Nancy Claussen, MAS Chair of the Board and Chief Operating Officer (Nancyc@azpathwaytowork.org) - Nancy lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and her two sons. Both of her sons are bright, engaged, and talented individuals, one of whom has autism. Nancy has a Master of Science in Aeronautics and worked in the airline industry for many years prior to working for the Federal Aviation Administration developing regulations, policy, and guidance regarding air carrier operations. She also served as a technical expert regarding the use of child restraint and restraint systems used by people with disabilities on aircraft, as well as the regulatory and operational aspects regarding nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in air travel.
Amy Dill, M.Ed. Board President & Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer (Amyd@azpathwaytowork.org) – Amy began her teaching career as a general education fifth grade teacher, but changed her career course soon after her son was diagnosed with autism. Since this time, Amy has dedicated herself to educating and assisting the families of children with disabilities, and the professionals who work with them. This assistance has ranged from working with families in their homes as an early intervention specialist, teaching special education preschool, teaching as an adjunct professor with Northern Arizona University, and working in the dispute resolution unit at the Arizona Department of Education. She currently works for a local school district.
Maureen Mills, BS Board Secretary and Director of Marketing (Maureenm@azpathwaytowork.org) – Maureen has her BS in Marketing from the University of Arizona. Since 1998 when her youngest son was born and quickly diagnosed with Down syndrome, Maureen has been active in Phoenix area organizations that support individuals with disabilities and their families. She is a founding member of Down Syndrome Network of Arizona, spent several years as a program manager for Best Buddies Arizona and worked for the Arizona Department of Education as a Parent Information Network Specialist helping families understand their educational rights. She continued her work supporting families at Raising Special Kids, Arizona’s Parent Training and Information Center, until she was promoted to her current position as Communications Coordinator for the organization.
Lisa Silva, M.Ed. Board Member, Director of Education and Participant Programs (Lisas@azpathwaytowork.org) – Lisa has been working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities for almost 20 years. She began providing in-home habilitation services to children with autism, and then became a lead habilitation trainer for a local agency while attending Arizona State University. She credits one of her psychology professors for instilling in her a passion for working with individuals with autism. Lisa has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Special Education, and obtained a Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in autism. Lisa has taught special education to students of all grade levels for 14 years, including preschool, elementary, middle school and high school. She has extensive training in applied behavior analysis and transition services. She holds a K-12 teaching certificate from Arizona Department of Education in special education and an endorsement in emotional disorders. For many years Lisa was Director of Special Education Services and a Special Education high school teacher for a private school for students with autism and other developmental disabilities. While in this position, Lisa developed her passion for working with individuals and their families to create transition plans to assist students in achieving greater independence to lead to paid, integrated employment and increased independent living skills.
Kim Birch, BS, PA-C Board Member
Kim moved to the valley in 1999 from the East Coast. She lives in Scottsdale and is mom to two wonderful children including her son Connor who has autism. As a PA, she has worked in the pediatric field in newborn medicine and endocrinology. She has also worked in the Scottsdale School District as a special needs paraprofessional and substitute teacher. Currently, she volunteers her time to two organizations in the valley that help people with disabilities achieve their dreams. Her son Connor attends Pathway to Work.