Diane M.C. Coleman, MS

Growing up in Queens, NY and now living on Long Island, Mrs. Coleman earned a Bachelor's of Science degree from St. John's University double majoring in mathematics and education. She then earned a Master's of Science degree from St. John's in special education and has continued her education earning 82 additional credits above her Master's degree. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Theta Phi Alpha National Sorority. Mrs. Coleman was a co-founder of Friends for Life, an organization that provided social activities for local high school students on the spectrum.

Diane Doherty

Diane Doherty is the Treasurer for Positive Community Connections. Diane is a wife and a mom of two lovely young ladies. Her youngest daughter was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Diane was raised in Commack and attended Commack schools. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in political science from SUNY at Oneonta. She worked at KPMG MAIN HURDMAN as a tax paraprofessional and took evening classes in accounting at Hunter College. She left that position to raise her children and work part time as  a bookkeeper for Alcamo Pools and Granite for the past 25 years.

Theresa Giacobbe-Grieco, M.A.

Theresa Giacobbe-Grieco received her Masters degree in psychology from Long Island University. She has additionally completed her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis from LIU. She has worked in Transition Services as a Clinical Supervisor, Operations Director and Community Integration Specialist at Positive Behavior Support Consulting and Psychological Resources, P.C. since 2004. Theresa became interested in Self-Directed services while researching options for her brother who is now living in his community.

Matt Grogan

Mr. Matthew Grogan is a graduate of Lesley University Threshold Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Matt is an accomplished self advocate and has served in the role of “mentor” to those developing their voices as self advocates. He has presented at a number workshops, trainings and more recently webinars, on a variety of subjects surrounding being an individual with Autism, transition planning, self advocacy and systems change with regard to NYSED Diploma requirements.

Ruth-Ann Hartney

Ruth-Ann Hartney serves as the Executive Director for Positive Community Connections. Ruth-Ann previously worked for PBS Consulting & Psychological Resources, P.C. as a Marketing Consultant and Community Development Specialist, working with students and administrators to provide vocational program consultation. Ruth-Ann works as a Job Developer and has helped many self-directed adults secure meaningful employment with businesses and organizations across Long Island.

John Innis, M.A., BCBA

John Innis serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Positive Community Connections. He earned his Masters degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University under the mentorship of the late Dr. Ted Carr. Mr. Innis is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been providing behavioral services to individuals with disabilities for the past 18 years, both as a direct provider and as a consultant to numerous families and school systems.

Barbara Maio

Barbara is a Licensed Attorney in the State of New York, a Certified Compensation Professional through World at Work and a Volunteer Article Reviewer for Workspan, the World at Work magazine. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hofstra University and her Juris Doctor Degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Darlene Magito McLaughlin, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Darlene Magito McLaughlin is the Founder of Positive Community Connections (formerly known as the Positive Behavior Support Community Foundation) and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Darlene is a native Long Islander who has been a leader in the field of developmental disabilities for over 25 years. She is also the Founder and Director of Positive Behavior Support Consulting & Psychological Services, P.C., a professional consortium dedicated to the resolution of problem behavior in adults and children with disabilities.

Tal Ourian

Tal Ourian is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Positive Community Connections. She is a Parent Advocate and the parent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has over 20 years of experience in advocating for and accessing much-needed services in order to ensure that her daughter (now in her 30s) maximizes her potential and achieves the greatest amount of independence possible. Tal's breath of experience is wide, having served as her district SEPTA president for 5 consecutive years.

Freedom Riley

Abby Riley, Freedom they/them, is a recent graduate of Suffolk Community College focusing on Criminal Justice. Freedom is sentimental for family pets and other animals, and a strong advocate for animals and people. They are interested in reincarnation, wizardry and tarot cards. Monga and anime books and shows are things you can find Freedom doing on their down time.  Freedom is currently working at Wild by Nature in West Islip and in the past worked has been employed by Toys R Us and Home Depot. Freedom is Self-Directed.

Bio coming soon!

Advisory Board Members

Craig Cooper

Craig Cooper is an Advisory Board member of the Positive Community Connections. He is the father of a beautiful daughter, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Craig has been a vocal advocate for his daughter and gives generously of his time to work with other families, as well as speak to individuals who are training to become support staff for members of the disabled community.

Shawn Gladstone

Shawn Gladstone is a married mother of three grown sons, one of whom has autism. She has been an advocate for the developmentally challenged for the past 25 years. Her advocacy began with her role as SEPTA Co-President in the Jericho School District. She also served terms on the Jericho’s Joint PTA as vice president and president.  In 2006, Shawn was elected to the Jericho School Board and served for nine years.

Roberta Grogan is the parent of 2 young men, one of whom is in the initial stages of implementing Self Direction. In her life prior to having children of her own, Roberta enjoyed a career as a commercial real estate paralegal with a specialization in “due diligence reviews.” The practice of pulling apart documents and relevant regulations to expose potential hurdles to transactions, became a very useful tool as her eldest son was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Barbara McNamara

Barbara McNamara was a member of the Board of Directors for the Positive Community Connections from 2017-2019 and she is currently a member of the Advisory Board.  Barbara is the Executive Director of SMILE- Support My Independent Life and as a SMILE Broker, supports her own caseload of Self-Directed Individuals. The LIDDRO has an ongoing relationship with Barbara to instruct the incoming brokers in the district at the yearly training. 

Ellen Proszak

Ellen Proszak is an attorney, a teacher, a support broker for self-directed services and the parent of a person with a disability. Originally from upstate New York, Ellen has lived with her family on Long Island for the past twenty-five years. She received her education at SUNY New Paltz, Albany Law School, Stonybrook University and LIU Post. Ellen has worked in a wide variety of positions in the fields of law

John P. Spinelli, CPA, CFP

John is an Advisory Board member of the Positive Community Connections. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Hofstra University in 1989. He currently holds the following industry licenses with FINRA: Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative) and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam).

Paul Scancarelli

Paul Scancarelli is a Long Island native, the founder of "The Long Island Buddy Club", "Paul Vibes" motivational speaking and "The People's Podcast". Featured in numerous publications for his work, Paul has held motivational talks at a variety of venues including colleges, high schools, libraries and substance abuse facilities. As an innovative and driven young entrepeneur trained in substance abuse counseling, Paul has been working with youth and the special needs population since 2011.