Board of Directors

Laurie Sallarulo, Chair 

Sallarulo, of Fort Lauderdale, is President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. Previously, she was CEO of Leadership Broward Foundation, Chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County and Chief Development and Strategic Officer for 2-1-1 Broward. Sallarulo has also volunteered her time with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Leadership Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mavara Mirza-Agrawal, Vice Chair

Dr. Mirza-Agrawal is a Medical Doctor and Voluntary Faculty at the Florida International University College of Medicine. Dr. Mirza-Agrawal serves as Medical Director of the Agrawal Family Foundation, is a national panel expert   for ECHO Autism Transition to Adulthood and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians.  Previously, she was the Medical Director of the Florida International University College of Medicine’s Embrace Initiative.  She also served as Medical Director and Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine’s Pediatric Mobile Clinic.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in microbiology and  immunology and her Medical Doctorate from the University of Miami before becoming Chief Resident of the combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Mirza-Agrawal is a parent of a child with special needs, and brings her personal passion and advocacy to improve the long term health and wellbeing of underserved populations.  

 

 

 

 

Doug Hilliard, Treasurer 

Hilliard, of Orlando, is the Chief Financial Officer of AdventHealth Orlando, a company he has been with since 1996. His previous positions with AdventHealth include Vice President of Finance and Senior Vice President. Hilliard is active in his community and serves on the Forest Lake Academy Finance Committee and the Florida Conference Finance Committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Adventist University.

 

 

 

James “Chip” Byers, Secretary

Byers of Orlando, is the owner of Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard in Lake Buena Vista.  As an Autistic person, Byers faced challenges and discrimination while applying for work and as a result, made the decision to go into business for himself.  At his establishment, Byers maintains an Autistic majority workforce and leads a job training program for individuals of unique abilities- practices that awarded him recognition as The Exceptional Employer of the Year for People with Disabilities.  Throughout his career, Byers has been an outspoken supporter of the Autism Rights movement and of Disability Self-Advocacy.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Pace University.

 

 

 

Alexis Dempsey

Dempsey, of Wesley Chapel, is the Director of National Accounts at Saddlebrook Resort, a company with a commitment to employing individuals with unique abilities. She volunteers her time with the Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel, Junior League of Tampa and Advent Health Wesley Chapel. Dempsey earned her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Central Florida and her master of business administration from Saint Leo University.

 

 

 

 

 

 Allison Flanagan Since September 2017, Allison Flanagan has served as the Director of the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. She moved to Florida from Kentucky in May 2017 to serve as the Deputy Director of the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS).Prior to joining DBS, she was the Executive Director for five years of the Kentucky Office for the Blind. In addition to her experience directing a state agency and implementing policy and operational goals, she served as an online instructor for her alma mater, the University of Kentucky, where she holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. This year Director Flanagan is serving as President-elect for the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. Allison has been a public servant since she began her state career in Kentucky in 1993. She has three daughters and one grandson.

 

 

 

Lori Fahey

Fahey, of Tallahassee, is President and CEO of The Family Café, a non-profit focused on connecting Floridians with unique abilities and their families with information, training and resources. As a mother of a child with special needs, she also volunteers her time with the Family Run Executive Director’s Leadership Association and the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Fahey earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and education from Florida State University. 

 

 

 

Edmund Finder

Ed Finder is a retired money manager formerly Managing Director of Starfinder Financial. Prior to that he was Sr. V.P. Smith Barney and Lehman Brothers, also Special Partner of Oppenheimer & Co. Ed has an Autistic son, Andrew and is devoted to Employment and Permanent housing for people with disabilities. He was active in fund raising and support of the Autism Foundation of N.Y.C.

 

 

 

 

Todd Jennings

Todd Jennings, of Belleair, is a Partner and Attorney with Macfarlane, Ferguson and McMullen, P.A. Previously, he was an Associate and Attorney with Galloway Johnson. A father of a child with autism, Jennings has volunteered his time with the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, Rotary Club of Clearwater and the LiFT Academy Development Council. He is a United States Navy veteran who received his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee and his juris doctor from the University of Florida.