Our Board of Advisors

 
 
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SUSAN VARSAMES

M.A. Ed., CAS, RM

Susan graduated from New York University in 1983 with an undergraduate degree in Educational Psychology and Special Education and in 1988 with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. Susan is the founder and owner of the Holistic Learning Center; where special education, oral motor speech therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Cranio Sacral Therapy, Reiki, Sensory Integration OT and holistic treatments are combined to treat children from birth through adulthood.

Susan has consulted with school districts throughout Westchester County for 35 years in addition to being a consultant and advocate at special education district committee meetings. Susan is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, Autism Society of America, NY Autism Network, NYSABA, Autism Research Institute, Organization for Autism Research and Developmental Delay Resources, and International Center for Reiki Training.

 
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NEIL BOYLE

M.Ed.

Neil holds a M.S. in School Leadership and M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction. Neil has served as Coordinator of The Guidance & Child Study Center at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. Neil has provided transitional services for the Lower Hudson Valley Region for over 14 years. He has worked in private and public schools as the Special Education Administrator, creating and implementing vocational programming and consulting in the area of transition.

Neil became the first Vocational Director at the Devereux Millwood Learning Center creating programs for community inclusion and volunteering for students at the school. He has also served as a consultant to FECA and in that capacity, created the Opportunity Network for Employers and Employees (ONEE) which continues today with the mission of establishing volunteer and employment sites for adults with autism. He has trained educators in the area of Indicator 13, transition planning and developing meaningful vocational and transitional IEP Goals. During his time as Special Education School Improvement Specialist at PNW BOCES, he facilitated workshops on evidence based best practices that include: Explicit Direct Instruction, Active Supervision, Specially Designed Instruction, Special Education for School Principals, PBIS, Responsive Classroom, SIOP, Professional Learning Communities and using the NYSED Quality Indicators to guide the school improvement process. Neil has served on the Westchester Autism Advisory Committee and Westchester Association for Volunteer Administrators (Co-President).

 
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GREGG E. IRELAND

Founder, Extraordinary Ventures

Gregg is a director and co-founder of Extraordinary Ventures, Inc. in Chapel Hill, NC, and has previously served on the boards of Autism Society of North Carolina and FPG Child Development Institute at University of North Carolina. He is currently serving as Chair of the Board of Autism Science Foundation.

Gregg retired in 2016 after forty-three years in the investment business with Capital Group Companies, Inc. He was a Partner of Capital World Investors, a division of the Capital Organization, Principal Investment Officer of New Perspective Fund and Senior Vice President of Growth Fund of America. Gregg holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Raised in Southern California, Gregg resides in Chapel Hill, NC, with his wife Lori and their adult son Vinnie. The couple has three other adult children.

 
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ROB CLARFELD

CPA, CFP®

Robert A. Clarfeld is the founder, CEO and President of Clarfeld Financial Advisors, founded in 1981 in New York City. Although Rob is CEO, his favorite roles are Keeper of the Vision and Mentor-in-Chief.

Rob has been an important supporter and advisor to the Foundation for Educating Children with Autism (FECA) since its establishment in 1994. In that capacity he has made it possible for FECA to provide the grant for start up funding for EVNY. Prior to founding Clarfeld Financial Advisors, Rob worked at Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young) and Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, & Company (now KPMG). Rob is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner®, and Personal Financial Specialist, and has assumed leadership positions in related industry organizations. Rob speaks and writes about all aspects of wealth management.

Rob also is actively involved in many community and philanthropic organizations and is President of the Tarrytown Music Hall, Trustee of the Devereux Millwood Learning Center, and on the Capital Campaign for Chapel Haven. He is former chairman of the Westchester Public Issues Institute.

Rob is married with two sons.

 
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ANDREW J. SCHAFFRAN

JD, BS in Industrial and Labor Relations

Drew is a senior partner with Morgan Lewis, and has practiced employment law for the past 40 years.  Drew is active in providing pro bono advice to many not-for-profit companies, including EVNY

Active in civic organizations, Drew is a founding member of the board of directors and past president of the Foundation for Empowering Citizens with Autism.  Drew also was a founding member of the EVNY Board and remains active with EVNY as an advisor and volunteer.   

Married with two children.

 
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JANET RILEY

M.A. Ed.

Janet graduated from Cortland State with an undergraduate degree in Physical Education in 1977 and in 1981 with a Master’s degree in Special Education from Fordham University.

She recently retired from North East Westchester Special Recreation, Inc. in December 2017 where she served as Executive Director for 23 years. She is currently being retained by the Board of Directors of this agency as a consultant.

Janet has enjoyed a forty-year career in service to persons with developmental disabilities. She began as a teacher at Margaret Chapman School in Hawthorne where she was employed for nine years. After the birth of her son, she accepted a position with New York Special Olympics as Field Director and later was promoted to Vice President Operations for New York City. She resigned from this position after eight years to begin employment with North East Westchester Special Recreation, Inc.

During the course of her career, Janet has developed her skills of program planning and implementation, staff supervision, fundraising and OPWDD and Medicaid Waiver regulations and funding.

 
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MARJORIE MADFIS

MBA

Marjorie Madfis founded Yes She Can Inc. in November 2013, inspired by her daughter, Isabelle who is now a young woman with autism. Marjorie realized that her daughter and other teens with autism transitioning from high school to the adult world, need specialized coaching and training to be able to join the workforce. From her observations and experience with her daughter, she believed that people with autism particularly needed to have an immersive experience to prepare for the competitive work place: learning about business, executing tasks, and practicing social skills in an authentic setting.

In her leadership role at Yes She Can, Marjorie serves as the executive director, supervising the Girl Again boutique manager, Director of Training Programs, and volunteers. She also is responsible for strategy, development, and communications.

Previously Marjorie had a successful 30-year career in corporate marketing with expertise in branding, strategy, and interactive marketing. In 2013 she retired from IBM after 17 years of service where she held leadership roles in digital and social media marketing.

She holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS from University of New Hampshire. Marjorie serves as a member of the Westchester County Autism Advisory Committee, she founded the White Plains School District PTA Committee on Special Needs, and has been a fundraiser for autism research including NAAR, Autism Speaks and Autism Science Foundation.

 
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Bud wentz

Wentz Financial Group, President & Senior Financial Advisor, RJFS

Bud established the Wentz Financial Group in Ohio more than 20 years ago with the motto and philosophy to treat every customer like family and every dollar invested as if their own.