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Leadership

The Board of Directors is currently looking for members of the community to fill vacant spots. If you are interested in finding out how to join please contact info@asaheartland.org.

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Board of Directors 2021

President
LaKrystal McKnight

LaKrystal is currently a Special Education teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District. She teaches students with all different needs and abilities. LaKrystal is taking classes and working on her supervision practicum experience in the field of behavior analysis. Her journey and experience with autism began when her cousin was diagnosed about 16 years at age 2. He is now 18 and growing and learning more everyday. She has always wanted to teach and help ALL children learn, and because of her cousin Xavier Khoury, she developed a passion to impact and better the lives of children specifically with Autism or related diagnoses. She loves what she does and feels so blessed to be able to watch all of the children she has worked with, in both the school and home therapy setting, grow and learn to develop skills to be successful and interactive, contributing members of society. Volunteering with the Autism Society the Heartland has been a great opportunity for LaKrystal to give back to the autism community and allows her the opportunity to help many families just as many other families have helped and contributed to her cousin’s life.

Vice President
Samantha "Sam" Silvey                                                                         

Sam has her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia as well as her Masters in the same subject from the University of Kansas.  She has been working in the non-profit sector as the Executive Director of the Greater KC Dental Society, the local chapter of the American Dental Association, for over ten years.  She and her husband, Jason have two sons, Barrett (10) and Brooks (8). Brooks was diagnosed with ASD around 2.5 years old. Sam is inspired by her sons everyday and loves to advocate for and be involved with the autism community to help spread support, awareness, and camaraderie. In her spare time, Sam loves to run, and often does 5Ks with both boys.

Treasurer
Samantha Shehan

My name is Samantha Shehan. I am 41 years old and the mother of two beautiful boys both of whom are on the autism spectrum. Michael is 13 years old and he is on the high end of the spectrum. Isaac is 8 years old, but is on the lower end of the spectrum. I have over 13 years’ experience in the financial industry. I have my Bachelor of Arts in Music from Missouri Western State University. I also have my MBA with an emphasis in Finance from Park University. I think it would be a great honor to serve on the board for such a great cause. I am good at accounting and finance so I could be a great contributor there. I also would not mind assisting with the planning of the fundraisers. I want to be a part of advocating for children and adults with autism. I see my children with autism as miracles because of what intervention and support has done for them. I want other parents to know their child having autism isn’t the end, it isn’t a disability. It’s just who they are, and there is help out there to work with them in making the world less overwhelming.

Treasurer
Wesley Phillips

Wes earned his Horticulture degree from the University of Arkansas. He has been married to his wife, Amanda, for ten years. Their twins, Aiden & Eliana, turned six in December and both have been diagnosed with ASD. Raising two children who are on different parts of the spectrum has been both challenging and rewarding, and he enjoys the opportunity to give back to the Autism community. Wes has owned his insurance agency for about five years. Prior to that, he was a Golf Course Superintendent. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and riding motorcycles. He also enjoys taking part in many local charities, including the Rattlesnake's Ride for Autism for the last four years.

Board Members

Nan Perrin

Nan is a Doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and has graduate degrees in Human Development and Special Education from the University of Kansas. She has worked with individuals with autism since 1990. Nan currently works for an insurance company as a director of a program to support members with IDD and Autism to achieve their highest quality of life. Nan’s passion continues to be working with children, families, schools and providers to reach the best outcome for individuals on the spectrum. Her primary areas of focus are autism, positive behavior support for individuals and families, as well as policy and systems change. Nan was also appointed to the Kansas Governor’s Commission on Autism as the BCBA member.

Tammy Scherer

Tammy is the mother of 3 children; the youngest is diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. She was a Foster Parent from 2000 to 2013. She volunteers as an Education Advocate for the state of Kansas through Families Together, Inc., serving children currently in the State’s custody in Johnson and Wyandotte County. She is an active Member in the PTA and in ABATE. (ABATE is a motorcycle rights organization that brings attention to issues affecting riders. They are also involved in safety training and charity work. The acronym ABATE stands for American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.) Tammy is also instrumental in organizing several fundraisers a year for Autism Society – The Heartland. Her family has two mottos they try to follow. “Be Silly - Be Honest – Be Kind” and “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  

Kathleen Livingston

Kathleen is currently a nanny for two wonderful families, and had previously taught third through sixth grade for five years. Originally, she is from Illinois which is where her parents and younger sister (with mild cerebral palsy) still live. Kathleen finished her undergraduate degree at KU and finished her masters in Literacy Studies at UTA. Kathleen has worked with students from all backgrounds and abilities in her classrooms, and strives to help all students succeed. She hopes her next job will allow her to continue to work with children and/or in nonprofit. In her spare time, Kathleen loves to travel, eat out with good company, and watercolor.

Rhonda Mason

Rhonda grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Washington High School. She then attended Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama and received a B.A. in History and a minor in Communications. After college, she attended Washburn Law School in Topeka, Kansas where she obtained a law degree. Rhonda has worked over 20 years in the legal field and in many different areas of the law. She has worked as a Jackson County Prosecutor, a Solo Practitioner running her own law office and as a managing attorney for a Fortune 500 insurance company.  She now works at the Johnson County Court House. Rhonda is married and has two sons, one of which is on the spectrum. It is her passion and desire to promote inclusion for those children on the spectrum. She loves mentoring children on the spectrum and hopes to provide a positive safe environment for them to be themselves.

Andrew Glover

Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri and a Master of Engineering in Mechanical/Systems Engineering from Colorado State University. He has worked at Parker Hannifin since 2012 and today acts as the Sr. IIoT Systems Architect for the Engineered Materials Group specializing in; Embedded Electronics, Factory Automation/Manufacturing, Networking/Cybersecurity, and Cloud Computing. He has lived much if his life in the Kansas City Metro Area and has 3 children: Jasmine (11), Isabella (7), and Elias (5). He was formally diagnosed with ASD at age 31 in July of 2020 and has since decided to dedicate his life to helping teenagers and young adults, and their families, better understand their ASD diagnosis and prepare for adult life. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting museums (especially those related to Space Travel) with his children as well as many outdoor activities.

 A special THANK YOU to all of our past volunteer board members and past paid staff members. We truly thank you for your service to the autism community.