Thank Y-O-U

We would like to thank everyone that has positively impacted ASA with their generosity.


As a non profit, we rely heavily on resources. One of our most limited resources is time. Here are just a few amazing people that spend theirs helping the autism community of Alaska:

Caitlin Frye, Grant Writer

David Spindler, Videographer

Brian Schlumbohm, Photographer

George and Amy Viltrakis, Mr. and Mrs. Sensory Santa

& many, many more

*If you would like to volunteer your time, talent, or treasure to ASA please connect with us. It takes every type of skill to keep an organization running.

Click here if you are interested.

Board Members

We want to thank all of our board members from the past and all of our current members:

Leah Kovall, President

Brandy Raby, Past President

Briana Brooks, Vice President

Denys Collins, Secretary

Bonita Brees, Treasurer

Joshua Kamerick, Board Member that experiences autism

Alana Frazier, Board Member in the professional field

Heidi Haas, Founding Honorary Board Member

Paige Talvi, Honorary Board Member

*We are always seeking additional board members who can contribute to our active board with specific knowledge, skills, and/or personal connections to autism.

Click Here for more information.


We are thankful for the Alaskan businesses that choose to help advance our mission and support our work!


We can only truly make a difference when we come together as a community. Partnerships with a purpose lead to greater impact and achievement. Here are some of our partners from 2018 that help strengthen us:

• FLY Trampoline Park

• Alaska Autism Resource Center

• Stone Soup Group

• Arctic Harvest

• Hope Counseling

• Alaska LEND

• UAA Center for Human Development

• Regal My Way Matinee


• HooDoo Brewing Co

*If you would like to partner with us and collaborate, email The Autism Society of Alaska at


The following people are our amazing Autism Ambassadors. They are strong advocates in our community, and we are forever thankful for them!

  • Paige Talvi
  • Julie Lougee
  • Amanda Lash
  • Kelly Eggleston
  • Helen Renfrew


For the first time this year, we hired a race director for our Annual Alaska 5k for Autism. Ellen Binkley’s enthusiasm and great work ethic led to our most successful race yet! Thank you, Ellen.

This year we also said goodbye to our first executive director of 4 years, Danielle Tessen. She will always be ASA’s number one ambassador. She has had a great impact on the autism community, and she will always hold a special place in our organization’s history as she cheers us on into the future.


Safety is important to ASA’s mission. Without our fantastic safety partners, we can not achieve that. Thank you to both Alaska State Troopers Project Lifesaver and UAF CTC Law Enforcement Safety Training for partnering and connecting with us.

There are so many more sponsors, partners, and volunteers we would like to thank. Without each and every one of you, nothing we do would be possible. We also want to thank every event attendee, donor, and our entire community. As a non profit, we rely heavily on those that support us in many different ways. You are why we exist. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank YOU!

If you’d like to donate your time, email

If you’d like to donate to our organization, visit


Letter from Past President

On this day … Thankful Tuesday there is much to be shared about the Autism Society of Alaska and the time I have served as the President of the Board of Directors.

Thankful! On this day … Thankful Tuesday there is much to be shared about the Autism Society of Alaska and the time I have served as the President of the Board of Directors. There are two tenses of the word … past and present that are most commonly contemplated when defining thankful. For myself … I first am Thankful that ASA has a past and a vibrant future. I am thankful for those who served before me … for those who paved the way … for those like the founder Heidi Haas. She had a vision and a plan and set it in motion. When I first volunteered for ASA … I was a newer parent with a new diagnosis and was so thankful for a place of common knowledge and non-judgement, where my family and myself could join and not be so different … but surrounded by others who understood and knew much of the same.

As I gained my footing and momentum, I eventually had the opportunity to serve as the President. In my time in this position I am beyond thankful for the opportunities to host the first two Autism Society of Alaska conferences with the likes of Temple Grandin and Michelle Garcia Winner! To hear what they shared alongside other local experts in our State was thrilling. Launching Community Enrichments, where we can offer educational, social and sensory sensitive events like my favorite, Sensory Santa, extended the vibe set by the conferences. I’m thankful for the networking and sharing of ideas these types of settings make possible. I’ve so appreciated the partnerships concerning safety with the State Troopers through Project Life Saver and CTC with classroom time for training with the cadets.

There are so many memories and moments that I will carry with me for some time. With that … I am thankful for the opportunity to move into the Past President position. I can be a part of the past and that’s only possible because of those who have been willing to carry the torch towards the future. Being part of this amazing non-profit organization has been a team effort. I’ve worked alongside many brilliant individuals with amazing skills and heart. Now I can support them and smile as they successfully navigate what’s next. What programs will they make flourish, what impacts will they have in the lives of those we serve and our communities.

I am so excited to announce that ASA’s new Board of Director’s President is Leah Kovall. Her enthusiasm and positive outlook and vision will be so effective in her leading. Moving into the Vice President position is Briana Brooks. Joining us as the new treasurer is Bonita Brees. Denys Collins will continue as our secretary and Alana Frazier and Joshua Kamerick have also volunteered more of their time, energy and resources to the ASA Board. Paige Talvi has accepted our position of Honorary Board member which we are so pleased to share. Every one of these individuals have made it possible for our organization to not only exists, but thrive. I am so grateful and thankful for their willingness, eagerness, thoughtfulness and compassion in their service as well as the time they commit to their positions. All of those characteristics are why they are champions of advocacy, education, awareness, acceptance and change for so many … not only locally but across our great State!

I am so thankful to all of our organization’s supporters and volunteers. All of your time, skills, and financial gifts have allowed us to do what we do. Thank you for both your past and future generosity! When there are so many amazing non-profits doing so many great things, it’s humbling to receive all we do. Our deep gratitude in recognizing this makes us proud to let you know that every dollar stays in Alaska and every dollar matters and is helpful. As we wrap up 2018, I am excited to see what 2019 holds for the Autism Society of Alaska. Thankful!

Brandy Raby, Past Autism Society of Alaska Board of Director’s President

Brandy Raby and her family at 10th Annul Alaska 5k for Autism

If you’d like to donate your time, email

If you’d like to donate to our organization, visit

2018 Rewind

What Did ASA Do in 2018?


Kicked off the new year by welcoming the Autism Society of America President and CEO,Scott Badesch to Alaska. He ran our Vision Forward Strategic Planning Session and helped map out goals for the next two years.

Announced Regal Cinemas would be continuing My Way Matinee, Sensory Friendly Films


Selected as a non-profit for  McHenry Ball tournament at North Pole Middle school and funds were raised on our behalf from the students’ North Pole Champions for Charity bingo, dinner, and auction.

Received Golden Heart Meeting Ambassador Award from Explore Fairbanks Alaska. Our 2nd Autism Conference brought the community of Fairbanks over $25,000 from direct attendee spending.

Began a logo contest to celebrate our 10th Annual Alaska 5k for Autism


Hands-on workshop on strengthening communication between them and their adolescent or teen presented by Matthew Sena and Kylie Gore-Hall with Hope Counseling

Partnered with Fly Trampoline for a sensory friendly event


Annual Human Ribbon at UAF

Partnered with 2018 Alaska LEND Fellows for a Parent Cafe Tea Time Workshop on Strengthening and Supporting Families

Chosen as Papa John’s Charity of the Month

KTVF covered our sensory friendly events and partnerships

Board members attended Fairbanks Children Museum’s Sensory Friendly Day


Partnered with Stone Soup Cafe for a Cooking Life Skills Course for adults with autism


10th Annual Alaska 5k for Autism

Benefited from the Fairbanks Visitor Industry Walk for Charity


Sponsored one camper to attend Camp Yes in the Woods

Said goodbye to our first hired Executive Director of 4 years

Joined FRA for Disability Awareness at Golden Days Parade


Had a booth at the Tanana Valley State Fair


Presented to the CTC Law Enforcement Academy on safety with suggestions for positive and effective interactions with those who experience autism and their support systems


Partnered with Arctic Harvest for our first ever Sensory Friendly Fall Event


We welcomed in our new board president, Leah Kovall

New  treasurer welcomed to the board, Bonita Brees


We will host our 5th Annual Sensory Santa event sponsored by Greer Tank and Welding

We can’t wait to share with you our plans for 2019! If you’d like to donate your time, email

If you’d like to donate to our organization, visit