Debra Isaacs Schafer, Founder/CEO
A passionate work/life leader, Debra is all about helping parents become effective and sustained advocates for their children in school.
Combining more than 20 years of corporate experience in director-level positions in human resources, work/life integration, and marketing communications with 15 years of special education advocacy experience, Debra is changing the business landscape by helping companies support employees with children in special education. She has conducted trainings for corporations, supported parents nationwide, and has addressed Human Resources and employee assistance professionals at regional conferences.
Cited or published in professional publications and special education resources, Debra was honored with the 2012 WorldatWork Alliance for Work-Life Progress “Rising Star” award and has been recognized for contributions to the autism and special education communities.
Debra has a Bachelor of Arts from The Pennsylvania State University and extensive advanced training in areas including special education, legal issues, and Autism Spectrum Disorders from institutions including the U.S. Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Penn State University, Yale School of Medicine, and Lehigh University. Debra is the parent of a young adult son for whom school was a constant struggle, yet whose creative talents go far beyond description. She and her family live in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Joanne Jackson, Senior Business Consultant
With more than 30 years of business development and marketing experience, Joanne has worked with small, mid-sized, and large corporations and organizations nationwide. Her long history of representing the interests of children, the disabled, the aged, and the homeless brings a wealth of experience to the issues facing parents with special needs children. Joanne designed her own Bachelor of Arts multi-disciplinary program from The George Washington University.
Joanne serves as Policy Coordinator on the Executive Board of the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education of the Howard County Public School System and Executive Secretary to the Howard County School Health Council. She is the parent of a college-bound child and lives in Maryland with her family.
Julie Wojnar, Senior Consultant
Julie has 15 years of experience in Human Resources Management including as an HR Manager for a large Fortune 500 company. Her areas of expertise include employee policy, recruiting, onboarding, training, and employee relations. She also has several years of experience as an HR Consultant for small & mid-size businesses. Along with being a graduate from the University of Connecticut, she also has her PHR (Professional in HR) certification.
Julie lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Sharon Griffiths, Senior Consultant
Front End Web Developer & Designer
Sharon has over 15 years of experience as a web developer and graphic designer in diverse industries including media, technology, travel, and retail…to name a few. She has served as a web developer and administrator as well as an online content producer and manager of social media platforms. Her expertise and key areas of interest include HTML, CSS, Wordpress, SEO, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
Sharon volunteers with animal welfare associations and non-profit organizations, providing website development to assist with their outreach efforts. She lives in South Jersey with her husband and two children.
Gary Isaacs, Strategic Development
A Human Resources professional for more than 30 years, Gary spent most of his career in Fortune 50 as well as start-up companies with expertise in all HR areas. His experience working with employees at all levels of an organization and on the Board of Directors enables him to bring a unique blend of strategic and tactical expertise to our efforts. He is currently the president of a non-profit foundation.
A graduate of Penn State University, Gary also attended the University of Manchester's International Communications Program. Gary is the parent of three adult children and lives in Philadelphia not far from the city’s historic sites.
Mary Riggs Cohen, Ph.D.
Director, Autism Spectrum Diagnostics and Consulting
Russell Hill, MBA
Vice President, Research and Development, NextGen Healthcare
Carol Heiberger, MBA
Founder and Author, ExecuSpeak Dictionary
Jennifer Lowman, Esq.
Special Education Legal Consultant, Former Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center-PA