Board & Staff Info
Board of Directors
President & Medicaid Waiver Mentor
Theresa is a mother of 3 children, Lindsay, Grant and Izzy, Izzy has a DX of Autism. Theresa has been a member of the Society for 10 years either as a member of the board or executive board contributing in various committees within the organization and serves as a Medicaid Mentor for the area. Alongside of the Society, Theresa fulfills duties in special interest groups to ensure inclusion of the Autism community such as Medicaid Advocacy panels, Surfer’s Healing and Special Olympics, CHKD Care Connection Parents as Educators program, and facilities a once a month Coffee and Chat to give families an opportunity to discuss challenges with other families who have been through the same challenges.
I am honored to serve as the Treasurer of the Autism Society of America Tidewater chapter. In my day job, I am National Account Executive with Servicelink, a national title and settlement company. In my career, I have owned my company as well as served as President of one of the largest title agencies in the Hampton Roads area. I do have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Memphis. I have previously served on our Board of Directors from 1996 to 2007. With a desire to link adults with Autism to as many community supports and resource options as well as create opportunities and resources, I have decided to once again serve on the Board of Directors. I am a sleep deprived Mom of two children Zander and Maddie. I recently married PJ Hodgson who actively volunteers with me. Zander is on the autism spectrum, nonverbal, limited signs and other medical diagnosis. Our family and the Z team are attempting to navigate the adult autism community that is unfortunately not ready to meet the needs of these individuals. Watching someone you care so much for, struggle daily to find their niche in our community is such a helpless feeling, especially when that person tries to reach out in their own way to make conversations and connections. Sadly the world isn’t very kind to those they don’t understand, and opportunities for adults like Zander are just not readily available yet. I am looking forward to being a part of a growing chapter that continues to work hard to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families affected by autism. Together we can do so much more than on our own.
Born a Buckeye from a little town in Ohio. I grew up in Los Angeles and Arizona. Now I call Virginia Beach home. I am currently working on a PhD in sport management at Old Dominion University. I am proud to be a single parent to my son, who is the love of my life, who is also my motivation for everything. He is the reason I walk into every IEP meeting with my head held high, shoulders up right and my game face on. When my son was diagnosed, it was the loneliest feeling in the world. One of my favorite quotes, “Be the change you want to see” ~ Gandhi. This drives me to be a voice for those who do not have one. It drives me to become an active member in the community. This drives me to be the best parent I can be. It is my hope to be able to contribute to a community that inspires people, helps people and educates people about autism.
Board member and Past President
Vania is the mother of 4 children: 20 year old Amanda, 9 year old Sean, 7 year old Isabella, and baby Juliette. Sean was diagnosed with autism a month before his third birthday. When Sean was diagnosed, Vania turned to the Autism Society of Tidewater for help, support and encouragement. A year later she joined the Board in order to become more involved with the organization that had helped her so much! She served as president for 4 years and currently serves as Immediate Past President. She runs Coffee and Chat in Chesapeake, a monthly support group. She also runs the Chesapeake Respite Program, a partnership with Chesapeake Therapeutic Recreation. She loves meeting new families and giving them hope! In addition to her work with the Autism Society, she serves on the Board of Virginia Beach Project Lifesaver and works as an estate planning attorney.
“My name is Yvette Yates and I joined the board 5 years ago because I met some pretty amazing women who helped me through the darkest days of living with Autism. My husband and I have two beautiful children, Bella and Matthew. Bella is 12 years old; she has Kabuki Syndrome, Autism, Epilepsy, ADHD and Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy. She loves her race days with her friends from Team Hoyt VB & Ainsley’s Angels, run club with New Energy Power, Equ-iKids, swimming, going to the library, shopping and driving her parents and brother a little CrAzY from time to time. Matthew will be 10 years old this summer and he’s just an old soul who is a protector to his sister, fun loving, compassionate, loves playing soccer, running 5K races, basketball and lives life to the fullest daily. I have enjoyed meeting new families while serving on the board and making lifelong friends. I look forward to seeing and meeting many new parents at our upcoming events”.
Lynn is originally from a small town in Georgia, and resided in Virginia since 2004. She is a mother of three beautiful children: a twenty-year-old son, a twelve-year-old daughter, and a four-year-old daughter; all of which are on the Autism Spectrum. Although her heart is with the Autism community, for years Lynn has been advocating and mentoring her children, as well as many other individuals with disabilities.
Lynn has graduated with her Professional Degree in Social Work from Norfolk State University in 2014. Throughout her journey she has assisted individuals with Intellectual disabilities, Developmental disabilities, Mental Health and Substance Abuse. She is an active participant within the community has been proactive in learning as much as possible, in order to advocate for the best available resources and services in Virginia. She is also a Parent Navigator with the Center for Family Involvement.
Originally from California, Joy has called Newport News home since 2002. She is happily married and has two beautiful children. Since getting her son’s autism diagnosis many years ago, she has become very involved and active in the world of disabilities. She has a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and an MBA with an emphasis in Technology Management. Her training in disabilities includes VCU’s program for Parent Navigators, Person-Centered Thinking, and the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities specialized training to be a Partner In Policymaking (class of 2011). Joy is also a Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) Mentor helping families explore bio-medical options for treatment of autism. She had been volunteering with the Autism Society on the peninsula and decided to get more involved with ASA by becoming a board member in 2015. During the day, Joy helps families all over the state in her role as Chief Operations Officer for Moms In Motion. She is a proud mentor and advocate for families and her passion is in helping people with disabilities and their families get the services they need to have the best possible quality of life, a life like yours and mine.
Nicole is a Chesapeake native, graduate of Great Bridge High School and James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Affairs. She is a wife, and mother of two children, Alex and Catie. Alex, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 4. Nicole has been involved with obtaining services and therapies for Alex as well as respite and recreational activities through the Autism Society, Tidewater Virginia and other community organizations. She is an active volunteer at Alex’s Primary School, and her parish’s food pantry. Nicole looks forward to helping other parents through the journey of Autism.