NSASA Press Release 2024 – Autism Society Names Interim Executive Director

Contact: Michele Iallonardi, Interim
Executive Director, Nassau/Suffolk
Autism Society of America
email: miallonardi@nsasa.org

Autism Society Names Interim Executive Director

January 3, 2024 – The Board of Directors of the Nassau-Suffolk Autism Society of America (NSASA) has appointed Michele Iallonardi, M.S. Ed., as the interim executive director following the departure of Suzanne Reek. Iallonardi currently serves as the assistant director for NSASA and has been with the organization since 2007.

NSASA board president Alison Tawil, Esq., expressed the Board’s appreciation for Reek’s service to the organization, “We are grateful for Suzanne’s efforts on behalf of individuals and families affected by Autism. She worked tirelessly to raise funds to support our local programs.” Tawil also spoke highly of Iallonardi’s ability to take on the leadership role. “As the parent of an individual living with Autism and as an education professional, Michele brings both understanding and expertise to her new role. Michele is not only brilliant, but she is also compassionate, kind and patient. She possesses all the qualities necessary to be an effective leader of our organization.”

Iallonardi expressed her appreciation for the opportunity and her enthusiasm for the organization’s mission. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working with NSASA and the families we support. I am looking forward to working with the Board and staff to find new ways to provide services and support to our local Autism community.” Iallonardi will continue to work closely with Veronica Garcia, M.S. Ed., NSASA’s Director of Development, to secure funding for programs that meet local needs.

NSASA supports individuals living with Autism and those who care for them. NSASA serves more than 5,000 families on Long Island with free educational, social, and recreational opportunities. The organization also provides grants to local school programs that serve children with Autism and supports advocacy at the state and federal levels. In addition to hosting local fundraising events to support family-centered activities, NSASA has received grants to expand Autism-related programming in the Long Island community. In 2022,

NSASA received a federal grant to develop a statewide training program for first responders when working with individuals with autism and other disabilities. A second federal grant was awarded to NSASA to provide training for individuals with Autism with the skills required to work in the food service industry.

The Board also established a Transition Committee to ensure NSASA’s continued success. Members include NSASA board members Lauren Ditrapani, Joseph A. Inzerillo, Esq., and Augie Carbone. Committee chair Ditrapani said that the organization is in good hands under Michele’s leadership, and she is looking forward to working with her fellow board members to build the capacity of the organization to meet the needs of local families.