Karen LeFever, Ed.D., leads a dedicated business development team and the efforts to affect the company’s growth strategies. She has special expertise in leading the development of partnerships that connect public school and school district achievement concerns with innovative services and programs that benefit students, school districts and communities. She is an established industry expert, thought leader and educator with broad-based management experience who combines strategy excellence with strong financial management.
An experienced educator and administrator, Karen provided nearly a decade of leadership as principal of three large urban schools in two states – one of which was both a recognized California Distinguished School and Title 1 Achieving School. Karen’s academic credentials include a Doctor of Education in Educational Policy, Planning and Administration; Master of Science in Special Education; and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies.
Susan Butler is a dedicated advocate for children and families affected by autism. An executive of a Fortune 100 company and the mother of a child who has autism, Susan worked to bring quality Applied Behavior Analysis services to families in the Southeast. In 2000, Susan left her corporate position and co-founded Early Autism Project with Ann Eldridge Kolb.
Susan works with parents, autism organizations and employers to educate them about accessing funding sources, and with payors to secure coverage for ABA therapy. She works with state and local legislative bodies to help pass laws that provide children with access to services; with families and insurers to ensure families receive the maximum benefit; and with self-funded health plans to add the ABA benefit to their employee health coverage. Susan is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she earned degrees in Political Science and Business Administration. PEOPLE magazine profiled Susan’s story in February 2015.
Tony Van Gytenbeek has more than 35 years of experience as an educator in the K-12 public school system. Before his 2011 retirement as the Deputy Superintendent in the Aurora, Colo., Public Schools, Tony worked as an assistant superintendent of human resources, a middle school principal, a high school assistant principal and dean, and high school English teacher and athletic coach.
As a member of the Business Development Team with primary responsibility for strategic initiatives, Tony works with superintendents to implement innovative programming and expansions tailored to the unique characteristics and needs of urban, suburban and rural K-12 school districts across the country, and has led the expansion of Ombudsman programs in Chicago, Illinois and in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Regis College, a master’s in Counseling Psychology from Lesley College and a Public School Principal’s License from Denver University.
Lisa Chitty is an expert in developing alternative education options for disengaged youth and has been influential in the growth of Ombudsman throughout the country. An experienced educator and education leader, Lisa began her career as a classroom teacher and has held numerous educational leadership positions, including executive director and adjunct professor in adult education. She has developed Ombudsman partnerships in Georgia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Illinois.
Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from Barry University, and founded and served as principal of a private school serving non-traditional learners, where her skill in building strong partnerships with students, parents, and faculty and community organizations was at the forefront of the school’s success.
Bill Listanski began his career with ChanceLight Behavioral Health and Education as a teacher at an Ombudsman center in Pennsylvania in 2006. He was promoted to center director, training specialist and operations manager, and then named a vice president of business development in 2015.
As operations manager, Bill supervised all Ombudsman programs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and developed and nurtured strong relationships with school district partners, and led a significant expansion in Ohio. Bill graduated from the University of Scranton with a bachelor’s in secondary education social studies and political science. In 2010, he was awarded ChanceLight’s highest honor in recognition of his exemplary leadership.
William Stuart is an experienced educator, school-building leader and school district administrator. He served Aurora (Colo.) Public Schools for his entire 29-year career, beginning as a high school social studies teacher and athletic coach.
He has special expertise in alternative education and was principal of Aurora’s alternative high school before becoming a district level administrator. William served as a principal coach and chief academic officer, where he was instrumental in establishing a partnership with Ombudsman. William retired as the district’s chief academic officer and joined Ombudsman in 2015.
Carmen Rivera-Jara, M.P.H., M.A., has more than 20 years of leadership experience in special education and mental and public health. Her depth of expertise has helped her establish more than 10 new partnerships for ChanceLight Behavioral Health and Education in the last five years.
Carmen earned a master’s in Public Health-Health Education and Nutrition from Loma Linda University and a master’s in Counseling Psychology from Andrews University. She served a program director in non-public schools for students with emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities and autism, and she was an administrator and adjunct professor of California State University, San Bernardino, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses. Carmen spent 10 years as a Mental Health Counselor and has taught in Japan and Costa Rica.
Tim Ulmer has devoted his entire professional career to supporting students with highly specialized learning needs, and currently focuses on creating school district partnerships to serve students with disabilities who require intensive academic, behavioral, communications, and/or therapeutic services; and clinic and home-based services for children and adolescents with autism.
He has more than 15 years of experience in special education, school improvement, leadership development, alternative education, and school operations. Prior to joining ChanceLight Behavioral Health and Education, Tim worked for an educational management organization to provide professional development, technical assistance, and operations support to instructional leaders from traditional, charter, alternative, and virtual schools throughout the country. Tim earned a bachelor’s in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado.