Events and Resources for the Autism Community
This Autism Event Calendar is an Orange County, California community resource that centralizes information and increases access to autism educational and family support opportunities. Because some events are posted months before they are scheduled, is important to contact sponsors to confirm that none of the information has changed.
To be notified of FAN sponsored events by email, please click this LINK.
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For the fourth year in a row, OCASG invites leaders in the Neurodiversity@Work movement.
OCASG will be providing an update on the exciting programs and activities designed to increase employment and job satisfaction for those on the Spectrum. Join Jessica Lee, founder of NeuroTalent Works, Rebecca Beam, founder and CEO of Zavikon, Hilarly Kokenda, founder and COO of Zavikon, and Judi Uttal, president of The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (OCASG) as they share their personal journeys and provide insight on how you can make a difference.
Click HERE to RSVP.
Rebecca Beam, CEO of Zavikon
Rebecca Beam is Founder and CEO of Zavikon. Prior to launching Zavikon she was a founding advisory team member launching MindSpark, Inc. whose mission was to train and employ adults on the autism spectrum in technology careers. After MindSpark’s acquisition by auticon, Rebecca became President of the US operations leading the US expansion and driving growth.
As a veteran of the tech sector, Rebecca’s career has included senior leadership roles sourcing and developing human capital with high-demand skill sets for the area’s leading tech firms, including Fortune 100 and 500 brands. Rebecca believes there is a job out there for everyone to apply their talents and skills in a meaningful way and she is dedicated to being a bridge to an inclusive working world. She is passionate about opening doors for all individuals with disabilities or those who are neurodivergent to achieve career success. In 2019, Rebecca won the prestigious Milestones Visionary Employer Award.
Hilary Kokenda, COO of Zavikon
Hilary Kokenda is the Chief Operating Officer, (COO), of Zavikon. Prior to becoming a founding member of Zavikon, she spent 10 years at The Walt Disney Company as a technologist supporting business solutions and processes. Hilary’s primary role throughout her career has been to bridge the communication gap between technology resources and the businesses they support at Fortune 500 companies.
Hilary’s career has required her to work with individuals at all levels and drive change across all types of departments. Through her wealth of experience in the corporate environment, she has recognized the need for and benefits of diversity, and she is passionate about being a bridge to an inclusive working world. Hilary holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Applied Sciences from UCLA.
Jessica Lee, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The NeuroTalent Works
Jessica Lee is Executive Director and Co-Founder of The NeuroTalent Works, a non-profit organization transitioning gifted adults on the autism spectrum into meaningful talent for corporations. Through this organization, Jessica is eager to change business and society’s perceptions about autism and focus on integration and neurodiversity (a diversity of minds) in the workplace as an impetus for greater societal change. Prior to starting The Spectrum Works, Jessica was a management consultant for 8 years, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business and International Relations at the University of Southern California and an Executive Certificate in Social Impact Strategy through the University of Pennsylvania.
Judi Uttal, President, Orange County Asperger’s Support Group
Judi Uttal is president of the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (OCASG) a nonprofit organization focused on improving the quality of life for individuals and families dealing with high-functioning autism. For the last nineteen years, OCASG has offered an array of educational, social and support programs that have helped hundreds of families.
One of OCASG’s important initiatives is the Neurodiversity@Work Orange County project. Neurodiversity@Work is a worldwide movement where companies are eliminating barriers to hiring individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Judi, working with the Thompson Policy Group Orange County Transition Initiative which is leveraging business-to-business marketing techniques to increase the active hiring of people with ASD in Orange County. To help drive this action, Ms. Uttal has created a OC-Autism@Work LinkedIn group. Additionally, Judi, with the assistance of Zavikon’s Rebecca Beam (CEO) And Hilary Kokenka (COO) established OCASG Career Club, a holistic program that focuses on providing training and support to enable college-graduates with ASD preemployment, during employment, and postemployment services designed to enable short and long-term career success.
Judi has retired from a successful career as a high technology marketing executive. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Math/Computer Science from UCLA (where she graduated Cum Laude) and an MBA from the Tepper School of Management, Carnegie Mellon University (where she graduated at the top of her class). Judi is married and is the mother of a 30-year-old son with High-Functioning Autism who graduated with a BA in Cinema and Television from California State University, Fullerton.