Project Advisory Committee

Cathy Williams
Autism Specialist, Region IV Education Service Center

Cathy Williams serves as an Autism Specialist for the Region IV Education Service Center. She has previously worked as an autism program teacher, autism facilitator, and special education life skills and PPCD teacher. She is currently expanding her experience in the area of transition and post-secondary opportunities for students with autism. Cathy holds a B.A. in psychology, a Master’s degree in social work, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Houston.

Maria Quintero-Conk, Ph.D.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Authority Psychologist
Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare

Maria Quintero-Conk has worked with and developed programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families for 34 years. She is currently a psychologist with Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare in Conroe, Texas. She was previously the assistant deputy of IDD provider services at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD (formerly MHMRA of Harris County) where she was responsible for employment services for people with IDD and ASD. She is also instructional faculty and mentor for participants in Lonestar LEND, an interdisciplinary training program that was designed to develop leaders in the field of autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/ND) to improve global service delivery for ASD/ND to children across Texas. She was also responsible for The Coffeehouse, a drop-in program that supports adults with Asperger syndrome. She has conducted ASD training for Houston ISD, including teaching parents of young adults to support their children’s independence as adults. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Utah State University.
 

Charles Lee Baird
Self Advocate

Charles Lee Baird is a self-advocate and an adult diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. He is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas where he completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts specializing in human rights and civil liberties. He has more than 7 years of employment experience and is currently an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University and Houston College. He has a keen awareness of the gifts and challenges adults with ASD bring to the workplace. Lee also volunteers with Amnesty International, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Social Motion Skills, and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Cameron Dawson
Self-Advocate

Cameron Dawson is a young adult who was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and is currently transitioning from school to college and work. He graduated from Memorial High School in Houston, Texas where he participated in the Autism Intervention and Management program. He was awarded a Head of School Award in middle school. Early in his school career, he attended a private school where he developed verbal communication skills and was subsequently able to move to a mainstream public school.

Cathy Grigory
Parent of a Young Adult with Asperger Syndrome
Special Education Teacher

Cathy Grigory is the parent of a young adult with Asperger syndrome and brings more than 28 years’ experience in the field of education. She previously served as a director of education for Sylvan Education and a teacher/educational diagnostician for Klein ISD. She is interested in both helping young adults with ASD reach their full potential and educating others about the challenges that both caregivers and individuals with ASD face. She holds Bachelor’s and  Master’s degrees in Education specializing in elementary education and special education from Sam Houston State University.

James Scott Grigory
Self-Advocate

James Grigory is a young adult who was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at age 11. He attended a therapeutic day school in Houston for students with neurological disorders his junior and senior year in high school and also a post-grad year. He has obtained several computer technology certifications and has been self employed as an IT consultant. His goal is continuing to train and prepare to find and keep a full-time job so he can become fully independent.

Mary Jane Williams
Executive Director, Family to Family Network
Parent of Two Adults with Disabilities

Mary Jane Williams is the executive director of Family to Family Network, a Houston area nonprofit organization committed to making a difference in the lives of children with disabilities. She represents families on several Texas Education Agency (TEA) statewide committees and has been instrumental in the creation of the Texas Project FIRST website, a collaborative project of Family to Family Network, TEA, and Region 9 Education Service Center dedicated to providing accurate and consistent information on the special education process. She has raised two successful adult children with disabilities who taught her everything she knows about advocacy. She holds a B.B.A.-Finance, earned a Certificate of Public Accounting and is a graduate of Texas Partners in Policymaking class of 1996.

Maranda Marvin
Founder, Houston Autism Resources and Support (HARS)
Parent of a Child with Autism

Maranda Marvin is the founder of Houston Autism Resources and Support (HARS), an online community of self advocates, parents, and professionals working to improve the lives of children and adults with Autism. She is also the proud parent of a child with autism. Currently, HARS operates as a volunteer, parent-led resource and support group, bringing information, events, trainings, and support meetings occurring in and around Houston into a central meetup platform and calendar. HARS also hosts own support meetings and other events for those engaged in the lives of people diagnosed with autism.