Glenn Pierce (Chairman)
Mr. Pierce is the CEO of the newly-created Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund. Prior to the formation of Canyon-Agassi, he was the founder and CEO of Pacific Charter School Development, a nonprofit developer of charter school campuses based in Los Angeles. Over the past six years, PCSD has built 38 schools serving over 15,000 at-risk students and their families. He has been a leader in the charter school movement since 1997, following management roles with Citibank and PepsiCo. He holds an AB in Economics and Business from Lafayette College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate Citicorp’s Institute for Global Finance and the Broad Superintendents Academy. He is also the parent of a child with autism.
Robert Cambo (Vice Chairman)
Mr. Cambo is the CEO of Alliance Companies, a private real estate development company based in Coconut Grove, which has built four (4) charter school campuses serving 4,000 students over the last four (4) years. In addition, he has developed over 1 million square feet of commercial space since 1994. Mr Cambo is a graduate of Harvard University's Real Estate Leadership program in 2006 and earned his MBA from the University of Miami in 1989. Mr. Cambo is very active in the autism community and a Silver Sponsor of Autism Speaks and UM/NSU CARD. He is also the parent of a child with autism.
Robin Parker, CCC-SLP
Dr. Parker is a Program Professor and clinical supervisor in the Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Nova Southeastern University. She is the consulting director of the UM-NSU, Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Nova Satellite. Dr. Parker has worked with children and adults with autism spectrum disorders for the past 20 years. She focuses her clinical and teaching work with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Parker is a member of the American and Florida Speech, Language, and Hearing Associations.
Carrie Landess, M.D.
Dr. Landess is a neurologist who practices in North Miami Beach, Florida. She graduated from Cornell University in 1984 with a degree and psychology, and received her medical degree from Universidad Central del Caribe in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1989. Dr. Landess has practiced in South Florida since 1994. She is also the parent of a child with autism, and very active in the autism community.
Yadira Martinez-Fernandez, M.D.
Dr. Martinez-Fernandez is a Board certified pediatric cardiologist who practices in South Florida. She graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras as physician in general medicine. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and graduated from the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital as a Pediatric Cardiologist. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and fellow member of the American Academy of Cardiology. She is also the mother of three children on the autism spectrum, and very active in the autism community.
Marla Alpízar, the Director of the City's Education and Community Services Department, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and French from Louisiana State University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas. Currently, she oversees educational initiatives and community services programming for the City of Hialeah, including the Adult Centers and programming, the Special Population Program for disabled adults, the City's literacy programs, and 12 after-school and five summer camp programs.
Ysela Heim (Parent Representative)
Mrs. Heim has been a Parent Advocate for five years with Family Network on Disabilities in Broward County, Florida. She is the current President of SFACS PTSO and serves as the Parent Representative for the Governing Board. Mrs. Heim presently sits on the Constituency Board of UM-NSU CARD. She has been actively involved in the Planning Committee for the Autism Speaks walk in Broward for the past five years, and has chaired the Autism Speaks Advocacy Committee. She previously served as Vice President and President for The Baudhuin Preschool PTO at Nova Southeastern University, and also sat on The Autism Society of America-Broward chapter board as Treasurer. Mrs. Heim has 2 children, and her oldest is diagnosed with ASD.
Michael Alessandri, Ph.D.
Dr. Alessandri is the Executive Director of UM-NSU CARD, and also Clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. Dr. Alessandri has worked with individuals with autism and their families for over 25 years. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Rochester, where he earned his Bachelors degree in Psychology. He attended graduate school at Rutgers University, where he obtained both his M.S. (1989) and Ph.D. (1992) in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Alessandri completed his clinical internship at UNC-Chapel Hill`s Center for Development and Learning (CDL).