Board of Directors
JaLynn Prince, Chairman
JaLynn Prince is Founder, President and Chairman of the Board of Madison House Autism Foundation (MHAF), one of the first and only organizations in this country working exclusively on the issues facing adults on the autism spectrum. In that role, she works on nationwide topics of housing, employment, education, awareness, medical services, safety, concerns involving individuals on the spectrum, and matters confronting family members dealing with autism. In 2014, the foundation was gifted a 400-acre farm in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is serving as an inclusive place for workforce development, respite, therapeutic riding, agricultural involvement and, eventually, housing for adults on the autism spectrum.
Mark A. Dickson, Treasurer
Mark Dickson is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder. He currently practices as a CPA and investment advisor. He is the Managing Director of Tyndale Investments LLC. For 19 years he managed corporate finance in the U.S. for TAG Group (Holdings) S.A. a diversified international company based in Geneva, Switzerland. As chief U.S. financial officer, Mr. Dickson directed significant asset liquidation and acquisition transactions.
Russ Moorehead is the former Senior Vice President of Global Digital Operations and Strategy for the Estée Lauder Companies. He was responsible for developing and implementing the global roadmap for mobile and e-commerce as well as expanding the digital marketing capabilities across its portfolio of over thirty of the most recognized brands in the beauty industry. In addition to driving strong sales growth in the online channel, Russ has enjoyed the privilege of being a part of leveraging digital to raise awareness of the Companies’ many philanthropic initiatives such as Estée Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness, MAC Aids Fund, and Aveda Earth Month.
Russ earned his MBA at Brigham Young University. He was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. Russ currently resides in New York City.
Travis Stratford is the founding partner of Case, a New York City-based brand consultancy. He focuses on developing end-to-end marketing solutions for clients such as Estée Lauder, Pepsi, Bloomingdale’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Starwood Hotels. Prior to founding Case, he was Interactive Creative Director for Estée Lauder’s Gloss, where he helped grow the online business for top Estée Lauder prestige-beauty brands including Bobbi Brown, Clinique, MAC, and Origins. Travis began his career as an interactive strategy consultant working with Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Travis holds a Master’s in Integrated Marketing from Northwestern University. Travis and the Case branding developed the brand strategy and visual identity for Madison House Autism Foundation.
Lori Mitchell-Keller is is Google Cloud’s Global Head of Industry Solutions. She leads the vision, mission and go-to-market strategy and execution for Google Cloud solutions in retail, consumer packaged goods, healthcare and life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and transportation, and telco, media, entertainment, and gaming.
Lori believes in the importance of customer-centric mindsets, culture, hard-earned industry expertise, and the sudden and quite dramatic explosion of demand for industry-specific solutions as businesses require new capabilities as they move into the digital economy.
Maryland Delegate Aruna Miller has devoted her adult life to public service to pay it forward. She immigrated to the United States from India when she was seven-years old and is indebted for the opportunities that were afforded to her. She began serving her community as a transportation engineer, where she spent over 25 years implementing roadway/transit/bicycle-pedestrian facilities for Montgomery County.
Aruna was first elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, where proudly served the people of Maryland’s Legislative District 15 which includes the regions of Boyds, Clarksburg, Darnestown, Germantown, North Potomac, and Potomac.
Steve Durante has been in the Telecommunications Media, Enterprise & Software Services business for over 30 years and has held senior management positions at corporations such as IBM, Convergys, Marconi and British Telecom. He has also been a principal in several tech startup ventures that were sold for notable shareholder gains.
Steve is active in a variety of concentrations ranging from music entertainment, national charities to professional golf. He serves on the Advisory Committee to MRose Records and Play It Again Publishing and has been on the board of the 2011 US Open and Simpson Cup as well as chairman of the ATT National, Quicken Loans National and currently the Tiger Woods Charity Playoff. He is also active in several humanitarian and conservation charities.
Dan Verner is a 30-year veteran (retired) of Marriott International, Inc. working principally in finance, supporting Marriott’s worldwide hotel development organization as a former Vice President of Finance of Marriott’s Global Development Group, in Corporate Accounting and in the North American Development Division. Prior to joining Marriott International, Inc., Dan was the Vice President and Controller of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and also worked with Ernst & Young.
Currently, Dan is the Board Chairman for the Marriott Employees Federal Credit Union as well as the Board Treasurer of Potomac Community Resources, named “one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region” serving teens and adults with developmental differences.
David Perry is the Principal and Founder of Perry IQ, a marketing and strategy consultancy serving clients in the higher education and healthcare sectors. Perry is currently serving as a Senior Advisor at Stanford Medicine in Palo Alto, California.
Prior to launching Perry IQ, in July 2018, Perry served as Chief Marketing Officer of University of Utah Health. At U of U Health, he oversaw a team responsible for the U of U Health brand, clinical and content marketing, PR, web, and thought leadership.
Valaree Dickerson has always been a community activist, working tirelessly to improve the lives of those in her community as seen in a recent press release in which she states, “I always refer to Poolesville as “The House That Built Me”…. Everything I do, I do for Poolesville. Out of true love for the greatest little village in America….I learned it all from the largest stewardship on the planet … the Poolesville area residents!” She is the former Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for The Town of Poolesville (elected official – 2011-2020) and is the Co-Founder and past Program Director for the Poolesville Area Senior Center. She has been a stanch supportive of Madison Fields’ mission and programming as long as Madison Fields has been in existence.
Dave Mendis has more than 40 years of management experience in development, operations and finance, most recently as the Vice President of Lodging Development for Marriott International, Inc. where he led area development of Marriott select service brands for the Mid-Atlantic region, consistently generating in excess of $30 million annually as one of Marriott’s top producers in the continental United States. Dave’s many accomplishments include growing new owner bases from one to multiple select service brands, penetrating new Marriott distribution markets and participating in corporate activities to support the entire development organization.
Matthew Herrmann is Senior Advisor at the Roosevelt Group representing a wide range of clients on Congressional appropriations and authorization matters, federal budget process, strategic planning, strategic communications, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Indo-Asia-Pacific policy matters.
Matt joined the Roosevelt Group after over 10 years of service on Capitol Hill serving in a variety of roles. Most recently he served as Chief of Staff to the Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. As Chief of Staff he served as primary policy and political advisor. Matt has extensive background on the House Armed Services Committee and the annual defense authorization bill. He has developed comprehensive legislative strategies for a variety of important initiatives and secured millions in federal funding. He has a reputation of working in a bi-partisan and collaborative matter to accomplish strategic goals.
National Board of Advisors
Members of the Madison House Autism Foundation Advisory Board bring exemplary credentials in medicine, scientific research, advocacy, the arts and education to the challenges faced by adults on the spectrum and their families and veterans.
Dr. Gregory A. Prince, Chair
MHAF Co-Founder Dr. Gregory A. Prince was born and reared in Los Angeles, California. He attended Dixie College, graduating as valedictorian. He attended the UCLA School of Dentistry, again graduating as valedictorian. He received a Ph.D. in Pathology from UCLA in 1975, studying respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the primary cause of infant pneumonia worldwide. Over a period of fifteen years at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University, he and his co-workers developed the thesis that RSV disease could be prevented by administering antiviral antibodies to high-risk infants. He co-founded Virion Systems, Inc. to commercialize this thesis, and served as its President and CEO.
Dr. Kay A. King, Co-Vice Chair
Dr. Kay Atkinson King worked for the U.S. Congress for 25 years. In 2007, she was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be the Director of the Office of Interparliamentary Affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives. Focusing on American foreign policy, she coordinated the Speaker’s meetings with foreign dignitaries and assisted Members of Congress with official international travel and parliamentary exchanges until she left Capitol Hill in 2010.
Prior to that, from January 2001 – March 14, 2007, Kay was Democratic Senior Policy Advisor for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Ranking Democratic Member and Chairman Tom Lantos.
Dr. Brad Clark, Co-Vice Chair
Collaborative pianist and music administrator Brad Clark founded Maryland Lyric Opera where he currently serves as the President & Artistic Director. Mr. Clark earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Music in Musicology and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in collaborative piano from The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America. He has worked on the staffs of Summer Opera Theatre Company, National Symphony Chamber Players, The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival, and has performed extensively in recital and with numerous chamber ensembles.
Dr. Val G. Hemming
Dr. Val G. Hemming had a distinguished career in military medicine. After graduating from the University of Utah College of Medicine, he joined the United States Air Force and spent twenty-five years as a pediatrician caring for dependents of military families. After retiring from active duty, he became the dean of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Maryland, serving in that capacity for seven years. In addition to practicing clinical medicine, Dr. Hemming had a distinguished career in medical research, publishing over one hundred papers in the field of infectious diseases.
Admiral Paul A. Yost, Jr., USN (Ret.)
A native of St. Petersburg, FL, Admiral Paul Alexander Yost Jr. became the 18th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on 30 May 1986. He was nominated to that position while serving as Commander of the Atlantic Area, Commander Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic and Commander Third Coast Guard District in New York City where he was assigned in 1984.
Admiral Yost’s management and operational positions included Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations for Seventeenth Coast Guard District in Alaska in 1975. He was also Commander, Task Group 115.3, a combat command in Vietnam, in 1969.
Dr. James Giordano
Dr. James Giordano is Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program, Scholar-in-Residence, leads the Sub-Program in Military Medical Ethics, and Co-director of the O’Neill-Pellegrino Program in Brain Science and Global Health Law and Policy in the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics; and is Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of Brain Science, Health Promotions and Ethics at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Coburg, Germany, and was formerly 2011-2012 JW Fulbright Foundation Visiting Professor of Neurosciences and Neuroethics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.
Capt. David Cooper, USN (RET.)
Dave Cooper graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1957 and started a twenty-seven-year career in the Navy. After earning a masters degree in electrical engineering at the US Naval Postgraduate School in 1964, he was selected for nuclear power and submarine duty. Dave commanded a nuclear attack submarine in Hawaii for four years and subsequently, for two years, commanded the largest squadron of operating nuclear submarines in the Atlantic fleet.
After retiring from the Navy as a Captain, Dave was employed by TRW for ten years as a program manager.
Dr. Gonzalo Laje
After completing his medical education at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, Dr. Gonzalo Laje moved to the U.S. and worked at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Columbia University. He completed his training in general psychiatry at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and his training in child and adolescent psychiatry through the combined program NIMH/Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Dr. Laje has a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research from Duke University.
Dr. Christopher Manente
Dr. Christopher J. Manente is s an accomplished practitioner, educator, and advocate who has dedicated his career to helping adults on the autism spectrum succeed within their homes and communities throughout the lifespan and across the contexts of school, work, relationships, leisure, and transportation.
Dr. Manente is the Founding Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, he is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, and is a prior special education student.
Dr. Daniel Fairbanks
Daniel Fairbanks is an accomplished scientist, artist, author, and teacher. He currently is Dean of Science & Health at Utah Valley University, and has been a professor at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Southern Virginia University, Brigham Young University, and Fulbright Professor at the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil. He is a geneticist with a wide breadth of expertise in evolutionary genetics, international scientific development, science education, and the history of genetics. His most recent book is Everyone Is African, published in 2015 by Prometheus Books.
D. Paul Monteiro
Paul Monteiro is currently the Chief of Staff at Howard University. Prior to that, President Obama designated Paul Monteiro as the Acting Director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Relations Service (CRS) on February 29, 2016. Authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and expanded by the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, CRS serves as federal mediators in areas of local community conflict rooted in race, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. CRS currently plays an important role in DOJ’s ongoing effort to strengthen relationships between local communities and law enforcement.
Dr. Stephen Shore
Diagnosed with “Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies” and “too sick” for outpatient treatment Dr. Stephen Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until 4, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a full time professor at Adelphi University and adjunct at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, focusing on aligning best practice in supporting autistic people to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen is an internationally renowned educator, consultant and author on lifespan issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, and self-advocacy.
Dr. Mary Kay Shartle-Galotto
Dr. Shartle-Galotto is the former Director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Services at Montgomery College (MC) serving as the chief academic officer of the College’s three campuses.
In addition, Dr. Shartle-Galotto served for four years as the Rockville Campus instructional dean for humanities and social sciences and as an acting instructional dean.
Dr. Faith E. Frankel
Dr. Faith Frankel is a pediatrician with special interests in autism and pediatrics. She is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical School in Washington, DC where she teaches physical diagnosis.
Dr. Frankel received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University (1987) where she was a member of the Ho Nun De Kah Honor Society. She received her medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine (1991) where she graduated Cum Laude and received a Woman in Medicine Award.
Dr. Douglas Frankel
Dr. Douglas Frankel trained as an internist and is board certified in emergency forensic medicine. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University (1980). Dr. Frankel completed his medical degree and residency training from the University of Mexico America, New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens-New York and the State University of New York at Buffalo, respectively. Dr. Frankel has been in practice in since 1989 and specializes in emergency medicine, internal medicine and professional sports-injuries and rehabilitation in Rockville, Maryland where he is in active clinical practice.
Vanessa Casteñeda Gill
Vanessa Casteñeda Gill is the CEO and Co-Founder of Social Cipher. Social Cipher makes video games to empower autistic youth– we imagine a future in which a diagnosis isn’t viewed as a deficit, but a superpower. Using the magic of gameplay and roleplay, Social Cipher give neurodiverse players a safe space to practice social skills and self-advocacy. Social Cipher is currently working on Ava, another video game about an autistic protagonist who ventures into a world of feuding space pirates, exploring a vast fantasy universe, but also the closeness of human connection and emotion.
Dr. Daniel Heifetz
Daniel Heifetz is the Founder of the Heifetz International Music Institute. In a career spanning over 30 years, Mr. Heifetz has dedicated himself to the art of communication through performance and education.
Mr. Heifetz is renowned on five continents for his extraordinary virtuosity, profound artistry and charismatic stage presence. His numerous appearances include recitals and solo performances with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Berlin. His concert tours have taken him throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.
Shaun Tirrell is the co-owner of Piano Craft, one of the country’s pre-eminent businesses for piano restoration and sales. Located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the company has restored pianos for, among others, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks.
Shaun is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Peabody Conservatory. He has enjoyed a long career as a concert pianist, performing in such venues as The Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), Jordan Hall (Boston, Massachusetts), Great Hall (St. Petersburg, Russia), National Concert Hall, (Dublin, Ireland), and the Stradhalle and Alta Aula (Heidelberg, Germany).
Madame Fran Ichijo
Frances Drayton Ichijo began her dance training in 2nd grade in the suburbs of Philadelphia in 1960. She was also able to train in the equestrian arts through the local Bridlewild Pony Club and graduated with her “B” rating, fostering a lifelong love and appreciation of horses. After getting a degree in Dance and Art at Hamilton College and performing with Kirkland Dance Theater, she continued her classical ballet training in NY under Patricia Wilde, Michael Maule, and Nancy Clemens at the then American Ballet Theater School. After auditioning for Adrienne Dellas in New York, she went on to become a founding member and soloist with the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea, from 1978 -1986, while also assisting her mentor, Mme Dellas, as Ballet Mistress of the company.
Dr. Jeffrey Deutsch
Dr. Jeffrey Deutsch is an Aspie (one with Asperger Syndrome), who has drawn on his decades of Home-based Experiential Lifelong Learning (HELL) to help fellow Aspies better relate to neurotypicals (NTs) and vice versa. Now happily married to Emily Deutsch, an NT who first told him about Asperger Syndrome (AS), and also the father of two delightful girls, he has given life skills classes, inspirational talks, group training for Aspies’ families and partner support groups, employers, service providers, first responders and others, as well as individual life coaching for both Aspies and NTs. He has helped Aspies get along better with NTs and NTs better recognize and deal with Aspies on the job, through social situations, in personal relationships and other aspects of daily life.
Major General Peter S. Cooke, USA (Ret.)
Major General Peter Stryker Cooke (Ret.) rose to the Rank of Major General during his 39-year career in the Armed Services. He was the Commanding General of the U.S. Army 96th Regional Readiness Command from 2005 to 2009 spanning seven states including Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, California and Utah, making it the largest geographical Command in the Army Reserves.
In 2009, Peter won the Army Community of Excellence Award for the best managed command in the United States Army Reserves. General Cooke, was also awarded the United States Army Distinguished Service Medal in 2009.
Ron Ward | CFO and Administrative Director
Ron Ward joined joined Madison House Autism Foundation in July 2014 after spending fifteen years as an Office and Business Manager in the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Ronald hails from Richmond, Virginia, but was raised primarily in the Northern Neck area of Virginia in the small boatbuilding and oysterman community of Hartfield.
At Madison House Autism Foundation Ron oversees all financial, administrative and human resource activities as well as the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. Having a strong background in the arts enables him to lend both experience and enthusiasm to the myriad of initiatives spanning all creative mediums and reaching many types of audiences.
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Ron received a degree in Theater and Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland where he studied 20th Century Directors and Theorists. Ron once acted professionally, but now focuses his energies on the Madison House Autism Foundation. He uses his talents to help build a robust infrastructure, implement best practices, and enhance programs to serve the Foundation’s constituents. He dedicates his free time to his partner and her two wonderful children, and, if scheduling permits, he acts occasionally. You might have seen him at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre (Frederick, MD), Silver Spring Stage, Constellation Theatre, Folger Theatre or even on TV.
Jessica Simpson | Director of Operations, Madison Fields
Jessica Simpson has over 18 years of experience working with horses. Her family owns and operates a boarding facility located in Mt. Airy, MD where she grew up caring for horses, and learning the business. While in college, Jess participated in the Equestrian Team and volunteered with a local horse rescue. During the summers, she managed a facility in Frederick, MD, where she cared for 25 horses, managed their summer lesson and camp program, and taught beginner lessons.
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After Jess graduated from Salisbury University in 2013, she began a career in sales, but ultimately decided to return to her original passion and join the Madison Fields team in 2017.
“This is one of the most rewarding industries, and jobs, I will ever have. I am truly blessed to be able to share my passion, and love of horses with this community.”