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About Us

It Takes a Village

#cuanvillage

Our Mission

To support persons on the autism spectrum, their families, caregivers, educators, other professionals and the public by providing opportunities for support and networking, education, training, and advocacy, along with promoting awareness and acceptance

Our hope is that empowered individuals on the autism spectrum, families, educators, and professionals will be connected to the resources and support they need to create a positive and healthy environment to best allow the individual on the autism spectrum to grow and develop to their full potential as a participating member of their society

Our Vision

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Meet The Team

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Julie Duvall

Executive Director

Julie Duvall is the Executive Director of the Champaign Urbana Autism Network in Urbana, IL. She is a mother of seven children; this includes both an adult and adolescent child who are on the spectrum. She has eleven grandchildren, four of which are also diagnosed with Autism/Intellectual Disabilities. Julie has 28+ years of experience in the disability world with an excellent knowledge of state and federal disability laws, including ADA guidelines, policies, and practices. She is strategically minded with the talent to think outside the box to problem solve and provide crisis intervention. She has worked with several state, county, and local governments as well as private agencies to set precedence in policies., procedures, and services for the disability community. Julie is straightforward, poignant, and willing to do what it takes to achieve the end goal. Her specialties are giving a voice to issues, concerns, and advocating for those who need support.

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Jill Graves

Event Manager

Jill is a mom of four kids, one of which is on the autism spectrum. She is married to Brandon. Jill is excited to be a part of the CU Autism Network and can't wait to meet you at events and help in any way she can! Without Jill's great attention to detail and event planning/coordinating expertise, our events couldn't run as smoothly as they do!

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Tonya Carter

Grant Manager

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Alyssa Mize

Executive Assistant

Alyssa is a mother of two boys, one of which was diagnosed with ASD just before turning three years old. Her and her husband are high school sweethearts and were married in 2017. Alyssa's brother has ASD as well, so autism is close to her heart and a big part of her life. Outside of CUAN, she enjoys sewing/embroidering, crocheting, playing hockey on the Decatur Women's League, and she works as an x-ray technologist. Alyssa joined CUAN to make a difference, spread awareness, and encourage acceptance in and for the autistic community. Behind the scenes, she makes a lot of phone calls, emails, and places orders to assist the Executive Director and Event Manager. 

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Jack Gaffney

Media Manager

Jack Gaffney, hailing from Rantoul, IL, serves as the Media Director for the CU Autism Network. Married to Samantha for over 5 years and have been together since high school, they share their journey raising their non-verbal autistic daughter, Addelyn. Beyond his role at CU Autism, Jack manages a Verizon store in Mahomet, IL. Outside work, he finds joy in travel, video games, and cherished moments with friends and family.

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Rich Bolser

Board President

Rich is a father of two boys, and lovingly known as "Jack's dad". He is a proud supporter of the Special Olympics. Rich graduated from VAP in 2019, and from LEND in 2020. He is a volunteer advocate for early intervention and transition into adulthood.

Tayler Blair

Treasurer

Tayler is a mom of three children, who has years of experience working with individuals on the spectrum both personally and professionally. She started at Head Start and now works at Urbana Schools as a trained support for disability students. Her patience and ability to support these individuals is inspiring.

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Karissa Northway

Secretary

Karissa has been involved with CUAN by attending events and volunteering for four plus years. She has a daughter, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of five. Karissa is dedicated to providing awareness and acceptance for those on the spectrum.

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