Board of Directors
Sallie Bernard, Board President
Sallie is a co-founder of Extreme Sports Camp. Her organizational management skills were developed as founder and CEO of a successful market research firm, which she led for over 15 years. Sallie has been involved with autism related causes since 1992, when her son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and then classic autism. She is an active member of several national autism organizations and has written and presented extensively on autism biomedical issues. Sallie graduated with honors from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, and currently resides in Aspen, Colorado.
Stephanie Malo, Board Vice President
Stephanie has eight years of experience in the securities industry as an institutional stockbroker. Since her son was diagnosed with autism in 1993, she has been actively involved in fund-raising for education and services for children and adults with autism. Stephanie has a business degree in marketing and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1978.
Geoff is heavily vested in the autism community. He has been on numerous boards in the past, including the New Jersey chapter of Cure Autism Now, New York Families for Autistic Children, and Parents of Autistic Children. Geoff brought each of these organizations to a new level and enthusiastically created awareness in each community he served. Geoff and his wife Rosemarie have a teen on the spectrum who is a multi-year Extreme Sports Camp participant. Geoff is currently the owner/director of a full service video production company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA.
Mark Waissar, Treasurer
Mark and Linda (see below) are parents of two girls, including a daughter with autism. Mark is a founding partner of a boutique investment banking firm based in San Francisco. His experience in the non-profit world includes working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in the office of the Treasurer, which oversaw management of the Museum’s endowment. Mark has an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College.
Linda is an attorney, focusing on venture capital fund formation in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a JD from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College (where she and Mark met). She has two daughters, one on the autism spectrum, who is a multi-year ESC participant.
Geoff is a partner in the Houston office of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, where he serves as co-chair of the Trial Practice Group. He has tried over 60 cases, and has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America by the peer review guide Best Lawyers. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned his JD from the University of Houston Law Center. He serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of Houston and the Gateway Academy and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Texas Children’s Hospital Bridges Program. Geoff is married to Shelley Bracken, and their son, Hank, has been a regular Extreme Sports Camp participant.
Dan is Director of Litigation for South Carolina Legal Services, a 50 attorney and 10 office, statewide, non-profit law firm delivering legal services to low income residents of South Carolina. Dan and his wife Lorri Shealy Unumb have a son with autism. Dan assisted Lorri (now Senior Counsel with Autism Speaks) in securing cutting edge legislation in 2007 mandating insurance coverage for autism treatments in South Carolina. Similar legislation has now been passed in over 20 states. In 2008, Dan and Lorri were named Parents of the Year by the Autism Society of America for their Autism Advocacy efforts. Dan has presented on legal topics pertaining to autism at various national conventions, including meetings of parent groups, the Association of Applied Behavior Analysts, and the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association and has provided advice and counsel to various individuals and organizations in the autism community. He is also a board member of the supporting foundation for the Greenwood Genetics Center, which is actively pursuing research relating to autism. Dan graduated from Northwestern School of Law.
Shelley is an active participant in her community and various causes, particularly those that relate to understanding the cause and treatment of autism. She was an early adopter of Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s Developmental, Individualized, Relationship-based (“DIR”) model of autism treatment which ultimately led to her key role in founding the Bridges Program at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. She is also an active supporter of The Gateway Academy, a Houston high school dedicated to serving young adults with special needs. Shelley is married to Geoff Bracken, and their son, Hank, has been a regular Extreme Sports Camp participant.
Betsy Hicks is the CEO of Elementals Living, a holistic health and wellness center in Delavan, Wisconsin. She is an internationally known author, radio host, video anchor, and lecturer on a wide variety of health and wellness topics. Betsy has spoken at several international autism conferences including, the World Symposium in Dubai, and is an annual speaker at Autism One in Chicago and Spectrum Possibilities in Barbados. She is a regular host for Autism One Radio/Voice America. As the mother of an 19-year old with autism, Betsy’s gift and passion for public speaking is both personal and practical. Her devotion to assisting parents find creative and useful solutions to overcome challenging eating habits, inspired her most recent book, Picky Eating Solutions: Bringing the Joy of Real Food Back to the Table. Betsy’s unique understanding, her contagious enthusiasm and sincere empathy inspires all who hear her words, whether written or spoken, towards better health, wellness and joy.