Research, which is now part of the Koegel Autism Center.
Areva Martin, Esq. is a nationally recognized children and women’s rights advocate, autism spokesperson, media personality and attorney. She is the founder and President of Special Needs Network, Inc., a Los Angeles based non-profit organization created specifically to raise awareness of issues that impact individuals with autism and related disabilities living in underserved and marginalized communities and the managing partner of Martin & Martin, LLP, one of LA’s largest African-American owned law firms.
Under her leadership, Special Needs Network has become the “go-to” autism advocacy and service organization in Los Angeles. Whether it’s testifying before legislators in
Sacramento, leading a rally of activists or giving one-on-one counseling to parents, Areva has gained a national reputation for action and results. Under her leadership, SNN has provided services to more than 30,000 families and has been instrumental in key autism legislation including California Senate Bill 946, which requires private health insurance companies to cover autism therapies. An out-spoken advocate for children and families, Areva has raised millions of dollars for Special Needs Network. She also donates thousands of hours each year to SNN and other nonprofit organizations around the country.
Areva uses her media platform to raise awareness and to impact policies for the disabilities community. You can frequently see her on national news and talk shows
providing concrete information on developmental warning signs, accessing services and becoming an effective advocate. Areva also uses her legal background and experience representing individuals in civil and disability rights actions to help families learn to navigate the complex systems of care for autism services.
The mother of a son with autism, working on behalf of families is personal for Areva. She knows the value of early identification and intervention as she watched her son, Marty, blossom and make incredible strives although he didn’t talk until he was four years old. Areva believes every child, regardless of their socio-economic status, race or ethnicity, is entitled to the same quality care that her son received, and she is on a mission to make that a reality! Areva and her son, Marty, are featured in the June 2014 Summer Edition of Ebony Magazine in an article on autism advocacy. !
Areva shares her story as a mother of an autistic child and her legal expertise in her second book, The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism and Other Special Needs. (Penguin 2010). What critics call the most comprehensive and compelling book to date addressing the issues of the special needs community and the importance of advocacy in this country, The Everyday Advocate soared to the top of Amazon’s best seller list upon its release. Her first book, Journey to the Top, is a popular career guide for professional women. !
A longtime advocate for children with disabilities, Rachel Norton served as an administrator and case manager for Autism Deserves Equal Coverage from early 2011 through mid-2013. She began her career as an editor and writer, and has worked at The New York Times, Reuters, CNET: The Computer Network and FORA.tv. She helped found the Autism Speaks Bay Area Advocacy Group with Kristin Jacobson in 2006, and has been an active volunteer in the San Francisco public schools, where she served two years as a member of the district’s Community Advisory Committee for Special Education. She was elected to the San Francisco Board of Education in November 2008 and re-elected in November 2012, and November 2016. Currently Rachel is the Communications Director for San Francisco Parks Alliance.
Martin E. Glasser MD is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Dr. Glasser completed his Fellowship in Mental Retardation and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA. He subsequently served as the Director of the Child Study Unit at UCSF and was the Director of the training program for Developmental Pediatrics and the Division of Behavioral Pediatrics at UCSF.
He began his career in Managed Care by serving as a Medical Director for CHAMPUS/TRICARE and subsequently served as an Associate Corporate Medical Director for Aetna, a VP of Magellan Behavioral Health and as a Medical Director for Blue Cross of California for National Accounts.
His experience with working with children and families with Autism started by his participation in the creation of the first Autism special education classroom in California for Autistic youth. He has served as an advocate for parents with the school system in California. He has been in the private practice of assessment and treatment for children with ASD since 1974.
Dr. Glasser was recently a member of the Governor’s Task Force for the development of guidelines for the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum disorders.
Dr. Glasser currently is the medical director for C.A.R.E.S. (Children with Autism, Research, Education and Services) in San Diego and oversees the Psychiatric Care for the Intensive Outpatient Program at C.A.R.E.S.
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Kristin Jacobson, Founder, President and Executive Director (650) 260-5305
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