Brett DiNovi, BCBA
Founder & CEO
Paul “Paulie” Gavoni
An expert in human performance, coaching, and organizational leadership, Dr. Paul "Paulie" Gavoni is the Executive Director of Organizational Leadership for Brett DiNovi and Associates. He has worked in education and human services for 20 years where he served in a variety of positions including COO, Director of School Improvement, Leadership Director, Professor, Assistant Principal, School Turnaround Manager, Clinical Coordinator, Therapist, and Behavior Analyst. Beyond his direct work with students in poverty and those suffering from behavioral and mental health issues, Dr. Gavoni specializes in providing administrative teams, teachers, and staff with training, coaching, and consultation in analyzing and developing behavior and performance management systems to positively impact key performance indicators. As a behavior scientist, Dr. Gavoni is passionate about applying organizational behavior management (OBM) strategies to establish positive environments that engage and bring out the best in people so they can bring out the best in the children they serve.
Known for his passion and authenticity, Dr. Gavoni continues to be sought out as featured and keynote speaker at educational conferences across the country. Most recently he co-authored Quick Wins! Accelerating School Transformation through Science, Engagement, and Leadership and Deliberate Coaching: A Toolbox for Accelerating Teacher Performance. He is also an author of the best selling book Behavioral Karma.
Beyond his work in education and human services, Dr. Gavoni is also a highly sought out and respected coach in combat sports. In 1992, he began boxing in South Florida and went on to win the Florida Golden Gloves Heavyweight Title in 1998. Since then, Coach “Paulie Gloves,” as he is known in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community, has trained many champions and UFC vets using technologies rooted in the behavioral sciences. Coach Paulie has been a featured coach in the books Beast: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams a the Heart of Mixed Martial Arts, A Fighter’s Way, and the article Ring to Cage: How four former boxers help mold MMA’s finest. He is also an author who has written for a variety of online magazines such as Scifighting, Last Word on Sports, and Bloody Elbow where his Fight Science series continues to bring behavior science to MMA. Co-founder of MMA Science, his current project involves the development of the first International MMA Belt Ranking System, a ground breaking process bringing tradition, organization, and behavior science to mixed martial arts.
Pierre Louis, BCBA
Pierre has 15 years of experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as other developmental and behavioral challenges. His introduction into the field was at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University in 2000. There, he also began and completed his coursework for his BCBA credential while obtaining his graduate degree at Capella University in Education, with a specialization in performance improvement. Pierre has used that combination of experience and education in subsequent roles at Gloucester County Special Services School District and at Bancroft; most recently as Director of Clinical Training. Throughout that time, Pierre has continued to work with children and adults with various challenges including those who have experienced traumatic events. Additionally, Pierre currently teaches Intro to Applied Behavior Analysis at Camden County College and has also taught ABC's of ABA for Rowan University. Pierre's other interests include Organizational Behavior Management and leadership development.
Heather Cooper has worked for people who experience disabilities for more than 25 years. Her professional experience began by working directly with people in provider organizations and progressed as she excelled forward into management and leadership roles. Her passion to support people through both a person-centered perspective and in support of the civil rights of people who experience disabilities has fueled her approach to administrative leadership over the years. She is a skilled innovator with extensive experience working in schools and provider organizations that provide behavioral healthcare for children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She has presented important issues at both national ABA conferences and to state legislative bodies as an advocate for organizational change. She has exceptional working knowledge in the implementation of both Applied Behavior Analysis and Organizational Behavior Management and exemplifies leadership in her interactions with others. Heather utilizes her combined abilities by developing the workforce to grow more leaders using the science of organizational behavior management to recruit highly qualified individuals interested in providing top quality services when working with Brett DiNovi & Associates.
Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University. Heather is a strong advocate and change agent when it comes to influencing public policy for people with unique needs.
Heather has also been an avid yoga practitioner for more than 20 years and, in her free time, loves sharing this passion with children and adults of all abilities. Her current professional affiliations include serving on several advisory boards and she is the Deputy Mayor in her hometown.
Dan Gelardi is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Behavior Analyst (NY), & Certified Special Education Teacher. Dan has 15 years of experience working with individuals with autism / developmental disabilities ranging from 18 months to adolescents in NY and NJ. He also has experience working with at risk general education students and students with emotional/behavior disabilities at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Dan’s Applied
Behavior Analysis (ABA) background includes experience in Discrete Trial Training (DTT), skill acquisition programs, verbal behavior, conducting functional behavior assessments (FBA’s), and creation and implementation of individualized behavior intervention plans. Dan is passionate about disseminating the science of ABA to parents, educators, and other stakeholders for the benefit of learners across school, home, and community settings. In his
current role as Director of Training Systems, Dan combines his extensive knowledge of ABA with the principles of Organizational Behavior Management to ensure that staff members feel fully supported within the company through the agency’s comprehensive mentoring program. He is also actively involved in staff professional development through the creation of a library of user friendly ABA terminology and implementation guides to enhance the knowledge base of all agency clinicians.
Tony DiCesare, BCBA, Esquire
Director of Corporate Relations
As an attorney having worked in the area of special education law, Tony approaches clinical and business situations with a unique point of view. Understanding the rights of the school districts and learners allows him to make informed recommendations for programming backed by case law as well as applied behavioral analysis principles. While having an established repertoire in ABA, Tony specializes in resolving differences among child study teams and guardians, training others in consultative etiquette, and working with individuals in the Asperger's and Behavior Disorder population. He is driven by his interest in program development, systems level interventions, transition planning/supported employment, and community integration. Tony's 15 years of experience working in residential treatment facilities, as an adjunct professor at Holy Family University (10 years), as an attorney, and a behavioral consultant, allows a comprehensive understanding of all aspects and perspectives in any given situation involving necessitated behavior change.
Chasity Bright, ME.d
Senior Vice President of Operations
As the Vice President of Operations, Chasity is the administrative backbone of the organization. In addition to overseeing the general operations of the entire company, she assists the Executive Vice President with the implementation of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) principles throughout the fabric of the company. Chasity manages the billing, invoicing, time system, clinical notations, and the provision of feedback concerning the administrative intricacies for the company. With a broad scope of duties and responsibilities, she is able to remain informed concerning the comprehensive progress of the company's clients. Chasity ensures the company runs efficiently through her boundless work ethic, skill, and determination.
Isaac Bermudez, BCBA
Vice President of BDA California
Isaac Bermudez is the Executive Director of Brett DiNovi & Associates California and has been providing services in applied behavior analysis since 1998. He received his graduate degree from the California State University, Los Angeles in Psychology with a specialization in Behavior Analysis. In 2005, he became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and in the same year was awarded the Julie Vargas Award for student research at the California Association for Behavior Analysis annual conference. Isaac has worked for several providers in Southern California and and has been in executive leadership for the past 10 years. During that time Isaac has held positions such as Clinical Director, Director of Clinical Operations, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Behavior Analyst, and Executive Director. Isaac’s focus is on developing and growing healthy ABA practices and works closely with the clinical and administrative teams to create and implement systems to provide quality ABA services to individuals of all ages and various diagnoses. Isaac is qualified to provide ABA services in all environments including schools, homes and communities. In addition, Isaac stays active in the field by conducting workshops, symposiums, and being a presenter at state, national, and international conferences on topics such as school support and consultation, behavior phenotypes, behavior intervention plans, mentorship, performance management and more. He has co-authored several articles for the Association for Professional Behavior Analyst (APBA) monthly newsletter on issues related to functional assessments and technology for behavior analysts. Isaac’s professional philosophy is to support and build a healthy ABA practice by creating the systems to passionately support its staff so they are in the best position to deliver the highest quality of services possible. Isaac’s primary aim is to help client’s achieve social significant outcomes towards a more independent life.
Lauren Haley MS, BCBA
Lauren’s introduction into the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) came in 2011 when she participated in an internship at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center (SPARC) while working towards her undergraduate degree in Psychology at West Chester University. Surrounded by passionate behavior analysts, Lauren fell in love with the science, leading her to pursue her Board Certification and Master’s degree in the field. Lauren attended Temple University and earned the degree of Master’s of Science in Education with a concentration in ABA in 2014. During that time, she continued her work at SPARC, allowing her to gain experience in social skills instruction, challenging behavior reduction, skill acquisition program development for learners aged 2 to 30, treatment of pediatric feeding disorders, and behavioral consultation in the clinic, home, and educational settings. Lauren then continued her work in a short-term residential facility aimed at stabilizing the most challenging behaviors and training caregivers with the goal of family reunification. Because of her unique experiences throughout her time in the field, Lauren has the ability to apply the science of Behavior Analysis in a variety of settings, utilizing outside the box methodology which is conceptually systematic with behavioral principles. As a member of the Brett DiNovi Team, one of Lauren’s main goals is disseminating the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and creating the same passion in others that was instilled in her as a young undergraduate student.
Joe Kendorski, BCBA
With a passion for working with adolescents and adults with problem behavior, the Executive Director brings experience in high demand to the behavioral field. Joe has demonstrated competency with implementation of positive behavioral support (PBS) systems in school programs. In addition to expertise in PBS, Joe is extremely proficient in person-centered planning, creative behavioral solutions, community integration, and the behavior disorder population. Antecedent interventions, teaching replacement behavior, skill development, and social skills training with adults and adolescents occupy his interests in applied behavior analysis. After 12 years in the field, Joe has developed an understanding of the importance of building functional life skills that guide learners throughout adulthood.
Lauren Dvorak, BCBA
Director of Clinical Services North
Lauren Dvorak currently resides in Central Jersey and has been conducting numerous Functional Behavior Assessments for Intensive In-Home services. Lauren has been in the field for almost 10 years and has worked in schools, behavior stabilization units, and homes with individuals on the Autism spectrum from age 3-21. She has particular expertise in analyzing and treating significant challenging behaviors and has an interest in parent training and sibling relations. She also has an interest in supervision of BACB candidates and having them gain understanding of the Task List. Lastly, she has been working, specifically, in increasing individuals’ functional living skills.
Director of Operations
Brian has a unique skill set combining years of management experience with the direct application of behavioral principles for learners with severe behavior problems. He is responsible for providing all consultants with performance feedback, goal setting, and reinforcement for excelling in our organization. Brian's application of organizational behavior management principles drives the company's success by measuring a) the utilization of consultation hours for each learner, b) the assignments of clients to match consultants' skill sets, and c) the communication among schools, families and consultants. Lastly, Brian is a Certified Safe and Positive Approaches trainer to assist educators and families in how to safely manage crisis situations.
Heidi Light, BCBA
Heidi has a comprehensive understanding and unencumbered ability to apply behavior analytic principles to individual situations. However, her behavioral repertoire and passion for the science lies primarily with the analysis of verbal behavior. Having formerly worked on the Verbal Behavior Project in Pennsylvania, and years of experience at Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University, Heidi has a history rich with conducting verbal behavior assessments (VB-MAPP), discrete trial training, precision teaching, and natural environment training. Being a consultant with an excellent understanding of educational programs and a skill for scientific writing, she is very well-versed in completing independent evaluations. Heidi continuously pursues research in the analysis of verbal behavior and strengthening functional living skills.
Jason Golowski, BCBA
Chief Strategy Officer
Jason brings a wide range of experience working with individuals from 3 to 70 years of age. With experience working in environments that include schools, residential, community, and home programs, Jason is able to conduct Functional Behavior Assessments and create effective behavior plans for all classrooms and environments. As the Executive Director of School Consultation, Jason provides clinical and organizational leadership to the regions of Central and Northern New Jersey. Jason focuses on the prevention of disproportionality in special education and assisting school districts to maintain Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). With a specialty of working with severe problem behavior, he has been successful in transitioning students back into the public school district from home instruction or an out of district placement. Although he has much experience with the Autism population, a substantial proclivity for working with at risk general education learners, as well as the BD/ ED population has emerged. Jason uses his comprehensive knowledge of behavior analytic principles to not only work with students, but also work with teachers, Child Study Team members, and Directors to create a more successful environment in the individual classrooms and schools.
Marlene Selfridge, PHR, SHRM-CP
Vice President of Human Resources
Marlene holds the Professional in Human Resources certification (PHR) credentials. She brings over 15 years of professional business experience to our organization. Marlene has a combined background in advertising, marketing, nonprofit leadership, and a main focus in Human Resources. She has recently been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors for the Camden County Partnership for Children. This appointment is close to her heart as a mother of three, with one child on the autism spectrum. Of particular interest to Marlene is the implementation of organizational behavior management (OBM) principles to enrich the professional work environment for over 450 consultants within the organization. Marlene also enjoys coordinating professional internal and external staff development, staff recognition programs, and fine tuning policies and procedures.
Brian McConnell, BCaBA
Director of Educational Services
As the Director of Educational Services and with a long history with Brett DiNovi & Associates, Brian provides leadership to co-workers in schools as well as providing home consultative services. Brian is also a NJ Certified Teacher of the Handicapped with 18 years designing instruction using the principles of applied behavior analysis. He maintains a special interest in direct interaction with administrators, teachers, and students with a specialized focus in the Elementary Autism population and training staff members on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). With a comprehensive knowledge of the principles of behavior, he demonstrates particular expertise in the areas of Verbal Behavior, conducting functional behavior assessments and preference assessments, reducing problem behavior, and increasing functional skills.
Stefanie Perrin, BCBA
Director of Remote consultation
Stefanie Perrin earned a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Stefanie has over 17 years of experience providing behavior analytic services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a variety of settings including a neurobehavioral stabilization unit, private and public schools, group homes, vocational programs, and private residences. The primary focus of these services has been to assess and develop interventions to decrease severe problem behaviors (e.g., self-injurious behavior, aggression, and food refusal) as well as increase functional skills. She has extensive experience conducting analogue functional analyses and experimental analyses to demonstrate treatment effectiveness. Stefanie also has assisted educators in the development of Individual Education Plans and provided training to incorporate behavior analytic teaching strategies to best meet the needs of each student.
Andrea Bader, BCBA
Director of Clinical Services South
Andrea earned her master's degree with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis at Temple University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She has experience providing behavior analytic services to children and adolescents diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 3-21. Her experience includes conducting functional behavior assessments, developing and implementing evidence-based behavioral programs, and collaboration with interdisciplinary teams in a variety of settings including residential community group homes, private residences, and schools. Her areas of interest include increasing functional living skills, recreation and leisure skills, and staff training. Andrea is currently researching organizational behavior management strategies using telehealth technology to improve the quality of training for direct support staff.
May Chriseline Beaubrun M.Ed, LBA, BCBA
May Chriseline Beaubrun is a certified special education teacher and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. May also holds a Curriculum Supervisor certificate. May received her master’s degree from the University of Phoenix Online and has been in the special education field for over 10 years. May has worked with children and adults with various cognitive, developmental, and physical disabilities in a variety of public and private settings. May has also worked as an adjunct professor at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.May has a wide variety of experiences within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis including completing program evaluations, developing skill acquisition programs, providing staff and parent training, conducting functional behavior assessments (FBA), and developing Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP). May has presented at the annual Autism New Jersey convention (formerly Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community) in 2006, 2008, and 2016. May completed an externship with Association of Science for Autism Treatment and co-authored 2 articles in their Science in Autism Treatment newsletter (Summer & Winter 2017). May’s other interests include being a judiciary volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program helping children in New Jersey who have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. May’s other interests include being a judiciary volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program helping children in New Jersey who have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect.
Amanda Mecker, BCBA
Director of Clinical Services North East
Amanda provides leadership to the entire organization by designing instructional training videos for internal consultants as well as for clients of BDA. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing individualized programming to support young learners in achieving meaningful behavior change. Clinical work in diverse settings has afforded Amanda experience in training families, direct care workers, and school support staff to implement programming that is comprehensive and tailored to individuals’ needs. Amanda is a leader in designing skill acquisition programs that utilize stimulus control transfer procedures to increase learners’ independence and participation in their communities. Additionally, Amanda has a passion for facilitating discussion of current behavior analytic literature to inform development of evidence based and innovative interventions.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Diane fits right in with our roots and parent company. she moved to Waterboro, Maine where she has raised family and ran a National Accredited small childcare center and preschool at her home for the past twenty-six years. She enjoyed spending time with her own children and offering quality care to the local children. Diane closed her childcare in 2016 to come join, to use her vast knowledge of children, childcare, behavioral health and business operation. In her time with us Diane has shown caring and perseverance, as well as adaptability in changing hats and stepping in wherever needed.
With a vast knowledge and history in behavioral health along with a passion for children, adolescents and adults in need of behavioral services at any age Diane is an asset to our BDA North. With a Behavioral Science Degree, many years of experience along with a never-ending quest for knowledge, training and a specific attraction to OBM she is in the perfect role and we are proud of her leadership and expertise as Executive Director BDA North.
Boating, kayaking, and spending time with her family, are some her favorite hobbies. When she is not working or with her family, Diane volunteers her time running a local dog rescue as Vice President of New England Lab Rescue. She has fostered over 70 dogs and enjoys helping animals. She has 3 dogs, of her own, and both her son and daughters have rescues dogs.
Vice President of Operations
The addition of Joe Carter to the leadership team at Brett DiNovi & Associates has been the pivotal component allowing for continual growth. As the Executive Director of Staff Management, Joe's primary function is to orchestrate the fulfillment of services by over 450 consultants using principles of organizational behavior management (OBM). Only through his exceptional organizational skills paired with tenacious execution and follow up is he able to coordinate on such a massive scale. Joe also coordinates and manages all billing, relationships, and referrals for the company’s largest single funding source. Each team member at Brett DiNovi & Associates coordinates with Joe, whether it be monthly or daily, putting him at the heart of the organization. Channeling his innovative and creative vision, he recruited the current Business Strategist, furthering the automation initiative and saving countless hours of valuable time. As an Executive Director, having worked in the role of a clinical associate in both schools and homes and a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), Joe has a unique insight into the day to day services provided to our clients.
Bernie Baugh, BCBA
Director of Special Projects
Bernie Baugh is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and received a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism from The Sage Colleges. He has over 25 years of experience working with individuals with autism as well as intellectual disabilities (ID) and other developmental disabilities (DD) in a variety of settings including residential programs, day programs, private and public schools, home-based, and treatment foster care settings. His extensive background in developmental disabilities also included the implementation and dissemination of the Teaching-Family Model (TFM): a systematic empirical development and integrated systems approach in addressing individuals with behavioral challenges developed by the late Montrose Wolf. Todd Risley cites the TFM as the flagship of applied behavior analysis (ABA) throughout the 1970's. Bernie has also participated with the Ocean County Children's Inter- Agency Coordinating Council (CIACC) for the past 10 years and is currently the chairperson of the DD/ID Subcommittee and co-chairperson of the CIACC committee. With an extensive knowledge in behavior analytic principles and an accomplished practitioner, Bernie is currently involved in research projects with Ben Mauro, BCBA-D on preference assessment and has presented at NJABA, Sage Autism & ABAI conferences. He also has specific interests in social skills training, functional communication training, functional behavior assessment as well as experience in implementing the principles of organizational behavior management (OBM) through an integrated competency-based training, supportive consultation and supervision, systematic evaluation and facilitated administration systems.
Chris Sheldon BCaBA
Director of School Consultations
After 12 years in the field, Chris has amassed an immense knowledge base from the different settings and capacities in which he has effectively utilized behavior analysis. Tapping on successful experiences in residential, vocational, in-school, intensive in-home, community, and organizational training, he brings a multitude of techniques and strategies to the table. In his direct services to learners, Chris provides supports to varying populations, including ASD, MD, and at-risk general education students. However, he has shown particular proclivity in the development of classroom reinforcement systems, as well as working with the BD/ED population. As Director of School Consultation working with families, Child Study Team (CST) members, Principals, and Directors, Chris is able to gear his consultation to one focused on training and professional development on a greater scale. The years of working with people from 5 - 80 years of age, with and without disabilities have honed his skills to align with his passion for training and teaching others. Chris’s ability to customize the delivery of material to his audience is one rarely seen. He understands that the same message often needs to be delivered differently to different people. Within the agency, he provides excellent training and mentorship to his colleagues, effectively developing programs and utilizing Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) strategies to shape autonomous leaders within the company.
Matt Ingemi BCaBA
Director of School Consultations
As a former certified Special Education teacher, Matt brings a unique perspective to the table. He is able to understand the difficulties of teaching through problem behavior, perfectly befitting his position as Director of School Consultation at Brett DiNovi & Associates. Matt has extensive experience working with Autism, at risk general education, and the BD/ ED/ OHI populations. The latter group of students requires an uncommon skill set, in which Matt has found near perfection, often educating others within the field and the agency. Matt uses his knowledge of behavior analytic principles to assist students, teachers, Child Study Team members, and Directors to create a more successful environment in the individual classrooms and schools, globally affecting therapeutic behavior change systems. Along with his presentations for professional development, Matt is a talented lead crisis trainer in the Safe and Positive Approaches curriculum, using his personal and professional experiences to keep the workshops engaging and entertaining.
Professional Advisory Board
Julie S. Vargas, PhD
Author & Educator
Ron Savage, Ed.D.
Sarah Jane Brain Foundation
Debbie Riddle, LCSW
Total Family Solutions
E.A. Vargas, PhD
B.F. Skinner Foundation