Serving Autism and Developmental Disabilities On and Off The Courts

LSA Leadership Team

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Lisa Pugliese-LaCroix

CEO & Director of Programs and Clinical Services

Lisa is a USPTA and PTR Elite Certified Tennis Professional and an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist in the field of autism. For 19 years, Lisa has specialized in evaluating and treating children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities.

A former collegiate tennis player at Duke University and the University of Florida followed by WTA tournaments, 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 the FL program director for a national non-profit for autism, Lisa was inspired to be able to develop her own non-profit, Love Serving Autism, a 501(c)(3) organization in January 2017.  In 2021, Lisa was elected by USTA National to co-chair for two years the Adaptive Training and Education Subcommittee to develop an adaptive tennis curriculum. She is the chair of the 2020-2023 USPTA National Adaptive Task Force. Lisa is the recipient of USTA National’s 2022 Eve Kraft Award for community service.

Vallye Adams

Vallye Adams

Director of Fundraising and Special Events

Vallye Adams is the Founder and CEO of Etavele Solutions, LLC, a national nonprofit consulting firm based in Tampa Florida. Unique like her name, Etavele offers solutions to ‘elevate’ and enhance events, engage boards, specializing in proven sustainable revenue development in the not-for-profit sector.

After attending the University of South Florida, Vallye’s professional experience spans over twenty years, including multifamily property management, real estate sales, and over fourteen years in executive nonprofit management, fundraising, event development, expansion strategies and new market growth.

Her “WOO” (Winning others Over) strength and collaborative style has cultivated relationships, sponsorships and corporate partnerships, paving the way for organizations around the country to elevate revenue and enhance event fundraising. Vallye’s strategies have ensured organizations elevated revenue growth to over $10 million in the last 5 years. Experienced in expansion initiatives and new market growth in 22 states, Vallye focuses on grassroots efforts, growth initiatives, strategic planning, building cohesive teams, motivating volunteers, and developing active, structured boards.

Vallye believes actions speak louder than words and offers to personally help your organization make “the ask” and show you the MONEY $$! She is a licensed Florida auctioneer and emcee with the incredible team at Alpert Enterprises!  She offers to consult and coach clients on cultivating exceptional events and or actually facilitate, manage and lead the revenue appeal from the frontlines….the stage!

A #1 International Best-Selling Author of, “YES I CAN!” 16 Success Secrets from Inspiring Women around the World” and “Living an Empowered Life”, and collaborator of a #1 National Best seller, “The Impact of Influence ”. Vallye shares her success secrets and energy on multiple podcasts, international publications, leadership series and conferences. 

Vallye is honored and proud to serve part time as LOVE SERVING AUTISM’s Director of Development and Special Events, focusing on creating and executing fundraising initiatives to raise awareness, expand the mission and promote programmatic growth to ensure thousands of children and young adults with Autism are accepted, included, and learn life skills, on and off the tennis courts.

Lisa Timm, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lisa Timm, M.S., CCC-SLP

Director of Therapeutic Clinical Training & AAC

Lisa is a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice. Her clinical focus is on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Previously, Lisa was employed by PRC-Saltillo. She began her PRC-Saltillo career as a consultant and became the manager of PRC-Saltillo’s Implementation & Training services.  In these roles, she provided AAC support to families and other team members to achieve the successful implementation of communication systems. Before working at PRC-Saltillo, Lisa worked with preschool through adult populations and included various AAC systems.

Lisa earned her Bachelor of Health Sciences in Communication Disorders from Governors State University (Illinois) and completed her master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Illinois State University. She holds a license in Speech-Language Pathology from the State of Iowa, holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Division 12 for AAC.

Melissa Gusman, The Gusman Network

Melissa Gusman, The Gusman Network

LLC Grant Writer

Melissa Gusman has 16+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector with notable expertise in grant research, writing, and full-spectrum management, mission/vision statement reevaluation and alignment, and curriculum development. A decade of her work was dedicated to teaching English in the public-school setting before transitioning to focus solely on grants development and nonprofit consulting. She now runs her own business, The Gusman Network, which specializes in nonprofit content development, grant writing, and support coaching. As such, her clients include nonprofits that serve children and youth via education, health, and wellness initiatives. Melissa thrives on growing deep-seeded, collaborative relationships with clients who are like-minded in their desires to learn from one another, create high-quality content, and develop strategic plans toward funding diversification and growth. She loves to spend time with her young family while exploring the Florida waterways, hiking the Florida park system trails, and teaching yoga. Ms. Gusman holds a master’s degree in Child and Family Sciences from Florida State University and undergraduate degrees in English and Secondary Education from University of South Florida.

Melissa is thrilled to support LSA’s mission and to continue securing funding for adaptive sports therapies. She has served as the organization’s lead grants advisor for the past two years.

Nicholas Bourdon

Nicholas Bourdon

Director of Operations

Nicholas Bourdon is the Director of Operations with LSA focusing on company strategy, growth planning, and automations to keep up with LSA’s rapid growth. Nick has been involved in charity work for 5 years including running his own. His background in automations and software comes from running several software businesses where he consults with firms & builds their automation backend.

Nicholas graduated from Babson College in 2020 with a degree in Real Estate and Operations Management. He is currently based out of Boca Raton, Florida where he actively works on LSA projects & currently focuses on LSA program expansion into Miami.

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Duke Ferdinand LaCroix

Duke Ferdinand LaCroix

Canine Executive Officer

LSA Certified Therapy Dog

Born in Minnesota, Duke now calls South Florida home. Duke Ferdinand LaCroix, a 2nd generation Goldendoodle with a Blue Merle coat, is a trained and certified therapy canine. He is utilized in many Love Serving Autism classes and events in South Florida. Known for his exceptional temperament around strangers and children, Duke excels at bringing smiles to people’s faces. A sit-and-stay expert. Duke is an exceptional digger, whether at his favorite beach or in the comfort of his parent’s backyard. His outgoing personality, wet nose, tail wagging, and penchant for overwhelming cuteness make Duke an excellent addition to the Love Serving Autism team.

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