Board of Directors
Stacey Hoaglund, President
Ven Sequenzia, President Emeritus
Currently, Ven is a board member of the Autism Society of Florida, Inc. (ASF), a statewide organization since 1998. He served as its president for 18 years. ASF focuses on advocacy, education and support for families that have children and adults on the autism spectrum; He was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorders from 2009 – 2010; Prior to ASF, Ven was president of the Autistic Child Advocates Association, Inc. a Miami-Dade based organization; He was instrumental in helping to expand the number of the Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities to South Florida and other parts of the state; He was president of the Autism Society of Miami-Dade county; Served on the UM CARD constituency board from 1997 to 2000; One of the founding trustees of Parent to Parent of Miami, Inc. an organization that started with 8 parents meeting in a home and has grown into the Parent Resource Center for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in Washington, DC,
Christine Goulbourne, Vice President
Christine is a parent of a child with autism and has served as an advocate for members of the disability community for over ten years. Christine believes firmly in increasing student achievement with effective parent involvement practices. Christine is the founder and blogger of Sensory Friends, Governor appointed member of the Florida Rehabilitation Council, Family Support Consultant for the Association for Positive Behavior Supports, and a member of the Florida ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Committee of Practitioners. Christine was selected by LATISM (Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media) as one of the Top Latina Digital Influencers for 2015.
Teresa Becerra, Executive Director
Teresa lives in Coconut Grove, Florida with her adult son Robert. She has three children Natalee (38), Karlee (37) and Robert Lee (22). Robert was diagnosed with Autism, Encephalopathy and Epilepsy at 21 months. Teresa is the current Executive Director of the Autism Society of Florida and she is the past President of the Autism Society of Miami-Dade.
She serves on the Florida International University Special Education Advisory Board, teaches at Florida Memorial College and is a contributing author of Embracing Autism. Teresa is an instructor with the Miami-Dade Crisis Intervention Team Training Program and to date has training over 6,000 Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, EMT’s, Search & Rescue and 911 Operators on how to respond to calls involving individuals with autism.
Jill Morrison, Secretary
Jill Morrison is a wife and mother of three including twin teenage boys with autism. She works as an independent contractor for Orange County Public Schools ESE Parent Support Team, providing training and support for families of OCPS students with disabilities. Jill also coordinates the annual PULSE Conference, free for families of students with disabilities. She enjoys equipping parents with information so they can become stronger advocates for their children and teach their children to become self-advocates. Jill has been the treasurer of the Autism Society of Florida for two years.
Robert Demaria, Treasurer
Autism Society of Fl. Past President-Autism Society-Miami Chapter Past Board Member-Miami Chapter Past Board Member CARD-NSU/Miami Co Chair. of the “Over 21 Club”, a social program for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Born July 8th, 1949 New York, New York Married to wife Nancy, Father of 3 Children -Christian– Age 39, Constance–Age 36, David-Age 34 Constance is on the Autism Spectrum. Home – Miami and Naples, Fl. Occupation – President and CEO of DHI/Mark Products– EST. 1966 Specializing in the sale, design, and installation of Laboratory and Educational Casework and equipment. Education – High School-Miami Coral Park High School Class of 1967 College-University of Florida in Gainesville-Class of 1971 Major Physical education Minor-History Other-Completed the Carpenter’s Union Apprentice Program-Class of 1976
John Miller was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1968. During his childhood he worked hard to overcome many academic and social obstacles. He decided to get a Master‘s in Special Education to help young people succeed academically and in life. During this period, he was diagnosed with autism, which answered many questions. For over a decade he has taught students with varying degrees of autism and settings. Beyond teaching, he has consulted, creating pragmatic and organizational programs for individuals with autism. For over a half a decade he has presented on a variety of topics that deal with pragmatics, inclusion, transition, among others, throughout the United States. Presently, he sits on the Florida Atlantic University CARD Constituency Committee. In September, he became a member of an education and programming committee with the Autism Society of America. In his book, Decoding Dating, John received the Dr. Temple Grandin Award for Outstanding Literary Work of the Year.
Kendra is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who has been working with individuals and families who have disabilities for over 20 years. During that time, she has been actively involved in the disability and autism communities; serving on many local and State boards, advocating for person-centered planning and services. Kendra has experience as an adjunct professor, teaching the “Sensitivity to Disability” course at Minnesota State University. She has extensive experience working with high school and college systems as a transition counselor, and also as a parent of a child with a disability. Being both a parent and a professional has given her the unique opportunity to learn the system(s) while advocating for individual’s needs and desires. Kendra provides disability advocacy and integration training for individuals as well as businesses with Aspire Advising, LLC.
Dr. Karlyn G. Emile
Dr. Emile currently serves as the Director of the Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community where she developed various programs to help promote the health and well-being of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). She pioneered Special Olympics Florida as a training ground for current health students who are interested in gaining experience in working with the IDD population. Dr. Emile has put forth noticeable efforts in planning and developing improvement programs for health issues faced by at-risk and affected community members.
Also as the current CEO of KGE Health and Wellness Services, Inc., she mentors and empowers others to take control of their own health by taking conscious steps to do so. Dr. Emile has coordinated and participated in several medical mission trips to Haiti with third year medical and public health students from FIU. She has implemented many health initiatives in small rural communities in Haiti, as well as conducted approved research study to identify risk factors for prevalent digestive and chronic conditions that were found in those areas. Dr. Emile has developed and published several scientific posters on the topic of health and well-being of individuals with IDD that have been shared at many national conferences.
Dr. Emile is a significant contributor to the community and as a woman, she has paved the way for the younger generation to come. She believes in making a difference in every situation that God places in her path.
Sandra is the proud parent of 13 year-old Kaia and 5 year-old Jaxon. Jaxon was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months. Sandra lives in the Melbourne area of Florida and is a member of the AAPC which has allowed her to work from home full time as a clinical investigator.
Kelly Busch is the mother of three children, two young adult daughters and a young teen son with with autism. She has held numerous committee positions including chairperson of the Broward County Autism Committee (ACE) for six years, Chairperson of Broward’s ESE Advisory Council, member of the BCPS Superintendent’s Roundtable, Best Practices for Inclusive Education Committee, Florida Developmental Disability Council’s Partners in Policymaking Committee and ESE Advisory representative for School Board member Robin Bartleman. She works with The Autism Notebook Magazine and co-founded FAN – Family Autism Network and Responding to Autism. Kelly has been an activist working to improve the lives of individuals with autism and providing resources, guidance and support for families in the state of Florida for the last decade.
Evangeline is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking. She leads a support group for parents of kids with special needs in Orlando. She is also on the school advisory board for Spring of Life ELC and formally for Moss Park Elementary School. Evangeline has worked for 15 years with Cru as a PR writer and is a former congressional intern. Most importantly, she is a mom and loves several wonderful people who have autism. Evangeline believes our communities are healthier and happier when everyone is included.