Our Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Kelly Backes, Milliman

Kelly is a Principal and Consulting Actuary at Milliman.  Kelly assists their clients in developing and pricing Medicare Advantage plans. Kelly joined the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin’s Board of Directors in January 2019, was elected Co-Vice President in May 2021, and was elected President in May 2023.  They also serve on ASSEW’s Fund Development and Autism Gala committees.  Kelly earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics – Actuarial Science and Economics, as well as an Honor’s degree, from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  They are a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. 

Kelly first became connected with ASSEW when their son was diagnosed autistic in 2014, at the age of two.  Like many parents, Kelly and their husband didn’t know where to go or what to do next – ASSEW provided them with knowledge, resources, and a support system to help their son live his best life.  Kelly began volunteering at ASSEW early on in their son’s journey to give back and support other parents, families, and individuals.  In an interesting turn of events, Kelly was also diagnosed autistic in 2022.   With these two experiences, as both a parent to a young child and an autistic individual themselves, they are passionate about advocating for, and supporting, autistic individuals throughout their entire life.  

Past President
Howard Miller, Retired Financial Executive

Howard Miller is a retired Senior Financial Executive with more than 35 years of experience in the property and casualty and health insurance industries.

He joined the Board of Director of Autism Society Southeastern Wisconsin in 2007 and served as President from 2013 until 2016. He currently serves on the Finance and Board Development Committees. Howard serves on the Board of Directors and is the Treasurer for the Autism Society of America. He serves on the Board of Director and is a former President for the Skylight Music Theater in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Howard graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with an MBA and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a BBA in Accounting. He also received the Certified Public Accountant designation in 1978. He served in the United States Marine Corp from 1966-1970.

Vice President
Rosemary Gardner, Lakeland School Retiree

Rosemary Gardner recently retired as Curriculum Director for Lakeland School of Walworth County. She holds BSE and MSE degrees in Special Education from UW-Whitewater and an MSE in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW Madison. As a teacher, administrator, and member of state, national, and international special education organizations, Rosemary spent her thirty-five-year career advocating for children. Her search for current and valid research, reliable resources, and impactful Autism programs was enhanced through her connections with the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin.

Rosemary joined the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Board of Directors in 2016 and currently serves as Vice President. In addition to membership on the Gala, Fund Development, and Education Committees, Rosemary volunteers for Autism Society of SE WI, supporting caring and talented staff members who dedicate their time and gifts to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully.

Ryan Michalski, KPMG

Ryan Michalski is an Audit Partner at KPMG Milwaukee and has served on the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Board for over ten years.  My family and I live in Hartland.  This board holds a special place in my heart because it was my first not for profit board and the mission resonates with me given personal connections I have with friends and family with Autism.  I have learned so much by being on this board and look to continue with the mission.

Julie Arens, Racine Unified School District Retiree

Julie Arens is a recently retired Racine Unified School District educator. Her educational positions included Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Districtwide Autism Support Teacher, and Program Support Teacher/Diagnostician. Julie has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education from UW-Whitewater. She has served on the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Board of Directors and the Education Committee for 17 years.

Executive Director
Rechelle Chaffe, ASSEW

Rechelle has been with the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin for eight years and serves as Executive Director. With a degree in business and family members on the spectrum, she has championed for Autism awareness, education and support by providing programs and services that benefit the Autism community. She brings a  passion for advocacy efforts to work every day.


Nathan Abrahamson, US Bank

Nathan is a Private Wealth Advisor at US Bank. He joined the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Board of Directors in December 2019 and serves on the Advocacy Committee. Additionally, Nathan serves on the Board of Directors for Best Buddies Wisconsin. He is an alumni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA.

Nathan is an advocate for neuro-diverse individuals and those connected to autism as his brother was diagnosed with Autism early in life. Nathan was nominated for a position on the ASSEW Board of Directors with a focus on advocacy to simplify the complexity for parents and guardians.

Rebecca “Riv” Goldman, Rockwell Automation Retiree

Riv has recently retired as General Counsel and SVP of Optimas Solutions, after having retired from Rockwell Automation.  She joined the board of Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin shortly after moving to Wisconsin in 2017.  Having previously served on the board of Autism Society of Ohio, she was eager to contribute to the autism community in Wisconsin. Riv also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Centers for Independence.  Riv has a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and a JD from the University of Dayton.

Riv has long been an advocate for the disabled.  She established the right to an inclusive education for those with autism in Ohio through a successful federal court case on behalf of her son with classic autism.  After her victory in court, parents of children with many different disabilities in Centerville, Ohio spoke of the “Goldman effect” in achieving inclusion for their children.  Riv continues to advocate for children and adults who are significantly impacted by autism but who nonetheless deserve full and meaningful lives and friendships.

Matthew Griffin, Johnson Controls Inc.

Matt is an IT Director at Johnson Controls and responsible for Strategic Supplier Management. He joined the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Board of Directors in May 2019 and serves on the Finance and Fund-Raising Committee’s. Additionally, Matt serves on the Board of Directors for Fisher House Wisconsin. Matt is a veteran having served with the United States Navy. He earned a B.B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Matt is an advocate for neuro-diverse individuals and those connected to autism. His adult son is high functioning and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome early in elementary school. Matt and his wife Tami reached out to the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin early in their journey to better understand autism and how to help their son. After completing graduate school, Matt was looking to give back to the community through a local non-profit and was nominated for a position on the ASSEW Board of Directors.

Erin Miller, People First Wisconsin

Erin Miller is an Advocate Specialist at People First Wisconsin. Advocacy by and for people with disabilities. Additionally, she serves on Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones (ALAS) board of directors, and on the Constituent Advisory Committee(CAC). Erin is an autistic woman who advocates for herself and with other disabled people. She is dedicated to passing the microphone to people with 24-hour care needs to communicate *their* wants and needs to their families. She is passionate about housing and long-term care. Particularly for supports that allow people who need 24-hour care, are non-speaking, and/or have complex medical needs to live in their own homes. As an autistic adult daughter, she voices that disabled, autistic offspring may want very different things for our lives than our parents. Erin continues to talk with parents and professionals about implementing supports for people with 24-hour care needs–so they are able to live in their own homes. We may disagree, and relationships with family are sometimes complicated–but we can come to mutually agreeable compromises. She wants parents and professionals to know; it doesn’t take a genius level IQ to want something different than our parents want. People with 24-hour care needs can want something very different from their parents. Non-speaking people, and people with complex medical needs may have *very* different ideas about how they want to live than their parents. Being unable to speak is not the same thing as having nothing to say.

Andrea Nelson, Unisource Insurance

Andrea is the owner and CEO of Unisource Insurance Associates and leads a team of twenty-five insurance agents and staff specializing in home, auto, business and Medicare insurance.  Andrea has been a board member at the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin (ASSEW) since July of 2012.  She serves on the Fund Development Committee and has served on the Gala Committee.  Andrea also serves on the Board of Directors for the Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (IIAW) and is an active volunteer at Trinity Academy in Pewaukee and St. John Vianney in Brookfield.  Andrea earned her BA from St. Norbert College and earned the Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) designation from The Society of Human Resource Management.

Andrea’s daughter was diagnosed with autism eighteen years ago at the age of four.  Her daughter participated in the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin’s bike camp and joyfully learned how to ride her bike by the end of the week-long camp.  Bike camp opened up a whole new world for her daughter and their family along with active participation in many other family friendly programs sponsored by the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Joining the board has been a way to give back to the autism community and continue to contribute through advocacy and resources to the life journey that is autism.

Katelyn A. Pellitteri, Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP

Katelyn Pellitteri is a healthcare attorney at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Katelyn assists healthcare industry clients navigate transactional, governance, regulatory and information security issues. She leverages a deep understanding of the complex issues healthcare organizations face to provide tailored, actionable counsel. Katelyn is a graduate of Arizona State University and Emory University School of Law. She is a member of the American Health Law Association.

Katelyn joined the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Board of Directors in 2023. She is passionate about improving health outcomes for Wisconsinites and is committed to supporting efforts related to access and inclusion for those with autism.

Dr. Amy Romashko, Children’s Wisconsin

Dr. Romashko is the Medical/Program Director for the Children’s WI Urgent Care Department. She completed her medical education at the University Of Wisconsin School Of Medicine and Public Health, and her pediatric residency at the Loyola University Medical Center Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital in Maywood, IL.   She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a trained facilitator for both Language of Caring (a curricula designed to improve patient experience) and At Our Best (a curricula designed to strengthen organizational culture).  She is a Founders Circle member of the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care (SPUC), where she sits on the educational webinar committee as well as serving on the SPUC Board as Secretary/Treasurer.

The work of the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin is meaningful to her not only as a pediatrician but also as the parent of an autistic teenager.  Dr. Romashko joined the ASSW Board of Directors in July of 2021.

Susan Schoenfeld, Leaders Institute

Susan has over 20 years of corporate experience. She worked at Baker & McKenzie as Professional Development Performance Management Consultant where she was responsible for attorney reviews and the creation of Professional Development Plans. Prior to that, she spent over eleven years as Professional Development Director at Foley & Lardner. Her responsibilities included training, on-boarding, facilitating a mentoring program and coaching attorneys on communication skills. She was also the Training Manager at Extendicare Health Services where she designed, managed and delivered orientations and training to 350 employees in 240 nursing homes nationwide.

Susan is well respected in the field of education and has taught courses at several Universities. Through her firm, Schoenfeld Presentations Plus, she has worked with attorneys in several firms helping them with the writing and delivery of speeches for conferences and marketing events. She has also worked with Loeb Consulting group facilitating sessions for Law Firm Administrators in large firms on Management Skills. This includes DISC training, which she conducted for ILTA Board Members and several corporations.

Susan has provided customized coaching, seminars, strategic planning, training, and motivational speaking services to individuals, businesses and community groups nation-wide. She presents management skills webinars world-wide for O’Reilly Media. She also works with the Leaders Institute providing team building events to law firms and corporations including American Airlines, PayPal, Kohler, Quarles & Brady, Goodwin Procter, MetLife, Chase Bank and PhRMA.

Kevin Scholz, Advanced Hires

Kevin Scholz is the CEO and Founder at Advanced Hires. Kevin has a unique background consisting of law enforcement and an explosive results-oriented business career ranging from entry-level sales to CEO, along with many positions held in-between. Kevin also advises and serves the State of Wisconsin Governor in his Governor appointed position on the Autism Counsel for the state. He also serves and advises the City of Milwaukee and Greenfield on his Mayor appointed position on the Board of Directors for the states largest business district. Kevin is also on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Police Science, a Bachelor’s in Business Management, and a Master’s Degree from Marquette University in Leadership, along with an emphasis on Research Methods. Kevin speaks at various colleges/universities and businesses throughout the Milwaukee area on many issues ranging from resumes, motivation, proactive selling, preparing youths for the right career, and many others.

Dayna Miller, Landmark Credit Union

Dayna Miller has been in banking for over 25 years and has been a successful business lender in the Metro Milwaukee area for over 10 years.  She currently works as a Business Lending Officer at Landmark Credit Union.  In 2021, She joined the board of the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Dayna holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she majored in Management.

Dayna was introduced to the Autism Society in 2021 after working for many years with kids with various disabilities through the Waukesha County Foster Care Program, and continues to be an advocate for children with disabilities through her work with the Autism Society SE WI.