Meet the members of our awesome advisory board:
Megan Amodeo is an autistic stay-at-home mom with 3 beautiful daughters, two with autism and one with ADHD. Megan received her Bachelors of Education from Northern Illinois University and has an Illinois Type 10, K-12 degree in special education. She taught At Risk/Special needs Kindergarten, Self-Contained/Multi-Disabled Early Childhood, and Hearing Itinerant K-8. My student population included deaf, hard of hearing, autistic, learning-disabled, behavior disorders, medically fragile, and severely mentally challenged students.
Sharon Lee Cummings is the CEO/President of SLC Inc. where she has received many accolades over the past 22 years including being honored ‘Top Washington Woman’ by Washington Woman’s Magazine. Sharon is the co-founder of Zoom Autism Magazine, a digital magazine that focuses on autism through many lenses and many voices from the autism community. Sharon currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Northern Virginia and the ARC of Northern Virginia and is very active with the National ARC and the National Autism Society. Her love and dedication for her son led her into public speaking and advocating for autism acceptance. Sharon along with her son Conner have worked to change a poorly written parental support law for disabled and special needs adults 18 and over. This bill, ‘Conner’s Law’ was passed unanimously in Virginia. They are now working towards its passing state by state.
Conner Cummings is a professional photographer in the Metro DC area as well as a special needs advocate and a changer of laws. He is the 2015 Autism Society Advocate of the Year. Conner and his mother worked diligently to have Conner’s Law passed which would replace a poorly written child support law in VA that provides a loop hole for adults with special needs and other disabilities over the age of 18. The law passed unanimously in 2015. They hope to take Conner’s Law to a national level similar to what happened with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Kim Leonoudakis is a currently a self-employed CPA and prior to that worked for Consolidated Freightways, now Con-Way, Inc. as the Manager of Federal Tax Audits. She initially began her career in 1986 in public accounting working for RINA in Oakland and then Coopers & Lybrand, now PWC in San Francisco. She volunteers as financial advisor for Geek Club Books in support of their mission and to give back to the community.
Linda Pouliot is a serial entrepreneur, Silicon Valley influencer, artist and athlete passionate about robotics and hardware. Colleagues describe her as “the glue that sticks everything together” inside a company. In 2004, she co-founded Neato Robotics, the world’s second largest consumer robotics company. She was the VP of Product Management & Operations. Currently, she runs a stealth robotics company and advises first-time hardware and software entrepreneurs.
Chloe Rothschild, an autism advocate is a part of Geek Club Books Penfriend Project Team, where she shares her views about the spectrum in her My Autism Outlook column. Chloe has autism and a visual impairment. In addition to her autism advocacy, she is a popular presenter and writer. Chloe is on the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) advisory board, managing editor of the Autism Research Institute‘s Adults with Autism eBulletin and a young leader for the Autistic Global Initiative.
Lisa Smith is a parent we can all model ourselves after. She proactively works to build a strong support team and welcoming community for her autistic son, Tate. What’s important to note is that Lisa is an introvert at heart but she’ll do whatever she has to do to keep her children safe and happy. A mother of 7, Lisa’s two youngest have special needs, a son with autism and an adopted daughter from Russia with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and ADHD. Lisa shares her family’s journey on the popular blog, Quirks and Chaos. She is a regular contributor to The Mighty and Scary Mommy and has been featured in People Magazine. She’s been named as a top ten blogger by Autism Speaks and Autism Parent Magazine.
Lydia Wayman is a young adult autistic writer, speaker, and advocate. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A. in English and nonfiction writing. She has blogged at Autistic Speaks since 2009, is a Geek Club Books monthly columnist, and has contributed her writing and editing to many other websites, magazines, and books. Lydia is the copy editor for Geek Club Books’ Horrible Hugs autism children’s book. She also speaks at local and national autism events, and her story was featured in the Wall Street Journal and on Good Morning America in 2015. Lydia uses her personal experience and professional knowledge to help parents and teachers find creative solutions to the everyday challenges for autistic kids.