Laura Anderson ~ President
Laura Anderson is a licensed health facility administrator and has worked as a SNF administrator and consultant for the past 25 years. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and certificate in gerontology from Utah State University and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in rehabilitation administration. She left working as an administrator to become an advocate for her son Ty, who was diagnosed with autism. She is currently on the leadership team of the Autism Council of Utah and serves on various boards and committees advocating for autism services, education and awareness.
Calleen Kenney ~ President Elect
Calleen is married to Alan Kenney and mostly a stay at home mom to Maia – 17 years (who was diagnosed with developmental delay and autism spectrum disorder around 2 years old), Harley – 11 years and Kyra – 6 years old. She has been actively involved in supporting many autism and disability organizations in the state as well as her neighborhood PTA. Calleen loves being a Big MAK (Mom’s of Autistic Kids) and the support she finds in being a part of the autism community in Utah.
Cheryl C. Smith ~ Past President
A longtime autism advocate, is Past President and a founding member of the Autism Council of Utah, serves on the board of Valley Behavioral Health and the Pingree Center for Children with Autism, is a founding member of Utah FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatments), and is appointed by the Governor as chair of the Autism Treatment Account Advisory Committee. She has received the Autism Advocacy Award from Autism Speaks, the Mental Health Advocate Award, the Council for Exceptional Children’s Ben Bruse Distinguished Service award, and was instrumental in passing the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship legislation of 2005, which is named after her son, and makes state funding available for private school scholarships awarded to Utah students with disabilities.
An owner of Cheryl Smith Consulting in Salt Lake City, Ms. Smith specializes in labor law (EEO, AAP, FMLA & ADA), management training, and federal and state regulations. She served as Human Resources Manager for Boeing, and as a legal assistant in the Kennewick City Attorney’s office. She has worked at Utah State University, and has a Bachelor’s in Human Services, with a certificate in Human Resource Management.
Teresa A. Cardon, PhD., CCC-SLP ~ Agency Support
Teresa has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. Dr. Cardon is currently the Director of Autism Studies at Utah Valley University. She completed her doctoral training in Speech & Hearing Science with an autism emphasis at Arizona State University. Dr. Cardon has published her research on autism in peer-reviewed journals and presents at conferences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Cardon’s first line of research focuses on video modeling with young children with autism. Her second line of research focuses on fictional narratives with character’s who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is the author of three books that offer intervention support for individuals on the autism spectrum: Top Ten Tips (2008), Initiations and Interactions (2006) and Let’s Talk Emotions (2004).
Teresa Cardon, PhD CCC-SLP
Director of Autism Studies
Utah Valley University
Colin Kingsbury ~ Community Partner Representative, Agency Support
Colin serves on the ACU Leadership Team as agency support/grants. He works for the Integrated Services Program in the Bureau for Children with Special Health Care Needs as the Autism Systems Coordinator. The Integrated Services Program provides care coordination for families of children with special needs, including Autism.
He received his Master’s of Science degree in Anthropology from the University of Utah in 2011 with a focus on health, stigma and social networks. He has worked with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities for the last 6 years. His previous work experience includes gathering autism prevalence rates with the Utah Registry of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, the social stigma associated with medical conditions, and educational outreach. He enjoys working with health and education providers to get families and children with Autism the services they need.
Amy Stephenson ~ IT Specialist
Amy has a BA in Education from Brigham Young University. She taught history in a middle school for 2 years. Amy has served as the Director of Education at Sylvan Learning Center and is currently the IT specialist with the ACU for the past 3 years.
Amy is a proud mom of a 6-year-old boy who is on the spectrum.
Jessica H. Kerr ~ ACU Coordinator
Jessica serves on the ACU Leadership Team as the ACU Coordinator. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science at Westminster College where she met her husband Nathan B. Kerr. They are proud parents of 5 amazing children ~ Sterling (18), Nathan (16 who has autism), Amley (14), James (12), and Isaac (10). She has served as a disability advocate in may ways and on various committees. She has served on the Primary Children’s Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council, she worked with the UDDC as a legislative advocate for disability rights, a member of COY ~ Commission Of Youth, and currently serves on the Carmen B. Pingree Center for Children with Autism Board.