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Board Members

Theresa Namie
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Theresa became involved with Asperger’s Syndrome when her son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism at age 10. She has attended workshops across the Country and has met with several successful adults with Autism to learn more about what has made them successful. She is a skilled professional with experience in business operations and management. She has used her business and personal experience to help found ANSWER and is dedicated to its continued success.

Kathy Hoffman
Kathy Hoffman serves on the ANSWER Board all because of the needs of her awesome son, Jeremy. Jeremy is now in his 20’s and was first diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum when he was 12.  Kathy’s son was one of the first boys to go through ANSWER’s “Transition for Life” course 4 years ago. Jeremy made tremendous progress through the classes and made great strides toward his future goal of living independently.  Kathy has lived in Minnesota her whole life. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in Speech Communications and Business. She lives in Plymouth, MN with her husband Mark, son Jeremy, daughter Allison, dog Skipper and Jeremy’s cute parakeet Yoda! Special thanks go to Theresa Namie, ANSWER’s co- founder, the other ANSWER Board members, and all the wonderful people in our community that support the needs of people with Asperger’s and who are on the ASD spectrum!

James Namie
Project Manager Habitat Inc. James is an original board member. His passion is born out his adult son who is diagnosed with ASD and with his own relationship he has with the diagnoses. His understanding of ASD fosters new ideas that help ANSWER to do more in the community.

Sandra Cross
Member at Large – Parent Advocate
Sandy has a background in Early Childhood and Development. She has two boys with Asperger’s Syndrome. Her passion is helping families guide their way through their diagnosis, whether it is one on one or in a group. She is currently the Parent Facilitator of Answer’s Cafe’ Aspie Support Group and a Member at Large.  She is also a Personal Care Assistant with St. David’s Child and Family Development Center.

Debra Thorburn
Deb has been supporting various non-profits in different capacities for the last 20 years along with professional experience in consultancy that gets her thinking beyond the box.  She became involved with ANSWER’s transition program while her son was in high school.  Her passion lies in advocating for supportive programming and outreach to people with social and economical diversity, helping them navigate both short and long term opportunities as they transition through school and careers.