All of the directors and officers of GAN serve on a volunteer basis.
Bonnie Malkin Gillman
Bonnie Malkin Gillman, Executive Director, is a non-profit consultant who specializes in resource development for charities. She has more than 50 years of professional and volunteer experience working as executive director, director of development, volunteer coordinator and member of the board of directors for a myriad of health, educational and social service organizations. Ms. Gillman founded GAN in 2006 to inform grandparents about autism, the medical, educational, legal and social issues that impact their families and to raise awareness and support for autism. She develops and manages GAN’s programs and projects and represents GAN in collaborative efforts with community and national organizations.
Olivia A. Johnson
Olivia A. Johnson, Secretary, has over 35 years of leadership experience in the Orange County, CA non-profit community. She has served as a founder and board member for many well respected charities including High Priority: breast cancer information network, Children’s Hospital of Orange County Foundation and South Coast Repertory Theatre. Her forte includes event coordination and she has taken major roles in every facet of non-profit operations in organizations supporting causes such as educational institutions, civic organizations and the arts. Ms Johnson brings her creative skills, experience in fund development and passion to support GAN to the Board of Directors.
Judy Berkowitz, Treasurer, has encouraged and assisted the development of the Grandparent Autism Network since its inception. Ms. Berkowitz owns and operates Berk International, which provides promotional products and advertising programs for businesses. Her organizational skills are instrumental in the planning and execution of presentations and activities. Ms. Berkowitz’s expertise in marketing and designing collateral materials expands GAN’s outreach in the community. Her personal leadership and recruitment abilities have significantly increased GAN’s membership.
Dr. Debra Cote
Dr. Cote is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at California State University, Fullerton and Associate Director of the Center for Autism, Education Core. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presents internationally on topics related to educating individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Her research focuses on positive behavior support, evidence-based practices, co-teaching/clinical practice, transition/employment/post school outcomes and cultural linguistic diversity. She serves on many committees in local, state and national professional organizations and is past president of the Orange County Council for Exceptional Children.
Linda Loaeza is an award winning entrepreneur with almost 30 years of experience as the owner and operator of Jay’s Catering. She builds relationships within the management team and strives to always exceed expectations in her business and philanthropic efforts. Ms. Loaeza is an innovative strategic thinker and an effective, hands-on leader. She resides in Orange County and, as the C.E.O. of Jay’s Catering in Garden Grove, CA., she actively participates in a broad based business network. Ms. Loaeza provides professional resources for GAN and assists in identifying new job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.