About the Board
Constituency Board members meet with CARD staff at board meeting.
We are the CARD-USF Constituency Board. We are your representatives to the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida in Tampa serving a 14-county region. As parents and individuals with autism, we understand the problems and concerns you are dealing with because we are dealing with them too.
We can all still remember how lost and lonely we felt during the process of getting this diagnosis, and afterwards trying to understand how to meet the needs of our children. Having opportunities to meet and talk with other parents of children with autism and related disabilities was like opening a door to a whole new world.
The board is always looking for new members to join us. The members of the Constituency Board shall be CARD-USF constituents or constituent’s family member who live within our 14 county region. Board members will be appointed by the University President on the recommendation of the Autism Society of Florida or other relevant constituency group. Our group meets four times a year with the director and staff of CARD-USF to review CARD activities, assist with events and engage with the community to promote autism awareness.
If you are interested in being considered for a constituency board appointment, please review and submit the *CARD Constituency Board Candidate Form . We have set goals for each year, and work quarterly as a group to develop ways to meet those goals. Each year, we want to understand the needs of CARD constituents from all areas.
We can then advise the administration at CARD-USF on these issues of importance. Our role is to listen to you, be your voice and to coordinate efforts that meet the community needs.
We want to hear from you. We want your input. We want to hear your ideas, concerns and suggestions. Please contact us through the CARD's e-mail and a board member will respond to you directly.
Meet the CARD-USF Constituency Board
Mark Fleming, Chair
Mark Fleming is an autistic entrepreneur who owns and runs a fitness studio in Tampa called Equally Fit. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Exercise Science from The University of Alabama, where he also joined Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. and served as the chapters Vice President of Internal Affairs and Membership Educator. He has spent time working in ABA and coaching Special Olympics, where his athletes all won gold at the state competition level. He also currently serves on the Autism Friendly Tampa Advisory Board.
Sandra Worth, Vice-Chair
Sandra Worth is the Founder and Executive Director of My Autism Connection (MAC). MAC is a non-profit, member-led organization whose mission is to equip autistic adults with the social skills, skills training, and career experiences to move them towards living their best and most independent lives. She was inspired to form the organization from her experiences of being the mother of an autistic son. Worth, a Certified Autism Specialist, holds certification in SCERTs and PEERS® models, is an educational advocate, and hosts a podcast. When not advocating for autism, she can be found kayaking, traveling with her family, or building furniture with her husband.
Pam Hillestad, Secretary
Pam is a teacher, coach, and lifelong learner, who spent her teaching career working on U.S. military bases overseas. Her son’s behavioral and emotional difficulties perplexed all the military doctors and it wasn’t until he was in 3rd grade that he received an Asperger’s diagnosis. At the time there were almost no resources available for doctors, let alone families, so everything about their son’s youth was trial and error as well as fear and worry. There was no support system. Raising a child on the spectrum can be incredibly challenging, but Pam and her husband began to focus on their son’s unique abilities, rather than his inabilities, and soon found that he was almost always the only one who noticed a beautiful spider web, a cloud formation, or a glorious tree. Instead of being frustrated that he had to stop every few feet on a hike to notice new things, the family began to enjoy his perspective. He is now a grown man working a fulltime job, married, and raising a family. Pam hopes that through her involvement with CARD not only will she learn a lot, but she will have the chance to offer her own perspective, her support, and her son’s stories with those who are overwhelmed by their child’s diagnosis.
Lisa resides in the Tampa Bay area who retired in 2022, with approximately 25 years of law enforcement experience from a Communications Technician/911 Operator, Police Cadet, to a Master Police Officer. As a Master Police Officer, she was certified as a traffic homicide investigator, forensic mapper, and traffic reconstructionist. Her education includes an Associate of Arts degree in Computer Information Systems from the Hillsborough Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of South Florida. She is also a mother of a child who was diagnosed with autism at a young age. She is experienced and knowledgeable on services and resources needed in the disability community. As a result, she continues to help the disability community as a Guardian Liaison for AchieveAbility Therapy. She also continues to help the disability community by being an active member of several boards and committees including the Autism Friendly Tampa Advisory Committee, the Community Advisory Committee for the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, and most recently, the CARD-USF Constituency Board. Her lifelong mission has always been to help those in need. Especially those who have not been able to find their voice yet, such as the elderly, the disabled, and especially children. She hopes to make a ripple effect difference in everyone’s life by either helping them in a positive way to providing knowledgeable information to spread to others in making the world a safer place
Dolly is a graduate of the University of South Florida's Masters of Social Work program and is currently working on her Ph.D. and board certification in Sexology. She specializes in anxiety disorders, trauma disorders, neurodiversity, and all issues under the sexual health and wellness umbrella, including LGBTQ+ affirmative care. After experiencing discrimination and a lack of accessibility while searching for a multi-disciplinary team to diagnose her own autism, Dolly realized there was a tremendous gap in truly supportive, inclusive, and intersectional mental health services in the state of Florida. Energized by this realization and motivated to bridge the gap, Dolly launched her mental health group practice in 2019. As the owner and Executive Director of SHARE of Florida, as well as working as an expert witness at the federal public defender's office, Dolly has the ability to advocate for and be a voice for individuals of all needs and backgrounds and works to provide truly intersectional and transformative services for all.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences”.- Audre Lorde
Tosha Littles is a mother, sister, friend, and passionate advocate. She welcomed her son, in late 2007. Her son was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum a few short years later. An immutable given was woven in the fabric of was now a part of her family's existence. CARD has been a part of that fabric supporting and guiding then and continue to supports their family.
“Bio Coming Soon"
Jada Murray currently resides in Seminole, Florida with her two sons Rhett (22) and Zachary (18) . She completed her Bachelors of Science in Business Management and Administration with a Minor in Economics from Indiana University East while working three part time jobs to pay for her college expenses. She is currently Vice President, Private Relationship Manager for The Bank of Tampa in Pinellas County. Her 25+ year career in banking has allowed her to hold multiple management roles in various areas such as operations, retail, credit card and other portfolios ranging in sizes up to $300 million. Since 1995 she has volunteered in different capacities on boards like Birth to Five (Richmond, Indiana) focusing on managing budgets and resources for the education of preschoolers and Sunrise, Inc., a therapeutic horse riding non-profit specializing in therapy for people on the autism spectrum. Other volunteer work has included Junior Achievement, annual financial education seminars to Title 1 schools in the area and multiple other regular presentations focusing on financial tools and educating people on the responsible use of money. She has been guest speaker at St Pete College in Seminole for the Career & Entrepreneurship Center, giving valuable guidance to those working on their business degrees, who dream to have their own business one day.
Jada’s greatest joy has been and continues to be watching her sons develop and grow into responsible, caring young men. Rhett was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was 7 after multiple misdiagnoses including bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Once accurately diagnosed, Rhett, Jada and Zach began a journey of discovery, research and ultimately success in living in a world not designed to allow people on the spectrum to learn and grow in ways they are most comfortable. Losing Rhett and Zach’s father to cancer in 2013 caused the “three amigos” to become closer than ever and through their autism and cancer journeys have become a very tight knit family where nothing can stand in their way! Rhett is currently working at Publix in the dairy department where they continually approach him about becoming a manager. Rhett completed Autobody Collision 1 and 2 certifications through Pinellas Technical College while in dual enrollment at Seminole High School where he finished in the top 10% of his class. He is 8 classes away from his associates in mechanical engineering hoping to fill his desire of following in his father Tom’s footsteps and becoming an engineer one day. Zachary has always been a natural athlete playing multiple sports over the years with his favorite currently being skateboarding on the Pinellas Trail. Zach will graduate high school this year with a 3.67 grade point average with plans to go into engineering like big brother Rhett.
Darcy is an autistic business professional with over 15 years of experience in aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Having served in both technical and corporate roles ranging from Process Engineer to Chief Operating Officer, he brings a unique voice to CARD-USF. Throughout his career, Darcy has worked hard to build a culture of innovation and transparency with the leaders within his organizations, building trust with industry colleagues, suppliers, and the FAA. Currently in his role as CEO of RoC Aviation Services, LLC, Darcy leads a team of engineering and regulatory professionals to support growing industries within the commercial aviation and unmanned aircraft sectors. He maintains membership with FABA (Florida Aviation Business Association), is an FAA-Certified Remote Pilot, and is in the process of becoming an FAA Designee. He has a passion for educating others regarding the value that neurodiversity brings to the world. In his spare time, he serves as an advisory board member of Scientists Inc, an organization dedicated to bringing people together through science. Darcy enjoys supporting the autism and science community through serving on nonprofit boards and volunteering within those organizations.
Nicholas was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 and was Non verbal until the age of 6. Nicholas has many areas of interest, and has been studying to obtain his Pilot’s license. He has several hours of flight training and will be fully licensed after his studies are completed. He is employed by both Full Spectrum Autism services Tampa as an autism advocate and in their digital marketing department,as well as Lowe's home improvement part time. Nick served as Police chief of the day for the Zephyrhills Police department and has been awarded on several occasions the “student citizen of the month” award from the Zephyrhills chamber of commerce. Nick was also awarded the “Standing ovation” award from the EPNG group of local business owners for his Autism advocacy. Nick is excited to have the opportunity with the team at CARD and is determined to make an unrelenting difference in the lives of those challenged with Autism
Naomi was diagnosed with autism at the age of two and was nonverbal until the age of six. Naomi‘s interest include pastry chef, cyber security and gaming. Naomi graduated college at 17 with a degree in culinary. Then proceeded to graduate high school at 18. Naomi is currently a full-time student at South Florida State College studying radiographic technology. Naomi is excited to have the opportunity to be on the team with CARD And is excited to help bring new opportunities in Highlands County to help make a difference in the lives of those challenged with autism and related disorders.
Annual Report Archive
- CARD-USF Annual Report 1995-1996
- CARD-USF Annual Report 1996-1997
- CARD-USF Annual Report 1997-1998
- CARD-USF Annual Report 1998-1999
- CARD-USF Annual Report 1999-2000
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2000-2001
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2001-2002 (Final year for publishing an annual report.)
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2006-2007
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2007-2008
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2008-2009
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2009-2010
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2010-2011
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2011-2012
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2012-2013
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2013-2014
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2014-2015
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2015-2016
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2016-2017
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2017-2018
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2018-2019
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2019-2020
- CARD-USF Annual Report 2020-2021