Els for Autism Foundation today announced the appointment of visionary autism expert, Dr. Michael Alessandri, Ph.D. as Chairman of the Board. Alessandri, who joined the Els for Autism board in 2019, succeeds Marvin R. Shanken, Co-Founder, Els for Autism Foundation and Publisher and Founder of M.Shanken Communications.
“We are so proud to have available to us, a leading expert in autism with vast academic credentials and experience for our entire program.” Honorary Chair, Marvin Shanken
Dr. Michael Alessandri is the Executive Director of the University of Miami–Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). Dr. Alessandri has been a professor at UM since 1996 and has worked with individuals with autism and their families since 1981 in various capacities.
“I am honored to assume the role of Chairman of the Board of the Els for Autism Foundation, a one-of-a-kind autism center of excellence that is transforming lives through its innovation in research and educational and therapeutic programming for clients across the lifespan and the globe. I’m especially humbled that the baton has been passed to me by a man I deeply admire, Marvin Shanken, who has led the Foundation with passion and determination. Together, with our first-rate board, leadership team, and staff, the next phase for the Els for Autism Foundation will be one of breathtaking and impactful growth and expansion.” states Dr. Alessandri.
Dr. Alessandri has presented, consulted and published internationally on developing appropriate and effective educational programs for students with autism. In addition, he has received numerous research and service grants and several notable awards within the field including being named Visionary Leader of the Year Award by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children by The Children’s Trust, and Wendy F. Miller Autism Professional of the Year by the Autism Society of America.
“We are grateful to Marvin for all that he has done for the foundation from inception and look forward to what’s to come under the direction of Dr. Michael Alessandri.” Ernie and Liezl Els, co-founders of Els for Autism.
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