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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointment, reappointments to Autism Council

Friday, October 2, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of Jeff DeLay, of Davison, and the reappointments of Diane Heinzelman, of Petoskey, Anthony Ianni, of Novi, and Amy Matthews, of Grand Haven, to the Michigan Autism Council.

The 12-member council was created in 2012 as an advisory body to review, adopt and implement the state plan. The plan provides for comprehensive lifespan supports to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families through access to information and resources, coordination of services and implementation of evidence-based practices. The council must also update the plan every year.

"This council is doing great work to help improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families," Snyder said. "I thank these appointees for their willingness to serve in these important roles."

DeLay is the COO of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and has previous experience with the Genesee Health System. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. He represents Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans and Community Mental Health Services Programs and replaces Scott Gilman.

Heinzelman is director of special education for the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District. She has been with the district for nearly 30 years, working in various positions, including special education planner/monitor, supervisor of special education/elementary principal, teacher of hearing impaired children, and a teacher of learning, emotionally, and cognitively impaired children. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in special education administration from Grand Valley State University. She continues to represent ISD's, local school districts, or transition coordinators.

Ianni is an autism and bullying advocate with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and has previous experience with the Autism Alliance of Michigan. Ianni earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Michigan State University. He continues to represent individuals with ASD or an individual who is a family member of an individual with ASD.

Matthews is a professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University, focusing on autism and intellectual and development disabilities, and is director of the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project. Matthews is a licensed psychiatrist and earned a Ph.D. and master's degree in clinical psychology from Binghamton University, and a bachelor's in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She continues to represent state-funded initiatives.

Members serve four-year terms expiring Sept. 30, 2019. Appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.