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Autism Society of Florida
PO Box 677055
Orlando, FL 32867

info@autismfl.org

407.207.3388

MEET THE BOARD

For 28 years, the Autism Society of Florida has been working to ensure full participation and self-determination in every aspect of life for people with autism. We will realize this vision by opening avenues of self-advocacy and advocating on behalf of others in a way that values equity, respect, dignity and diversity in all communities. We work every day to empower people across the spectrum and across the lifespan. ASF is comprised entirely of volunteers, mostly parents of people with autism and adults with autism.

Stacey Hoaglund is a parent of a young man with autism, certified mediator, educational advocate with Family Network on Disabilities, past editor of The Autism Notebook Magazine and statewide coordinator for Partners in Policymaking. As a trainer, consultant and interventionist, Stacey provides educational opportunities to parents and organizations on a variety of disability related topics. For more than 20 years she has promoted, enhanced, and advocated for the inclusion of people with ASD from birth to adulthood.

STACEY HOAGLUND

Kelly Busch is the mother of three children, two young adult daughters and a young teen son with autism. She has held numerous committee positions including chairperson of the Autism Committee of ESE (ACE) for six years, Chairperson ESE Advisory Council, Best Practices for Inclusive Education Committee, Florida Developmental Disability Council’s Partners in Policymaking 2013 graduate and advisory member, and co-founded FAN – Family Autism Network and Responding to Autism. Kelly is a passionate activist for people with autism and their families. 

Vice President

Kelly@autismfl.org

KELLY BUSCH

Ven Sequenzia served as president of the Autism Society of Florida for 18 years. He was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorders and president of the Autistic Child Advocates Association. He was instrumental in helping to expand the number of CARD - Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities, throughout the state of Florida. He is one of the founding trustees of Parent to Parent of Miami

President Emeritus

Ven@autismfl.org

VEN SEQUENZIA

Bob DeMaria has served as the President of the Autism Society of Miami, Board Member of the CARD-NSU/Miami Constituency Board, and Co-Chair of the “Over 21 Club”, a social program for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Bob is the father of 3 Children, one who is a woman on the spectrum. He has decades of experience advocating at the local, state and national levels on a variety of topics related to the funding of services for children and adults on the autism spectrum.

BOB DeMARIA

Evangeline Vergo 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.

EVANGELINE VERGO

Ann Reynolds has served on various autism boards and school advisory councils over the past 20 years.  She is the parent of a young adult with autism and currently facilitates the Suncoast Autism Social Group for Young Adults, which is ASF’s group for independently functioning young adults in Sarasota County. Ann is a tireless advocate for adults on the autism spectrum and passionately pursues appropriate funding of adult programs and services focusing on employment and quality of life for all.

Board Member

Ann@autismfl.org

ANN REYNOLDS

John Miller is an adult on the autism spectrum.  During his childhood he worked hard to overcome many academic and social obstacles and decided to get a Master‘s in Special Education to help young people succeed academically and in life. 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. He sits on the FUA CARD Constituency Board.

Board Member

John@autismfl.org

JOHN MILLER

Patty Crist is a mother of four (4) children, the youngest son having autism with an accompanying language and speech impairment, sensory processing disorder and anxiety.  Patti is a graduate of Florida’s Partners in Policymaking and is a passionate advocate for inclusion. She is a member of the Pasco County District ESE Collaborative Network (ESE Advisory Committee) and administers their community Facebook page. She’s also a parent representative on School Advisory Council and PTO.

Board Member

Patty@autismfl.org

PATTY CRIST

William Lawless serves as the Vice Chairman of the Constituency Board of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at UF.  He holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Governors State University in Illinois.  He presently lives in Gainesville with his wife, Heather, and two cats, Bella and Vincent.  He looks forward to the challenge of raising awareness and acceptance for autism. Being that William is an individual on the spectrum, he offers a unique perspective on the autistic experience.

WILLIAM LAWLESS

Ron Kaplan is a father to a young man with autism. In 2007, due to extensive international and domestic travel requirements, Ron left his career as CEO/Chairman of a NASDAQ company in educational consumer products to support the escalating needs of his son.  Ron is dedicated to using his experience and knowledge in business and ASD parenting to helping Florida's ASD community.  As a licensed Realtor, Ron has successfully assisted families whose home life is impacted by ASD.

RON KAPLAN

Margi Hedelund and her husband, Martin Sr, are parents to identical twin boys, Dalton and Martin Jr, both of whom have ASD.  She is a dedicated community volunteer and President of Responding 2 Autism.  She has served as vice-chairperson of the Broward Autism Committee (ACE), Board Member of Family Autism Network of Florida (FAN), and is a graduate of Florida Partners in Policymaking, Class of 2013.  Margi is dedicated to her family and all families living with autism.

MARGI HEDELUND

Kara Durham is a parent of 3 young children, 2 of whom have autism.  She is a child advocate with the Guardian ad Litem program in Monroe County, as well as an educational surrogate that ensures the protection of the educational interests of children with disabilities. She is a graduate of the Florida Partners in Policymaking program and the creator of the Exceptional Student Education Parent Engagement Team of Monroe County. She is passionate and determined in her advocacy for inclusive communities.

KARA DURHAM

Lynette Bledsoe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional, and a Certified Mediator. She has over 19 years of experience working with and advocating for vulnerable populations in government agencies, public school systems, youth care facilities, and private organizations. In each of these settings, Lynette has fostered a relationship with peers, clients, students, faculty, and staff, to better the environment and meet the needs of those with autism.

LYNETTE BLEDSOE

Danny and his wife live in Saint Augustine and are the parents of six children, three adults and three teens. Kaleb is their thirteen year old son with autism. He has been advocating for people with autism since they adopted Kaleb eleven years ago. Danny is a 2014 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, Wrights Law ADA Applied and was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to serve four years on the Community Integration Advisory Commission before moving to Florida. He has worked with the National Fragile X Foundation for the past eight years with annual visits to Washington DC advocating for legislation and research funding. 

Board Member

Danny@autismfl.org

DANNY L. HODGES

Dawn Brook is a licensed nurse and mother to 5 children; 3 who were adopted. Two of her daughters have Down Syndrome, one whom also has autism; as well as a son with autism. Dawn has served on the NAMI board in her community, local ESE Advisory, ESE State Advisory, Information Clearinghouse on Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council and is currently leading a local support group. Dawn is also a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and is passionate about advocating for those with autism and other related disabilities.

DAWN BROOK