Follow Us!

ACU ~ Leadership Team

                                                                                                                      ACU ~ Bio Picture 2

Calleen Kenney ~ President

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.

Pam Grover ~ President Elect

Pam Grover graduated from the University of Utah with her Bachelor’s of Science in nursing degree. She has worked at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s hospital for the majority of her nursing career. Currently a full time mom to Andrew (22), Joshua (18), and Avery (6), she has been involved in autism advocacy since her middle son Joshua was diagnosed with autism at 22 months of age.  She previously served as president of Utah FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) and on the government affairs committee with the Autism Council of Utah.


Cheryl C. Smith ~ Queen/CEO

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.


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.

Tanya Semerad ~ Community Partner Representative, Agency Support

Tanya Semerad is currently the Autism Specialist at the Utah State Board of Educations, working in the special education department.  She has worked with students on the autism spectrum for the last 27 years, teaching all age ranges in specialized classroom settings as well as inclusive settings.  She has supported students who demonstrate significant cognitive, language and social deficits, and students who would be considered to have higher skills.  Tanya’s greatest accomplishments come in helping parents, teachers, and students work toward positive and post school outcomes.


ACU ~ Jessica

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 (20), Nathan (18 who has autism), Amley (16), James (14), and Isaac (12).  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.

Laura Anderson ~ Past 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.


All information provided on the ACU Web site is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract between the ACU and any person or entity unless otherwise specified. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ACU. Information on the ACU website is subject to change without prior notice. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, the ACU makes no guarantees of any kind.