Autism Society Inland Empire Board

Rick Gutierrez

Rick Gutierrez, Ph D, BCBA
Board President

Rick is currently the Regional Vice President Autism Administration and Network Provider Services, Easter Seals Southern California.  He started off his career as an in-home tutor and still has a desire to improve the lives of families affected by autism.

JJ Johnston

JJ Johnston, Ed D, BCBA, Board Vice-President

Parent and Vice President, Experience & Service Delivery Easter Seals of Southern CA, Easter Seals of Southern California.  For over 20 years, J.J. Johnston has partnered with community leaders to create quality ABA programs for schools, provide consultation on behavioral services, and shape client-centered public policy regarding services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

rebecca silva

Rebecca Silva, Ph D

Dr.  Silva is a retired Special Education Administrator, consultant, and author.  She has had over thirty years of experience working with students with special needs in the roles of special education teacher, grant coordinator, university instructor, principal and administrator. Dr. Silva has written numerous grants, articles, manuals,  curricula and has also presented at local, state, national and international conferences.


Michelle Goodrow

Michelle is a passionate Special Educator with more than 20 years experience in moderate to severe classrooms.  When not in her classroom, you can find her volunteering her time with Special Needs Football and Cheerleaders, or helping with the Autism Society Outreach and Sky High Nights.

Nicole Aptekar pix

Nicole Aptekar, MBA

Nicole Aptekar has over 20 years of marketing, public relations and advertising experience in business-to-business, consumer segments and non-profit organizations. She has worked for several Fortune 100 companies as Group Marketing Manager in technology and retail. She is a principal owner of  a marketing firm specializing in working with small-to-medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations.  Nicole is the proud mother of triplets, one of whom is on the spectrum.  Nicole also facilitates the monthly Advocacy for Autism support group in Pomona.

Beth Burt pix

Beth Burt

Beth is a parent of a young adult with Autism and co-author of two books on inclusion.  She has been working to improve the lives of all affected by Autism for the last 16 years.  She has served on a number of Task Forces, Collaborations on Housing, Employment, and Public Policy issues related to Autism.


Stephani Congdon

Board Member. Community member and Non-profit consultant. Stephani has been recognized for her years she has dedicated to helping the Inland Empire non-profit community for many years and serves on countless boards and committees related to issues regarding children, poverty, and autism.


Leonard Cravens, Esquire

Leonard is a practicing attorney who is certified specialist in criminal and bankruptcy law. He was officially diagnosed with autism at age 61 after noticing himself in one of his clients. He has a B.S. and M.S in computer related subjects and spent 18 years in the software industry before becoming an attorney. When in court he educates fellow attorneys and judges about autism.


Edward Dulasong III, Ph D

Edward is currently a board member and administrator for the Colegio de Dagupan, a private non-sectarian college located in Dagupan City in the Philippines.  He has his Bachelors Management, Masters in Education, and Ph.D. in Education. Edward is the father of two extraordinary children including a teenager with autism.

elizabeth eubanks

Elizabeth Eubanks, Esquire

Elizabeth received her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. After graduation, Elizabeth worked in private practice, advocating for parents of children with disabilities in regional center, school district, and health insurance matters.   Elizabeth is an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne College of Law, teaching coursework in special education and disability rights law.


Vanessa Gill

Learning from her own experiences as an individual with Asperger syndrome, Vanessa founded Social Cipher, an empowering video game for children with Autism. Her remarkable interdisciplinary team works to develop the game’s design based on scientific research and the needs of real children and families affected by Autism.

Lillian Vasquez KVCR

Lillian Vasquez

Parent of a young man with Autism and founder of the KVCR Autism Initiative.  Lillian has developed and produced five documentaries on autism. She is currently the host of Lifestyles with Lillian Vasquez on 91.9 KVCR.