Serving Autism On and Off The Tennis Court

Who We Are

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Lisa Pugliese-LaCroix

Founder and CEO

Lisa is a Speech-Language Pathologist in the field of autism and special needs. For 18 years, Lisa has specialized in the evaluation and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.   

A former collegiate tennis player at Duke University and the University of Florida, Lisa enjoys combining her tennis experience and speech therapy background to teach the sport to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
After working with children for 6 years as a Program Director for a national non-profit for autism, Lisa was inspired to be able to develop her own local non-profit, Love Serving Autism, a 501(c)(3) organization in August 2016.

Lisa has a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Florida Atlantic University and is certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association. She is the chair for the USPTA National Adaptive Task Force and the Co-Chair for the USTA National Adaptive Training and Education Subcommittee. 

Love Serving Autism’s Mission:

Board of Directors

Samuel Jolley

Samuel Jolley

Vice-President/ Fundraising/ Parent Liaison

Sam Jolley is a professional with over 20 years of experience in wealth management, as a business owner, as well as a sales and operations manager for several Fortune 500 companies. Currently Sam is a Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch in Palm Beach, FL.   Sam is a graduate of GA Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree and holds an MBA in Marketing from Clark Atlanta University.

Sam and his wife Jill relocated from Atlanta, GA to Wellington, FL in 2009. They have one beautiful son, Brandon, who was born December 7, 2008 and was originally diagnosed with Autism in 2011 at the age of two. Brandon attends the Palm Beach School for Autism and that is how Sam was introduced to Love Serving Autism. Sam has been working as a parent volunteer with Love Serving Autism as a part of the City of Greenacres tennis program since early 2019.

Sam is very excited to join the Board of Directors and is so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of such a special organization that has impacted his family in such a positive way.

Jane Reid Sylvester

Jane Reid Sylvester

Board Member, Marketing/ Parent Liaison

Jane is a native of Marietta, GA and currently resides in Roswell, GA with her husband and four sons and two daughters. Jane’s oldest son, Aidon, was diagnosed with Autism at 17 months old in 2008. Lisa used to beat up on Jane in junior tennis, but like Lisa, as a former collegiate tennis player for The University of Georgia, her life-long love of tennis runs deep and commitment strong to uplift, support and serve individuals with autism and their families. As an entrepreneur, Jane is passionate about educating and encouraging other business owners to hire individuals with autism and intellectual differences as this diversity is game-changing for a winning company culture. She is grateful for a 20+ year career as a sales, marketing and operations executive and business owner. Currently, Jane is a Consulting CXO for a global marketing agency, Brandinc.com. She is serious about growth and delivering solutions for awesome customer experiences and positive employee mindsets. She is committed to transferring those skills and branding resources to keep LSA’s vibe and visual presence strong and engaging! It is a privilege for Jane to have the opportunity to combine her love of tennis, personal journey with autism and passion for helping organizations grow to support LSA and those we serve throughout Florida and beyond. Jane serves and supports other organizations in the Atlanta area: Special Pops Tennis, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and The Marcus Autism Center.

 

Thomas Pidgeon

Thomas Pidgeon

Treasurer/ Sponsor Relations

Tom had a 30-year career in Logistics and Supply-chain senior management roles with corporations like Office Depot and Black and Decker. Applying his extensive business acumen, he now operates a boutique Real Estate Brokerage, Florida 360 Realty offering Immigration Investment products, Commercial-Business Brokering and Residential Real Estate Sales.

After serving in the US Army, Tom attended the University of Michigan. Having grown up in Dearborn Michigan, he moved to Weston Florida in 1993 and later settled in Delray Beach in 2014.

In Tom’s own words:

So, what’s my ‘big why’ that brough me to support Love Serving Autism. Well, I can tell you I don’t have any family on the spectrum. But I love tennis and was looking to align myself with an organization that worked with children and young adults alike. A tennis buddy introduced me to Lisa (LSA Founder) at the 2018 Delray Open and well, the rest is history!

I truly believe – The size of the hole you give through, will be the size of the hole you receive through. 

 

Chase Moore

Chase Moore

Board Member/ Special Events and Community Relations

Chase Moore is an experienced professional with a career history of domestic and international business, marketing, operations and management expertise.

She is a graduate of Villanova University with degrees in International Business, Psychology and Accounting.

For several years, she volunteered for an organization that assisted children with Autism. It is from her knowledge and expertise from that program that made her one of best candidates for the Board of Directors for Love Serving Autism.

Laura Fanelli

Laura Fanelli

Secretary

Laura Fanelli works as a pediatric registered nurse supervisor, nurse preceptor and bedside nurse at a pediatric post-acute care facility in Philadelphia, PA, which is one of six facilities in the state of Pennsylvania. The facility provides highly skilled, nursing, respiratory and rehabilitative care services with integrated multi-disciplinary therapy services (PT, OT, ST, REC-TX) for medically fragile patients ages 0-21, who mostly are premature infants learning how to survive and thrive and who also require life-sustaining ventilator support. Laura is in her 2nd year pursuing a second master’s program at Old Dominion University to become a Master of Science in Nursing-Prepared Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  As a Registered Nurse, with active licenses in PA and Delaware she has worked in Pediatric Acute Home Health care, Level 1 Pediatric Trauma ED and nearly two years on an adult step-down unit at Level 2 Stroke and Trauma Hospital. Prior to that, Laura obtained her BSN and RN licensure from the University of Texas at Houston UT Health Science Center in 2015 after being the sole in-home caregiver to both her gravely ill parents who passed.  Laura possesses a Master of Arts in Education with a Middle-Childhood Concentration with over 17-years of professional teaching. She has extensive experience working directly with children who have mild to moderate developmental differences and challenges from pre-k through age 21 years old. Lastly, Laura shares over 20-plus years of coaching and instruction in tennis: peewee to Division III-tennis and other multi-sports for culturally diverse regular and special needs populations.

 

Megan Dodge

Board Member/Parent Liaison

Advisory Committees

Therapists: Speech, Occupational, Physical

Venita Litvack, M.S., CCC-SLP

Advisory Committee

Speech Language Pathologist

Marjorie Estevez, PT

Advisory Committee

Physical Therapist

Jessica Budd, M.A., CCC-SLP

Advisory Committee

Speech Language Pathologist

Barbara Hernandez, OTR/L

Advisory Committee

Occupational Therapist

Kimberly Tice, M.S., CCC-SLP

Advisory Committee

Speech-Language Pathologist

Julia Abrahams M.S., CCC-SLP

Advisory Committee

Speech-Language Pathologist

Karli Press M.S., CCC-SLP

Advisory Committee

Speech-Language Pathologist

USPTA/PTR Tennis Professionals

Alex Pop Moldovan

Advisory Committee

USPTA Certified Tennis Professional

Aleksandrina Koleva

Advisory Committee

PTR Certified Tennis Professional

Kyle LaCroix

Advisory Committee

USPTA & PTR Certified Tennis Professional

 

Speech Therapy Advisory Committee

Lisa Timm

PRC-Saltillo Training & Implementation Director

M.S., CCC-SLP

Iowa

Ashley Zimmerman

M.S., CCC-SLP

PA

Julia Abrahams

M.S., CF-SLP  
FL

 

Alise Rittershaus

M.S., CCC-SLP

MA

Samantha Gumula

B.S., Communication Science and Disorders

Florida Atlantic University
Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Graduate Student 

 

Conrad Felton

M.S., CCC-SLP

VA

Medical

Dr. Harold "Hackie" Reitman, M.D.

Medical Advisory Committee

Emily Arndt

Medical Advisory Committee

Parent & Student

Jean Brown

Parent Advisory Committee

Sona Shornden

Parent Advisory Committee

Andrea Paul

Parent Advisory Committee

Bianca Cook

Parent Advisory Committee

Valerie Beatson

Parent Advisory Committee

KidJam Founder

David Brown

Student Advisory Committee

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