Born and raised in New Jersey, Diane fits right in with our roots and parent company. Diane moved to Waterboro, Maine where she has raised a family and ran a National Accredited small childcare center and preschool at her home. Diane closed her childcare in 2016 to come join, to use her vast knowledge of children, childcare, behavioral health and business operations. With a passion for children, adolescents and adults in need of behavioral services at any age, Diane is an asset to BDA North. With a Gerontology and Behavioral Science Degree, and 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 of her favorite hobbies.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 her son and daughters have rescue dogs also. In her time with us, Diane has shown caring and perseverance, as well as adaptability in changing hats and stepping in wherever needed.
As Vice President of Compliance for our PA branch, Elizabeth focuses on the growth of PA and compliance with Pennsylvania guidelines. Elizabeth manages Medicaid authorizations, completes client intakes, and assists our staff members with meeting all training and supervision guidelines. Elizabeth audits all aspects of PA to ensure we are providing high-quality services and maintain our state license. In addition to responsibilities in PA, she also assists with event coordination and recruitment for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Elizabeth’s primary goal is to continue to expand our PA branch while ensuring we continue to deliver the best quality of services to the clients we serve.
Fiorella has over 6 years of experience in the field of administration within numerous industries and has worked over the past four years in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Fiorella graduated from Randall University with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration. As the Executive Director of Human Resources, she is responsible for overseeing onboarding, recruitment, payroll, analyzing current processes and procedures, ensuring compliance with State and Federal laws, and nurturing a positive working environment. In addition, she performs all Human Resource tasks and responsibilities in California with the support of Headquarters in New Jersey.
I’ve been with BDA for 7 years. I went through the process of being a Clinical Associate, Clinical Coordinator and now a Behavior Consultant. I am your go-to if you want more information on applying to be a Clinical Coordinator and/or obtaining the support through your schooling and training to become a BCBA or BCaBA. I also run a cooperative play group for our youngest learners (ages 2-5) on Tuesday nights at the OLC – where we work on facilitated play, turn taking and VB-MAPP goals.
George Candia is our Vice President of Employee Engagement. With over 15 years of experience working with children and adults with behavioral disorders, George’s professional passion to support learners, their family and staff is clear. By aligning his values with core values of BDA and being a strong leader, George has been able to teach others to also become leaders and not only achieve, but exceed their work and life goals.
Heather Francisco earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in Special Education and received her BCBA certificate from Rutgers University in 2014. She started her journey and love of behavioral analysis as an intern at the Douglass Developmental Disability Center (DDDC) in 2007. She would later go on to teach in a self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classroom in Freehold Twp from 2014-2017 (a satellite school of DDDC). Heather Francisco has spent 10 years (2007-2017) as a special education teacher in a wide array of settings. She was responsible for creating and implementing instructional, functional, and social programs for students with special needs. She was also responsible for training staff in effective teaching and communication techniques based on best practices, evidence-based learning, and applied behavior principles. In 2016, in addition to being a teacher during the day, Mrs. Francisco worked as a Behavioral Analyst in which she provided at-home behavioral therapy in the form of direct supervision of clients, supervision of therapists, and consulting with parents. She provided effective treatment for reducing problematic behavior and promoting skill acquisition of positive replacement strategies and skills. Data collection and analysis were also integral parts of her home programming as well as her school programming. Mrs. Francisco was also an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. She instructed prospective teachers and modeled effective teaching, research-based teaching techniques, and provides current research on behavioral interventions and data collection. Mrs. Francisco has received extensive training on conducting functional assessments, skill based assessment, facilitating functional communication and initiating social skills. With Brett DiNovi Associates since 2017, Mrs. Francisco has consulted in many school districts, private homes, and group homes. She has presented at NJ Autism, NJABA, FABA and ABAI. She specializes in social skills instruction, conducting analog and trial based Functional Analyses, Greg Hanley’s Practical Functional Assessment, Ecological Assessments and programming for students with ASD. She is able to conduct program evaluations and program development for in-home programming or school programming.
Heidi has a comprehensive understanding and unencumbered ability to apply behavior analytic principles to individual situations. However, her behavioral repertoire and passion for science lies primarily with the analysis of verbal behavior. Having formerly worked through the Verbal Behavior Project in Pennsylvania (PATTAN) and years of experience at Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University, Heidi has over 18 years experience with conducting language and skill assessments (VB-MAPP, ABLLS-R, AFLS), Discrete Trial Training, precision teaching, Pivotal Response Training and Natural Environment Training. Being a consultant with a thorough understanding of educational programs and a skill for scientific writing, she is well-versed in completing independent evaluations and participating in due process hearings. Heidi continuously pursues research in use of the analysis of verbal behavior and in strengthening functional living skills.
First and foremost, Isaac Bermudez is a dedicated and loving husband Nickie, and the proud father of Josh, Emma and our dog, Lucy. Family is everything to Isaac! Professionally, Isaac is the Vice President of Brett DiNovi & Associates California and has been providing services in applied behavior analysis since 1998. Isaac has worked in executive leadership positions in the area of behavioral health for the last 15 years and uses the principles of organizational behavior management to guide the support and growth of organizations. Over the last 15 years, Isaac has led ABA departments, started companies, and grew his last organization over 500% in 5 years, while earning awards for quality of service and employee satisfaction. In addition to Isaac’s primary role as a leader of organizations, he is an invited speaker for state and national associations as well as has co-authored articles and chapters most recently in the textbook on Multiculturalism in Applied Behavior Analysis. Isaac is also the co-founder of the Latino Association for Behavior Analysis (LABA) as well as a mentorship service called Mentorologist.
As the Chief Operating Officer, Jason assists and oversees all of BDA and its subsidiaries. In Jason’s time with BDA, he created services for adults, expanded services in NJ school districts into North Jersey, and was directly responsible for one of BDAs first expansions into another state (Maine). With a focus on OBM, Jason utilizes the 5 Scientific Laws of Life and Leadership, to create systems to assist everyone within BDA and ensure the sustainability of the organization. He is passionate about being able to bring and expand services to different areas across the nation and assist in growing them sustainably from onset.
The addition of Joe Carter to the leadership team at Brett DiNovi & Associates has been the pivotal component allowing for continual growth. As the Vice President of Operations, Joe’s primary function is to orchestrate the fulfillment of services by over 600 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 most relationships and referrals for the company’s largest funding sources. Each team member at Brett DiNovi & Associates coordinates with Joe, whether it be monthly or daily, putting him at the heart of the organization. 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.
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 the 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. As a leader, Joe oversees the overall employee satisfaction and monitoring the overall quality outcomes for all staff across BDA. Compassionate accountability through goal setting is a focus area through the use of behavioral science.
Joshua Zeigler has worked in the field of behavioral services since 2005. Mr. Zeigler’s work experience includes counseling adjudicated youth from the Baltimore and DC area, providing supervisory and clinical support of children and adolescents in residential programs who are affected by Autism, varying degrees of Intellectual Disability and other Comorbid diagnosis. Mr. Zeigler joined BDA in 2015. Since joining BDA, Mr. Zeigler has supported families and learners in their homes, the community, residential and group home settings, and various schools in the Philadelphia Area. Mr. Zeigler is currently the Vice President of Operations in PA with the emphasis in providing support for learners and families in their home, the community and the school setting.
Professional Advisory Board
Julie S. Vargas, PhD
Formerly Skinner, Author and Educator
E.A. Vargas, PhD
Vice President, B.F. Skinner Foundation