The BALC believes that in order to meaningfully address these areas of need the focus of our work must center around 3 key competencies : Effective Leadership, Clinical Acumen & Operational Expertise. We call these 3 competencies the Triad of Excellence™.
Behavior analysis is valued as an integral ingredient to enhance human performance and applicable to mainstream problems.
The Behavior Analyst Leadership Council is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.
Advancing the business interests of Behavior Analysts and providing opportunities for professional development and capacity building.
3. Effective and timely advocacy
4. Fiscally responsive
Board of Directors
PhD, LCSW, LBA, BCBA-D
Dr. Solandy Forte is the Executive Director and Founder of Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst licensed in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Solandy has over twenty years of experience in the field of autism, receiving her doctoral degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Endicott College under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Dorsey and Dr. Mary Jane Weiss. She has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Saint Joseph, Endicott College and Southern Connecticut State University.
Solandy has served hundreds of children and their families as a clinician, consultant, and advocate nationally and internationally. She has coordinated with multi-disciplinary teams to promote capacity for educating children within the least restrictive educational setting. She has extensive experience in the behavioral health profession and a passion for advancing the quality of treatment available for all children with autism and related comorbid disorders. Solandy is dedicated to working with leaders in the field to diagnose and provide innovative and efficient treatment solutions. She has played an integral role in expanding clinical services to include an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Clinic, parent education program, and lead in capacity development initiatives through school consultation.
Solandy serves as the President the Behavior Analyst Leadership Council (BALC) and has been a member of the Executive Council for the Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysts (CTABA) as well as served on various boards related to advancing special education. She has presented at regional and national conferences on topics related to staff training, behavioral assessment, navigating through cultural barriers, behavioral consultation, supervision, and ethics.
Stephanie M. Peterson
Dr. Stephanie M. Peterson, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University. Dr. Peterson earned her doctorate in Special Education from the University of Iowa in 1994. She has taught courses in behavior analysis and special education at several different universities (Gonzaga University, Utah State University, The Ohio State University, Idaho State University, and now Western Michigan University). She also served as Chair of the Department of Special Education, School Psychology, and Literacy at Idaho State University. Dr. Peterson served as Senior Co-Editor of Education and Treatment of Children for over 10 years and has served on or currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, and Journal of Behavioral Education to name a few. Dr. Peterson has also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, completing her two consecutive 3-year terms. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of problem behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities, choice making, functional communication training, and behavior analysis in education. For the past several years at Western Michigan University, she has been working closely with her colleague, Dr. Wayne Fuqua, Co-PI, on a series of grants to establish an Autism Center of Excellence to better serve individuals with disabilities in Kalamazoo, to further continue the excellent behavior analytic training model already established in the Department of Psychology, and to provide a model of excellence in autism treatment and training for others in the behavior analytic community.
Dr. Deborah Napolitano joined the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) faculty at Daemen College as an Assistant Professor in October of 2018. Debbi previously was on faculty as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine where she still retains a Courtesy Clinical Associate Professor appointment. Debbi also continues to work with Hillside Family of Agencies supporting the behavioral programming in the Developmental Disabilities Department. Debbi obtained her Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology/Behavior Analysis from the University of Kansas in 2000.
Debbi is widely published in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavior analysis, with peer reviewed research publications in some of the field’s premier journals such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Debbi also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Mental Health Research in Developmental Disabilities. Debbi’s research interests are in the areas of rigid and repetitive behavior in individuals with autism, drug and behavior interactions, applications of behavior analysis in child welfare, and the assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior of persons with IDD. Her clinical interests are also in these areas, with additional focus on interprofessional collaboration and the interface between behavior therapy (e.g., Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and ABA for individuals with dual diagnosis of IDD and brain health concerns.
Debbi has spent a great deal of her career advocating for individuals with IDD, their families, and for the profession of Behavior Analysis. She currently serves on the Developmental Disabilities of Western New York/East (DDAWNY/East) family legislative committee and also serves on the Leadership Council for the National Council for Severe Autism. Debbi is currently the chair for the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) legislative committee where she works towards appropriate credentialing in the state, and is the secretary for the Severe Challenging Behavior Special Interest Group of the International Association on the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID). Debbi also has previously served as President of the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) and as a board member the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) Board of Directors for the previous six years.
Dr. Becky Eldridge, BCBA-D, joined the team at Children’s Autism Center in March of 2021 as the Chief Clinical Officer. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, obtained her B.S. in psychology from Colorado State University, her M.A. from the University of Chicago focusing on disability studies, and her Ph.D. in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University, under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie Peterson. She became board certified in 2009, and has worked in homes, clinics, and school settings with professionals and parents from diverse backgrounds to implement effective interventions for children and young adults with autism and other developmental disorders. Her interests include functional behavior assessment of severe problem behavior, functional communication training for individuals with developmental disabilities, decision making behavior of behavior analysts, evidence-based training for practitioners in the field of developmental disabilities, telehealth as an evidence-based service modality, and teacher training and collaboration.
In serving her behavior analytic community, Becky was a founding member and the first president of Arizona Association of Behavior Analysis (AzABA; 2010-2013). Once she moved to Michigan, she continued her advocacy and support of the field by joining the conference planning committee of the Michigan Autism Conference (MAC; 2014). That same year, she testified in support of licensure for behavior analysts in Michigan, and was present at the signing of the bill into law in 2016. In 2019, she joined forces with representatives from several other ABA agencies to create the Michigan Behavior Analysis Provider Association (MiBAP), becoming Vice President in 2020. She currently serves on the Editorial Board for Behavior Analysis in Practice, and over the years, she has also served as a guest reviewer for several journals. In addition to her service through associations and journals, Becky enjoys engaging others through workshops, presentations, and panel discussions at local, regional, national, and international conferences.
She and her husband, Chris, live in Fort Wayne, IN, and enjoy spending time with their dog, Olive, and traveling/exploring new places.
Dr. Shamoun obtained her master’s degree in educational psychology from New York University in 1998 with a concentration in evaluation methods, specializing in early childhood and she obtained her Ph.D. in learning processes and behavior analysis psychology from The Graduate Center and City University of New York in 2009. Kim is a licensed psychologist and licensed behavior analyst in New York as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. Kim is currently the Treasurer of the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. Kim started her career in applied behavior analysis in 1996, providing services in a center-based program as well as home-based settings. Kim is the President and Executive Director of Behavioral Intervention Psychological Services, which is a small company that provides ABA services to individuals with Autism and other disorders. Kim is particularly interested in providing quality training to individuals pursuing licensure and national certification in ABA in addition to a more recent and growing interest in DEI topics such as gender inclusivity in the workplace and in practice. She has experience presenting at local, national, and international conferences as well as providing staff development training, on a variety of topics, in school districts located on Long Island.
Licensed Psychologist – NY
Licensed Behavior Analyst – NY
Mariana Del Rio
M,Ed, BCBA, LBA
Mariana Del Rio is the Director and Founder of It Takes a Village Behavior Consulting. She is a masters level board certified behavior analyst licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Mariana has over 15 years of experience in the world of autism, working with children, adolescents, and adults in different settings such as schools, hospitals, and homes. She provides consultation services in Spanish to families and practitioners in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and Mexico.
Mariana earned her Master’s in special education at West Chester University in Pennsylvania and will begin her doctorate in behavior analysis at Western Michigan University in the fall of 2023. She started her career in ABA as a Direct Support Staff at Devereux Foundation, working with individuals 5 to 21 years old with severe problem behavior. She then worked as Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Devereux CARES, serving individuals with severe problem behavior. In 2015, she moved to Michigan to work at Henry Ford Health as the manager of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
Her interests include dissemination of evidenced based treatment for autism and developmental disabilities around the world, assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior and teaching caregivers how to implement behavior analytic procedures.
Social Media Advisor – Events Committee Member
Shaquana Cobbs is a board certified behavior analyst and licensed behavior analyst in the state of Connecticut. She began working in the field of behavior analysis in 2014 providing ABA to students with autism. Shaquana received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in criminal justice from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan university. Shaquana has plans to pursue a PhD in Educational Psychology in the near future.
Currently, Shaquana provides consultation services to adolescents and young adults with varying intellectual and developmental disabilities in both the school and home environments. In her role, she provides parent training, supervision to RBTs and ABA instructors, collaborates with case managers, mental health workers, and related services, plans, develops and monitors skill acquisition programs and behavior intervention plans for new and established clients. Her professional interest include providing trauma informed care from a behavior analytic prospective and using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Bookstore / Social Media Manager
William Andujar-Roman is the bookstore/social media manager for the Behavior Analyst Leadership Council. In addition to running the day-to-day operations, of the bookstore he is also a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) working in Connecticut. He was introduced to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in 2019 and has since developed a passion for improving the lives of his clients and their families. Currently, he provides ABA services to school-aged children, Striving to ensure progress and growth. Previously, William worked as a direct support provider for six years assisting individuals with reaching their maximum potential and independence within a group home setting in Brooklyn, New York. William’s goal is to pursue a career as a behavior analyst.