Board & Staff Info
Board of Directors
I am honored to serve as the Co-President 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.
Diego is a proud parent of a great kid with ASD. He got involved in advocacy around 7 years ago when his son was diagnosed with ASD. Since his son’s diagnosis, he is dedicated to learning more about Autism, and specially on the barriers people with disabilities face. He has meet a lot of amazing people and made friends along the journey. Diego is a graduate of the 2007 Partners in Policy Making Program, and he has been serving as Latino Cultural Broker for the Center for Family Involved. In addition, Diego has had the opportunity to witness the results of the hard work of so many other families as well as learn from their experiences and had the opportunity to share some of his own. As an engineer working in Information Technology for about 25 years, he wants to bring awareness to our local community about the abilities and needs of those with disabilities. He wants to open opportunities for them in order to express their lives as they see fit in society. Diego enjoys the support of his wife, an amazing high school teacher, excellent mom and woman, who finds ways to navigate a very busy schedule while caring for their son.
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 Executive Officer of Moms In Motion 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben is a young adult with autism who graduated with honors from Grassfield High School in Chesapeake in 2016 and is currently enrolled at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science. Ben is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and he brings the unique perspective of an individual on the spectrum to our board.
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.