Diane is the parent of an exceptional individual with autism. She and her husband have dedicated their lives to helping their son and others with development disabilities. She has deep knowledge of educational techniques and services available to developmentally challenged individuals.
Diane is a former senior direct at S&P Global and has 34 years of experience in capital markets. She has expertise in research due diligence, determining levels of risk, and financial modeling. She frequently spoke to CEOs and CFOs of Fortune 500, and private companies. Her opinion on the creditworthiness of companies was frequently sought by investors. In addition, she has experience managing people and teaching credit training classes.
Diane holds an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University, Stern School of Business and a B.S. in Community Social Services from the State University College of New York at Buffalo. As a social worker, she worked on independent living skills with consumers that resided in United Cerebral Palsy’s group homes.
TEF Founding Mother. Susan is the parent of an exceptional individual, a psychiatric nurse specialist and a practicing psychotherapist with many years of experience in the health care field and in health care education. She is utilizing her wealth of experience and knowledge to create innovative models of well-being for developmentally challenged individuals. Her work as a clinical psychotherapist spans 50 years; she has practiced in both inpatient and outpatient settings, working with all age groups.
During her tenure as an assistant professor at Columbia University, Rutgers University and Dominican College, Susan taught clinical theory and practice and has been a clinical supervisor to both graduate, masters level students, and undergraduates. She has a strong background in psychoanalytic psychiatry and interpersonal psychotherapy. Her broad background and clinical knowledge offer an extremely helpful perspective and approach to the developmentally disabled, particularly regarding the enhancement of self-esteem.
She continues to offer psychotherapy and clinical supervision in her private practice.
TEF Co-Founder. A former Fortune 500 Creative Operations executive with 20 years of experience in leadership and management, Lisa is a Professional Development Coach & Creative Operations Consultant. Her previous not-for-profit experience includes serving on the advisory board of Connecticut based buildOn.
As a parent of a child with special needs, Elizabeth’s focus has been working for organizations that understand the importance of individualizing environments and experiences to address the needs and goals of every person. Her work at Westchester Institute for Human Development in Valhalla, NY gave her the opportunity to assist families with the necessary tools to make informed choices for their young children with developmental delays and disabilities.
Elizabeth’s 14 years at Arc Mid-Hudson, which provides support services to 1800 individuals and their families, gave her the opportunity to work across all departments including as a Direct Support Professional in the Residential and Day Habilitation departments. With this unique combination of life and work experiences, Elizabeth brings critical insights and perspectives to her role on the TEF board.
Author of the Stuck on You book series which Elizabeth originally created to foster communication skills for her then non-verbal son, she continues to be a fierce advocate for her son, Joey. Her husband Joseph, and two other children, Gabriella and Jessica, have also witnessed Joseph’s progress and stand committed to helping individuals and families by sharing their own experiences and resources.
After more than twenty-five years working in luxury & specialty retail management and operations for multi-million dollar brands and start-ups across the United States and Europe— including as General Manager of NYC's iconic ABC Carpet & Home and as Retail Director for Lucky Brand Jeans for Europe and the Middle East—Andrew shifted his career focus to employ and empower adults with disabilities, with a mission of showcasing and developing meaningful employment opportunities for these deserving and eager (but far underserved) friends, loved ones, and neighbors.
For the past eight years Andrew has worked locally and directly with that community, beginning as the very first employee (Hospitality/Retail Director) at the Prospector Theater in Ridgefield (CT), as National Sales Manager and Job Coach/Direct Service Provider for Good Reasons (a subsidiary of Community Based Services) in North Salem, and as Executive Director of Extraordinary Ventures New York in Mt. Kisco. He currently works in farming at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights, bringing organically-grown produce to the enthusiastic customers of the weekly farm stand and to the local community of those with food insecurities and the agencies that assist them.
Andrew is a single father to Cecil, a vibrant, kind, and hard-working 15-year-old rising high school sophomore. He serves as a Board Trustee of the Lewisboro Library, as a member of the Lewisboro Advisory Committee for the Disabled, and on New York's 93rd District Assemblyman Chris Burdick's People with Disabilities Advisory Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arkansas.
Beltran Elgart, MD, parent of an exceptional son, is Board Certified in both Psychiatry and Neurology. He combines a doctorate degree in Philosophy with psychiatry to provide a unique and expansive treatment approach. For over 60 years he has helped hundreds of individuals navigate the multitude of issues that often plague human beings. He has international experience and is highly regarded by his peers. He continues to provide clinical treatment, psychotherapy and consultation.
Denise is a Media/Community relations specialist with over 25 years in the field. She has extensive experience with all media monitoring, as well as performing qualitative evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social/radio/print campaigns. Denise has held positions at Sullivan Communications, Trusted Media Group and currently provides Community and Media Relations at Waterview Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center located in Purdys, NY. Denise graduated from Berkeley with a concentration in business.
Denise is also active in many organizations within her community. She is part of Ann’s Place, which provides comfort, support, and resources to people living with cancer and their loved ones. She has also supported and participated in fundraisers for AVEDA Corps Earth Day, Ann’s Place, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and most recently the Alzheimer’s Associations ‘virtual walk’ where Team Waterview exceeded their fundraising goal.
TEF Founding Mother. As the parent of an exceptional individual Laurie brings her combined experience at the Spaulding Youth Center for Autistic individuals, five years as an early education teacher and more than twenty years as a publishing and marketing executive to create groundbreaking solutions for adults with developmental disabilities. She was featured in a NY Times OPED and appeared in The Shriver Report, and has authored The Lambdoodle Café children's book series.