Aside from the volunteers, there are also staff members overseeing happenings at the Center.
Terese (Tess) Dana, M.S., BCBA, is a behavior analyst and social skills consultant who has been helping students find solutions to social, emotional and behavioral challenges since 1988. She authored the social skills DVD series, Fitting In and Having Fun, which includes: Fitting In and Having Fun, Moving On to Middle School, Confident and In Control and High School Life: Unspoken Expectations and the File Factor Emotional Empowerment System. She is the educational consultant for Didi Lightful, an animated children’s TV show currently in production. Tess has appeared on national television, in the New York Times and in The Autism Sourcebook, Everything You Need to Know about Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping and Healing. She has lectures internationally on the acquisition of social skills and self-regulation strategies. Tess serves as board President of The Laura Foundation for Autism and Epilepsy and helped to create and oversees the Laura Adaptive Recreation Center in Madison, NH.
Amy Mahoney’s work experience began in the media field… from marketing departments of several large resorts to launching a resort TV station to reporting and covering major sporting events. Following the birth of her son, her life changed. Her little boy started having seizures. Her television career took a back seat, and was replaced by a full-fledged effort to stop her son’s intractable epilepsy. After years of research, unsuccessful medicines, supplements, diets and a countless number of trials and tribulations, an operation finally stopped his daily seizures. However, the years of constant abnormal brain activity left him unable to speak. The end result… he has a diagnosis of autism, and he is non-verbal. Today, he continues to make gains using technology such as an iPad to communicate.
In recent years, Amy has utilized her communication and entrepreneurial skills, as well as her new found knowledge in the area of disabilities, to create and oversee many of the happenings of the Laura Foundation. Many of her efforts include fundraising and grant procurement for programming at the Center.
Kelley (Jones) Elliott has a BS from the University of New Hampshire in Recreation Management & Policy with a specialty in Recreation Therapy (she holds certifications nationally and is licensed in the state of NH). In 2016, she received her MS in Counselor Education: Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Southern Maine. Aside from organizing and facilitating all programs for the Laura Foundation (from social skills to adaptive recreation), Kelley has previous experience working with farm animals, facilitating children and adults with a variety of disabilities in adaptive and diversional recreation pursuits including adaptive skiing, snowboard instructing, adaptive cycling, sled hockey, healthy living and leisure education.
Rachel Fish is the Laura Foundation’s PATH (Professional Association of Horsemanship) instructor. Currently, she’s in the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Occupational Therapy program, and she’ll receive her masters in 2021. She’s been an avid equestrian since high school leading her to receive a BS from UNH’s Equine Studies program, with a focus on therapeutic riding. While an undergraduate, she began volunteering at the UNH Therapeutic Riding Program, and in conjunction to working at the Laura Foundation, she works there part time. Aside from running the Laura Foundation’s therapeutic riding activities, she also helps in almost all of the Foundation’s programs.