Milestones National Autism Conference -- Jun 14-15
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Milestones Autism Resources

4853 Galaxy Parkway, Suite A
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Phone: (216) 464-7600

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Ilana Hoffer Skoff, MA
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Executive Director
216.464.7600 x 102

Ilana Hoffer Skoff, Executive Director and Co-founder of Milestones, knows that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Determined to bring autism training, resources and services to Northeast Ohio, Ilana co-founded Milestones with Mia in 2003. Wanting each and every child to reach his or her milestones, Ilana has coached and inspired families over the past 17 years providing practical strategies and innovative programming. Previously, Ilana worked for almost 20 years with nonprofit agencies, including consulting in the areas of development, strategic planning and grant writing.


Mia Buchwald Gelles
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Operations Director
216.464.7600 x 101

Mia Buchwald Gelles, Operations Director and Co-founder of Milestones, makes sure everything runs smoothly. She oversees daily operations, finance, technology and HR. Mia uses her expertise in nonprofit management and project planning so Milestones can effectively serve the community. Her technical skills have enabled Milestones to develop and evolve the website and database as the organization has grown. Prior to Milestones, Mia provided 20 years of lead program management and data solutions for nonprofits and governmental agencies. Mia serves on the executive board for the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD).


Maya Holtz Groys, MA
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Senior Development Director
216.464.7600 x107

As Milestones’ Senior Development Director, Maya is committed to working with the staff, board and community to ensure a sustainable future. She is dedicated to Milestones' mission of helping families and autistic individuals. Maya has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit world with a focus on fundraising, donor cultivation, event planning and grants management. Maya's passion for organizations that help children and families included serving as Board President of Fostering Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of children in foster care. Inspired every day by her three children, Maya has a master's degree in management of child, youth and family services from Brandeis University. 

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Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Program Director
216.464.7600 x 108

Beth has over a decade of experience working directly with autistic young adults, guiding families and individuals toward greater independence. Prior to joining Milestones in 2011, Beth served as a Youth Transition Specialist with LEAP (Linking Employment, Abilities & Potential). Beth earned her MSSA with a concentration in Community Development and Social Change from Case Western Reserve University. She has represented Milestones on the Employment First Transition Council for the State of Ohio where she assisted with policy development and implementation and also serves as a field advisor for Case Western Reserve University Graduate School of Social Work and previously sat on the internal curriculum committee. She has also presented on topics related to autistic teens and adults  throughout the state of Ohio and national conferences. Beth is dedicated to mentoring self-advocates to become teachers for others and expanding community engagement for autistic individuals.


Lisa Danielpour
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Marketing and Communications Director
216.464.7600 x 109

Lisa brings 30 years of strategy, marketing, technology and nonprofit leadership experience dedicated to supporting the autism community. A passionate patient/family, disabilities and healthcare technology advocate and national speaker, Lisa is Past President of the Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Patient and Family Partnership Council. Lisa has presented at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) three times and at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Conference, American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit. She is a member of the NIH Clinical Center Patient Advisory Group and Rainbow Hospital Quality Council, and was a member of the University Hospitals (UH) System Maintaining the Art of Compassion during COVID-19 Task Force in 2020. Lisa served as Marketing Director for the International City/County Management Association for 20 years, and has a communications degree from Northwestern University. Lisa has two wonderful sons, one of whom is autistic.


Estee Ezinski
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Helpdesk Manager
216.464.7600 x 105

As Helpdesk Manager, Estee supports individuals and families in finding resources in their communities. Estee has a professional background in pediatric patient care and is a mother to an autistic child. As a mom, she is dedicated to serving families while being able to utilizes her own child’s and family’s experiences to help guide other families. Estee has completed COPAA training and has a strong interest in special education advocacy. 


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Nicole Herrera
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Operations Manager
216.464.7600 x 106

Nicole provides the foundation that supports all Milestones programming, ensuring efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness. She handles database management and oversees registration for all events, including the Milestones National Conference.  Her previous areas of study and experience include Modern Languages, Education and technical writing. She was an aide in a program for children with communication disorders for 10 years.


Jill Lipman
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Website & Technology Project Manager
216.464.7600 x 126

Jill oversees the day-to-day maintenance of Milestones’ website and the Milestones Autism Planning (MAP) tool. With over 30 years of project management experience, she also supports essential technology projects including website redesign projects, communications efforts and video content production for the organization. Jill has two daughters, one of whom is autistic and was her inspiration for joining the Milestones team.


Nathan Morgan, MSSA, LSW
Pronouns: he/they/them
Program Manager: Early Intervention and Autistic Supports
216.464.7600 x 118

Nathan Morgan, MSSA, LSW, is the Program Manager for Early Intervention and Autistic Supports at Milestones Autism Resources. Nathan has a professional background in childhood development, early intervention, and childhood mental health. Nathan is also an autistic self-advocate who uses their own lived experiences to support causes important to the autistic community. They are one of the moderators for the Milestones Self-Advocate Social group where they work to support fellow autistic individuals with creating friendships and building community.

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Vanetta Perry
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Engagement and Special Events Manager
216.464.7600 x 113

Vanetta is a seasoned development professional with over 20 years of experience. As a certified event planner, she brings to Milestones expertise in planning and executing corporate, community and major fundraising events. Vanetta is passionate about many causes, including premature birth and low birth-weight babies, healthy pregnancies and health disparities in urban communities. During her time with the Solon School System, Vanetta spent time working with special needs children. In that capacity, she worked with many autistic children. She has a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing & computer information systems.

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Autumn Ziemba
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Community Relations Manager
216.464.7600 x117

Autumn Ziemba McKenzie brings more than 20 years of journalism and media relations experience to the Milestones team. She has won regional Emmy and Associated Press awards for her work in television reporting and anchoring across the state of Ohio. She received the Milestones Community Leader award in 2021 for her work to increase autism education, awareness, and the Milestones mission.

Autumn is the proud mom of two kids, including an autistic son who is also a leukemia survivor. It was her son's diagnoses that spawned her advocacy for children with special and medical needs. Autumn serves on the advisory board for the Akron Municipal Court’s Connect Program, which helps people with developmental disabilities navigate the criminal justice system. She and her husband also founded and run the Operation SiFi holiday toy drive for patients at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. Autumn received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University. Autumn is a storyteller at heart, and is honored to highlight the unique stories of autistic individuals and those who love and support them.


Angela Richards
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Marketing Manager
216.464.7600 x125

As the Marketing Manager, Angela Richards is responsible for creating impactful communications and content with a goal of increasing awareness of Milestones services and mission. Angela earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Akron and has a background in community relations, print and digital marketing, and copywriting. She looks forward to applying her skills to help create a community where all individuals are encouraged and supported to reach their fullest potential. 


Gay Baker
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Helpdesk Specialist
216.464.760 x114

Gay retired from Metrohealth Medical Center, having worked as a supervisor of medical social workers in the Ambulatory clinics throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan area.  Prior to becoming a supervisor, Gay was the primary social worker in the Pediatric Clinic and OB/GYN clinic at the main campus of Metrohealth Medical Center.  Gay also brings past experience working with the families of children, ages 0-5, who are at risk of, or experiencing delayed development.  She has provided parents and caregivers with direct support as they consider and evaluate concerns about their child and embark on the journey to access medical, educational and mental health programming and support. Gay has extensive experience working with community resources and attending community based meetings on behalf of our most vulnerable populations.   Of special importance is working with parents and other caregivers to become strong advocates for their children, in multiple settings including medical and educational. Gay has a Masters of Education from Erikson Institute in Chicago and a Masters of Applied Social Science from Case Western Reserve University. 


Helena Farkas
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Helpdesk Specialist
216.464.760 x116

Helena came to Milestones in 2014 after a lengthy career at Metro Health Medical Center. There, she worked extensively with the special needs population helping families navigate the medical and community systems. Now as a retired social worker with Milestones, Helena coaches families, individuals and professionals to access the multiple resources that promote education, health and independence and has a particular expertise in linking families of low income to available resources. Helena earned an MSSA from Case Western Reserve University.

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Mary Meister
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Development Coordinator
216.464.7600 x124

As the Development Coordinator, Mary Meister supports the development team to reach their goals, which include fundraising, donor cultivation and stewardship, event planning, and grant management. Mary is inspired by Milestone’s mission as she has an autistic sibling. Mary earned her bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and has a professional background in a corporate environment. She is excited to take what she has learned and apply it to a meaningful cause.


Carly Millis Jalowiec
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Education Coordinator
216.464.7600 x121

Education Assistant Carly Millis Jalowiec supports the conference team in the preparation and coordination of the annual Milestones National Autism Conference, and assists the organization with clerical and technical support. She is also a late-diagnosed autistic advocate who has become a frequently-requested public speaker, appearing on NPR's Ideastream radio, Fox 8 TV, and more. Her professional background includes proposal writing, administrative organization, and technology expertise. She is honored to be able to share her experiences and advocate for the neurodivergent community.


Christa Mullis, MEd
Pronouns: she/they/them
Training Coordinator
216.464.7600 x120

Christa comes to Milestones as the founder of Spectrumize, an autism accessibility and advocacy company. She has also served in the developmental disability field as a researcher, advocate, educator, mentor, and consultant. Christa received her Master’s degree in Education with a focus in Special Needs and Inclusive Education from Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of International Development and Cooperation. She has worked with autism communities around the world and hopes to continue making positive changes in recognizing the strengths of autistic children and creating a more welcoming world for them to thrive. 


Michelle Mejia
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Helpdesk Coordinator, Outreach and Multilingual Support
216.464.7600 x123

Michelle has had experience working with the Hispanic community since 2017 by advocating for their needs and providing Spanish interpretation and translation services. She has also worked with families in the school environment as an interpreter during IEP meetings. She is very proud to be Hispanic and is looking forward to using that passion as she helps the autistic community find the resources and assistance that families need.


Kimberly L. Bell
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Administrative Assistant
216.464.7600 x122

Kim has over 15 years of experience in non-profit organizations with professional office administrative assistant positions and a track record of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments. Kim skillfully manages administrative duties and client relations for her colleagues at Milestone Autism Resources. Kim has two sons, one of whom is autistic and was her motivation for joining the Milestones team.



Chris Beason
Discord Moderator

Kelli Coleman
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Amy Kleinman
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Discord Moderator 

Selena Rodriguez
Ohio Family Network Social Group Moderator

Bradley Wyner
Training Contractor

Some photography courtesy of New Image Photography

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