Archived | Autism Coalition: Board Member Bios | Circa June 2003 #NotAnAutisticAlly #AutisticHistory

Autism Coalition: Not An Autistic Ally

Screenshot of Autism Coalition Board Member Bios circa June 2003. Full text below.

Board Member Bios

Kevin Murray, President

Kevin Murray presently manages his own alternative investment business called Pilgrim Financial. Prior to this he was a Principal of Convergence Asset Management, a private hedge fund located in Greenwich, CT. In this capacity Kevin was responsible for business strategies, corporate relations, and global trading operation management. Prior to Convergence, Kevin was a partner and Manager Director responsible for the Mortgage Trading Department of Cantor Fitzgerald. He received a BS degree in Finance from Siena College in 1981. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golf, skiing, fishing, and windsurfing. He is the father of two sons, one of whom is autistic. 

Emily Gerson Saines, Vice President

Emily Gerson Saines is the president of Gerson Saines Management, a creative management agency located in New York City. Before branching out on her own Emily worked for the William Morris Agency and International Creative Management. A graduate of Northwestern University, Emily enjoys the theater, movies and charitable endeavors in her spare time. She is the mother of two sons, one of whom is autistic. 

Rita Bigelow, Treasurer

Rita Bigelow has currently taken a leave of absence from her position as Director of Beecher Investors located in New York City. She received her BSBA degree from Georgetown University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. Rita also serves as a representative of the Foundation for Educating Children with Autism (FECA), an autism group affiliated with the Autism Coalition and composed of parents of children who attend the Devereux Millwood Learning Center in Millwood, NY. In her spare time, Rita enjoys sailing, tennis, and children. She is the mother of three children, one of whom is autistic. 

James Schwab, Secretary

James Schwab is presently a partner at Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison a law firm located in Manhattan. His prior position was with NBC as the Senior Vice President of Interactive Business Development. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and later received his law degree from NYU School of Law. James also serves as a representative of the Foundation for Educating Children with Autism (FECA), an autism group affiliated with the Autism Coalition and composed of parents of children who attend the Devereux Millwood Learning Center in Millwood, NY. In his spare time, James enjoys home restoration, surfing, and tennis. He is the father of three children, one of whom is autistic. 

Paul Levine

Most recently, Paul Levine served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Bates Worldwide. Paul also served as Partner, General Manager, and Director of Client Service at Mad Dogs & Englishmen. He received a B.S. in finance from Queen College and currently serves as a Board Member for the Advertising Club of New York. A trained pianist, Paul enjoys playing and composing in his spare time. He is the father of four children, one of whom is autistic. 

Gary Mayerson

Gary Mayerson is the founding attorney of Mayerson & Associates, a firm which concentrates almost exclusively in representing and advocating for children and adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Before founding Mayerson & Associates, he was an attorney and partner at Graubard, Mollen & Miller. Orignally from Miami, Gary graduated cum laude from Syracuse University and later received his law degree from Georgetown. He is the father of three children, one of whom is autistic. 

Robert Smigel

Robert Smigel writes and produees “TV Funhouse” cartoons for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, where he has also served as staff writer and co-producer. Robert was the original Head Writer/Producer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and continues to contribute as an occasional writer and performer. Robert received a BA degree in Political Science from NYU in 1983. Robert works with the Coalition in tandem with his wife, Michelle Saks Smigel, who also serves as a board member of the McCarton School for the Integrated Treatment of Autism. Robert and Michelle have one son, who is autistic. 


Michael Brogioli, Executive Director

Mike Brogioli has served as the Autism Coalitionís Executive Director since December, 2002.  Prior to joining ACRE, Mike was Director of Outreach and Public Policy for Rob Reinerís I Am Your ChildFoundation, where he promoted awareness about early childhood development.  Mike has worked as an advocate for children and families on behalf of several other national nonprofit organizations, including Catholic Charities USA and Prevent Child Abuse America.  Mike served as a legislative assistant on health care issues to Senator Tom Daschle from 1993-1994.   He holds a BA in government from Notre Dame and a Master of Public Policy from Duke.

Ann R. Hyatt, Director of Development

Ann Hyatt recently joined the Autism Coalition as their first Director of Development.  Ann has been in the nonprofit fundraising world for many years, and recently came from Blythedale Childrenís Hospital in Valhalla, New York.  Ann has worked with The Shield Institute for the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled, St. Vincentís Hospital, United Way, Pace University School of Law, Mercy College, and has done nonprofit consulting.  Ann received her BA in Literature from State University of New York at Oneonta and has her Masterís Degree in Fundraising Management from The New School University.  

Tory Brucato, Director of Special Events 

Maureen Priolet, Financial Administrator 

Valerie Delaine, Program Associate

More With Autism Coalition


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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