Growing up in Queens, NY and now living on Long Island, Mrs. Coleman earned a Bachelor's of Science degree from St. John's University double majoring in mathematics and education. She then earned a Master's of Science degree from St. John's in special education and has continued her education earning 82 additional credits above her Master's degree. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Theta Phi Alpha National Sorority. Mrs. Coleman was a co-founder of Friends for Life, an organization that provided social activities for local high school students on the spectrum.
Mrs. Coleman retired as a special education teacher from the South Country Central School District in Bellport, NY after 32 years of teaching. She holds three New York State certifications in high school mathematics, elementary education, and special education. She has taught students on the spectrum in inclusion, self contained, and life skills settings, as well as high school math. She was class advisor for the class of 2012 for four years.
Mrs. Coleman is a certified CSS Start-Up and Support Broker in New York State and has authored a CSS plan for her son. She brings to the board her experience as a teacher of students with special needs, and as parent of an adult child with autism. Mrs. Coleman has presented workshops to teachers, parents, MSCs and Brokers on Consolidated Support Services and Self Determination. She has completed Town Hall Training offered through Niagara University on "Teaching and Empowering Local Communities: Learning how to Include and Respond to People with Disabilities".
She has been married to her best friend Peter for over 30 years. They have two wonderful children.
Craig Cooper is the father of a beautiful daughter, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Craig has been a vocal advocate for his daughter and gives generously of his time to work with other families, as well as speak to individuals who are training to become support staff for members of the disabled community.
Craig has been the owner of Craig Cooper Productions since 1989. For more than 20 years, Craig has earned distinction in the New York metropolitan area as an award-winning video producer, interviewer and event planner. He is a resource for creative and communication services among a wide range of clients representing many industries and not-for-profit organizations.
In 2009, Craig co-wrote, produced and directed "Hate: Crossing the Line," a video about Hate Crimes. The presentation earned 2nd place in the US International Film and TV Festival, and won both Silver and Bronze Telly Awards. This was followed by two Bronze Tellys in 2010 for his video for the Long Island GLBT Services Network. His previous awards include many National Finalists in the Telly Awards and five BOLI (Best On Long Island) Awards.
Craig joined the American Red Cross in 2006, and became a National Spokesperson in 2010. He is married, has three daughters and lives in Smithtown, Long Island, New York.
Theresa Giacobbe-Grieco received her Masters degree in psychology from Long Island University. She has additionally completed her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis from LIU. She has been a Clinical Supervisor at Positive Behavior Support Consulting and Psychological Resources, P.C. since 2004. Theresa became interested in self-directed services while researching options for her brother who is now living in his community.
She spent 20 years of her career at the Developmental Disabilities Institute where she was the Associate Director of Residential/Community Services. She found great joy in being part of the deinstitutionalization movement and assisting people in leaving institutions and moving into homes in their communities. She now finds even greater joy in assisting people to take advantage of self-directed services where the individual, rather than an agency, can chose where to live, work and build their future. She has worked with numerous families in Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS) in clinical roles such as Staff Trainer, Autism Consultant, Behavior Specialist and Life Coach. She is also a Support/Start Up Broker for CSS. She is currently involved in 12 Circles of Support for individuals receiving services through CSS.
She is a past president of The New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA). She is a co-author of several publications, and has presented at many local and national conferences.
Theresa is actively involved in her community and a board member and leader of various organizations. She has been a Girl Scout Leader for 15 years and connects Gold Award applicants with projects that could further integration and social opportunities for all. She has been a board member of the Hauppauge Athletic Association Swim Club, a Catechist, a member of the Friends of the Smithtown Library and League of Women Voters. Theresa was also awarded the NYS PTA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Her clinical and research interests are in the areas of transition services, self-determination, setting events, friendship formation, high school and college social supports and advocacy. She resides in Smithtown with her husband Steve and two daughters.
John Innis earned his Masters degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University under the mentorship of the late Dr. Ted Carr. Mr. Innis is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been providing behavioral services to individuals with disabilities for the past 18 years, both as a direct provider and as a consultant to numerous families and school systems. He has co-authored a number of articles and book chapters and made numerous presentations and in-services to teachers, school administrators, parents and community groups on topics ranging from Functional Behavior Assessment and the reduction of problem behavior to the history of developmental disabilities services, transitioning from school-based services to adult services and the importance of equal opportunity and full inclusion for all, particularly those individuals with support needs.
He has conducted research on the use of Functional Behavior Assessment and comprehensive Positive Behavior Supports in the reduction of severe problem behavior in young children with autism. In recent years, he has become increasingly involved with adult individuals with a range of disabilities who are self-determined and are receiving services and supports outside of typical agency-based service delivery systems. He provides Startup and Support Brokerage for self-determined individuals as well as sits on a number of Circles of Support in a number of different capacities. He is also active in supervising and training to others to do the same.
Barbara Maio is the Founder and President of Pinnacle HR Solutions, Inc., a human resources consulting firm. She has more than 20 years of human resources experience in the professional and financial services industries. Prior to starting Pinnacle, she held senior level roles in a number of top tier financial services organizations, including: Bain Capital, LLC, Citadel Investment Group, Marsh, USA, and Goldman Sachs.
Barbara is a Licensed Attorney in the State of New York, a Certified Compensation Professional through World at Work and a Volunteer Article Reviewer for Workspan, the World at Work magazine. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hofstra University and her Juris Doctor Degree from Brooklyn Law School.
In the past, Barbara served on the Board of Directors for New York City Court Appointed Special Advocates, a not-for-profit organization that advocates on behalf of children in foster care with a goal to move them into permanent homes as quickly as possible. Barbara lives in Massapequa with her husband and two children.
Darlene Magito McLaughlin is the Founder of the PBS Community Foundation, Inc. and currently serves on the Board of Directors in the role of Secretary. Darlene is a native Long Islander who has been a leader in the field of developmental disabilities for over 25 years. She is also the Founder and Director of Positive Behavior Support Consulting & Psychological Services, P.C., a professional consortium dedicated to the resolution of problem behavior in adults and children with disabilities.
Darlene was involved in the earliest pilot cases of self-determination on Long Island over a decade ago, and has helped to shape the creation and evolution of individualized service options in this area. In the spirit of person-centered planning, broad systems change, and longitudinal intervention approaches, which have always been hallmarks of her clinical work, Darlene is thrilled to have now realized the dream of creating the PBS Community Foundation. She is committed to lending ideas and information, time, personnel, and financial resources to ensure the long-term sustainability of self-determination on Long Island, in honor of her late mentor, Dr. Edward G. Carr.
Tal Ourian is a Parent Advocate and the parent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has over 20 years of experience in advocating for and accessing much-needed services in order to ensure that her daughter (now in her mid-20s) maximizes her potential and achieves the greatest amount of independence possible. Tal's breath of experience is wide, having served as her district SEPTA president for 5 consecutive years. She has served on the Board of the Nassau County Council of SEPTA's and acted as a Committee on Special Education (CSE) parent-member for 5 years. She has been lending her knowledge and experience to parents at Variety Child Learning Center for the last 15 years.
Tal is a part of the New York Self-Determination Coalition (www.nyselfd.org), which is a group of parents advocating for people with disabilities to have their say in creating and controlling their own lives. Along with other founders of the Coalition, Tal works tirelessly, advocating state-wide for the necessary funding needed for Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS), Individual & Community Supports (ICS) and other funding mechanisms for self-determination. The Coalition provides information to parents and individuals interested in these amazing opportunities for their adult children with disabilities; opportunities that utilize a myriad of approaches and interventions to help them to pursue independent lives in their community.
Tal is very proud that her daughter lives independently in her own apartment, has graduated from Suffolk Community College with an Associate's degree in early childhood education and currently works as a Teacher's Aide at a school for children with Autism in Suffolk County, New York. Tal's inspiration and empowerment as an advocate is credited to her daughter, whose extreme desire for knowledge, independence and full integration in her community exemplifies what true self-determination is all about. In the words of her daughter: "Autism, to me, is just the definition of a different way of thinking and understanding life. I do not have a disability, just a DIFFERENT ability".
John is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Hofstra University in 1989. He currently holds the following industry licenses with FINRA: Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative) and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam). Additionally, John is registered with the State of New York as a licensed life, accident and health agent. His professional memberships include The New York State Society of CPA's (NYSSCPA), The Financial Planning Association and the New York Tax Study Group. In addition John has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including Hofstra University's Advisory Board and The Village of Rockville Centre's Friends of Senior Services Inc. He also teaches income tax planning for the CFP program at Hofstra University and has been quoted in Long Island Business News and Newsday.
John has over 25 years of accounting, tax and financial planning experience with individuals and business clients ranging from sole proprietors to multi-state corporations. He also has performed forensic accounting and internal investigations in several industries including construction, health care, hospitality and financial services. The services performed include data collection, preparation, analysis and reporting. Mr. Spinelli also has set up internal controls to assist clients with compliance issues in various areas of corporate governance. John lives in Rockville Centre with his most treasured accomplishments, his wife Barbara and daughter Sophia.
Rebecca Ryan serves as a job developer for many self-directed adults on the south shore of western Long Island through Independent Support Services. She supports self-directed adults in exploring, sampling and finding sustainable work in employment and volunteer positions. Rebecca works from a strengths-based perspective, identifying a person’s gifts, interests and support systems, and using this as the roadmap for finding the right work placement. In addition, she believes ongoing support for self-directed adult workers, job coaches, bosses, co-workers and families, is essential for long-term job satisfaction, social inclusion and job retention.
Rebecca has helped self-directed adults secure employment with many businesses and organizations. She has worked in partnership with New York State Adult Career and Continuing Education Services to help self-directed adults secure employment and funding for trade school. Rebecca partnered with Mercy Medical Center’s Volunteer Office to develop a program where young self-directed professionals work in volunteer clerical jobs at the hospital to learn skills and find community. She developed and conducted “Becoming a Professional at Mercy Hospital” and “The Empower Me Training” to support the young professionals and their coaches at Mercy Hospital, and continues to provide ongoing development, support, and plan future trainings there. Rebecca provides consultation services to school districts and has given numerous talks to school, parent and community groups.
Rebecca grew up on the east end of Long Island, where she worked in the family business and multiple other jobs. In 1991, Rebecca earned her BA from Manhattan College. After graduating college, she worked in various positions for non-profits, including the Ad Council, NASBA and NYSSCPAs, learning administrative and grassroots lobbying skills. Eventually she settled in the private sector, and became a sales person for the Lindenmeyr family of Paper Companies, where she learned many of the techniques she now uses to solicit businesses as a job developer. She went on to earn an MS in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University/C.W. Post, earning the 2008 Mental Health Counseling Award. She interned at South Oaks Vocational Rehabilitation, counseling individuals during their Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation for VESID.
All of Rebecca’s work experiences and educational background have contributed to her strengths as a job developer, namely her ability to approach all kinds of businesses big and small, corporate, manufacturing trades, service-based, etc., advocating for students and self-directed adults to help them find work opportunities. She is honored to be given the opportunity to use serve on the PBS Community Foundation Board.
Rebecca lives in Babylon with her husband and 3 children.
Bio coming soon.