Compassionate and dedicated community members.

 
 

Board of Directors

SLS was created in response to the needs of several individuals with family members who have developmental disabilities. Since its inception in Arkansas in 2015, the SLS team has grown to encompass a wide variety of individuals, including proven business and community leaders.

ASHTON MCCOMBS, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Ashton is an experienced business leader in the Northwest Arkansas community. He graduated from the Naval Academy and received executive education at Dartmouth, UCLA, and the University of Virginia. He is the Co-Founder and President of Phigenics, a national water management company. His daughter, Anna, has autism.

BETTS MCCOMBS

Betts contributes expertise to both the Phigenics and Spectrum Living Solutions teams on a project basis. As Anna’s mother, Betts is intimately familiar with the needs and potential of adults with autism, as well as the hopes and dreams of families. The McCombs research into support, services, treatment and programs that foster self actualization brought them to the University of Chicago, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the May Institute.

CLIFFORD W. PLUNKETT

Cliff, with Friday, Eldredge & Clark, handles a broad range of civil litigation, including class actions, professional liability defense in the medical, legal and insurance fields, commercial litigation, product liability, construction, motor vehicle (auto and tractor trailer) and intentional torts. He has tried more than 20 complex jury trials in state and federal courts throughout Arkansas. A graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, Cliff is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation and was named Lawyer of the Year 2016 and 2013.

JEFF AMERINE

Jeff is a key leader in the state of Arkansas and in the Northwest Arkansas region. He is involved with the creation of a lasting venture/startup ecosystem. He is the Founding Principal of Startup Junkie Consulting.

MARY ANN MCINTYRE

Mary Ann has over 35 years of experience with students with autism. She is currently the Co-Coordinator for the Arkansas Behavior Support Specialists, in association with the Arkansas Department of Education. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Speech / Language Pathologist.

RANDY ALEXANDER

Randy served 33 years as Director of Housing at various state universities, including the University of Arkansas. He is also a former state representative. Randy and Pat’s daughter, Lauren, had Spina Bifida, and passed away in her twenties.

SANDY STEINMETZ

Sandy Steinmetz is a retired special education teacher of 30 years. She has degrees from Indiana University and Indiana Wesleyan University. She serves on several local boards including, EMPOWER, Women’s Giving Circle, Susan G. Komen, Open Avenues and Spectrum Living Solutions.

TANYA HAYES

Tanya began her professional career as a recreational therapist, helping people with autism and behavioral disabilities enjoy life to the fullest extent possible. She developed ways to build relatedness and became responsible for hiring other therapists and training them in her process and approach. After multiple friends suggested she put her skills to work in the business world, she took on her first HR position with a startup e-learning company in San Francisco.

Tanya has had the opportunity to serve as director, global director, and vice president and chief HR officer for startups, portfolio, and multi-billion dollar companies. Most recently, Tanya founded bluvista, an international executive coaching and HR consulting firm.  She earned a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy from Indiana University and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.  Tanya is a member of the Arkansas Women’s Empowerment Executive Advisory Council and a volunteer at the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas.

 

Executive Director

Sandy Wright

Sandy’s career spans multiple arenas – marketing, public relations, branding, storytelling, business growth from start-ups to established companies, nonprofit organizational development, fundraising consultant and leadership coach.  As the former CEO of her own marketing firm in Milwaukee, WI, Vice President of a $100 million leveraged inclusive urban project, nonprofit executive director, board member, and business advisor,  Sandy strives to build teams whose focus is on clients, customers and community. Throughout her career, Sandy has been privileged to work with agencies and businesses who serve neurodiverse children and adults.  Her personal experience has given her a special affinity for highlighting individual strengths and working to create a culture of inclusion. Sandy has a Masters Degree from Marquette University, is a graduate of the Center for Authentic Leadership and trained through MentorCoach. 

 

Project Advisors

SLS has partnered with leading experts in the field across the United States. These individuals are assisting in the project planning and initial implementation phases.

Lee E. Wachtel, M.D.

Dr. Wachtel is the Medical Director of the Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Natalie Rolider, PhD., BCBA-D

Dr. Rolider is a Senior Behavior Analyst at the Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Marilyn Benoit, M.D.

Dr. Benoit is the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. She is the former President of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Associate Professor at Georgetown & Drexel Medical School.

Amy Lutz

Amy is the founder of the EASI Foundation, and speaks and writes widely about autism issues.