2022 Milestones National Autism Conference
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Milestones Autism Resources

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Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Phone: (216) 464-7600

Home Events 2022 Milestones National Autism Conference Achievement Awards

Achievement Awards


Who is your autism champion? Milestones is proud to recognize individuals who are making a difference in the autism community!

Nominations are now closed.  Honorees will be recognized during the annual conference, being held virtually June 15-16, 2022.

Family Tribute Award - For a family member who has gone above and beyond their own family connection to autism in ways that benefit the special needs community overall.

Professional Excellence Award - For a dedicated professional who has been committed to making a difference in the lives of autistic individuals and their families.

#ActuallyAutistic Award - For an autistic person who has achieved individual excellence in accomplishing a personal goal or milestone (no age requirement).

Questions?  Contact Carly Jalowiec at carly@milestones.org

Past Award Recipients


Community Hero Award -- Justin Meade, Autism Awareness Training & Acceptance Program
Family Tribute Award -- Ayesha Abdullah, MEd, Therapeutic School House LLC
Family Tribute Award -- Jenna Newman, Heroes Helping Those with Special Needs
Outstanding Educator Award -- Caitlin Keener, MSW, LSW, Summit Academy Management
Outstanding Leadership Award -- Michael P. Stors, MBA, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center
Personal Achievement Award -- Cory Svette, The Cleveland Opera
Professional Excellence Award -- Dr. Robert Needlman, MD, MetroHealth Medical Center
Professional Trailblazer Award -- Marla Root, Ohio Autism Insurance Coalition & Root Counseling


Community Innovation Award - Ilene Lainer, NEXT for AUTISM, New York, NY
Family Tribute Award -- Susan Sachs, Project Hope Foundation, Greenville, SC
Family Tribute Award -- Lisa Lane, Project Hope Foundation, Greenville, SC
Professional Excellence Award -- Wendy Duke, Center for Applied Drama and Autism, Akron, OH
Visionary Employer Award -- Rebecca Beam, Auticon, Calabasas, CA

Parent Tribute Award -- Amy and Jeff Belles, Co-Directors of KultureCity Ohio 
Everyday Hero Award -- Jennifer Casamento, Paraprofessional with Field Local Schools
Professional Excellence -- Brad McGarry, Director of the Autism Initiative, Mercyhurst University
Professional Excellence -- Chris Filler, Program Director, Lifespan Transitions Center with Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
Personal Achievement Award -- Jordyn Zimmerman

Trailblazer -- Grace Blatt
Trailblazer -- Tyler Aldrich
Research & Medicine -- Stephen Ruedrich MD, CWRU School of Medicine, University Hospitals
Research & Medicine -- Thomas Frazier, Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks
Parent Tribute -- Catherine Krammer, PhD, Founder of Lake/Geauga Support Group for Parents
Parent Tribute -- Saundra Jordan, Parent Mentor at CMSD
Outstanding Educator -- Tabatha Devine, Work Study Coordinator, Westlake High School
Community Innovator -- Nicole Gerami, MA CCC-SLP, Friendship in Teams (F.I.T.) Program
Personal Achievement -- Lucas Estafanous

Teen Trailblazer -- Alexandra Wiskes
Professional Excellence -- Mary Beth Koss Achievement Centers for Children
Parent Tribute -- Keith Bambic
Parent Tribute -- Shari Goldberg, Past President and Founder, Autism Speaks NE Ohio Chapter
Community Innovator -- Kelly Florian, Playhouse Square
Community Innovator -- Daniel Hahn, Playhouse Square, Great Lakes Theater
Personal Achievement -- Brittany Lieberman JFSA Transitions
Personal Achievement -- Sari Gonick JFSA Transitions
Personal Achievement -- Adam Freireich, JFSA Transitions
Personal Achievement -- Evan Burg, JFSA Transitions

Teen Trailblazer -- Michael Whary
Parent Tribute -- Sandee Winkelman
Outstanding Educator -- Terry Kobetitsch, Intervention Specialist, Revere Local School District
Community Innovator -- Doug Blecher, Autism Personal Coach
Professional Excellence -- Lisa Audet PhD, CCC-SLP, Kent State University
Personal Achievement -- Timothy Ray Smith, Self-Advocate

Teen Trailblazer -- Justin Bachman
Visionary Employer Award -- Cleveland Clinic
Visionary Employer Award -- City of Independence
Visionary Employer Award -- Natural Essentials
Professional Excellence -- Sister Agnesmarie LoPorto
Parent Tribute -- Sarah Rintamaki, Connecting for Kids
Outstanding Educator -- Alison Edie-Krohe
Community Innovator -- Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty, Medina Creative Housing

2004 – 2013

2004   Catherine Maurice

2005   Barbara  Yavorcik, Autism Society Ohio

2006   Toby Bresky, JFSA

Teresa Karsnak, Strongsville City School District
Heidi Solomon, JFSA

Kriselle Fox, Cleveland Municipal School District
Stacie Mamula, Revere School
Sherri Appleton, Asperger Team
Sarah Taub, YACHAD

2009   Debra Mandell, Monarch School

Parent Tribute -- Jeanna  Syndenstricker
Parent Tribute -- Ann Regan, UpSide of Downs
Professional Excellence -- William D. Thomas, Solon Blue Ribbon
Professional Excellence --  Kimberly C. English

Teen Trailblazer -- Aaron Danielpour
Volunteer Appreciation -- Andrew Wasserman   
Professional Excellence -- Aletta Sinoff
Professional Excellence -- Karin Hess-Hopkins, Monarch School

Teen Trailblazer -- Molly Dann
Professional Excellence (in memorium) -- Debbie Avner
Professional Excellence -- Lori Wotowiec, ASGC
Professional Excellence -- Jim Wotowiec, ASGC
Parent Recognition -- Joy Spencer, Aspres Group
Volunteer Appreciation -- Josh Eyre

Photo Gallery

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Call: (216) 464-7600 x200