Richard Kubina Jr, PhD, BCBA-D
Richard M. Kubina Jr., Ph.D., BCBA-D is CentralReach’s Director of Research and a Professor of Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University where he teaches courses on methods for teaching reading, behavior analysis, and experimental design. Rick graduated from Youngstown State University where he had Steve Graf as an advisor and then received a Masters and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University under John Cooper.
Jay Cole, MA, BCBA
Jay Cole, M.A., BCBA earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Psychology, and later received his Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. During graduate school, Jay studied behavior analysis and completed a thesis within the area of stimulus equivalence. Upon graduation, Jay accepted a position as a behavior analyst at Arlington Developmental Center outside Memphis, TN. While there, he learned functional assessment/analysis methodology for problem behavior under national experts in the field. Over the past 20 years, Jay has worked with a wide range of individuals with disabilities in various settings, including public schools, residential facilities, large state institutions and private homes. He has extensive experience applying scientifically verified principles of behavior across a range of individuals and settings. In 2007, Jay worked to develop one of the first ABA clinics in the state of South Carolina for children diagnosed with autism. He is a Past President of the South Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis (SC ABA). Jay currently resides in Pawleys Island, SC with his wife, Katie, and their two boys.
Katie Wolfe, PhD, BCBA-D
Katie Wolfe is an assistant professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of South Carolina, where she coordinates the BCBA coursework and the MEd in Applied Behavior Analysis. She received her PhD in Disability Disciplines and Applied Behavior Analysis from Utah State University in 2013. Katie is a BCBA-D with 16 years of experience providing intervention to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families in public schools, private schools, and home-based services. Her research interests include evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of teacher- implemented interventions to promote language and communication skills in children with ASD and developmental delays. She also conducts methodological research on the visual and statistical analysis of single-case research data.
Zahra Hajiaghamohseni, PhD, BCBA
Zahra is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is the past- president of SC ABA (South Carolina Association of Behavior Analysis). She began using Applied Behavior Analysis in 1999 while working as an Assistant Applied Behavior Specialist in New York. She primarily worked with the eight and older population in skill development as well as developing interventions for aberrant/maladaptive behaviors. She has provided an array of consultation services to individuals with autism including: Functional Behavioral Assessment, Behavior Intervention Plans, IEP development, Needs Assessments, Curriculum development, and Community Trainings on autism topics.
She completed her Ph.D in .Special Education at the University of South Carolina. She has a special interest in using performance feedback systems to improve procedural fidelity of stakeholder interventions. She recently also completed research in the fieldwork supervision practices of BCBAs. She is dedicated to improving ABA services in South Carolina and diversifying the application and reach of ABA. She completed the Florida Institute OBM Certificate program in 2018. She has implemented organizational behavior management interventions to help SC ABA state chapter continue to make strides!
Meka McCammon, BCBA
Meka McCammon is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), and doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina. Since 2007 she has worked with individuals with ASD and their families delivering high quality ABA services in homes, schools, and centers. Meka’s experiences include early intervention, functional communication training, verbal behavior, parent and staff training, and functional living skills. Since 2014, Meka has provided local and remote supervision to individuals accruing hours toward meeting the requirements for board certification. In addition to supervision, she provides individualized comprehensive tutoring services to assist students with preparing for the RBT, BCaBA, and BCBA exams.
During her doctoral program, Meka has served as a teaching assistant and adjunct instructor in multiple graduate level ABA courses. She has presented at national conferences and has co-authored articles published in leading journals in the field. Meka’s research interests include parent and staff training, higher education instruction, and quantitative analysis.
Stacie Neff, MS, BCBA
Stacie Neff is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 20 years of experience working within the human service industry. She is currently the Assistant Director of Community Support Services for the Clemson Center for Behavior Analysis at Clemson University. Stacie is the author of the curriculum Positively Motivating Others which she uses to inspire people to make a positive difference in their environment. She has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences in addition to traveling around the country teaching people how to positively motivate others!
Andy Patrick joined The Southern Group’s South Carolina office in 2016 after a career in public service, including positions with the U.S. Air Force, New York Air National Guard, New York State Police, U.S. Secret Service, and South Carolina House of Representatives. Throughout his career, Andy has cultivated expertise in numerous areas, including appropriations, economic and business development, gaming, local government, military, policy, public and private partnerships, public safety, and travel and tourism.
Andy began his career as an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of Sergeant before joining the Air National Guard and later the New York State Police. He was commissioned as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service in 1997. Throughout his Secret Service career, Andy directed the planning and implementation of security arrangements for the president, vice president, and foreign heads of state. Andy spent much of his Secret Service career as a liaison with the U.S. intelligence community, supervising the receipt and review of law enforcement and national security intelligence information and assessing its impact on Secret Service protective responsibilities. In 2007, Andy resigned his post with the Secret Service to work as an independent consultant providing comprehensive assistance for protecting critical infrastructure.
In 2010, Andy was elected to represent Hilton Head Island in the South Carolina House of Representatives and became its leading voice for families and children; he was re-elected in 2012. During Andy’s time in the State House, he served on the House Education and Education Oversight Committees and chaired the K-12 Education Subcommittee, where he worked tirelessly to improve educational opportunity for each student, educational choice for all families, and accountability in every classroom. Andy was also appointed to serve on the House Ethics Study and DOR Security Breach Investigative Committees.
Andy currently serves as a trustee of The SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation, is a former member of the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island and American Society of Industrial Security, and is an active member of the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service. Andy graduated cum laude with a BS in criminal justice from the State University of New York. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife and four children.
State Representative Shannon Erickson
First elected in October 2007, educator and business owner, Shannon S. Erickson serves South Carolina House of Representatives District 124. Shannon believes in building consensus and coalitions through grassroots citizen involvement and smaller, more accountable government. Representative Erickson serves on the House Ways & Means Committee, where she chairs the Transportation and Regulations Budget Subcommittee and is a member of the Property Tax Legislative Subcommittee. She also serves on the Regulations and Administrative Procedures Oversight Committee. Shannon has previously served on Labor, Commerce & Industry Committee as the Regulation Subcommittee Chair and on the Medical, Military & Municipal Committee. She is a pro-business & pro-environment leader and has been endorsed by NFIB, SC Builders Association, the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, SC Citizens for Life, the Beaufort County & Hilton Head Area Realtors Associations, the NRA and the SC Chamber of Commerce.
A member of the Sportsman's Caucus, the Affordable Housing Caucus, and the General Assembly's Arts Caucus, Representative Erickson is also a member and Past Chair of the General Assembly's Women's Caucus and Past Chair of the Republican Women's Leadership Caucus. She served as Chair of the SC House Domestic Violence Reform Task Force which authored, sponsored and passed major reform legislation in 2015. Shannon is proud to have served on the House Sales Tax Reform Committee, the Abstinence Education Study Committee, and has attended the National Governor's Associations Early Childhood Policy Retreat as its legislative delegate. Additionally, she was appointed to the Education Funding Act Task Force and is a former Chair of the SC Joint Citizen and Legislative Committee on Children appointed by the Speaker of the House. Representative Erickson has also been appointed to the bi-partisan SC House Tax Policy Review Committee, the Opioid Abuse Task Force and by Governor McMaster to serve on the Military Base Task Force and the Domestic Violence Advisory Board. During 2020, she has been appointed to the SC House Equitable Justice System & Law Enforcement Reform Committee, chairing the Law Enforcement Officer Training, Tactics, Standards and Accountability sub- committee and the COVID-19 Employment, Workforce and Business Recovery Committee.
Shannon grew up in Florence, SC and graduated from USC-Beaufort with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She and her husband, Kendall F. Erickson, CPA, live in Beaufort. Their daughter & son-in- law, Mariah and Randall Owen, along with their grandsons, Wilson and Smith, reside in the West Ashley area of Charleston. Their son, Josh, resides in Mount Pleasant. Shannon is President of Lowcountry Building Blocks, Inc. which owns and operates preschool and child development centers. She is a member and supporter of many local groups and organizations such as the Beaufort AMI Kids, Mossy Oaks Drainage Task Force, Rotary Club of the Lowcountry, Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Lady’s Island Business & Professional Association, and Reconstruction Beaufort: The Second Founding of America – Advisory Board. Shannon and her family are members of St. Peter's Catholic Church.
William Edwards, MS, BCBA
Billy Edwards received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 1996 and his Master's degree in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas in 1999. He has been directly involved in service delivery to children, youth, and families for over 25 years. He has practiced as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2000 in both private and public capacities. He is a former President of The South Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis, and an active member of both the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), and Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA). Billy served as the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis (TxABA) Autism Special Interest Group Co-chair for several years, was a TxABA Executive Council Member for several years, and served as President of the organization from 2005-2007. He has served as a member Behavior Analysis Certification Board, Inc. Exam Review Committees on several occasions and served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the APBA from 2011-2012. He has provided numerous presentations and trainings regarding the applications of Applied Behavior Analysis across the globe and is actively involved in efforts to change local, state, federal, and global legislation in order to improve the quality of services made available to children, as well as promoting Behavior Analysis. Billy is now the Director of the Clemson University Center for Behavior Analysis (CBA) where he created a certificate training program for persons seeking credentialing from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board, Inc. He developed the REACH international outreach program to bring behavior analysis to other countries. The Clemson CBA has helped to create programs across the world including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, The Republic of Moldova, Portugal, Germany, France, and Romania, and has trained students residing on every continent. His work includes support of school districts, families, and other organizations to address issues facing families, children, and youth. Most recently Billy partnered with the Clemson University Student Accessibility Office in the creation of the Clemson University Spectrum Program (CUSP) for matriculating students at Clemson diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Billy is currently a PhD candidate in the Clemson University Youth, Family, and Community Studies program where he is completing his dissertation on Culturally Responsive Program Development.
Vincent LaMarca, BCBA
Beginning in 1995, while a student at Purdue University, Vince was introduced to ABA therapy when his girlfriend, Jennifer (Peters) LaMarca, convinced him to help her friend’s child who was diagnosed with ASD. After spending a few years teaching in high school, Vince switched careers and followed Jennifer into the world of applied behavior analysis for children with autism. Over the course of his career, he has helped guide programs in early intensive behavior intervention, life skills programs, and transitions to adulthood. Research interests include encouraging individualized ABA programming to promote rapid progress and meaningful outcomes. He has also been active in the Indiana state chapter of ABAI since its inception, serving as president in 2014 and currently as chairperson of the licensure committee. For his efforts, he received the Bridget Harrison Dedication Award in 2019. His passion lies in helping others find the best in themselves. Along with Jennifer, he strives to pass on useful information through presentations that provide practical solutions and the resources to implement them. Vince is also a Clinical Research Director at the Applied Behavior Center for Autism with current research focused on swim skills and curriculum development. He and his wife have four boys who remind them daily that ABA strategies are often so much easier to implement in theory than in practice!
Jennifer LaMarca, BCBA
Beginning in 1995, while a student at Purdue University, Jennifer was introduced to ABA therapy when her friend’s child was diagnosed with ASD. From the first moment, Jennifer knew what her career path would be. Jennifer succeeded in obtaining a position at one of Dr. Lovaas’ Young Autism Project replication sites. After completing intensive training at the site, she returned in 1997 as the first early intensive behavior intervention consultant living in Indiana for families needing services in the Midwest. When the BCBA certification became a requirement, she obtained her BCaBA and later completed her master’s degree in ABA and earned the BCBA certification. The Arc of Indiana recognized her contributions with the 2016 Cathleen Clark Professional Service Award for her outstanding effort and accomplishments with parents, teachers, other professionals and most importantly, in the lives of young children whom she has served. Her heart wishes to continue the ground breaking work that Dr. Lovaas provided through his outcome studies. Her passion lies in creating rapid progress for life changing skill development. She wants to share the practitioner knowledge she gained at the Young Autism Project with other young professionals by providing insightful supervision and presenting and publishing helpful research papers. Jennifer is a Clinical Research Director at the Applied Behavior Center for Autism and oversees one of its centers dedicated to early intervention.
Ashlin Blum LISW-CP, BCBA
Ashlin is a Licensed Social Worker and BCBA! He has a diverse background is in behavioral strategies with individuals diagnosed with various disabilities (Rett's, Prader Willi, CP, etc.) ranging from 10 years to 21 years of age. He owns Empowered Family in the Charleston, South Carolina area and provides mental health and behavior analytic services to a variety of consumers.
Dan Unumb, Esq
Dan Unumb is the founder of the nonprofit National Autism Law Center which he formed to address systemic issues and serve as a national clearinghouse for information, litigation and legal policy support, and advocacy on behalf of the autism community. Dan is also President of the Autism Legal Resource Center LLC, a national legal consulting firm assisting providers, families and associations with insurance, Medicaid, and other healthcare coverage-related issues. Previously, Dan was Executive Director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center. He has briefed autism issues in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Dan is co-author of the law school casebook “Autism and the Law” and has presented on autism legal topics at numerous national conferences. Dan graduated from Northwestern University School of Law and has litigated cases in federal and state courts across the country in private practice in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Charleston; as Director of Litigation for his state’s legal services program; and as an attorney with the United States Department of Justice.
Lorri Unumb, Esq
Lorri Shealy Unumb is a lawyer, professor, and the mother of three children—Ryan, who has autism; Christopher, and Jonathan. In 2005, she wrote ground-breaking autism insurance legislation for South Carolina (“Ryan’s Law”) that passed in 2007 and served as the catalyst for the national movement toward autism insurance reform.
Ms. Unumb began her work in autism advocacy as a volunteer. In 2008, she was recruited by the New York-based nonprofit Autism Speaks, where she now advocates full time on behalf of individuals with autism. As head of state government affairs, she has testified more than 100 times on health insurance issues in legislatures around the country. Ms Unumb is now the CEO of the Council for Autism Service Providers (CASP).
For her advocacy efforts, she has been recognized with the Jefferson Award for Public Service; the Autism Society of America 2008 Parents of the Year Award (along with her husband, Dan); the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Michael Hemingway Award; the California Association for Behavior Analysis 2012 Leadership in Law Award; the Miss South Carolina Pageant 2012 Woman of Achievement Award; the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts 2013 Jerry Shook Award; and the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. Her work has been profiled on CNN, on NPR’s Morning Edition, and in Town & Country magazine, from which she received one of three 2009 Women Who Make a Difference Awards. She is profiled in the American Academy of Pediatrics 2013 book Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Every Parent Needs to Know.
Previously, Ms. Unumb enjoyed a fulfilling career as an appellate litigator with the United States Department of Justice and then as a law professor at George Washington University Law School and an inaugural faculty member at the Charleston School of Law. A frequent keynote speaker, Ms. Unumb taught a health law course at George Washington University Law School called “Autism and the Law.” She and her husband, Dan, wrote the first-ever comprehensive textbook on legal issues related to autism, also called Autism and the Law. They founded the Unumb Center for Neurodevelopment, a nonprofit center in Columbia serving the year-round therapeutic needs of children on the spectrum. She attended the University of South Carolina (USC), where she earned degrees magna cum laude in broadcasting and political science and was awarded a full scholarship to USC Law School, where she graduated with honors in 1993. She was named the Law School Graduate of the Year by the international legal honor society Phi Delta Phi.