About / Founding Members
Our Founding Members are individuals who have helped to develop the Neurodiversity Employment Network from its early beginnings. The team is made up of professionals from a broad range of fields who care deeply about providing meaningful employment opportunities to neurodivergent job seekers.
Krista Deguffroy is an equity and diversity professional with almost a decade of experience working within the field of DEI. In her current role, she leads the Experienced Talent function of Emerging Talent and Diversity Recruiting Strategies team at Vanguard. Krista holds a Master’s degree in Employment and Labor Relations which was her first introduction into the world of disability advocacy and belonging strategy. Prior to joining Vanguard, she led the Diversity & Inclusion function at SEI for 6.5 years.
Krista’s career has included the launch and growth of multiple neurodiversity hiring programs, employee affinity groups, and leading DEI workshops for both internal and external communities. She is most proud of her work within neurodiversity and looks forward to growing the community within the Greater Philadelphia area.
Cherie Fishbaugh is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned her M.A. in special education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State University.
Her experience includes working as a Case Supervisor at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and developing the Dub-C Autism Program: a program for matriculated autistic students at West Chester University.
Michael Ghesser is the Co-founder and CEO of Cleanlogic, a CPG brand, whose core purpose is to inspire all to achieve independence and success. Inspired by his daughter Rosemary, who is neurodivergent and physically disabled, Cleanlogic has woven accessibility and inclusion into the fabric of its culture and focuses on creating meaningful employment for neurodiverse and physically disabled individuals. Through his personal experiences at home and in the workplace, Mr. Ghesser has made it his goal to help other businesses understand how they too can take meaningful steps forward with the inclusion of neurodiverse and physically disabled talent.
Amy Gillespie is the Director of Postsecondary Transition at Hill Top Preparatory School. She coordinates college representative visits to Hill Top, student visits to colleges and universities, and internship opportunities for alumni.
Coordinator of the Horizons Transition Program, she works with alumni to develop additional skills or provide extra support in the first year of college. She also helps organize both the Pathways to Independence and the Summer Innovators programs.
Ryan Hammond is the Executive Director of the Eagles Autism Foundation.
Under Hammond’s leadership, the Eagles Autism Foundation has raised over $12M with 100% supporting autism research and care, opened the Sensory Room presented by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with the certification of Lincoln Financial Field as sensory-inclusive and launched inclusion efforts around employment and fan engagement within the Philadelphia Eagles organization.
In her current role at Drexel University and her previous roles as an independent consultant and as Mentor and Fellow of the SAP Autism@Work program, Peg Monaghan has pioneered the inclusion of the neurodiverse into the workplace since the start of the Autism at Work movement.
Amanda Westphal Radcliffe has served on the Vertex Inc. board of directors since 1993. Ms. Radcliffe serves on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board of Overseers, and the St. Joe’s University Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support Advisory Board.
Ms. Radcliffe holds a BA from Moravian College, attended business school at Drexel University and attended the Executive Education program at the Wharton School.
Leading the Neurodiversity in the Workplace Initiative, which is responsible for many of the corporate neurodivergent hiring programs in existence, Joe Riddle works to create partnerships with businesses from across the globe to diversify their workforce to include neurodivergent talent.
He has maintained and built partnerships with companies such as SAP, Dell, Bank of America, Thermo Fisher, VMware, Lincoln Financial Group and many more.
Gretchen is a Human Resources Director for Cozen O’Connor, a law firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. She oversees Human Resource operations including talent management, benefits and well-being programs in the organization. A native Philadelphian, Gretchen has her undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College and a Masters in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Cait Russell is the Executive Director of the Neurodiversity Employment Network: Philadelphia, a network connecting employers, academics, providers, vendors, job seekers, and other allies in the Greater Philadelphia region supporting one another to enable neurodivergent individuals to gain meaningful employment.
Jose H. Velasco leads the SAP Autism at Work program in the United States. Mr. Velasco is a board member of The Arc, the largest national community-based organization in the United States advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Technology Commercialization from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and B.S. in Computer Science from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.