Houston, Texas (December 1, 2023). Project Beacon today announced the achievement of its major 2023 fundraising goal, a prerequisite for several significant leadership changes.

Project Beacon is a not-for-profit organization focused on delivering full “lifecycle” social, educational, vocational, and residential programs for adults with Autism and other neurodiversities. These leadership changes are outlined below and mark a capacity step change:

Kelly Baughman, currently President and Co-Founder, has been elected Project Beacon’s Executive Director effective December 1, 2023, the non-profit’s first full-time paid position. With over 25 years of experience as a successful business owner guiding major corporations through organizational and cultural change, Kelly is uniquely positioned to lead Project Beacon.

Kevin Gerrity, currently Vice-President and Co-Founder, will become Project Beacon’s President. His recent retirement from ExxonMobil will allow Kevin to be singularly focused on his leadership role. Current board member Dr. Amy Wood will assume the Vice President role, and Cindy Melton will replace Rob Johnson as Secretary. Rob will continue to build on his many contributions as a strategic advisor to the Project Beacon board.

Project Beacon will further expand its capacity and community networks by adding three new board members: Wendy Mauer, M. Ed., a Special Education Professional with a focus on ABA and a passionate disability advocate who is making an impact that will last a lifetime for others. Amanda Sitomer-Smith, M.S., is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) in the state of Texas with over 15 years of experience in the Autism world. Paul Vanderwal, architect and owner of Vanderwal Architects, brings deep expertise in creating solutions and places that are beautiful yet sensible and inspire and foster higher living, working, and enjoyment.

With the addition of Wendy, Amanda, and Paul, Project Beacon’s Board now totals ten members with extensive experience in business development, special education, behavioral health, medicine, law, finance, real estate, and project development. Project Beacon also has over 100 dedicated volunteers working through several committees; if interested, go to: https://projectbeacontx.org/take-action

“These leadership moves will help increase community awareness and fundraising, with the goal to open a bestin-class Individualized Day Program in 2024, a key next step in operationalizing the Project Beacon vision”, said Kelly Baughman, Executive Director and Co-Founder.

“Project Beacon’s vision is to deliver customized, sustainable programs and a residential community for adults with Autism and other Neurodiversities. More than just a place to live, the residence (and associated social and vocational programming) will be a place to thrive, a community of belonging where residents can form friendships, develop life skills, secure jobs, and become vital and visible members of the community.” – Kevin Gerrity, Project Beacon President and Co-Founder.

Media Contact:  Randy Smith  smithrt54@gmail.com  703-395-0261

Building Safe Homes and Vibrant Futures for People with Autism and Other Neurodiversities


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