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Home / ACCEL Staff & Leadership

Meet Our Staff & Leadership

The ACCEL Leadership team is responsible for developing the organization’s initiatives, directing its education and therapeutic programs and for providing resources to enrich the lives of children and adults with special needs.

Raymond Damm

BS, MBA, Chief Executive Officer

rdamm@accel.org

Raymond Damm has been working with ACCEL since March of 2016, starting as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer, and transitioning to the role...Read More
Raymond Damm has been working with ACCEL since March of 2016, starting as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer, and transitioning to the role of Chief Executive Officer in June of 2018. Ray holds a B.S. from The University of Virginia – Wise and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.Having held executive positions in both the public and private sectors, Ray is driven to apply private sector best practices to sustainably address issues the public sector is driven to solve. This is especially true for underserved groups of individuals and those whose voice isn’t heard. He is motivated by ACCEL’s 300+ students and 100+ adults that overcome incredible obstacles each and every day.Outside of work, Ray is happiest spending time with family, making and repairing watches, playing golf and being in the mountains or on the beach.Read Less

Nancy Molder

M.Ed., Vice President of Educational Services

nmolder@accel.org

Nancy Molder oversees all of ACCEL’s educational service programs and has been with ACCEL since 1998. Ms. Molder began her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist...Read More
Nancy Molder oversees all of ACCEL’s educational service programs and has been with ACCEL since 1998.Ms. Molder began her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the private sector and then transitioned her career to public schools. Nancy first started her work with ACCEL in 1998, serving students with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Since that time, Nancy has held several administrative positions at ACCEL. She now oversees educational services for two ACCEL campuses as well as satellite classrooms on two public school district sites. Her passion for education is to be a resource to parents to help their children reach their full potential.Outside of work Nancy enjoys boating, cooking, hiking and reading.Read Less

Mindy Malik

PhD, VP of Training and Program Development

mmalik@accel.org

Dr. Mindy Malik has been working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities and their families and teachers for over 30 years. She began her...Read More
Dr. Mindy Malik has been working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities and their families and teachers for over 30 years. She began her career as a teacher and then chose to become a psychologist to help students and teachers become more successful. Dr. Malik received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Doctoral degree in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of New Orleans, as well as a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame.For the past 16 years, Dr. Malik has developed training programs for ACCEL staff. She has been instrumental in the development of the Model Classroom Program©, an assessment and intervention program of evidenced based practices for special education classrooms. Dr. Malik also consults for public and charter schools, training teachers to establish effective classroom programs.Outside of work, Dr. Malik enjoys travel, hiking and theology studies.Read Less

Cheryl Marvin

MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP, Vice President of Operations

cmarvin@accel.org

Cheryl has over 30 years of experience working in the business operations field and has been with ACCEL since 2008. She received her undergraduate training...Read More
Cheryl has over 30 years of experience working in the business operations field and has been with ACCEL since 2008. She received her undergraduate training in accounting at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, and her MBA at University of Phoenix. Cheryl has been certified as a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) since 2009 and as a SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management-Certified Professional) since 2015.Cheryl’s certifications focused on human resources and aligned with her interest in promoting a work environment in which people are motivated and engaged ˗ a workplace that is characterized by open communication, personal accountability, trust and mutual respect. She belongs to SHRM of Greater Phoenix and Soroptimist International of Phoenix.Cheryl’s time outside of work is devoted to her husband, daughters, granddaughter and friends, and her hobbies include volunteering, ballroom dancing, playing the drums and cooking.Read Less

Laura Lazzerini

Chief Financial Officer

llazzerini@accel.org

Laura Lazzerini has worked in accounting and human resources for more than 30 years with an emphasis on nonprofit accounting for more than 20, taking...Read More
Laura Lazzerini has worked in accounting and human resources for more than 30 years with an emphasis on nonprofit accounting for more than 20, taking on progressively more complex positions in the field of nonprofit accounting. Currently, Ms. Lazzerini oversees all the financial operations for ACCEL.Laura graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Economics from Illinois State University. After spending many years in nonprofit accounting, Ms. Lazzerini came to ACCEL in 2007 and has seen the agency grow significantly since that time. In addition to her talents in accounting, Laura has a passion for pet therapy and researched, wrote and implemented ACCEL’s first ever dog therapy program, leading the way with ACCEL’s beloved therapy dog, Luna. She is currently training a second dog, Toro, to add to the program in the coming years.Outside of ACCEL, Laura has a passion for animals, currently serving as a volunteer with her certified therapy dog for Gabriel’s Angels and volunteering with two dog rescue organizations.Read Less

Dorian Townsend

PhD, Vice President of Advancement

dtownsend@accel.org

Dorian Townsend oversees all marketing and fundraising efforts at ACCEL. Dr. Townsend has a long and diverse history in executive leadership, fundraising, systems management, research,...Read More
Dorian Townsend oversees all marketing and fundraising efforts at ACCEL. Dr. Townsend has a long and diverse history in executive leadership, fundraising, systems management, research, and strategic plan development and implementation with nearly 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector.Dr. Townsendholds a PhD from the University of New South Wales, one of the top Australian universities. Dorian put herself through college as a caregiver for adults with cerebral palsy and ever since has been passionate about equitable access to services and economic opportunities for those with special needs.In her spare time, Dr. Townsend serves as President-Elect for both Soroptimist International of the East Valley and Kiwanis of Downtown Mesaand a volunteer for many organizations, including more than 7 years as a Big Sister for her amazing Little Sister, Desiree. She enjoys hockey, Marvel comics, science fiction, and astrobiology.Read Less

Jonathan Evans

MA, MED, Principal—Metro Campus and Satellites

jevans@accel.org

Jonathan Evans has been teaching and working with students with developmental disabilities including autism since 2001. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami...Read More
Jonathan Evans has been teaching and working with students with developmental disabilities including autism since 2001. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University, a Master’s degree in Cross Categorical Special Education from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Arizona State University. Jonathan has been a Special Education administrator since 2011.Special Education is a passion of Jonathan’s and there is nothing more exciting for him than seeing his students succeed. His educational philosophy is to make sure that all of his students achieve a life of dignity and self worth.Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He also enjoys outdoor activities, spending time in the mountains or at the beach, and watching his children play sports.Read Less

Robert Gilmore

M.Ed., Principal, East Campus

rgilmore@accel.org

Rob Gilmore has worked in education as a teacher and high school coach for the past 25 years. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies/Journalism...Read More
Rob Gilmore has worked in education as a teacher and high school coach for the past 25 years. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies/Journalism and Special Education at San Jose State University.Rob stepped-up into school leadership seven years ago. He completed his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Adult Supervision through University of Phoenix. In addition to teaching, Rob was a high school football and wrestling coach. Rob’s experience in the classroom inspired him to shift into a position of leadership. This role enabled him to advocate for Special Education students. Rob currently sits on the Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP) as the Private School Representative for all of Arizona. The committee reports directly to state legislatures and the Governor. Mr. Gilmore is passionate about sustaining and creating evidence-based practice to bring the bring out the best in each student!Outside work, Rob enjoys time with his family. Rob is also a high school football referee.Read Less

Kay Moore

Director of Adult Services

kmoore@accel.org

Working with those who have developmental and behavioral health disabilities since 1976, Kay Moore’s vast experience includes the spectrum of services from children to the...Read More
Working with those who have developmental and behavioral health disabilities since 1976, Kay Moore’s vast experience includes the spectrum of services from children to the elderly, from group homes to semi-independent apartment living and from all types of day programs to the full menu of employment programs.Kay Moore is an active accreditation CARF surveyor for Employment and Community Based Services, currently entering her 25th year of reviewing disability programs across the U.S. and Canada. Ms. Moore is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRCC #28414) for disability services.Kay has two grown children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren. She enjoys the outdoors including mountain biking, hiking and reading in her pool.Read Less

Cailin M. Ockert

MS, BCBA, LBA, Clinical Director

cmccollough@bistacenter.org

Cailin Ockert has been working with children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities since 2005. She holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in...Read More
Cailin Ockert has been working with children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities since 2005. She holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Child Development from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from St. Cloud State University.Cailin has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2013. Cailin’s master’s degree thesis focused on the effects of exercise on rates of self-stimulatory behaviors and academic accuracy in children and teens with autism. She has a particular interest in social skills and social skills programming for BISTÅ clients. She, and other BISTÅ BCBAs, started BISTÅ’s weekly social skills group in 2012. Cailin regularly presents research at Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).Outside of work, Cailin enjoys spending time with her husband and young son, running half-marathons and hiking.Read Less

Laura Montgomery

M.S., CCC-SLP, Director of Student Services

lmontgomery@accel.org

Laura Montgomery has been working with children and adults with developmental disabilities since 2008. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and...Read More
Laura Montgomery has been working with children and adults with developmental disabilities since 2008. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a Master's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northern Arizona University. Laura also received a National Certification or Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA. Laura began working at ACCEL in 2008 as a Speech-Language Pathologist, then moved into the Therapy Coordinator role, and now supports students and staff members across the Valley in her role as Director of Student Services.Laura has been an advocate for those with special needs from a young age and feels a calling to serve individuals with developmental disabilities. She has a particular interest in the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) as well as other forms of Assistive Technology. Laura enjoys working on a multidisciplinary team and collaborating to best support individual student development.In her personal life, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children, baking, and taking care of her dogs and chickens.Read Less

Bradley Reed

M.A., Senior Mentor Teacher

breed@accel.org

Brad Reed is the Senior Mentor Teacher for all ACCEL campuses. Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development at Point Loma Nazarene...Read More
Brad Reed is the Senior Mentor Teacher for all ACCEL campuses. Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. He later completed his Master’s degree in Special Education at Chapman University, Phoenix.For 12 years Brad served ACCEL’s students as a Special Education teacher. In addition to teaching, Brad developed and implemented a music and literacy recording studio program where students wrote and performed original pieces designed to inspire their creativity, foster self-dignity and showcase their unique abilities. Currently, Brad plays a vital role in supporting ACCEL’s teaching staff in best practice instructional strategies and implementing evidence based curriculum and assessments for students with developmental disabilities.Brad and his wife have three children. He likes raising backyard hens and spending time in the outdoors camping and fishing. He also enjoys singing, recording music, and playing the drums and guitar.Read Less

Chris Horton

M.Ed., Director of Educational Services

chorton@accel.org

Chris Horton has been part of ACCEL since 1992 and currently serves as Director of Educational Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education...Read More
Chris Horton has been part of ACCEL since 1992 and currently serves as Director of Educational Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education from Benedictine College and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.During her career, Ms. Horton has worked with preschool and school aged children as well as adults with special needs. Chris has taken on many roles with ACCEL, including working as a special education teacher and as a campus principal. In her current role as Director of Educational Services, Ms. Horton both ensures that ACCEL is compliant in meeting state and federal guidelines and works as a liaison between ACCEL, families, and districts.Outside of work, Chris spends time with her family and friends, reads, and strives to break 500 in Scrabble.Read Less

Meet Our BOD

ACCEL Board Of Directors

Joseph C. Cattaneo

Owner, A & C Properties, Inc.

Charles A. Wanner

Retired, GPW & Associates

Christopher L. Duncan

Farmer Woods Group

Caroline A. Pricher

Community Member

Julia Kolsrud

Associate, May, Potenza,
Baran & Gillespie, P.C.

Scott Taubman

President, Innovative
Financial Management
Ameriprise Financial Services

Connie Whalen

Vice President and Manager,
Exhibits and Museum Experiences
Wells Fargo Heritage Marketing and Museums

Keith and Stephanie Farmer

ACCEL Parents