Board & Staff

The Autism Society of Maine Board of Directors consists of up to 15 members, 4 are officers. The Board of Directors includes parents, individuals on the spectrum and professionals. This is a volunteer board.

Join the Board of Directors for the Autism Society

The Autism Society has openings on our Board of Directors. The BOD meets remotely monthly and consists of parents, Autistic adults, professionals, who come together to discuss policies, laws, trends, and committee work etc.

Reach out to Cathy Dionne at or fill out the BOD application and we will be in touch with you.

Our Staff

Cathy E. Dionne, Executive Director for Autism Society of Maine

Cathy E. Dionne, Executive Director for Autism Society of Maine

Cathy has been with the Autism Society of Maine for 28 years, serving the last 12 years as the Executive Director. Cathy is a parent of a 30-year-old Autistic son, Ben, and a 31-year-old daughter, Ashley. She lives in Greene, Maine with her husband of 37 years, Rick. Ben was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 18 months, and her family’s journey began at that time.

Contact Cathy at:

Susan J. Vincent, Communications Director

Susan J. Vincent, Communications Director

Since 2004, Susan has held different positions at ASM and as Communications Director for the last ten years. Susan provides website management, social media, and a network of digital communication. Providing resources & information that fosters community involvement in support of the Autism Community.

Susan lives in Readfield with her husband and has two adult children and four grandchildren that fill their lives with joy.

Contact Susan at:

Jennifer Frey, Autism Information Specialist Coordinator

Jennifer Frey, Autism Information Specialist Coordinator

Jennifer joined the Autism Society of Maine in 2020. Last year, she advanced to the role of Autism Information Specialist (AIS) Coordinator, overseeing 27 AIS across the state. She is also a proud parent, homeschooling her 10-year-old Autistic daughter in Orono, Maine.

Contact Jennifer at:

Tara J. Perry, Office Assistant

Tara J. Perry, Office Assistant

Tara joined ASM in May of 2016. Before joining ASM, Tara worked in IDD services as a house manager, DSP/CRMA of a residential home for adults with both IDD and physical disabilities. 3 of her 5 residents also had a diagnosis of Autism. Tara’s responsibilities at ASM consist of processing all mail, donations, memberships, sales, library requests and assisting other office staff with various needs. Tara and her family reside in Wayne.

Contact Tara at:

Board of Directors

Christina Nason, President

Christina Nason has an associate degree in early childhood education and an associate degree in business management.  She graduated from Casco Bay College in Portland Maine in 1999.  She worked in the early childhood education field until 2002 when she chose to stay home and raise her children. In 2010 she started to home school both her boys for 6 years before they reentered the public school system. Christina used to work at the high school as an Ed Tech 3.  Recently Christina accepted a job at Momentum in Casco working as a shared living PA. Christina finds it rewarding to help families and providers who do shared living as Christina’s does shared living with her oldest son. Christina is always working hard to get services for her two children.  Her oldest is on the spectrum and has other medical diagnoses. Her youngest son is also on the spectrum with ADHD.  Christina lives in Norway Maine, her childhood hometown, with her two boys, 20, 22.

Melissa Ponce, Vice President

Melissa Ponce is a licensed social worker for the largest health system in Central Maine. A 2004 graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta, Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Mental Health and Human Services. Melissa has worked in the advocacy and support of adults and children who are diagnosed with autism, intellectual disabilities, mental health disorders, and chronic medical needs. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Melissa has worked passionately to advocate for children and families who live with autism, educating parents to aid in meeting the needs of their children, and supporting those in the community to learn more about autism. Melissa is an ardent supporter for those in need, helping people make connections to what they need to promote a high quality of life. Melissa resides in Randolf.

Roy Ulrickson III, Treasurer

After his oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2003, it has been Roy Ulrickson's mission to support and educate children with special needs, assist their families and advocate for this vulnerable population. Throughout his professional career, he has worked in positions that provided him with the opportunity to educate families and other professions. This mission led him to join the MSW program at the University of Maine. He graduated from this program in 2015.

Professionally, he worked as an Educational Technician while he attended the MSW program and has years of working in an educational environment. During his work as Clinical Supervisor and HCT (Home and Community Therapy) clinician, he learned, firsthand, the effects of trauma on children and adults. He understands the importance of supporting families and children across environments, through their lifetime and how the coordination of services can improve their lives. Personally, he has seen how the transition to adulthood has greatly restricted the services available to his son.

For decades, he has proactively engaged, supported, and educated individuals of many ages to improve their mental health and address their substance abuse challenges. He has extensive personal and professional experiences working within multiple systems and providing direct services throughout my career. As he learned more from these experiences, so did the breadth of his mission. Roy lives in Newport with his wife and son.

Kathryn Dobos, Secretary

Kathryn Dobos is a parent to three young kids (5, 8, and 10 years old). Kathryn’s two youngest both have Autism. Kathryn is very passionate about connecting families with resources as well as each other and support. Kathryn looks forward to using her experience gained from a variety of organizations to serve on the ASM Board of Directors. Ms. Dobos resides in Readfield.

J. Richardson Collins

J. Richardson (Jay) Collins is a former Autism Society Board Director, having served terms as Vice President and President as well as serving as chair of the Legislative Committee. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Special/Elementary Education and Psychology, and Masters of both Theological Studies and Social Work. Jay previously was as a Research Associate at University of Maine’s Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS), the SPIL* Coordinator for Maine’s Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC), and a Disability Resource Coordinator (DRC) for Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI). He also worked as a consultant to the Autism Research Institute (ARI), serving as Managing Editor of the Adults with ASD eBulletin. He served as a contributing author and editorial team member for the development of the AGI Daily Living/Residential Skills Curriculum & Training for Direct Support Providers to Adults with Autism, and is co-author of the training curriculum Quality Employment Practices for Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Before working in the areas of research and systems change, his experience was in direct service delivery, first as a public-school special educator and then, as a case manager in adult social services. Prior board/council work includes governor appointments to the Maine Developmental Services Oversight and Advisory Board (MDS OAB) and the Maine State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), serving terms as Vice Chair and Chair as well as its representative on the Employment First Maine (EFM) Coalition and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). He currently continues his involvement as a returning member to the MDS OAB and a community participant at the Coalition for Housing and Quality Services (CHQS) meetings. His work is informed by his own experience as an Autistic adult with co-occurring conditions. When not working, Jay likely may be found watching anything Star Trek, or spending time by the ocean or hiking. Jay lives in Augusta with his service dog, Rachel. (*Statewide Plan for Independent Living)

Jenna Cyr

Jenna Cyr is currently working for a wonderful agency in Northern Maine called St. John Valley Associates, where she works for adults with intellectual disabilities. She has been a DSP and a CRMA for almost 15 years. She is also Safety Care trained. She is a proud supporter of the Special Olympics. Jenna has one son, who is almost 8 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism when he was about 3 years old. Jenna and her family strongly believe in early intervention but has struggled for two years waiting for services for her little boy due to where we live. Jenna's main goal is to continue to be her kid's voice and to continue to find ways to promote early intervention and ways to be a voice for other families who are stuck on the waitlist in Northern Maine. Jenna and her family reside in Madawaska.

Michael Dalleo

Michael Dalleo moved to Maine from New York in 2006 with his wife and three children. For the last 34 years he has been an Independent Financial Advisor with the CRES organization. His youngest son was diagnosed with Autism at age 20. Michael is also a member of the Our Lady if The Angels Parish in South Berwick, where he serves as Grand Knight of that Council and the Knights of Columbus.

Jeanne Ives

Jeanne Ives is passionate about providing tools to overcome physical and emotional obstacles in becoming all they were created to be for children and families. She is a retired trauma therapist of thirty-five years and last employed with Kennebec Behavioral Health in their Multisystemic Family Program. For the past seven years she has volunteered to counsel women have experienced trauma referred by local churches. She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and received her BA in Psychology from Emmanual College and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology for Boston University and was a Mental Health Fellow from Tufts New England Medical Center, Department of Child Psychiatry training to work with at risk mothers and their children. She worked for several mental health agencies and children’s residential treatment programs motivating her to pursue further trainings in working with abuse and trauma in women and children focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She spent twenty years in private practice with offices in MA and NH before moving to Maine. Jeanne lives in Oakland, Maine with her husband Lew and her senior dog, Zoey Doodles.

Kristen King

Kristen King has an associate degree in Mental Health and Human Services and currently works for the State of Maine, Office of Behavioral Health. Kristen has been employed by the State of Maine since 2007 working for various Departments and offices within the Department of Health and Human Services. She has three sons, her youngest, Jaxson was recently diagnosed with Autism at age 2. She is a single mom, determined to learn as much as she can about Autism so she can be the best advocate not only her son but for other individuals as well. Kristen resides in Windsor.

David Sharp

David Sharp is currently a special education teacher in Kennebunk serving elementary students with a wide scope of abilities. In 2012, He graduated from the USM ETEP Program and earned his master’s degree in Education with dual certification in Special and General Education. David is a certified Safety Care trainer and a certified Compassion Fatigue Professional. David has always enjoyed being active in his community and has served as a faith formation teacher at his church, has been a den leader and Cubmaster for the Cub Scouts and has helped coached his son’s sports teams.

David lives in Lyman along with his wife, two children and two cats. His son is on the Autism Spectrum and he and his wife have worked with his IEP team and outside counseling to ensure that we are doing the best we can for him. Both at home and at school, David does the work he does because it has always come naturally to and feels that it is not really a job but a calling. He hopes to use his experience and passion to help make Maine a better place for those on the Autism Spectrum.