Board of Directors

The ASNL board of directors consists of 14 members in the following structure;

  • 10 Members at Large
  • 1 Representative for the Eastern Region Seat
  • 1 Representative for the Western Region Seat
  • 1 Representative for the South and Central Region Seat
  • 1 Representative for the Self Advocate Seat

Currently, a new board is elected each year at the annual general meeting, but former or exiting board members are welcome to run again.

The ASNL Board of Directors for 2018-2019

Anthony Jackman – President (Year 3 of 3, Term 1)

Mr. Jackman’s son, Aiden, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder three years ago and he has availed of many of the programs and services offered by ASNL. Serving as Director provides Anthony a terrific opportunity to give back to ASNL and volunteer his time.

He is a Civil Engineer by profession, but has specialized in contract administration and management for the better part of his career. Anthony has a strong background in procurement, project management, leadership, risk management, and project finance. One of the main functions of his profession is resolving contractual issues, which requires an understanding of technical specifications, commercial commitments, and contractual obligations. With this background and knowledge, he will be an excellent advisor and Board Member.

Carolyn Rideout – Vice-President (Year 3 of 3, Term 1)

 Ms. Carolyn Rideout is a Speech-Language Pathologist operating a private practice in St. John’s since 2006. She graduated from University of Toronto with a Masters in Health Science in 1994 and has worked on multi-disciplinary teams, in preschool and school-aged environments.

Carolyn has a keen interest in autism. Her primary treatment method is the Reference and Regulate program, as she deeply believes in its developmental attachment principles. She has had remarkable success with many clients.  Her primary objective in serving on the BOD is to share her knowledge and advocate for better services, especially in the pre-school population, because an effective pre-school model will have positive implications throughout their lives. Those affected by ASD will be much less costly on the health and education systems.  She also believes that parents require as much help as children and wants to work toward programs that educate and empower them, thus bringing parents/caregivers into better relationships with their child with ASD.

Carolyn says the mission and vision of ASNL are consistent with her own. She believes she can provide positive professional guidance in helping ASNL meet its objectives.


Kristine M Strickland – Treasurer (Year 1 of 3, Term 1)

Ms. Strickland is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours (HBCom) degree from Laurentian University. As a licensed public accountant in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, she currently operates her own public practice firm. She has several years of experience in public practice including working with various not-for-profit organizations as external auditor. Kristine currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Empower, the Disability Resource Centre, and has previously served as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Financial Management Institute (NL Chapter).  She has also volunteered on various fundraising and grant-writing committees in Alberta for specialized private schools for children with autism.

Kristine’s late son, Joshua, was diagnosed with autism at 26 months old in 2001 and for ten years her family navigated the support systems available in Alberta until his passing in 2011. During that time, they were strong advocates for services for him and other families, both within and outside the education system.

Kristine is honored to be provided an opportunity to contribute to ASNL on a professional level, as needed, and to share her personal experiences as someone who has needed services such as those provided by ASNL.


Shawna Matthews – Secretary (Year 3 of 3, Term 1)

Ms. Matthews is the mother of a newly diagnosed 4-year-old boy. She is living the daily struggles and joys of being the parent/caregiver of a child on the autism spectrum. Shawna has a great deal to contribute to ASNL – as a parent, as a community member, and as an advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Psychology as well as a Master of Education Degree. She has spent almost 15 years working at Memorial University in many distinct roles, including the role she held for the past 7 years, as Academic Advisor. She has volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations, including as member of the Planning Committee for the Corner Brook Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life, and as an organizing committee member for Lilies for Lillie (which in 10 years raised a total of $450,000 in support of cancer initiatives in NL). She was on two international volunteer trips to help build a school for underprivileged children. Shawna believes the challenges and struggles facing families who have a loved one on the spectrum can be overwhelming. She also believes the joys, love and the special moments these children evoke can be overwhelming. ASNL’s work at supporting families, educating the public and celebrating accomplishments, she says, is very important work.


Edward Byrne –Eastern Regional Rep (Year 3 of 3, Term 1)

Originally from St. John’s, Ed graduated from MUN with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Computer Science. He has been an IT instructor for the past 23 years at the College of the North Atlantic in Clarenville. Ed has been an active member of ASNL’s Eastern Chapter since his son was diagnosed with ASD in 2004. Ed currently serves on the local board for Eastern Region and is on the Executive of the Wave Runners Swim Team. He is a past executive member of the Life Saving Society NL.

 Ed’s interest in serving on ASNL’s BOD was both personal and professional. His son is close to transitioning out of the school system. Professionally, he has a growing number of students coming through his program at CONA that have been diagnosed with ASD themselves, or they have loved ones with ASD. He is keenly interested in helping grow programs and services for Eastern and other rural regions.


Angela Decker – At Large (Year 3 of 3, Term 2)

Ms. Decker has an autistic grandson and since his diagnosis she has been a great advocate for him and for ASNL. Having served more than 5 years on ASNL’s BOD, she understands the many issues surrounding autism and has made it a priority to increase that understanding. Angela is dedicated to ASNL’s mission, vision, programs, and services. She too wants to ensure those affected by ASD receive programs & respect they need. She has served on the Advocacy & Governance Standing Committees; she has participated in the ABA program for families. Angela seeks out and participates in work-shops around ASD here and when on vacation abroad.


Karen Flynn – South Central Region Rep (Year 2 of 3, Term 1)

Ms. Flynn is a physiotherapist (Dalhousie University, 1990) and the Physiotherapy Clinical Leader with Western Health. She is mom to a wonderful boy, Ethan, age 12, who happens to have autism.  Like so many parents, she has experienced first-hand the lack of sufficient resources to provide a timely diagnosis, service and support for any child. She became an autism advocate because of her son.  It’s a role she takes very seriously because when we educate others they gain insights about ASD. Any gains made in advocacy, even for just one child, help ensure a better future for all children with autism.

Karen’s professional background has provided extensive experience at team building, program planning and program development.  And her personal experience has given her an understanding of the issues facing parents of those with autism. Previously, Karen served on the executive of the local board of ASNL’s Western Region for three years (including as Chair).  She has also served as the Western Region Representative on ASNL’s provincial Board of Directors. She believes in the ASNL’s vision and mission and wants to continue helping bring that vision to reality.


Trudy Goold – Self-Advocate (Year 2 of 3, Term 1)

Ms. Goold is an ardent advocate for those affected by ASD, both in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the broader Canadian community. She began her advocacy with Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and its Canadian Autism Partnership Project (CAPP). Trudy has considerable experience on non-profit committees and boards. It includes services as a Member of the Convention Committee of the TCON Promotional Society (Toronto Trek, then Polaris) for 6 years (April 2001-July 2007); as Treasurer of the Women’s Association of Memorial University of Newfoundland for 1 year (June 2012-May 2013); and as the Autistic Representative for Newfoundland and Labrador to the Canadian Autism Partnership Project for just over 1 year (February 2016-March 2017).

Trudy has availed of ASNL services since 2011. She participated in autism awareness events (Connections Q&As, Ask an Autistic, Radio Interview June 19/17) during her time with the organization. She hopes that serving on the Board of Directors will allow her provide an autistic perspective on things, help her understanding of the issues that the ASNL must deal with, and increase the impact of her advocacy.


Colin Hodder – At Large (Year 3 of 3, Term 1)

Mr. Hodder has a B Sc. (Hons) in Psychology from Memorial University.  He has worked for the MUN Writing Centre (Director’s Assistant), as a Student Development Officer at CNA (2007 – 2014), and is currently a Child Management Specialist with Eastern Health, in Marystown.  Colin and his wife have been members of ASNL since their son, Jake, was diagnosed with ASD in 2012.  Previously, he was on the Board of Directors for Youtube (the CYN for Clarenville), the Clarenville Public Library Board, and the Clarenville United Church Community Outreach Group.  Currently he serves on the local board of the Burin Peninsula Autism Parent Support Group, on the Burin Public Library Board, Calvary United Church Outreach Committee, and he is a Beaver Leader with Scouts in Marystown.

Colin serves on ASNL’s BOD because he can bring a valuable perspective as both a father of a child with autism and as a professional working in the field.  Since his son was diagnosed, Colin’s family has been working to ensure they do everything they can to advocate for their son and all families of people with autism.  As such, they volunteer their time and resources wherever there is an opportunity to educate, inform, and help bring about change.


Mark LaCosta – Western Region Rep (Year 2 of 3, Term 2)

Mr. Mark LaCosta and his wife Bev have a 15- year-old son Nicholas, who has Autism. For the past 34 years, Mark has worked in the industrial and retail sector, where he is currently employed. He became a member of the Knights of Columbus in 2003, where he served as Grand Knight and as a director of the Columbus Club Board until 2007.

After his son’s diagnosis in 2007, Mark and his wife joined a parent support group, where they worked hard to promote Autism Awareness.  In 2009, that group and Mark worked very hard to get a regional office established in Corner Brook.  That office opened in 2011.

In 2009, Mark became a member of ASNL and was elected to the BOD the following year.  He sat as Acting Chair of ASNL from September to November 2012. He and the other Directors have worked very hard to put plans in place that will benefit individuals and families affected by Autism.


Kimberly Maich – At Large (Year 2 of 3, Term 1)

Currently, Dr. Maich is an associate professor at Memorial University in Special Education (Dec. 31, 2016-present). Prior to this, she was at Brock University in a similar tenured position. Prior to that, Kimberly has had a history of work in university, college, school, and hospital settings, including five years as a clinical coordinator of the ASD School Support Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

Kimberly has several degrees in the area, including a Master’s Degree in ABA. Currently, she is the only Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst in Newfoundland & Labrador. She is also a Special Education Specialist and certified teacher. Most importantly, she is the parent of an adult son with ASD (mid-20’s) and thus has a history of supporting non-profit organizations serving those affected by ASD.

Most recently, she was elected as Canadian Member at Large (2017+) for the International Division on Autism & Developmental Disabilities (Part of the international Council for Exceptional Children) and she is President-Elect of the Atlantic Provinces ABA for 2017/2018.  She believes in local involvement and welcomes the opportunity to be part of ASNL, just as she was part of the leadership of Autism Ontario during the past 11 years in Ontario. Kimberly is keenly interested in helping improve ASD services and their delivery.


Patrick Martin – At Large (Year 3 of 3, Term 1)

Mr. Martin is currently a resident of St. John’s and the father of an 8-year-old male autistic child, and three non‐autistic female children. He has had to deal with many challenges over the past several years since his son was diagnosed, but he believes it has given him the background needed to serve on the BOD. Patrick has extensive board experience in over two dozen industry, not-for-profit and government organizations. Some of these roles dealt with technical, financial, marketing, communications, governance and/or policy issues and he was involved in the development of strategies to deal with these issues. He has assisted numerous industry, not-for-profit, and government organizations that work with those who have challenges.

Patrick is committed to the vision, values and mission of ASNL. He is supportive of programs and services that assist families, caregivers and persons with ASD. His board knowledge, business background, work experience and varied educational background means he has much to contribute to ASNL’s BOD.


Neala Quigley – At Large (Year 2 of 3, Term 1)

 Ms. Quigley dreams, breathes and lives autism 24 hours a day. Her life completely changed on October 23, 2013, with four little words: “Your son has autism.” Neala describes it as an interesting road to acceptance. Because of her family’s experience, her desire to help others and because she believes she can add value to executing on the vision of ASNL, she has joined its BOD. Specifically, Neala wants to add value by helping raise awareness, acceptance, advocacy and outreach.

Throughout her career, Neala worked closely with medical professionals in various areas of healthcare. Recently, she made a career change to begin work with a local biotechnology company aiming to do genetic research with voluntary, consenting participants throughout NL. In her role as Director of Community Engagement, she builds and manages relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including medical professionals, government groups, advocacy and non-profit organizations. Her career shift was driven by a desire to meaningfully contribute to the possibility of impacting the medical care of her son, her family and others.

Acknowledging the challenges facing charitable organizations in this current fiscal environment, she is acutely aware of the benefits that organizations like ASNL provide for families and individuals. Her son attends Social Club programming at ASNL and she has seen many gains in his short enrollment in the program. Neala is excited about becoming a more active member and advocate for ASNL.


Shannon O’Dea – At Large (Year 1 of 3, Term 1)

Ms. O’Dea has many years of professional experience working with those with autism.  She holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology through MUN and is currently completing a Psychology Doctorate (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology through California Southern University.  Additionally, Shannon has completed several professional development certificates and workshops on mental health related topics, including those related to ASD.  She currently works as a Behaviour Management Specialist (BMS) with Eastern Health, a Psychologist (provisional) with H. Khalili, PhD and Associates Inc., and serves on the ‘Towards Recovery Action Plan’ committee examining mental health services in NL.

Shannon is familiar with ASNL through many of her clients that access services and supports.  With extensive experience working with individuals with ASD of all ages, their families, and their support systems, and a having a personal connection with a nephew diagnosed with ASD, Shannon is excited to bring a unique lens to the Board of Directors and find another way to be involved in the work she is most passionate about.


Honorary Board Member(s)

  • Elaine Dobbin

If you would like to contact ASNL’s Board of Directors, please e-mail Scott Crocker, Chief Executive Officer, at