The ACN team works to maximize the potential of children with autism through our administrative, therapy, and development departments–get to know us!
Tiffany Fresher, Chief Executive Officer, comes to ACN with an extensive background working for and with non-profits. She was most recently the CFO at the Jewish Federation of San Antonio/Holocaust Memorial Museum, previously the Vice-President of Operations and CFO at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, and the Parish Administrator/Mother’s Day Out Director at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. She also worked in public accounting and management. Tiffany has a business and finance degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Tiffany and her husband Mike live in Fair Oaks Ranch and have five kids between the two of them.
Sandy Valdez, Business Office Manager, comes to ACN with over 20 years experience in Business Development, HR, Credentialing, Billing and Finance. She has served as an Administrator in Hospital and Professional clinical settings. She also enjoys training all aspects of a clinical setting. Sandy holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters degree in Business Management/Administration. While working in the medical field she obtained a Certification as a Professional Coder. She also has a teaching background and was a Medical Division Director for over 5 years in a college setting. She is a Texas Notary. She has 4 children – 2 who are out of the home and 2 who are still at home and going to college.
Jessica Alvarez, Billing Specialist, has been with ACN since 2009. She studied and received her certified Medical Office Specialist certification from Southern Career Institute. Mrs. Alvarez has several years of experience in customer service and enjoys helping our families that have autism concerns.
Tracy Felty, Bookkeeper/Executive Assistant, has worked in accounting for almost 30 years. She has worked in both the academic medical/dental friend and medical private practice. During this time she has gained an appreciation for diverse financial accounting and analyses involved in fields like pathology, oncology, orthotics and prosthetics, radiology, and dental continuing education. In her free time she enjoys long walks, hiking with her daughters and weekend travel adventures.
Brenda Lara, Medical Assistant, is originally from Brownsville, TX but has lived in San Antonio for the last 12 years. She has an Associate's Degree in Child Development from Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, TX. She also holds a CNA license from Texas State Technical Collge (TSTC) in Harlingen, TX. Brenda previously worked as a Patient Care Coordinator/Clinical Supervisor for an Internal Medicine clinic. She has also worked as a medical assistant in a pediatric clinic. She brings over 10 years of administrative, billing and front office experience to Autism Community Network. She is a single mother to 3 children. She plans to complete her Bachelor's degree in the near future.
Robert Ramos, Front Desk Coordinator, brings 25 years of medical experience to Autism Community Network in the following areas: mental health, children with disabilities, and oncology. He is the parent to four dogs and one cat. He loves spending time with his family and friends. When not working, he can be found riding through the hill country checking out local Texas wineries.
DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH TEAM
Patricia "Patty" Vela, Director of Development and Outreach, holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Southwestern University and a Masters degree in School Psychology from Trinity University. After 14 years of practicing as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology for NISD, Ms. Vela entered her second career, non-profit development and fundraising. Prior to ACN, Ms. Vela worked for a large non-profit in San Antonio. However, she always missed working alongside special needs families and was excited when this opportunity became available. She joined our team in March, 2017. Ms. Vela is a daughter, mother, friend, bibliophile, frustrated artist, lover of music and enjoys Gilmore Girls and HGTV a little too much!
CLINIC AND THERAPY TEAM
Dr. A Patricia Del Angel, MD, Chief Medical Officer, graduated from medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas. She did her pediatric residency training Lincoln Hospital and Mental Health Center/New York Medical College, where she also served as chief resident. In addition, she completed a fellowship in child development-behavioral pediatrics at King Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, and received her specialist certification in infant mental health from the Early Childhood Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Dr. Del Angel has most recently served as a pediatrician at People’s Clinic in Austin and as a developmental-behavioral specialist in the pediatric residency program at UTMB Austin. Previously, Dr. Del Angel was the clinical director of the Southwest Area Children’s Hub in Los Angeles for thirteen years. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Berenice de la Cruz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Chief Operating Officer, received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in special education, specializing in autism and developmental disabilities. For her dissertation, she developed a self-monitoring treatment package to support teachers in developing and implementing intervention in the classroom. Dr. de la Cruz received her Master’s in clinical psychology at University of Texas at El Paso, where she researched animal models of autism. She has worked with people with autism and other developmental disabilities for 15 years in school and home settings as a teacher, therapist, and trainer for parents of people with autism and professional servicing people with autism. Dr. de la Cruz has published several peer-reviewed research articles and co-authored several book chapters in fields of developmental disabilities, addictive behaviors, and social cognition.
Dr. Carrie Alvarado, PhD, OTR is a researcher and clinical Occupational Therapist who received her undergraduate education at Texas Woman’s University in Denton and completed her PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on Mental Health and Developmental Disorders through Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Alvarado has 16 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist and is certified as an ICDL DIR®Floortime™ Expert Provider and Training Leader. Dr. Alvarado has worked in inpatient, pediatric outpatient and home-based early intervention settings and currently serves on a diagnostic team at Autism Community Network. Additionally, Dr. Alvarado developed and manages the DIRFloortime Hands-On Family Empowerment course at Autism Community Network. Dr. Alvarado's primary research interests are in Sensoriaffective Integration and attachment, clinical use of reflective video feedback, and in optimizing parent-mediated interventions. She completed her dissertation on establishing preliminary validity of a new clinical assessment and coaching tool, geared toward promoting enhanced use of sensoriaffective signaling between caregivers and their children. Dr. Alvarado has served as a guest lecturer for the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas' Health Science Centers and she serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Woman's University Foundation. She enjoys connecting with colleagues across disciplines and sharing her passion for working with families at both national and international conferences.
Mary Day Fleenor, MA, CCC-SLP holds a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Our Lady of the Lake University. She completed her undergraduate work in English and Mass Communication at Western Kentucky University. Mary has worked as a speech language pathologist over 35 years in a variety of settings including private clinics, medical settings, and the public school system. She has also provided assessment, intervention and supervision services with Early Childhood Intervention (ECI). Mary is the recipient of a 2014 Award for Continuing Education (ACE) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Mary has a passion for helping children with autism and their families and has long considered her work in this area a special interest. She is the mother of three young men and has three grandchildren. Aside from her professional focus on pediatrics, Mary enjoys adventure through travel, reading, and hiking.
Adrienne Gaither, OTR, C-SIPT has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 18 years. She received her degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and began her pediatric therapy career, eventually gaining experience in every setting available for the provision of children’s therapy services. Adrienne has had the opportunity to serve as a member of ACN’s team since it opened its doors. She holds specialty pediatric certification in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) and has completed advanced training in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) for children as well as in the Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) feeding approach. Locally, Adrienne had the privilege of serving on the planning team for the development of Morgan’s Wonderland; in particular, contributing ideas for the Sensory Village portion of the park. Prior to joining the ACN team, Adrienne worked at a multi-disciplinary therapy clinic for children with autism and was the occupational therapist serving The Foundation School For Autism during its inaugural year. In addition to her work with ACN, Adrienne is a part-time Program Director and Sensory Consultant with Kinetic Kids, Inc., a local non-profit agency providing sports and recreation activities for children and teenagers with special needs.
Marc Hoffman, MS, OTR is a registered occupational therapist who received his Master of Science degree in occupational therapy from the University of Indianapolis. Overall, Marc has 24 years of experience working in occupational therapy in multiple settings with adult and pediatric populations. Also, Marc was an assistant professor in the occupational therapy department at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg for five years from 1996-2001. Marc worked in a public school setting for nine years before joining ACN in 2011. He is a part of the interdisciplinary team that conducts assessments and screenings for autism. In addition to working at ACN, Marc works at the Foundation School For Autism in San Antonio, a public charter school in San Antonio working with young children with autism in a school setting.
Lisa M. Martinez-Jimenez, M.A., BCBA, holds her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, completed her BCaBA graduate course work from the University of North Texas and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University. She has worked within the field of ABA for over 10 years and is dedicated to providing quality applied behavior analytic services to families affected by autism and or other related disabilities. Mrs. Jimenez strongly believes that training in the principles of ABA and treatment delivery, can enhance each client’s ongoing progress when offered to parents, direct care staff and interdisciplinary teams.
Cindy Reidinger, BCBA is a member of the interdisciplinary diagnostic team at ACN. She has been working the field of behavior analysis for the past 13 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and recently completed her Master of Science degree with an emphasis in special education from Walden University. Throughout her long career Cindy has worked in a variety of settings and with a diverse population of families both in the United States and Mexico. Her passion has always been in working with individuals and families affected by autism. Other professional experiences includes professional training, parent training, sibling support, and individual and group therapy for children with autism.
Adriana Sanchez, MA, BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at Autism Community Network. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Texas Pan-American in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas Pan-American in Psychology. Mrs. Sanchez has specialized working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder as a behavior therapist and behavior analyst for four years in a clinical setting. She has trained and supervised professionals servicing children with autism.
Marie “Toni” Wilson, MS/CCC-SLP is part of the interdisciplinary clinical team that conducts the assessments for autism. Toni received her Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology at Texas Women’s University and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU). She has provided assessment, intervention, supervision and parent training in school-based, clinical, and medical settings throughout her 25-year career. Toni previously provided clinical supervision for graduate level clinicians at OLLU and was clinical co-instructor of the CDIS 6265 practicum course. Toni served as Diagnostic Coordinator for the Harry Jersig Clinic and collaborated with university supervisors to present at the Texas Speech and Hearing Association on Ethical Guidelines in the Supervision of Bilingual SLPAs. She is the recipient of Virginia A. Lindskog Clinical Supervisor of the Year Award at OLLU (2011). Toni has worked as a teacher of children diagnosed with severe behavioral and emotional disorders at Edgewood ISD and collaboratively with the Children’s State Hospital. Areas of expertise include CLD, autism, parent education, and professional training for language development and intervention.