Carolina has a B.S. in Special Education and General Education. She has been involved in the education field as a teacher and as a resource specialist for over 10 years. She is now a consultant working to help families with neurodiverse young adults. As the parent to a young adult with autism, she has spent the last 3 years working to improve transition experiences for her son and many other neurodiverse adults in the tri-county area. Through her summer camp program (CAMP IRL) and collaborations with other non profits in the area, she continues to impact the lives of the community in a positive way. She sees Independentworks as a bridge for families and young adults looking for a long term housing solution that has meaning.
Co-Founder / Vice President
Fran is a Harvard MBA and works for a national nonprofit. She has an adult son on the autism spectrum who was diagnosed at a time when 1 in 250 children were diagnosed with autism. Like her son, those children are now adults and are challenged with finding safe, supportive living situations that promote independent living. “This is a national problem for a vulnerable population and I believe solutions will come from people banding together to create opportunities for their family members to lead productive lives.”
Suzanne is a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship for the past 20 years. She is passionate about finding innovative solutions to neurodiverse housing because her best friend has a teenage autistic son. She has seen her friend struggle with education issues, therapy and medical challenges, and now, future housing options. She is hopeful that smart technology can be integrated into this community to address some concerns about interdependent living. Finally, her goal is to share IndependentWorks' solutions with other communities and states in the future.
Mary Beth Bobek
Mary Beth received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Michigan afterwards founded the clinical pharmacy services at both the Cleveland Clinic and New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She later received her MBA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in entrepreneurship and innovation during that time she became the founding President of TransitionsFoundation-NC. This non-profit helps students with autism transition to community college in hopes of gaining employment. Her passion for autism services stems from her son and she knows with the right services they can flourish as adults and be productive members of society.
Athena has a B.S. in Mathematics and has worked as a map editor & analyst. Following that, she and her family worked in a third world country doing relief and development work. When her three sons were diagnosed with autism, they returned to the US and returned to school receiving a Masters degree in Accounting. For 14 years, she has been working in the accounting field as an auditor. As the mother of three grown sons with autism, she is deeply concerned about what life as adults will look like for them, and finding appropriate long term housing is a significant part of that future.