Autism Council Members

The following individuals were appointed by the Governor to the Michigan Autism Council.

Colleen Allen, of Detroit, will represent non-profit organizations serving those with ASD for a four-year term, ending September 30, 2020. Colleen Allen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Autism Alliance of Michigan. She was the founder and previous Director of Henry Ford Health System's Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist with over 20 years of experience providing evaluation, diagnostic, and intervention services to children with developmental communication disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from Wayne State University, a Master of Science from Boston University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

Martin S. Baum, of Detroit, will represent the Autism Spectrum Disorder community (individuals and family members) for a four-year term ending September 30, 2024. Mr. Baum has two family members with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He represents parents navigating and negotiating with school districts who are underfunded and understaffed with special education teachers, and he supports personnel to implement an Individual Education Plan and a Plan of Service. He strives to work with school districts to affirmatively embrace Free Appropriate Public Education in a meaningful way.   Mr. Baum received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a law degree from the University of Michigan.

Krista Boe, of Traverse City, will represent certified behavior analysts for an initial term, ending September 30, 2021. She is as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Disabilities, and Organizational Behavior Management. Ms. Boe currently serves as Chief Clinical Officer of Autism Centers of Michigan (ACM), where she started as Clinical Director of Northern Michigan operations. Prior to joining ACM, she served dually diagnosed individuals at an Intermediate Care Facility, and as an independent consultant in a community waiver-based setting in Southwest Iowa and Nebraska. Ms. Boe has served as a board member for the Heartland Association for Behavior Analysis, as well as the Nebraska Association for Behavior Analysis. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from Central Michigan University, and a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University.

Mary Chaliman, of Holt, will represent the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for a four-year term, ending September 30, 2022. She is Manager of the Child Welfare Medical Unit where she oversees the state's development of policy and programming for the medical, dental, developmental, and behavioral health of children in foster care. Her unit is also responsible in providing oversight for the use of psychotropic medication for children in foster care. Before joining MDHHS, she was a foster care worker and supervisor at the Ingham County Family Independence Agency. She is a registered social worker and has bachelor's degrees in Communications and English from Michigan State University.

Jacob Daar, of Marquette, will represent state universities for a four-year term, ending September 30, 2024.  Daar is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Northern Michigan University (NMU) and the coordinator of NMU's Applied Behavior Analysis Master's Program where he teaches coursework on behavior assessment and therapy, research methods, and behavioral theory.  Daar is also the Director of the Behavior Education Assessment and Research (BEAR) Center where he oversees multiple service and practicum training programs including comprehensive behavior analytic services for school aged children, an early intervention language learning clinic, community and school based behavioral supports, and programs designed to enhance staff training and performance.  He is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst at the Doctorate Level and a Licensed Behavior Analyst.  Daar received his bachelor's degrees in psychology and sociology at the University of South Florida, his master's in applied behavior analysis at the University of South Florida, and his PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the Behavior Analysis and Therapy program at Southern Illinois University.  

Brian DeBano, of Laingsburg, will represent the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) for an initial term, ending September 30, 2021. He is the Licensing Division Director for LARA and has previously worked as the president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant Association. Mr. DeBano received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan University.

Dana Lasenby, of Southfield, will represent Pre-paid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHP) and local Community Mental Health Service Programs (CMHSP) for a term commencing October 1, 2019 and expiring September 30, 2023. She is the Chief Clinical Officer with Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network and is a behavioral health care professional with over 25 years of clinical and administrative experience in both the public and private sector of behavioral health. Dana is a Limited Licensed Psychologist and currently responsible for the oversight of the Access & Crisis Continuum System, Residential and Utilization Management. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Rebecca McIntyre, of Grand Rapids, will represent the Michigan Department of Education for a term ending September 30, 2022. She currently serves as a supervisor within the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education. Ms. McIntyre has previously served as the Assistant Director of Special Education at Kent Intermediate School District, the chair of the Kent Collaborative Autism Network, a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, the Executive Board for the Michigan Association of Administrators in Special Education, and the Board of Trustees for Noorthoek Academy. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education, with endorsements in the areas of cognitive impairments and specific learning disabilities, and a certification for supervisor and director of special education from Grand Valley State University.

Amy Matthews, of Grand Haven, will represent state-funded initiatives for a four-year term commencing October 1, 2019 and expiring September 30, 2023. She is a Professor of Psychology at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and director of the GVSU Autism Education Center as well as director of the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START), which provides training, technical assistance, and collaborative networking to educational professionals and families throughout the state. Ms. Matthews has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Binghamton University, a bachelor's degree in psychology from University of California at Santa Barbara, and she is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

George Mellos, of Farmington Hills, will represent the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for a four-year term, ending September 30, 2022. Dr. Mellos is Senior Deputy Director for the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration and a clinical associate professor at Wayne State University. He has previously served as Senior Executive Psychiatrist Director for the state of Michigan, Hospital Director, Chief of Clinical Affairs, and Chief of Psychiatry for MDHHS’ Hawthorn Center. He is a member of the Michigan Psychiatric Society, American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Michigan Council of Child Psychiatry. Dr. Mellos holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Michigan Technological University and a medical degree from Wayne State University.

Amy Miilu, of Portland, will represent the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) for a four-year term ending September 30, 2022. She is the manager of the insurance complaint unit within DIFS. Ms. Miilu holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Lansing Community College and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Michigan State University.

Jenny Piatt, of Chelsea, will represent Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and employment services for an initial term, ending September 30, 2021. She is the bureau division director for MRS directing statewide business outreach and disability management division.  She serves as the Michigan representative on the National Employment Team (NET) – Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the National Industry Liaison Group, and American Counseling Association. Ms. Piatt earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wayne State University and master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Michigan State University.

Kent Rehmann, of Lansing, will represent Recipient Rights for the public system for an initial term, ending September 30, 2021. He is the owner, operator, and rights director for Rights Consulting Services, LLC, as well as the Recipient Rights Officer for Summit Pointe in Calhoun County, Pines Behavioral Health in Branch County and at Promedica Coldwater Regional Hospital. Mr. Rehmann earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and criminal justice from Michigan State University.

Lauren Ringle, of Petoskey, will represent intermediate school districts and local schools for a four-year term commencing October 1, 2019 and expiring September 30, 2023. She is the Director of Special Education at the Public Schools of Petoskey and previously worked for the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District for 12 years, including eight years as a teacher and four years as the special education coordinator.

Neelkamal Soares, of Portage, will represent health care providers serving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder for a four-year term, ending September 30, 2024. Dr. Soares is a board certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician serving as Professor of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine and division chief of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo. Dr. Soares completed his medical degree at University of Bombay (Mumbai), Pediatric residency at University of Illinois Chicago and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric fellowship at University of Maryland Baltimore.

Francisco Vaca, of Potterville, will represent individuals with ASD or that have a family member with ASD for a four-year term commencing October 1, 2019 and expiring September 30, 2023. Mr. Vaca has an associate degree from Lansing Community College and is currently a peer mentor at the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties.