New Non-Profit Offers Specialized Training Programs and Resources to First Responders, Innaugral Fundraiser Feb 6

Board Developer, a business providing enhancement and professional development services to for-profit and nonprofit organizations and leaders, announced today the formation of Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance. The new non-profit equips first responders with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to effectively interact with individuals on the autism spectrum.

The organization and mission were born from a personal journey between co-founders Chris and Autumn Timmins. The couple are adoptive parents to Preston, their 17-year-old son with autism.

“With 25 years of experience in law enforcement, I have devoted my time to reshaping the inclusivity of emergency response,” said Chris Timmins, co-founder and vice president of Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance. “Our commitment to Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance stems from a desire to foster a culture of knowledge, acceptance, and inclusion of individuals with autism within the first responder community.”

In July 2017, 14-year-old Connor Leibel was mistaken for a drug user and detained in a public park by a Buckeye police officer. However, Leibel was “stimming” with a small piece of string. People with autism sometimes struggle to get the help they need in crises. Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance is working with first responders to change that.

The interactive training is designed to equip first responders with the tools they need to: know and ask the key questions to identify autism; feel more prepared heading into any emergency; have more positive interactions with their community; and make a difference in the lives of those impacted by autism. Training is available to firefighters, police, EMS/paramedics, private security, event security, teachers, and administrators.

The board of directors is made up of local members of the Gilbert, Ariz. community, headed by co-founder and president, Autumn Timmins. The Board Developer team devised a plan with the Timmins on what ideal characteristics, backgrounds, and experience they wanted to fill their board seats. After a plan was established, the Board Developer team, including Stacey Guzzo, Jim Hayden, and Stuart Wachs, began reaching out to individuals who fit these qualifications of board-ready candidates.

“Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance’s board of directors was built from scratch,” said Guzzo. “After identifying the needs and skills we wanted in our board members, Jim and I focused on recruiting using Board Developer’s vast network of highly accomplished and skilled professionals. We make sure to focus on those who are passionate about the cause and have a willingness to commit time and resources.”

Board members include: Patrick Banger (Gilbert Town Manager), Margaret Travillion (CEO of L.I.F.E., a non-profit for special needs), Col. John Boggs (Retired Colonel and CEO of Fortitude Consulting), Nikki Shipp (Social Sailor CEO/advocate and mother of an autistic child), Paul McHale M.D.(Medical Director and father of autistic daughter), Cindy McHale (advocate and mother of autistic daughter), Fire Chief Rob Duggan (Town of Gilbert), and Ron Bayne (Retired Police Commander, National Law Enforcement Trainer).

An inaugural fundraiser breakfast will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 7-8:30 a.m. at HD SOUTH (Formerly Gilbert Historical Museum) -10 S Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, 85296.

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events