2022 Milestones National Autism Conference
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Milestones Autism Resources

4853 Galaxy Parkway, Suite A
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Phone: (216) 464-7600

Home Events 2021 Milestones Annual Benefit
2021 Milestones Annual Benefit

Milestones is proud to honor:

Maria Schmitt

Maria Schmitt

Cleveland Clinic
Board Champion

Maria has over 25 years of experience in human resources management with a demonstrated history of leading successful teams in the health care and higher education space. As an executive director and division administrator in HR at the Cleveland Clinic, Maria supports strategic planning, process improvement and fiscal planning. She brings her expertise in these areas to the impressive range of volunteer positions she holds in the Cleveland community, including her influential relationship with Milestones.

Since joining the Milestones Board in 2012, Maria has served as chair of the board leadership committee and HR advisory. She also plays a vital role as a member of the executive committee and strategic planning committee, contributing her knowledge of employee engagement, recruiting and human resources to support the organization.

The impact of Maria’s guidance and thoughtfulness as an active Board member is evident in Milestones’ growth over the past decade. In times of change, Maria has been a reliable source of innovative solutions and optimism to ensure the organization meets the needs of the local autism community.

“Milestones is a place where parents, educators and individuals on the spectrum can get advice and resources. I’m impressed with how the organization has adjusted to the growing demand for their services and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Milestones family.”

Autumn Ziemba & <br>Mark McKenzie

Autumn Ziemba &
Mark McKenzie

Fox 8 (formerly) & Brokaw
Community Leaders

Mark and Autumn are passionate, active advocates for their child and others with autism, lending their platforms and expertise as parents to increase autism acceptance in the Greater Cleveland area.

In 2017, Mark and Autumn’s son Simon received an autism and cancer diagnosis within months of one another, news that left the entire family uncertain of what the future would hold. In the midst of aggressive cancer treatments, Mark and Autumn worked to piece together an action plan to educate themselves about autism and to build a support system for their son. This effort led them to the Milestones Helpdesk, where they were introduced to a vast network of resources, recommendations, and most importantly, people who understood what they were going through.

Since Simon’s autism diagnosis, Mark and Autumn have dedicated themselves to spreading autism awareness within their community, while supporting Milestones and other families on the same journey. As an Emmy and Associated Press Award-winning journalist, Autumn uses her platform to encourage parents to become strong advocates for their children, and is an active participant in Milestones' annual events. Mark is a creative director at Brokaw, and has volunteered his comedy and improv talents many times over the years to support Milestones’ fundraising efforts. He currently serves on the communications committee, assisting with the organization's advertising and content strategy.

Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW

Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW

Milestones Autism Resources
Exceptional Service

Milestones Program Director Beth Thompson has over a decade of experience working directly with young adults on the spectrum, guiding families and individuals toward greater independence. In her 10 years with Milestones, Beth has lent her passion for social work to continuously fill service gaps in our local community, assisting in the creation and management of the organization’s core services and initiatives, including the free autism Helpdesk, online Resource Center, individual and family consultations, and Milestones’ professional training.

Beth is especially proud of her role in the launch of the Milestones Diversity Taskforce, working to ensure LGBTQ, racial, gender and neurodiversity issues are addressed through the organization’s work.

Beth's tireless leadership and dedication to those with disabilities has not only shaped Milestones' vital programs into what they are today, but has been a driving force in shaping the landscape of autism resources and supports throughout Northeast Ohio.

Today, there are hundreds of young adults working, playing and finding happiness in their communities because of Beth.

“My wish for the autism community is that we see a clear move toward appreciation, beyond acceptance and awareness. The talents, perspectives and ideas of autistic people are to be valued. It is important that their voices are heard, and I am fortunate to amplify the voices of these individuals through my work.”

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Need assistance? Let Milestones be your local guide.

Unsure of where to start? Call our free Helpdesk with your questions, and we will do the research for you!

Call: (216) 464-7600 x200