Meet Our Team
Brooklyn Autism Center is proud to offer the highest quality instruction using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for individuals with Autism. Each of our instructors holds a Bachelor’s degree in related fields along with prior experience working with individuals with Autism. The staff and classrooms are supervised throughout the day by Clinical Supervisors who have extensive backgrounds working with individuals with Autism and utilizing ABA. All staff are overseen by our Directors who are Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analysts in New York State.
Julie Russell, M.S., BCBA, LBA-NY
Juliet Grillo, M.S., BCBA, LBA-NY
Andrea Delgado, M.S., BCBA, LBA-NY
Bianca Bocconi, M.S. Ed
Jessica DeFranco, M.S., BCBA
Emma Evans, M.S.
Fatima Anwar, M.A., BCBA, LBA- NY
Teresa Ambery M.S.
Board of Directors
In 2006, our founder Sydnee Jorgl began the monumental process of establishing a school that would provide the education she believed her son Ian deserved. With her passion, compassion, and unrelenting energy, she built BAC into what it is today. As President of the Board, Sydnee is responsible for the strategic planning and fundraising vital to the success of BAC. She works with the board’s governance committee to manage and maintain overall stability of the organization. She presides over meetings, proposes policies and practices, sits on various committees, monitors the performance of Directors and Officers and recruits new board members. Additionally, Sydnee acts as a spokesperson to the larger community and advocate for children with Autism and their families everywhere.
Heidi is the Vice President of Marketing at SiriusXM Radio Inc. As the Secretary of the Executive Board of Directors, Heidi is responsible for documenting and disseminating all relevant communications. As the Digital Marketing Director, Heidi provides strategic leadership in all aspects of marketing and social media efforts for the school. She works closely with the BAC marketing staff on the tone and presentation of informational materials through our branding and promotional campaigns, website, fundraisers and general communications.
Vicki is the Director of Marketing for the Washington Square Hotel in Greenwich Village. She is responsible for all advertising and marketing efforts related to the promotion of the hotel and the adjacent restaurant North Square. She coordinates special events and works to develop relationships with surrounding businesses. Through the hotel, Vicki is very active in supporting charitable initiatives and issues affecting the local community. Vicki brings her valuable marketing expertise into the fold at BAC and adds additional support to our overall fundraising efforts.
Ty is a residential real estate broker with The Corcoran Group and a commercial real estate attorney at Goldstein Hall PLLC. Ty’s interest in education began prior to law school, while he was working in a high school classroom instructing students with Autism. In the years that followed until law school, he spent each summer in the high school or middle school setting working as a teacher’s assistant for the extended school year program. Ty brings his experience as an attorney assisting organizations with corporate governance and his passion for educating students with autism to assist BAC in its continued growth and success.
Philip Kearns is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and a member of the Executive Committee of D. E. Shaw Investment Management, L.L.C. Dr. Kearns serves as head of DESIM’s systematic, benchmark-relative long-only and 130/30 equity strategies. He also oversees the management of Orienteer, DESIM’s global asset class investment platform. Before joining the D. E. Shaw group in 2004, he served as a managing director at Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.. Dr. Kearns began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., initially working in that firm’s fixed-income research group and mortgage securities trading. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics, with honors, from The Australian National University and received an M.S. in applied economics and a Ph.D. in financial economics from the University of Rochester. Dr. Kearns serves on the board of trustees of the New York State chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization focused on protecting ecologically important lands and waters. Philip assists in the oversight of BAC’s annual budget, strategic modeling and financial problem solving. He works with the board’s governance committee and management to manage and maintain overall fiscal stability of the organization. He helps to ensure that cost effective operations and infrastructure are in place, is an advocate for organizational change when need be, and helps identify and support fundraising efforts.
Alex is a Partner in PwC’s Deals Strategy practice focused on the Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT) sectors. He leads commercial diligence and growth strategy work for operators and investors. He is passionate about New York City and is involved in the startup community and local charities. He received his B.A. from Brown University and has long been interested in ways to improve education through the role of data and technology. Several of Alex’s family members have spent their careers in child development and he has a family member with Autism – as such, he is honored to be part of the BAC and find his own ways to give back to the community.
Matt is a portfolio manager for the Financial Institutions Group within BlackRock’s Global Fixed Income platform. He manages corporate credit portfolios on behalf of global insurance clients. Before moving to New York in 2011, Matt grew up in Scotland and earned a BA degree, with honors, in Business Economics from The University of Dundee. Matt also holds his FINRA series 7 and 63 certifications, and is a qualified Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). With teachers as parents, and a family member with autism, Matt has a true passion for working to provide educational opportunities for students with autism and is proud to be part of the BAC community.
Tom spent 8+ years as the Director of Operations at BAC before transitioning to the Board of Directors. He is now working in a senior position at a Brooklyn based media company. Tom lives in Brooklyn and is a very active member of the community. He also serves on the Board of Fast Feet NYC and is a partner in multiple new hospitality ventures in the city. He is an honors graduate of Lehigh University and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Villanova University.
Rachel is currently in the Procurement Department at Johnson & Johnson. Rachel has always been interested in helping those with learning disabilities and volunteers every Friday at BAC. Rachel is the point of contact for the BAC Junior Board and is the liaison between the Junior Board and Board of Directors. The goal of the Junior Board is to bring awareness to the Autism community with fundraisers, local events as well as the BAC run that takes place in May.
Dr. Bridget A. Taylor is co-founder and Executive Director of Alpine Learning Group and is Senior Clinical Advisor for Rethink. Dr. Taylor has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism for the past twenty-five years. She holds a Doctorate of Psychology from Rutgers University, and received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Psychologist. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Interventions. She is a member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and a Board Member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. She serves on the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and the Professional Advisory Board for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts. Dr. Taylor is active in the autism research community and has published numerous articles and book chapters on effective interventions for autism. She is a national and international presenter and serves in an advisory capacity for autism education and treatment programs both locally and abroad.
Rishi Chelminski is a NYS licensed, board certified behavior analyst. His training in Applied Behavior Analysis began at The University of Florida, under the supervision of Drs. Brian Iwata, Timothy Vollmer and Jesse Dallery. He earned his masters from Northeastern University while working at The New England Center for Children, where received extensive experience addressing very severe special needs. After moving to New York City, Rishi served as an adjunct lecturer at Queens College, and a Chancellor’s Fellow at CUNY. For five years he served as Director of Behavior Services at Services for the UnderServed, where he adapted ABA-based clinical practices to support adults living in OPWDD certified group homes and developmental centers. Regarding this work, he has presented extensively at The Association for Behavior Analysis International, New York Association for Behavior Analysis, and the NYS Association of Community and Residential Agencies. Currently, Rishi’s work focuses on preparing young adults with intellectual disabilities for the transition from school to managed care settings. He also collaborates with crisis intervention teams to address the mental health needs of typically-developing children and adults.
Ms. Bloomer, a NYS licensed board certified behavior analyst, was trained and affiliated for ten years at the Children’s Unit for Treatment and Evaluation at SUNY Binghamton under the direction of Dr. Raymond Romanczyk. She is the founder and former Executive Director of the Crossroads School in New York and New England. Ms. Bloomer has done extensive work in the field of autism and applied behavior analysis, co-authoring and presenting at numerous conferences, nationally and internationally. She has consulted for schools in the United States, Ireland, Brazil and China. In addition, she produced the training video series “Bridges” which has helped families and educators throughout the world. She recently was also the Clinical Director of PAAL, assistant director at the McCarton Upper School in Manhattan, adjunct lecturer at The Sage Colleges, and adjunct lecturer for Brooklyn College. Currently Ms. Bloomer is the Chief Clinical Director for Peter Gerhardt Associates, LLC. Ms. Bloomer is an approved TRICARE provider and consults with numerous families in the U.S. Military. Ms. Bloomer has been a member of the executive board for the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) for approximately 15 years. She previously has served in many positions including President, Member at Large, etc. Ms. Bloomer was a peer reviewer for the New York State Department of Health clinical practice guidelines for autism/pervasive developmental disorders.
Randy Horowitz is the Associate Executive Director of Program Development for the Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA). Randy started her career as a special education teacher in public school in Nassau County and then spent close to 20 years in a senior leadership position at a nonprofit organization serving children and adults with autism in NYC and Long Island. Randy has a Master of Science in Education from Queens College and a Certificate of School Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle. Randy is currently a doctoral candidate in the educational leadership program at Concordia University. Randy is an adjunct Professor in the schools of education at Queens College, CUNY and SUNY Old Westbury. Randy has presented at local, national and international conferences on topics relating to educating students with autism. Her particular areas of interest include preparing and supporting students with autism for integration into school and community activities.