Kelly has over 25 years of experience with the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin (formerly Autism Society of Wisconsin) as a volunteer, Board Member and now as the Office Manager. She provides support, information and referral over the phone to help individuals, families, and those that work with them to connect to community resources. Whether it’s helping a family find a service provider to evaluate their child, finding a local support group, or helping educators find resources, she’s here to help those who need support. Her greatest accomplishments are her three sons, two on the autism spectrum.
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” ― Dr. Seuss
Is your glass half full or half empty?
1/2 full. Always.
What are you happiest doing, when you're not working?
Reading & relaxing Up North (Manitowish Waters) at the cabin in summer.
Why I'm proud to serve on the staff of ASGW
I’m glad to be part of a group where individuals with ASD are honored and valued for who they are.
Kirsten received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders from UW – Madison and her MSW from UW- Oshkosh. She has worked with individuals and families affected by autism through direct services and systems change work for more than 15 years. Prior to her position at the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin, she worked with the Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs on a statewide grant designed to strengthen the state’s infrastructure to improve services for children with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Kirsten has led the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin as the Executive Director since 2011.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
Favorite TV Show
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
What is your favorite thing about living in Wisconsin?
I’m beginning to appreciate the beauty of our four seasons. And also, cheese!
My favorite part of the Autism Society is...
Our amazing Affiliate network. There are so many volunteers throughout our network that give their time generously to lead local Autism Society programs and services.
Amber received her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in May 2018. Throughout her time at UW-Green Bay she participated in several internships and leadership roles that ultimately inspired her passion for empowering diverse populations and fostering community development. As the Education and Outreach Coordinator, she plans, develops, and administers a variety of educational and community outreach programs in support of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin mission.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve...
What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
Zip-lining in Mexico
My favorite part of the Autism Society is...
The Annual Conference! As Education and Outreach Coordinator I plan and implement the conference each year. It is so great to get together with people from all around the state who share the same passion of supporting and empowering the autism community.
Board of Directors
Robert Peyton is a father, a husband, a psychologist, a behavior analyst (BCBA), and a surprisingly good bass guitar player. He has been working with people with autism for 26 years, in every capacity from direct care worker (line staff and respite) to director of autism services. He has several research publications on treatment techniques and medications for autism and dementia, and recently co-authored a white paper for the State of Connecticut on the use of behavior-analytic and trauma-focused therapy for children with emotional and behavioral challenges. He currently works as an outpatient psychologist for SSM Health in Sun Prairie, where he is regularly teased and humbled by his clients, who teach him more than he ever dreamed of. He combined his love of music and Autism Society to create the annual Band Together for Autism event that gives people with autism a chance to play on a professional stage for a large and friendly audience in Madison.
Favorite Quote: “Never assume someone is trying to hurt you if they may have just messed up.”
I’m proud to serve on the board of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin because we are just a group of a dozen or so regular people, who are really special only for being willing to give our time and energy, but together we actually manage to make life a little better for a whole lot of great people in our state.
Kerry Hoops, MA, BCBA is the Clinical Director for Wisconsin Early Autism Project’s Green Bay Region. Kerry began her career helping children with autism 22 years ago when she was attending UWGB for her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Human Development. She fell in love with the job and made this her career. She furthered her education at Florida Institute of Technology and Ball State University with a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis. She became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Kerry loves helping children and families in Wisconsin and on the other side of the world in Malaysia. Kerry also works at the Greater Green Bay YMCA for the Special Pops program, focusing on events for socialization for adults with special needs. She has been on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin since 2014.
Favorite Quote: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind ~Dr. Suess
My favorite part of the Autism Society is…. being connected with local events and people all working to help make the world a better place for individuals with autism and their families.
Diane Messman, originally from Chippewa Falls, currently lives in Medford and is the General Manager of Commercial Recycling Corporation. She has been with the company since 2006 playing an integral part of human resources, financial management, business development, and business strategy. She has served as a member of the Medford Area School District Special Education Advisory Committee, the Taylor County Transition Advisory Committee, and is a founder of the Taylor County Autism Support Group. Diane is the mother of two children, Angelica, age 21, who is on the spectrum and living her best life outside of the home, and her son, Trentin, age 19, who is an auto mechanic in Wausau. She enjoys volunteering in the Autism community along with cooking, camping, and traveling with her husband, Wayne.
Favorite Quote: When you get where you’re going, don’t forget. Turn back around. Help the next one in line. Always stay humble and kind.
Why I’m proud to serve on the board/staff of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin: I am proud to serve on the Board of the ASGW because I have a dream of bringing more support to the families in the Northern portion of Wisconsin. I am proud because I am a mom, not a person with tons of accolades and acronyms after her name, but by being a part of the planning of programs, conferences, and the overall goals of the ASGW, I can make a difference in the lives of those in the Northern Communities and throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Kendra Mateni has proudly served on the ASGW Board of Director’s for the past four years; serving as the secretary for the last two; and the chair of the program services committee for the last year. She is a licensed clinical social worker by trade and has worked for the State of Wisconsin for the last 18 years. Kendra has two children, both who are on the spectrum and amaze her every day. She feels truly been blessed to be placed in this role and looks forward to continuing to serve the ASGW and helping the autism community anyway that she can.
Favorite Quote: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.”
What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin? Anyone can be a positive agent of change and make a difference. The smallest actions can make the biggest difference in the lives of many.
Bob is the father of a son diagnosed with ASD. He is also the survivor of a 1975 car accident that resulted in 22 orthopedic reconstruction surgeries over a 43-year time-period. Consequently, he understands the challenges that are faced by both patient and parent. He is the Agency SpecialCare Planning Specialist for MassMutual Wisconsin and founder of Special Needs Planning, LLC. Additionally, he is the past president of ASGW. Bob is committed to helping families through the maze of legal and financial complexities that surround planning for the financial future of people with special needs. Bob and his wife, Jody, are co- inventors of a learn-to-swim “assistive floatation device” called Paddler. Paddler is available through Amazon, Kiefer Aquatics, The Lifeguard Store, Swim Clubs of the Southwest and All-American Swim.
Favorite Quote: The value of my life is measured in the value I bring to others.
What’s the most inspiring part of your job? Helping families plan for the time when they are no longer around to care for their child(ren).
Fox Valley Affiliate Representative
Diane Nackers is a wife, mother, grandmother, speech and language pathologist and strong supporter of the mission for the Autism Society of Greater WI. She has been on the board of directors for the Autism Society of the Fox Valley (ASFV) for almost 12 years and the president for the past nine years. Diane spearheads coordinating and facilitating social outings for all age groups. She works with public businesses to train their staff about autism, and coordinates the parent/educator workshops. She educates daycare staff members about the characteristics of autism and how best to support children on the spectrum. Diane maintains a passion for working with people on the autism spectrum and their families and thoroughly enjoys sharing that passion with the members of ASFV.
Favorite Quote: “I don’t need to know everything. I just need to know where to find it when I need it.” Albert Einstein
What would you name the autobiography of your life? Yes… She Said That!
Lakeshore Affiliate Representative
When Allie’s adventures in parenting pause, she is an educator, advocate, learner, and leader for social justice in Wisconsin. Allie has spent her career as a learning strategist, autism and inclusion coach, and program support teacher in Wisconsin schools. Allie realized her passion for advocacy after creating professional development and classroom sensitivity training in schools. This led to guest lecturing at local universities, and presenting on topics related to Universal Design for Learning, Autism, and Inclusion at disability & education conferences (OCALICON 2018, CAST Symposium 2017) with her thought partner, Katy Hayes. She recently moved to the lakeshore, and joined the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin’s Board of Directors.
Favorite Quote: “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” -David Viscott
Why I’m proud to serve on the board/staff of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin AND My vision for the autism community: I am very proud to serve on the board of a grassroots organization that remains dedicated to improving the quality of life for all those in the autism community. My vision for the future is one where neurodiversity is embraced, and supports are embedded into a society where variability is the norm rather than the exception. My favorite part of the Autism Society is the collaborative nature of its services, which meet a wide spectrum of needs at the local, state, and national level. There are opportunities for individuals, advocates, caregivers/family, friends, educators, and community leaders to connect, play, learn, and work together to create a preferred future.
Tiffany Born, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a licensed psychologist at Bellin Health in De Pere, Wisconsin. Dr. Born provides psychological assessment and treatment services to children and adolescents and their families. She specializes in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Born has been honored to serve on the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Board of Directors since 2018. Dr. Born received her doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed her doctoral internship at The May Institute in Massachusetts, and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. She moved back to Wisconsin in 2017 and is loving spending time with family, friends, and her dogs.
Favorite Quote: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon
What’s the coolest (or most important) trend you see today? More openness regarding mental health, slowly reducing the stigma.
Eric Kissinger, 25, received a diagnosis of Aspergers in the fourth grade, and to this day has refused to let that define or hold him back. He underwent speech and occupational therapy throughout the remainder of his K-12 education. In 2016 Kissinger earned a Bachelors of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he also held internships and a part-time job. He now lives in Madison and works as an Executive Assistant. Kissinger joined the Autism Society of Wisconsin Board of Directors in 2018 with a goal of helping others on the spectrum.
Favorite Quote: “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full” -Henry Kissinger (No relation, I just like the quote)
My vision for the autism community: A better, universal understanding of Autism, recognition and proper utilization of the unique traits people on the spectrum have.
Betty McCluskey is an Outpatient Psychotherapist in private practice in Tomahawk, WI. She worked as an administrative assistant until she went to college at age 32, graduating from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN in 1995 with a MS in Guidance and Counseling. She and her husband, Jim, have one daughter, Colleen, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 8. ASD has become her specialty area in psychology and she supports many individuals with ASD and their families. She is excited to be a member of the Board of Directors for ASGW and looks forward to serving our community in the future.
What I wish everyone knew about the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin: I would like everyone to know that ASGW is based on inclusion and individual success for those who walk the ASD path.
Mr. Stiteley has served as the CFO of County Bancorp, Inc. and Investors Community Bank since August of 2017 and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of operating a business (e.g. finance, marketing, strategic planning, operations, human resources, IT). Glen and his wife Katie have three sons. Their youngest was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and is now five years old. “Our family deals with autism on a daily basis. Katie and I are very passionate about sharing what we have learned and helping other families affected with autism. We are really excited to be joining such a great organization that is dedicated to helping families touched by autism” said Glen.
Favorite Quote: “I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.” ― Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings
What is your favorite thing about living in Wisconsin? The people and lack of traffic!
Become a Board Member
The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin and many of its local affiliates are looking for skilled and motivated candidates to join its Board of Directors. Directors commit to at least a three year term providing support to the organization through board meetings and committee work. Candidates should be willing to provide 2-4 hours of work per month on top of quarterly board meetings and monthly committee meetings.
The Board is particularly seeking candidates from its 53 county service area, with a connection to the autism community, who also have skills/expertise in the following areas: human resources, legal, advertising/marketing, technology, finance, fundraising, business/corporate leadership, etc. The organization encourages candidates who would increase board diversity, including representatives of a diverse racial or ethnic background, geography, and professional background. Individuals with autism are encouraged to submit. The Board will make appointments based on strategic interests, geography and demographic diversity.
Those interested should submit a resume and a written response to our Candidate Questionnaire to Kirsten Cooper, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org and Robert Johnston, Board Development Committee Chair, BbJhnstn@wi.rr.com.